Happy summer (or almost summer)! The Westminster Intrigue has been out for a couple of weeks. So exciting to have it out in the world and to be able to talk about it with readers. On that note, my daughter Mélanie and I are excited to invite you to a virtual book party to celebrate its launch on Thursday, June 24, at 5:00 pm Pacific Time/8:00 pm Eastern. We are thrilled that the lovely and multi-talented Lauren Willig, one of my best friends and favorites writers and an honorary aunt to Mélanie, will be our special guest.

Lauren and I have been friends for years, and though she now writes amazing stand alone novels, we have had many conversations about the fun and challenges of writing about Napoleonic spies as she wrote her fabulous Pink Carnation series. We also share the fun and challenges of writing a parents of young children (I have a wonderful memory of talking writing in her New York apartment with our then-toddler daughters playing on the carpet and then falling asleep in our laps. Also of a very fun visit to the Children’s Museum at the New York Historical Society – good to start hands-on research early!

The Westminster Intrigue Book Party is free and open to all, but it will be on Zoom, so you need to register in advance so I can send you the link. You can sign up here or email me (tracy@tracygrant.org).

Lauren and I will be chatting about books and writing and taking questions from the audience. You can also submit your questions in the comments below or by emailing me at tracy@tracygrant.org. Feel free to ask questions about The Westminster Intrigue or either of our books or writing in general.

Since the book party coincides with happy hour on the West Coast and after-dinner drinks on the East Coast, I’ve come up with a Westminster Intrigue cocktail for the occasion:

  • 1 part gin
  • 2 parts rosé sparkling wine
  • 1/2 part Aperol
  • 1/2 part Bruto Americano

Pour over ice in a wine glass. Watch for hidden codes in the bubbles.

For a nonalcoholic version, my daughter Mélanie suggests blood orange Italian soda with a dash of grenadine.

Mélanie wants readers of Talea’s Mysteries to know she will be posting more soon, now we are getting through the flurry of the Westminster Intrigue release.

Mélanie and I also both recently got to do our first joint interview on the #MomsWritersClub YouTube channel. It was so much fun! Do check out all their videos – they are great, full of fascinating insights into writing – and parenting!

Hope to see you on June 24th!

xx Tracy & Mélanie


This week I’m raising a virtual glass of champagne to one of my best friends and a writer I hugely admire, Lauren Willig, on the publication of The Lure of the Moonflower, the last book in her Pink Carnation series. If you haven’t already discovered this series, it’s a wonderfully clever blend of intrigue, adventure, and romance set during the Napoleonic Wars. With the latest book, the Pink Carnation, a Scarlet Pimpernel-type figure who has orchestrated key events through out the series and run her own spy ring, finally gets her own book. I can’t wait to read Jane’s story.


Lauren and I have always shared a special bond writing about Napoleonic spies. We’ve discussed the finer points of early 19th century espionage over dinner and drinks in Manhattan in the days when we were both single and pre-children. On  Lauren’s sofa with our babies asleep in our laps. And most  recently while our toddlers cooked pretend meals and discovered a mutual love of The Pirates of Penzance. It’s been a treat watching Lauren take the journey of writing this series, which she began while she was in law school. I’m feeling a bit nostalgic that it’s done, but I can’t wait to delve into the book and to see what she writes next (I also urge readers to try her recent wonderful 1920s stand alone, The Other Daughter).

Lauren & Tracy talks Napoleonic spies

What are some of your favorite series? What do you enjoy about series?

Happy Weekend!


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.


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!



photo: Bonnie Glaser

photo: Bonnie Glaser

Happy weekend! Last Saturday Mélanie and I had the fun of enjoying another outdoor movie. This time It was Frozen, Mel’s favorite movie and one I love as well. (I’m planning a blog about why for the future). There was a visit from Queen Elsa before the movie started, so Mélanie was in transports. A lot of the kids sang along to “Let It Go” and I confess I was hard pressed not to do so myself. Afterwards we had a fun pizza dinner (pic above). I love sharing movies with her, and she’s getting old enough that we’re starting to be able to enjoy live performances as well.

I’m deep in a second (or third, depending on how one counts) of my WIP, but I’ve been out and about online quite a bit recently as well. I wrote a blog for the Merola Opera Program about the historical facts behind Donizetti’s Anna Bolena that allowed me to combine my love of opera and history. I later reworked the blog for History Hoydens, and I blogged on History Hoydens about what travel would be like for Malcolm and Suzanne and family as opposed to Mélanie and me. And I had the great fun of being interviewed on  The Bubblebath Reader, as part of a celebration of Lauren Willig’s fabulous Pink Carnation books.

Due to length, Ashley had to cut a couple of questions (she asked great questions, and I have a way of talking on :-). So I thought it would be fun to post the outtakes here. Be sure to head over to The Bubblebath Reader and  read the whole interview.

Ashley: Do you have any unique talents or hobbies?
Tracy: I did a lot of acting in high school and college and was an apprentice at the Berkeley Shakespeare Festival the summer between my freshman and sophomore years in college. I love opera and was a Board member of the Merola Opera Program, a professional training program for opera singers, coach/pianists, and stage directors, for many years. I now work for Merola part time as Director of Foundation, Corporate, and Government Relations.

Ashley: You’ve created a really fascinating cast of supporting characters for Malcolm and Suzanne.  Do you have a favorite of these characters to write?  If you could give any of these characters their own novel, which one would it be?

Tracy: One of the things I love about writing a series is being able to create a large cast of characters and follow their stories from book to book. It’s hard to pick favorites, but I particularly enjoy writing Harry and Cordelia Davenport. They both came to life very easily from their first appearance in “Imperial Scandal.” David and Simon are also favorites and there’s a lot to their story I haven’t told yet. And Raoul O’Roarke is also wonderfully fun to write. His voice came to me very easily from the first, whereas it takes longer to get the voice for other characters. Raoul feels so central to Malcolm and Suzanne’s story that I didn’t really think of him as a secondary character at first. I also love writing some of the real historical characters, particularly Wilhelmine of Sagan, Dorothée Talleyrand, and Prince Talleyrand himself. It’s difficult to think of any of these characters without Malcolm and Suzanne, but if I wrote a book that focused on another character, it would probably be Harry and Cordy or Raoul or David and Simon. Raoul plays a major role in my WIP and David and Simon will figure prominently in one of the future books, though in both cases Malcolm and Suzanne are still central.

photo: Raphael Coffey

Happy summer! Summer may not officially start for another ten days, but it already feels in a full swing. The Merola Opera Program, where I spend much of my life when I’m not writing, welcomed a new group of young artists last week. (There I am above with Mélanie when I got back from our Meet the Merolini event last Friday).

In around Merola events, I’m revising Malcolm and Suzanne’s next adventure. I haven’t blogged here in far too long, but i have been on History Hoydens talking about my trip to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and echoes of war in historical fiction.


I’ve also found a bit of time to start summer reading. Last week, even though I really didn’t have time for it, I raced through my wonderful friend Lauren Willig’s wonderful new novel That Summer. Moving back and forth in time between 2009 and 1849, with pre-Raphelite painters and wonderful old English house full of secrets, it’s a fabulous treat for lovers of historical fiction and historical mysteries.

Hope everyone’s summer is off to a wonderful start and includes time for reading. What’s on your summer reading list?






BerkeleyAshfordI was out and about yesterday checking for The Berkeley Square Affair in books stores and signing copies. It’s sometimes hard for a writer to believe her book is actually out in places she doesn’t see it :-). The wonderful Lauren Willig (whose marvelous The Ashford Affair I was excited to find next to Berkeley Square at Books Inc. in the Opera Plaza in San Francisco yesterday) encourages readers to post post pictures of her books “in the wild” on Facebook. In the spirit of imitation being the sincerest form of flattery, I encourage readers to do the same with Berkeley Square, here or on Facebook. If you happen to see it and have a camera, snap a pic and post it. If not, just leave a comment about where you saw it.

Love the comments so far about the book. Feel free to leave more in this thread as well.



photo: Raphael Coffey Photography

photo: Raphael Coffey Photography

Hard to believe The Berkeley Square Affair will be out in less than three weeks (March 25). I’ll be doing a number of guest blogs and giveaways

to promote it, including on Lauren Willig’s site on March 10th. My blog hosts have been wonderfully generous about letting me choose topics, and I could use your help. I’d love to hear suggestions of what you would like me to blog about – anything from history to writing to parenting to fashion or a combination of ideas.

As an incentive to come up with suggestions, I’ll be sending an ARC of The Berkeley Square Affair to commenter on this post. Contest closes March 14 at noon PST.

Happy weekend!