Courtesy of the lovely Beatriz Williams, for today’s Monday Give Away, we have an advance copy of… The Secret Life of Violet Grant!

Here’s the official blurb:

violet grantManhattan, 1964. Vivian Schuyler, newly graduated from Bryn Mawr College, has recently defied the privilege of her storied old Fifth Avenue family to do the unthinkable for a budding Kennedy-era socialite: break into the Madison Avenue world of razor-stylish Metropolitan magazine. But when she receives a bulky overseas parcel in the mail, the unexpected contents draw her inexorably back into her family’s past, and the hushed-over crime passionnel of an aunt she never knew, whose existence has been wiped from the record of history.

Berlin, 1914. Violet Schuyler Grant endures her marriage to the philandering and decades-older scientist Dr. Walter Grant for one reason: for all his faults, he provides the necessary support to her liminal position as a young American female physicist in prewar Germany. The arrival of Dr. Grant’s magnetic former student at the beginning of Europe’s fateful summer interrupts this delicate détente. Lionel Richardson, a captain in the British Army, challenges Violet to escape her husband’s perverse hold, and as the world edges into war and Lionel’s shocking true motives become evident, Violet is tempted to take the ultimate step to set herself free and seek a life of her own conviction with a man whose cause is as audacious as her own.

As the iridescent and fractured Vivian digs deeper into her aunt’s past and the mystery of her ultimate fate, Violet’s story of determination and desire unfolds, shedding light on the darkness of her years abroad . . . and teaching Vivian to reach forward with grace for the ambitious future––and the love––she wants most.

A new Beatriz Williams novel is always a treat, and this one, moving from 1914 Europe to 1960s New York, is particularly gripping.

So, for a chance to win an advance copy of The Secret Life of Violet Grant, here’s your question:

— Would you rather visit World War I era Europe or 1960s New York?

Either way, the wardrobe options are quite snazzy!

The winner will be announced on Wednesday. The Secret Life of Violet Grant appears in stores on May 27, 2014 (and you’ll be able to find me and Beatriz doing a joint event for The Secret Life of Violet Grant and That Summer at Murder by the Book in Houston on July 24th!).


  1. Jessica S. on March 31, 2014 at 9:37 am

    Hmmm…while I am a huge Downton Abbey fan, and currently reading a book by the current Countess of Carnavon about her WWI-era predecessor, I’m going to go with 1960s NY for a very practical reason: hygiene.

  2. Lauren T. on March 31, 2014 at 9:52 am

    Mad Men or Downton Abbey. . . . I would have to go with Mad Men, circa 1960’s NY.

  3. Jodi K on March 31, 2014 at 10:18 am

    1960s NY – no question!

  4. Kristen A. on March 31, 2014 at 10:38 am

    1960s era New York, for the very practical reason that in Europe during the era of WWI, there was a war on.

  5. Pat D on March 31, 2014 at 11:29 am

    Practicalities aside, no contest here. WW1 Europe.
    I hope I would have been able to help by nursing or driving an ambulance. I remember the 60s as a kid and a teen. Although it wasn’t New York. It was still a tumultuous time with civil rights issues, women’s lib issues, horrible sexual discrimination, Viet Nam, and so forth. But it also had the British wave, carnaby street fashions, fun music. Actually the 60s in London would be more appealing than in New York. But, been there done that, as far as the sixties go.

  6. Ella on March 31, 2014 at 12:19 pm

    WWI Europe. Definitely.

  7. Liz on March 31, 2014 at 12:23 pm

    WWI Europe! I can’t get enough of this time period lately, even with all its sadness.

  8. Aleen D on March 31, 2014 at 12:23 pm

    Both era’s meant a lot to our history, so this is a toughie. I would have to pick WWI Europe. It was such a turning point for us as humans. I would have loved to make a positive impact. As Pat D said above me, the nursing part would have been a great experience. Oh, and the clothes too! 🙂

  9. Georgia on March 31, 2014 at 12:32 pm

    No question in my mind – 1960’s New York.

  10. Tiffany on March 31, 2014 at 12:42 pm

    Definitely WWI era. With a closet FILLED with Lady Mary Crawley’s clothes…

  11. Rachel Adrianna on March 31, 2014 at 12:44 pm

    DEFINITELY WWI Europe… I could finally fulfill my dream of becoming a femme fatale spy 🙂

  12. Céline on March 31, 2014 at 1:08 pm

    It’s a tough choice!!!
    I think I’ll choose 1960s New York…. I’m not very courageous and I’ll choose safety instead of danger!
    But I admit that WWI is a great era to study… in the comfort of one’s chair!!! 🙂

  13. Christine on March 31, 2014 at 1:10 pm

    Hmmm tough call but I’ll say WWI Europe.

  14. Camilla on March 31, 2014 at 1:17 pm

    It must be pre World War Europe! Minus the multitudes of undergarments….

  15. Diane on March 31, 2014 at 1:19 pm

    WWI Europe would be my choice!

  16. Alice on March 31, 2014 at 1:33 pm

    1960s New York. World War I era Europe would be way too sad and dangerous, and I wouldn’t want to get caught in the influenza epidemic.

  17. Michelle on March 31, 2014 at 1:33 pm

    Mad Men! New York 1960s definitely

  18. Momma Sue on March 31, 2014 at 1:52 pm

    WW1 era Europe. I survived the 60s, and no desire whatsoever to go back! But the teens over the pond would be fascinating.

  19. Candice H. on March 31, 2014 at 2:23 pm

    WWI Europe-a very interesting period of history.

  20. Laura on March 31, 2014 at 3:40 pm

    WW1 Europe

  21. Heather M on March 31, 2014 at 4:13 pm

    WWI Europe

  22. Sharlene Martin Moore on March 31, 2014 at 4:27 pm

    Wow, tough choice but love the war era settings, so WWI Europe.

  23. Marianne on March 31, 2014 at 4:27 pm

    I remember the 1960s New York. I’d much rather experience WWI-era Europe. Maisie Dobbs, Upstairs Downstairs, and Downton Abbey!

  24. Miriam on March 31, 2014 at 4:31 pm

    I would go with the 1960s, but it is a tough choice.

  25. Kayse on March 31, 2014 at 4:33 pm

    WWI-era Europe, for sure.

  26. Susan Gorman on March 31, 2014 at 4:35 pm

    1960’s New York.
    The dresses, coats and hats–so stylish!

  27. Kimberly V on March 31, 2014 at 4:36 pm

    Definitely 1960’s New York. I can’t wait for this book!

  28. Meghan on March 31, 2014 at 4:44 pm

    Definitely WW1 era Europe! The social changes are staggering to think about!

  29. Lauren Ashley on March 31, 2014 at 4:47 pm

    WWI era Europe for sure!

  30. Judith on March 31, 2014 at 5:36 pm

    Having already been to 1960s New York (or actually spring 1970- close enough), I’d opt for WW1 Europe. : )

  31. Chaysen on March 31, 2014 at 5:43 pm

    I would definitely choose 1960s New York. I always felt like a flower child.

  32. Bekah on March 31, 2014 at 6:46 pm

    Even though it would be very interesting to be in WWI Europe, I’m not sure I’d be brave enough to risk that and the 60’s have always held a certain allure for me that I couldn’t resist. So 1960’s New York it is for me!!!

  33. Alexandra on March 31, 2014 at 6:49 pm

    Both? Ok, I’ll say Europe.

  34. Catie on March 31, 2014 at 7:01 pm

    New York! The clothes!

  35. Holly Gipson on March 31, 2014 at 7:09 pm

    1960s New York. Rather not have to deal with WWI.

  36. bn100 on March 31, 2014 at 7:32 pm

    1960s New York

  37. Jillian on March 31, 2014 at 8:12 pm

    Definitely WWI Europe because it was such a time of monumental change. What smart, spunky girl wouldn’t want to start challenging the traditional roles of women while her man went off to war? I hope I would!

  38. Betty S. on March 31, 2014 at 8:24 pm

    WWI Europe – very interested in this time period. It would be just a visit, so nice to experience and come home. Have already been to 1960’s NY as a teen.

  39. Jan Siler on March 31, 2014 at 8:34 pm

    Absolutely, World War I-era in Europe. There were so many subplots, intrigues, and the entire continent was in a state of flux (no pun intended, but may have happened anyway…..I blame my husband).

  40. Rachel Brown on March 31, 2014 at 8:38 pm

    WWI Europe-I’m obsessed with all books/movies/documentaries about it. It’s a fascinating time in history!

  41. Jessica C on March 31, 2014 at 8:41 pm

    WWI Europe

  42. Katie on March 31, 2014 at 9:53 pm

    World War I era Europe- hands down! I would probably pick it over any other era!

  43. Stephanie on March 31, 2014 at 9:55 pm

    If it’s between those two, then WWI Europe. But can I add that I have to be rich? 🙂

  44. Suzanne on March 31, 2014 at 10:15 pm

    WW1 Europe, definitely! It was very sad but also such a momentous time for the world and in particular for women.

    I lived through the 60s once and that was enough. It really wasn’t as good as you see in the movies. There was the Vietnam war, violent anti, well anti-everything, protests and we all expected a nuclear bomb to drop on us at any time. Although I have to admit that it was a lot of fun when my school teacher was dragged off by the Feds! He was a subversive. He is one of the leaders of “rent a mob” now and he gets his ugly mug on TV at nearly every protest going.

    If I could go back to the 80s, now that would be good. The 80s are vilified on TV these days, but they were FUN!!! A great time to be young and alive.

  45. Lindsey B. on March 31, 2014 at 10:18 pm

    It’s hard to choose, these are both fantastic, but I think I’d choose 1960s era New York….it’d be like being in a fantastic, gorgeous movie like Down with Love or something, right?

  46. Christina on March 31, 2014 at 10:54 pm

    WWI Europe

  47. Lynne on March 31, 2014 at 11:21 pm

    WW1 Europe – hands down! Not the war zone but perhaps London or …whatever. Such a time of change!

  48. martine bove on April 1, 2014 at 8:52 am

    WWI Europe – I’m very interested in that era right now and reading a lot about it.

  49. Renee on April 1, 2014 at 11:36 am

    WWI. Much more dangerous, obviously. But I always go for the older era!

  50. Martha Doherty on April 1, 2014 at 1:21 pm

    Tough choice – as others have said I was thinking Mad Men or Downtown Abbey? I think as I was born in 1960 so experienced only as a little child, I would like to see if it would be the same as an adult so 1960’s New York.

  51. Martha Doherty on April 1, 2014 at 1:22 pm

    1960’s New York

  52. Am7 on April 1, 2014 at 2:48 pm

    1960’s New York
    WWI Europe could kill you. It was a horrible pointless slaughter. Plus there would be very few eligible young men for me since so many of them would be killed in the war. To quote Harry Potter “Oy, there’s a war on here.”
    Now in the sixties New York I’ll have to be careful not to bump into those young kids my parents….

  53. Rebecca E. on April 1, 2014 at 2:56 pm

    New York 1960’s; WWI Europe seems to dangerous and i second the lack of eligible men.

  54. Lauren D. on April 1, 2014 at 3:18 pm

    New York in the 1960s!

  55. Cho on April 1, 2014 at 4:04 pm

    World War I Europe, for sure!

  56. SusanN on April 1, 2014 at 5:26 pm

    I’m old enough to remember the 60s (not in NY, tho) so I’ll go w/ WWI Europe, however dangerous and gritty that experience would most likely be.

  57. Ren on April 1, 2014 at 11:25 pm

    Despite the turmoil, World War I era Europe.

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