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I love a hot summer day, especially when it's accompanied by an ice cold slab of watermelon and a porch swing. Nothing more refreshing, rejuvenating. And after a wet, dreary winter and spring, I'm officially back from the blog hiatus.

And I'm back to say . . . KAPOW! BOOM! . . . Let's kick this off with some fireworks!

First, I'll be headed to Los Angeles at the end of July to present at the national conference for the Society of Children's Books Writers and Illustrators. This is such an honor, especially so since I'm presenting with my fantastic agent Michael Bourret. Hope to see some of you there!

Next, thanks to the great design team at Feiwel & Friends, THE SWEETHEART OF PROSPER COUNTY will have a hot new cover for her paperback debut. *swoons* Pic below. The paperback should be out around September 1. I have several appearances/signings scheduled for the Fall, and I'll be posting those on the website. So, coming soon to a bookstore or school near you!

Also out this Fall will be the 2011 Children's Writers and Illustrators Market Guide in which I have a feature article on creating strong settings.

But I'm really stoked about my next novel. PARADISE (the working title) will be out in Spring 2011. My editor recently described it as "deep and deeply romantic." Um, yeah, heat advisory.

Thanks to everyone for reading and loving SWEETHEART. Thanks for hanging with me on facebook and twitter during my blog break. Stay cool, folks!