Well, it’s official: winter has arrived. The calendar said it was here in December, but only in February have we had the kind of chilling, biting cold that calls for hot chocolate and school cancellations. Little Miss R recently had a day off school due to wind-chill temperatures. (My sister’s family lives further north and has had SIX off this year. As in, 2019.)

Working from home as I do erodes the boundaries between “at work” and “away from work,” so when Little Miss R has an unpexpected day off, I feel pressure to get just as much done as ever. But she wants to play! She’s far too extroverted to settle with a stack of books all day. We compromised on some playtime, then some worktime for me while she snitched a device and FaceTimed with her friends (the modern equivalent of stretching the phone cord from the kitchen down the hallway, as I did so many times).

Speaking of work…one change since last month’s update is that I’ve regretfully bowed out of one of the planned novella projects for this year. I hated to do it, because I knew I’d love working with the other authors. I felt like I was letting them down, and myself too.

But I’m trying to be more realistic about what I can do, given the limitations of my energy. I need to think about what I can get done, not what I want to get done or what I think I should get done. It’s an ongoing process of reality checks and realizations. Perhaps I’ll get there one day.

Anyway, you’ll still be getting a new story from me in June and again later on in the fall—maybe October. And before then, of course, is the release of Lady Notorious on 2-26. I’ll be around the Internet in a few places to share excerpts and giveaways, including Limecello’s blog, The Drawing Room Facebook group, and Vanessa Kelly’s Clan Kendrick Facebook group. If you follow me on Facebook or Twitter, I’ll always post the latest hops and stops there.

Looking ahead to March, I’ll be going twice to North Carolina. The first trip is purely to be with family, to attend my littlest niece’s baptism. The second time I go, I’ll be presenting for Duke as part of the “Unsuitable” series examining the role of women in popular culture and fiction. I believe these events are open to the public, so if you happen to be in the Raleigh-Durham area on March 22, I’d love to see you! More info here: https://sites.duke.edu/unsuitable/events/

And now, I have a giveaway to offer. As I looked through my stash of author copies, I realized I have one print advance copy of Lady Notorious without a home. I’d love to get it into a reader’s hands before publication day on the 26th!

If you’d like that reader to be you, just leave a comment on this post. In accordance with the site privacy policy, please note that your email address will be stored, but it will never be shared, and the only reason it will ever be used is for me to contact you if you win. 🙂 I’ll choose the winner at random from among all comments left by Monday, February 18, at noon ET and will leave a comment myself to name the winner. International entries are most welcome. What other fine print should I add? Void where prohibited, must be 18 or over, must love books…all right, I’ll leave it in your hands now.

Thanks for reading, gang. There would be no books without you, so you’re all my Valentines.