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

Laura's parlor. Not unlike rooms that feature in The Mayfair Affair.

Laura’s parlor. Not unlike rooms that feature in The Mayfair Affair.

The discussion inspired by Laura the doll’s dark blue pelisse (which resembles Laura Dudley’s pelisse in The Mayfair Affair) was wonderful. The same day we bought the pelisse and hat at the American Girl doll store at the Stanford Mall, we wandered through the rest of the store, drinking in the exquisite doll worlds. In addition to dolls and doll clothes, there were several rooms or other settings to go with different dolls, including a beautifully detailed Regency era parlor. Before we left, I checked the price, so I’d know if it was possibility for a birthday or Christmas. Only to find it was well over half off. Which meant it was affordable and most likely discontinued.

Needless to say, we left the store with the parlor. I was going to keep it for the next gift occasion. But when we got back from the party we were in the area to attend and Mélanie was asleep, I couldn’t resist setting it up. And then I couldn’t resist keeping it up. Mélanie loves it. It’s better than a doll house because can sit down in it herself and play so that it’s almost like a play house. And I can envision scenes from my books happening within those pale blue walls.

A tea party in Laura's parlor

A tea party in Laura’s parlor

Editing The Mayfair Affair, I realized that several of the rooms in different houses in the book have blue walls (including Suzanne and Malcolm’s “small salon”). I was going to change some to different colors, but then I decided it was a nice commentary that the color runs through the lives of different characters, in different social classes The color, as Laura’s parlor demonstrates, seems to go with the period.
On a different note, we just got the official pictures from Merola Benefit Gala by the wonderful Kristen Loken. I love this picture of Mélanie and me and can’t resist sharing.
Have a wonderful weekend! Happy Mother’s Day to moms and honorary moms!
Cheers,
Trac

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

The Albany, where David and Simon have rooms

The Albany, where David and Simon have rooms

Above is The Albany, in Piccadilly, where David and Simon have lodgings, and where Malcolm lived before he went to the Peninsula. A number of famous gentlemen lodged in The Albany, including Lord Byron, Gladstone and the fictional Ernest/Jack Worthing in The Importance of Being Earnest. The Mayfair Affair includes scenes set in David and Simon’s rooms in The Albany. The Duke of Trenchard, who is murdered at the start of the book, is the husband of David’s eldest sister Mary, so David and Simon are caught up in the investigation. The involvement of the Mallinson family puts a lot of strain on Malcolm’s friendship with David.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Tracy

In front of the current Bow Street police station. The Mayfair Affair opens with Bow Street runner Jeremy Roth knocking on Suzanne and Malcolm's door in the middle of the night.

In front of the current Bow Street police station. The Mayfair Affair opens with Bow Street runner Jeremy Roth knocking on Suzanne and Malcolm’s door in the middle of the night.

Six weeks until the release of The Mayfair Affair! Above is a picture (over a decade old) of me in front of the current Bow Street police station. The Mayfair Affair opens with Malcolm and Suzanne’s friend, Bow Street runner Jeremy Roth, knocking on their door in the middle of the night.

Have a wonderful weekend!!

Tracy

The house in Berkeley Square that is my model for Malcolm & Suzanne's house

The house in Berkeley Square that is my model for Malcolm & Suzanne’s house

The house above in Berkeley Square is my model for Malcolm and Suzanne’s house. The Mayfair Affair begins in this house, with Malcolm and Suzanne awakened in their second floor bedchamber by a visit from Bow Street runner Jeremy Roth. Hard to believe it, but The Mayfair Affair will be out in just seven weeks! So excited to have it in the world. For the next seven weeks, I’ll be posting special features every Friday to make the wait go faster, so be sure to check back. And if you haven’t already seen it, London Interlude is out as an ebook, giving a glimpse into Malcolm and Suzanne’s first visit to London.

Have a great weekend!!

Tracy