Hello readers! Do you have a mom, grandma, or friend who likes to read books in large print? The large print edition of The Bungalow (as seen in the cover directly above) recently came out in hardcover, and I'd love to offer a signed copy to one of my readers! To enter, all you have to do is leave a comment below. And, you get an extra entry if you mention this link on Facebook or Twitter. (Just note that you did this in a **separate** comment below so you're in the running twice.) If you're lucky, this would make the perfect Mother's Day gift for your mom or grandma, huh?! And, if you'd like to order the large print edition of The Bungalow for someone in your life (or yourself!), you can find it here and here. The large print edition of The Violets of March will be coming out soon too!

I can hardly believe that it's been a full year since my first novel, The Violets of March, debuted. And what a year it has been! Thank you, all, for making this book a success, for sharing it with your friends and relatives, and for just being so lovely! I am truly grateful. And, you will never believe the very special discovery I made about violets, recently, in the book Folklore and Symbolism of Flowers, Plants and Trees by Ernst and Johanna Lehner. According to the ancient flower calendar from the middle ages (dating back to 1493 Germany) the violet is the official flower of March! How cool is this? I had no idea this was the case when I set out to write The Violets of March. It seems so fateful and meant to be! And, more violet-y fun: The Violets of March covers from around the world, and the actual violets that inspired the book! And, a fun day for Violets that I'll never forget!

How dreamy is this cover from my publisher in Germany (Heyne-Diana/Verlag--a division of Random House), for The Bungalow, which will be coming out in hardcover there in August! Don't you just want to pluck a hibiscus and go sailing off in that little boat? Better yet if you had a certain Mr. Westry Green to do the rowing for you! The title translates into: "On a Day With You." Swoon! And, I was so excited to see that, once again, the book cover made the cover of the sales catalog for the season. So pretty, right? (It feels like a nice companion to the cover they used for The Violets of March, which debuted in hardcover in Germany last year, and will soon be releasing in paperback.) I'm also thrilled to announce that my editor in Germany just purchased Blackberry Winter, to debut in 2013!

One of the most exciting things for me in this year (almost) of having my first book out (and second, and several more in the pipeline!), is the fun of seeing my books being translated into other languages. To date, I have sold rights to my books in 10 countries and counting! The covers are starting to trickle in from various countries who have or will be soon publishing my books, and I wanted to share a few for The Violets of March. In this case, from Spain, Germany and Poland. (To come: Romania, Croatia, Italy, France, China, Turkey

***Update! A winner has been chosen at random. Congratulations, Katrina!*** Today, I'm giving away a copy of the lovely, lovely author Kristina McMorris' new book, Bridge of Scarlet Leaves! Not only did I adore this book, but I adore its author. I had a chance to meet her in Portland for my reading at Powell's, and then I got to see her again in Seattle for an event at Third Place Books, where Kristina read from her new book and hosted a panel where two Japanese-American internees shared their story about life in internment camps during World War II and told such touching, memorable stories! Here's more about the book: Los Angeles, 1941. Violinist Maddie Kern's life seemed destined to unfold with the predictable elegance of a Bach concerto. Then she fell in love with Lane Moritomo. Her brother's best friend, Lane is the handsome, ambitious son of Japanese immigrants. Maddie was prepared for disapproval from their families, but when Pearl Harbor is bombed the day after she and Lane elope, the full force of their decision becomes apparent. In the eyes of a fearful nation, Lane is no longer just an outsider, but an enemy. When her husband is interned at a war relocation camp, Maddie follows, sacrificing her Juilliard ambitions. Behind barbed wire, tension simmers and the line between patriot and traitor blurs. As Maddie strives for the hard-won acceptance of her new family, Lane risks everything to prove his allegiance to America, at tremendous cost. Skillfully capturing one of the most controversial episodes in recent American history, Kristina McMorris draws readers into a novel filled with triumphs and heartbreaking loss--an authentic, moving testament to love, forgiveness, and the enduring music of the human spirit. You can order the book here, here, and here. And, to enter to win a copy of this book, plus a few other treats from Kristina, just leave a comment here answering this question: What's your favorite time period to read about in novels? Present? Past? A favorite decade? Why?

My lovely editor sent me a few early copies of the printed covers for Blackberry Winter (just samples in the pre-printing phase) and they are looking really good! I was dazzled with the embossed font (wow!), and the gorgeous, intricate design on the spine. Plus, the text on the back and font types were just lovely. I couldn't be happier with this cover! Now, to wait until September 25th so I can share this story with you all! For now, I hope you can pre-order your copy (pre-order specials of $7-ish are going on at many online retailers now)! You can find it here, and here, and also here! Hugs!