And Then Comes January…

In some ways, being a published author is harder than being a parent–and being a parent, being a good parent, is really, really hard. You do the best you can with the resources available, and you worry–a lot.

heather grad smallAnd yet, if I want to tell my daughter not to enroll in so many classes this fall, if I want to ask her how the new job is going, all I need to do is call her. If I want to make SURE she knows how proud I am of her, I can toot my mama-horn all over social media, post on her wall, and otherwise get that sentiment across.

By contrast, once a book is published… it’s gone, baby.

released into the wildThis is awful. I cannot console my book when the reviewers don’t like it, I can’t celebrate with my characters when words of appreciation come their way. The books I’m most nervous about often do just fine, and the ones I thought would be solid performers end up making me fret–and there’s nothing I can do about any of it. The story has been released into the wild, and that’s… it.

Except for some give-aways, my job is abruptly done. Months of writing, more months of revisions, copy edits, galleys, back cover copy, titles, covers, sales rankings, blog posts, social media tub-thumping, and then… CRICKETS?!

Mac's LadyI am certain in my writing bones that this author’s version of post partum bewilderment is where the series romance was born, because as much as I love Once Upon a Tartan, (and I do!), it’s easier to shift my focus forward to Gabriel, Lady Jenny’s Christmas Portrait, and next year’s new Regency trilogy because I know Asher and Hannah’s story will come out as The MacGregor’s Lady next February.

And Lady Joan and her swain will provide Christmas cheer next year.

And maybe Tiberius Flynn’s other two sisters are in need of swains… because I am certainly in need of more books to write.

gabriel_450When that combination of satisfaction, bewilderment, fatigue and relief comes calling at the end of a big effort, how do you re-establish your balance and get moving forward again? When the Christmas tree comes down, the relatives go home, the prodigy goes off to college, or the big move is behind you…how do you pat yourself on the back and get enthusiastic about the next goal?

Profuse thanks to all who’ve participated in this blog tour with me. I’m always amazed at readers’ willingness to take time from their busy days to drop in on this interview or that blog post. If there’s a question you’ve had that hasn’t been answered in previous posts–about Tartan, about anything–feel free to leave that in the comments as well.

And to one person who comments before Monday, August 19, I’ll send an iPad… though I wish I could send one to each of you. And for my print readers, another two weeks of signed book giveaways still await us, details here.

PS: Want to hedge your e-reader giveaway bet? To one person signed up for my newsletter before the next edition goes out at the end of the month, I’ll also give an iPad.

 

 

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210 comments on “And Then Comes January…

  1. I want to start out by saying that I have really enjoyed this series. I guess my question is will we get a couple of novellas telling the stories of Gil and Con? I loved the brothers and would like to see their stories like Matthew and Mary Fran. Thanks so much

    • Sheryl, I’ve thought of a married novella for Gilgallon and Genie–they’re in London, she fits right in, he doesn’t, and he’s not about to live off his wife’s dowry. Tension ensues… she thinks he’s cheating (why must he be SO handsome), when in fact he’s involved in some money making scheme. He thinks SHE’s cheating…

      Well, yes, I have thought about Gil.

      Con and Julia’s story was very much on the page in Bridegroom. I’d have to give them some thought, but both couplesl show up in Asher’s story. Maybe that will give me some ideas for Con and Julia….

  2. Grace, I have waited ages to comment on your blog, (I guess I am a little nervous), all that to say I love your stories. I think you should write Fee’s story she is my favourite…(hint)

    How do I keep motivated, well I am a pastor and for me that means producing a sermon most weeks, and so I focus on the fact that what I do is a labour of love, to my Church and the God whom I serve…I hope that makes sense and isn’t corny. Keep up the great work!

    • Shannon, during the years when I regularly attended a local Mennonite church, I’d occasionally get the sermon duty. HOLY COW is that hard! Week after week, you’re supposed to helpful, insightful, entertaining, scriptural… makes writing a novel far easier by comparison.
      And yet, you deal in the biggest, most on-going powerful love story ever conceived. Welcome to the blog, and please feel free to pipe up frequently!

  3. So honored to finally be able to follow you and get the latest information. This has been an amazing 2 weeks of checking everything out and truly appreciate all the hard work it must take to keep these thing going and super fun. You are blessed to have such a wonderful group that continues to support you along with your fan base.. Here’s to more continued success.

    • Valerie, I sometimes think the published author schtick, at least for the first few years, is a good news/bad news scenario. Nobody tells you how hard it is to let go of your books, and see them cast upon the waters. It’s surprise of equal magnitude, but far more cheering, to learn how supportive other authors can be, and what a wonderful blessing the readers are who GET the books.

      I really wasn’t expecting that, but many days, a short email from a reader arrives just when I’m thinking, “I cannot write this book. This is the book that wins. Somebody help me or I’m going to turn into a chocolate sculpture.”

      Readers are the best!

    • Erica, I did too. Sometimes, it’s not until a blogger asks a question that I focus on a particular aspect of a book. Where did the Treaty Oak come from in Tartan? Erm… from the surveying oak in the field below the house where I grew up. I didn’t put that together until somebody asked for an obscure detail from the book…. it was obscure even to me!

  4. I’ve always concentrated on the present and the near future when reaching for a goal. I’m not one to dwell on the past. Right now my husband and I are planning some remodeling to our home (new kitchen and baths) of 30 years to make it more marketable in this lousy real estate market. Our long term goal is to downsize from a large 2 story to a small ranch (save the knees!).
    I’ve lived my whole life with always having the next goal in mind whether it is small or large. I seen some people who are wishful thinkers and never do anything concrete to further their aspirations. If you want your kids to graduate from college, make sure that they are keeping up and doing well while in grade school! Everything builds up from a good foundation.
    As long as we are healthy, we can keep striving for the success of the next project or goal. That is what life is about.
    Grace,I wish you much continued success with your series and any future books. My next goal is to read your backlist. There are a few books I have yet to read!

    • Monica, I love this line: Everything builds up from a good foundation. To me, that foundation is love, or maybe some (emotionally self-conscious heroes) would call it honor. Same same, it’s the best foundation.

  5. I have your books on my TBR, after reading your blog I am going to start reading the series right away! Historical romances are my favorite genre. I can’t imagine all the effort and time that goes into writing a book. So thank you from this reader!

  6. First off, I get scared that I am close to being a stalker…yes, stalk, as in , I wonder what Grace is saying about Tye or possibly giving away a tease about Lady Jenny….so I look all over to see where you are on the web, what you are saying and yes, even, perhaps news of another book!!!

    In other words, it is no hardship to love an author and go seek and virtually speak with her. Again, as I have said very often and most definitely MEAN it…..I love your books, your characters and yes, I adore listening to you, the person that answers the questions and writes these very personal blogs.

    It gives me such pleasure to know most of the writers that I adore and have read and will continue to read are quite “human” and perhaps a bit like me…

    Thanks for the few weeks of fun and I will always follow you! and yes, read every single thing you write….
    PS Lady Jenny, another Holiday book from you….I am squealing! …

    • Hope, my publisher, who is-ahem-no slouch when it comes to books, thinks Jenny maybe the best one yet. Their Graces looked pleased, but my Scottish heroes are stomping around in their kilts muttering about Christmas in the Highlands. Tune in again….

      And when I was in the thick of my single-parenting years, I felt like Loretta Chase, Mary Balogh, Judith Ivory and few others should have been honorary godmothers to my daughter. I was a better mom–a better PERSON–because for a few hours at the end of the day, I could cavort mentally with swains and damsels. Now I cavort with them by writing, but it’s the same lifeline.

  7. Well, at least you hear about your books. You don’t have to wait for them to call YOU πŸ™‚ I’m glad you care about the people in your stories, because it shows in your writing. That is one reason I enjoy your books so much. Thank you!

  8. I think I envy Theresa, with all of your books to read for the first time. I have read just about all of them twice, and keep waiting for the next new book. Don’t stop, and when you feel overwhelmed – post it – and we will ALL motivate you as best we can.

    As for goals, and motivation, I think I keep little goals going all the time, and meet them to keep moving forward. These days we are past the big upheavals (for the nonce)and that is good, too. But keeping the little things listed and ‘ticked off as done’ keeps me growing.

    • Polly, my best list is the “one yard project a year” list, but geez, the jungle has outpaced me! It’s the project I take the most satisfaction from, and enjoy planning the most. And if I don’t get more than one project done… there’s always next year.

  9. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the varying interviews with you the last two weeks. I’m just glad you never run out of ideas. I think “not liking” is a matter of personal preference and there are plenty of those readers’ style of books for them. Wayyyyyy more of us LOVE your books and that’s what’s important.

    When I need to refresh, a long drive with notebook open, a trip to a B&B on the beach or a cabin in the mountains is perfect. If that can’t be… my little mosquito tent and lounge chair by the bayou fills in when it’s cool enough.

    • I’ll head to Scotland later this year, Martie, and that… that has gotten me through a lot. One of these years, you’re coming with me. I think it’s Karen Marie Moning who does reader tours of Scotland… Hooboy, what a bucket list!

      • Yes, I realized I’m becoming obsessed when I bought a nearly room sized road map of Scotland, lol. How long might the MacGregor series be? possibly? We want more.

      • Oh ladies…..an honest to goodness bucket list dream…I must go to Scotland to simply Breathe!

        I dont say one of these days any longer…I say WHEN I go….because I will.

        Sigh…

  10. Love all your blogs, Grace. I have recently started the Lonely Lords books, finished Darius and am now on Nicholas. Love, love, love all you books and can’t wait for Jenny’s story later this year!!

    • Sharon, Jenny’s book is going to be a little hard to let go of–harder–because she’s my last Windham. Of course, the Windham pop up all over the place in other books. They EVEN show up in the Scottish Victorians, which I was very glad to see.

      A mother worries–I mean, an author worries.

  11. Loved the post. I didn’t realize how hard it was being an author and all the conflicting emotions that go with it. If it’s any consolation, I do not know what I would do without your books. They bring me comfort when I’m lonely and upset, they bring me joy when I’m bored and feeling out of sorts and when I’m having a bad day with the honey, it makes me feel a little better about my relationship.
    kac_030 at yahoo dot com

    • Those honeys… they can be a challenge.

      Thanks for those very kind words, kimmyl. I’m not sure every author gets as wrapped up her in stories as I do, or maybe it’s something I’ll find my balance with over time. Three years ago, I was unpublished, and now… THIS!

  12. When something big happens, I try to just let the emotions play as they do, at least for a while — mourning the old (even if it was a good old) and sparking to the new. And I try not to push myself too fast in any of that, but just mosey along at whatever pace seems called for. And before too long, I’m very excited by the new and have closed the previous chapter, so to speak.

    I’m discovering as I get older that life is a never-ending circle of endings and beginnings, sometimes all mushed together at once. But I find I enjoy the mushing :).

  13. What you said is so true. I have a hard time letting a book go. Every time I read through an MS I find something I want to change. Finally, I just have to force myself to let it go.

    • Fly, my pretties!!! And why doesn’t anybody warn us about this, Vikki? Why does every author have to learn this part of it for him or herself?

      Maybe because talking about grief, any kind of grief, is hard.

  14. That’s exactly how I refer to it – post partum. Every time I finished writing a book or workshop or putting together the pieces for an exhibit, I’d find myself wandering around the studio picking things up, putting them down, missing what was. For me, the best way to move forward is to know what’s next and to start thinking about that project as I finish up the current one. Now that I’ve moved in different directions, I’m still using that trick to transition between projects. The excitement of learning something new is highly motivating for me. I love learning.

    That said – LOL – I have no idea how to use an IPad but my eReader broke in March and I REALLY miss it so I’d be highly motivated to figure out how. What a wonderful giveaway.

    • Myrna, there’s an irony here. When I’m on deadline (like, NOW), and wrassling with a book that’s giving me fits, THAT’s when the next project comes along winking and nudging at my attention. At that point, the new project looks so sparkly and easy and fun.

      While the old project is an inert, sullen, tired mess. I suppose it’s an author’s equivalent to a cheating impulse, to want to nip off with that new project, and to heck with old what’s-his-Hero.

      Though I remain true (mostly!), and have enjoyed the results.

      • I can’t remember which blog I first read this on but she called it chasing shiny objects – like a crow. I think about the next thing but I don’t go there until I’m done the one I’m on. LOL – learned that lesson the hard way.

  15. First of all, I want to let you know how much I enjoyed The Heir. That has been one of my favorite books for a while now! πŸ™‚

    Secondly, I want to let you know how much I enjoy the tour. πŸ™‚ I found out so many things about your book! πŸ™‚

    • May, The Heir is 113,000 words, full of writing I’d buff to much higher shine now, and not exactly full of plot twists. I’m not sure what it is about that book, but I’m grateful for it. I love it so, but that others do too….. shucks.

  16. The thing I do is to take a deep breath and go to my best sources of comfort. Friends, family (not necessarily in that order), books and a little self-care. As I get older I find that I need to eat better and exercise more to avoid the slowing metabolism. Taking a walk can just make things seem better.

    • Martha, you are so right. Last night, I was in my post-courtroom immobile brain status, and realized I had to come up with a post for today.

      WHAT!?

      Took a walk, and there were 500 words. I love that!

  17. I love, LOVE your books! I am especially fond of the Windham family: Gayle & Anna, but especially Maggie & Ben. Something about their combined darkness speaks to me. Especially with them having to trust each other to overcome what they think is an unsolvable solution. Love that. Plus Benjamin’s dark looks… Mmmm!

    Ok, now to my question. With the Windham siblings each has a role or talent. Gayle is the responsible head of the family; Devlin is the soldier; Valentine, the musical prodigy; Sophie the homemaker; Maggie the shrewd businesswoman; Louisa has extreme intelligence; Evie has a talent for horses; and Jenny is the artist. What were Bart and Victor’s strong points? Did they have a specialty to focus on?

    • Christina, I know Victor better than Bart, because he shows up in Douglas and Gwen’s book, which comes out in January. Victor was the charmer and the diplomat. He was the guy you never had to tell how you felt, because he could look at you, if you were a friend or sibling, and just KNOW. In his illness, people would come visit him thinking to cheer up “poor Victor” and come away, having been comforted themselves.

      As for Bart… I’ve asked Madam Editor if he might be alive and well, living under an assumed name as a retired spy in the south of France. She’s not keen on the idea, but the readers’ preferences will carry a lot of weight with her.

      • Oh! I’d love to meet another Windham sibling! But if Bart comes back, what will happen to Gayle?

      • I just read this. Bart should be dead. Even allowing for fiction?, that is too much make believe, in my opinion.

  18. I have enjoyed reading the series and look forward to enjoying many more reads from you, Grace. And, yes, it is universal that we fret over our children but you need not fret over your lovely books.

    • Dot, ones does fret. The book market is so wildly arbitrary. People wrote BDSM erotica for years, and then–50 Shades sells 65 million copies. Many excellent erotica authors are scratching their heads over that one (while they write as fast as they can!), and that’s just one example.

      The fickleness works in the opposite direction, with some major review sites suggesting historical romance is dead and needs to stay that way.

      So I stay close to my writing, and ignore the elephants stomping in the pea patch.

  19. I have enjoyed following your blog tour and reading all your posts. I can see how putting your book out there would be like sending a child out into the world but yet different. It must take a lot of courage for an author to do that. When there’s been a lot of change in my life I do like to find some quiet time to read a book. It gets me away from the stress for a little bit of time.

  20. I just finished reading Ethan and loved it. My next book, which I will be starting today… is Beckman. I have enjoyed all of your books. The first one that I read, Soldier, was a thrift store ‘find’…. and I have been adding to that ever since. I have even pre-ordered Gabriel! All of your books that I have are in my ‘keeper’ book case! Keep right on writing!!

    • Betty, thanks so much! And for my print readers, I think Gabriel being on sale at Amazon for $5.39 is a much deserved thank you. I’m also told Ethan/Nick/Beckman might be out soon in mass market, and that would make me VERY HAPPY.

  21. I tend to be a one day at a time, one foot in front of the other kinda gal. With three young kids, every day feels like a major accomplishment!
    I have loved the blog tour and loved learning more about you, Grace. I love your novels so much!

    • Heather, thanks for taking time out of your very busy schedule to say hi–and I wanted to suggest that covering up the tats isn’t so much to keep the kiddies from a questionable influence (MOM on my bicep is a questionable influence?), but to give their parents one less excuse to deprive the kids of your programs. Your tolerance of their intolerance is to be commended!

      • Hi Grace! Amy F here, Heather E’s sister. You make a great point about the tats. The BGC I take my daughter to for camp is far less particular than mine, and I realized the other day that it is nice to see everyone looking uniform and I wished her club were more like mine. I’m thrilled for the position and hopefully can make a career of it. You have been so sweet and supportive of my journey!!!! And of course, I love your books – can’t wait to read more of the Scottish ones. I spent my junior year of college in Scotland -it’s near and dear to my heart. And those Scots men – hubba hubba!

  22. I just wanted to say that I have loved every book that I’ve read of yours, but my favorite would be Sophies’! Absolutely heart warming

    • Emily, that one took me by surprise. Something about a guy who loves babies… and will change a dirty nappy… must strike a chord with readers. I know I didn’t get big chunks of the Christmas story until I was a very pregnant unwed mother, no hand to hold, no one to help me get that dratted crib put together.

      Of course, that circumstance had nothing to do with an Angel of the Lord appearing, but it did make the book easier to write.

  23. Whenever I need to re-establish my balance after finishing a big project, I find one of my favorite books and glass of cabernet. The act of reading of my favorite books not only provides the comfort of the familiar but because I am so familiar with the plot I can actually examine the craft behind the work. Examining other writer’s techniques inspires me when I stuck in the middle of plot hole and can’t find a way out. Thanks for the giveaways!

    • Delia, I got so broke in the winter of 2009-2010 that I couldn’t let myself buy new books. I re-re-re-read my keepers, one after another, and had such a delightful time. I did, as you say, pick up on more of the craft than I had in earlier passes, as you say, but that only increased my appreciation for those old friends.

  24. It does sound kind of like parenting. When our son went off on deployment, we found it was a house. It felt empty and quiet. Not at all like the home that it was when he was here. We eventually found our way and figured it out.
    But it was awful hard for a while. As you said, it was all high energy and then…..crickets (and a few tears).
    Just know that, you are a terrific writer. And wonderful story teller. Thanks for sharing them with us.

    • Lisa, I cannot imagine what a Mom goes through, knowing her son is off to a war zone–or her daughter. Maybe that’s why military families are so close, because there’s no other way to bear it except with the people who know what you’re going through.

      Thanks for the kind words!

  25. While I have not read any of the above mentioned books, I really enjoy my “job” as a book reviewer! (my daytime, aka real job, is at a library) My husband always asks if I get paid for reviewing books…I tell him “yes”! Isn’t receiving free books (often before they are released) payment enough?! πŸ™‚

    I have enjoyed following around to all the different blogs participants associated with this event, and would love to win the IPAD!

    • Shondra, I think “librarian” is one of those jobs that ought more honestly to be called a vocation. Either you delight in the very scent of books, and in the treasure trove that is a library, or you don’t get it. Glad you’re one of the chosen ones!

    • Or… a lot disheartening. I always fret a little for brides who are all caught up in the wedding preparations, and then the great day comes and goes, and…. not crickets, but laundry, bills, dishes. My mom’s advice was to have a small wedding and a big marriage. Maybe she knew something?

      • Small wedding, big marriage. I like that a lot! People seem to forget that it’s not about the wedding, but a lifelong commitment that won’t be easy.

  26. Oh Grace!

    This post was so good and so very true. We get attached to people, pets, things, events and once these leave our lives we look for something else to replace them, and many times we’re successful, but sometimes we just can’t go that route and that’s where danger lurks, when we get stuck in that rut and just stand in one place….

    I just know that once my kids make me a Grandma, my blogging time will greatly diminish πŸ˜‰ I am so looking forward to it…but I can’t hurry these kids!

    Please don’t fret about your ‘baby books’ that have been roaming around the ‘wilderness’ because there will be many of us that will hug them close to our bosoms [and in my case, BIG! bosom-no kidding; I’m like an F now] and always look out for their ‘siblings’ to add to the ‘brood’ that’s at home, waiting to be ‘hugged’ once more.

    As always, thanks for your generosity, and I’m having my fingers crossed!

    HUGS!

    Mel
    b2b

    • Melanie, I can’t bring myself to wish for my daughter to become a Mom, not yet. My experience with parenting was honestly a little grueling, and she’ll want to be perfect at it (HAH!). But oh, a baby is a magical little person. To be smiled at by a baby is to smile right back.

  27. I have really enjoyed all of the books, but my favorite so far is probably the novellas about their Graces, and then Valentine. Though I did love Anna and Gayle. And Maggie. And Sophie. And Asher and Gil and Con… I really love them all.

    And as for the comment above about Bart, I would adore a story where he turns up alive, it would be such an interesting story as to what happened to him, but also about the rest of the family’s loss and gain.

    • Tina, you have my editor to thank for the novellas about Their Graces. I mentioned to Deb that my readers were asking about Percival and Esther’s courtship, and she encouraged me to see what developed in novella form. When I turned in “The Courtship,” she was pleased, but told me I’d missed an opportunity when I’d focused on the courtship instead of the time when Maggie and Devlin arrived.
      Back to the computer I did go, and it was my first romance with a married couple.
      Most readers really liked it, though a few found all the marital woes a bit much.
      Which is to say, a bit too realistic?

      • Well, if you look at most books too closely, many plot lines are a little much – but isn’t that half the fun, really? If it was all realistic it’d be pretty boring πŸ˜‰

        Oh, also in the novella, I loved the scene with all the kids on the bed with them, and “seeing” them all as little ones – especially knowing what happens to some of them later. Very poignant.

        Tina

  28. When I have that bit of depression right after a big to do I usually find myself looking forward to the next big thing. The sad thing is that for years I actually looked forward to taking my boys to their “well check” doctors appointments and when they are small you are going every couple of months but then they turn two and you have to wait a whole year before they go back to be weighed and measured and fussed over for how cute they are. Now that the boys are getting older I find myself looking forward to my next trip away from them and the business of getting them to one therapy appointment after another and all the things that daily life entails for us.

    Grace, I have enjoyed all your blog stops this month and can echo a little bit of what Hope said in her comment about feeling like a stalker sometimes. You have truly been such a blessing to my life this past year and not just with the books you write. I am so glad I took a chance on your books last September and I am so very glad to have gotten to know you as well.

    • Sarah, the feeling is mutual, and that sense of being in Mommy Jail befalls even those of us who have one, relatively unproblematic kid. Your boys are lucky to have you, but I felt lucky to make your acquaintance at RT too.

      And we MUST get you out again soon!

  29. The Windhams show up in the Scottish books?! Where? Where? Huzzah!
    Starting over after endings? I am not sure. I am trying, but I am not sure beyond focusing on now.

    • In Asher’s book, the Scottish Earl and the American heiress get themselves into a spot of trouble, and a leonine duke, his pretty duchess, and their bevy of reigning dowager sisters play a role in setting things to rights–temporarily.

  30. I’ve only recently discovered your books. I enjoyed THE HEIR next up THE SOLDIER. I’ve liked your insight into life and love expressed in your recent blog hop.

    Best wishes for continued success with your writing!

    • Laurie, you will have to let me know what you think of those guys. When most people read them, they were the front list, with nothing to compare them to. I wonder if my writing has changed since I wrote those guys, and if so, did it change for the better? Only a new reader could make that comparison with a fresh eye.

  31. Reading the part above about the helpless feeling once a book has been released from your personal grasp is definitely something I have considered in my own writing but I feel (referencing our chat) that maybe the time is near for me to let some out of the proverbial nest to test their wings. You’ve inspired me to get my butt in gear and go back to putting my thoughts to electronic ink! Now to choose which one to focus on first….. My question is, are you willing to be a pre-reader? πŸ˜‰

    • Kelley, of course! One of the happy surprises about being published is how supportive writers are of each other, at least the romance writers I’ve come across. I think this has a lot to do with why the romance industry did not go through a recession. The first adapters spread any good news like wild fire, and the cautions and warnings circulate just as quickly.

      It’s an interesting community, and one I enjoy.

      But yeah, bring it! I’ll tell you if you’re up on the wrong diagonal.

  32. I’ve followed along on all your blog stops, and it’s kinda funny seeing all the other familiar names, your faithful followers. I bet this month has played havoc with your writing, though. Back when the first books came out, sometimes the hero would make an appearance on a blog along with you, and make some comments. Do you think that will happen again. (I’d love a friendly word from Ethan or Asher.) Hey, there’s an idea for a blog, post a question to your favorite character.

    • Bonnie, one of the things I want to do when/if I can get free of the day job is frolic more on the website. Character interviews, Six Degrees of Grace’s Heroes, Nicholas’s muffin recipe… there’s a world I want to flesh out, but haven’t the time to do it.

      My version of scrapbooking?

  33. First I want to say how much I love your books!!! In my eyes you have no reason to be worried. I have watched my two grandchildren for four years, while their parents are at work. Well they are starting school on Monday and I have all kinds of things I have planed for my free time. I don’t know how many I will stick with, but my goals are not to high. So hopefully all will go well.

    • Mary, those kids were soooo lucky to be with family during their preschool years! I am envious of their parents. Hats off to you, and to grandpa to the extent he collaborated in your generosity.

      Be sure there’s reading on that free time list!

  34. First of all, feel free to send your book babies my way anytime. I promise I cherish them with love, care and devotion. I also keep them bundled together in a place on my shelf right next to all their brothers and sisters.
    As to my question, how many book babies are you planning for the MacGregor series?

    • Christina, that’s an open ended question. Right now, Tiberius’s sister Joan is slated for Christmas detail next year, and she has two younger sisters. I enjoy the Scottish Victorians tremendously, BUT the Regencies seem to have more sales velocity. So there will be a fourth next year, and after that… I’ll write more. I enjoy traveling in Scotland too much for there not to be more.

  35. I just want to say I fell in love with your book The Heir and have read every book you wrote in order since then. I devour your books and honestly love them all! I love your extraordinary story-telling and vocabulary usage. I’m so happy and excited to see “your coming soon” list. Thanks for hours of exceptional entertainment!

    • Kelly, you’re welcome. Thank you for those words of encouragement, and know that I love writing the books. That you appreciate them as a reader is icing on the big, sweet, chocolate cupcake.

  36. I am already starting to get nervous about my boys leaving, I’ve only got 5 years until my youngest is a senior in high school, that is not long enough. So I can imagine how you feel about your babies too!

    • Rhiannon, that you’re thinking about it now is a good thing, and my sister told me something that’s true: They don’t stay gone. They strike out into the big world, but you see them plenty, when they’re between apartments or semesters, over the holidays, when their washing machine busts… and they’re never away from your heart.

  37. I’ve been following the tour (or trying too). I have since added your books to my wishlist. πŸ˜‰ I haven’t read any but I am looking forward to it. Do you have one that you recommend i start with?

    • Terri, everybody seems to think The Heir is the place to start. It’s the first in the Windham family series, and introduces much of the family. There’s a prequel series coming out this fall though: Gareth/Andrew/Douglas/David and Douglas is the true Windham prequel.

      You can also start with The Bridegroom Wore Plaid, which is the first Scottish Victorian and a Publishers Weekly best book (so was The Heir). Another possible place to start is with Darius, who’s our flagship Lonely Lord (and Lady Vivvie says he has the best cover–we know, Vivvie). Maybe the other readers will have an opinion on this?

    • Arely, right now The Virtuoso is on $2.99 download, so that might be a low cost way to see if my writing agrees with you. Gabriel is also on $2.99 download, as is The Bridegroom Wore Plaid. I usually post on my FB page and website when there are other promotions.

  38. It has been an amazing tour! Thank you for the giveaway prizes and the chance to read more about you in the interviews!

    • Hiya, Xoun! If you’re a print reader, there will be two more weeks of signed books given away in pairs, both Bridegroom and Tartan, signed to you or the reading buddy of your choice (it’s never too early to Christmas shop)!

  39. What I have learned since becoming a blogger is just how hard you author’s have to work to get your babies out there. I had respect before hand but now I have such a profound respect for all that you do to give us something wonderful to read. So I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for all that you do for us.

    • Dawna, we appreciate the bloggers’ efforts too. To get the posts up, find the meta data, deal with the giveaways, monitor comments… it’s a labor of love, and has become a large part of how word of a new book is spread.

      So thanks right back achoo!

  40. LOVE all your books!! I can’t wait for book 8 of the Windham series.. That’s probably my favorite historical romance series out tehre πŸ˜€

    • Krysten–mine too, though Joanna Bourne’s Spymasters are addictive, the Desperate Duchesses are a lovely read, the Bridgertons are the best comfort reads going, and there’s NOTHING like a Bedwyn on a winter night.

  41. Hi Grace!

    I just have to say I love your books! The stories are so well developed and the characters so relatable. And the geek in me is thrilled that I learn new vocabulary whenever I pick up one of your new books – I’ve even started writing them down (after I look them up of course) so I can use them in my own writing. ;0)

    Thanks so much for your stories!

  42. Nobody does contest giveaways like you, Grace! You’ve made (or will make) somebodies very, very happy. And when they’ve read one of your delicious books (if they haven’t already), they’ll become historical romance convert. Keep on writing them and I’ll keep on reading them…

    • Hi, Janice! There are so many authors writing terrific historicals. Not to be partial, but I’d put Tessa Dare, Jo Bourne, Carolyn Jewel, Anne Gracie, Mary Balogh, Judith Ivory, and my other keepers up against any author in any genre. You cannot have too much of some good things.

  43. Darius IS the best looking cover, ever. If that is a real live person, I’d like to check him out and make sure he wasn’t airbrushed.

  44. I just keep thinking about how much I enjoyed the event…and what wonderful memories were made. Sometimes I journal it so I can remember what we ate…haha

    • You make a good point! I often journal the hard days. Come home, sit down, and before I’ve spent the entire evening on solitaire, I journal the hard stuff away. It hadn’t occurred to me to journal the-party’s-over in quite the same sense. Thanks!

  45. I really don’t know how you do all you do!! I have enough trouble keeping up with things and don’t do nearly as much as you. I’d be a happy camper if I could just read all the books that I want to keep up on and my favorite authors, as you are. I’m looking forward to all your stories and just need to catch up. I love it when an author has so many wonderful books to pick from and know that there are more coming! I’ve not kept up with the entire tour but some of them lol!

    • Catslady, I have not TV, and that helps. I also spent maybe 25 years being too busy to have much of an imaginative life. I went to night law school, so that meant working all day and then hitting class five nights a week. Before that it was a 60+ hour a week grunt job.

      So I’m ready to sit and play let’s pretend by the month, and I’m grateful for the privilege.

  46. Congrats on the new release, Grace. I’m a fan of your Windham series. Thanks so much for all the giveaways this month.

    • Janiec, the Windhams apparently have a LOT of fans, which leaves me wondering if I shouldn’t have made the MacGregor’s a larger family, with a matriarch and patriarch? The Scottish Victorians have kilts and scenery and burrs, but there’s something about those Regency family series….

  47. Ah Grace, I am one of your biggest fans. And it thrills me to no end that author Jennifer Ashley inspired you to write about Scotland, my dearest love in romance. Thanks so much for this wonderful and generous tour. I’m looking forward to getting your gift of Once Upon a Tartan in my mailbox soon =D. Keep up the great writing and I’ll keep tooting your horn on the blogs!

  48. I’ve been enjoying your tour and learning more about you. I’m new to your books but look forward to reading them in the future.

    • Jess1, hope you enjoy reading them. I might have mentioned this somewhere above, but at present, the discount reads are:
      The Virtuoso $2.99
      The Bridegroom Wore Plaid $2.99
      Gabriel $2.99

      I’d snatch up one or all of those, because I doubt any of them will last much longer.

  49. Grace, I’m really enjoying your books. I’ve ordered several of your novellas, pre-ordered Gabriel, and a copy of Once Upon a Tartan is on its way to me know. Out of a total of 133 books I’ve read this year, I’ve rated 6 as 5-star reads: two are your books, Lady Eve’s Indiscretion and Darius.

    As for your question re getting moving again after Christmas–we do it quickly, because that is the beginning of the Mardi Gras season, with King Cakes, parades, beads, and decorations of purple, gold and green.

    • LSU, you also live where winter isn’t such an imposition. Here in Maryland, I generally crawl through January, but by the end of January, I can tell the days are getting longer, and that HELPS. Then comes my daughter’s birthday in February, a few crocuses… Pretty soon, I’m hearing Beethoven’s Sixth.

  50. I am super excited to have discovered you and your books on this tour. I never expected to learn so much as well as get some insight into a writer’s mind. I am absolutely amazed. Thank you. I look forward to reading even more.
    Mel
    bournmelissa at hotmail dot com

    • Mel, thanks for stopping by, and geesh, this is probably my… tenth blog tour in three years. I figured I had nothing original left to say except, “Yeah, I really love this book too.”

  51. Hi Grace
    I love reading your books and now my favorite is Once upon a Tartan, a beautiful Scottish romance!
    My question is how do you keep up, where do you get all your energy? Great giveaway! I don’t own a reader, I use DH’s tablet hi hi
    Looking forward to read your next book! Keep writing those beautiful stories!

    • Nicole, you are fresh from your Calendonian adventures, so of course the kilts and burrs are going to appeal to you! I actually have very little energy, which means sitting in a chair for hours at a time is one thing I can do. And I still have a fair amount of mental energy, though nothing like what I had a younger woman. We work with what we have, yes?

  52. I’m one of the middle kids who is leaving home now.. and have to say I can feel my mom’s pain at times and see her eyes get that lonely look. I also though see the happiness that swells up that I made it this far and am about to head on to a huge journey.. just seeing that I know she will be okay, and I’m sure if your children love you as much as I love my mom they’ll be popping in to hang often. I can only hope I will be as strong as my mom is when its my turn to go through it. Your books are so awesome and have been honored to have the chance to read them, thats one of the many things I have in common with my mother.. love of books all genre’s. May you have continued success and thanks for the awesome week of stops and surprises.

    • Erika, your mom would be proud to read those sentiments. It might surprise you that my 89 year old mama has lately said to me, “I’d love for you to live with us, but it’s more important to me that you be where you’re supposed to be, writing the books you’re suppose to write.”

      And I needed to hear that, even after all these years. Someday, I’ll need to tell my own daughter the very same thing.

  53. I never thought about the analogy of your books being your children, but I suppose much of the same blood, sweat and tears go into ‘raising’ them to fruition πŸ™‚ I enjoy your books and I’m looking forward to your upcoming releases!

    • Wendy, I know they are books, not children. I would not confuse the two, but some of the feelings are the same. To write well, the heart cannot be closed up and careful. Same with parenting effectively, and yet, boundaries are always a good idea.

      I hate that.

  54. Ahh, Grace. Please know that when you send your book babies out into the world they are truly loved and adored by your fans. Me included. I’m also tickled to see the many more books you have planned for the future for me to savor. So even though we all look to the future…we as readers also keep the memories of your books close to our hearts. Just knowing I can reread them makes me happy.

  55. Hi Grace,

    I adore historical romance and enjoy your rich settings and wonderful stories. I’m in the process of submitting my Southern contemporary romances to editors through my agent right now. So many ups and downs trying to get a simple “yes!” Between my teenagers and trying to publish, the grey hairs are winning.

    • Susan, Robin Carr has a speech, where she looks around the room and asks, “How many of you are raising children? How many have elders or siblings depending on you? How many trying to bring in some income or even work a full time job? How many have a marriage or significant relationship that requires time and attention? How many trying to keep the physical health in proper shape?…”
      At this point, every hand in the room is raised.

      “And you wonder why it’s so hard to get anywhere with the writing? My friends, I promise you, IT WILL NEVER BE THIS HARD AGAIN.”

      Those parenting years are so challenging, and yet, I maintain they are the richest source of writing material for a romance author. I fell in love with a few fellows, but it was my daughter who taught me that relentless, beady-eyed, you-are-stuck-with-me sort of love. That’s the good stuff, and I’m sure it illuminates your writing!

  56. First, congratulations on the incredibly successful blog tour — I’ve followed and read the very thoughtful pieces that you’ve shared with the bloggers and readers about your books.

    Second, congratulations on the release of your new book and I wish you good luck for your upcoming projects. I am most excited about Lady Jenny’s story.

    To answer your question: how do I find my focus and re-establish my balance? With two kids below 8 and a household, I allot daily quiet time for myself and I read. I also take time to map out my week and that helps me remember important things that I need to do.

    Thank you for the great giveaway! Wishing you a restful weekend!

  57. Grace I’m lucky in that I no longer work so I really don’t have a big effort to do much of anything. When I do have something like that I just sit back, look around at my life, and say to myself “well, you succeeded and that’s what’s important”. I spent my morning at the community hall at church sorting clothing donations, folding many things, and putting them out on tables only to be told, as I was leaving, that they may need those tables before this coming Thursday. I asked the young lady who told me that to please stack the clothes neatly on the nearby couch but I’m not counting on it. I’ll be there by 8:00am Thursday so I’ll have at least two hours to get set up whether anyone shows up to help me or not. Would you believe, I found two real furs in one of the boxes? I’m trying to figure out how to sell them so the money can be used for the program, maybe for buying bus tickets or foods for the pantry or the like.
    I’m looking forward to Gabriel, which I have on order, as well as all your forth coming books. If I were to win the iPad, I’d buy a bag big enough for it so I could take it everywhere with me. lol

  58. I would like to thank you for the wonderful blog tour. I have learned so much about you and your books. I look forward to adding your lovely books to my collection and wish you continued success in your writing career.

  59. I hear where you’re coming from Grace. We watch our kids and give them all the pointers we can. We still have to stand back and watch some of their mistakes without interfering I feel because hopefully they will learn a better way to do it next time. I am totally proud of the direction my kids are heading but it took some time and a lot of gray hair.

    • I love writing series. I never know which siblings or secondaries will come strutting forth, “Me next!” or “I want HIM, not that dweeb you plotted out for me!”

      Wonder what the Regency term for dweeb is?

  60. When your books leave your hands, they go from having one mother to thousands of parents as readers take them into their hearts, minds, and hands. You’re not the only one to defend them anymore; readers have your back. πŸ˜‰

    • Ahhhh. You put me in mind of my reaction whenever I see young parents with their kids, so much of life ahead of them, hard and fun, both. I want to protect that young family, to smooth their way and help any way I can. They’re on the Big Adventure, and I hope it goes well for them.

  61. I’m a school librarian. While a child is in my school, I see all of them. I fuss over them, argue with them, encourage them and yet when they move on to the next school, my job is also done. Sometimes, they come back. I have a group of high school helpers that assist me after school. Most of these kids are former students and they certainly help out enormously. But they are in the minority, so I certainly can understand your feelings!!

    • I’ve wondered if year round school doesn’t take a toll on teachers because they have just a few weeks to adjust to a new batch of students, and process the loss of the last batch. That can’t be easy.

  62. It’s been a lovely tour and such a fun way to celebrate your books. I know how it is to send a child off into the world, but sending your work out there to be enjoyed, and perhaps judged, I can’t imagine how that feels. Best wishes for your continuing success, I look forward to reading many more of your books.

  63. Grace, I have read and enjoyed every single one of your books and just pre-ordered Gabriel. Thanks or all of your hard work and thanks for the chance to win an iPad!

  64. Very interesting to see your Beloved Offspring! Wonder how she feels having her mom as a recognized author. Thanks for your great giveaways. Hope I win one…

    • Mary, I use a pen name in part because I don’t write the kind of books she wants to be caught dead reading. I debated putting a pic of her up, but the occasion was so, very, very happy, and a little analogous to a book launch.

  65. I’m sure I could come up with an answer that would impress. But the truth is, when I finish a gargantuan effort, I usually fall apart. Wind up in the hospital. Get a nasty virus. I have yet to conquer whatever it is that provides better pacing when there’s a big presentation coming up or a major nonprofit event. I find this to be a serious personality defect in myself, and one I’m trying to prevent by not procrastinating for so long, by delegating more . . . I’ll let you know how that goes.

  66. I have had such a fun time following on the blog tour! And I am really looking forward to reading ONCE UPON A TARTAN! As all of you fans are, I am glad you are looking ahead to the next books, because we are looking forward to them! πŸ™‚ Congrats again on the release.

  67. Hi Grace! Just wanted to say I’ve had a fabulous time following your blog interviews! It’s been fun reading along to those and your answers to reader questions. Can’t wait to read what you have in store next!

    • We have more Lonely’s coming out, a couple of novellas, a Regency trilogy next year as well as a Scottish Victorian Christmas (Lady Joan, meet Dante Hartwell. Dante, your Christmas wife…). And then there’s this trilogy of Lawyers in Love, which my editor has bought, but we’re not quite sure where to position it…. A keeper shelf would be nice home for it.

  68. Hello Grace, just wanted to say thank you for having all these giveaways on your tour! Been fun following the first two weeks and reading your thoughts! I’m quite looking forward to reading Once Upon A Tartan!

  69. I used to think that being a writer would be the best job in the world: sitting at home alone in comfortable clothes, no make-up, bare feet, happily typing out the words. Hmmmm, well so much for the dream job. You are telling me that all jobs have a down side. Bummer…
    I love your books. Please keep them coming.

    • Diane, compared to the downside of being a child welfare lawyer… bad day writing is as good as most days lawyering. I’m sorry to say that, but it’s a reflection of how much there really is to love about writing.

  70. Hello again Grace! If it makes you feel any better, an author and her readers are like family. We read your books and enjoy them all. They’re like letters from a friend – we look forward to them and appreciate them no matter what. As far as criticism goes, as I like to say, you could be Mother Theresa and someone wouldn’t like you – as long as you’re striving to do your best that’s all you can do. Just send those books out to the universe and let them speak for themselves. Your devoted readership is the answer.

  71. I have yet to read one of your books that I didn’t love. Your article makes me smile…just look at the line-up of NEW BOOKS! Makes me so happy. I intend to love each one of them. Thank you for sharing your writing skills with us.

  72. Grace,

    Take some time for R&R after all of the hard work you have done on this book! Then please write some more, because I enjoy your books!

  73. You give me so much pleasure – Thank you for looking forward, I’ll be waiting for all.

    For me, I have to take a couple of days to sulk (pout, whine(wine) feel sorry for self) then put on the Big Girls pants and find the next project. It might be golf, a trip, art – does not matter if it gets my mind working and me doing something constructive…. then I can get in a balanced state again.

    I have to tell you, that I had a book I had been waiting for come in this week. A series that I have been reading. I am so bummed, this poor person did what I consider “killin self”, she wrote to have words on the page, many, many words on page just to publish something – without advancing the series at all. Rehash of the last 3 books, cliff hanger (same as last time) with promise of another book.This is the 3rd time in this year that someone did this and I have to say – fool me once ‘shame on you’ fool me twice (not gonna happen).. I can forgive a slow book or an off book, but a deliberate book to fool you into thinking you are getting something worthwhile and charge you double for (what your publishers are charging for what I consider the best books around?) She lost this reader…. Sorry, I have been so upset since finishing this thing last night – I just had to tell someone. I just can not bring my self to do negative reviews……

    • Georgie, I came across one of those cliff hanger series a few years back. I hadn’t realized people DID that with a romance series, and was so… NO! YOU CAN’T DO THAT!
      At least one reader felt a hint of that with Beckman and Gabriel, for which I’m mortally sorry. They started out as one HUGE book, and Gabriel and Beckman kept wrassling for the front page, and oh… bother. It’s wonderful to have strong secondary characters, but.

      • Well yours are all Finished Products of HEA- no matter who is trying to be front man there are endings as they should be, I love strong second characters, I know that means another book YEAH!!! .. Don’t take this anywhere near your heart – yours are always great.

        This one I am talking about, is not a romance – thus you expect some cliff hanger, but – this was nothing more than just the ability to get a large readership to buy something and keep sucking them in. After a while, I refuse to buy the next ones. I honestly think that some of the publishers may be pushing this. I really would like to think that all the folks who are involved in the publication of a novel of this many pages, would say “Where’s the MEAT”…

  74. I’m a new participant on this blog. I enjoy reading about Scotland and the people who have shaped it’s history~like the characters in your book. I liked the spunk and pride of Augusta. Genie in comparison was a drab personality to me. I couldn’t even empathize with her. The males in this book stood out, Ian especially, their personalities more developed. Nearing the end I could hardly put the book down in anticipation of how it was all going to end. Kudos an enjoyable read.

    • Sandra, thank you! Originally, even Mary Fran and Matthew’s story was on the page in Bridegroom, and my editor said that was JUST TOO MUCH. The secondary characters had to fade back (drab Genie–except when she’s mashing on Gil in the library), and the primary characters step up, and Mary Fran and Matthew got their own novella. So… you’re telling me the book more or less worked for you, and THAT makes me happy!

  75. Hi! Congrats on all of your success! I hope your having an awesome time on your tour! Love you books! Your characters are so enthralling! Keep your books a coming! Thanks! Have a great day!

  76. I’m another happy fan of all your book-writing. It’s good to know that you are still finding more characters to write about. You are a very generous person — not only in sharing your “children” with us, but providing all these opportunities to receive electronics to read in digital format. Thank you! Love the sweet picture of you and your grad.

  77. Congratulations Grace on a couple of amazing series.

    Thank you for the giveaway opportunity. Looking forward to my first newsletter !! πŸ˜‰

    sandy(at)thereadingcafe(dot)com

  78. Hello! Just wanted to let you know that I’m a fan of your work. I read a review of Darius, grabbed it from the library and immediately after I finished I went in search of your back list. I enjoy this universe of characters that you’ve created and the fact that you keep us in touch with the characters that you’ve crafted and made us love. I read so fast in my haste to get to the HEA that I miss a lot of things on the first pass and it has been a pleasure to re-read all of your work and pick up some new flavor or subtle nuance each time. Tye has the best vocabulary of any hero I’ve ever read (some how, some way, I’m going to work ‘matutinal’ into general conversation). I still haven’t managed to pick a favorite hero/heroine from Windhams, MacGregors or Lonely Lords as I enjoyed them all so much.

    Do you plan to do any appearances, signings or readings in Maryland or elsewhere? I’m looking forward to everything you have on the horizon and I can’t wait to see what you do with contemporaries as your work with historicals has been amazing.

    • Tiberius Flynn is one of my all time favorite heroes. I could HEAR him when I wrote, and my audio narrator, James Langton, nailed EVERY accent in this somewhat aurally challenging cast of characters. Glad you enjoyed Tye’s verbosity.

      But did you notice that by the end of the book, he was stripped down to one syllable? PLEASE.

      And it worked.

  79. Just discovered your books through the recent blog tour. Enjoyed reading your posts and look forward to reading the books.

  80. I have conflicting feelings when I finish reading a good book too – happy that I know the ending, but missing reading the characters stories – That’s why I enjoy epilogues, the let me glimpse a little bit more of the characters stories.

    • Diane, I like epilogues too. Let’s me visit with my characters on happy terms, rather than throwing issues and adversity their way. Authors need the epilogues and final scenes probably more than readers do.

  81. I don’t know if anyone asked this, but are you planning any more novellas or even a novel for the Duke and Duchess of Wyndham? And what about his brother’s family? Will we be getting any books for them? I’m looking forward to the next Wyndham book but am sad its the last of the siblings.

    • Moriah, the Windham have FOUR female cousins, daughters of Uncle Tony and Aunt Gladys. And yes, I can see a Regency series there… probably for 2015, because 2014 is booked up with more Lonelys, and a trilogy of Regencies I refer to as “The Captive Hearts” trilogy (where we’ll see some of St. Just in the first book). Thanks for the question!

  82. For me, a set routine is the only way I can feel grounded no matter what is going on in the rest of my life. I dislike change but am trying to find ways to deal with its inevitability so that I can cope better. I LOVE everything you’ve written with the reviews to prove it (http://austenstudent.tumblr.com). Thank you so much for the giveaway offer, your elegant blog, and your insightful posts. πŸ™‚

  83. It’s been great reading about the book — and Scotland! — on all the different blogs. I’ve been exposed to a lot more review sites than I ever knew existed. That’s been great too — now I have more places to find good books! People (and I am one of them) always talk of adding books to their TBR pile. I have now added lots of new websites to my internet favorites. What a wonderful, unexpected bonus!

    • Happy are we with a teetering TBR pile! If you haven’t come across her yet, you might consider Anna Cowan’s debut novel, “Untamed,” which a Regency, but a very different and well written form of Regency.

  84. I’ve always wanted to know who are your models for the covers. They are too good looking to be real and too elegant.

    Anyways, I stay motivated by thinking about what I want to do with my future and to do it the way I want it. I’m always telling myself that I should follow what I want and to stop doing what others want me to do. I would tell myself that if I can’t accomplish what I want, then I prove to them nothing and so I try to accomplish my goals.

  85. I think it is like any other major accomplishment, you put so much time and effort into it, that it is somewhat of a letdown when it is out of your hands (but hopefully you can bask in your sense of satisfaction for awhile). I suspect that, like any perfectionist, you start thinking of ways that you could have done something better but hopefully you get immediate amnesia when unkind comments come your way and treasure the compliments that you deservedly garner. Thanks for all of the wonderful giveaways.

  86. As a high school teacher, I’ve picked a career that seems to have many of those transitions – the end of the school year, the end of the summer, Christmas vacation, spring break. This kind of transition is difficult for me. One thing I’ve learned over the years is to be consistent about taking care of me. Get up on the first day of vacation, eat breakfast, get exercise in, get plenty of sleep. On the first day of school, plan to go to the gym, even if I’m exhausted. And always read something fun for at least 10 minutes before bedtime. I’ve found that I can process the changes much better if I keep some things the same. It also helps to take the time to plan something fun before the transition point – a visit to relatives in my college town, a trip to NY to see my sister, our 4th of July family reunion.

    • Thanks to ALL who commented on this post and the other Once Upon a Tartan E-reader Extravaganza posts. Amy’s comment will be the last to qualify for the iPad giveaway, and the winner will be announced on my home page and on FB by Thursday night. Cannot tell you, my friends, what a pleasure it is to blog with you! Even if I didn’t respond to your comment individually (book deadlines are pesky nuisances sometimes), I did read every comment, and I thank you so much for all your kind thoughts and wishes.

  87. As usual, I am impressed with all your stories. Just finished Once Upon A Tartan. Started reading it again. I read so fast in the beginning-I tend to miss many important parts.
    The thing that impresses me the most, is the way all your heroes take such pains with personal hygiene. Sexual activity is a messy endeaver-but- with thoughful care about each others body-makes it a special activity indeed.
    Your stories are coming so fast and furious- Hope I can keep up. But don’t stop- Betty