An exciting announcement!

You asked for it — you got it:  There’s going to be a seventh Mother-Daughter Book Club book!!!!

Fireworks

I just got the good news today from my wonderful publisher Simon & Schuster. I’ll be diving in immediately, and if I can get my skates on here and write at top speed, it will be published in the Summer of 2015.

Oh how FUN!  I get to spend time with Emma and Jess and Cassidy and Megan and Becca again!  And Gigi!  And Mrs. Chadwick!  And Wolfgang! And, well, everybody!

I need to go bake chocolate chip cookies right this minute to celebrate…

 

And the winner is …

Drumroll, please!

Beanie votes

Look at all those names in there!  Dozens and dozens and DOZENS of names!   Oh, and did you notice the hat?  It’s my new favorite.

Beanie

Isn’t it cute?  It kind of looks like a tea cozy in this picture, but it looks better on, trust me.  Wish I could say that I was the one who knit it, but I have to give credit to the good folks at SmartWool this time around. I’ve worn their fabulous socks for years, but only recently discovered their delicious hats.

I’m dragging this out to torture you, can you tell?

 OK, down to business, time to choose a name…

Picking a name

And the winner is …

Samantha

Samantha!

The quote she chose as her theme for 2014 is:  “I am determined to be cheerful and happy in whatever situation I may find myself. For I have learned that the greater part of our misery or unhappiness is determined not by our circumstance but by our disposition.”  — Martha Washington

Great quote, Samantha!  I’m putting that one in my “keeper” file.  In fact, I’m putting ALL the quotes that ALL of you shared in my “keeper” file.  They were just wonderfully inspiring.

Congratulations, Samantha!  I’ll be contacting you directly for mailing information for your prize — a complete set of the Mother-Daughter Book Club series, autographed, of course!

MDBC Boxed Set 2013

Fan Art Friday

Is it Friday again already?  This past week went by in a whoosh… 

I have more great art to share with you today — this time around a lovely black-and-white line drawing by Emma.  Double-click on it for a closer look.

Emma R's Fan Art

As always, I’m amazed and impressed!  Beautiful work, Emma!

Cover reveal #1

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!

 

 

Saturday Story Starter

Welcome to Saturday Story Starter 2014!

I’m hoping to make this a more regular feature of my blog this year, so check back often for new story starters, OK? As those of you who have participated before know, this is purely for fun, just as a way to exercise those writing muscles (think of it as Heather’s Literary Gym). There are no prizes, only the simple joy of putting words on paper (well, OK, computer screen). Also, I won’t be offering critiques, just brief words of encouragement, but I will read all your entries, that I can promise!(And if you’d like to read some of the earlier stories that have been shared, click here and here and here and here and browse to your heart’s content.)

What with the Polar Vortex (don’t you love that name?) we’ve been experiencing and all, I think we need a blast of summer to kick off 2014, so here’s this week’s photo:

Maui Toes

Yep, those are my toes, taken a number of years ago when I was researching THE EDUCATION OF PATIENCE GOODSPEED. Bliss!  Going on location for research is one of the perks of a writer’s job, and this was a particularly great gig, especially since I’d never been anyplace tropical before. I know it looks like I was on vacation, but seriously, I was working!  And now it’s your turn to get to work.

STORY STARTER:  Use this photo as a springboard to invent a character. What’s her name? Where’s she from? What is she doing on this beach? Describe her for us in detail. If you want to spin this into a story, go right ahead. If you just want to write a character sketch, that’s fine, too. It’s up to you. And if you need a jumpstart, here’s a first line you can use:

Her toes had never been this happy before…

Ready, set, WRITE!

Fan Art Friday

It’s my favorite day of the week — the day I get to turn the spotlight on YOU!

(I’m fond of Story Starter Saturday for the same reason.)

I’m turning over a NEW LEAF for 2014, and am going to try and not only get caught up with all my mail, but stay caught up with all my mail.

We’ll see how that works out, right?

Heh.

So to those of you patiently awaiting replies to your letters and emails, hang in there a little longer. I’m diving into my pile o’ mail even as we speak…

Meanwhile, I have a treat for you.  First of all, a glorious self-portrait of Miranda and Sofia, who were 11 when they sent me these pictures LAST SUMMER, and are probably, like, 27 by now. And have grown long, gray beards waiting for me to finally, FINALLY, post their pictures!Miranda & Sofia

Could they possibly be any cuter?  I don’t think so.

Isn’t this a great picture for a cold, rainy Northwest winter day (cold and snowy where many of you are)? Such a blast of summer! I’m keeping it here on my desk to remind me that warmer days are coming…

And here’s the drawing that Sofia did for me:

Sofia's artSimply stellar, Sofia!  (stellar: of or relating to the stars; outstanding — in other words, you’re a star, Sofia!)

Thank you so much, girls — your cheerful faces, lovely letter, and delightful drawing absolutely made my day!

Stop by tomorrow as we kick of the brand-new year with a brand-new Saturday Story Starter.

 

Finished scarf

So that infinity scarf I told you I was knitting? (click here to read about it)

I finished it last night.  It’s gorgeous, if I do say so myself. This is it, folded in half:

Lavender Infinity Scarf

I should have measured it to see how long it was, but I forgot to do that before I gave it away this morning.

Lavender Infinity Scarf 2

And here it is, looped and doubled.  Cool, huh?

It was INCREDIBLY easy to knit — just a nice bulky yarn with size 10 needles, cast on 36 stitches and knit in a K2, P1 pattern for however many rows you want.  (I used two full skeins of Paton Divine in Lavender Mist.)  When you’re done, join the two ends together so that you have a circle, loop it over your head, give it a figure eight twist and loop it back over your head.  Here’s what it looks like on:

HVF

Sorry for the dorky picture.  I am terrible at selfies, plus it was after midnight. I kind of look like Maleficent, or like Cruella de Vil, contemplating Dalmation puppies…

Anyway, you get the idea.  I’m happy to report that my giftee was thrilled with her gift, and it looks even better on her than it does on me.

Can’t wait to launch another project!

 

A giveaway to kick off the new year!

Vintage New Year's card

A new year means a new adventure awaits! I recently came across a great quote from Brad Paisley (yes, that Brad Paisley), which I’ve decided is going to be my theme for the year, with one tiny tweak. (Hey, I’m a writer. We tweak.) Here’s the quote:

“Tomorrow is the first blank page of a 365-page book. Write a good one.”

Thank you, Brad, I intend to.

Wouldn’t my mother-daughter book club girls love this?  I can see Emma jotting it down in her new journal right this minute.

As for my tweak to the quote, I’m changing “tomorrow” to “today.”  No time like the present, right?

Let’s have a giveaway to kick off the new year right.  How does an autographed boxed set of the complete set of Mother-Daughter Book Club tales (the NEW boxed set, containing all six novels!) sound?

MDBC Boxed Set 2013

If you’d like to win this, just share with us in the comments below the quote that you’re choosing for your theme for the upcoming year.

Winner will be chosen at random at midnight January 19th. US and Canada only, please. Share on your blog or Facebook or Twitter (using hashtag #mdbcgiveaway) for additional entries. (If you tweet or blog or share on Facebook about this giveaway, please leave a link in the comments so I can assign you an extra entry.)

Happy 2014, everyone!