Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Yes, we have no storm

snow, windy, temps minus 2

The storm that was forecast never showed up here in Montreal - but we're very happy to have come into the city a day early. There was a huge storm expected - up to 40 cms of snow...yesterday. Michael's two sons were visiting us in the country and were supposed to stay until today, then drive in to Montreal. We were leaving too - to spend a few days here and relax. But with the 'weather bomb' forecast we had a large bacon and eggs late breakfast, then all packed up and scooted in to the city.

Traveling was so easy - and a relief not to have to worry about the weather.

Arrived in time for a late lunch at Bistro on the Avenue, on Greene ave (Bistro burger and fries) with the guys - then they left and Michael and I rented some movies and lay on the bed and began our 'vacation'.

Awoke to...nothing. No storm. A bit of snow right now, but hardly the blizzard we'd expected. yes, we have no bananas.

Apparently in the country there was epic rain, and now the temperatures are plunging, so the Eastern Townships will soon be a huge skating rink.

I could go on, and I know this is fascinating, but I think I'll stop talking about the weather.

.... hmmm .... nothing else comes to mind. ....

Actually, since we came in a day early (did I mention the storm warnings?) we now have a day 'free'. I plan to spend it writing the January newsletter and drinking coffee. And watching the dvds we rented. So lovely to have pretty much no agenda while here. I have a telephone interview tomorrow with a big Canadian lifestyle magazine (I'll be in the pjs, lying on the unmade bed, with crumbs stuck to my face - talking about my lifestyle) Then have to actually get dressed and head to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation studios for a live interview on Radio Noon. should air about 12:30 tomorrow. Shawn Appel, the host, and I will be talking about making changes in our lives...hitting a certain point in our lives and deciding the joke is over and it's time to finally go for the dream. Or, perhaps, I'll talk about the weather. A gal can dream.

Hope you're enjoying this always magical week between Christmas and New Year. Always seems such a gift, of time and family, of frivolity and quiet times. A deep breath.

Talk soon - hope you're well.

Monday, 26 December 2011

Merry Christmas, Joyeux Noel - plus one

bright sunshine, though woke up to flurries - temps minus 3

I meant to wish you a Merry Christmas but our internet was off and on - so just managed a quick greeting on Facebook....but a longer entry here was impossible. So I gave up and rejoined Michael and Doug by the fireplace.

We had a beautiful Christmas. The photo was taken on Christmas snow, followed by a cloudless sky. It was simply breath taking. I took the photo from our front porch.

Christmas Day itself was perfect, from our hermetic point of view. Mild, but snowy and windy - quiet dramatic. And made us feel all the more content and snug by the fire. We listened to carols and talked all day - except for a brief period late in the afternoon when we watched a movie. then back to the fireplace.

Such a peaceful rhythm to our lives here. We drop by neighbours with little gifts and cards - and they drop by here. It's almost always a bit of baking.

I have eaten far too much - even had the dreaded 'seconds' of turkey dinner. I love thanksgiving and Christmas dinners. Sweet potatoes, potatoes, peas, stuffing, and lise's chocolate and mint mousse. Then chocolates and clementines. I awoke this morning vowing never to eat again. but now am remembering the turkey leg and egg nogg in the fridge. I might need professional help!

Doug has left - and the bedding had been cleaned and beds remade for Michael's two sons who are arriving this afternoon. We made the traditional turkey casseroles from the leftovers - in layers. Made three. One for tomorrow night and one each for the guys to take home with them. Tonight, we have a special treat....Pat's Christmas gift to us is a vat of her spectacular seafood chowder. With fresh baguette I picked up in the village this morning.

Gary hoping to come tomorrow to take some photos - but snow forecast, so that might not work! Then lunch in Knowlton with Lise, at Cafe Floral while Michael takes his sons to lunch. Breakfast on Wednesday with Cheryl. Lovely to have time to see friends.

Michael and I hope you have had the sort of Christmas you wanted - whether it was quiet or rowdy - parties or peaceful times - or a mix of all of that. We wish you warmth and love. And offer our thanks for being there for both of us.

Happy holidays.

Tuesday, 20 December 2011


slight flurries off and on, then sunny. temps minus 7

Not much snow, but still, just enough to cover the grass. Rain forecast for tomorrow...ugh. but - sometimes, when it's raining in the village, it's snowing up here. Fingers crossed.

The photo was taken by Susan, when we took Trudy for a walk on Sunday morning. Yes, there I am, in my pajamas. Outside. in winter. And proud of it. Thank God I'm already married - this look might not appeal to every man. Or woman. but dogs? They love it!

Having a lovely time - feel myself creaking back to 'normal'. I'm sure you know that feeling....waking up, and immediately 'switching on' - surveying all that has to be done that day. And then that amazing realization...nothing. Or at least nothing crucial. No speeches, no planes, no long drives, no dinners. No book to write, or re-write, or edit. Yet.

this is bliss. Just the regular daily chores and events. Calls to make, slight problems to solve. But no mountain to climb. No need to watch the weather. No need to formulate a plan b. or even a plan a.


All the beds are made, the big groceries bought, the meals planned, the gifts wrapped. All heading to Friday when family begins to arrive. They're coming in shifts. And we love them all.

Tomorrow Gary is dropping by, if possible and weather permits, to take more author photos - hoping to do them outside, so it needs to be winter-y - but not too cold. happily, there's no big rush. Greece wants one asap, but we have some recent ones we might send.

My great friend Lesa Holstein has named A Trick of the light on her year end 'favorites' list. It's a terrific list, for those of you wondering what to read. And she has wonderful comments about why she liked each book. her blog is called Lesa's book critiques.

Hope you're not under stress and are enjoying the season. Michael just came back - gotta run to say hi and give him a hug. Speak soon!

Sunday, 18 December 2011

Little Things and Great Friends

bright, sunny day - gorgeous - temps minus 8

Brittle day - in every way. heavy frost, like crystals clinging to everything. In the sunshine it is just spectacular.

Had a very fun day yesterday. Susan arrived from Montreal just before noon. We had a coffee together, then she and I hopped in the car and drove to Vermont. Stopped at the Pinnacle Peddler, in Richford, for lunch - then onto Enosburg Falls and the Hannaford store. It's a huge grocery store. Because it's american, there are all sorts of brands we don't get in Canada. Very fun. Susan really loves to cook and knows food - so I just tagged along and impulse bought. (two different kinds of egg nogg! Yum)

then home. We're allowed to bring groceries across the border - we just declare it and show the receipt. The Canadian border guards read it to make sure we aren't bringing in alcohol or tobacco or guns, I guess. Thank God egg nogg isn't considered a drug - yet.

Got home by about 4:30. It was pitch black already. Wow. Makes 6pm feel like 10pm.

Michael and I had a meeting to go to last night - and Susan had already planned to cook. We got home about 7:30. Desperately cold night. How wonderful to come through the door and smell all those wonderful aromas. You can see Susan doing the last minute preparations.

We put out the Christmas plates and set the table with Christmas decorations and crackers. Exchanged gifts. Susan had baked Michael eccles cakes (his favorite and a real treat) and made me a batch of raspberry shrub drink (my favorite). We gave Susan a tacky/fun New York Christmas decoration - since she loves New York more than anyone I know, including New Yorkers. And a personally signed Ian Rankin (she also loves him).

Our propane fireplace, after working brilliantly for a month, suddenly isn't working. Very disappointing, as the cold, and Christmas, close in. What's off, besides the fact it was working so well for so long, is that the flame doesn't just go out, but the pilot light goes out too. Bob, our construction manager, is on the case with AJR Lacroix - where we bought it. Fingers crossed they can solve it soon. But still - there are far worse things! And the rest of the house is working wonderfully.

Last night was the first real test of our geothermal in winter. Got down to minus 15 overnight, but it kept plugging away - keeping us snug and warm. Such a relief!

Now we're enjoying a quiet afternoon. Susan's headed home and we're watching football. Lovely not to have, or need, an agenda. tomorrow some chores in Cowansville - then home we hope for the fireplace repair person.

Watching Denver and New England. Great game so far.

Friday, 16 December 2011

The Messiah

overcast, dreary, damp - temps plus 1

The last of several days of wet and gray. Very, very mild yesterday - up to seven degrees. And huge amounts of rain. We were very lucky - drove the almost 4 hours home from Ottawa through rain, but not the heaviest.

From Montreal we drove to Ottawa on Wednesday. Arrived just afternoon and went out for Indian food. Again, disappointing. Strange. I hadn't realized how very lucky Michael and I had been by having a terrific Indian restaurant around the corner from us in Montreal for many years. It closed a year ago. I'm afraid I just assumed all Indian restaurants were that good.

they aren't. Still - it was a treat.

Then back to the Ottawa hotel in time for a nap before the evening festivities. Met our friend Bal, his son Jim and Jim's wife Melissa in the lobby, then drove to the national arts Centre. Our friend Trevor was conducting Handel's Messiah. But one of the treats was that before the concert Trevor had agreed to a public 'conversation' in a smaller room, with one of Canada's great interviewers, Eric Friesen. We got there early and had terrific seats to hear Trevor and Eric talk about the Messiah, about music, about Trevor's feelings about music and approach to conducting. He was incredibly open and generous in letting us see into him. And Eric's insightful questions helped, of course.

Trevor had arranged for us to have a private box at the NAC. Just before the concert began we got to the box...the lights dimmed, the soloists walked onto the stage to thunderous applause. Then the concert master. And finally Trevor in his white tie and tails. Thrilling.

But....I have a fear of heights that is situational. I can sit on our fifth floor balcony in Montreal without a problem - but in a theatre I always have great difficulty. And, to my dismay, I felt it wash over me in bigger and stronger and more smothering waves. finally, I had to leave. I stood outside, looking through the glass door and hearing the muffled Messiah.


Then I had an idea. I snuck back in and whispered to Michael....then I retreated again. And went downstairs to the main floor. Sneaking down the aisle, outside the concert hall, I finally saw what I was looking for. One of those small 'jump seats' reserved for attendants. But this one was empty. And close enough to the stage I could have been called on to have a solo!

So I snuck in, pulled down the seat - and enjoyed the entire concert. It was magnificent. magnified, if possible, by having great affection for the conductor. Trevor actually played the harpsicord, and conducted from there. It was a virtuoso performance. And the orchestra and choir and soloists were glorious. No other word. Glorious.

then the Hallelujah chorus....everyone stood. I asked afterward where that tradition came from...apparently the king (not sure which one) stood at that point in the work, and of course everyone else did. And since then, we all do it at every performance of the Messiah. Very communal.

when we left home for Montreal earlier in the week I forgot my glasses. Need them to read - it was very strange not to have them. But it meant I couldn't read the programme- and still haven't had time to do it. but have saved it for a quiet moment. A treat.

The concert was two and a half hours, but was over in a flash. Standing ovation, of course - and many curtain calls. We were so happy for everyone - they all seemed so pleased. Joyful.

Then our party retired to the NAC restaurant for dinner - when trevor entered to join us the entire room burst into applause. It was wonderful to see a man who deserves every honour, be honoured.

Dinner ended at midnight and we got back to the hotel, and collapsed into bed. Next morning we drove through driving rain to get home. so much rain that the dirt road leading to our house was slick and almost molten. The hills in particular were disconcerting, as the car slipped and slided along. But we were careful and got home in time to see the end of the marble installation. I took some photos to show you - you've been so supportive and encouraging, as our frayed nerves frayed further.

As you can see, the marble looks amazing. What a lot of work for Bob and Mike and Paul and Ashley and everyone who helped. Now we just have to learn to use it - and not treat it as though it wasn't stone at all but silk. Paul - the marble guy - said the sealants are so much better, that we needn't worry about staining anymore - if there is a stain, it's only on the sealant and we can just lightly sand it off, and reseal. It won't get down into the actual marble.

We'll see... But like the floor and everything else, it's meant to be used and lived in - stained and scratched. Like me. At least marble doesn't wrinkle (or grow a mustache) as it ages.

The latest drama is that our wonderful gas fireplace is not longer working. Pilot light went out and refuses to stay on. Lots of gas in the tank - the technician thinks it might be the valve. Michael and I nodded and tried to look intelligent. But it means a repair and no fire through the weekend. too bad.

Our friend Susan is arriving tomorrow - staying just the night. Very fun to see her for a pre-christmas celebration.

Hope you're enjoying yourself and this run up to Christmas. Be well.

Tuesday, 13 December 2011


Snow, sleet, freezing rain, rain, snow, sleet.... temps at freezing

Not the nicest day to drive in to Montreal, but not really too bad. Had breakfast in Cowansville, then Michael and I hit the autoroute and arrived in Montreal just before noon. As you can tell, it's a raw day. Damp and dreary. But I had a real treat to look forward to - afternoon tea!

I thought it was wonderful and very thoughtful of the women at the french Quebec publishers - Flammarion Quebec - to decide to take Lise and me out for high tea. Very english! It's become a tradition. last year we went to a Montreal institution, Birks, for tea. But it was all booked up today - so Louise Loiselle, the publisher, found this other place - Maitre Chocolatier on Sherbrooke St - that serves very english high tea.

You can see the photo. Down the right side, from front to back (the window) are: Louise Loiselle, then Lise (My Assistant - as she is now legally known), then Louise Chabalier (one of the translators) then Marie-Claude, who works at Flammarion. Down the other side, from front to back, are Claire Chabalier (one of the translators - they're sisters), and Anne Saskia, who also works at Flammarion.

We had such fun. They are a terrific group. We laughed, and heard all about Louise and Claire winning the Governor General's award for translation - very moving story. The entire afternoon flew by in a cloud of conversation and thinly sliced cucumber. Lise had brought Hovey manor granola as Christmas gifts for everyone.

Then Lise and I walked back through the Christmas lights of Montreal - so pretty - and down to Ogilvey's, to look at their famous Christmas window. Then I walked her back to her hotel, where her husband Del was waiting, and hopped a cab home. dinner and an early night for Michael and me. off to Ottawa tomorrow to hear our friend Trevor conduct the Messiah at the National Arts Centre. A rare treat.

Speak to you soon - hope you're thriving!!

Saturday, 10 December 2011

Peace and quiet

bright sunshine, new snow, mild, temps minus 3

Perfect winter day. My slight cold seems to have gone to my voice, so I sound like an adolescent boy. Lucky Michael.

So exciting to hear that the Toronto Globe and Mail has named A Trick of the Light one of the Best Crime Novels of 2011! Such an honour - and such fabulous's a great list. I'm afraid I don't know how to do a link here, but Marjorie has a link up on my Facebook page, if you're interested. All great books!

Finally a quiet day. No one expected....though that often means nothing. Still, I have to say, it is very nice to have people drop in, and know they're welcome. But it's also nice to have nothing at all in our agendas for today or tomorrow.

The only issue now is that we're having some difficulty getting the TV to work. But that's not surprising. We're really in the middle of nowhere. No cable. We rely on satellite. If a cloud, or large bird, flies by we lose transmission. Thank God we're not the DEW line!

poor Luc, from Electronquie Knowlton has practically set up a cot here. We're considering putting him in our wills. But now he thinks he's solved it. I think mice in the basement might not help either. High tech, confounded by clouds and mice. Sort of poetic and perfect, really.

King's College Cambridge has ceded their place to Bing Crosby. He's now singing Silver Bells. I'm not sure I'd normally be drawn to the song or style - but this album is so intertwined and empowered by 50 years of Christmas memories, that I can't imagine the holidays without it.

We took the photo last night, to show you the lights on the honeysuckle outside the sitting room window. Hard to see in the photo, but you get the idea.

Have taken advantage of the quiet to wrap all the gifts. Most of the cards done too. Great feeling.

Heard from Linda in Scotland...a little damage from that 'weather bomb' a few days ago - but most back to normal now.

Michael has finished his jigsaw and is now beside the fire with his Sudoku. I plan to spend the afternoon reading. Ahhhh. Hope you're happy and healthy and enjoying your weekend.

Speak soon!

Thursday, 8 December 2011

lucky stars

clear, temps minus 3

We woke up to snow this morning. Not a lot, but enough to finally give us a Christmas feeling. Flurries a few times through the morning, then it cleared up and the day became lovely and sunny.

well, our Christmas tree is up and decorated! Lights on the tree outside too - throwing beautiful light into the house. We're having a few days of near constant activity here - fun things....details getting looked after. You know what it's like. The last five percent of renovation work. but a very fun five percent. Just lots of running around. but now the television is in, the stereo hooked up, King's College Cambridge singing carols, just for us. Fire lit. Michael has his afternoon hot chocolate and I have my tea.

Woke up with a slight sore throat - worsening a bit as the day has gone on. Longing for a bath but ran out of time today. But wow, I just kept thanking my lucky stars that it hit the day after my very last event. Wow. All through the book tour - and into the fall - I just kept praying for good health. A cold on tour is terrible.

and sure enough - now it hits, when I have all the time in the world (almost) to relax. Or at least, no obligations in cement. The last event - and it's not even mine, we're in the audience - is heading to Ottawa middle of next week to see Trevor conduct the Messiah at the National Arts Centre. The day before that, the wonderful people at Flamarrion Quebec have organized an afternoon tea and invited Lise and me - to celebrate the success of the past year and the imminent publication of the fourth book in French, Defense de tuer (which means - no's a sort of play on the American title, A Rule Against Murder). Many people around here, ourselves included, have 'Defense de tuer' signs on our properties - warning against hunting on our land.

The nights draw in so early now. 4:30. Lovely to sit by the fire, listen to carols, sip tea and look at the lights outside reflecting off the snow.

Trudy needs to be fed and walked - she's reminded me a few times already (though she starts wondering at about 3pm).

I hope you're enjoying a quiet evening too. We're following the terrible storm in Scotland. Linda Lyall, who manages my website and newsletter lives there and she wrote this morning saying they were all on red alert for 165 mile an hour winds! Can you imagine? We're waiting for news from her.

Hope you're well - talk soon!

Monday, 5 December 2011

Goodbye New York...

rain, mild, temps 8

Well, we're back home....sort of. Michael's in sutton and I'm in Montreal. But we're back from New York City.

You know, I honestly can't imagine a more magical time! Not a single moment of the four days was marred or flawed or anything other than wonderful. Here are a few photos from the last few days in New York.

You can see Michael and me in front of the famous Picasso back cloth painting, hanging in the hallway of the Four Season's restaurant. We'd actually forgotten it was there, and as we were walking down the long hallway we both stopped at once, and gasped. There it was! And here it is, enhanced by the two goofy, blurry people obscuring it. Enjoy!

That was Friday night. Before arriving for dinner Michael and I went to Saks Fifth Avenue, because he's forgotten all his ties at home. Two suits - no ties. and because he's a bow-tie guy we can't just buy one on a street corner from the fella also selling hot chestnuts and giant pretzels. When we came out of Saks we noticed all these people staring at the outside of the building....some apparently filming it. We turned around and - voila! A light show was being projected on it.

Very fun....and very intricate.

From there we walked down to the rink at Rockefeller Centre - to see the huge lighted Christmas tree. You can see the photo of Michael - having all sorts of bright ideas.

We had a fabulous dinner with my editor, hope and charlie.

Then on Saturday Michael woke up not feeling great - upset stomach - so we ordered room service and spent the day literally in bed. Reading the newspaper, books, watching TV....napping. By late afternoon Michael was feeling well enough to go to the gala at the MetLife Centre for the Nero Awards. It's called the Black Orchid Banquet and the people are all passionate about the writing of Rex Stout - huge fans of Nero Wolfe. it was fascinating to hear them discuss nuances I never knew existed, though I read a lot of the Nero Wolfe books when I was younger....and even developed a bit of a girlish crush on Archie.

The Black Orchid Novella Award (bona) was also given out that night to James Lincoln Warren. It'll be published in the Alfred Hitchcock Magazine, and it sounds wonderful! Congratulations Jim. He also gave a beautiful, gracious, moving speech.

And then the Nero was announced. You know the results. I was so happy to be there - it was a remarkable moment, to be in a room filled with men in tuxes and women in the MetLife building in Manhattan....accepting an award named for one of the great creations in detective fiction. Wow.

On sunday Michael and I had breakfast at a nearby neighborhood hangout....Friend of the Farmer - which our friend Susan recommended last time we were in NYC. We loved it so much we returned. Then we walked all the way uptown, to Central Park, and took a horse and carriage ride through the park. then met my british publisher, who happened to be in NYC, at the Plaza for afternoon tea in the Palm room. A really magnificent room!

I'll tell you, New York anytime is wonderful - but at Christmas, it's even more extraordinary. Genuinely magical.

Then today we had breakfast, hopped a cab to JFK and onto a short jetBlue (45 minutes) flight to Burlington, VT. From there we got the car and drove to Richford, to pick up some packages and mail some on....then across the border to Quebec. As wonderful as New York was, it always feels great to cross back into Canada. Nothing political or social or anything more meaningful than home. As simple as that.

Though we are dreaming of a pied a terre in Gramercy Park! Never hurts to dream.

I dropped Michael at home, organized my clothes, then back into the car to drive to Montreal. I'll be speaking tomorrow at the annual Christmas luncheon of the Women's Canadian Club.

Then back into the car....and home! Dreadful rain driving in tonight. Driving rain. And some snow in the forecast for tomorrow - but it sure will be great to close the door behind us....and cocoon.

Thanks for your company in NYC. We left the hotel bill for you to pay....

Saturday, 3 December 2011

Nero Award!

clear, mild, temps 40

Bury Your Dead just won the Nero Award here in New York City. It was given out at a gala at the MetLife building. wonderful, wonderful evening. Lots of fun - whole evening celebrating the works of Rex Stout (who, of course, created Nero Wolfe). Mr Stout's daughter and some of his grandchildrn (and even a great granddaughter) were there too.

Very, very fun evening...and what a great honour. Wow! Michael and I went with Sarah Melnyk, my publicist at Minotaur Books. she's just terrific.

I wanted you to know right away. We have some photos etc, which I'll put on the next blog entry.

We're still in new york on Sunday - having Afternoon Tea at the Plaza with someone from my british publisher, Little, Brown. Imagine that - I feel so terribly fortunate. Wow.

Friday, 2 December 2011

New York City

sunny, mild, temps mid-forties

Beautiful day, in every way. We're in New York City - staying in the Gramercy Park Hotel. We've been to New York about once a year since the books were published....but we made the 'mistake' (at least for us) of staying the first few times in hotels in midtown. Which is pretty much like staying in the Grand Canyon. Not a lot of neighourhood feel. Just loads and loads of people and office buildings/hotels. Magnificent, but doesn't feel very human.

We honestly didn't like New York very much. Were in awe of it. But there wasn't much affection.

But then our friend Susan, who adores New York City, suggested we stay downtown...Greenwich, Chelsea, Soho....a place that is actually a neighborhood. With small restaurants and markets and where people live. So we found a place on Union Square....and started our love affair with this city. Now we've moved to Gramcery Park and the affair deepens. It just gives us such a thrill to walk out the door, turn onto Lexington and see the Crysler building...or look down park ave and see the empire state building. Just standing on Park Ave gives me a thrill!!! You can see Michael outside the Flatiron building, looking toward the Empire State building.

But I have to tell you about the flight down. We got up in Sutton yesterday morning...had breakfast. Tony came by, then Bob came by - but we got away just after 9am...drove to Burlington, VT for our flight. So much easier to fly out of Burlington than Montreal - we're already across the border, so no airport customs, and it's a lovely, small airport. We arrived early, and I parked the car while Michael checked the bags in. We already had our boarding pass.

When I arrived I noticed there was an earlier flight that had been delayed and was leaving in 20 minutes....I hesitated, but thought I might as well ask....could we get on the JetBlue flight about to leave?

Our bags had already been checked. We had boarding passes for the later flight - and the one I was asking about was about to leave.

the jetblue attendent said, 'I'll check' - which I figured was a long shot. next thing I knew she was handing us new boarding passes, new luggage tags and telling us to hurry!

We hopped it through other passengers there and arrived at the gate just as they were calling the flight....and arrived in NYC before our original flight would have even left. It was wonderful.

The hotel is great - dinner last night was with six people from the publishers....Hope (my editor), Sarah (who does publicity), Jeanne-Marie (marketing), Matthew, who is Vice president of St Martin's Press...Sally, who is the publisher of St Martin's - and Andy Martin, the publisher of my imprint (which is a subsidiary of SMP) - Minotaur Books. We had one of the best meals of our's the latest Danny Meyer restaurant called Maialino. We shared a cheese plate and a salami plate...some had starter of sweet breads. Then the main course...most of us had roast pork...I had mine with pasta. It was amazing. Then we ended with an assortment of desserts. We agreed that Michael 'won' with vanilla ice creams drizzled with warm esspresso. Dear Lord!

We'd brought cheese wedges for everyone - to celebrate THE BEAUTIFUL MYSTERY...the cheese was Bleu Benedictine, made at the monastery of St-Benoit-du-lac.

This morning after breakfast we headed over to the Flatiron, I thought to discuss strategy for THE BEAUTIFUL MYSTERY. But Andy led us into a room and there were fifty people, all part of the publishing team, from designers to marketers, to library and audio people - all people who'd helped propel A TRICK OF THE LIGHT to number 4 on the NYTimes list. And a huge cake with the cover of the book on it!!! And a gorgeous framed copy of the book cover and the New York times list. Wow. Michael got weepy. I got weepy.

It was one of those amazing moments in life...I never, ever expected to be feted in New York. By my publishers. It was a time I will never forget. Nor will I forget their kindness. And the kindess of Elizabeth and Silissa to organize it. Wow.

You can see the photo I took of all of them. the man holding my book is Andy Martin, the publisher of Minotaur Books. the other photo, of the three men, is of John Sargent - the head of the whole thing...of Macmillan. the big banana, standing beside Andy, who is standing beside Michael...and all are standing where I would not! the balcony outside John's office on the top floor, at the point of the wedge, of the Flatiron. Amazing.

After that - Michael, Sarah, Hope, Andy and I sat down and did a de-brief on the launch of A TRICK OF THE LIGHT and began to strategize for THE BEAUTIFUL MYSTERY. Out, probably, in late august/early sept of 2012.

Then we had a fabulous Indian meal at Tamirind then I had my hair done. It was actually Sally - the publisher's - appointment, but when I asked her about how I could get an appointment at such a late date she said, 'Take mine!" So after some very feeble protests on my part, I did!

Now back at the hotel briefly. Meeting Hope and her husband Charlie for dinner at the Four Seasons. But first Michael and I are hitting Saks Fifth Ave, and seeing the tree at Rockefeller Centre...then walking over to the Four Seasons.

What a life! What an amazing, fortunate, life. Wow. Gotta Run! Speak soon. the Nero awards are tomorrow. Bury Your Dead nominated. Wish me luck!