Hi everyone! I'm so excited to share this fun giveaway to celebrate the one-month countdown to publication of my third novel, Blackberry Winter. As you know, this is a very special and meaningful story to me, and I have never been more excited to send a book out into the world as I am right now. So, would you like to win this lovely blackberry-themed gift box? It contains: *A signed copy of Blackberry Winter *A special note from the author (moi!) *A jar of wild Northwest blackberry honey *A container of blackberry sage tea *A bottle of Lavanila Vanilla Blackberry Perfume (it is the most beautiful scent ever!) How to enter? Simply leave a comment below! I'll count shares via Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or your blog as an extra entry (just be sure to leave a separate comment for each time you share via a separate channel so you'll get the extra entries). The week before publication day (the book comes out on 9/25), I will choose a winner at random, and send the lucky person this box of blackberry bliss. In the meantime, I would be so, so, so excited if you pre-ordered a copy at your favorite independent bookstore, or online at Amazon or Barnes & Noble. (And if you win an extra copy, you can always give it to your favorite girlfriend, mom, grandma, babysitter, teacher or aunt as a gift, and keep all the other goodies for yourself!) :) Curious about the story? You can see the amazing things REAL SIMPLE had to say about the novel here, watch the book trailer here, learn more about the book here, and watch a really goofy video of me talking about my adventures in blackberry-pie-baking. Oh, also, I have a few remaining pre-publication galleys left, and I may just choose a few additional people here to share those with! Thank you for entering, and for your interest in Blackberry Winter!

I saw this plaque hanging in an antique store recently, and though I thought it was a lovely saying, I walked on. But as I continued through the store, the words haunted me. How many times have I considered paying someone a compliment, or stopping a stranger on the street or in a restaurant to say something nice or encouraging, but chose not to because I was too busy, tired, late, grumpy, fill-in-the-blank? Sadly, too many times. So I turned around and bought the plaque, and it's now hanging in my office.

Hi everyone, I am so incredibly excited to share some wonderful news: I have just received and accepted an offer from my amazing publisher, Plume (an imprint of Penguin), to write two new novels! My agent worked out the details of my new contract this week, just in time for the weekend when we can celebrate! The next two books, both untitled at present, will be my fifth and sixth books with Plume, and will be published in the next year and a half. Plume has me on an every eight-month publishing schedule right now, which satisfies my need to keep writing, writing, writing, and my readers who love to keep reading (thank you!). Though the formal announcement will be released next week, I wanted to give you all a sneak peek of what's to come from me: BLACKBERRY WINTER: To be published in a few weeks--on September 25th! THE LAST CAMELLIA: In production now, to be published on May 28, 2013! UNTITLED NEW BOOK #5: Will likely come out in the winter of 2013, or possibly early spring. UNTITLED NEW BOOK #6: Will come out about eight months after book #5. Though I can't give many hints about the new books yet, I can tell you that the fifth book is set in Seattle on a houseboat on Lake Union (you know, where Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan fell in love in "Sleepless in Seattle"!). So, that's my news! I'm so incredibly thrilled, and extremely grateful to my wonderful agent, Elisabeth Weed, and fabulous editor, Denise Roy. Funny story to share: I have three little boys (ages 5, 3 and 1), so there tends to NEVER be a good time to talk business on the phone during the day, but somehow I end up figuring out creative ways of sneaking in a phone call (um, like hiding in my closet). The last time my agent called about a book deal, I was shopping with the kids at Trader Joe's (I nearly fainted on the cereal aisle). This time? I was in a parking lot outside of Starbucks. Fortunately, my dad and mom (who were with us at the time), sat in the car with the kids while I chatted with Elisabeth outside. Funnily enough, she also had her kids in the car, and we had to wrap things up quickly when her baby and my baby started crying. :) Thank you, thank you, everyone, for reading my novels, cheering me on, and for your friendship and kindness to me over the years. I feel incredibly blessed and grateful to be able to do what I love most: tell stories. Hugs! And champagne all around!

I am so excited to share that Blackberry Winter was chosen as a must-read for fall by Real Simple magazine (the September issue hit subscriber mailboxes today, and I've been getting tweets, emails and Facebook posts from friends who saw the review---so fun!)! Here's the write-up: "This terrific novel alternates between two compelling narratives. The first is set in Seattle in 1933: An impoverished single mother kisses her young son, Daniel, goodnight and leaves to work the night shift at a hotel. When she returns early the next morning, Daniel is missing. The second pot follows Seattle Herald reporter Claire Aldridge in 2010, as she learns of Daniel's long-ago disappearance and vows to bring justice to his family. An intoxicating blend of mystery, history and romance, this book is hard to put down." Yay! Blackberry Winter is out on September 25---just weeks away. I would be so grateful if you'd pre-order a copy before its release date if you have a chance. Thanks all! P.S. Did you see the book trailer? You can watch it here.