So as most of you know, last week my fifth novel, First Drop of Crimson, released. You’d think that five times into this whole “book on the shelves” thing I’d be blase about releases, but I was just as much of a bundle of nerves for this book as I was for my first one. This time, however, I did something different than my previous four other releases – I went out of town. Yep, instead of sitting in front of my computer compulsively hitting “refresh” on Amazon and B&N to check my ratings, I hopped in the car with hubby and doggie on Tuesday and drove 12 hours to one of my favorite cities, New Orleans.
We checked into our hotel right as the streets were flooding with people coming out to see the Saints Super Bowl victory parade. I have never been in such a crowd before. You literally could not walk in a straight line, but were just carried along by the flow of people around you. After about twenty minutes I began to feel claustrophobic and ended up waiting to see the parade from the garage area of our hotel. Then I had to leave early for a pre-arranged live blog chat before the parade finally made its way around, but my husband got to see it and said it was awesome. He took pictures of it – and the crowds – on our cell phone. I’m trying to convert those pics to .jpg format so I can post them.
After that first night the crowds dissipated and the French Quarter was back to normal, or maybe slightly over normal capacity because Mardi Gras was right around the corner. I admit to abandoning my diet and having beignets at Cafe DuMonde and lots of yummy, spicy Creole food. Also walked more in four days than I have in the past month but still managed to gain four pounds, lol. Took a cemetery tour and got some pics of Marie Laveau’s tomb, plus other cool pics of the Quarter, and got some great new ideas for book scenes. Even though I worked several hours each day, I managed to do something I’ve never done on a release week before – relax. Now it’s back to the grind but with some fresh inspiration, which is worth its weight in gold.
Yesterday, I got some really nice news about First Drop of Crimson. It was #1 on the Borders Romance paperback list, #1 on BooksOnBoard for their Romance e-book list, and #7 on the Barnes and Noble mass market paperback list. Will find out tomorrow night if the USA Today and/or the New York Times has room on their lists for First Drop, but even if they don’t, I am still delighted. This is a spin-off series so neither me or my publisher expected it to do as well as my Cat and Bones books, but I wanted to tell Spade and Denise’s story anyway and this warm reception by readers is truly appreciated (not to mention helps my chances to possibly sell more spin-off novels *cough, Vlad books, cough* ;)).
Oh, speaking of books, let me say this again because even though it’s in several places on my website, I still get emails every day that say “I heard you were done writing about Cat and Bones??!!” That’s not true. There WILL be at least three more Cat and Bones books. I’m writing Cat and Bones book five now and will start book six immediately after finishing five. So 2011 should have two Cat and Bones books releasing but I still don’t know when yet. I’ll update everyone with specific dates when I have them.
And finally, here’s a shout out of Happy Birthday to my niece, Lauren, who turns twenty today. See you tonight, Lauren, and remember: DGP ;-).