An Edith Layton Christmas Collection!

By Mary Jo

Just in time for the holidays! It’s a Wonderful Regency Christmas , a collection of six Christmas stories by the late and much missed Word Wench, Edith Layton, has just been released. 

Edith wrote many and varied wonderful stories, but she had a special gift for Christmas novellas.  For the first time, these six novellas are available in one volume.  The stories have been out of print for years, so this is a special treat for Layton Lovers and Layton Regency Christmas else who loves a warm, romantic holiday tale.

This collection includes the following stories:

The Duke’s Progress

It’s a Wonderful Christmas

The Gingerbread Man

The Last Gift

The Amiable Miser


I haven’t read Dogstar yet, but since Edith was a whole-hearted dog lover, I expect something really special! 

I just reread the first story, The Duke's Progress, and it was as lovely as when I first read it on the initial release.  A lonely and depressed duke, a winsome little boy, and the perfect woman to take dashing through the snow on a sleigh!  What more can a sentimental lover of Christmas stories want?

It's available as an ebook for the first time and in paperback almost everywhere books are sold. Edith's daughter Susie Felber says fans have been asking for this for years, and she's delighted to publish the first Layton Christmas collection is here–so we readers can be delighted as well! 

Mary Jo

PS:  A surprise bonus!  Susie Felber will give an e-book of IT'S A WONDERFUL REGENCY CHRISTMAS to one person who comments between now and Sunday midnight.  Good luck!

Edith Layton: Word Wench, Mom & A True Lady


Update 6/26: A TRUE LADY is now available as an ebook


First, I'd like to thank the Wenches for inviting me to post during their anniversary celebration. I am continually impressed by how the Wenches not only endure, but continue to innovate, entertain, and open the circle to new authors and guests. 

Secondly, yes, that's a cover reveal just to the left of this copy, and no I didn't write it, but more on that in a moment… 

Third, well, I probably should introduce myself first, right? OK, here goes…

Dear Readers,

I'm Susie Felber. No, that is not a very romantic name, and that's exactly why my mother, Edith Felber, was persuaded by her publisher to take a pen name in 1983 for the publication of her first regency romance: The Duke's Wager.

Edith Layton a/k/a mom, went on to publish over 30 novels and many more short stories. She blogged with the Word Wenches for many years, and only stopped because… well, because she died.

I lurk and read the Wenches often, and admit I go back and read the beautiful post and comments Layton readers left here.

Of course I miss her. Mom was funny, smart, and would've bragged about me even if I was in prison. e.g. "The warden says Susie's license plates have a certain Je ne sais quoi."

But not only does her memory live on (think of her daily), but of course I have her books to enjoy (reading her books is like having her in the room with me), and Layton HQ is still going strong. Here's some news and updates:

529090211_8d24ac9ed9_bOn Mother's Day this year, my brother Adam (the famous NPR / Hollywood guy) and I appeared on Faith Salie's Audible podcast on an episode called When Mom Writes Romance. <– that's a link there, and it's fun. You can hear about how my father sent out her manuscripts under our German Shepherd's name when she got discouraged by rejections, and much more.

Backing up, two and a half years ago, I finally got it together to bring the Layton books that were out of print but in demand, back into the world as ebooks. As you can imagine, or know too well, this is hard work.

Read more

Edith Layton – Her Last Book

Sherrie, here.  Susie Felber's post will go up later today, so do check back! In the interim, we've put up a Wench Classic ToLoveWickedLordfrom last December, which will be replaced by Susie's post when it goes up.  The purpose of Susie's blog post will be to announce the release of Edith Layton's final book, To Love a Wicked Lord. Edith finished this book shortly before her death earlier this year, and it is a fitting farewell to her devoted fans. TLWL is getting excellent reviews and recently received 4 1/2 stars from Romantic Times.  Here's what RT said about TLWL:

“The Regency world comes to life as a wickedly handsome hero, sharp-tongued heroine and her ditzy grandmother are drawn together.” (Romantic Times Top Pick)  Maxwell, Lord Montrose, is the only man who can help Phillipa find her missing fiancé.  On the trail of the elusive husband-to-be, Maxwell and Pippa have the best of intentions. But a simmering attraction builds in close quarters . . .

Read more about the book by clicking the cover in the sidebar in the lower right side of this page.  Don't forget to return later today.  And now, here is Susie's interview from last December.   ~Sherrie

Hi there!  It's Edith Layton's daughter Susie here again.  In my last post, I shared photos and memories about what it was like growing up as my mommy morphed into some lady named Layton.

Wow, it was such a great post.  Really really amazing.  You should all read it again and again.

For part the second, I promised you tales of romance conferences, my gazillion prepubescent research trips to England and the tale of why I helped throw mom her second-ever book party 30 novels later.

But you know the saying "brevity is the soul of wit"?  Well brevity is also the soul of OMGits10pmIjustfinishedwriting4mydayjobbrainischeese.

So, I think this time, I'm just going to talk about research trips I was dragged on to ol' Blighty.  We'll tackle the other topics another time.


OK.  I've just poured myself a glass of cheap-o 2005 Bordeaux — let's roll!

How about some pictures?   Yay!   On the right, you see Edith Layton sometime in the 80's.  In this photo, one can clearly see her steely resolve to visit each and every historical site in England.  Posing on the walls of York, her jammin' Pat Benetar haircut says, "Love is a Battlefield and I will cut anyone who gets in my way of visiting anything with a plaque and every Perkin Warbeck urinal from here to Penzance."

I know what you're thinking.  "How sharper than a serpent's tooth this child is!  What an ingrate!  She was lucky enough to be whisked all over the UK and has nothing but disdain and mockery for dear mum?"

OK, no.  That's not true. I loved many — nay most — of the places we visited. 

Castles were the best.  Loved the ruins and we stayed in many that had shored up their battlements and turned a buck as hotels in England, Scotland and Wales.  Second to castles were museums.  Then cathedrals.  We couldn't miss those.  Quite interesting.  Although when you're fourteen years old and on your umpteem chilly crypt, you tend to get a tad cranky.  Of course then there were small village churches, where, if you were very unlucky, mom would find some arthritic man running the parish who would then be interrogated about his knowledge of somebody who hung out there 200 years ago. 

England80s Oh and then there were the pilgrimages to ancient stone circles in the middle of nowhere.  Pre-GPS, actually finding one of these rumored stone circles buried within the fog of the mountains and the sheep exhalations was nearly impossible.  And once you got there, you clambered over a stile to tip toe over ewe poo to drink in the drama and mystery of rocks that looked like Stonehenge if it were engineered by mice.

 See that picture on the left?  That there is the late 80's.  My brothers had both gone off to college and my parents kindly brought my great friend Mary with me.  I'm not sure where this was taken.  Mary recently uploaded it to Facebook.  But, what you can clearly see is that we are likely the only visitors to a castle yet we looked like some sort of Cagney and Lacey/Flock of Seagulls trainwreck.  And at that age, hyped up on New Wave as we were, we set out on each crypt-filled research adventure with outfits made of synthetics and hair moussed into next week, hoping against hope some dreamy British rock star-ish type would amble by.

Let me say from bitterness experience, that more hot men can be found in a small convent than are passionately researching the Regency in all the rutabaga-sized towns of England.

And why always England?  I begged to go to France, Spain, Latvia — anywhere but another trip to the land of a thousand historic homes with psychotically perfect gardens selling dainty flowered items.

ThatchOn the flip side of kvetching, we did meet wonderfully nice people and we stayed at some amazing places.  Thatched cottages  galore in the Lake District, at the Grosvenor House in a suite so big I couldn't believe it was a hotel, in manors with bathtubs so deep they should've come with a snorkel. And yes, those fabulous castles, many of whom served continental breakfast in the dungeon, making you feel you were living a Monty Python sketch.

Of course the joke's on me.  All those trips to England obviously brainwashed me.  Because while happily enjoying my cosmopolitan crypt-less and thatch-free life in NYC — I met and fell in love with and eventually married a Brit. 
He even lived in a thatched cottage for a time and his family has a coat of arms, which I made into a onesie for our son.  I took that charming thatch roof pub pic you see here on our last visit to see his family.  Also, it's in our pre-nup that if he ever loses the accent — it's over!

Bridefor So although my mother thinks she's had the last laugh, just wait. I have no doubt I will enthusiastically drag our boy around more stately homes than you can shake a stick at.

OK lovely Wench readers!  If you've made it this far, put on your silver cape, shake it off and pat yourselves on the back.  Once you've recovered, leave a comment and say hi! 



PS If you are looking for more blogtainment, please visit which is just one of my online endeavors!

More importantly, me mum's latest book, [ A BRIDE FOR HIS CONVENIENCE ] To Love a Wicked Lord is out now! Buy buy buy it, then read, then, it stores easily on most any bookshelf.  Easy peasy!

A Winner, a Guest, and 2 New Bookmarks

A-Winner Debbie K., you have won a copy of Shobhan Bantwal's The Sari Shop Widow.  Please send your mailing address to Sherrie, and we'll forward it to Shobhan.  Congratulations, Debbie.

On Friday, Oct. 16, Susie Felber, Edith Layton's daughter, ToLoveWickedLord will visit the Wenches to talk about Edith's last book, To Love a Wicked Lord (Avon, 10/27), completed shortly before she passed away earlier this year.  This will be a bittersweet reunion.  We're delighted Susie will visit us again, even though we wish Edith could be here in person.

Last week we posted two new bookmarks (Nicola Cornick and Edith Layton) for you to download.  Just go to the Additional Pages sidebar on the right and click on Printable Bookmarks #6.  Thanks as always to our talented Cara/Andrea for designing these bookmarks.

WWBookmarks#6a    WWBookmarks#6b

Guests and a New Feature

Good morning!  We have a fun October planned for our readers here at the Word Wenches, starting with:ShobhanBantwal

Oct. 9 – Mary Jo will interview guest Shobhan Bantwal.  Shobhan refers to her stories as "Bollywood in a book."  Her books are romantic, colorful, action-packed tales that are rich with elements of Indian culture.

ToLoveWickedLord Oct. 16 – Susie Felber, Edith Layton's daughter, will visit the Wenches to talk about Edith's last book, To Love a Wicked Lord (Avon, 10/27), completed shortly before she passed away earlier this year. 

Oct. 19 – Ask-a-Wench debuts.  Each month, we will take one (or more) question(s) posed by our readers and discuss these questions in a blog.  Questions can come from any number of sources:  from your replies left in the comments section, from our master list of blog topics suggested by readers, and even from your e-mails.  (To submit questions via e-mail, send a message to our site manager/den mother, Sherrie Holmes.)  Anne will be hosting the first Ask-a-Wench, and has already chosen a few related questions gleaned from readers.  Other Wenches may contribute to AAW posts, depending on the questions.  We enjoy interacting with our readers and felt this would be a great opportunity for lively discussion.

So mark your calendars!  We have a busy October lined up.