Signs of Spring

img_0306Just this week the temperatures in my part of the Midwest suddenly soared into the sixties and even hit seventy at one point. My snowdrops were already showing, waiting patiently for the snow to melt, but the lavender species crocus (Crocus tommasinianus) popped up overnight it seemed. I’ve got a shade garden by the side of the house where I planted several hundred a couple of years ago and now it looks like a lavender carpet. The “Tommies” must be happy because I’ve noticed single volunteers peeking out of the grass here and there. Now if only the squirrels don’t eat the blooms!

In other news, my publisher, Grand Central Publishing, will be re-releasing the entire Prince trilogy this summer to coincide with the release of Wicked Intentions. They’ve also giving The Raven Prince, The Leopard Prince, and The Serpent Prince brand new covers which I’ve posted on their respective pages. Mouse over the new covers to see the original covers.

Adventures with Google Translate

I was most excited this week to hear that all my books have sold to a Turkish publisher and that my French language publisher has bought my books through To Desire a Devil! For those counting, this makes ten languages that my books are translated into.

For some reason I find foreign sales especially exciting. First, I usually receive copies of the foreign editions and I get to marvel at the artwork on the cover and thumb through it looking for words (if any) that I can recognize. Secondly–and perhaps more importantly–I receive foreign reader mail! Here I must confess that I was one of those nerdy school children who loved writing to pen pals–especially pen pals who lived in exotic (to me) locals. I can’t tell you how excited I get to open an email and find out it came from…Trinidad! Or Thailand! Or Switzerland!

Most foreign readers have an astonishing command of the English language and will write me in English. Some write me in their own language. This is where the internet is truly wonderful. Where fifteen years ago I might have had to hunt down a person who knew, for instance, Italian, now I can simply copy and paste an email into one of the free online translators and voila! all is made clear.

And then I began getting emails in Turkish. 2009 ARRA Finalist

I think some cultures are more interested in writing to authors than others. I’ve received email from most European countries, only a few from South America and none–none!–from Japan, despite having two books published there. (Why, Japan, why?) But the Turkish have surpassed all previous countries in writing reader mail to me, personally. And I love it! Except…there are these little squiggles (not a technical term) on many of the Turkish letters, and the squiggled letters are entirely replaced by boxes or question marks in my email. Which means that quite a lot of the reader’s letter is lost when I plug it into an online translator.

Still, an author must persevere. I reply to all my reader mail, no matter how unintelligible it might be to me. The only problem? I’m writing back in English and I have a sneaking suspicion that the translation errors work both ways. ;-)

And finally in other news, To Desire a Devil has finaled in the 2nd annual Australian Romance Readers Awards in the Favourite Historical Romance category. Woot!

Lovely Updates and the Cover for WICKED INTENTIONS

Max, our biggest Untrained Dog, met me at the door this afternoon, proudly wearing the remains of yet another broken tie-out lead on his collar. Sigh. We do keep getting him the strongest tie-outs we can find and yet he manages to break the one he has every couple of months. I bought him a new one today, “guaranteed” to hold a up to a 125 pound dog (Max is around 80 pounds.) Poor Rue! When I hook the tie out to her it’s like Marley’s ghost in A CHRISTMAS CAROL: drag…THUMP…drag…THUMP…

The monthly updates for my website are up early! Pride of place goes to the new Wicked Intentions page. You can mouse over the cover to view the beautiful stepback, read the excerpt, and pre-order on Amazon. I don’t have bookmarks yet for Wicked Intentions, but they should be coming in by the end of March or so.

What else? I have a new Book of the Month up on the Extras page, and a new website contest featuring books by Laura Kinsale and Margaret Mallory. Enter for a chance to win all three!