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Tasha Alexander | What to Read Next


In my mind, one of the best things about reading is the way books can take you around the world. As a little girl growing up in South Bend, Indiana—not the most exciting place on earth—I relied on this method to feel like I had experienced far more travel than I was likely to for a very long time if I had to rely on airplanes or even cars.

It started with Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little House on the Prairie books. How I loved them! I could picture the Wisconsin woods, wide prairies, Plum Creek gurgling in front of the dugout, and the deep snow of harsh Dakota winters. From there, I went south, as Margaret Mitchell tempted me to follow Scarlett through GONE WITH THE WIND and the red earth of Georgia. After that came England, first through Jane Austen and then Charles Dickens.

As an adult, I started to travel more in "real" life, but I still haven't seen Elizabeth Peter's Egypt or Kafka's Prague. I did, however, make a conscious decision to try to bring my readers the world the way so many authors have done so for me (although I would never, ever claim to have done it so well as any of the above). DEATH IN THE FLOATING CITY was the culmination of this for me. I had always desperately wanted to see Venice, and I couldn't begin to count the number of wonderful novels set there that I have read. When I was writing my first book, AND ONLY TO DECEIVE, I included a small bit in which a secondary character elopes to Venice. I had hoped, secretly, that someday I would be in a position to follow up with her story. I never told anyone, fearing that I would jinx myself (writers are superstitious), and could not be more delighted to have at last had the opportunity to write the novel.

I did a significant amount of research in the city, studying archives, touring palazzi, and conducting interviews, even going back and living in the city while I wrote the first draft of the book. I wanted to make sure I had done everything possible to make Venice come alive to readers.

And now, in the time between finishing one book and starting another, I'm spending a lot of time reading. Back to traveling while staying at home. What are your favorite books in far-flung settings? I need something to read...



And Only to Deceive
Lady Emily
October 2006

A Poisoned Season
Lady Emily
April 2007

A Fatal Waltz
Lady Emily
June 2008

Tears Of Pearl
Lady Emily
September 2009

Dangerous To Know
Lady Emily
November 2010

A Crimson Warning
Lady Emily
November 2011

Death In The Floating City
Lady Emily
October 2012

Tell Tasha what you're reading and you may be one of TWO commenters to win DEATH IN THE FLOATING CITY




44 comments posted.

Re: Tasha Alexander | What to Read Next

Great excerpt , sounds like a really great book.
(Suzanne Bischoff 2:09am October 30, 2012)

I read a lot of historical romances and just finished reading The Recruit by Monica McCarty. It takes us from medieval England to Scotland and back again. It was the first book I've read by her and was awed by the rich history she provided in her book (she also added a fantastic author's note section explaining some of the history that she didn't go in great detail in the storyline itself). Anyway, I appreciate all the work authors go through in order to carry me away to a land I'll probably never get to see. I look forward to reading your books!
(Christina Torgerson 3:47am October 30, 2012)

I read a range of books. One of my favorite authors is J R Ward/Jessica
Bird. I also love reading historicals. I have just started reading my first
Kasey Michaels book - Escapade.
(Chris Coulson 4:21am October 30, 2012)

Great to learn of your research. Historical novels are among my favorite reading.
Blessings from a fellow Hoosier,
(Marjorie Carmony 6:10am October 30, 2012)

I enjoy historical fictions and romances especially when they include true references that help spark memories of visiting that place or studying that place.
(Shelby S 7:26am October 30, 2012)

What is better than curling up with a lovely hot cup of tea and a historical mystery/romance novel on a cold rainy day? All the background research authors do makes our reading journey truly come alive. I have never had the opportunity to travel to Italy, but would love to make that journey vicariously through reading your "Death in a Floating City". I just finished re-reading Ken Follett's "Pillars of the Earth" and the sequel "World Without End". Great historical background in both.
(Beth Charette 8:17am October 30, 2012)

I agree-one of the best things about reading is the way books can take you around the world. A friend gave me a book-Silent in the Grave-first chapter London 1886, I just started reading it last night and so far I like it
(Vicki Wurgler 9:28am October 30, 2012)

Deanna Raybourn's Lady Julia Grey mysteries are favorites of mine. In Dark Road to Darjeeling, the Himalayas are featured. I'm sure I'll never go there, so it was fun to arm-chair travel there.
(Monica Vargo 10:36am October 30, 2012)

I love to read ANYTHING - but books with history lessons and travel lessons built right into them all at the same time?! Great. Have you read the Jade de Cameron series by Suzanne Arruda. They're great. And your books are, too. This newest one sounds fantastic. Best of luck with it.
(Nancy Reynolds 10:40am October 30, 2012)

Boy I'd really like to read this book. It sounds great!!
(Bonnie Capuano 10:47am October 30, 2012)

Oh my gosh this looks so fantastic! What an citing tale! Its
so rare to find well written historical books like this
anymore, I cant wait to get a copy! :D
(Candice Duffey 12:18pm October 30, 2012)

Book of Fish is a great book about Australia
(Eva Segerblom 1:20pm October 30, 2012)

ia great contest
(Kent Cook 1:50pm October 30, 2012)

I like that about books as well. You can travel all over the place as well as to different times.
(Debra Guyette 2:05pm October 30, 2012)

Dickens, Mitchell are perfect and my faves. I fell for LM Montgomery and Anne of Green Gables when I was young. Shakespeare has always had an amazing way of bringing Ceaser to MacBeth alive. I also like to "travel" in other places - Tolkien, George RR Martin.
(Carla Carlson 2:19pm October 30, 2012)

my favorite places to read about? England in Sherlock Holmes' time. England in Sir Peter Wimsey's time. Prague, in the here and now time!
(Anne Harris 2:30pm October 30, 2012)

I've done most of my traveling though books. This sounds like a fantastic journey.
(Anna Speed 3:31pm October 30, 2012)

I love Laura Ingals Wilder's books! I just started to read Gone with the Wind as I
loved the movie and thought it was time for me to reqd the book!
(Susan Mahaffey 4:01pm October 30, 2012)

(Shelly Caggiano 4:50pm October 30, 2012)

I'm reading a mystery. Death in Four Courses. It's set in Key West.
(Sandy Giden 4:59pm October 30, 2012)

Research sounds like a fun side of writing
(Shirley Nienkark 5:10pm October 30, 2012)

Secrets of a Wedding NIght by Valerie Bowman
Sophie Littlefield's A Bad Day for Scandal

You are an undiscovered author to me. I'll have to check you out. jean
(Bj Maxwell 5:47pm October 30, 2012)

Sounds like a wonderful novel to read.
(Cynthia St. Germain 6:02pm October 30, 2012)

I read pretty much anything and everything. It tends to depend on what my mood is as to what I am reading at any given time.
(Larena Hubble 6:47pm October 30, 2012)

Wonderful post and an intriguing novel. I am reading The
Secret Keeper by Kate Morton.
(Sharon Berger 7:00pm October 30, 2012)

Just finished Kate Morton's The Secret Keeper - love her books. I am currently reading Georgette Heyer's Death in The Stocks.
(Mary Chin 7:09pm October 30, 2012)

i love books with old and traveling in them and this one sounds like it fits the bill...thanks
(Kimberly Hoefs 7:12pm October 30, 2012)

I'm reading Mrs. Jeffries Defends Her Own. I also like Jane Austen sequels.
(Michelle Fidler 8:20pm October 30, 2012)

I'm finishing up Lucky's Lady.
(Kathy Fowler 9:11pm October 30, 2012)

I'm reading A Fatal Waltz and really enjoying it!!!
(George Zimmerman 9:38pm October 30, 2012)

Right now I am reading Eloisa James's Seduced by the Pirate. I love
historical romances and mysteries, so this book sounds great. Thanks for
the chance to win, all your books sound really good.
(Ann Sheiring 10:34pm October 30, 2012)

I finished Rainshadow Road by Lisa Kleypas just a couple of days ago. I'm currently reading Soul Saver by Dineen A. Miller. It about saving souls and knowing that the devil is out there to tempt Lexi to fail.
(Kai Wong 12:42pm October 31, 2012)

I'm currently reading Immortally Yours by Angie Fox, set in an paranormal Mash unit, in Limbo. It's a very interesting setting. Thanks for the giveaway!
(Christine Mead 7:23am October 31, 2012)

I am reading/listening to a book that is all about travel, The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making written and narrated by Catherynne M. Valente. The prose in this book is AMAZING! Unfortunately since its considered a MG/YA book it will probably be overlooked by most adults.
(Yvonne Jefferson 7:55am October 31, 2012)

You have a great reading list above by now! Since you like Venice, try Donna Leon who has written a series of police crime novels set in Venice. Go for the earlier ones first as they are better, but now she is not putting so much work into the plots. I recommend Friends in High Places. Read that and tell me Italy has no corruption.
For Yorkshire read Peter Robinson - police crime novels again.
For Dublin or west of Ireland, read John Brady, crime.
For Jamaica, read The Pirate's Daughter, about a girl who has an affair with Errol Flynn, and her daughter.
For London during the Blitz of WW II try Skinny Lizzie about a girl who gets to be a bus conductress because all the men are off at war.
I could keep this up all day.
(Clare O'Beara 8:45am October 31, 2012)

I am loving all these suggestions! Thanks! It's great to have a long list of
(Tasha Alexander 8:59am October 31, 2012)

I am reading an oldie by an author that I have read great things about and I am loving it. It is Death in Zanzibar by M.M.Kaye. It's an old-fashioned mystery and romance combination, set in an exotic place. I am enjoying it and I will be looking for more books by this author.
(Julia Blanco 10:54am October 31, 2012)

FIRE AND ICE by Dana Stabenow. I got it as a free NOOK book and am just getting into it. I love finding new authors. I have never read any of your books but would love to! Thanks for the chance...
(Linda Scarchuk 11:16am October 31, 2012)

As a teenager I loved to travel by book--off to Hawaii with the book by the same title, then over to Israel with Exodus---I just traveled all over from my library.
(Sue Farrell 12:05pm October 31, 2012)

I only read historical suspense not romance
(Danielle McDonald 7:22pm October 31, 2012)

I have a few books sitting here TBR, but my Husband bought me the book Ameritopia, by Mark Levin in January. If I don't start with that one, he'll never forgive me!! I also have the book Spring Break by Mary Kay Andrews, among others, that I have to read. My Father took ill, and all of my time got absorbed in taking care of his needs. Now I should be able to sit back for a bit, kick up my heels, watch the snow fly, and catch up on my reading!! I would love to read your book, and think the artwork was very beautifully done. Congratulations!!
(Peggy Roberson 5:55pm November 2, 2012)

Books can transport you to everywhere & anywhere.
(Mary Preston 9:04am November 3, 2012)

I love reading and have broadened my repertoire to include categories I skipped years ago.
(Alyson Widen 3:39pm November 5, 2012)

Like you, Tasha, I love traveling. Unfortunately, my traveling days are probably over, and I'm in my fallback position: traveling by reading both fiction and non-fiction. I've been revisiting London, Paris and Vienna with you and your heroine. This time it will be Venice (Italy). What's not to love? I don't know what my favorite countries to visit are. But I've been to several countries in Africa, Asia, Europe, and South Africa--all by book. I've even been to almost every state in the U.S. And I'm getting close to managing to get to all of them in my favorite country--my own, adopted--Canada. I'm very glad that our parents taught us about valuing other peoples and countries that help enlarge narrow viewpoints.
(Sigrun Schulz 1:00am November 6, 2012)

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