Cover reveal #1

January 14th, 2014

Ta da!

ABSOLUTELY TRULY cover

 

I promised you a cover reveal, and here it is. Isn’t it breathtaking? 

I am just over the MOON about this cover! Could it possibly be any more gorgeous? Or intriguing? It’s absolutely truly perfect!

And did you notice the owl?  There’s one on the back cover as well:

ABSOLUTELY TRULY back cover

(By the way, if you click on these pictures, they should enlarge for you so you can see all the glorious detail.)

Those of you who have been reading my blog for a while may remember that right around this time last year, I spotted an owl in my backyard. (Click here to read about it.) I was flailing around with ABSOLUTELY TRULY at the time, my writerly tires stuck in the mud. I was desperately in need of something to get the story going again, but I wasn’t sure what that something was until it arrived on my doorstep. What followed was some happy research (click here for the lowdown on that) and a much better book — which you’ll be able to read next November!

I know that’s a long time away, but I couldn’t resist sharing this beautiful cover with you. I promise to post a sneak peek of the first chapter or two in a bit here. We’re still tweaking a few things, but look for it in a few weeks.

And guess what? I have TWO BOOKS coming out in 2014, so a second cover reveal will also be coming along soon!

 

 

Owls on my mind

January 14th, 2013

Can you tell what I’ve been researching lately?

Owl booksHere are a few fun facts that I’ve learned so far:

1.  Owls’ eyes are fixed in their sockets, so they have to turn their whole head in order to look in any given direction.

2.  There are somewhere between 140 and 200 owl species worldwide (scientists are not in agreement on the total), and North America is home to 21 of those species.  The largest is the Great Gray at about 27 inches tall; the smallest is the Elf Owl at 6 inches tall.

3.  Owls have particularly soft feathers, and the ones at the front edge of their wings are fringed, which acts as a silencer.

4.  The word “owl” comes from the Old English word “ule,” meaning “to howl.”

When I went to my local library here in Garden Home (that’s really the name of the community where I live — isn’t it fabulous?) to pick up the stack of books I’d reserved, I showed off the picture I took of the owl in my backyard to my librarian friends.  (Click here to see it.)  Someone behind us piped up, “It’s probably a Barred Owl.”  I turned around to see a smiling woman in an “Audubon Society Staff” sweatshirt standing there.  Wow — now that’s what I call a full-service library!  They’d arranged to have someone on hand to answer my question before I even asked it…

Well, OK, maybe not.  But still — I LOVE my local library!

Research is such a fun part of my job.

 

*Click here to read about some recent successful owl rehabilitations at my local Audubon society — Jess Delaney would totally approve.

 

 

An owlish gift

January 4th, 2013

I’ve always loved owls.

Owl sculpture

 

Here’s one I bought in England when I lived there as a girl with my family years ago.  I remember saving up my allowance (“pocket money,” the British call it) for it, and the satisfaction I felt when it was finally mine.  He’s been perched on my desk ever since, his plump little self a talisman of sorts who keeps watch over me as I write.  I often find myself picking him him up, my fingers idly seeking out the familiar contours of his smooth terracotta body as I ponder and dream.

I’m not sure what it is about owls that appeals to me.  Is it their sturdily elegant oval shape? Their expressive faces? Those beautiful, unblinking eyes that watch over the world in silence?

Maybe it’s the mystery to owls that I find irresistible — their haunting call, or the way they whoosh silently out of nowhere on those great, wide wings.

Which is exactly what happened to me last night at dusk.  I was in the back yard, playing with our dogs, when out of the corner of my eye I saw a dark shape soar overhead and land in the maple tree.  At first I thought it was a hawk.  We have a lot of those here in the Pacific Northwest.  But then I saw that unmistakeable silhouette.  An owl!

He was so beautiful that for a long moment I couldn’t breathe. Then I whipped my phone out of my pocket and took a picture. In the fading light, the first shot looked like a blob on a branch, so I turned the flash on, hoping to catch the reflection of his eyes…

Owl January 2012

Success!

Isn’t he gorgeous?  (For some reason, I’m convinced it was a he.)  I still can’t  believe he was right there in my yard!  It’s not like I live out in the country (I call our neighborhood “rural suburbia”).   What a gift!

I soon realized that he was indeed a gift — from my muse.  She (my muse is definitely a she) can be a lazy sort, who often skives off  heaven-knows-where when I most need her.  Like now, when I’m writing a book.

Last night, though, she delivered.  The story I’m working on at the moment desperately needs an owl, and I didn’t even know it. Until she sent me one.

 

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