It's starting to get very exciting around here...and not *only* because we celebrated my latest trip around the sun with lots and lots of chocolate cake and orange chocolate-chip ice cream! (And, no, I'm not saying exactly when that was or exactly how old I am. Some of you already know the answer to both... :)
However, I have a few other fun tidbits to share and will happily spill every detail: I've been interviewed for two wonderful sites by two lovely people, and both interviews just went up today!
Leah at Chicklit Club posted the first one earlier in the day. Please check it out!
And Brande at Book Junkie posted the second one there. PLUS, Brande and I are having a giveaway! One commenter on her site (name to be drawn on September 25th) will receive an advanced reading copy of According to Jane and a 3-pack of Starbucks VIA™ Ready Brew. Why, you ask, is more coffee being given away? Were there extra packets left over from the taste test or something??
Ahhhh...this is the next fun thing! Remember Jason and the surprise Starbucks coffee samples he sent me? (If not, that story and the taste-test adventure that followed is here.) Turns out, Jason, a fellow Chicagoan, has a colleague named Evan, who's based in Seattle... And Evan emailed me recently to ask if I'd consider being part of the Starbucks VIA™ "Beta Tester" program. Since I was already completely sold on the product, this was a blissfully easy decision. "OF COURSE!!" I typed with great enthusiasm.
So, my "Taster's Toolbox" arrived last night, packed with coffee and cool things--it was like a birthday present! I am totally psyched to get to be a part of this project and thrilled to report that the coffee is going to be distributed everywhere in the U.S. and Canada as of September 29th. Again, those who were visiting my blog over the summer know I was already a bit of a VIA™ evangelist, but the North American release of BOTH my debut book AND my favorite coffee-to-go ON THE SAME DAY is just pure awesomeness!
Therefore, everyone who wins a book of mine here in the next month will also get a coffee accompaniment, as will the winners on some of the guest interview sites. I'm planning to give away individual packets at book signings and speaking engagements, too, for as long as my supplies last. For me, it's a pleasure to get to share the coffee with readers and, hey, in a pinch, the little packets work well as bookmarks!
Incidentally, the characters in my first two novels are cheering wildly over this news. A number of them are fanatical coffee drinkers who firmly believe there's no such thing as either too much coffee or too much chocolate. Particularly the three women inhabiting my second book...
Which leads me to the last morsel of good news: Although we are STILL puzzling over the title, I'm happy to say that my editor just approved the final version of the second novel, and it's heading into production!! YAY! (Look for it on 10-01-10. :) It's the first time I wrote a book on a deadline, and it posed a whole new set of writing challenges. But, while the premise and narrative style is rather different from my debut, Book Two's personality is--I believe--a strong and vibrant one. And I'm so, so excited I'll get to share that story with you all next year...
ETA: The fantabulous Lydia Hirt--contributing writer at Beneath the Cover, marketing coordinator for the Penguin Group , and an all-around wonderful person (who also writes funny tweets and has great publishing-industry insight)--surprised me by putting up a review of my book today AND hosting another giveaway... This one with 2 ARCs! So, stop by her blog NovelWhore for a chance to win one!