GG’s Jottings – July 2019

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Work on my new mystery, An Oxford Murder, progresses a bit slowly because I have been ill, but it is progressing! I think you will like my 1930’s heroine and her setting at Oxford, one of my favorite places on the planet.

It has occurred to me lately just how many of my books are set in England. All of my Regencies

, of course, two of my historical novels, and one of my Alex and Briggie mysteries. Why is this? Do I wish I were English? No, I am very happily American, but there is no denying that a big part of my heart (and gene pool) belongs to that country.

When I was sixteen, my parents gave me a priceless gift—a month in England as a visitor to great friends of theirs. Until then, my whole world had consisted of life in Pasadena, California. I had no concept of a broader existence. All of that changed in the short space of a month with our dear friends, the Kennedys. England was a magical place for me.

It was sparkling. I loved the green, green countryside, aged by centuries of civilized habitation. I loved its quirks and mores. I loved the people—especially one young Cambridge graduate, the tall, dark, and handsome Iain. I loved the patina of history which had the effect of shrinking Pasadena to less than a dot. My view of the world was changed for good. That was the beginning of my life as an international adventuress.

Because of that summer, I majored in International Relations, both at Stanford and as a graduate student. I worked in jobs with an international focus. I dragged my husband to Europe many times. I embraced my international heritage as I studied my family history. I made certain my children had a good grounding in history. And I wrote . . .

The product of a good deal of that writing was my epic novel of Austria, The Last Waltz, which took many years to refine and complete. I began writing it while commuting to a job in LA on the bus. I completed it when all but one of my children had left the nest. It won an award for the Best Historical Novel of 2009

, and I have since written two sequels.


This month I am offering The Last Waltz for $.99. I hope you will take advantage of this journey into the dizzying world of Vienna before

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, during, and after World War I with a heroine who begins as a naïve debutante and develops into a woman of consequence in a changed world.

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The Last Waltz



Summer means family around here and we are in the midst of three visits with our California family. It is a whirlwind of a time. Here are some pictures:


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