Winter Garden Giveaway!!!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Hello everyone---
For a homebody, I sure have been traveling a lot lately. This past week saw me hurtling across the country to one of my favorite cities in the world. New York. Honestly, I adore this glittering, elegant, everybody's rushing around city. You may remember that last February, when I was in the Big Apple on tour, the weather was awful. Snowy and cold and ugly. I spent hours on edge, waiting to see if I would even be able to make my flight.
Not so this time. Last week, after a long and thankfully uneventful flight, I
I checked into my midtown highrise hotel and woke to a flawlessly blue day. And they were beginning to put up the Christmas decorations. I even got to see the tree being delivered into Rockefeller Center! I stood there like a classic tourist, mouth open in awe, watching the tree go up, with the brightly colored skaters gliding to and fro beneath it and the flags flapping in the breeze. It was a magical, Home Alone moment.
As many of you know, I went to NYC for a cocktail party. How cool is that? I mean, who would think a person would get to fly to NY for a party? It's all very Jennifer Aniston/Cameron Diaz, don't you think? And guess what? I wore big girl shoes. :) It sounds crazy, but as a writer who lives in a small town, I spend most of my time in sweats and Uggs. Heels are about as much a part of my life as high chairs are these days. But the cocktail party was in my honor, so I wanted to look my best. After much dithering, I ended up wearing a dress that I found at a small boutique in Italy, along with a handmade necklace that I bought from the same shop. And then there were the shoes--I bought them online from Nordstrom and failed to actually look at the heel height. When they came, I thought--no way. I can't walk in these. And then I thought, what the heck. I'm going for it. :) I practiced and had an absolute blast. The photos above are from the interview I did with WABC TV prior to the party--and yes, that's Night Road that celebrity interviewer Sandy Kenyon is flipping through. He was an absolute doll and made the interview a ton of fun.
But now it's back to real life. Like you, I'm gearing up for Thanksgiving (getting recipes together--thanks to many of you for ideas), re-working the first two hundred pages of the 2012 book, and beginning to contemplate Christmas shopping. How about you? What are you all doing these days? When do you start your holiday shopping?
Thanks to the many of you who voted for my tour stops this April. We were literally overwhelmed by the number of votes. My publisher is busy interpreting all the data and using it to figure out tour dates. I look forward to meeting as many of you as possible. Keep checking the blog and facebook for more information.
Finally, I'm doing a Winter Garden Giveaway on December 10th. There are two ways to enter. The easiest way is to go to my facebook page and "like" it. Anyone who likes the page is automatically entered. But of course, I want my firefly blog friends to be a part of the big giveaway, so if you can't join me on facebook, please email me through the website and just say enter me!
Good luck to all of you and here's to a wonderful Thanksgiving week for all of us. If anyone would like to share recipes for side dishes or desserts, please do. I LOVE collecting recipes and seeing what everyone else eats on the big day.
Aloha for now,

Happy Halloween!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Happy halloween, friends--

How can you not love a world which offers you a view like this on an autumn evening? As you know, I just got back from Italy, and it's easy on a trip like that to be seduced by all the beautiful places in the world--the historical sights and museum pieces and strangers-who-become-friends. But what's really magical is remembering how special it can be in your own backyard.

October has always been one of my favorite months. I love the crisp, cool air, the return of the deep green grass, the gilded sunsets, and the multi-colored leaves. But mostly, I love the last, heralded day of the month. Halloween. I love driving down the streets of my small town at five p.m., seeing the pint-sized ghouls and goblins and Harry Potters walking down the streets with their plastic jack-o-lantern candy carriers, clutching their parents' hands. I love the parents who walk these same streets in haphazard, hastily thrown together costumes, standing back while their kids go from door to door. It all reminds of the days, long ago, when my own little Batman held my hand and laughed at the door of every neighbor's house.

I also love Halloween because it is the beginning of the holiday season. I know, I know, we don't want to rush the chaos that's coming, and we all have huge holiday to do lists, but just now, in October, we can stand back and gaze with starry eyes at all the family moments and memories that are just beyond our reach. I can think about what my Thanksgiving menu will be, gather recipes, consider place settings, and imagine that the big day will be exactly what I want it to be. Of course, there's all the cooking, cleaning, shopping, planning, baking, etc. yet to come; but that's all in the hazy future. Today, I can think about how wonderful the holidays will be and how excited I am to get together with the people I love. And, best of all, I know my son will be coming home and for a little while, we'll all be together again...

All this holiday talk reminds me. What are some of YOUR favorite holiday recipes? What are the "must haves" on your holiday table? Maybe we could all share some recipes on the blog. I'm especially looking for an exceptional sweet potato recipe. Got one? Share it!

As you probably know, Winter Garden is coming out soon in trade paperback--perfect for the book clubs that have been waiting for it. I'm gearing up to do a big giveaway in December, and--drumroll, please, I'm also going to give away a few precious copies of my new book, Night Road. I'd like to give away some on Facebook and some on the blog. I'm just wondering--how many of you are on both the blog and my facebook page? For those of you who are both, which do you prefer and why?

Finally, don't forget that my publisher is currently planning my April book tour right now. I'll be hosting a book club in some city--and it could be your city. All you have to do is vote--and maybe I'll be coming to a book store near you. I'd LOVE to meet some fireflies on the road. The voting lasts for 10 more days, so let your voice be heard and VOTE! Here's the link:

Hope you all have a fabulous Halloween and an even better November...