I grew up in Poulsbo, Washington, the town just off the bridge from Bainbridge Island, where The Violets of March is set. The lovely book store there, Liberty Bay Books (just down the hill from the church I was married in!) has a nice display of Violets out, and my mom and dad (who live in Poulsbo) walked down today to snap some pictures. I am kind of loving that my book is right next to this year's Pulitzer winner. OMG! Too fun. If you ever are in this part of the country, pay a visit to Poulsbo, and stop into Liberty Bay Books and say hi.

The lovely book buyers at Costco picked The Violets of March as a favorite fiction pick for the month of May, which appeared in the Costco Connection magazine. Major ohmygosh moment over here. I am so flattered, honored, and excited that Costco shoppers will get to see the book. And, I don't know about you, but every time I'm at Costco, I make a beeline to the books section, which is always so well-stocked and so darn appealing! (Seriously, I always leave with a stack of books!) Here's the review that was printed in the Costco magazine (you can also see it here): "I've long believed that the right book finds you at the right time. From the moment I saw this book's jacket, I knew I had to read it. And I wasn't disappointed. Thirty-something Emily Wilson has lost the enviable life she had in her 20's,. At her aunt's request, Emily decides to spend the month of March on Bainbridge Island in Washington state. There she discovers an old diary that chronicles events that parallel her own life. The island becomes a place of healing for Emily--as I'm sure this book will become a source of healing and comfort for its readers." --Shana Rawers, assistant buyer, books I hope you'll look for The Violets of March next time you're at Costco! Snap a picture (and maybe toss one in your cart) for me please!

I'm so excited to share that the rights to my second novel, The Bungalow, sold today to Heyne Verlag, my publisher in Germany (a division of Random House). Heyne is printing the German version of The Violets of March (click here to see the gorgeous cover they've put together!), and I am so thrilled that they loved The Bungalow and have big plans to publish in Germany following my first book. Am I pinching myself? Yes I am! Violets comes out on Tuesday. Tuesday, friends! I am a ball of nerves. Someone teleport me a mug of chamomile tea---quick.

So, even though I'm running around like a madwoman prepping for the launch of The Violets of March (it's out next week! Can you believe it?! And have you pre-ordered? Thank you so much!), I've still been keeping up with life as normal, which means the usual drill: taking care of little boys and a baby and forging ahead with all my magazine work, including my beloved (three years now on the job!) Glamour.com health and fitness blog, Vitamin G. And, I recently had the chance to interview Gwyneth Paltrow, a truly memorable moment. Gwyneth has a new cookbook out, My Father's Daughter, which I think is pretty great. It's packed with delicious and healthy (for the most part---the brownies don't count) recipes and memories of her late father. So sweet. A funny story to share: I'd set up a phone interview with Gwyneth on Friday for a time when I'd have childcare, but due to a scheduling mix up, she called two hours earlier---at 7:45 a.m. when I was in my bathrobe nursing my baby. The 2-year-old and 4-year-old were watching Sesame Street, and I was simultaneously spooning cereal in their mouths. Yeah, not exactly great timing! Gwyneth's PR rep said it was her only window to do the interview, so I had two choices: a.) cancel, or b.) figure out a way to plow through, with a baby in my lap. Yup, you guessed it---I did the interview! When Gwyneth came on the line, she was kind and lovely and assured me that she's been in my situation many times when she had to do an important call while bouncing a baby or while her kids ran around in the background. She was so reassuring and fun, I felt like I was just talking to a fellow mom who is so used to the chaos of motherhood. So, as the baby nursed (you can imagine how awkward this was), which was my way of pacifying him while I talked, I took notes. I should also add: I'm a third-time mama, so I'm skilled at the art of multi-tasking while nursing, but that still didn't make it easy. Colby---2 months old---didn't really want to play along, so he fussed a bit as I took notes (wiggling around in protest) and asked questions as quickly as I could. I will always remember the time I interviewed Gwyneth with a baby in my arms, and I hope it will be a reminder to others (and to myself) of what we can accomplish as mothers. :)

UPDATE: My early giveaway copies have been spoken for! Wowza--those went fast. But, I just got a hold of 10 more. So, the offer still stands: Pre-order a book between NOW and the week of April 26 and I'll send a copy to the friend or family member of your choice! Just email me your receipt/proof of purchase--thanks!) Dear friends and readers: If you're thinking about ordering The Violets of March, will you think about snapping it up this week or next? I'm learning so much about this industry, but I'm told that the orders before the book comes out are very important for helping it make a big splash in its first month on the market. With that in mind, for the first 20 people who pre-order the book between now and the release date, April 26, I'll be sending an additional copy of the book to a person of your choice (think: friend, sister, mom, book club pal, person in need of cheering up!). Here's what to do: Just email me (sarah AT sarahjio DOT com) the "proof of purchase" (a scanned receipt, an email order confirmation from a bookseller like Amazon, Powell's or Barnes and Noble) that shows the purchase date between April 12 and April 26) and the name and address of the person you want your complimentary copy to be sent to. You know the old-fashion practice of putting flowers on people's doorsteps on May 1 (May Day)? Well, you can send a dear person in your life a literary flower instead with a copy of The Violets of March--my treat. Huge thanks, and happy reading!

Aren't these photos gorgeous?! The lovely Tiffany over at Dancing Branflakes posted them in a review of my novel recently. I was so flattered by all the kind things she had to say. And I flipped out over these beautiful photos (and I need to know where she got that cute dress she's wearing!!).