Summer Giveaway: Lone Star

June 25, 2015

Hello to all my readers:

Summer has finally landed in New York, and we’re enjoying a muggy, thunderstorm-y, but nonetheless warm and full of fun season so far. To spice up the idle summer hours, I wanted to hold another giveaway, this time for my latest novel, Lone Star. Lone Star takes place in tempestuous, passionate, life-changing summer, and I think you’ll see why it’s my favorite season.

I’m giving away 10 signed copies of Lone Star to anyone who writes in between now and Thursday, July 10th, with the answer to this question: What’s your favorite love song, and why? Music evokes the strongest of emotions in human beings, and that’s certainly true of Chloe Divine and Johnny Rainbow.

Please write your answers to We will announce the winners Friday, July 10th. Good luck!

Happy birthday to me!

November 6, 2014

November 6. Celebrating my 20th birthday today. Please no Scorpio jokes, I’ve heard them all, lol. I will entertain some jokes about the October Revolution though, falling on November 7 and my father threatening my young mother with divorce if she gave birth to his first child on the anniversary of that fateful day. She assumed he was joking, yet took no chances. Hence 10:55 am on Nov 6, I came into the world.

I turned up this horoscope earlier, which is so funny for how wrong about me it is:

Being a Scorpio born on November 6th, you are characterized by a shy and artistic demeanor. You are naturally sensitive and have grown to value artistic expression. You may enjoy music, art or writing, although you rarely expose these talents. You work hard to accomplish your goals, showing great determination in your efforts, but this also may be less-evident to others, as you rather complete your work out of the limelight. You use your reserve to distance yourself from others, which explains why your family and friends are still surprised to learn new things about you. These qualities only add to your mystery!

I hope I don’t rarely expose my talents!

I’ve Written a Children’s Book!

February 11, 2014

Next to hit your bookstores and hopefully your bookshelves is the children’s book that’s been ten years in the making. I’m not exaggerating. I’m not using my Russian hyperbole to make a point. I mean, these one hundred and fifty words you will read about a mommy and her baby have taken over ten years to reach you. I wrote them when my fourth baby was 18 months old. She recently celebrated her twelfth birthday. In the intervening decade, I have written nearly a million and a half adult words. So now we know. Children’s books are much harder to write! The book is called I Love My Baby Because. I hope all the mommies out there love it, and their babies too.

You can preorder it here and here for the US and UK, and it is out on July 31st, 2014. Australia and New Zealand will have theirs by March 27th, plenty of time before Mother’s Day!

Next Up: Lone Star

January 10, 2014

I wanted to tell you all about the next novel I’m writing, a book I’m very excited about, called Lone Star.

When I was a young girl growing up in Russia, I saw a movie called “Ballad of a Soldier.” I remember very little about it, except there was a girl, and a boy who was going to the front. They were on a train together. Then he hopped off. He sang for her and played his guitar. She loved him.

Lone Star is the Paullina version of that general theme, except in book form and with all the things I love in it, and I fervently hope the things many of you will love in it. Hint hint, wink wink. I say no more. I’ve said too much.

Winners of the Christmas Giveaway!

December 3, 2013

Dear Everyone,

Thank you for your glorious recollections of romantic places.
What a delight it was to read them all, to imagine worlds other than my own.
There were hardly two that were the same.
Beaches in Argentina and castles in Italy.
Paris and Prague.
London. St. Petersburg.
Achill Island and Amelia Island.
Minnesota, Michigan, Mexico, Merano’s Gardens.
Italy, Italy, Italy, Italy. Venice and Florence and Verona and Rome.
Cabins and mountains, balconies, Lebanon, Jordan, Portugal, Thailand.
Did I mention Rome?
Oh, and Chicago, and Hoboken New Jersey, and even a golf course in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. I smiled in puzzlement, and then read that the girl and her lover were skiing on the golf course and said, ah, okay.
It was all beautiful. It made me see your vivid hearts all over this great earth. I wish I could send a book to each and every one of you.
My most romantic place is a piano suite at the top of the Carlyle Hotel in New York City, where the windows are floor to ceiling and the entire of Manhattan Island glitters beyond, where I play the piano while hubby sleeps and every once in a while wakes up and says, that was really good, Plink. Where we sit and have afternoon tea, and drink anniversary champagne, and revel in the thirty-two years we’ve been the mates of each other’s souls.

Here are the ten winners of a signed copy of Bellagrand, and one for Tatiana’s Table.

Jennifer Mengel who saw the Northern Lights in Iceland.
Tina Cruz who had a life that novels are made of and dreamed of Cozumel, Mexico.
Julie Lowe whose husband took her to Tasmania for their 10th wedding anniversary so they could spend two days alone without five children.
Amedeo Soliman, biking through Potsdam.
Tina Gaser, skiing through golf courses in Deer Hunter country.
Claudia Araujo, who quoted Lord Byron in verse about Sintra, Portugal.
Amanda Odendahl who danced in her backyard under the moonlight.
Rachel Flynn who made Kylemore Abbey in Ireland come alive.
Rosa Bianca who traveled to the magical Valley of Aosta and returned with two children.
Carah Walker who waxed poetic about Glendhu Bay in New Zealand.

And one signed copy of Tatiana’s Table to:
Kristen DeSiena, who healed on Amelia Island in Florida.

God bless you all, thank you, be well, winners please email me your address so I can get the books to you before Christmas, and the rest, keep reading, keeping coming back, keep writing, take some joy, give some joy. You’ve all given me more joy than I ever hoped for.

Bellagrand Christmas giveaway!

November 25, 2013

Hi readers,

I want to get in on the Christmas spirit early this year and do another giveaway of my upcoming book, Bellagrand, the sequel to Children of Liberty featuring the fiery love story of Alexander’s parents, Harry and Gina. I will be giving away ten signed books and (I very much hope) getting them to you in time for the holidays.

To enter, simply answer the below question and send it to

What is the most romantic place you’ve ever been, and why is it special to you?

Please send your answers to the Gmail address by Monday, December 2nd. We will pick ten winners and announce them then!

The Bronze Horseman film update

November 20, 2013

Hello readers,

I know you have all been asking me for updates on any news with the film. I have a little I can tell you about the screenplay. Over the summer I did what I thought was an impossible task: I cut a 220 page script to 150 pages, to make our Bronze Horseman movie 2.5 hours long. I managed to do this while leaving most of the things I love about the story in it.

And then the best thing happened after the producer and director read the new version. They both said, that was good, but you’ve cut too much. Have any words been sweeter to a writer? We now need you to put stuff back, they said, and to write a new scene here and a new scene there, and reinsert this joke and this line and this character. Well, if you insist, I said.

So that’s what I’m doing now. Once I’m done, the plan is to go into pre-pre-production in December and into pre-production in March. Dare we hope, production by summertime?

A Little Bit About Bellagrand

October 31, 2013

My friends and readers,

My head peeks out briefly out of the water of my writing life. I take this welcome respite to tell you about a few things.

I can’t wait for you to read Bellagrand. It is a heartbreaker, at the very least, the breaker of this writer’s heart. I love my heroine Gina, a passionate, strong, good woman, who wants nothing more than to love and to be loved. The book is about all the things that stand in her way. In this story, you will also meet Alexander, and you will witness the love that had made him and in the end that saved him, the love that offered him, years hence, the possibility of a new life. It was all borne out of Bellagrand, out of the lifelong love affair between Gina and Harry, Alexander’s mother and father.

Bellagrand will be published in print in Australia and New Zealand in early December, just in time for Christmas—and in e-book. The print edition for the United States and Britain will hit the stores in February/March.

I’m not going to Australia and New Zealand on tour this year—surely, you’ve seen enough of me?––but perhaps I can come back next fall. It’s the highlight of my year, talking to you great people face to face.

As far as Six Days In Leningrad, thank you all, who have bought and read the e-book edition. We are working to publish the print edition for Father’s Day 2014, and it will come complete with many photographs of my life-changing trip to Leningrad in 1998.

Until next time, keep reading, keep writing, keep coming back.