Wednesday, May 7, 2008
Good evening all--
Thanks so much for keeping in touch with me on my wonderful, relaxing vacation. As you know, I've been hanging around with my girlfriends for the past couple of weeks--riding our bicycles through town, eating shave ice from street vendors, paddleboarding (don't try to make me show the photos of Christina--I won't do it), swimming, snorkeling and of course, making margaritas.
It's been especially cool to see how many of you are also connected to the Hawaiian islands--some in reality and some of you in your dreams. It's no wonder. The swaying palm trees and lapping waves and warm days bring out the dreamer in almost everyone.
But, alas, even in paradise, there is work to be done. Yesterday my husband and I spent ALL day in town, going to Costco (I bought far too many books), Borders (where I also bought too many books), Safeway, and Walmart. Yes, friends, you can fly far from the mainland, land on a beautiful island, and still discover that you need paper towels and sponges. So there I was yesterday, standing in the checkout aisle at Walmart, where, as you guessed it, I also bought too many books, and wondering exactly how long all this shopping would take me. The good news was that we went out for dinner on the way home and watched Dancing with the Stars on a big screen tv in the restaurant. And just for the record, I don't care what Carrie Ann says--Kristi and Mark's dance with the umbrella was beautiful. In fact, I'm starting to be irritated that the judges in general are too hard on the really good dancers and too easy on the lesser competitors. It worries me that their scores will cause some of my favorites to go home...it wouldn't be the first time in the reality show world. (Can anyone say Melinda Doolittle? Tamyra Gray? Sabrina from DWTS?)
Back to the real world, though. I've just heard from my editor that they're bringing my new book out in the beginning of the year--I'm hoping for February again. That was a lucky month for me. They're working on the cover as we speak. Last I heard, they were "playing with" peaches and golds as a color scheme. Sounds good to me. I can't wait to hear what you all think of the new one. It's a boldly romantic story with a breathless pace. It's been a long time since I've written a flat out love story, and let me tell you, this hero is something. :) I'm hopeful that we'll have ARC's for a few lucky readers at the end of the summer.
And now, for my BIG NEWS. My husband and I are planning a trip to Africa in the Fall. It's really going to be the trip of a lifetime, celebrating all our years of marriage in one fell swoop. Well, as I was planning the trip, I found myself studying more and more about the continent, and as I read more, I found myself wanting to do something to contribute. I didn't want to simply go to Africa and take; I wanted to give back. But how? More research ensued. In the end, I've chosen to contribute to the Botswana Book Project. It's a local, grass roots organization that distributes books to school age children in dire need. This year in particular the organization is focusing on popular fiction. That's right: they want the kind of paperback, popular novels that people love to read. Of course I had to help. So, to make a long story short, I'm collecting as many paperback novels as I can between now and the first of July. Then I'll send these novels off and help them get into the hands of faraway readers. I don't yet have all the information, but when I do, I'll pass it along. Maybe some of you would like to clean out your bookcases or go to your local bookstore for a good cause.
That's all the news that's fit to print from paradise. I'm heading off to the kitchen now to make coconut/panko crusted tiger prawns. One of my favorite recipes. :)
Aloha to all and thanks for keeping in touch. I treasure all of your posts and comments...
ps: I hope I uploaded a photo of Christina Dodd (left), Jill Marie Landis (center), and yours truly in Hawaii. Did I??? :)