Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Catching Up

So I had this big idea about blogging every day, and then I wake up to realize a month has gone by with no posts. I continue to be committed to blogging more often, but the best laid plans...

It's been a busy month around here! In April, I ventured with the family to Spain, where our daughter was born nearly 17 years ago when my husband was stationed there in the Navy. We had a great time showing off our old stomping grounds to the kids. At 16 and 13, they were at the perfect ages to appreciate the adventure of visiting a foreign country. One side benefit I hadn't expect is that Jake, who will be in 8th grade next year, will be more interested in starting Spanish classes than he might've been before the trip. We'll do whatever we can to interest him in school, so that was a plus. Emily loved seeing where she was born as well as the first home and the beach boardwalk that was the site of her very first outing.

For our part, we were surprised by how environmentally conscious Spain has become since we were there. Hundreds and hundreds of wind turbines and solar farms dot the landscape. The car we rented, a jazzy Mercedes (mama loved that car!), had a fuel-efficient feature that shut it down when idling. Hotel room keys are required to get lights in the rooms. We were surprised to realize Europe is so far ahead of the U.S. on these things. Because the European Union came into existence after we lived there, we had to figure out the ins and outs of the Euro, which was an adventure. Dan and I were both surprised that our rusty Spanish came back as if it had been yesterday when we last used it. The funniest episode I had occurred when ordering room service in Spanish and getting all the way to the end and not comprehending a question. So I said, En ingles? And he says, "Anything else?" LOL! Then he said, Room number? I said, "839." He growls, En espaƱol! He wouldn't let me cop out at the end, which I thought was hilarious! Then there was the trip to the farmacia to get cold medicine for Jake. Since I didn't know how to say sneeze or cough in Spanish, I worked around that with fake sneezes and coughs. The pharmacist says, "AH!" Jake and I got a good laugh out of that. When in doubt, improvise!

The other lasting impression is how very, very nice the Spanish people are. There's an old-world courtliness that you don't see very often anymore, and even the kids commented on how nice everyone was. We felt very welcome and totally safe everywhere we went. Well, I didn't feel very safe sitting in the midst of a rowdy group of bachelor party revelers on the flight from London to Madrid, but I was thoroughly entertained!

In other news, I've had an exciting month on the book front! We sold the French rights to the McCarthy Series at auction, Fatal Consequences won a Bean Pot Award (left), Fatal Destiny won a Holt Medallion while Fatal Justice and Everyone Loves a Hero received Awards of Merit from the Virginia Romance Writers, and I had the honor of delivering one of the keynotes at the Romance Writers of America New England Chapter conference in late April, which was a real thrill.

I'm hard at work on Season for Love, book 6 in the McCarthys of Gansett Island Series, and I'm still hoping to get that out in June. After that, I'll be finishing Fatal Attack and then turning to McCarthy book 7, Longing for Love, featuring Tiffany and Blaine. I also plan to write the much-requested fourth book in the Treading Water Trilogy (which will ruin the whole "trilogy" concept--haha), called Coming Home. It will feature Kate Harrington and Reid Matthews, closing the circle left open in Marking Time. I know a lot of you have wanted to see closure for Kate and Reid, and I'm all about giving my readers what they want. :-)

Back to work I go! Tell me what you've been up to lately!