A new addition to the shed

So happy to see that Apple box arrive. Now it’s officially a writing shed.

Dream writing shed is getting there

My new writing table finally arrived…It’s a sawbuck table with a zinc top that deserves better than my shed, but it gives the space much needed personality. I was lucky enough to find it at the Brimfield Flea market and bought it from the wonderful Gary Alvord who owns Next to New Consignments in Lancaster, PA.IMG_1068IMG_1067


Summer reading for far.



So far three contenders for summer beach reading made it into the bag. Two are re-reads…so good the first time that I’m re-visiting–President Carter’s Revolutionary War novel The Hornet’s Nest about the parts of that war fought in the south, based in part on his own ancestors’ stories. The President illustrated the gorgeous book jacket as well. Such a talented man!

And Growing Up Female in Nazi Germany by Dagmar Reese, which explores the world of the Bund Deutscher Madel (BDM) the female section within the Hitler Youth… interesting and important background for one of my characters.

The third, just peeking over the top there, is Mrs. Woolf and the Servants, a book I’ve been trying to get to for so long. I’m also bringing Audible versions of Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch–which it seems everyone except me has read– Crazy, Rich Asians by the talented Kevin Kwan and Savage Continent: Europe in the Aftermath of World War II by Keith Lowe that I listen to when I walk.

Not typical beach reading, but I think most historical fiction authors can relate!

The best birthday gift ever, The Waldorf-Astoria Hotel.


My husband gave us a night at The Waldorf Towers for my birthday. Several scenes from my novel Lilac Girls take place there, so it was helpful to revisit the grand old hotel. One of the opening scenes takes place in The Peacock Lounge, adjacent to the lobby with its famous bronze clock:


Another takes place in the incredible Waldorf Grand Ballroom.  IMG_1837-1

Daughter Mary in the lovely lobby powder room.


I’d taken the wonderful Waldorf tour before and got a behind-the-scenes look at the hotel and heard its fascinating history, but actually spending the night in the Towers where Wallis Simpson kept apartments was a thrill and good research to boot.

Check out these links to the fun story about what lies beneath the hotel:

The perfect bag to hold summer beach reading.

Can’t wait to fill it up!!!