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Thanks, and may we long keep Muttering!

An everyday god on the road

As you probably know, I’ve been on the road since last Tuesday, talking about The Murder of Mary Russell in a variety of bookstores, tea shops, and even an opera house.
During that time, I’ve also been listening to the talk about it, in person and on Facebook, and I’m so very happy that you’ve been loving it even more than I. A book tour is a strange thing. Airports are diabolical in their ability to play on the nerves, airline apps that work fine one day turn their backs the next. E-boarding passes vanish. One scuffles onto and off of planes, sometimes on the same day–yesterday I landed in Austin at one, did an event for Book People at two, and got back on a plane at five, leaving my poor brain to wonder…What just happened there?
Even stranger is what it does to the self. Fifty weeks a year, I sit in my study and push words around on paper and screen, muttering snippets of dialogue under my breath, breaking off to make a cup of tea or greet the UPS lady in the driveway. I cook dinner, unload the dishwasher, do the laundry, tell myself I really need to mop the floor. Groceries need buying, packages need mailing at the post office, and grandsons demand complicated structures involving pvc pipe and golf balls on the deck.

Then I come on tour, and I’m a god. Beautiful and intelligent young women stand before me with shaking hands and halting tongues, trying to express how much it means to them that I deign to speak my gracious words in their direction. Lawyers and teachers break into smiles and say that they’ve been taking joy in my work since The Beekeeper’s Apprentice came into their hands twenty years before. People at the end of the line bend to unload a vast stack of clearly read and loved books that have been awaiting my signature since the collection began many years before.

And they leave with The Murder of Mary Russell treasured in both hands, as if I’ve given them a gift rather than made them spend $28 for a few hours’ reading.

And all that? It makes the airport hassles vanish in the past.


The Game

Just a reminder that The Game special price ends tomorrow,$1.99 on Kindle and Nook.  Enjoy!

Still, even after this special is over, the Laurie King YouTube Channel will continue to play the trailer we made for The Game, so you can appreciate Laurie’s reading and the clever work of Team LRK.

“He’s real, then? Kipling’s boy?”

“As real as I am,” said Sherlock Holmes.

Beekeeper scarf

Back before Christmas, I mentioned here that the Goodreads community were feeling out interest in a Beekeeper’s Apprentice “infinity scarf“.  Well, it’s taken a while, but the good lady who makes the things has put up a sales link, for a limited edition, limited-time sale of the scarf.  It is printed with the beginning of The Beekeeper’s Apprentice, and although I haven’t seen one left, I have to say it looks really lovely.10248_10153572954260838_3378102928816085422_n

The sales link is here. I’d recommend you not wait too long….

E-vanishing reminder

Just a reminder: the four Russell short e-stories will be unavailable starting next Monday. If you were thinking about putting Russell’s War, Mary’s Christmas, Mrs Hudson’s Case, or Beekeeping for Beginners on your e-reader any time soon, this is your last chance until the stories appear in an e-collection next September.

The e-stories going out of, er, print (?) on February 1 are:

Russell’s War

Mary’s Christmas

Mrs Hudson’s Case (KindleNook, and other)

Beekeeping for Beginners

My Holiday List

Barnes & Noble asked me to share my holiday giving list with them. Not that you’re getting one of these books from me, if you’re one of my friends-and-relations. You probably already have one, since I’ve been shoving these at everyone I know all year.

But for those of you who want to know what I WOULD give my friends-and-relations if I hadn’t already, here you go. Just in time for Cyber Monday, how timely of me:

My holiday list.

Laurie amidst the coffee plants

I got married during a time when I had been deeply immersed in setting up a coffee store called Kaldi’s (see Monday’s post.) Our honeymoon was an academic journey into the South Pacific, eight months through Papua New Guinea, the Australian outback, and island-hopping across the ocean from Tonga to Easter Island.

And in many of these places, coffee grew. Not in the Outback, of course, and I didn’t see any in Easter Island (both are places with few shrubs and fewer trees) but in the PNG highlandsScan 153080001-1

and in Tahiti, generally beneath the light shade of trees such as the casuarina.Scan 153050001

coffee grew all over. Often it’s grown in small plots.  Farmers clean it, dry it, and squat with their little sacks along the road, waiting for the buyers’ trucks.   The small bags of green beans are collected, sorted, and sold it in larger quantities–Scan 153080001

Scan 153000001

–or roasted, ground, and sold in smaller quantities.

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Interestingly, many of the small farmers clean their beans by giving them to their kids to chew off the husk of the berry. Fortunately, the heat of the roaster gets rid of any of the kids’ germs.

We drank some lovely coffee, there in the South Pacific.  Some pretty mediocre coffee too, it must be admitted.  But on the trip, I did say hello to many plants.Scan 153050001-1

So, what about you?  Any coffee adventures?

Dreaming paperbacks

 

Next Tuesday, the paperback of Dreaming Spies swims onto book shelves everywhere…DS ecard (carp)

Excerpt and order information here.

We have a look!

The Art department just gave me the cover!  So, what do you think? Yummy, huh?

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Pre-ordering a copy lets Random House know you’re excited:

Signed from Bookshop Santa Cruz or Poisoned Pen Books

Unsigned or ebook at B&N/Nook or Amazon/Kindle.

The real straw-berry

I spent thirty years of my life in a part of the world dedicated to the strawberry: Watsonville, home of Driscoll berries.  However, it was not until I came to England that I met the true berry, the English berry, pale and acidic and short-lived.  When you buy a packet of them here, the label says not only the specific variety, but where it was grown.  And sometimes, the berries reveal that, despite the plastic punnet and the sealed film lid, they have still been grown on the traditional straw:photo 5

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