Going dark for a bit

Do not disturb writer at work

I’m signing off for a couple of weeks to FINISH MDBC #7 (which still doesn’t have a title, believe it or not).

Behave yourselves while I’m gone, OK?

I’ll have lots to tell you when I return, and lots to share, including a sneak peek (finally) of ABSOLUTELY TRULY, which is mere WEEKS away from its book birthday!  (And which is available for pre-order from your favorite bookseller, hint hint…) It just received this glowing review from Kirkus:

“Moving from Texas to New Hampshire, displaced 12-year-old Truly Lovejoy finds herself solving two local mysteries while adjusting to small-town life.

Everything changes when Truly’s Army pilot father loses an arm in Afghanistan and returns home depressed, causing her parents to unexpectedly relocate to rural Pumpkin Falls to manage her grandparents’ failing bookshop. Just under 6 feet tall and worried she won’t fit in, Truly’s surprised how quickly she feels part of both school and community as she helps in the bookshop, tries out for the swim team and practices ballroom dancing for Cotillion at the Winter Festival. Convinced a signed, first edition of Charlotte’s Web she’s discovered will alleviate the bookshop’s financial woes, Truly’s determined to catch the thief when the volume vanishes. Meanwhile, a cryptic message she finds inside the book triggers an elaborate treasure hunt as Truly and her new friends decipher clues leading them to hair-raising escapades in the library, church bell tower and covered bridge. Truly tells her story in a relaxed voice, allowing readers to warm to her genuine, self-effacing, humorous, foot-in-her-mouth persona along with her realistically portrayed, fun-loving family and a bevy of eccentric Pumpkin Falls locals.

There’s never a dull moment in Pumpkin Falls with Truly Lovejoy on the case in this contemporary, feel-good series opener.”

I am so thrilled that the first review out of the gate is such a great one!  Thank you, anonymous reviewer, whoever you are!

When I return, I’ll also be able to (finally) offer a few hints about MDBC #7 — and some pictures, too, since I’ll be spending some time on location at the place where the story is set.  Fun, huh?

Ciao 4 niao, everyone!

P.S.  And if you’re on deadline too, or you know someone who is, click here for DIY instructions for this cool door knob sign:

Writer at work

I know we’re all tired of winter, but …

… look what just arrived!

 

ABSOLUTELY TRULY arcs!

ABSOLUTELY TRULY ARCs

 

(By the way, “arc” stands for “advance reviewer copy,” which is an uncorrected proof of the book.)

Totally GORGEOUS, right?  Charles Santoso did the cover illustration, which still makes me swoon every time I see it, and Krista Vossen at Simon & Schuster did the fabulous cover design.  I get to work with the BEST people — geniuses, both of them!

Coming to a bookstore near you on November 4th!  I’ll be posting a sneak peek later this spring (and yes, there’ll be a giveaway, too), but for now, I can’t resist sharing the prologue:

 

“A week before the January thaw finally arrived in February, I found myself hanging like a bat from a rafter inside a church steeple, face-to-face with a bell made by Paul Revere.

If you’d have told me a month ago that I’d find myself in this position, I would have said you were crazy.

But then, a month ago my life was completely different. A month ago, my career as a middle school private eye hadn’t begun.

And by the way, it didn’t begin inside a steeple. Absolutely truly not. It began the day my report card made it home before I did.”

 

 

 

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!

 

 

Signing off for the holidays

That tree my guys cut down yesterday?  It now looks like this:

Frederick Tannenbaum 2013

Nice, huh?  We had such fun decorating it last night!  I put on some Christmas music (currently at the top of my playlist: Pentatonix), made hot chocolate with homemade marshmallows for everyone (confession: I didn’t make the marshmallows myself — I bought them at Baker & Spice, my favorite local coffee shop/bakery/hangout), and then we took the ornaments out of the storage boxes one by one, reminisced over them, and found the perfect spot for each one.

When we were done, we sat back and admired our handiwork.  What is it about twinkle lights, the smell of evergreen, and shiny baubles? They put the magic in this holiday, for me at least.

So to those of you who celebrate Christmas, I wish you a very merry one. And to those of you who celebrate other holidays, I wish you a happy new year.  I’m signing off for now to spend time with my family, but I’ll be back in early January with some treats in store for you, including the cover reveal for ABSOLUTELY TRULY, my next novel, and an all-new story starter and a giveaway to kick off 2014 in stellar style.

Ciao for niao!

Christmas Mantel 2013