"Vienna Waltz"– a Special Guest Give-Away!

I know, I know, I said I was going to be giving away copies of The Betrayal of the Blood Lily today. We interrupt our regularly scheduled Pink-a-thon for a very special offer: an advance copy of Vienna Waltz, hot off the presses, courtesy of the author, Teresa (aka Tracy) Grant.

Isn’t the cover gorgeous?

For those of you who haven’t encountered Tracy’s books before, she writes, quite simply, the best Regency-set mysteries out there today. Her two Charles & Melanie books, Beneath a Silent Moon and Secrets of a Lady, flawlessly recreate the early nineteenth century, with all its complexity and contradiction. The same could be said of the lead characters, complex, fascinating, and very much of their time.

As you can tell, I’m a huge fan.

Vienna Waltz takes place at the Congress of Vienna, amid all its tangled intrigues. It’s rather fabulous. To learn more about Vienna Waltz and Tracy’s other books, check out her website here.

Here’s your question: What’s the best new-to-you book you’ve discovered recently?

One lucky person will be chosen at random to receive a copy of Vienna Waltz— and we’ll be back to our regularly scheduled Blood Lily tomorrow.

(This is me and Tracy talking Napoleonic spies over brunch last fall, while she was working on Vienna Waltz and I was working on Orchid Affair.)


  1. Christine on December 20, 2010 at 8:36 am

    Wow that absolutely is beautiful!

    The best book I’ve read recently is A Vintage Affair by Isabel Wolff.

    Looking forward to what other people recommend!

  2. J on December 20, 2010 at 9:05 am

    I’m looking forward to reading Vienna Waltz. My best new find was Loving a Lost Lord by Mary Jo Putney.

  3. Sarah M. on December 20, 2010 at 9:52 am

    My most recent best new-to-me book was The Physic Book of Deliverance Dane by Katherine Howe. Very cool historical thriller from the Salem witch trials. Vienna Waltz looks like a great read!

  4. Susan on December 20, 2010 at 10:07 am

    The Sarah Tolerance books by Madeleine Robins. I have heard she is working on 2 more.

    REALLY looking forward to The Vienna Waltz. I found Tracy Grant when I saw Lauren’s review on the cover of one of her books. They are so well done.

  5. Kiernan on December 20, 2010 at 10:52 am

    Nine Coaches Waiting by Mary Stewart. (This discovery happens to be your fault. Yay!) I liked it so much I’ve read all of her books this year and even gave it as a gift for Christmas.

    And a new Tracy Grant book? Next year’s reading list is looking very promising.

  6. Pam on December 20, 2010 at 11:02 am

    The best book I discovered (vs. had planned on reading) is probably Silent in the Grave, coming on the heels of your recommendation of The Dead Travel Fast (which I also just loved). I’d never heard of Deanna Raybourn before and I am just adoring her books–perfect Winter “Break” reading!

    Right up there, too, is Tracy Chevalier’s Remarkable Creatures, which is about the discovery of dinosaur fossils in the early 19th century (before Darwin) in Lyme. It’s also, in typical Chevalier fashion, about women–Mary Anning (the impoverished girl who finds the fossils) and spinster Elizabeth Philpott–and their friendship as they try to find a niche for themselves in the world. I picked it up in the airport when my flight was delayed and I really loved it.

  7. Bekah on December 20, 2010 at 11:16 am

    The best discovery I’ve made recently would have to be The Rosetti Letter by Christi Phillips. Although these books by Tracy Grant look promising as well. Thank you Lauren for introducing me to yet another regency series I didn’t know existed!

  8. Amanda Isabel on December 20, 2010 at 11:17 am

    Hm, I think my best discovery this year happened while browsing this little independent bookstore ten minutes from my house. It was covered in floor to ceiling book cases, all the spines sparking in the warm yellow light, and I knew I had my work cut out for me. I started to browse the “Historical Fiction” section, thumbing over the crinkled and worn spines, and I came across a thick book in dark green. I pulled it out and glanced at the cover page – it was a garden gate with a garden outside. The book was “The Forgotten Garden” by Kate Morton, and I am so glad I picked it up and read it – it was amazing!

    Anyways, thanks for letting me gush. Please enter me in the contest! 😀 Thanks Lauren! 🙂

  9. Emily on December 20, 2010 at 11:19 am

    I would have to say the Friday Night Knitting Club. I was originally supposed to read it in ’09 for a book club, but ended up reading it this year instead for a different book club. Really enjoyed it.

  10. Lauren Smith on December 20, 2010 at 11:21 am

    I’ve never hear of Teresa Grant, but now my curiosity is piqued and I’ve got to read some of these! The best new-to-me book that I’ve read recently is the Eternal Ones (a YA book but absolutely amazing)!!

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  11. Suzanne on December 20, 2010 at 11:45 am

    The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins. I found it to be extremely thought-provoking fiction from a YA author and wished I hadn’t waited so long to pick them up.

  12. Rachel on December 20, 2010 at 11:47 am

    I’d have to say that Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers was my best recent “hey-I’ve-never-seen-this-before” discovery. I also LOVED The Time Traveler’s Wife. But I owe that one to a girlfriend who mailed it to me with a note that said I HAD to read it.

    Thanks for the give away!!!

  13. Jordan on December 20, 2010 at 11:52 am

    I recently disovered “Charmed and Dangerous” by Toni McGee Causey and absolutely loved it! The heroine is sharp-tongued and smart-mouthed with a knack for attracting the worst kinds of trouble, but she’s got the skills and the man to help her get out of any and all crazy situations. This book is the start of a wonderful trilogy, and I highly recommend all three!

  14. Jessica S. on December 20, 2010 at 11:56 am

    I’m going to go with “Good Enough to Eat,” by Stacey Ballis, BFF of Jen Lancaster. Jen’s a big pusher of Stacey’s books, and I saw a signed copy in a bookstore in my tiny hometown and couldn’t resist. It’s fabulous.

  15. Renee on December 20, 2010 at 12:02 pm

    I discovered Kristan Higgins earlier this year and am so happy I did!

  16. Shannon S. on December 20, 2010 at 12:03 pm

    I’ve recently been enjoying Fiona Buckley’s Ursula Blanchard series (“To Shield the Queen” is the first). I picked up a copy when I was browsing through an online clearance of historical fiction and wasn’t disappointed! It was a fun read, though maybe not up to Pink Carnation or Charles & Melanie standards…but that’s a high bar! I just read “Beneath a Silent Moon,” and re-read “Secrets of a Lady.” Can’t wait to read the next one!!!

  17. Molly E on December 20, 2010 at 12:04 pm

    Hmm…best new-to-me book??? Julie Lessman’s A Hope Undaunted for Historical novel and Goodnight Tweetheart by Theresa Medeiros for contemporary romance. LOVED them both! Thanks for the chance at Teresa/Tracy’s book!

  18. Catie on December 20, 2010 at 12:05 pm

    The People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks is my most recently read book, and also happens to be absolutely wonderful. It is written like the Pink series in that it has a modern heroine who is a rare book conservator, and then goes back in time to follow people who handled, added to or altered the book (the Sarajevo haggadah) and its history. Added bonus: its based on a true story! Truly a fantastic book!

  19. Christy on December 20, 2010 at 12:09 pm

    I’ve got two. A friend said I reminded her of the heroine in “The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society”, so I was intrigued, of course. While I was honored by the comparison and only dream of having the wit and composure of the character, I absolutely loved the book.
    Also, I just finished reading “The Devil’s Queen: A Novel of Catherine de Medici”, by Jeanne Kalogridis. I had already read her other novels, “I, Mona Lisa” and “The Borgia Bride” and loved them. While this one was a tad bit darker than I usually prefer, I enjoyed it so much that I started researching Catherine de Medici to sort out the history behind the novel. I figure any novel that gets its reader interested in the history of the material is a novel well written.

  20. Laura on December 20, 2010 at 12:19 pm

    Cleopatra a life by Stacy Schiff

  21. Cayla on December 20, 2010 at 12:27 pm

    My newest find is Romancing Miss Bronte by Juliet Gael. I can’t seem to help liking imaginative renderings of my favorite authors. There’s one about Louisa May Alcott that I really want to read as well.

  22. Brittany on December 20, 2010 at 12:30 pm

    The best new book I’ve discovered recently is a YA historical fiction “The Season” by Sara MacLean. Its a fun mystery that takes place around the same time period in England. Loved that I could take some of the information in your novels to understand the era in this one.

  23. Meredith on December 20, 2010 at 12:46 pm

    Hmm, that’s a tough one. Since my thesis is on young adult fantasy lit, I’ve pretty much been stuck with those for the past few months.

    I guess the best new-to-me I’ve read is Fables, a graphic novel series by Bill Willingham. It’s pretty fantastic so far. The art is stunning, and I’m a huge fan of revamped fairy tales (oh, alright, and regular old fairy tales).

    For more serious stuff, I finally got around to reading Out, a crime novel by Natsuo Kirino. It truly defines the word ‘thrilling’ and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it since I read it four months ago.

  24. Katie on December 20, 2010 at 12:47 pm

    I am about four books into the Molly Murphy Mystery series by Rhys Bowen. They aren’t very long and are quick, fun reads. I also just got into the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo books, just in time for the recent release of the third book. I’m part way through the last one right now and they are addictive books and I am devastated that the author is dead and this is the last book 🙁 Looking forward to reading Vienna Waltz- I was about out of reading material and was hoping for a reading round-up soon to help restock my shelves!

  25. Ashley on December 20, 2010 at 12:52 pm

    The Pindar Diamond by Katie Hickman

  26. Samantha on December 20, 2010 at 12:55 pm

    Bedtime Story by Robert J Wiersema. So amazing! I couldn’t put it down!

  27. Lauren T on December 20, 2010 at 12:58 pm

    I am on a light winter reading kick and just picked up the Heather Wells mysteries by Meg Cabot. Very cute, entertaining reads!

  28. Julie on December 20, 2010 at 1:22 pm

    Vienna Waltz looks awesome! I have recently discovered Sara Shepard’s books.

  29. Laura on December 20, 2010 at 1:27 pm

    Have to add to the list besides Cleopatra a life by Stacy Schiff, The Red Queen by Philippa Gregory and Remarkable Creatures by Tracy Chevalier 🙂

  30. Becky on December 20, 2010 at 1:38 pm

    The Lady Emily series by Tasha Alexander

  31. Katelin on December 20, 2010 at 1:39 pm

    I needed something funny and recently gave the shopaholic series by Sophie Kinsella a try.

  32. Molly J on December 20, 2010 at 1:43 pm

    Definitely Helen of Troy by Margaret George!

    Back from college on winter break; first stop was my home bookstore. So much free reading time!

  33. Amy Mannette on December 20, 2010 at 1:48 pm

    Syrie James – “Dracula, My Love” I have read her other books as well and they are wonderful!

  34. Jane on December 20, 2010 at 1:50 pm

    “Royal Blood”, the latest Her Royal Spyness book by Rhys Bowen.


  35. Joanne M. on December 20, 2010 at 1:52 pm

    Discovered Susanna Kearsley this year thanks to your Friday Reading posts — loved The Winter Sea and Mariana.

    Thanks for the giveaway opportunity and another great author to explore.

  36. Jessie on December 20, 2010 at 1:58 pm

    44 Scotland Street by Alexander McCall Smith (although I have to say this series is more entertaining as a CD book than just reading it)

  37. Jessica M. on December 20, 2010 at 2:10 pm

    Vienna Waltz looks wonderful! I definitely already have the other two on my to-read list. The latest new-to-me books I’ve picked up are the Hunger Games series. I tried for so long to avoid the hype but my curiosity finally overcame my resolve and I caved and picked them up. I’m not done yet, but so far I’m really liking the series. And another new-to-me book that I’m working on reading is The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon. It’s the first of his books that I’ve picked up and I’m loving it so far.

  38. Jessica on December 20, 2010 at 2:34 pm

    Hmmm…best new-to-me book…I think I’ll go with Brave New World by Alduous Huxley. I read it a little while ago, but it’s stuck with me and I see it’s influence on a lot of the new dystopian books! An excellent sci-fi classic.

    BTW – that cover is gorgeous!!

  39. Meredith A on December 20, 2010 at 2:48 pm

    The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton. Great book.

    I am SO looking forward to reading Vienna Waltz – judging the book by its cover, it is going to be fantastic.

  40. Tracie on December 20, 2010 at 2:57 pm

    Believe it or not, I just discovered the Pink Carnation series this year! I know, I know, I’m hopelessly behind the times. I stumbled across The Secret History of the Pink Carnation while browsing at Borders and the cover caught my eye, so I picked it off the shelf and read the synopsis, which appealed to me on many levels. I bought the book, told my reading buddy about it, and we read the book together. We both adored the novel as it combined so many our favorite elements – Chick Lit, Mystery, Adventure, Historical Romance. I immediately ran out and bought all the books and devoured them in quick succession and I’ve sung the praises of the series to every book-reading friend I have.

    A great side effect of catching Pink Carnation-itis is that I’ve discovered so many other great authors/books through reading the series and browsing the posts at this site. I read Evelina because of all Charlotte’s talk about Lord Orville in The Temptation of the Night Jasmine. And I just read the first Lady Emily mystery because of seeing a post about it here.

    Thank you, Lauren, for greatly enhancing my reading experience in 2010!

  41. aniko on December 20, 2010 at 3:01 pm

    Try again. Sookie Stackhouse by Charlaine Harris – read all in two weeks, and Outlander, by Diana Gabaldon. Love it immensely!

  42. Lauren Ashley on December 20, 2010 at 3:34 pm

    I just finished the second book in the Lady Julia novels by Deanna Raybourn. Im heading to the bookstore for the 3rd and 4th today 🙂 they are sooooo good!

  43. Lynn on December 20, 2010 at 3:46 pm

    My new-to-me discovery would have to be the Attolia series by Megan Whalen Turner — wonderful YA fantasy series.

    My most anticipated read for the year was Cryoburn by Lois McMaster Bujold — I have been waiting for a new Miles story for years.

    I love Tracy’s books and that cover is absolute georgeous.

    @J — You are in for a treat with the Mary Jo Putney books.

    @Susan — I love the Madeleine Robins books and am so happy that there is a possibility she will be writing more in the series.

    @Pam — aren’t the Deanna Raybourn books wonderful!

    @Joanne M — I really enjoy the Susanna Kearsley books, they are the closest in tone to the Mary Stewart books that I love.

    Thanks Lauren for the chance to win Vienna Waltz

  44. Katie F on December 20, 2010 at 4:28 pm

    I just discovered “Interred with their Bones” a modern mystery about Shakespeare’s lost play. Soooooo good. I love Tracy Grant, and I’m so excited she has a new one coming out!

  45. Elizabeth aka Miss Eliza on December 20, 2010 at 4:56 pm

    OMG! Mouth watering, so want that pretty book, seeing as I have her first two on my shelf and now they say they are lonely.

    Best new to me books (yes, going with the plural). Is the Mercy Thompson books by Patricia Briggs. So much werewolf/vampire fun, a little more intelligent than Sookie, and just what my brain needed after a long semester.

  46. Jess G on December 20, 2010 at 5:29 pm

    The Help by Kathryn Stockett. It made me laugh and cry AND think. I enjoyed it a lot more than I thought I would.

  47. Ann F on December 20, 2010 at 5:30 pm

    Hmm…that’s a difficult one because I read probably 5 or 6 books a week. If I absolutely have to choose, I would probably say anything by Brenda Joyce or Judith McNaught. They are both amazing authors with more than one book and I can’t recommend them enough. They’re soo good!!!
    Also, for a YA book, I would say Taken by Storm by Angela Morrison or Leaving Paradise by Simone Elkeles. Both books are amazing love stories but there are obstacles and barricades and so many things in the way that the ending made me cry. That may be because I’m rather emotional about my books, but they are amazing.

  48. Cho on December 20, 2010 at 5:42 pm

    To Dance With Kings, by Rosalind Laker. I was enthralled the entire time.

  49. Amanda on December 20, 2010 at 6:14 pm

    Room by Emma Donoghue.

  50. Lesley on December 20, 2010 at 6:20 pm

    I loved The Year of Living Biblically by AJ Jacobs. Funny and thought-provoking. I also enjoyed Stieg Larsson’s Girl With the Dragon Tattoo books and The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins. It’s been a great reading year for me!

  51. Sheila on December 20, 2010 at 7:04 pm

    What a gorgeous cover !!. I love modern spy stories also, just finished Daniel Silva’s The Rembrandt Affair, really great.

  52. Michelle on December 20, 2010 at 7:09 pm

    I’ve just discovered Elaine Dundy’s “The Dud Avocado.”

  53. Carole on December 20, 2010 at 7:41 pm

    Ummm. I would have to say Julia’s Chocolates by Cathy Lamb. Its a cute little book to read on a snowy/rainy day. ^.^

  54. Vizelle on December 20, 2010 at 7:52 pm

    The Hunger Games trilogy. I’d seen talk of it on various book blogs but ignored it because I’m anti-hype, but it really did live up to (even exceed) the hubbub!

  55. Meg on December 20, 2010 at 8:03 pm

    The Healer by Linda Windsor. The first in a new historical series by Windsor. I enjoy her writing

    Merry Christmas!

  56. Monica on December 20, 2010 at 8:04 pm

    Best new book(author) I have found is Gail Carriger. I started with Souless, but have quickly devoured the next two books in the series! Fun reads!

  57. Jess on December 20, 2010 at 8:57 pm

    Christi Phillips “The Rosetti Letter.” I couldn’t put it down. Venice, 17th century, conspiracy… Can it get any better?

  58. lAUra on December 20, 2010 at 9:10 pm

    New to me “Scaramouche” by Rafael Sabatini. Old school book with tons of awesome. Also The Sea-Hawk and Captain Blood by Sabatini. Best things i’ve read recently besides your books Lauren!

  59. Tracy Grant on December 20, 2010 at 9:24 pm

    So fun to read all the book suggestions! lAUra, I love “Scaramouche”–it was a bit influence on my series, particularly “Secrets of a Lady” in terms of one of the plot twists.

  60. Pauline Costantino on December 20, 2010 at 11:12 pm

    I joined the Outlander Book Club online forum and they’ve introduced me to many new books/authors. I found the Pink Carnation books this year and loved them, but also started reading Barbara Erskine’s books, Lady of Hay and House of Echo. This was my year of series and a lot of these existed a while back, but new to me. Loved The Bronze Horseman trilogy, The Hunger Games and The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo series also as well as darker ones like The Fever Series by Karen Moning.

  61. Samantha on December 20, 2010 at 11:34 pm

    The Hunger Games trilogy, definitely not highbrow, but very entertaining! I had to put my goals and aspirations on hold for a weekend or two.

  62. Stephanie Ball on December 20, 2010 at 11:59 pm

    Gorgeous cover.
    Silent in the Grave Deanna Rayburn i think has to be my newest acquired favorite author. I got all her books 2nd hand and read them in a week. There wonderful it was a suggestion of a coworker.

  63. Allison on December 21, 2010 at 12:21 am

    I just discovered the Chicagoland Vampires series by Chloe Neill and fell in love with them! The third, Twice Bitten, is definitely my fave of the ones released so far. I’m now anxiously awaiting the next one 🙂

  64. Kate on December 21, 2010 at 3:38 am

    I’d have to say that my BEST discovery would be a 1913 copy of ‘Love and Freindship’ by Jane Austen, with her History of England in a little leather bound book that I found at an Antique book Fair in Bury St. Edmunds, England!
    Couple of books that I have read this year, that I would recommend are: ‘The Oracle Glass’ by Judith Merkle Riley, and ‘The Devlin Diary’ by Christi Phillips.

    I would love to win this ARC! Sounds like a fascinating series. And WHEN (positive thinking 🙂 ), I will have to get the first two books of the series!

    Thanks for the chance and another great question that helps to feed my ‘To Read’ list on Good Reads!

  65. Jessica C on December 21, 2010 at 5:14 am

    Best new-to-me book that I discovered recently is the ‘Laws of Magic’ series by Michael Pryor (an Australian author who just happens to live in the same city I do!). There is currently four books in the series – Blaze of Glory, Heart of Gold, Word of Honour, and Time of Trial. They are great – one of the best fantasy series I have ever read. The books revolve around the adventures of Aubrey Fitzwilliam – clever, conceited, fiercely loyal and magicially talented… oh and he happens to be the son of a politician and famous scientist and is cousin to the king. I highly recommend them to anyone who loves well-written fantasy and strong heroines.

  66. HJ on December 21, 2010 at 6:27 am

    I cannot wait for Vienna Waltz! I found your books through Tracy Grant’s website, but that was a while ago. The most recent best new-to-me book was Maisie Dobbs by Jacqueline Winspear.

  67. Cristina F on December 21, 2010 at 7:52 am

    I recently discovered the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon. Don’t know what took me so long!! soooo good!! and i’m such a huge fan of Tracy Grant! can’t wait to read this book!!

  68. Michela on December 21, 2010 at 8:23 am

    I think for me it has to be Juliet by Anne Fortier, which I am still reading. I would highly recommend it. I also can’t wait to read Vienna Waltz! Tracy Grant is an amazing author!

  69. Angela Bliss on December 21, 2010 at 3:23 pm

    I pulled The Crimson Petal and the White off my shelves after several years and was quite taken with it. Set in Victorian London, it tells the story of Sugar, not exactly a prostitute with a heart of gold, but a decent smart woman who siezes the opportunity to better her lot in life. It struck me as having a touch of Dickens about it. It ends kind of abruptly, but the good news is there is apparently a sequel.

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