Hello from Italy!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Hello everyone from beautiful Italy! It has taken a long time for me to find a good enough internet connection to update the blog, but don't think I've forgotten about you! I've been trying and trying...although I have to say, on my big birthday tour of Italy, I've found myself so busy that it's been hard to find time to sit down at my laptop. :)

This has truly been a magical trip--it's really taken the sting out of getting older. No, not really, I don't mind getting older. Don't get me wrong--I don't love some of the changes I'm seeing--but I really do like growing older. Wiser. Stronger. Bolder. Honestly, a lot of the things that bothered me when I was younger don't bother me now. But I digress.

The point is Italy. What a country. Like many of you, I have dreamed of seeing this countryside for years and years. When I was busy raising my son and building my career and being an important part of my community, I couldn't even think of taking a vacation this long. Now, I am loving it. I have finally found the one thing I love as much as writing--seeing the world. Experiencing new places and people and customs.

As you would expect, the food is remarkable. (Can you say elastic waistband??). And we have been enjoying it! I even took a cooking class and learned to make homemade pasta, among other things. It was wonderful.

Of course, I've been reading here and there---reread Harry Potter 7 in anticipation of the movie (as good as I remember and perhaps better), Fragile by Lisa Unger, a few research books, and the entire Hunger Games series. For those of you who have read the HG books, what did you think?

And now, for a little top secret news. My publisher is planning a promotion for Night Road. I'm going to be hosting a book club party in a city somewhere---and it could be your hometown!!! All you have to do is go to this link http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/3XMHKQ7 and vote for your city and club! Good luck!

Well, I'm off to see Michaelangelo's David! Only waited a lifetime for this...



Blogger princessapr said...

Sounds divine! Have a great and safe trip!

I read Jennifer Ashley, Maya Banks, Anne Cherian, Kandy Shepherd and Sara Gruen this month. I really enjoy the Jennifer Ashley series so far and enjoyed Water for Elephants (though didn't love it as much as a lot of fans). Big reading month for me.

I haven't read the Hunger Games series, but I've been reading a lot about it. I'm sure I'll break down eventually. I'll hold out a little longer, I think.

September 29, 2010 at 7:30 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Sounds and looks like you're having a wonderful time!

Things do get better with age! More things to look forward to, like the marriage of your son and grandkids "they are the best!" I read once a beautiful saying, "They fill a hole in our hearts we never knew was there" and I found that it is so true!

Because of your wonderful book ' Winter Garden' my husband and I are planning a trip to St. Petersburg for next summer. He was born in Russia and always wanted to go back. He was only a year old when the war broke out and his parent fled Russia. There were so many things in the book that reminded us of things his Dad would talk about, how bad things where there. He would always say how lucky we are to live in a country where we can say what we want and not be afraid. So I just want to thank you for inspiring us to fulfill his dream.

Peggy Bulat

September 29, 2010 at 3:36 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

How lucky! I've been wanting to go to Italy for years. My favorite places to visit would be the Pompeii, the colosseum, Vatican City and sit in a piazza eating a gelato. My BFF of 30 years think that 2012 should be the year. Anyway, can't wait for your next book. Thanks for sharing!

October 1, 2010 at 9:27 AM  
Blogger Patricia T. said...

Welcome home Kristin. Am so happy you got to live your dream of traveling to Italy. Such a wonderful way to mark a special time in your life!

I have been working the past two months on designing a 12-panel exhibit of Greg Mortenson's work (author of Three Cups of Tea) to build schools for girls in Pakistan and Afghanistan. The exhibit opened today at the Dayton International Peace Museuem and it was a very special event. It will run through December. We're challenging the youth in the Dayton area to raise $50,000 to build a school in Afghanistan.

We premiered the exhibit for a week at Xavier Univ. in Cincinnati prior to Greg Mortenson's talk Sept. 29. He liked the exhibit, and we ended up spending a very special hour alone with him at a press conference. Only two reporters showed, so we had an informal discussion. It was phenomenal to be so near to him and just talk. Had my picture taken with him. Hope he is wins the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize this year.

Now, that I can breath this week, plan to reread Harry Potter 7. Need a complete escape book.

Hope everyone on the blog is doing well.

Blessings to all,


October 3, 2010 at 8:50 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Sounds like an amazing trip!

I've just recently become a fan! My first book of yours was Winter Garden. What a beautiful book! I've since read several more of yours and love them all. I cried like a baby at the end of Firefly Lane. My girls were looking at me like I was crazy!

I just looked over my book log and cracked up at all the different genres that I've read. Here are a few, Jodi Picoult,Steig Larrson, Kathryn Shockett,you, Lois Lowrey,and Suzanne Collins. I'm presently reading 39 Clues--recommended by my 11 yr old :)

I loved ,loved ,loved the Hunger Games Series. Katniss is such a bold and brave character! I especially love being pulled in by something that I didn't think I would enjoy. The hard part for me is ending a series. I seem to always have a hard time beginning something new. I went into a little mourning period after the final Harry Potter :) I guess the characters kind of become my family.

Good books are such a gift!


October 4, 2010 at 11:23 PM  
Blogger princessapr said...

I totally broke down and got the Hunger Games series. I finished #1 last night and bought the other 2 this morning for my nook. I'm not surprised that I like them, but I'm surprised I liked them so much and that so much was packed into the book. I can't wait to get into the second later today!

October 12, 2010 at 9:50 AM  

Oh I envy you. Maybe someday our financial picture will get better and we can enjoy an extended vacation abroad.
I finished reading firefly lane today and cried my eyes out.

October 12, 2010 at 3:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like another person is a recent fan of yours. My first book was Firefly Lane. Talk about crying like a baby. Then came Between Sisters, etc. I can honestly say, I have never read a book I didn't love of yours! I have my library looking into to obtaining some of your older works. I just can't get enough! Hmm, would it be selfish for me to ask for more than one book a year??? Safe travels!

October 18, 2010 at 5:36 PM  
Anonymous Lynn said...

Saddend to read the obituary today of Belva Plain, who died on Oct 12. I see she actually has a new book coming out at the beginning of next year. She was 95.

October 18, 2010 at 6:08 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...

April---Did you read Ape House by Sara Gruen? If so, what do you think? I am kind of surprised you haven't read Hunger Games. They're so the rage...maybe that's why. :)

October 19, 2010 at 8:55 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...

Peggy, I am so so jealous of your upcoming trip to St. Petersburg!! I hope you wil grace us with some photos. Can't wait to hear all about it!

October 19, 2010 at 8:56 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...

Lakeshia--- I so hope you can make it to Italy...and with a BFF, how perfect. My favorite gelato was pistachio, but I need to try more flavors!

October 19, 2010 at 8:57 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...


What a wonderful project. I'd love it if you's share some photos with us. Maybe on facebook? Congratulations. It sounds like a great achievement. I still haven't read the book...better put it on my huge tbr pile.

October 19, 2010 at 8:58 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...


Welcome to the blog and to the "firefles." We're so glad you found your way here. I also post a bit on Facebook if you're on that social network, too. You sound like you read a lot of the same books I do. :) What's your favorite lately? And did you wish there was a little more romance between Katniss and Peeta at the end, or was that just me?

October 19, 2010 at 9:00 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...


Ha! Just read your second post. I knew you'd read and like the Hunger Games. Let me know what you think about the end...

October 19, 2010 at 9:01 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...

Crafts from the Heart--

I wish you the good fortune to someday be able to go. I know how tough it is--it took me twenty five years of dreaming about it to actually get there. Until you have the time and money and chance to travel, that's what books are for. What are your favorite books set in an exotic location?

October 19, 2010 at 9:03 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...

Lynn---I am so saddened to hear of Belva Plain's passing. I have very fond memories of reading her books. Thanks for sharing the news with us.

October 19, 2010 at 9:04 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...

Dear Anonymous (Kind of a mouthful--what's your name?)--

Welcome to the fireflies blog. I'm so glad you have discovered my books. What was your first one?

October 19, 2010 at 9:05 PM  
Blogger princessapr said...

I haven't read Ape House yet (JUST read Water for Elephants). I will read it eventually, I'm sure.

I loved the ending of Hunger Games. I liked the first and the politics of things felt drawn out between the last two books, but I really loved how it was all wrapped up. Suzanne Collins wrote the action so well. As a reader who has trouble seeing the action in books, I loved how she really made visual images pop.

I'm finishing up the Milennium trilogy now and then maybe onto our next book club book The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver. I didn't read The Poisonwood Bible so I'm curious about the author about whom I've heard nothing but raves.

We just read A Good Indian Wife and went out to Indian food to discuss. The book was an overall B from all of us (maybe a C from one member), but it gave us a lot to discuss and interesting to read about different cultures.

October 22, 2010 at 9:27 AM  
Blogger Randy said...

Sounds like you're having a great time - Nothing like a wonderful vacation.

October 24, 2010 at 8:05 AM  
Anonymous Evelyn said...

So, when are you coming "home," now that I'm aware of you. :) Would love to see that statue, too! I bet he would look great in jeans and a construction t-shirt. Don't ask me where that came form! Hope we can connect someday in the not-too-distant future!

Glad to have met, er, found you. :)

October 24, 2010 at 1:08 PM  
Blogger Tracie Lynne Hall said...

Sorry I'm tardy!
That's wonderful, Kristin, that you got to celebrate your birthday with a visit to Italy! France and London call to me. Don (hubby) and I got to go to both briefly in 2006 and, while I'm usually not one for repeats, we've agreed if we can ever manage another trip abroad seeing more of them would be our choice--so Italy probably won't happen and I depend on you to let me visit vicariously. ARgh! You guys keep adding to my long list of books to read, half of which I have to climb over to navigate my house---and now they're encroaching on my office at work! April, you are responsible for the "Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" having been added to the pile, and of course Kristin, you deserve the greatest blame with at least half a shelf (& growing) baring your name. So now I HAVE to watch for these..."Hunger Games?" because you guys have once again piqued my curiosity. But who am I kidding? I must have a decade's worth of reading here as it is. DARN that bookstore that only charges a dollar a book!
OK, better get back to the one I'm in now. Oh yeah, and please, no more 700+ page book recommendations! I think my poor hubby must be getting lonely while I shun all tv in preference to sticking my nose in "The Passage" in hopes it will be on my "read-it" pile before Thanksgiving. (I've been reading it since just after my last post over a month ago!)
Take care all,

October 28, 2010 at 10:48 PM  
Blogger Robbie said...

OK, I must be living in a cave! I just picked up your book Winter Garden and I LOVED IT!!! I found Angel Falls so grabbed it! now I have to check out all your other books. So glad I found you!

October 29, 2010 at 6:40 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...


What did you think of Water For Elephants? that's a book I've thought about reading several time--and bought more than a few copies of--but I haven't cracked it yet. Love to know what you think. I have to admit that i wanted a little more "romance" at the end of Mockingjay. Maybe my happy ever after thing is showing. I just loved Peeta, though!

November 1, 2010 at 12:00 AM  
Blogger Kristin said...

Thanks, Pastor Randy! It really was a great trip, but now it's back to the real world. :)

November 1, 2010 at 12:01 AM  
Blogger Kristin said...

Thanks, Evelyn---

It's great to meet you, too! Glad you found your way to the firefly blog!

November 1, 2010 at 12:02 AM  
Blogger Kristin said...

Tracie Lynn--

sorry to be contributing to your tbr pile, but why should I have the only one that towers over my bed? Do you have any recommendations for us?

November 1, 2010 at 12:03 AM  
Blogger Kristin said...

Welcome to the firefly blog, Robbie! It's great to have you here. I hope your cave is well decorated. :) What are you reading now?

November 1, 2010 at 12:04 AM  
Blogger princessapr said...

I actually really liked Water for Elephants. I expected not to love it as much as others because I'm not really into circuses and the plot didn't do much for me, but I really liked her style. I loved how she wrote the older characters and the way the story was crafted really well done.

I'm almost done with The Girl who Kicked the Hornet's Nest after which I'll be reading The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver for book club (but I may sneak in a couple of romances first).

I can see wanting a little bit of romance in Mockingjay, but the way it was written stuck with the style of the book. I think too much happy romance would have stuck out and seemed too contrived though I'm glad she ended up with who she did.

I will have Halloween pics up on my blog by this afternoon. Little Miss was Snow White and her cousin was Dopey. She also turned 3 last week. Time flies! :)

November 1, 2010 at 9:46 AM  

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