Knitting, Sneak-Writing, and Books of All Sorts

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Our Christmas tree is still sparkling in the corner of our living room, five days later. It was a lovely, busy Christmas with the kids – and I got all three of my knitted gifts finished in time. Whew! :) Now I’m knitting a scarf for myself with the lush, gorgeous cornflower-blue wool that Patrick got me for Christmas, which fills me with utter delight. (I only ever knit in the autumn and winter, but oh do I love knitting during those seasons! Total stress-relief – especially when the wool is this soft and rich and beautiful.)

Since the kids have been off school and we’ve been celebrating Christmas with the extended family, I’ve only managed to sneak-write little bits and pieces of my new novella (Snowspelled) at a rate of about 50 words a day – just enough to keep me in touch with the project (and slowly but surely move along the fun kissing scene I’d started just before the holidays). But this morning I woke up with a massive realization:

The Dragon with a Chocolate Heart comes out in the UK just 6 weeks from today!

Eeee! And: eep! I have SO MUCH of my heart wrapped up in this book. I really hope you guys will like it!

It’s a strange feeling to have three novels come out within 10 months. I felt as if Masks and Shadows had only just come out when Congress of Secrets arrived at the beginning of November. (And hurrah, I was SO pleased to see both of them on this list of 7 Must-Read Historical Fiction Books of 2016!) Now I’m already excited and nervous about The Dragon with a Chocolate Heart, my return to MG fantasy. It’s been a very, very lucky publishing year for me.

It’s been a lucky time for me as a reader, too. Just check out my Christmas book haul!

I’ve already started Game of Queens, and it is fabulous – the kind of rich, fascinating history book that makes ideas for new stories spark on almost every page.

And look what arrived in the mail yesterday!

This Would Make a Good Story Someday is SO much fun – which isn’t at all surprising, since Dana Levy’s The Misadventures of the Family Fletcher is one of my favorite-ever MG books. (This one is a standalone spin-off of the Family Fletcher books, and it’s coming out in May. I was so excited to get an advance copy!)

What about you guys? What were your favorite holiday gifts, if you exchanged any? And/or: what are you looking forward to in the next year?

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