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A Book Bub special

In the lead-up to the release of my newest book, my publisher, Berkley (aka Penguin New York), has arranged a BookBub special for the e-book of my very first book with them, THE PERFECT RAKE.

They’ve also given it a new cover, so if you’re thinking you haven’t read it, read on to refresh your mind — and scroll down to see the original and the new covers side by side. While I loved the original cover with its dainty shoes and ticking clock,  I love this new one too, because my heroine, Prudence, did have red hair — and it was a small but significant part of the plot.

On special, it costs less than $2. (I’m not quoting an exact price because as far as I can tell it varies slightly around the $2 mark, depending on what country you live in— for instance it’s 99P in the UK.)

The special has already started, and will finish on 18th July. (Scroll down for the buy links.)

I’m delighted, as it was a book of the heart, and the hero, Gideon, is still many readers’ favorite of all my heroes. These two quotes from the book might give you an idea why. 

“I would appreciate it if you would stop… stop… ogling me like that,” Prudence hissed, tugging her very modest neckline higher. “It is very embarrassing.” She folded her arms across her breasts defensively.
Gideon tried to look contrite. “It wasn’t me,” he confessed. “It was my eyes. They are bold and easily led and have no sense of propriety.”

  ~ and ~

“What if I shave?” he said. “I look much better when I’m shaved. My cousin will vouch for that—do I not look almost handsome when I shave, Edward? ” He didn’t wait for the duke’s reply but turned earnestly back to Prudence. “Do you think you could marry me if I shaved?”

You can buy The Perfect Rake here:  Apple * AmzUS *  AmzUK * AMZAust *  B&N *  GooglePlay *  Kobo * or try this Universal Link which should take you to your preferred e-book retailer. 

And here’s the blurb:  A phony engagement turns into real passion in this delightful Regency romance from award-winning author Anne Gracie.

Fate has lavished beauty on the Merridew sisters—that is, all save the eldest. But plain Prudence bears no grudge; she loves her four beautiful sisters infinitely. So when their abusive grandfather is injured, she concocts an ingenious plan to escape the clutches of their legal guardian. One of them must marry—and fast. All it will take is a little deception…

To act as her sisters’ chaperone, Prudence invents a secret engagement to a reclusive duke. But when the duke unexpectedly comes to London she calls on him to avert disaster… 

Rakish aristocrat Gideon has a way of making ladies swoon. But he’s bored, and when Prudence arrives on his doorstep claiming she and the Duke are engaged, Gideon is so taken with the delightful spitfire that he hijacks her game, stealing a kiss or two along the way. Used to managing sisters and elderly men, Prudence is out of her depth with a handsome, devious and utterly irresistible rake and her plot goes terribly, deliciously, awry…

Here are the original and the new covers. Which do you prefer?


Democracy Sausages

We had a federal election here on Saturday.  Voting is compulsory in Australia, and while some people in other countries think that’s terrible, the truth is, you don’t HAVE to vote — you just have to turn up to vote and get your name ticked off.  Once you’re given your ballot slips to fill out, you can do whatever you want — write nothing, do an informal viote (ie fill it out wrong or incompletely, or whatever. You just have to do your duty and turn up. Otherwise, unless you have a good reason (illness, religious objections, etc) you will be fined.

 The polling stations in my area are mostly primary (elementary) schools, and when you turn up to vote, it’s a bit like a fete — there are kids running around and playing, and games taking place — all quite impromptu.

The people handing out how-to-vote pamphlets are not allowed on the premises or in the schoolyard — they have to stay outside on the footpath, so going to vote ends up being quite a lay-back, friendly affair.

There might be music playing, or the kids might put on a show,  and the schools and the parents’ organizations generally use the occasion to raise a bit of money, so there are cake stalls, produce stalls, plant stalls, and more.  Some schools even advertise. . . 

One year I bought a jar of the best marmalade I’d ever eaten, and though I know the parent who made that has long gone — their child would have finished school by now — I still live in hope of finding another such wonderful jam. But the stall most of us look forward to is the sausage sizzle. 

It’s just a sausage in a slice of bread with maybe fried onions, mustard and/or tomato sauce (ketchup), and as they’re being sold on election day, they’re called “Democracy sausages.” The name is just a bit of a joke, really. We Aussies love our sausages (also called snags) in bread, and  they’re often sold as fund-raisers. You might find the Lyons club, or a bunch of Rotarians or a church group running a sausage sizzle on a Saturday morning in the main street of a country town, for instance. 

Yesterday a couple of  dads were manning the griller and some mums and a few dads were doing the assembling and  selling. And the lines for the “Democracy Sausages” were longer than that of those waiting to vote. It all makes for a very pleasant voting experience.



I’m moving house. So if I don’t respond to emails or comments on the blog immediately, I hope you’ll forgive me.

I’ve been in this house forever, and I thought I’d stay here for the rest of my life, but it badly needs renovating — new kitchen, new bathroom, new laundry and more — and that’s been on the cards for several years now. Friends have been urging me for years to sell this house and buy another, but I’ve resisted that. I love my little house, and it’s in a nice quiet street, with nice neighbors and is close to public transport and walking distance to shops and a few good restaurants, and just down the hill is dog park where I walk my dog (see pic below). So I haven’t wanted to move.

But I’ve had continuing bad luck with tradesmen, and now, after waiting more than three years for the last one — with no contact at all over the last 18 months (though I know he’s working), I’ve given up. Last week, in a rush of blood to the head, I bought another house, and now am madly getting this house ready for sale. 

Which involves a great deal of decluttering. Having been in this house so long, I have accumulated so much Stuff, I can hardly believe it. Books, beads, clothes, craft stuff, workshop notes, and who-know-what. So I’m trying to divest myself of a lot of it. If I had more time I could sort and cull things more thoroughly, but I don’t have the time for that.

And I have to bite the bullet and get rid of things I am attached to. But I don’t use them, and it’s pointless taking them to the new house, so they’ve got to go. I know I’ll feel so much better — and lighter — when it’s all done, but oh, it’s hard. So many little things send me down memory lane and it’s hard enough not to get distracted, let alone give the things away. 

But I’m getting there. Not that you’d notice at the moment — the house looks like a bomb has hit it and my poor little Milly-dog is slinking around, worriedly following me from room to room and getting underfoot, wondering what on earth is going on — because this is not normal! Poor little sausage, she likes her routine.

The new house is gorgeous. It’s the same era as mine, and looks a lot like it from the outside, but it’s a little bigger, and fully renovated. The only thing I’ll need to do when I move in is get a dog door put in for Milly. And unpack. And do some more decluttering. I wanted to take with me only the stuff I was keeping, but the timeline is tight and I don’t have time to sort everything now. 

So please forgive me if I don’t write back to you for a while. I do love getting your comments and emails and I appreciate the time you take to write. Normal service will be resumed in a few weeks, I hope, and in the meantime, I’ll try to keep you up to date here on the blog.

This is dog park, and I know we’ll miss it when we move. But the new house is only five minutes drive away, so it’s not as if we can’t come back here for walks and to play with other dogs.