Time Passages


            When I was growing up, my father’s job with a large oil company kept us moving.  I spent two years in Venezuela, seven in London, England, and three in the Netherlands to name a few of the places I called home during my growing up years.  As a person who thrives on meeting new people, it was a happy existence.  At least as long as I was allowed to spend a few weeks at my grandmother’s house in Indianola, Mississippi—the house where my mother had been born and raised.  In a nomadic life, it was the closest thing to home that I had, and a great inspiration to a future writer who would one day choose to write about Southern small towns and the people who live in them.

            While living in the Netherlands—where the winters are very, very cold, my father one Christmas surprised my mother with a mink coat.  This was the eighties when wearing fur wasn’t as non-PC as it is today, and my mother wore that coat proudly.  Only to church, and dressy occasions, but she loved that coat like another child.  It would get cleaned and put into storage each spring, and taken out again in the fall.  She wore it with beautiful silk scarves tucked into her neck to protect the fur from her makeup, and I liked to sit next to her in church so I could stroke it, and imagine one day being old enough to borrow it.  She always said that when she wore it, it was like feeling my father’s arms around her.

            My father is now retired and my parents live in Nashville, Tennessee.  My mother has Alzheimer’s and my father is getting ready to move them into a retirement village.  When I visited a few weeks ago, my father gave me the fur coat.  My mother hasn’t worn it in years, nor does she remember it.  It would only take up room in their limited closet space in their new apartment.

            I very carefully wrapped it in a sheet and placed it in the back of my car to take home to Atlanta with me.  It’s hanging now, in its full-length black mink glory, under a sheet in my guest room closet.  I don’t know if I will ever wear it.  Times are different now, and besides, I think it will always be her coat.  But I can’t help but remember how when I was younger and I’d stroke the soft fur and imagine a time when I would wear it.  But time changes, and so do we.

            Ten years ago, I wrote two books, FALLING HOME and AFTER THE RAIN for a small publisher.  These books were written in the beginning of my career, when I was still in the “write what you know” phase.  I wanted to write about the beauty of small towns and Southern families—their peculiarities, foibles, and fierce loyalty—all learned on those summer visits to Mississippi.

I loved these books, set in the small, fictional town of Walton, Georgia—a place where “everybody is somebody”—where love is found in unexpected places, and where people searching for a place to call home settle down to roost.  My tag line for these books is, “Steel Magnolias meets Sweet Home Alabama.”

            They were very popular, but went out of print fairly quickly, and for the last ten years I’ve been reading lots of emails from fans who wanted to know how they could get a copy.  When the rights reverted back to me, I reworked both books—tightened the writing, added scenes and points of view, updated the time period all while keeping intact the characters and plot lines which is what my readers had loved.  I sold them to my current publisher and was happy to see FALLING HOME debut on the NYT extended bestseller list and AFTER THE RAIN debut at #17—and remain on the extended list for two more weeks (and still counting at last glance!).

            As much as I’m proud of these books, they’re different from the books I write now.  I’ve run out of things I know, and now I write about things I want to know more about.  Just like once wanting a fur coat, my inspirations for my books have changed and evolved over the years.  I suppose just as we grow and change as people, as a writer I needed to do the same.

            Suzanne Paris, the heroine in AFTER THE RAIN thinks:  Tides change.  So does the moon.  With the unfailing constancy of brittle autumn closing in on bright summer, things always changed.”  As Suzanne finds out, change can be good if we can only open ourselves up to the possibilities.  And sometimes, only the passage of time can open our eyes wide enough to see them.




            When I was a child and playing board games with my family, or running a race outside in the front yard with my best friend, or arm-wrestling with one of my brothers, I would often invoke the magic words, “Do over!”  This usually meant that I had made a disastrous mistake in misjudging my opponent or—more than likely—was trying to disguise the fact that I was a sore loser.

Now that I’m an adult, I often find myself wishing that there was a do-over button I could press—just like that “easy” button in the Staples commercials.  There would certainly be less awkward moments and a lot more hours spent sleeping instead of lying awake at night thinking about something I wish I hadn’t said.  Or worn.  Or eaten.

Maybe that’s why I like being a writer.  Because of the joys of word processing, my characters can have the most sparkling and witty banter, but only because of the magic button on my laptop—the delete key.  I can spend days working on a scene, thinking of more and more clever things for my characters to say, yet my readers will only see the end product.  Which makes me look like a genius.   If they only knew…

At the beginning of my career, I wrote two books—FALLING HOME and AFTER THE RAIN—for a small publisher.  Selling to this publisher was a beginner’s career mistake as I soon learned.  They paid me what equated to grocery money for a month, and then printed about 5 copies with really horrendous covers.  Both books were out of print within a couple of months after publication.  I soon parted ways with that publisher and went on to larger print runs, bigger advances, better covers, and the New York Times bestseller list.  But I never forgot those two books.  They were favorites of mine and it bothered me that my new readers would never have a chance to read them.

And then my agent made a real life do-over happen.  According to my contract, the rights for both books would revert back to me after seven years.  All we had to do was ask.  So we did, and suddenly I had a second chance to birth these “babies” back into the world.

While keeping the characters and stories the same—since that’s what readers had loved so much—I reworked both books.  I tightened the writing (since I’d written them ten years ago and I like to think that I’ve learned a thing or two), added a few scenes and points of view.  I think the changes enriched both books and made them more like the books I write now.

My agent sold both books to my current publisher.  FALLING HOME was published in November 2010 and AFTER THE RAIN was published December 2012, both with beautiful covers that nearly made me weep with joy.  And the best part of this story is that FALLING HOME hit the extended list of the New York Times and AFTER THE RAIN debuted in the top twenty at number seventeen!

If only the rest of life could work out like that.  The holidays are now over and I’m left to ruminate over everything I ate over the last month while I studiously avoid the scale.  If anybody knows where I can find the do-over button, please let me know!

The Agony and the Ecstasy

Yes, I know you’ve heard that title before.  It’s the name of a book and movie from the sixties about Michelangelo.  I’d never quite understood how those two words could apply to an artist unless it was referring to the neck pain Michelangelo must have sustained while looking up at the Sistine Chapel for the four years it took to paint it.  And then I became a writer and those two words, used together, began to make perfect sense.

I just completed my sixteenth novel.  Approximately 140,000 words, and 426 pages.  Through all sorts of luck and miracles, I turned it in three days before my deadline.  The experience of writing on deadline makes me say with confidence that I now know what it feels like to have my eyeballs jabbed with a nail gun.  Repeatedly.

For an entire month, I holed up in a beach house by myself to do nothing but write.  Before you start thinking romantic notions, allow me to let you in on the reality of a writer’s life on deadline.  Every morning, noon, and night, I wrote, rewrote, edited, wrote some more, then rewrote again.  Every day.  For thirty-one days.

My dog, bless his furry little heart, never once complained that I hadn’t washed my hair for six days or that I was wearing the same sweats that I’d worn the day before and the day before that and may have even slept in.  I never walked on the beach because it would have taken too much of my writing time, and I lived on Lean Cuisines, apples, cottage cheese, and ice cream (of course!).

I became paler from lack of sunshine (except when I had to go outside to walk the dog), and my nails will make my manicurist weep when I see her next week.  I forgot what it felt like to wear shoes or carry on a face-to-face conversation.

But I did manage to write a book.  I was almost at the halfway point when I went on my self-imposed retreat with only a month to go until my due date.  My lateness wasn’t from procrastinating, I assure you.  I’d had three different deadlines earlier in the year in addition to a 7-week book tour, a child graduating from high school and starting college, and another child moving to Scotland for a semester.  Plus three family funerals and a dog with a delicate stomach.  Whenever I wasn’t dealing with any of the above, I was writing.

So was my month-long retreat at the beach fun?  No.  Not at all.  It was a lot of hard work.  It was agony.  Every morning felt like somebody had stapled my head to the carpet while I was sleeping and I had to rip it from its moorings to start writing again.

Was it worth it?  Absolutely.  I have created a book that I am very, very proud of.  A book that I believe will give readers a lot of reading pleasure in the years to come.  I will love and treasure each and every email, letter, Facebook posting etc. that will come from readers letting me know that my words—the same words that I agonized over—have brought them happiness, comfort, assurance, or all three.

This thing I do is such a blessing.  In what other profession is it possible to touch so many people, and to share what I love the most in the world—stories?

When my son was a junior in high school, he informed us that he didn’t want to play football anymore.  He said he loved the camaraderie with his teammates and being out on the field with them, he loved the game of football and he loved Friday nights when he would rush the field with his teammates.  But he really hated the time commitment—seven days a week and school nights where he was up past midnight trying to fit in his homework and study time.  He said the bad parts—the agony—outweighed the good parts—the ecstasy.  It made total sense to me—more so than to my husband—and our son didn’t play football that year.  It’s a good way to analyze everything we do in this life:  is what you gain worth what you give up?

Writing books is hard.  Like my dad says, if it were easy everybody would be doing it.  But do the bad parts outweigh the good?  Never.  If they did, I wouldn’t be doing what I do.  Life is too short.  Meeting a deadline is a lot like giving birth—shortly after delivery, the pain seems to blur in your memory.  Enough so that you’ll maybe consider having another baby.  Or writing another book.

I turned in the book last Monday.  Today is Sunday.  I’m already starting to hear new characters whispering in my ear, telling me their story.  And I’m getting that itch to write it down so I can share it.  The agony of a deadline seems to already be a distant memory.  At least until the calendar flips over and I realize I’m a month until deadline and I only have 100 pages written.  Then it will be time to grab the dog and my sweats and head back to the beach to do it all over again.

The Price of Fame







            By now I’m sure everybody’s seen the nude Las Vegas photos of Prince Harry.  My 20-year-old daughter was horrified (as she has planned on being Mrs. Prince Harry since she was about 13), and then severely disappointed that a person with such a public profile would so easily allow himself to become tabloid media fodder.

            Granted, I’m not anywhere nearly as recognizable or as well-known as Prince Harry, or Justin Bieber or even Kim Kardashian.  Still, I’ve become more and more aware in recent years that I might not be as invisible as I had thought.

           Not too long ago, I was waiting for a dressing room at Anthropologie when a woman came up to me and asked if I was Karen White, the author.  Thankfully, my hair was washed and I was wearing makeup and—even better—my daughter (who is barely aware that I do anything besides her laundry) was with me as a witness.

            I was thrilled beyond belief.  And a little appalled.  Here’s a little known fact:  writing is not a glamorous occupation.  We aren’t paid to work out with personal trainers, nor do we have a staff of stylists on hand to make sure we always look red-carpet worthy.  When I’m at home working, I look like a homeless woman: holey sweats, an old t-shirt, fluffy slippers, no makeup, and my hair in a blob on top of my head.  I’m always afraid that the UPS man will call the authorities about the squatter he thinks is living in my house.

            I’ve been recognized as “Karen White the Author” at a Boy Scout meeting, the grocery store, and nail salon, and once at the vets, I was asked to sign the back of a magazine.

            So what does this have to do with Prince Harry?  Well, it’s too bad he wasn’t raised by a Southern Mama.  I was taught from the cradle that one always keeps a tube of lipstick handy and one always behaves in public because one never knows who’s looking.  Or taking pictures.  Yes, I might look like I belong on the cover of National Geographic when I’m at home working, but I have learned that I need to at least wear clothes and put on lipstick when crawling out of my writing cave.  I also always keep in mind what I’ve taught my almost-adult children:  never do anything you don’t want photographed and freely distributed in the cybersphere. 

            My young nephew recently asked me if I was famous.  “Well, no,” I replied.  I’m not sure at what point one become famous, but I’m pretty sure I’m not there.  It probably involves more than being on the bestseller lists or being recognized at the local Kroger.

            “How will you know?” he persisted. I’m not really sure, but I would bet it doesn’t require playing strip billiards or being photographed getting out of a limo without proper undergarments.  I’d like to think that being famous means being on the top of my game,  writing the best books that I can, and being recognized for being a writer who tells compelling stories about people readers care about. 

            I’m currently working on my summer 2013 book—my first hardcover release.  After my last two novels made the top 20 of the New York Times bestseller list, my publisher determined that it was time.  They will be putting a lot of effort into making it a successful release, and I’m busy making it the best book I’ve ever written.  Will it make me famous like JK Rowling or Stephenie Meyer?  Maybe.  Maybe not. 

            Regardless, I’m pretty sure I won’t be having a $20 million wedding and then getting divorced a month or two later.  No, I’ll probably just stick an extra tube of lipstick in my pocket and be prepared to be recognized in a few more places.  And then I’ll get busy writing the next book.  Because that’s what I do, regardless of how many people know who I am.

Confessions of a Thank-You Note Writer

For the last three years, my father has been cleaning up his house in anticipation of moving him and my mother into an assisted living facility. Unfortunately, “cleaning up” to him doesn’t necessarily mean “throwing away.” Instead, it’s more easily translated into “give it to Karen.”

So at every visit I find myself with boxes of long-forgotten debris from my childhood. The last box had my comforter from my bedroom in middle school (with disintegrating foam oozing from the seams), an old report card from a clueless English teacher (the subject of another blog), and various elementary school track team ribbons. There was also a tiny plastic teacup that had once belonged in my Barbie house, long since discarded.

But in my most recent visit I hit pay dirt—stacks of old photos and letters. As a bonafide “keeper of memories” with a room in my house dedicated to scrapbooking and photo storage, it makes sense that I’m the repository of old correspondence and my grandmother’s wedding photos.

In this particular box I found a hefty stack of letters I’d written to my parents while I was a student at Tulane University in New Orleans. At the time, my parents were living in Europe and since this was the eighties there were no Internet or cell phones or any easy way to communicate. Hence the stack of handwritten letters.

I hardly recognized the handwriting—mine has really deteriorated in the past mumble-mumble years since I was in college. Not that it was ever anything to brag about, but at least the handwriting of my late-teens and early-twenties was legible. Lots more curly, too, just in case you couldn’t tell from the contents that they were written by a girl in college to her parents.

The letters are all full of news about new friends, and roommates, and sorority parties. There was a whole letter devoted to Mardi Gras parades and balls and another to potential Christmas presents for various family members. The only topic covered in one hundred percent of the letters was my request for funds. I’d be embarrassed, but I must admit that my way of asking was always couched with humor, sweetness, and naivety. Letter after letter after letter, I found a way to let them know that I was on the brink of starvation and destitution and that I might expire soon if I didn’t receive funds ASAP.

And then it hit me. My daughter has been in college for two years and I do not have a single letter from her in all the months she’s been away. Sure, she’s asked for money (and even communicated about other things, too), but always in the form of a text or an email. Rarely, an actual phone call from her cell phone. I don’t have a neat stack of letters wrapped in a disintegrating rubber band shoved in the back of my desk drawer to pull out in ten years and look back at this time in our lives.

I recently learned that in many elementary schools students are no longer being taught how to write in cursive. I’m beginning to hear the death knell of the handwritten letter. The keepsakes for future generations are not even being created. As not only the family historian but also a writer, I can’t help but feel as if an important part of the world has just closed up shop and lowered the shades.

My son graduated from high school this past May. After carefully logging in all of his gifts, I gave him the list and his personalized stationery to write his thank you notes. My children, since birth (with their names and the words “From the Crib Of…” engraved on them) have always had their own stationery. As a girl raised by a Southern Mama, I’d also been raised with personalized stationery always at the ready for any occasion or sentiment that necessitated a handwritten note.

With the long list of gifts and givers in front of him, my son didn’t hesitate. He’s been raised by a Southern Mama, too, after all. This is important. A lot of people might think a handwritten note is going the way of the home telephone and the Walkman, but I am not of that persuasion, by golly. When he was done with the last one, he was also finished with his box of stationery. I immediately went and ordered more.

Yes, I love today’s technology. I have an iPhone, an iPad and a Mac laptop. I couldn’t imagine life without any of them. But as much as I embrace technology, I think it’s just as important to hang on to the things that matter; the things that last. The things that link us from one generation to the next, and to the ones that have come before.

My daughter will be spending her first semester of junior year at St. Andrews in Scotland. She just told me that one of her friends has made beautiful handmade stationery with a travel theme and she will be using those to correspond with my daughter while she’s away. It makes me happy to think that I’m not the only person who feels the importance of taking pen to paper, licking an envelope, and sticking on a stamp. It matters. It really does.

So, here I am writing this on my laptop and after I run it through spell check then I’m going to email it from my parents’ house in Tennessee to Darcy Crowder in Georgia. It will arrive immediately.

Technology is great. But so is a handwritten thank you or birthday note. And I will drop more than one hint from my daughter to write us letters and mail them from Scotland, even if the only thing the letters contain are requests for money.

Sixty Shades of Plaid

I’m currently sitting in seat 12D on a Delta jet en route from Atlanta to Baltimore to a booksigning with Nora (no last name needed—like Madonna or Cher) at her husband’s wonderful Turn the Page Bookstore in Boonsboro, Maryland.

While at the Atlanta airport I had to, of course, check out all the bookstores to see what was on the limited bookshelf space and was more than gratified to find my latest book,SEA CHANGE, featured prominently. I wasn’t altogether surprised to find it nestled next to the ubiquitous FIFTY SHADES OF GREY trilogy (including the boxed set) since the series of books had been neatly perched in the first four spots of the New York Times trade bestseller list since SEA CHANGEdebuted at #12.

Call them what you want: mommy porn, literature, erotica, trash, romantic fiction—there’s no denying that they are a multi-million selling copy phenomena. Not willing to listen to the hype and the naysayers and choosing instead to make up my own mind, I decided to read them for myself.

What did I think? Well, there’s a lot to like! I’m not an erotica reader (and maybe it’s my age, but even in the FIFTY books I found myself skimming “certain parts” as I rolled my eyes and thought, “again??”) but you know what? The characters are fascinating! They’re even likeable (yes, even the S&M bondage guy). The author, EL James, does an excellent job, IMHO, of giving us characters we can root for and cheer on. She’s even given us a plot (yes, there’s a plot) of a tortured childhood, of all-consuming love, of success against incredible odds, and even a touch of thriller. Best of all, she’s set the story against a backdrop of enormous wealth and privilege which is pure escapism (Harold Robbins or Jackie Collins, anyone?). What’s not to like?

Am I thinking that SEA CHANGE would have made the top ten of the NYT if the top four slots weren’t being taken up by this series? Maybe a teeny weeny bit. Am I jealous of the author’s success? I’m envious, sure, but more than that I want to know who runs her PR machine! How have these books become more popular than the Harry Potter and Twilight series combined?? (I don’t know if that’s true, but it sure appears that way!)

It seems to me that the author sat down one day to write her own personal fantasy story (and isn’t that what all of us authors do, too?) and she ended up creating likeable, fascinating, troubled and conflicted characters then stuck them in a classic good vs. evil plot, placed a large dollop of kinky sex on top of that and voila! International bestsellerdom.

She didn’t set out to write books that would be banned in libraries, or snickered at, derided for “poor writing”, or looked down at by long literary noses. She wrote the books she felt inclined to write, and then found her audience. A rather large audience. She must be crying all the way to the bank at all those snubs. Kudos to you, Ms. James!

So, what lessons have I learned? That it’s still about the story, dummy. Give readers great characters and a wonderful story, and they will read. How many people said they loved reading about wizards and vampires prior to Harry Potter and Twilight? Those same readers would probably say the same thing today, that they only read those books because of the great story. Well, duh.

As for myself, well, I’m currently working on my next “grit lit” book set in Edisto Island, South Carolina and after that will be the fourth book in my Charleston-set “Tradd Street” mystery series. After that, I think I’m going to try something new; something that’s a cross between Gone With the Wind and Outlander (Diana Gabaldon); something set in Scotland, perhaps. And I think I’m going to call it Sixty Shades of Plaid.

A New Chapter


Yesterday, my youngest child (my “baby”), graduated from high school.  His graduating class was only thirty-one students and I’d known several of them since their preschool years so it was very bittersweet watching these young men and women accepting their hard-won diplomas and tossing their caps in the air.

Throughout the week there have been special events to honor the graduating class—a senior dinner, a tea, a cookout, a baccalaureate.  There was a speaker at each event, and each one had eloquent and empowering thoughts to give to the graduates about how to live the rest of their lives with honor, dignity and purpose.  One favorite quote among many was given by the headmaster: “There are only two important days in your lives.  The first is the day you are born.  The second is when you figure out why.” (Mark Twain).

There were so many instructions for the seniors—but what about for their parents who would find themselves minus one child come Fall?  Is our work done?  Time to retire?  To curl up in a ball and gather dust?  Or is this, too, a new chapter in our own lives and something to anticipate with joy?

I’ve had fifteen novels published in the last eleven years, and I think that sort of longevity in this publishing world might tell you that I’m not the type to roll over or go away just because the game rules have suddenly changed. Success is about seeing opportunity in change—something I’ve learned the hard way in my writing career, just as I suspect those graduating seniors will as they navigate the rest of their lives.

At a post-graduation party, I was talking with the high school placement counselor and she asked me how I was feeling now that my last child was perched and ready to fly from the nest.  I told her that I was a bit sad, but excited, too—for all of us.  I explained it felt like we were moving to a new house that was just as nice as the last one, but totally and completely new.

The previous day, I had just finished the first chapter of my brand new novel that will be published in the summer of 2014.  To further explain my feelings, I said, “Facing this fall with no kids at home is like starting a new book.  It’s a little scary, a little thrilling, completely new, but wonderfully and wholly overwhelming at its endless well of opportunity.  A blank page can be a glorious thing.”

“Ah,” she replied.  “I’ll have to remember that to tell to next year’s parents.  You certainly have a way with words.”

I smiled.  Yes, I suppose.  I guess I do.

It’s time now to throw my own cap in the air, to start the next chapter.  Life, and writing, is all about moving forward.  I’d better get busy. 


Book Tour Schedule for SEA CHANGE

Book Tour Schedule for SEA CHANGE

Our spring in Atlanta lasted about two minutes–we had a cool winter, and then a few warm days, then it was cold, and then it went hot again.  My flowers didn’t know what to do so they just bloomed for a short period then withered.  But we DO have lots and lots of green now—which is beautiful if you’re not one of the legions of allergy sufferers (like my dog).  As with all things, this, too, shall pass.  Hopefully before we run out of Claritin.

And then it was May and the high school graduation of my youngest child which brought all sorts of conflicting emotions.  I wrote a little blog about it that I’ll share in a separate post.  The graduation and all the hoopla surrounding such a momentous occasion eclipsed all of my emotions so that it was a bit of a surprise when I received my book tour schedule from my publicist with a reminder that my next book, SEA CHANGE, will hit shelves next week.  Next week??  What happened to May??

Ready or not, my book will be out June 5th and I will be on the road to promote if.  I love meeting readers and I’m going to a lot of new cities this time around, so please check out my appearances schedule on my website here:  http://www.karen-white.com/appearances.shtml to see if I’m coming to a venue near you.  I also sign e-readers if you have a signable case. 🙂  Or bookmarks if that works better so you can prove to friends that, yes, I do exist and that you’ve met me in person!

Enjoy the summer, and may yours be filled with lots of wonderful books!


Happy reading,


Melanie and Jack are back November 1st!

October 1, 2011

Fall is here! I just realized that the last time I posted here
it was summer and THE BEACH TREES had just been released. Where does the time

Thanks to all of my readers who have written to tell me how much they
enjoyed THE BEACH TREES, and thanks also to the terrific booksellers who helped
the book debut at #14 on the New York Times list and kept it there for four
additional weeks!

The big news, of course, is the release of the third
book in the Tradd Street series: THE STRANGERS ON MONTAGU STREET in stores on
November 1st! Check my appearances to see if
I’ll be signing at a store near you, and make sure you enter my contest to win signed copies of the first books in

What’s next? In June 2012 there will be another Southern “grit
lit” novel (details to come), and then in November 2012 will be the re-release
of the revamped sequel to FALLING HOME, AFTER THE RAIN. Hopefully, that will be
enough books to keep us all busy!

Until next time, happy reading!


Happy summer!

June 9, 2011
How can it be June already?  Summer is, by far, my favorite season, but it seems like yesterday I was taking down my Christmas tree and shivering in my sweaters.  I guess writing two books a year can make a person fast-forward through the seasons…
My 14th novel, THE BEACH TREES, was released May 3rd and debuted on the New York Times bestseller list at #14 and has been hanging on in the top 35 ever since!  Thank you so much to my wonderful readers and booksellers who were responsible for making that happen–and to my fabulous publisher New American Library/Penguin Publishing Group for all the behind-the-scenes work required to get the book out there.  You’re all my heroes!
I just finished a month-long book tour and met so many of you–truly the best part of my job.  I know there were lots of places I couldn’t get to—but keep sending me emails to let me know where you’d like to see me.  There’s always next year!  And keep checking my appearances schedule (LINK) as I’m always adding events.
Readers always want to know what’s next–and that would be THE STRANGERS ON MONTAGU STREET (the third book in the Tradd Street series) which will be out November 1st of this year.  There will most likely be two more books (not in the series) published in 2012–stay tuned to hear more about them.
Until them, stay cool and may your summer be filled with wonderful books!
Happy reading,