I live in Seattle, and I love it here (most of the time). I'm a sweater and big-mug-of-coffee kind of girl, so this city suits me, and I really don't mind the rain (except ask me how I feel about gray skies in June!). Anywho, tonight, I looked out my window and saw the most beautiful take-your-breath-away sunset. It was orange and purple and crimson all swirled together. And, because our neighbors across the street have a palm tree in their yard (I kid you not---an enormous two-story palm tree in Seattle), the scene looked like a snapshot from the Caribbean (another one of my favorite places on earth). I had to snap a photo and share with you!

I love, love, love hearing from readers. I wake up every morning, fire up my Blackberry and scroll through my messages---and smile extra big when I see an email from someone who has read The Violets of March and is writing to tell me how much they enjoyed the story. Truly, there is nothing an author loves more than to hear kind things from readers! After all, this is why we write. For you. I've been surprised and so excited by all the notes I've gotten lately from people who are giving my book as gifts to the special people in their lives---moms, grandmothers, aunts (someone even gave a copy to their very own Aunt Bee, just like in Violets!), mother-in-laws, sis-in-laws, best friends, etc. And, I squealed when I saw that The Violets of March has been making a long appearance in Amazon.com's "Most Gifted" books lists especially in the "literature and fiction" and "contemporary romance" tabs. Such an honor. The photo, above, was shared by a reader named Diana who asked me to send her a book plate signed for a special woman in her life. I mailed it along to her and she paired it with a lovely violet scarf for her gift. How sweet is that? Do you have someone in your life who needs a book and some cheering up? Let me know if you'd like me to mail you a personalized bookplate (a note from me with my signature that affixes to the inside cover of the book) so you can share with them!

In a little over two months, my second novel, The Bungalow, will be released! It's so fun to see it in book form, because I still remember the very moment when I got the idea for the story. I was sitting in bed late at night with my brainstorming notebook, and the title grabbed me and wouldn't let me go. I began brainstorming the plot and characters, and the next day I was writing up a synopsis to send to my agent. I can hardly believe how fast this year has gone (a quick refresher: I published my debut novel, had my third baby boy, and sold my third and fourth books--whew!). I'm so excited about this new story, and can't wait to see it in book stores. If you haven't already, I'd be so excited if you pre-ordered your copy at your favorite bookseller, or via Amazon or Barnes and Noble or other favorite online bookseller. Thank you so much for your support!

I'm getting cozy this fall as I work on my fourth book, The Last Camellia (I'm really enjoying the writing process on this one, and I can't wait to share more of the story with you!). I'm also craving all kinds of fall things, like apple cider, pumpkin anything and everything, and pies! When I was little, my mom used to make us these things she called "pie crispies," which were the leftover pie dough rolled out and baked with a sprinkle of cinnamon and sugar. Now, whenever I make pies, I make pie crispies for my boys. And they're much more rustic than the photo above (found here), by the way! I think what makes pie crispies so special is they are gone in a second. They're just made with scraps of dough, so you can never have very much of them, so you savor them. This is what my boys do---they love them, as I did as a child. Anyway, happy fall! Are you enjoying the season so far?