a letter from julie
pajamas as a uniform; gratitude; BLOGtoberfest
book news
tick, tick, tick (the BATS countdown begins)
"O" is for Opals

the magical history tour
Regency Thievery 101: Fences


~A Letter from Julie~

You know, there are countless wonderful things about being an author. For example, there's the uniform—pajama bottoms and sweatshirts by day; vintage evening gowns by night (OK, so that was only that one time, for the Rita awards, but still); there are the hours, which range from all-day-every-day to whenever-I-bloody-well-feel-like-it, with never a dull moment between (lying awake at night obsessing about plot is a lot of things, but it isn't dull). And there's the writing itself—what on earth could be better than making up stories, I ask you?

But I suspect the very best thing about being an author is hearing from readers. Many of you wrote the sweetest, funniest, most touching things in the comments field of my "It's My Birthday!" contest form last month. And as it turns out, simply hoards of you have September birthdays (why am I not surprised, somehow?) One reader told me she had three Virgo children. I wasn't sure whether to congratulate her or send her a sympathy card. :)

But I was moved many times, and I laughed out loud many times, as I read the things you wrote. I wish I could have given sapphire earrings to all of you. If you buy my books by the truckload, maybe I can some day. (Kidding!! But feel free call me if you need the number of a good truck rental place...)

Anyway, I know November is the official month of gratitude, but I wanted to say thanks for being so wonderful right now, and for making this birthday particularly lovely. :) Find out who did nab the earrings, and learn about my latest contest—another chance to win something sparkly for your ears, in keeping with our birthstone theme.

The other great thing about being an author is making wonderful new friends, and then nattering on about things both trivial and profound with those friends on a blog. Come join the Fog City Divas for Blogtoberfest, pipe up about the books you read that were so scary that they actually changed your body temperature (from hot -- because we're all hot, right?—to cold). Prizes are up for grabs every week, and a there's a special Grand Prize at the end of the month. Stop by, pipe up, and I hope you win something!

For now, my dears, have a beautiful October, and hope you fall in love with a book or two this month.

Warm Regards,

Julie :)

~ March 2006 ~

XXX| Preorder|X

available now ~

Excerpt | Order

~ available now ~
Excerpt | Order

~Book News~

The countdown to BEAUTY AND THE SPY (aka BATS) has begun...and a series of contests in honor of it it, as well as an excerpt or two, will pop up on my website in the weeks ahead—I'll of course keep you notified via this newsletter, but by all means feel free to keep checking the page for updates. The back-of-cover blurb is posted there now, if you're curious, but there's of course OH so much more to the story. :). You can also preorder BATS now from Amazon if you want to be the first on your block to own a copy. (And who doesn't?)

NEW CONTEST: "O" is for "October" and "Opals" and quite a few other marvelous things ;)...And this month you can win wee sparkly opal earrings just by answering an easy question. Go to my contest page to find out how.

w i n n e r s: Cissy P. of Arizona will be wearing sapphires in her ears this fall! Congratulations, Cissy! And Barb Kaplan of St. Paul, Minnestoa told 14 friends about the "Friends" contest, so she can expect a bag of swag in the mail, and her friends can expect To Love a Thief magnets. I'm out of Swag Bags for now, so I've retired the "Friends" contest for the time being—but it'll most likely reappear in the future—as will a Stealth Contest.So keep your eyes on my site! I might sneak a contest (or two or three) in on you this month.

~The Magical History Tour~    

Regency Thievery 101: A Little About Fences (and not the white picket kind): In TO LOVE A THIEF, right after Lily Masters fails to, um, relieve Gideon Cole of his gold pocketwatch, she flees back to McBride, her fence in St. Giles, to trade in her day's worth of purloined objects for a shilling or two.

Now, everything, and I do mean everything, was up for grabs and convertible to currency by London thieves and pickpockets during the Regency period, from coal scuttles to bacon to silk handkerchiefs to pocketwatches, so much so that fences (like McBride) developed their own little specialties. One notorious fence, a certain Mrs. Diner, received only silk handkerchiefs from youthful pickpockets, storing mounds of them in a secret loft accessible through a trapdoor at her business. By carefully picking the owner's initials out of the silk, she was able to continually frustrate law enforcement. Other fences went mobile by hanging out on corners in places like Whitechapel with a barrow, in which they could collect larger items, like stolen foodstuffs, while stuffing smaller things down their bodices. Many fences (like TO LOVE A THIEF'S McBride, who was an apothecary), used other businesses as fronts—like a certain Mr. Brand, who kept a rag shop, specialized in stolen lead, which he packed in rag bags.

A lively, lurid accounting of the resourceful world of regency criminals can be found in Donald Low's book, The Regency Underworld.

(Read previous Magical History Tours.

What I've been reading: Don't Say a Word, a fabulous new thriller by Barbara Freethy; The Gun Seller, a very funny book by Hugh Laurie, also known as TV's Dr. House, because someone gave me a veritable Hugh Laurie kit for my birthday (DVDs, a book, etc.).

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