I'm so happy to share that my second novel, The Bungalow, which will be out in December, has been picked by the lovely Kathy Patrick, who runs one of the biggest (if not the biggest!) book movements in the country, The Pulpwood Queen Book Club, as a book pick for 2012! Here's the official seal (so fun!): Kathy wrote to share this with me today, and I was so excited and honored! She has impeccable taste, and her selections are always so fantastic. (And, I almost fell out of my chair when she said that she thought The Bungalow would make a great movie---fingers crossed on that front!) I'll also be making an appearance at Kathy's big event in Jefferson, Texas, in January: The 2012 Girlfriend's Weekend! I'm really excited---and I'm bringing my baby, who will be 11 months then, and my mom too! My mom and I are calling this our Thelma & Louise adventure (the mom, daughter, baby, literary version!)

This vintage (circa 1970s) houseboat book just came in the mail, and I can't wait to dig into it! It's loaded with stories, history and photos of houseboat living over the years. Why the sudden interest in houseboats, you ask? Well, my fourth book is set on a houseboat, and I'm doing my research! I know, I know, I was formerly writing a book set in Paris, and I assure you that story is still alive and well---currently simmering! My process as a writer is to explore many story ideas and settle on the one that captures my heart most. And guess what? Houseboats and their inhabitants have fully captured my heart! I'm completely smitten with the characters and story, and have always loooooved houseboats (hello Sleepless in Seattle!), so it's pure fun to set a novel in one. Stay tuned for some exciting updates on this new story. And, help me, um, write it by telling me what you'd like to see in a book set on a houseboat! Character ideas? Names? Plot developments? I'm open to your ideas, readers!

The Bungalow is out on December 27, and I've heard little whispers that if you pre-order it from your favorite online retailer (you can find it here) there's a chance that Santa may tuck it into your stocking on Christmas morning. No promises, but sometimes Amazon and other e-tailers are able to ship pre-ordered books a little early, and it's always a fun surprise when they do! And, here's a little taste of Bora Bora for you (courtesy of Pinterest): Ahhhhhh.

In the last few days, my editor and agent have sent over a few fun things in the mail, and I had to share: 1. The audio CD book for VIOLETS (I haven't had a chance to listen to it yet, but I can't wait! And, I love that they used a photo of real wood violets on the cover!) 2. The hardcover edition of VIOLETS, which was a special printing for book club orders (it was so fun to see my book in hardcover!). 3. The hardcover version of my book in German (it's sooo pretty, and really lovely in person!) Such exciting surprises for an author to receive in the mail!

Hello lovelies! I was so excited when I heard from Tracie, a reader in Connecticut, who tweets here, about how her book club had read The Violets of March, and how they had planned an all-violet book club party for their discussion (think: table decked out with violets and purple food!). She even sent me a photo of the fun, with a bunch of gals sipping a blueberry cocktail! Love! This got me thinking about putting some ideas together for other book clubs who might be interested in hosting a Violets night similar to these trend-setters. And, here are my Violet-y suggestions: The food: Go blue and purple! Think eggplant Parmesan and maybe these yummy mini blueberry cheesecakes! For the cocktail: a lavender martini, of course! Here's an interesting recipe. (Photo credit) For music: Think 1940's of course---the era when Esther and Elliot fell in love! Have Billie Holiday, Glenn Miller and other big band tunes playing when guests arrive. For the decor: Violets of course, and maybe some sassy textiles/prints in violet shades for the table. Or you could go all out and do this (!), or, um, not!: And, I will be most happy to call in and chat/answer questions! I love book clubs.

That gorgeous, delicate blossom? It's a blackberry vine! Yes, the wild, gnarly weed of the Northwest has a great moment of beauty in the late spring/early summer and if you blink, you'll miss it. Have you ever seen a blackberry blossom? I strapped the baby in the Bjorn carrier and took the kids out to the alley behind our home in Seattle and photographed the blackberries in bloom. Why, you ask? Well, they play a vital role in my recently completed third novel (I'm so excited about this story--can't wait to share more!), and I wanted to document them in bloom. The kids were also thrilled to go on an adventure in the alley. They love the alley, especially Russell (2) who loves rocks, and dirt, and mud puddles (are you seeing a theme here?). Look at those delicate, soft blossoms! You'd never know that they're attached to vines thick with thorns! P.S. I'm craving blackberry pie!