February 2016 Newsletter
Happy February! How are you? We've made it through the bulk of winter—just a little while longer, and we'll be in the throes of lime-green grass and budding daffodils. Hang on: we're so close!
Every winter, I'm always in Full Writer Mode, typing away trying to finish a novel. This year is no different: I'm toiling away, albeit with a warm fire and a glass of wine. I'm still itching for you to get your hands on NO ONE KNOWS, my new standalone that finally comes out on March 22. And I'm thrilled to tell you this new book is a 2016 Winter Okra Pick, chosen by the lovely people at SIBA as one of the best new Southern books, and the BookBub Blog recommended it as a Must Read for people who love psychological thrillers like GONE GIRL and GIRL ON THE TRAIN. A few other people have said some nice things about NO ONE KNOWS, too. After six years in the making, I can't WAIT to share this story with you!
Oh! Guess what? Following the release of the Sam Owens #1‐2 digital box set comes (naturally) the Sam Owens #3‐4 digital box set! These full-length novels are in one convenient package for only $11.99. If you haven't gotten to know Sam and Fletch and Xander, there's never been a better time to dive into their stories.
In the spirit of Valentine's Day, Two Tales Press is running a special price on MAD LOVE: 3 Crimes of Passion, now only $0.99! If you're looking for some . . . *ahem* unconventional love stories, these will do quite nicely.
In Wine Vixen news, Amy and I have started a culinary travelogue! Each month, we'll will bring you a restaurant we absolutely loved, whether local to Nashville or found on our travels. Our first selection was one of the best meals we had in 2015: at Etch, right here in Nashville. If you're planning a trip to Music City, you don't want to miss this one.
Are you following my blog on Sundays? Sunday Smatterings is a great way to catch up on stories from around the globe you may have missed. Science, publishing, quirks, inspirations — Smatterings has it all.
And as we appreciate our loved ones this month (Happy Valentine's Day, y'all!), can I just say that I'm very mindful of you, my readers? Thank you, so much, for reading and commenting and sharing your lives with me. Y'all make this the best job in the world, and really, I couldn't do this without you. Your support is invaluable. And I love you.
Sorry, guys—duty calls for me to be a hermit (again). But fear not: I'll be out and about next month at the Tucson Festival of Books, and a couple of signings for NO ONE KNOWS, including a launch party here in Nashville at the one and only Parnassus Books on release day. Stay tuned to my Events page; I'll post details as I get them!
Get Thee to a Bookstore
A lot of reading happened this past month. While I'm writing, I need to keep my well filled, and there's no better way to keep creative than devouring the words of other authors.
Also, as you know, I love all things Harry Potter, and my splurge reread was incredibly rewarding. Now I'm all jazzed up for the year ahead, which is off to a brilliant start.
PRETTY BABY ‐ Mary Kubica
THE PROGENY ‐ Tosca Lee
THE ALLIANCE ‐ Jolina Petersheim
AMERICAN HOUSEWIFE ‐ Helen Ellis
THE LIFE-CHANGING MAGIC OF NOT GIVING A F*CK ‐ Sarah Knight
HARRY POTTER AND THE GOBLET OF FIRE ‐ J.K. Rowling
HARRY POTTER AND THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX ‐ J.K. Rowling
HARRY POTTER AND THE HALF-BLOOD PRINCE ‐ J.K. Rowling
HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS ‐ J.K. Rowling
If you’re on Goodreads, friend me, and follow along. I’m always interested in what you’re reading, too!
The February contest is live now: enter to win a 2016 pocket calendar, a Southern Festival of Books notepad, a paperback copy of BASED ON: WORDS, NOTES, AND ART FROM NASHVILLE (anthology), and a $10 online book store gift card to Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, Books-a-Million OR iBooks (winner's choice).
Enter here to win.
Also, I want you to have more. Here is a giveaway for Taylor Jackson #0, FIELD OF GRAVES.
February Recipe — Slow-Cooker Chutney Pork Loin
I'll admit it, I am a lazy cook. I like things that are easy, fresh, and delicious, in that order. When we were snowed in during Snowpocolypse 2016 (10 inches in Nashville, y'all!) I made all kinds of soups and stews and yummy things. This slow cooker recipe is one of my favorites. It literally takes five minutes to put together, a real snap to make. All you need is the pork, a jar of mango or peach chutney, onions, and seasonings. I prefer it over rich, creamy mashed potatoes, but it will work with any rice and a side vegetable for a tasty family meal.
- 1 boneless pork loin roast, about 3 to 4 pounds
- 1 large sweet onion, sliced
- Salt and pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder or 1 small clove garlic, finely minced
- 1 jar (12 ounces) mango or peach chutney
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon grainy mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon curry powder
- Wash roast and pat dry; trim excess fat.
- In the bottom of a 5- to 7-quart slow cooker, place sliced onion.
- Lightly salt and pepper the roast, then rub with the garlic powder or fresh minced garlic. Place the roast in the slow cooker. (If you're squeamish about raw meat like I am, it's fine to simply dash on the S & P and garlic)
- In a separate bowl, combine remaining ingredients and spoon over the roast. (Again, lazy girl simply dumps them in directly)
- Cover the slow cooker, and cook on HIGH for 1 hour. Reduce heat to LOW and cook for 6 to 8 hours longer, or continue cooking on HIGH for 3 to 4 hours longer. The roast should register at least 160° F on an instant-read thermometer or meat thermometer inserted at the center of the roast.
- Remove the roast from the crockpot and keep warm.
- Pour juices from the slow cooker into a medium saucepan. Simmer the juices for 5 to 8 minutes to reduce by about one-third.
- Combine 1 tablespoon cornstarch with 1 tablespoon cold water (always add water to the cornstarch, not the other way around), stirring until smooth. Stir the cornstarch mixture into the juices and continue cooking for about 1 minute, until thickened.
- Serve sauce with roast over your delicious side.
Can you believe it, next month it will be all NO ONE KNOWS, all the time. I hope you're half as excited for this book as I am. Stay warm, stay happy, keep reading, and I'll talk to you soon!
*If you're interested in printing out the recipes I have in this newsletter, I'm happy to tell you that they are all available in PDF form, in bright, shiny packaging.