Botswana Book Project

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Aloha, friends---

Well, I'm back from the road trip to sunny southern California. We got our son set up in his apartment for his summer internship and said goodbye...only to get a phone call a week later that his wisdom teeth were still hurting. Of course I kicked into full helicopter mom mode and got him set up with an oral surgeon in Los Angeles, who called to say that they were rushing my son into immediate surgery. Wow. I have to say, it was absolutely horrible to have my child (even though he is a man now), alone and sick in a city fifteen hundred miles away. I don't think I slept well for days. Even worse was the fact that he was not healing well, and I knew it, and his oral surgeon totally patted my head and blew my off. Acted like I was a silly mom who needed to be placated. Don't you HATE that? I felt like pulling a Glenn Close and yelling, "I won't be ignored..." But of course, I was ignored, and he was sick. All I can say is that I'm glad I semi over reacted when he called to say it wasn't healing right. Those infections can turn bad much too quickly.

But now, finally, life is slowing turning back into its normal position. Although Seattle has still not seen the sun since I've been home, I do know that summer is on it's way. It's just stopped somewhere for a drink.

I'm beginning the copy editing of the book that's coming out in February. Soon I'll have a cover to show you all, and it won't be long at all before I'll be running a contest for one of you to read the manuscript--mistakes and all.

Best of all, I'm going away for a weekend with a girlfriend. It's our brainstorming/spa weekend where we spend about 48 hours yakking about the books we're going to start writing, sipping wine, and visiting the spa. No kids, no husbands, no schedules. Nothing to talk about except our books and our lives. In short, pure heaven.

Before I head off, though, I have a few bits of business to attend to. First of all, I promised all of you some scoop about my Africa trip, which is finally coming together. Honestly, my husband and I have never planned a trip of this magnitude before, and it's daunting. Airlines, hotels, passports, visas, shots, clothing. We're going a little mad getting ready for all of it. But one thing I've known from the beginning, is that I want to give back a little, and many of you have expressed a similar desire. So here goes: I've thrown my support behind a couple of Africa charities for this year. First on the list is the Botswana Book Project. This is an organization that collects books for schools in Africa. Can you imagine what it's like to live without books? One shudders at the thought. It seemed a perfect fit for me...and quite possibly for many of you as well. So if any of you would like to join me in the effort, the Book Project is looking for clean paperback novels to send off this July for the Get Botswana reading drive. This year, instead of school books, they want genre novels that people will enjoy reading in their spare time.

Please send books (or donations) to:

Books for Africa

Botswana Book Project

c/o Pam Shelton

715 East Minehaha Ave

St. Paul, MN 55106

Any donations sent before July 1, will make in the next shipment. Pam and I thank you all in advance for your help.

And here are my books/movie recommendations for the week: The Spiritualist, by Megan Chance. Yes, Megan is a good friend of mine, but she's still written a heck of a great book. :)

I have also read and loved this month--The Year of Fog, by Michelle Richmond, Domestic Affairs by Eileen Goudge, and the Sex and the City movie.

What about you guys? Any recommendations for me this week?

Aloha and have a great summer weekend---

PS: In the endless quest to master this whole blogging photo thing, I've sent along a photo from my book tour this year. This was a great party/book night put together by two great bookstores--Liberty Bay Books in Poulsbo and Eagle Harbor Books. As you can probably tell, we had a lot of fun...


Blogger Linda said...

Hey Kristin!!!

Long time no hear from me.. Sorry about that. I have had a couple of epiphanies, which I wrote about in my own blog. If anyone wants to find out what I have been up to this month, here is my blog URL:

As for your son..My husband is having the same wisdom tooth issue, and all of his need to be removed. His situation is not like your son's is YET, but they are all impacted, and he is going to the dentist later today to see if just 1 needs to come out or if all 4 have to go. I suspect all 4, which means oral surgery for him, and a wait list at our local dental school.

Please let me implore you to be an advocate for your son, your husband, as well as yourself, when it comes to everyone's health care. As I have mentioned before, I am an MT, and I know first hand from my own healthcare situation, that if you don't expect/demand better treatment, you will not get the same. Keep in mind that doctors and most medical staff are very stressed, and if they can placate a concerned family member with a "pat on their back", then that is what they will do. It isn't a bad thing, but it is what they have found works most of the time. Mother's are a breed all by themselves, didn't you know? If something is wrong with their child or children, they know it before the child does in most cases.

You have the right to have your questions answered, your concerns addressed, and if you believe it is needed, you have the right to demand further care. They are required by the Hippocratic Oath to do no harm to the patients that they are charged with taking care of. If your son had problems, the doctor should have taken a look, if for no other reason than because you had an instinct that something wasn't right.

So, please.. whenever you have that "gut feeling", ask nicely the first time..but if you feel as if you are being blown off, ask louder.. and keep asking over and over again, until you get what you need. Trust me, if you won't shut up, or if you continue to page the doctor/surgeon over and over, you will get that visit and the postoperative checks that would ease your mind. I can promise you that the doctors don't blow you off intentionally, but they definitely do not want a mom that is frantic with worry when a simple x-ray or clinic visit to calm their concerns. In your son's case, that clinic visit would have found the problem that the surgeon in LA found, and he would have been taken to surgery much closer to his mom in Seattle..

Please don't let any healthcare provider blow you off from now on.. My favorite doctor, Dr. Phil, :) tells us that you teach people how to treat you.. and if you allow any healthcare provider to give you less respect than you deserve as a human being, they will do it. Anyone will do that, not just healthcare please speak up if you believe it is important enough for you to lose sleep over. You can bet that the surgeon that did not pay attention to your concerns wasn't losing sleep this past week. He/she really thought everything was okay, and you knew in your gut that something wasn't right. Pay attention to it, won't you?

Okay, I will get off my soapbox..

As for the Botswana Book said to send clean paperbacks.. Do you mean paperbacks in good condition, or do you mean clean content, like no romance novels? I have a lot of books to send, but I am a bit confused about that sentence, and I don't want to send anything inappropriate. So, please give your readers a little bit more information.

What did you think about the book Domestic Affairs? I have thought about reading that book, uhhh, listening to it.. and personal reviews from one of my favorite authors would help push me over th edge to get it.. :) So, please help a girl out..

Have you read any of Meg Gardiner's books? She has a new one coming out called the Dirty Secrets Club that sounds absolutely devine!

I will wait for your response about the book project before I put a collection together to send to the address you gave.

I hope to hear from you soon.. and if you are on your way to spend several days with your friend already, have a wonderful time! I think you are so awesome in the way that you spend so much time with your girlfriends.. I also think you totally ROCK..

Have fun,

June 9, 2008 at 10:09 AM  
Blogger Cindy W said...

Hi Kristin. I saw Dear Frankie with Gerard Butler and what a great movie that was!!!!!

I am currently doing a Summer Book Challenge and we are reviewing on a blog each book we read 12 women times 15 summer books, crazy, right. I am reading On Mystic Lake for my "Title that makes you think of Summer"

I can't wait to get into that contest for an ARC....

I loaned my copy of Firefly Lane to a friend who absolutely adored it. When it comes out in paperback, I am going to buy a few copies for some long distant friends.

We will be headed to Tybee Island for our family vacation. It seems so far away!

Hope your son heels quickly.


June 9, 2008 at 9:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have loved Eileen Goudge's books for years. Can't wait to read the Domestic Affairs.

Since I did not particularly like The Thirteenth Tale, you asked what I would recommend. I recently reread Evergreen by Belva Plain because I didn't read the subsequent titles at the time. I rarely reread books, because,'s a short life! Why reread? Anyway, Evergreen is as great as I remembered it from (choke, gasp) roughly 25 years ago, and the next one, The Golden Cup is a page turner as well. What a's not really a sequel, more like a companion. It gives more background on other characters and some of the same storyline, but from a different point of view. I'm more than 1/2 way thru and I am really enjoying it.

I'm glad you son called you when he wasn't feeling well. You never outgrow being the mom!

June 11, 2008 at 11:19 AM  
Blogger Kristin said...

Dear Linda--

Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the whole doctor/patient as consumer thing. I actually happen to agree with you wholeheartedaly. Thankfully, all is well now, and I'm just glad we acted proactively when it started to look bad. Waiting would not have been a good thing.

As to the Botswana Book Project, your question is a really good one and I should have been more specific. They want books in good clean condition. Genre books of all kinds, preferably paperbacks. Apparently Danielle Steel is a favorite in Africa. So everyone, clean up those bookshelves and send off your paperbacks in the next couple of weeks. Thanks!!

And you can check out my review of Domestic Affairs on It's a great site where authors review books.

I'll try to find some Meg Gardner. Thanks for the recommendation.


June 12, 2008 at 2:07 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...


Thanks so much for the recommendation for Dear Frankie. I've been circling that DVD for years and have never picked it up. Now I definitely will!

Good luck on your summer reading program. I'm deep in research for the next book, so I'm envious of anyone who is reading for fun.

And where is Tybee island?


June 12, 2008 at 2:08 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...


Thanks so much for the recommendation for Dear Frankie. I've been circling that DVD for years and have never picked it up. Now I definitely will!

Good luck on your summer reading program. I'm deep in research for the next book, so I'm envious of anyone who is reading for fun.

And where is Tybee island?


June 12, 2008 at 2:09 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...


Gosh, I remember reading Evergreen twenty five years ago, too. I was a student in London, who happened to be spending the weekend in Paris, and what was I doing? Compulsively reading Evergreen. Sitting in a beautiful park on a bench, with my nose in a book. I had to tear myself away to go to the Louvre! I guess my fate as a writer was set even then; I just didn't know it.

I haven't heard of the Golden Cup, however. Can you tell us all more?

And while I'm in the book mode, how many of you out there are reading Stephanie Meyer? The final book in the Twilight saga is out in August...


June 12, 2008 at 2:11 PM  
Blogger princessapr said...

I'm reading Stephanie Meyer. I have to admit I'm not as caught up as a lot of other people. I still have Eclipse at home to read. My friend buys them, and I admit to borrowing them. I'll definitely see the movie in December though.

I've actually gotten back into romance in the last month. I've read a lot of Stephanie James, Julia Quinn and Mary Jo Putney. I haven't read a lighter historical romance in quite some time so it's a nice change of pace for me.

Hm... as for movies, I've gone to the juvenile. The husband and I saw Baby Mama and I also saw Fantastic Four 2 and Transformers on cable last week.

I'll look for recommendations because I got lots of gift cards for bookstores for my birthday (yesterday) so I can't wait to use them all!

Oh, I've actually been really into music lately which is why I'm not spending on books. I love the rise of the female singer songwriter thanks to You Tube and MySpace.

As for wisdom teeth, it was the last thing I did while still under my parents' insurance. Luckily, everything went smoothly. I still had my mom baby me. She made me chocolate fudge brownie milkshakes until I could eat solid food. :)


June 12, 2008 at 2:49 PM  
Blogger Chasing Inspriation said...

I've been a reading fool for the past couple of months and list the books I've read on my blog -

Some books that stand out are some series I've read recently (or have at least read the most recent books of recently):

The Black Dagger Brotherhood series by J. R. Ward - there are six books so far and I loved, loved, loved this last book titled Lover Enshrined. They do not stand alone because of some indepth and complex storylines, but they are so worth the read.

The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher -- I really loved the last book in this series and I think the universe JB has created is going in a unique and highly interesting direction. I wasn't so sure with some of the books leading up to Small Favor, but he wowed me and I'm as dedicated to the series as I've ever been.

Jessica Andersen, who has written for Harlequin Intrigue for years, has started her first single title paranormal romance series based on the Mayan Long Count Calendar. You know, the one that says the world will end in December of 2012? Well, she has created a wonderful world set in modern time that is a great mix of adventure, romance, mythology and the contemporary. The book is titled Nightkeepers and I'm looking forward to more from her.

As for movies, I haven't seen anything new or new to me in a long time. Since Horton Hears a Who, actually. I recommend that movie. *grin*

June 12, 2008 at 5:21 PM  
Blogger Chasing Inspriation said...

Oh, and Kristin, for the bookclub I belong to, I chose Magic Hour for our June book. We meet tomorrow evening. I was going to email you about your thoughts on the book but ran out of time. I will let you know how the discussion goes. It's not my first time reading it and I was happy to have an excuse to revisit this story. It's one of my favorites.

June 12, 2008 at 5:22 PM  
Blogger Cindy W said...

Tybee Island is near Savannah, GA in a nice little cove near Hilton Head.

You won't be sorry you picked up Dear Frankie. I can't wait to hear how you liked it. We just saw National Treasure 2 last night for our Family movie night. That was good too. We have Jumper for this weekend. Gotta love Summers and Netflix!

June 13, 2008 at 9:08 AM  
Blogger Linda said...

Hey Kristin!

I am reading a book now by Mary Kay Andrews that speaks of Tybee Island! The main character, BeBe (pronounced Bay-Bay) Loudermilk gets fleeced by a con man, and she loses everything she owns, except for a run-down hotel on Tybee Island. So, she moves into the hotel, redecorates it, gets all of the rooms rentable, and then catches wind that the guy who stole from her is in Florida, and she grabs her best friend Weezie, the hunky handyman at the hotel Harry, her grandpa Spencer (who also got fleeced by association with BeBe from the same guy) and they haul themselves down to Ft. Lauderdale to get their money back from Reddy Milbanks, (real name Roy Eugene Mosely) a.k.a Rory somebody, Riley somebody, and on and on. He always picks out a name with his own initials, REM, and he has spent quite a while fleecing other wealthy women, not just BeBe..

It is a really comical book, although the reader for this book isn't as good of a reader as the previous reader for Savannah Blues.

Here is the link you need to read all about Tybee Island!

Enjoy! It looks like a beach town full of tourists...:)


June 13, 2008 at 4:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Kristin! Until I can find all of your older books I missed at Half-Price, I'm being forced (smile) to read others. My latest recommendations have been awesome. They are:

The Year of Fog (Michelle Richmond)

Same Kind of Different as Me (Ron Hall & Denver Moore w/ Lynn Vincent)

Sunday's at Tiffany's (James Patterson)

Sail (James Patterson)

My Lobotomy (Howard Dully)

A Wolf At The Table (Augusten Burroughs)

Bright Shiny Morning (James Frey) - still reading that, can't bill it "awesome" just yet

Would love to know if you read any of the authors I've listed!

Can't wait to enter your next contest, since I missed the other by days. I'm ready, bring on the rules! =)

Best to you and your family. And, good luck with your current research!

June 14, 2008 at 5:12 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...


I think I"d love your mom's fudge brownie milkshake myself!! It sounds fabulous. It's amazing, isn't it, how our memories of our mothers are so tied up with food? I was just talking to my son on the phone (his teeth are finally better, thank God), and we were talking about all the foods I'm going to make for him when he gets home. He may not miss his mom like crazy, but he sure misses her cooking!

And did you see Across the Universe, April? Sort of merges music and movies...


June 25, 2008 at 11:39 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...


I'd love to hear more about these JR Ward books. I know she's doing really well, but I don't know what the storyline are. Fantasy? Erotica? And have you read the Chosen series? That's next on my reading list.

How did the Mystic Lake conversation go? I actually just did a book group meeting with some lovely, fun women who had read Mystic. I wish I'd been able to call your group. Maybe in February, when the next book is out...
And Horton tells me you've got small kids at home... :)


June 25, 2008 at 11:42 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...

Gee Linda and Cindi--

Well, it's looking like the fates are aligning. Tybee Island must be in my future. :) Since I just turned in my synopsis for my next book (pub 2010), I'll keep Tybee on the back burner for now. Maybe I'll just go for a vacation. It sounds perfect!

And Linda--did you ever send any of your paperbacks to Africa?


June 25, 2008 at 11:45 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...


You're right. It IS time for a new contest. I think I'll put on my thinking cap. I really loved reading the letters about best friends last time. I know it was a lot of work for people, and perhaps a few of you were intimidated to try your hand at writing, but every entry was so beautiful and perfect. I loved reading them. Hmmm....I'm thinking something about sisters next...

That's the big contest. There's something smaller coming up right now, though, so check out the new blog entry.


ps: I had wanted to read Sunday at Tiffany's but hadn't gotten around to it yet. I'll put it on the list. and I love A. Burroughs--

June 25, 2008 at 11:48 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...


I'm sorry I spelled your name wrong! I have the memory of a sieve...:)

June 25, 2008 at 11:49 PM  
Blogger princessapr said...

I did not see Across the Universe, but you're not the first to suggest it to me. I put it in my queue. It looked a little wild for my movie tastes, but I do like the Beatles and Julie Taymor (I think that's her name).

I'm glad your son's teeth are all better. I have to say my mother's cooking disasters lingered more than her cooking, but she always did make a good milkshake and desserts.


June 26, 2008 at 2:54 PM  
Blogger Chasing Inspriation said...

Oh, JR Ward is paranormal. They are hot, but the sex isn't the primary focus. She's created an entire alternate version of earth with vampires, slayers, angels and people. There are deities involved as well, but not any deities we know from myth, legend or religion. I recommend them. They do need to be read in order. :)

I have not read the Chosen series. Who writes it? What's the basic premise? I'm always up for more books. *g*

The Magic Hour conversation went well. This is a group of women who read mostly literature and stay away from relationship based books. They all agreed the book was good. They did say the pairings were predictable but loved the relationship between the girl and the psychiatrist. All in all, they said they would read more books by you. Which was my goal. Yay me!

Oh, we don't have small children, or any children at home. After almost 14 years of marriage, we think we're meant to be the cool aunt and uncle rather than parents. I actually love Dr. Seuss and so wanted to see Horton because that was my favorite book. There were way more adults in the theater than kids, which surprised me. Still, I'm glad I went.

June 26, 2008 at 3:01 PM  

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