A JANE EXTRA: Two Janes and a Tammy

Hello! I’m Lilian Darcy and Jane has asked me to be a guest on JaneBlog, posting from far away Australia. I’m feeling the weight of responsibility, because I always love the things that Jane chooses to write about and I’m wondering what I can possibly add.

There’s a whole mix of themes in my head right now. Firstly, Jane and her journey as a single parent, her handling of a long-distance relationship, her going-with-her-heart decision to have another baby with Surfer Ty. I’m not the only one who is frequently in awe of what she accomplishes, both professionally and personally, and the vibrant way she pulls it off. She’s an inspiration not just because of what she achieves but maybe even more because of the things she sometimes *doesn’t* achieve and the way she talks about all of that – the pets who go missing, the home-cooking plans that fall flat, the times she loses it with the kids. There’s an emotional truth to Jane’s writing about women – I can’t wait for Shey’s story! – and I don’t think there’s anyone else out there writing in quite the same way about the same kind of truth.

Then there’s the book cover I’ve posted here – not too hard to tell there’s a single parenthood theme there, also. Actually, they’ve left off one of heroine Tammy’s kids in the picture – she’s supposed to have five. This book has been nominated for a Rita Award from the Romance Writers of America this year, and I’m so happy it was *this* book, because it’s one of my favorites among the long list of Harlequin Medical romances I’ve written. I love that the judges responded to the story of a plump, down-to-earth mum (which is how we spell it here in Australia) who captures the man of her dreams with humor and warmth and a mother’s values.

Finally, there’s the book I’ve chosen to include as a giveaway. It’s not one of mine, or by a friend, or by the latest hot best-selling author. It’s not even a novel. It’s a biography, and if Jane’s ultimate theme on her blog can be summarized as Real Women, and Real Women’s Lives, then this book is about a real woman’s truly incredible life, lived nearly two hundred years ago but still fascinating and resonant for any of us who’ve ever dreamed of an all-consuming love, or who’ve found one, who’ve followed our hearts, done crazy things, regretted and lost and re-discovered and lived every heart-beat.

Fittingly, the subject of A Scandalous Life was also named Jane. She was Jane Digby, she was a better as a lover than she was as a mother even though she ultimately bore six children, and she caused a scandal in upper-class England in the 1820’s when she left her aristocratic husband for a German prince and her divorce case made the front pages of The Times newspaper.

Guess where she ended up? Not with the German prince. Not with the German baron who fell in love with her after the prince had abandoned her. Not with King Ludwig I of Bavaria, with whom she had a passionate affair and almost certainly a child. Nope, and not with later lovers such as the supposed Greek “count” or the Albanian brigand, either. Jane Digby, former Lady Ellenborough and lover of a king, found ultimate happiness in her late forties with a Bedouin sheikh in the Syrian desert. He fell in love with her while escorting her to the ruined desert city of Palmyra, even though he was twenty years younger than she was. He respected her as an equal in horsemanship and intelligence, and they married and remained happy together until her death in 1881 at the age of 74.

So there you go, two Janes and a Tammy, linked as women across time and space and the blurred line between truth and fiction, linked by being mothers, lovers, daughters and wives, skilled and intelligent, passionate and brave, lost and found.

Jane, sending you and all your boys a ton of love from Australia, and for Jane’s readers, I’m giving away a copy of A Scandalous Life by Mary S Lovell. It’s a fascinating biography and I think you’d enjoy it.  Share with me what you’re reading right now and you’re entered to win.  Jane will draw the winner’s name Tuesday night at midnight PST and post the winner’s name Wednesday morning in the comment section below.  Do check back on Wednesday to see if you have won!

Lilian Darcy


  1. Sounds like an interesting life to look into!

    I’m reading Prism entries right now – so I’m not going to say what exactly I’m reading.

  2. F Is for Fugitive by Sue Grafton. I decided to start at the beginning and read them all. I love recurring characters in books.

    Nice to meet you and I agree that Jane is very special. 🙂

  3. Welcome Lilian. It is a pleasure to meet a friend of Jane’s. Congratulations on your nomination for the Rita award. Good work should not go unoticed.

    I am currently reading the Stupidest Angel by Christopher Moore. A different kind of love story to say the least.

    A Scandalous Life sounds like a great book! Another fun one to read. Thanks for your great pick.

    And BTW, when will we be graced with the new ARC of Easy on the Eye’s? Now that is one I am looking forward to!

  4. Thanks for chiming in Tammy. Good on ya!

    I’m reading the new Columbine book – or I will be soon as I’ve only just picked up from the library (*cough* 5 days ago *cough*) along with a book on how men and women communicate differently, which will hopefully help me to better write a male POV.

    Have a bang up weekend!

  5. I am reading “Summer’s Child” by Diane Chamberlain (love this author) and “Blink” by Malcom Gladwell. I just finished his book “Outliers” which was also excellent. Waiting patiently for “Easy on the Eyes”.

  6. Currently not reading anything, busy building a four car garage/workshop and house on top. I enjoyed your writing Tammy, and the book giveaway sounds too cool. Happy Mother’s Day to All!

  7. Ah, Lilian, love this! Thanks so much for taking time to share here at the JaneBlog. I’m honored you joined us.

    Everyone, Lilian is brilliant and inspiring and so very helpful in my life and in terms of mentoring me as a writer. I can’t say enough good things about her so welcome, and thank you!!

    Lots of love,


  8. Wow–fascinating stuff! I’m reading You Must Remember This–an oral history of New York City. It’s also fascinating–stories of old New York in the real words of people who lived there from 1890-1940.

    thanks for posting, Lilian.


  9. I am reading The Secret right now. The book you just mentioned sounds too good to be real. I wish that was my love life!

  10. Hi Lilian,

    I just finished reading “Friday Night Knitting Club” and I am currently reading “A journal for Jordan” by Dana Canedy. I enjoyed your post.

  11. Wow! I’m so impressed by the range of books everyone is reading! Crime, self-help, women’s fiction, history, novelized biography, horror… So many different things. I guess it doesn’t surprise me that Jane’s readers have very broad and ambitious taste in their reading. That’s what I most love about books – there’s something for every mood and every state of mind.
    I will check in again later and see what else has come up. Thanks for the congrats on the Rita. I would have been “here” (i.e. posting a reply) sooner, only I’ve, as usual, spent most of the day taking my daughter out to ride her horse. As I’m writing this, it’s about six in the evening on Saturday in Australia. It’s wonderful to get to know some of your readers a little better, Jane. Thanks so much for inviting me to be one of your guests, and for saying such nice things!

  12. I’m reading Hissy Fit by Mary Kay Andrews. Delightfully funny so far and connects this removed southern girl back to home.

  13. I’m reading, The Women Who Raised Me, by actress, Victoria Rowell. She was in foster care from the day she was born and sent to various homes and had some amazing women love her and take care of her. Love the story about Jane Digby. thank you for posting, Lilian.

  14. I just finished two books this past week, Blue Smoke by Nora Roberts and Melancholy Baby by Robert B. Parker. Both very good reads.

    A Scandalous Life sounds fascinating, what an interesting woman Jane must have been!

  15. I’m reading “Water for Elephants” to see what the fuss was about and “Love and Biology”, a new book by Jennie Shortridge. I will have to put “The Children’s Doctor and the Single Mum” on my reading list; it sounds good! Congratulations to Jane on her new baby!

  16. I enjoyed Lilian’s blog and hope I am doing this right (fairly new to the world of blogging). I was also pleased to read all the personal stuff about Jane. I had no idea. Wow, she’s in the same Super Mom category as Brenda Novak. LOL

    Anyway, the last couple of weeks I’ve been reading true crime books, because someone donated a bunch of them to the library I run. The current read is “If Looks Could Kill” by M Wm Phelps, but I enjoyed the last one more: “Taken from Home” by Eric Francis.

    Jane, your baby is adorable! WTG!

  17. Excellent post Lillian! Nice to meet you. I’m actually re-reading Green For Life by Victoria Boutenko for the third time. Not that I don’t have a stack of books that I want to get through, but this is my go-to book on my continous quest to live healthier.

  18. It’s so nice to meet you! I also love to read Jane’s blogs and I’ve enjoyed reading yours as well!

    I’m taking a class right now, so I’m reading a medical terminology text book (not so exciting) but when I do get a break, I’m reading a book called Mark’s Story and it’s based on the bible. It’s very good and opens up the bible so that I can understand it better!

  19. Lilian, Thanks for blogging while Jane is otherwise occupied. Love the cover for your book and congratulations on the nomination. Will keep my fingers crossed for you.

    Not reading anything at the moment as I have no idea what I am in the mood to read. I do see a lot of good suggestions here. A Scandalous Life sounds like a winner to me. I wonder if it’s too late to go to the library?

  20. Great Blog! Congrats on the RITA nomination!
    I am currently reading Pleasure Dome by LF Hampton and and Rainbow 6 by Tom Clancy.

  21. More great reads to hear about! Sally, I love Mary Kay Andrews. I discovered her with Savannah Blues, which I still think is her best, love it so much that when I finished it, I turned right around and read it all over again.

    The Victoria Rowell book sounds fascinating, Arlene, and of course Nora Roberts is hard to go past.

    Ooh, Monica, a medical textbook! Not exactly a page-turner, but it’ll only make the reward reading all the sweeter.

    Latesha, I hear you on not knowing what you’re in the mood for reading. I have all these books by my bed at the moment that I thought I wanted to read, but somehow I’m not getting to them. Sigh. Could it be the four children, the messy house and the horse, getting in the way?

  22. That Lilian would be called, ‘life’. I have to share…I went by a garage sale today and scored some great books for, get this, 50cents each! Like I need more but as a fellow reader mentioned, some times you just are in a mood for one type or another. So here they are. I picked up Certain Girls by Jennifer Weiner, Happiness Sold Seperately by Lolly Winston and For One More Day by Mitch Albom. Now, after reading what for one more day is about, I will need a box of kleenex to go with that one. I have a ten year old son and have a feeling this one will touch my heart.

  23. Hi Lilian,
    I am reading Sweet Nothings by Catherine Anderson. I have barely started it since I have been so busy lately but hope to get some reading in tomorrow when I might relax since it’s mother’s day!! I know, wishful thinking!!

    Have a great mother’s day!! Thanks so much for sharing, it’s lovely to hear from you on here.

  24. Right now I am reading Odd Mom Out and I absoloutely love it! 🙂 Happy Mother’s Day to all of the moms out there!!

  25. I enjoyed your comments very much. That sounds like a very interesting book. I just finished reading Coyote’s Mate by Lora Leigh and started The Education of Mrs. Brimley by Donna Macmeans.

  26. Hi Lilian,
    I have enjoyed your books for many years and loved your Rita nomination book. It was a great read. Tammy was such a believable character and I loved the scene when she went to the Melbourne Cup in that hat. I am currently reading “Exit Music” by Ian Rankin (a crime novel set in Edinburgh). I hope you have had a lovely Mother’s Day and will visit us again at Jane’s blog.

  27. Thanks for the guest blog Lillian!

    I’m reading “The Poet” by Michael Connelly right now. It’s going slow because it’s a little disturbing for bed time reading. Next on the list is “The Hunger Games” by Suzanne Collins (a YA novel which I will be reading for my job as a school librarian — it’s supposed to be excellent).

    Happy Mother’s Day to Lillian and Jane, and all the wonderful women that follow this blog!

  28. I am reading the Life story of Juilette Low, the founder of Girl Scounts. I have been slow at it becuase of so many things going on.

    It is amazing what this lady accomplished.

    Happy Mother’s Day to all Mothers!

  29. A very happy Mother’s day to all! And Jane a very special first for you and Mac! Hope you are having a wonderful time basking in all his sweetness.


  30. I am currently reading Prep by Curtis Sittenfeld. So far, I am loving it and can’t wait to finish it! 🙂
    Thank you for posting Lillian!

  31. Once again, thanks for all the great comments about what everyone is reading. I hope everyone, whether mother, daughter, sister or anything else, had a great Mother’s Day with some good reading. And extra love to you, Tired Jane, after reading your Mother’s Day post.

  32. Hmmm. . I’m liking the synopsis for A Scandalous Life. I may just get it. Right now, I’m reading Frankenstein by Dean Koontz

  33. Hello there Lilian!

    I loooove your books, so it’s wonderful to see you here as a guest blogger!

    I’m currently reading Armed And Devastating by Julie Miller.

    All the best to you! 🙂

  34. Contest Winner Alert!

    Hi all, I’m here to announce the winner of Lilian Darcy’s giveaway, and with a drum roll…#11 Kate Hewitt, you are the winner of the contest!

    Kate, please shoot me a private email with your mailing address and we’ll get the book and prizes out in the mail to you. Congrats!!



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