Long and Short Reviews welcomes Lillian Marek who is celebrating the release of the third book in the Victorian Adventure series, A Scandalous Adventure which will be coming out on August 2. Leave a comment or ask the author a question for a chance to win a copy of the book (US only please).
Release Day is less a celebration than a panic attack.
The real temptation is to run to the computer, check to see if anyone is buying the book or posting reviews, then jump up to make a cup of tea before I run back to the computer. Then I start to wonder if the rewrite on Chapter Four was really an improvement. Should I have left it alone? Or should I have rewritten it again? Do people hate the book? Repeat this sequence, with slight variations, until bedtime.
What I should do, of course, is get out of the house. Since it’s August, I could take myself to the beach with a couple of books from my TBR pile, a picnic lunch that includes delicious local peaches, and a gallon of sunscreen. I could just stay there until sunset. That sounds like a perfect plan—for any day except Release Day, when I will be much to nervous to sit still.
To be honest, I need something to occupy my hands and limit the peeks at the computer. There must be some authors out there who are so confident that they don’t have to look. But maybe not. Authors are, on the whole, a diffident bunch.
What I will probably do is cook. More specifically, I will bake. Because that’s what I do when I’m nervous. I bake.
Since it’s August, I will probably make some blueberry muffins and a peach cake or two like the ones my grandmother used to make, with a rich yeast dough base. And if I really want to keep myself busy, I will try something ridiculously complicated.
A dobos torte maybe—seven layers of sponge cake filled with chocolate cream and topped with caramel. Some people cheat on the cake and make two or three layers that they cut horizontally, but it takes more time if you draw circles on parchment and spread the batter to fill the circle. And then you have to trim the circles, because who can spread batter in a perfect circle? Definitely a time-consuming cake.
Or I could finally make a marjolaine from a recipe I cut out of the New York Times eons ago. That one has only four layers of a cake made with grated filberts and egg whites, but it has lots of fillings. There’s a chocolate cream made with crème fraîche and a rum cream and a praline cream, both made with pastry cream.
If sanity prevails, I will remember that in hot humid weather, cakes do not do well. That’s why my grandfather’s birthday cake—his birthday was July 25—fell more often than not. If I manage to remember that, I’ll stick to cookies. Snickerdoodles, because I love the name.
And me? By the time I’m finished, I will be completely exhausted. (That is, after all, the point of this exercise.) Since complete exhaustion means that I will not only be too tired to cook, but too tired to go out. That means we will have pizza for dinner. And since I get to choose, it will be sausage pizza from Luigi’s.
It may not be a champagne and caviar, but it’s just fine with me.
They’re hiding a scandalous secret
When his monarch’s flighty fiancée disappears, Count Maximillian von Staufer is dispatched to find her. His search leads Max to discover not the princess, but a look-alike who could be her double. Desperate to avoid an international crisis, he conceives a plan that will buy some time—and allow him to get to know a beautiful Englishwoman.
And time is running out
Lady Susannah Tremaine and her young friend Olivia are staying at the Grand Hotel in Baden, where so far the most exciting part of the visit has been the pastries. But when a devastatingly handsome royal Germanic officer asks Olivia to impersonate a missing princess, Susannah finds herself drawn into a dangerous world of international intrigue as she tries to protect her friend—and her heart.
About the Author:Lillian Marek was born and raised in New York City. At one time or another she has had most of the interesting but underpaid jobs available to English majors. After a few too many years in journalism, she decided she prefers fiction, where the good guys win and the bad guys get what they deserve. The first book in her Victorian Adventure series, Lady Elinor’s Wicked Adventures, won first prize in both the Launching A Star and the Windy City Four Seasons contests. She was also a first prize winner in the Beau Monde’s Royal Ascot contest.