ALMOST HOME — book 3 in The Chesapeake Diaries —
is on sale NOW!!!!!

To celebrate the release of ALMOST HOME, my publisher, Ballantine Books, has come up with a really different idea: they're offering to send TEN copies of COMING HOME to each of the winners of a drawing they're sponsoring at their website.

Details are right here along with the entry form.

All you do is click on the link, fill out the form, and if your name is drawn, Ballantine will send you TEN copies of COMING HOME to pass along to your friends, family members, and anyone you think might enjoy the series. The names will be drawn at random (and I’m resisting the urge to make a bad pun because Ballantine Books is a division of RANDOM House) and the books will be sent to the winners directly by the publisher.

Way to make nice with your friends (and maybe make some new ones!) and share a good book at the same time!

Dear Readers ~

Raise your hand if you’ve had enough of winter.

Yeah. Me too.

Please join me in hoping that Punxsutawney Phil does not see his shadow next week. Supposedly, that will assure a speedy spring, but I don’t know that I trust the weather forecast to a furry little rodent that hides underground while the rest of us trudge through the cold for what seems like weeks without end. Seriously, anyone know who first came up with that idea?

Anyway. It’s a new year and I’m finding it hard to remember to write 2011. 2010 went way too quickly for me and I’m having trouble catching up. Although I have to say that 2011 (I’m thinking if I write it often enough I’ll start to believe it) is shaping up to be quite a year. For me — two new books in the Chesapeake Diaries series, and I am totally in love with both of them.

First up: ALMOST HOME — which has a gorgeous cover — will be released on March 22, is Steffie Wyler’s story, so you know there will be lots of ice cream to go around. If you’ve read COMING HOME and HOME AGAIN, you know that Steffie owns One Scoop or Two, the popular ice cream shop in St. Dennis. You know, too, that her life-long dream guy is Wade MacGregor, who seems to have been coming and going through St. Dennis — and her life — since he left town to attend college in Texas years ago. Stef’s little heart skips a beat when unexpectedly, Wade walks into Scoop one night with his family, and she can’t help but fantasize about sending everyone else home with ice cream and putting the closed sign on the door. In her imagination, she’s just about to lock lips with Wade, when she’s brought back to reality by a toddler who calls him “Daddy”.

Yeah. That was a fun scene to write.

Actually, there were a number of fun moments in ALMOST HOME. Like Vanessa finding a Ouija board in her attic — one that seems to have a mind of its own. And Stef inheriting a house that has a cryptic message on the dining room wall — hidden beneath seventy year old wall paper. Of course, it isn’t all fun and games. After all, this is St. Dennis, and there’s always more going on than meets the eye, and secrets about to surface. Like the one Wade’s great-aunt, Berry Eberle, has been keeping for almost fifty years...

And how is Stef going to fulfill her childhood dreams (1. Make ice cream. 2. Marry the coolest guy in town. 3. Live happily ever after.) if Wade is only passing through St. Dennis on his way to someplace else?

You won’t want to miss ALMOST HOME. I loved writing it, and hope you’ll love reading it every bit as much.

As for whose story will be next — well, I’m betting that after you’ve read ALMOST HOME, you’ll be able to guess who’s the HOME TOWN GIRL in the title of the fourth book of the Chesapeake Diaries which will be released on July 26, 2011.

There’s going to be a drawing to win a Tiffany & Co. ice cream cone charm (sterling silver with pink enamel — and utterly adorable) — watch my Facebook page for details on dates, etc. You might want to “friend” me now so that you’re guaranteed not to miss the news.

Oh! I almost forgot! Pocket Books has made ALL of my first nine books available as e-books. So if you’re one of the readers who have been asking when — the answer is now!

Till next time ~

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