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Book Clubs, Signings, And Miscellaneous Appearances

  • September 25, 2012

My favorite season is here! I’m a cool-weather girl and always have been, and I’ll take fall over summer any day which probably makes me sound really weird (I’m especially fond of cold and rainy fall days. See? Weird). I’m really looking forward to my first fall as a full-time writer because as soon as it gets cold enough, I’ll be turning on the fireplace (yes it’s gas. Yes the real thing would be better). My writing chair is conveniently located right next to it and there’s nothing I love more than writing in front of the fireplace.

Anyway, this fall will also be insanely busy. Many of you have asked about Covet; I turn the manuscript in to my publisher on November 15th and the days leading up to that deadline are going to be intense. Not because I’m in danger of not making the deadline (the book is almost done), but because the revision stage (which will begin around October 1st) is all-consuming. I love the revision stage, but I have a hard time sleeping and/or concentrating on anything else which can make me appear reclusive and anti-social. Also ungroomed (if you see me at the grocery store at 10:00 p.m. in my pajamas with no makeup and a ponytail, please don’t judge).

Also, many of you have asked about the release date for Covet. I had originally planned on self-publishing Covet this fall. But because of all the wonderful things that have happened in the last six months I would have been hard-pressed to make that deadline, and had I not signed with Penguin I would have undoubtedly pushed the release back to winter 2013. I spend 3-4 hours a day working on things related to On the Island: answering reader e-mails, responding to tweets and Facebook messages, and fulfilling requests from my US, UK, and Canadian publicists (interviews, Q&A’s, etc…). On top of that, I still have to actually write. A year ago, when I stated that Covet would come out this fall I had no idea what fate had in store for me, and I’m eternally grateful for all the good fortune I’ve experienced. But it has required adjustments to my timeline and I hope you’ll understand my need to be flexible. Also, Covet will be released in hardcover and Penguin/Dutton will need time to make sure they have completed all the steps necessary to put the book on the shelves of bookstores everywhere. As soon as I have a firm release date, I promise I’ll share it with you.

After I turn in Covet I’ll attempt to take the rest of the month off from writing to enjoy Thanksgiving and my daughter’s birthday. But in December I’m launching right into another project that I’m very excited about. I can’t tell you about it yet, but I’ll provide all the details as soon as I can. Hint: there might be something this spring that will tide you over until Covet is released. It may involve another character from On the Island

Okay, now that we’ve gotten all that out of the way, here’s what’s going on in September and October:

Tuesday, September 25th – Skype chat with the RGV Book Junkies.
Wednesday, September 26th, Book Club – 7:00 p.m.
Thursday, September 27th, Dallas Center Library – 7:00 p.m (presentation and signing).
Friday, September 29th – Sunday, September 30th, TFEIC event in Chicago, Palmer House Hilton (Saturday’s author meet and greet is from 12-4). This event will be epic! Read all about it here.
Thursday, October 4th – Chick Lit Twitter chat – 8:00 pm. EST (use the hashtag #ChickLitChat).
Tuesday, October 9th – Book Club – 7:00 p.m.
Thursday, October 11th, 7:00 p.m. I will be at The Book Vault in Oskaloosa. Click here for details.
Tuesday, October 16th, Skype chat.
Sunday, October 28th – WOW (Wonder of Words) Festival, Des Moines. I’ll be giving a presentation at 5:00 p.m. Click here for details.

I’m not adding any more dates on the calendar for now, to allow for time to go through the editing process with my editor and also to enjoy my cold and snowy evenings this holiday season.

But as soon as January gets here, I’m ready to fill that calendar back up again 🙂


Hey, Winners. I’m Still Waiting To Hear From Some Of You

  • September 16, 2012

Happy Saturday!

The two $50 Amazon gift cards and the e-readers have been mailed/shipped to the lucky winners of my recent giveaway.

I have also mailed copies of On the Island (original cover) to:

Kristia Miltiadou
Ely Yant
Carrie Taylor
Devi Hadikusumo
Nicole Monack
Rob Zimmerman
Sharon Herbert
Miranda Hoffert

But I still need mailing addresses from:

Megan McGallis Guntrum
Angie Tsiros

I have also mailed copies of On the Island (Penguin cover) to:

Deanna Pyles
Anaiz Jaramillo
Jennifer Condron
Jenny White
Elisha Sandell
Ashley Chapman

But I still need mailing addresses from:

Erin Arkin
Crystal Alberta
Dan Amsden

If you entered with only your first name and you’re not sure if you’re a winner, e-mail me at [email protected] and I can verify by cross-checking your e-mail address.

And winners – e-mail me! I’d love to send you your books. I will give you another week and if I don’t hear from you, I’ll start selecting more names.

I’ll be waiting 🙂


And The Winner Is…

  • September 12, 2012

Good morning everyone!

I am pleased to announce that the winner of the Kindle DX is entry #137, Bobbie Desmond! Bobbie, please make sure to send me your shipping address at [email protected]. I’ll order your Kindle right away 🙂

*There will be two winners for the $50 Amazon gift cards because there were so many great comments and I couldn’t make up my mind.

The first winner is Kar, who wrote “A fully stocked wine cellar. I could sleep in it, Sip some good wine while watching sunset, after sunset, after sunset, after sunset. And if anyone came to rescue me I would already have a thank you gift. (I am hospitable like that).”

Wine makes everything better, am I right? I could probably handle everything else if I knew I could have a glass of wine every night while I’m sitting on the white-sand beach, staring at the water. I love the dual purpose of the wine cellar (shelter and a place to store those bottles), plus Kar is very thoughtful and I’m impressed with her hospitality.

The second winner is Sara Queen! I’m in total agreement with her suggestion because I might have a teeny-tiny crush on this man:


Oh, Bear Grylls. I’d take you and your mad survival skills to an island with me in a heartbeat. Don’t wash your face. No really, don’t.

Seeing things like this make me not want to kiss you, Bear.

Okay, I’ll totally still kiss you but wipe your mouth off first, okay?  Then maybe swish some water around in it because I’m pretty sure that’s a snake and OMG, gross.

But Bear + wine = I.AM.STAYING.FOR.A.WHILE.

So there you have it! Thank you for a wonderful 4 days of comments and good wishes. If you’re a winner don’t forget to send me an e-mail. 



*Those of you that said baby oil made me smile 🙂

Final Day Of The Giveaway – Win A Kindle DX!

  • September 11, 2012

Wow! Yesterday’s comments just blew me away. Reading about who everyone’s favorite secondary characters are was very enlightening. Looks like Bones was the clear favorite, followed by Ben, Sarah, and T.J. and Anna’s parents.

I took notes, everyone. Oh yes I did.

I’m also thrilled to announce that the winners of yesterday’s Nook Color tablets are :

Entry #40Whitney B.
Entry #17Gina H.
Entry #8, Ashley C., already won on day 2 of the giveaway so the rafflecopter chose a third name. I’m sorry, Ashley C.

If you are one of the winners, please send me your full name and shipping address to: [email protected]. I’ll order your Nook as soon as I have the information. Congratulations!!

A Kindle DX is up for grabs in today’s giveaway. In the comments section, tell me what item you would most want to have if you were stranded on a deserted island. As a bonus, I’ll award a $50 Amazon gift card to the commenter with the most creative answer. Hint: not necessarily the most practical item (so don’t say, like, waterproof satellite phone).

There are many winners from the first two days of the giveaway who have not claimed their prizes yet. Please check this post and this post to see if you’ve won.

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Now You’re All Just Making Me Cry – Day 3 Of The Giveaway

  • September 10, 2012

***Update: Winners of the day 2 giveaway are now displayed. Scroll down to the bottom of this page and see if the rafflecopter picked you 🙂 If you’re a winner, please e-mail me at [email protected]. I’ll need your full name and mailing address.

Each night, when I’m setting up the rafflecopter for the new giveaway, I read through all the comments one more time. You outdid yourselves with yesterday’s comments about your favorite scene from On the Island.

They made me cry.

Not giant ugly tears like I cried when I wrote some of those scenes. But grateful oh my God, how did this even happen? kind of tears. Once again, words cannot express how much your comments mean to me. Thank you so much.

It’s been over two years since I started writing On the Island, and over a year since I finished it. In some ways I’ve moved on. I’m almost done with my second book and I’m immersed in a new story, with new characters. But reading all of your comments has brought back wonderful memories of those scenes. I remember how I struggled to write some of your favorites. How I re-wrote some of them three different ways before finally deciding which version I liked best. Thank you so much for sharing your feedback with me.

Now for day 3 of the giveaway! Two wonderful readers will win a Nook Color. As long as I can ship it to you (via the Barnes & Noble website), you are eligible.

In the comment section, tell me who your favorite secondary character is. I’d love to know if there were other characters you connected with. Also, who would you most like to see in a spin-off story? Here are some of the choices:

Henry Elings
Dean Lewis
T.J.’s dad
T.J.’s mom

I’m having a teeny-tiny bit of difficulty with the rafflecopter for yesterday’s giveaway. It’s chosen the winners but it won’t display them. I’m working on it and as soon as I figure it out, I’ll post the names. There are still 7 of you who need to e-mail me your full name and mailing address from Friday’s day 1 giveaway (so send me your info at [email protected]).

After you leave a comment, make sure you also login to the rafflecopter using your Facebook login or your e-mail address so that you’ll be eligible to win today’s prize.

Happy Monday, everyone!



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Because I love You All, Day 2

  • September 9, 2012

Congratulations to the winners of the day 1 giveaway! 13 signed copies of On the Island (original cover) will be mailed out this week. If you haven’t e-mailed your full name and mailing address to me at [email protected], please do so and I’ll get your package ready. Want to find out if you won? Check yesterday’s post and scroll down to the rafflecopter.

Okay, now for the second giveaway. Up for grabs today are 10 signed paperback copies with the beautiful Penguin cover. It’s the one that looks like this:

All you have to do is this: In the comments section, tell me what your favorite scene is from On the Island. Then, make sure you login to the rafflecopter. You must do both to be eligible to win. Once again, this giveaway is open to EVERYONE and if you entered on day 1, you can enter this one, too.
You all brought tears to my eyes yesterday with your wonderful comments. I have the best readers in the world. Thank you!!

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Because I Love You Guys, Really I Do

  • September 7, 2012

****The giveaway for one of the 13 signed copies of On the Island has ended. Scroll down to the rafflecopter to see if you’ve won! If your name is listed, e-mail me your full name and mailing address at [email protected].

I appreciate all of the wonderful comments; they made me cry!!

A year ago last weekend (September 3rd, 2011, to be exact), I self-published my debut novel, On the Island, with no idea what to expect.

It felt weird. Really weird. It also felt good. The availability of self-publishing programs meant I didn’t have to shove my novel in a drawer and hope that someone would take a chance on the next book I wrote. 

Not much changed. I still went to my day job. My kids still fought (constantly). And my husband and I still tried to find time to have an uninterrupted conversation (and maybe a glass of wine).

A few months later, things started to change a little bit. Sales went up, although not dramatically. I received some reviews that were so heartfelt they literally brought tears to my eyes and made me smile for days. I received some awesome e-mails from readers who lived all over the world. It was incredibly satisfying and wonderful and I considered myself lucky.

In the spring, things really got crazy. April and May are one big blur…In June, Penguin publishing offered me a two-book deal and put On the Island on bookshelves everywhere. 

A year ago, I just wanted to find an audience. I just wanted the book I spent 18 months writing to be available to those who might want to read it.

One year later:

Over half a million copies of On the Island have been sold.   
On the Island is available in paperback, ebook, and audiobook. 
Foreign rights have been sold in 23 countries.
MGM has optioned the book for a feature film.
On the Island spent over 10 weeks on the NYT bestseller list, reaching #5 in the e-book category and #12 for the trade paperback.

I no longer have a day job because writing full-time is my day job. I get to spend time with both kids every morning before sending them off to the bus stop. My work wardrobe consists of yoga pants and T-shirts. I spend my days in a quiet house with Chloe curled up next to me.

I don’t even know what to say that will convey my true feelings about this. Or how to thank all of you. Because you, the readers, are the ones who made it happen. I’m eternally grateful and I think it’s time for one big THANK YOU FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY HEART.

Here’s how it will work: I’m giving away 1 Kindle DX, 2 Nook Colors, and 23 signed paperbacks (13 with the original cover – because that’s how many I have stacked on my dining room table – and 10 with the Penguin cover).

This giveaway will span 4 days and I’ll be using the rafflecopter to choose the winners. And this giveaway is open to EVERYONE. I don’t care where you live. You’re eligible. You can enter every day of the giveaway, but you can only win once.

So let’s start with the signed original paperback. The one that looks like this: I have 13 to give away.

All you have to do is leave a comment telling me how you heard about On the Island (make sure you also login to rafflecopter with either your facebook login or e-mail to enter the giveaway). I want to know what led you to this book. And I want you to know how much that has meant to me.

So, from the bottom of my heart, thank you.



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