Some of you have asked me about the novel I'm working on now. It's my fifth, and it's *almost* halfway complete. I'm excited about this book in a way I have never been about a book before (really and truly) and every night when I sit down to write, I feel a bit giddy. So, today I'm going to share two clues about this novel (I should add that no one has read a single sentence of it yet---for the moment, I'm keeping it to myself, but will be sending to my literary agent soon!). So

Doesn't this old house give you the shivers? Maybe it's more spooky because it's black-and-white? Anyhow, it made me gasp! I'm beginning to work on my fifth novel, which, I assure you, isn't spooky (well, not really!), and I came across this house photo while doing some research. I'm determined to have it be the setting for a future novel. Can't you imagine the poor lady of the house looking out of that tower longingly? What do you think her story is? I'll be thinking of it

Hello lovely readers! As most of the country (including my hometown---Seattle) is attempting to thaw out, I can't help but dream of sandy beaches and sunshine. If you haven't picked up my new novel, The Bungalow, yet, I hope you will enjoy the story, which is set on the island of Bora-Bora in the 1940s. With sun and sand in mind, I wanted to share a fun idea for book clubs: Host a tropical, beachy book club soiree! Here are some ideas. For starters, even if you can't get to the South Pacific (but wouldn't you love that?!), you can set a great table for the occasion, like the one below (photo credit): And, maybe throw in some fun lanterns: Stick an umbrella in whatever you decide to mix up for drinks! As for music, it's 1940's all the way! Pick your favorite---Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra, and get in the spirit of the decade. For snacks, serve up these tropical coconut + pineapple cupcakes (I love the hibiscus flowers on top! Photo credit): Make sure your girlfriends wear flip flops! And give your book cub pals a lei! And, for conversation

It's March! I've been waiting for this month for a long time, given that my debut novel, The Violets of March, came out in April of last year. :) Did you enjoy reading The Violets of March? If so, I have such a fun way for you to share the book with someone special in your life (a friend, mom, sister, grandmother, favorite aunt, co-worker, neighbor, teacher---you pick!). For the first 150 people who purchase a copy of The Violets of March this month and email me a copy of the receipt, I'll send a person of your choice a personal note with a signed bookplate along with a pouch of violet seeds to plant in your garden or a pot on your porch this spring!

This is the lovely cover of my publisher Plume's fall catalog. Guess what made the cover? Yes, blackberries! My editor tells me that the art for the catalog was one option for the cover of my book, Blackberry Winter (out on 9/25 of this year). Although I adore it, I'm completely in love with the snowy scene on the cover of my novel. Though, I do love the blue night background, don't you? Gorgeous.