Monday, September 26, 2011

A Perfect Weekend.

I know I've been rather silent this last week. I've a good excuse, or rather good excuses. I had book signings and a live Facebook chat, but also one of my oldest and best friends arrived with her husband to stay with us from England. Penny and I met on almost the first day of college and have stayed close friends ever since. Her lovely centuries old home in Lincolnshire is always my first port of call when I arrive in England. It's everything I fantasize about when I grow nostalgic for the country of my birth--lovely gardens, old church clock chiming the hour, sitting in the sun eating home grown strawberries and cream, strolling to the village pub for a hearty meal. She even rings the bells in her church and I've been to watch (and tried it without being jerked up into the tower).
It's her first visit to California so I'm cramming as much as possible into their visit. Also Saturday was my birthday and all 4 of my children flew in to be there. We had a lovely family weekend and it made me realize what is really important to me. Not eating out at a fancy restaurant. Not expensive presents. But sitting around the table with those I love, talking and laughing and sharing. That is my top pick for happiness.

Would you like to share yours?

Oh and two bonus reasons for happiness:
I had well over 500 birthday greetings on Facebook, which I found so moving
 My new paperback of Royal Blood was seen in Costco this week. My happiness is now complete!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Come Chat with Me.

Great week of traveling, speaking signing my new book, Naughty in Nice, is now over. It was lovely meeting readers old and new in Dallas, Houston, Cave Creek, Scottsdale, San Mateo and Corte Madera. Now  I'm back home and catching my breath. And the week ahead features a unique event, one that I haven't tried before. My publisher Penguin has invited me to hold a live chat on their Facebook page, called The Crime Scene.

It's on Wednesday September 21 and it's at 3 p.m. Eastern time, which makes it noon Pacific Time, 8 p.m if you're in England. 9 in continental Europe and very early morning in Australia. I'm hoping that readers from all these places will come and join in. So if you have anything you'd like to discuss, any questions you want to put to me or suggestions for future Georgie book, Wednesday is the time.

There is nothing hard about it. Simply show up at the page and type on the wall the way you would normally.
During the hour I'm chatting I'll be giving away a fun prize or two. Maybe something naughty and French?

I look foward to meeting as many of you who can slip away from work, take a lunch break, an early coffee break or put the kids down for a nap. Get out the brie and crackers, the French wine and we'll celebrate together. Are you in?

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Signs of Fall

Home for a breather from the heat of Texas and AZ. And I've decided I must have been a swallow in my past life. Because I was driving down the street today and I noticed that the leaves were turning yellow. And my first thought was, "It's fall. I need to get out of here."

You wouldn't have thought that someone raised in the bleak damp cold of Britain would need to live in perpetual summer, would you? But fall always stirs flashes of alarm in the depths of my pysche. I suppose it's something to do with the image of approaching old age that I equate with winter. Or maybe it's just that I hate being cold.

At my signing in Houston the other night one of the audience asked, "Do you have a thing about rain?" and she said that my characters always complain of being cold or wet or both. So I guess I must channel my own feelings into Molly and Georgie.  I grew up in a big drafty house where the wind whistled down the corridors so I do relate to Georgie and Castle Rannoch. And I love sunshine and warmth. Perhaps there was a tad too much of both for the past few days, but I'd rather be hot than cold.

The audience suggested that someone would be doing their PhD thesis some day on the leitmotif of rain in Rhys Bowen's novels. So I wondered how you felt about weather. Does it affect you much? Do you love seasons? Do you even like rain? And what about weather in books? Is it important to you?

I'm off to get ready for my big launch party at Book Passage tonight. I'm bringing French goodies (not naughty ones but different cheeses and a truffle pate as well as madeleines and meringes and of course lots of champagne) I'll get John to take pictures.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Rhys reports from the Road

RHYS BOWEN As those of you who Facebook and Twitter will know, I'm on book tour. I didn't like to blog over the 9/11 weekend as I felt weighted with the solemnity of the anniversary.

But I had a great weekend in Dallas including a luncheon with Fresh Fiction and dinner with my fellow Jungle Red Writer Deborah Crombie (who also happens to be one of my favorite people). Oysters, white wine and good conversation. A perfect evening.

Today I'm in Houston, back at the Hotel Zaza--site of last year's encounter with the Afghan tribesman in the bathroom (large photograph of staring tribesman actually). Sorry to disappoint but this year I'm not in the Splendida Suite but an ordinary room, minus Afghan. But there is an eye in my bathroom....

And today I had a real Lady Georgie incident. You know how things sort of happen to her? Well, I was in the window seat on the plane and the flight attendant handed me my orange juice.Only she thought I had a good hold on it when I didn't. And orange juice went everywhere... dripping off my tray, running down my pants and into my seat.I had been reading my Kindle so I kept that held high in the air so it didn't get orange juice in it. It took ages for the hostess to bring me more napkins and I tried to clean up. My pants were light beige linen and surprisingly don't look too bad, except sticky. So I've rinsed them out in hotel bathroom and am hoping for the best. I have a spare outfit but it's not as cool and the temperature is 102.  Why do these things happen to me? I never spill things at home.

Off to Murder by the Book tonight. More tomorrow.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Busy, Busy....

Did you ever have one of those days when you have so much to do that you don't know where to start?
I have one today, and instead of doing any of those pressing things, I'm writing my blog.

Later today I have friends arriving from England. That means making their bed, cleaning their room and making it look welcoming. Also cleaning my kitchen, making sure my husband hasn't left his papers all over the rest of the house, buying enough food and cooking a meal that can be served cold if their flight gets in late.

At the same time I need to prepare for my book tour which starts on Saturday (if you'd like to attend one of my signings please check my website,, and if you'd like a signed book, but can't make it to one of the signings, you can call one of those stores in advance and I'll be happy to personalize a book for you.  Everywhere I'm going will be HOT so how does one look cool, calm and collected when the temperature in all the places will be over 100? Not easy. And I'm supposed to post about the upcoming tour on all the right sites.  (On a side note, those of you who followed last year's tour will be intersted to know that I've been put in the same hotel in Houston that had the portrait of an Afghan tribesman in my shower, making me feel I should shower in a burka. I wonder if I'll get the same room... or rather The Splendida Suite as it was called? Stay tuned)

And it's my week to be host at so I've had to make sure my posts will be up and running for the days when I'll be on the road.

And the day I return I'm hosting a launch party at Book Passage in Corte Madera, my local store. Which means planning French food and champagne to be ready. Help. Going a little bit crazy.
Now I know those of you who are working mothers will be sniffing at this and saying, "That's nothing. Stop whining." and you're right. When I had four kids who had to get to morning swim practice by siz a.m. I had four lunches to make at five a.m. Then a day of writing and then in the car from three to six as they did swimming, gymnastics, plays, dance, soccer... you name it. In those days I really was running from dawn to dusk. But I'm out of the habit so this feels like a lot to me.

Those of you who have bought and read Naughty in Nice--thank you. Please make sure you enter my contest...details on the previous post and on my website. And if you liked the book I'd really appreciate your posting a review on There is one truly terrible review up at the moment and it shows up first!

Okay, back to work.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Book Launch and Contest News

It's here: Naughty in Nice is officially in stores today. Or on your Kindle or Nook or Google Reader. Maybe it won't have reached your library yet, but make sure you request it.

So to celebrate the launch I'm running a contest. Here's the scoop.

Celebration of Naughty in Nice contes.
Prize: A fun French themed basket including a gift certificate to Barnes and Noble.
How do I enter?: Buy the book in any form during the month of September (or check it out from your library). Read it and answer this question..... Who is the man into whose embrace Georgie rushes at the beginning of Chapter 30?
Send your answer to by September 30.

Simple, isn't it? I look forward to your replies and will announce the winner at the beginning of October.
And now for our current contest winner--for the best comment during my month of French fun. It's Liz, who made so many good comments during the month.
Well done, Liz. Please contact me with info on where to send your prize.

And this week I'll be blogging all week at Jungle Red Writers. Please stop by at

Monday, September 5, 2011

Final Countdown, Last Day

Here we are, folks. Last day before launch. I'm sitting at my computer, making sure everyone knows that Naughty in Nice will be released tomorrow, then rushing out to buy stuff to stock goodie bags for my signings next week. (events schedule is on my website... which is still a work in progress, BTW)

So here's the last snippet that should entice you to read the whole thing. Enjoy:

I pushed open the door to the restaurant to see several men standing around our table. To my horror I recognized one of them as Inspector Lafite.

“Ah there she is now,” one of the men said.

“Inspector,” I eyed him coldly, “What are you doing here?”

“I have come for you, Lady Georgiana,” he said.

“If you wish to ask me more questions, you can see that this is not a good time or place. I have nothing more to tell you, either on the necklace or on the death of Sir Toby,”

“I do not wish to ask you questions at this moment,” he said. “We will do that at the police station.”

“The police station? I’m not going to any police station at this time of night.”

He took a menacing step toward me. “I insist that you accompany me, mademoiselle. I am arresting you for the murder of Sir Toby Groper.”

I stared him. My mouth was probably open, which I know is not acceptable for a lady. But you must admit it’s not every day that one is accused of murder.

“If you will please step outside, mademoiselle,” Lafite said quietly. “I’m sure you do not want to cause a disturbance and scandal in such a place as this.”

Shock does funny things. I looked at his comical face with its exaggerated mustache and I started to laugh as he took my arm.

Jean-Paul however had leaped to his feet. “Are you mad?” he demanded. “This young lady is the daughter of an English duke. She is related to royalty.”

“Her background is of no consequence,” Lafite said. “Please come with me quietly, mademoiselle, and let us have no unpleasantness. I am sure you would not wish to cause embarrassment to Monsieur le Marquis.”

One of his men took my other arm. I was conscious of faces staring at me as I was led through the restaurant and out to the street where several police motor cars were drawn up.

“Now, mademoiselle. Get in please.” Lafite opened a rear door of one of the cars for me. I was moving mechanically, like a puppet, but Jean-Paul stepped between me and the police vehicle door.

“This is absurd,” Jean-Paul said, his eyes blazing. “You know who I am and I can vouch for her.”

“Forgive me, Marquis. Of course we know who you are. However, we have reason to believe that this young lady is guilty of this terrible crime.”

“What reason?” I demanded.

“I am not at liberty to discuss this here. We will wait until we are in the privacy of the police station. Now please enter the automobile.”

“I’m coming too if you are taking her,” Jean-Paul said. He tried to force his way into the motor car.

“I am afraid that is not possible, Marquis. You must realize this is a very serious matter. You cannot be allowed to interfere with the course of justice.”

“Then I will go immediately to telephone a lawyer friend of mine.” Jean-Paul scowled at him, then touched my arm gently. “You are not obliged to say anything until you have a lawyer present. Do not worry, ma petite. It is all a horrible mistake and we will have you back home in no time at all.”

For the first time I realized the enormity of what was happening to me. “Please go and tell my mother where I am. Madame Chanel and Vera will know what to do.”

“They will be hammering at the police station door like ravening wolves,” Jean-Paul said with a smile. His hand touched my cheek. “Courage, cherie. All will be well.”

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Countdown: Day 6

Only two more days before I go into a store and see my new baby book all shiny on a shelf. It's a thrill that never gets old.

Here is today's snippet from Naughty in Nice, and one, I'm afraid, that shows Georgie can be rather clueless at times--not a good trait for a detective!

On Sir Toby's Yacht in the Med:

“Stop it, please,” I said, grabbing one of his hands.

“A touch of modesty. I can understand that,” he said. “Well, we’ve a good selection of bedrooms. Young ladies often like the pink one. Lovely bouncy bed in there. Come on.” He grabbed my wrist and started to drag me across the saloon, then down a long wood paneled corridor My heart was beating so loudly that I was sure it must have echoed back from those walls.

“Let go of me,” I shouted, as anger overtook fear. “I am not going to bed with you and that is that.”

“Frankly you don’t have much choice, my dear.” He continued to propel me forward.

“When we get back I’ll go to the police and report you for rape.”

He gave a great guffaw of laughter at this. “To the police? For rape? A young girl who begs Sir Toby to take her out on his lovely yacht? Flutters her eyes at him? The police would understand that you got what you were asking for. They are men of the world. Now shut up talking and be a good girl.”

“I want to be a good girl,” I said, “and that doesn’t include making love to a complete stranger.”

“Oh come on. You bright young things…”

“And another thing—I’m not a bright young thing. I’m a—“ I was about to say ‘member of the royal family’. I only swallowed it down at the last second. –“respectable girl from a good family,” I finished lamely. It only made him laugh all the more as he tried to shove me down a steep staircase ahead of him. I turned and kicked him hard on the shin, then pushed past him back onto the deck. Then I ran. I don’t know where I thought I was running to. It was a big yacht, but I couldn’t play catch-me-if-you-can forever, could I?

The breeze had turned into a strong wind and met me full in the face as I came out onto the deck. Also there was now a big swell. I thought about diving off and swimming but the land looked awfully far away. Good swimmer that I was, I didn’t think I could make it. Besides, great storm clouds were now moving in closer. I wondered hopefully if this would make us return to port.

“You can’t escape, you know, you silly girl,” came Sir Toby’s voice after me.

I ran to the other end of the deck and ducked behind a life raft. Then, over the throb of our engine I heard the higher whine of a speed boat. I stepped out and waved desperately as the boat came racing toward us, sending up a sheet of spray. The speed-boat driver waved back and approached the yacht. When he was close enough I saw that it was Jean-Paul de Ronchard.

“Jean-Paul!” I shouted.
He slowed the speedboat to a crawl.
“Help me. I want to get off!” I shouted.
“Come on then. Jump!” he shouted back.
It was a long way down to the water and the boat was rising and falling with the swell of the waves. I hesitated.
“You do know how to swim, don’t you?” Jean-Paul shouted.
“Of course, but…”
“Then jump. I won’t let you drown.” He had cut the motor and bobbed alongside.
“Ah, there you are, you minx,” Sir Toby boomed, coming around the corner toward me.
I took a deep breath, climbed over the railing and jumped.

If you want to know what happens next then reserve your copy of Naughty in Nice at your local bookstores, online at Amazon or Barnes and Noble or at your wonderful local library!
Then read the book, answer a question and enter my contest.
Details coming this weekend.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Countdown Day 5

Tuesday is getting closer and closer and I hope these little snippets of story are convincing you that you need to read Naughty in Nice. I'm not saying "buy" because I know that we can't all afford to buy new books and I think libraries are wonderful resources. What I hope you'll do is read and recommend. Oh, and enter my contest... details coming this weekend.

Here is today's snippet:
flirting is not one of Georgie's major skills, but she is trying it on the dangerous Sir Toby....

“Well, then, miss Georgie, I hope you’ll come down and swim in my pool one day soon. And maybe we could go for a spin on my yacht.”

“Could we really? I adore yachts.” I wasn’t sure if I was overdoing it.

“Then it’s settled,” he said. “Come over and I’ll take you out on the yacht tomorrow. Come any time you like. I’ll have the crew standing by.”

“That’s so kind of you, Sir Toby,” I said. “I’m really looking forward to it.”

“Not at all. Delighted to help out. See you tomorrow then.”

I gave myself a pat on the back as I left. I had positively had him eating out of my hand. Now if I could just find out if he had the queen’s snuff box at the villa, it should be an easy enough matter to slip inside and pinch it when I went down for a swim. Suddenly I felt very daring and worldly. I had flirted with a dashing marquis. I had had invitations from two English boys and wangled an invitation from Sir Toby. All in all a good evening. I chose not to remember the not so good parts.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Final Countdown, Day 4

It's getting close...only 4 days until launch Next Tuesday!
And on Monday I'll announce the details of my fun launch contest.

So here is snippet number 4.

Coco Chanel has persuaded Georgie, much against her will, to be a model in her fashion show for the elite expats in Nice. Georgie is sure something will go wrong.....

“And for my piece de resistance I give you the royal look, as modeled by a member of England’s ruling family, Lady Georgiana Rannoch,” Chanel announced.

There was a gasp and then applause. The catwalk stretched into darkness, looking about a mile long. I was conscious of upturned faces, sparkling jewels, champagne glasses. I forced one foot in front of the other, trying to walk as I had been taught. I was going to do this. I had done harder things in my life. I was not going to stumble. Step followed step. I was going to get through it.

Then suddenly it was as if my foot wouldn’t move, as if something was holding it fast to the floor. I felt myself pitching forward, stumbling, trying to right myself. I might have done so but the end of the runway was before me. Flash bulbs went off in my face, blinding me. I vaguely heard gasps of horror as I staggered then pitched forward into blackness