Happy New Year!
Are you like me in that when the New Year begins, you are filled with anticipation and hope? It’s a time for new beginnings. Three hundred and sixty five days of possibilities!
For me, 2010 will be an exciting year. First, and most important, our family will soon be blessed with another baby-- my second grandchild! Also, my two other children are embarking on new adventures. My son, as I mentioned in last week's blog, will accept his commission in the Marines. And my other daughter is training in Hawaii to become one of the top wave kiteboarding women in the world. Way to go kids!
I'm also looking forward to the releases of my books in paperback.
In May, SWEETGRASS will hit store shelves for the first time in trade paperback. This is the story of Mama June, matriarch of the Blakely family, who is rocked by a health crisis and rising taxes on the plantation. These two events lead to the revelation of family secrets that date back to the time of slavery. She must dig deep into her heart and history to find the truth that will bind her family together again. The Southern art of weaving intricate sweetgrass baskets is a metaphor for a mother weaving together the disparate strands of her family.
On June 8th, LAST LIGHT OVER CAROLINA will be released in trade paperback. This follows last summer’s wonderful success of the hardcover version, which hit the New York Times List and Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance’s best seller list. Both men and women alike seem to enjoy the story of longtime shrimp boat captain Bud Morrison and his wife of thirty years, Carolina. This haunting and touching tale unfolds over the course of a single day, when the captain is injured at sea, triggering a massive search for his missing vessel.
In July, SWIMMING LESSONS will be released as mass market-- a perfect size for your beach bag or suitcase! It’s the follow-up to THE BEACH HOUSE, with Toy Sooner now a single mother raising her young daughter at the beach while caring for injured sea turtles. The summer season evokes her abusive past and a parent’s worst nightmare, forcing Toy to find her own strength and courageously face her fears.
And finally, with great excitement I get to announce the November release of my first novel THE LONG ROAD HOME, which has been out of print since 1995. I have often jokingly referred to it as “the best book no one has read.” This is the story of socialite Nora MacKenzie, who is hit by both the shock of her estranged husband’s suicide and the news that his Wall Street dealings left her bankrupt. She flees to their small Vermont farm to sort out her life. This story of bank scandals and tough times is timely again. The only editing I’ve done is for anachronisms. Remember the “Walkman” or how everyone was called “Dude” back then? I think it is more interesting for my readers to see my writing early on in my career, and the story remains strong and compelling. And here’s a secret… The setting of the farm in Vermont is a depiction of our old family house there. I hope you enjoy the novel as much as I did reading it again after fifteen years!
As the books are released I will post more information on my website, so check in often. That’s where you can also find out about my scheduled appearances. For those of you who live in the Naples, Fort Myers, Florida region, I’ll be visiting several stores in mid January. Then in February I’ll be attending the Savannah Book Festival. I’d love to meet you!
I’m also continuing this year to update my Facebook fan page. It is a marvelous way, in our modern times, to keep in touch with my readers. Plus, the weekly blog will continue to be a reflection on life and my books. There will be one addition though. My assistant, Angela, will periodically share her perspective about some of our many fun interactions and topics dear to my heart.
Meanwhile, I’m working on my latest novel, THE BUTTERFLY’S DAUGHTER. Those of you who have been visiting me on Facebook have seen photos of all the monarch butterflies that I raised last fall. This book will be released in hard cover from Simon and Schuster in 2011.
Expect to see a very special children’s book about butterflies that I’ve written, as well. This book will have beautiful photographs from Barbara Bergwerf, similar to what you enjoyed in TURTLE SUMMER.
Thank you for your love and support over the past years. I wish you a wonderful New Year full of adventure, joy, magic and peace.