Mélanie and Charles Fraser


My image for Trenchard House. It looks remarkably like the image that ended up on the cover of The Mayfair Affair.

My image for Trenchard House. It looks remarkably like the image that ended up on the cover of The Mayfair Affair.

Happy Friday! The picture above shows a Mayfair town house that could easily be Trenchard House where the plot of The Mayfair Affair is set in motion (and it looks very like the picture on the book cover, which  I love).  I’m back from a lovely trip to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and really enjoying delving into the next book in the series.

Mélanie and me visiting our friends at Weisingers Winery.

Mélanie and me visiting our friends at Weisinger Winery.

The Mayfair Affair has been out a week now, and I’ve heard from some readers who’ve read it, so I thought I would start a thread where readers can post impressions, comments, questions for me or for other readers. This is for discussion of the book, so spoilers are fine. If you haven’t finished Mayfair yet, proceed at your risk :-).

If you missed it on Monday, we sure to check out my very fun interview on The Bubblebath Reader. Always a treat to chat with Ashley!

Below is another picture that could be right out of The Mayfair Affair. This view of Hyde Park was in my mind when I wrote a key sequence there involving Suzanne’s late night meeting with a mysterious stranger.

Hyde Park, not for from the stand of trees near the Serpentine where a key scene in The Mayfair Affair takes place.

Hyde Park, not for from the stand of trees near the Serpentine where a key scene in The Mayfair Affair takes place.

Happy weekend!

Tracy

5.15.15TracyMelGreetings from Ashland, Oregon, where Mélanie and I are enjoying a few days with friends at the wonderful Oregon Shakespeare Festival, and celebrating my birthday :-). We’ve already seen some great theater, including a fabulous, touching, romantic Guys & Dolls.

Just popping in to say The Mayfair Affair is now officially out in the world. So excited to hear what everyone thinks of it. Feel free to use this thread to post comments eventually as you have a chance to read.

Happy weekend!

Tracy

photo: Raphael Coffey

photo: Raphael Coffey

Hope all moms (of humans and pets) and honorary moms had a great Mothers’ Day! Mélanie and I had a very fun brunch and dinner with friends. And following up on the blogs about her Regency-era American Girl doll clothes and parlor, we took a trip to the Stanford Mall on Saturday and got several more outfits and accessories for Caroline, the 1812 doll who is soon to be retired (some are put away for future birthday and Christmas, though Mel ended up opening more than I intended). We promptly had a picnic with Laura in her new clothes.

LauraPicnic

Just a few days until the release of The Mayfair Affair (and the paperback is already available for order). You can download teasers from the ebook version on various platforms. Yesterday I had the fun of doing a guest post on Lauren Willig’s site about governess books (in the course of which I realized that my own Laura shares her name with two other governess characters in favorite books). Today I’m talking about Frozen and The Mayfair Affair and giving away a book on Deanna Raybourn’s blog. And Thursday, JT Ellison will be interviewing me. So great to be hosted by so many writers I admire!

Cheers,

Tracy

Pic63aBrooks’s, the famous Whig club in St. James’s Street, is one of the settings in The Mayfair Affair. Malcolm isn’t the sort ot seek refuge from his family in his club, but as a Whig politician he belongs to Brooks’s as does David. Both of them make use of the club to meet with colleagues, and, in Malcolm’s case, sometimes to interview suspects. Sadly, as a woman, Suzanne isn’t allowed through the doors, which I know frustrates her. Unless of course she went disguised as a man… Fodder, perhaps for a future book…

Happy weekend!

Tracy

Mélanie's Laura doll in a blue pelisse just like the pelisse Laura Dudley wears in The Mayfair Affair

Mélanie’s Laura doll in a blue pelisse just like the pelisse Laura Dudley wears in The Mayfair Affair

My daughter Mélanie still lets me name most of her toys. Usually I resort of literary characters, my own or others. When she got a Pottery Barn Kids Götz doll for her 2nd birthday, Mélanie and Suzanne (one of our cats) were taken as name options, as was Jessica (the name of Mel’s beloved baby doll). So we named her Laura, after Laura Dudley, governess to the Rannoch/Fraser children and a central character in The Mayfair Affair, which I was writing at the time. Recently we paid our first visit to an American Girl Doll store (at the Stanford shopping mall). Laura is the same size as American Girl dolls and one of the American Girl dolls is from 1812. I couldn’t resist her fabulous collection of Regency clothes. Fortunately, Mélanie was excited when i asked her if she wanted to pick out an outfit for Laura “like the clothes in Mummy’s books.”

Mélanie selected the pelisse and hat above. Which is perfect, because in The Mayfair Affair Laura Dudley wears a dark blue pelisse trimmed with black braid. Laura Dudley is titian-haired and considerably older (35) than Laura the doll, but above is a glimpse of an ensemble not too far off from what she wears in the book.

Have a wonderful weekend! It’s a busy one for us – the annual benefit gala of the Merola Opera Program. A long, fun day, and a chance to wear a ball gown! I’ll post some photos next week.

Cheers,

Tracy

photo

Laura Dudley, governess to Colin and Jessica Rannoch, plays a central role in The Mayfair Affair. The story begins when she is accused of murdering the Duke of Trenchard. Laura has a heart-shaped gold locket that plays a role in the story and connects to some of the many secrets the Rannoch governess is keeping. To celebrate finishing the book, I bought myself a heart-shaped brass reproduction locket at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on my recent trip to New York with my daughter Mélanie. I love having jewelry that connects to my books and the Met has gorgeous historical reproductions. (Here’s a similar locket from their website).

Lunch at Isabella's, one of our favorite NY restaurants. Ending the trip as we began it, with dessert with a candle for Princess M.

Jewelry can be a great for whiling away time at restaurants too.

Mélanie is fascinated by the locket and loves opening and closing it. it was a great aid in whiling away waiting time in the airport and a conversational point at several restaurants meals, including lunch Isabella’s, above.

Do you have favorite jewelry from books? Have you ever bought something similar for yourself?

You’ll notice my website has a new look, thanks to my wonderful designer Gregory Paris (thank you, Greg!), that incorporates both The Mayfair Affair and London interlude.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Tracy

watching "Fancy Nancy", Mel's first play

watching “Fancy Nancy”, Mel’s first play

Happy Sunday! After a busy day yesterday taking Mélanie to a children’s theater production of Fancy Nancy (her first play, which I described as “like an opera with talking” because she’s been to an opera), I’ve been spending today catching up on things around the house and thinking about the next Malcolm & Suzanne book. This morning, while cleaning, I was listening to the album of The Scarlet Pimpernel Broadway musical. The Scarlet Pimpernel is a big influence on the Rannoch/Fraser series, and listening to the score of the musical often makes me think of Suzanne and Malcolm their relationship and deceptions or sometimes of Raoul and how he relates to the two of them. But today I found myself thinking of Bertrand de Laclos, a character directly inspired by the Scarlet Pimpernel. Bertrand has a cameo in The Mayfair Affair. He and Rupert are living happily, if in the shadow of secrets and with the delicate tension of Rupert’s marriage to Gabrielle and now her affair with Nick Gordon. But today, listening to “Into the Fire” it occurred to me that after living a life of danger and adventure and devoting his life to helping people at great risk to himself, Bertrand is not a man to live quietly in retirement, even with the love of his life.

I have no idea yet what influence this revelation will have on the next book in the series or on books in the future, but it’s going into my file of notes. I think it’s fascinating how what writers listen to, watch, read about, discuss, and otherwise experience goes to inform their books. I can’t always pinpoint where I got the idea for a book because usually so many different thoughts and experiences come together to inform each story. But if Bertrand plays a major role in the next book, I’ll be able to think back to today as the inspiration for the story.

Have a great evening!

Tracy

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