The Friday Five!

1. Okay, it’s March 22nd and right now, it’s 25 degrees outside here. That is TWENTY-FIVE, as in below freezing. This time last year I was in New York and it was WARM and I was wearing a sleeveless shirt. I swear! I know everyone has been complaining about this so I’ll keep my rant short, but honestly, Spring, REALLY? (Cue Seth and Amy voices here.) REALLY? All I can hope is that when Spring does arrive, running late and flustered, it will be so apologetic it will be extra gorgeous and lovely for us, just to make up for the inconvenience. It’s the LEAST it can do. Really.

2. In book news, I am SO EXCITED that Penguin USA has chosen WHAT HAPPENED TO GOODBYE for their @PenguinUSA Twitter Book Club Pick this month. You can get all the info here. Also, there is a sweepstakes to win a collection of my books, which you can get more information about on Facebook via this link. I’ll be doing three chats about the book with @PenguinUSA:

March 28th
7 PM EST/4:00 PM PST (goes until 7:30 PM)

April 4th
7 PM EST/4:00 PM PST (goes until 7:30 PM)

April 11th
7 PM EST/4:00 PM PST (goes until 8:00 PM)

The hashtag is #readPenguin. I am so excited! And limbering up my fingers now, as the last Twitter chat was like running a sprint. With hurdles. But so fun.

3. In reading news, I am SO excited that one of my favorite authors, Jill McCorkle, has a new book out this coming week. It’s called LIFE AFTER LIFE and you can read all about it (and see tour dates) here. Disclaimer: Jill is my friend, and was also one of my first creative writing teachers at UNC. When I was in her class in the early 90’s, I babysat for her daughter. That SAME daughter babysat for my baby when she was an infant. (We believe in keeping things in the family around here.) That said, I have always LOVED Jill’s writing. It’s a Southern voice, but a NEW kind of voice, and this is her first novel in several years, since the fantastic CAROLINA MOON. (Although her short stories are amazing as well.) If she’s coming near you, you should definitely check her out. You won’t regret it.

4. Speaking of things I love, this week is the official beginning of the NCAA Tournament and true March Madness. I filled out my bracket on Wednesday, going with my tried and true method of a mix of rankings, teams people I know are fond of and all out guessing. As a true UNC fan, I of course had to pick my team to cut down the nets in Atlanta in the final, even though I know we are a BIT of a long shot. (Okay, super long shot.) I also picked Gonzaga for the final game, mostly because they are a number one seed AND I had a student years ago who was totally obsessed with them. She had not grown up with the team, but started being a fan in high school, and she had even written a partial novel about her obsession with them. Years ago she was a finalist in some ESPN College Ball Super Fan competition for her Zags. I think her name was Ashley, and wherever she is, I’m thinking of her this week. I know she is PUMPED. This is what I love about college ball. It’s not just about the games, but so much more. Bring it on!

5. I’m writing this entry from an oil change place, as my car gets serviced. I am fully humiliated that I, the wife of a total car person, was so overdue for an oil change that the guy who checked me in basically clucked his tongue at me. Whoops. This is just one of many things I have fallen behind on lately, along with answering emails/phone calls, doing laundry and getting my tax stuff organized. I also run late now. I used to ALWAYS be on time, if not early, and now I am That Person who shows up ten minutes past the appointment time, flustered and apologetic. (See Spring, above.) And I haven’t even really BEGUN to promote my two book releases yet! It might get ugly, folks. But I want to say here how much I appreciate everyone who asked last week that I please not let this blog fall by the wayside among the chaos. In this Twitter/Tumblr/Texting world, I think it’s easy for me to assume that no one has time to read this much content anymore. You guys said otherwise, so I’ll keep showing up here on Fridays. Even if it means I am blogging about my guilt over late oil changes. Next week will be better? I hope?

Have a great weekend, everyone!