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Archives - Weekly Update

A couple of years ago, I met two authors at the American Library Association Convention in Philadelphia. I was at the end of a very busy week-long trip; I had been at the American Booksellers Association’s Winter Institute in Baltimore. I was in Philly just for a day; there were a few panels I wanted to attend, and a few authors and publishers I wanted to see. But my plan was not to pick up any more books.

Then I went to a panel and heard Alli Frank and Asha Youmans talk about their debut novel, TINY IMPERFECTIONS. Their description of the book, which had to do with the kindergarten admissions process at a tony private school, had me laughing so hard that I went up to them afterwards and asked if they had a copy. They handed me their last one. I went home and read it first, and laughed at their well-paced humor. They stopped by the office the next week to have a quick chat; in fact, the photo on the front page of their website is of the two of them in my office. I loved the book and selected it as a Bets On title. TINY IMPERFECTIONS came out in May 2020 when the world was shut down, and I feel like a lot of people missed out on getting to see or hear them.

Today is the first FULL day of fall, and here it’s been a textbook fall day with beautiful blue skies. Well, maybe it could have had a bit less wind. For all those who are ready to write, “Carol, fall started yesterday,” Victoria on our team told me today that since it started at 9pm last night, today is the first full day. Semantics!

After the brutal heat of the summer, the garden is looking better than ever. I have been cutting flowers to make small arrangements of dahlias and zinnias. The rudbeckias and zinnias have the pop of color that I love. This is the first year that I am resisting buying the plants that are labeled Fall, namely more rudbeckias and mums. I typically put mums in baskets on the front porch and then forget to water them. And they die. I am hoping that the frost holds off for at least a month. Fingers and clippers crossed. Of course, we could go the route we went last year, draping the plants at the first sign of frost. It looks really artistic. With the weather cooling, my pool days are numbered, so I am back to reading on my recumbent bike.

It’s been one super busy week as I’m juggling current projects, noodling new ideas, and writing sympathy thank you notes. I have the world’s worst handwriting, so I’m inserting typed notes into cards for the latter!

I am bemoaning loudly that my days in the pool when it was in the 80s are behind me...and, ah, the weeks when it was 88 were really blissful. I am not ready for fall this week. I am ready to start gluing leaves back on the trees. The cooler temperatures mean that the garden is looking a lot better. Yowser, the heat this summer fried a lot. We refreshed all the herb pots, and those should carry us through at least part of the winter. Tom and I were at the garden center last week in the pouring rain; he’s happy as this meant we were not trudging around looking for more perennials. Twenty percent off did not give me enough incentive to walk in a downpour.

We are back! It was a very quiet week off. I read --- and slept --- a lot. The reading was terrific, so I am bringing you four upcoming Bets On selections.

I finished Alice Feeney's DAISY DARKER at the start of the vacation week, and as I was reading it, I kept thinking, “It was a dark and stormy night.” There are a few twists; one I guessed early on, but keep in mind that I am the person who guesses what is going on with movies early on too. It makes my husband crazy! The other twists Alice got me on. I am hoping to interview her in a couple of weeks; I like her prose, and she has a real way with words. I was marking up one phrase after another. This is just one of the reasons that it will be a Bets On pick, and I will have my commentary in a couple of weeks.