I am so thrilled to share the beautiful cover of the German version of The Violets of March! They've changed the title, which translates loosely into the beautiful and romantic words "Somewhere, Forever." How gorgeous is that? It makes me want to hop on a dreamy bicycle (with a basket) and wear a red scarf! The book will be published by Heyne/Verlag in the fall (it's a division of Random House in Germany), in hardcover. And, super exciting, also, the book cover made the cover of their fall catalog, which goes out to booksellers across Germany. I'm so honored! Here's the cover of the catalog: And, here's the inside of the catalog, with the pages that feature my book:

In the weeks leading up to the debut of my novel, The Violets of March, lots of news is coming in---reviews, sales info, book sightings, and publicity tidbits (stay tuned for some exciting news in the weeks ahead!!), which has been so much fun. So, my husband has been really great about, well, keeping it real. Take this convo we had in the car recently when I was dissecting the review in Publisher's Weekly: Me: "They called the book 'easy-to-digest'. You think that's good, right? Right?" Husband: "Yeah." Me: "I mean, I'm not Hemingway. I guess I should view it as a compliment that they called it easy to read. Right? Right? Work with me here, honey." Husband: "Yeah." Long pause. "Well, you don't really use very many big words in the book." Me: Now smug. Looking out the window. Arms crossed. "What do you mean I don't use very many 'big words?!!!!'" :) And, I'm happy to share that Spanish rights to Violets have been sold, which means if you happen to be visiting Spain in the months ahead, you can pick up my book there. Felicidades!

The reviews are starting to pour in for Violets, and I'm nervously holding my breath. This week Publisher's Weekly used words like "lovely" and "pleasant" to describe my story (I'll take that!), and I'm loving the review from RT Book Reviews, which calls the novel an "endearing tale" and gave it four stars! I really loved how the reviewer, Debra LiCausi, beautifully summed up the story: "Using the curious nature of wood violets, which have bloomed on the island in an off-season to signal promise and redemption, the story's setting and sentiment are sure to entice readers and keep them captivated page after page." Woohoo!

Do you read the beautiful blog Nie Nie Dialogues, written by the brave, inspiring Stephanie (the mother of four and survivor of a near-fatal airplane crash)? I adore reading her blog and came across this gorgeous passage she wrote about motherhood, which gave me goosebumps: I love when I stay at home all day and cook, clean, organize, garden and other wonderful housewife-work. Which is what I happily did today, and feeling very content about it. I strongly believe that housework is the most rewarding feeling. I enjoy the thoughts of my children coming home from school to a clean warm home. I love thinking that when they use the bathroom, the white tile is clean, fresh smelling soap and plenty of fluffy toilet paper available. I love when they drop their backpacks and coats down in the entryway, {sometimes} and run to the kitchen to see what is cooking, and I love when there is something cooking. I love seeing rocks and treasures in Ollie's jean pockets when I do the wash. And I hate to think that my children will be old one day and I won't do those things for them anymore. I do those things for my husband and children to show them that I love them so. Beautiful. I hope she writes a book soon. I'd so love to read it.

Excited to share the latest good-news update for The Violets of March. I heard from my editor at Penguin today who shared that the audio rights for the book have sold! This means that you will now be able to listen to my novel in your car (or on your iPod, I think)--woohoo! I'm so excited about hearing a narrator read the story. I'm sure it will feel like a completely new tale to me (even if I did write it myself!) hearing it in the voice of someone else. Can't wait! Do you listen to audio books? P.S. Check out this lovely review of Violets over at the GirlfriendBooks.com blog!

He's growing like a weed, this kid. He's on his way to being 8 weeks old. How did this happen? (And, ahem, why is he still waking up 4 times a night!) We love this little baby, and his ambiguously red hair. His eye color? It's anyone's guess right now. Some days they look blue, others, we're certain they'll be brown. Today, I'm kind of thinking hazel.

That's Colby, our new baby (7 weeks old today!) on the day he was born. He's a spunky little fellow (with strawberry blondish hair to match), and a few days ago I was convinced he had colic---you know, the mysterious crying "illness" that some babies seem to have. I'm pretty gun-shy about colic, because our firstborn, Carson, had it, and let me tell you---the boy cried for the first 9 months of his life. We survived by bouncing, rocking, running the vacuum cleaner---anything to keep him moving and fuss-free. Anyway, Colby is a pretty intense baby by nature (and by that I mean he knows what he wants and he wants it now!), but when he began going through some extreme crying fits this past week, I was convinced that he was following in his big brother's footsteps. And I was so worried. Looking back, the first year of motherhood for me (four years ago now) were some of the hardest months of my life. Every mom wants a happy baby, and instead, mine was extremely fussy. I always tell people that I cried along with him, every day of his life, just about. I was certain I was doing something wrong. Why else would my baby cry so much? The good news is that Carson eventually stopped crying (we still don't know why he was so fussy), and his intensity bloomed in other wonderful ways. Today, at age 4, Carson is a sensitive, kind, creative and exuberant little boy. We're so proud of him. (For the record, our middle boy, Russell, now 2, was the world's easiest baby. A nice breather between two intense kids!) Colby is intense too, but I can do without the colic, thankyouverymuch, which is why I'm happy to announce that I think the cause of Colby's fussies is not colic. He's been mellow for the past few days---just crying at the usual times (when he's hungry or tired). He still makes me walk with him 24-7 (no sitting down for mama!), but at least we've got the crying under control. For now. Which brings me to the point of this post: I survived colic with my firstborn. And, subsequently, I want to reach out to other moms going through the same experience. A baby who cries persistently has a way of making mamas weary. It's exhausting and difficult in every way (especially when your sister's or best friend's baby is calm and content---makes you think you're doing something wrong!), and the experience can exacerbate postpartum depression (I know about that) which can be solved by taking some maeng da powder, but that's your decision. While I was going through my firstborn's colicky phase, I loved talking to women who had "survived" colic. Their stories got me through it. And, I want to offer to help other moms in the same boat. Is your baby colicky? Are you at the end of your rope? Need tips on how to deal? I am so here for you. Email me. Let's talk.

My darling readers, would you like to win an early copy of my novel, some chocolates to munch on and a gift card to Starbucks for a few lattes on me? Of course you do! Then please head over to my author page on Facebook and "like" it, then leave me a comment there (anything will do!) and you'll be officially entered. I'll choose a winner at random. Hope it's you! (And, P.S. Please spread the word! I'd be so grateful.)