I’m in the midst of packing for a few days away (yay!), so this will be a bit of a jumbled/housekeep-y sort of post…

First of all, on Saturday at 2:00 I’ll be doing a booksigning at the Uptown Borders in Albuquerque (2240 Q Street NE) along with authors Celeste Bradley (who was our guest here at Riskies just a few weeks ago!) and Sarah Storme. If you’re in the area come by and say hi! I’ll be wearing my Laurel and Amanda hats, signing copies of Countess of Scandal and To Catch a Rogue (which has a nice new review here! And I also spotted copies in my local Wal Mart last week…). Also on the 10th I’ll be guest blogging at the Pink Heart Society.

If you’re in the UK, I have a release there this month as well! A Sinful Alliance, set at the Court of Henry VIII, is out in the Super Historicals line, and can be ordered here. (I actually like the cover better in this close-up view!)

And I have two new re-issue covers from Signet! Rogue Grooms will be out in June, and Improper Ladies doesn’t yet have a firm release date, but I do love the heroine’s hair!

What else I’ve been thinking about this week: dresses! I went shopping last weekend to find some clothes for the RWA conference this summer. I found a couple of cute little cocktail-type dresses (on sale!) for publisher’s parties and things like that, but couldn’t find just the right thing for the awards ceremony (except for one dress that cost about 3 times more than I wanted to spend). I was whining to my mother about it, and she said “Why don’t you wear one of the fifty or so dresses you have hanging in your closet?” Because that would be no fun, of course! (She also refused to make me a new gown on the grounds that she is still working on my costume for the Beau Monde Soiree. Modistes these days! LOL). But I did start sorting through my closets and found a dress that would work perfectly and which hasn’t seen the light of day in a billion years because it happens to be my gown from the senior prom. (Quick note: this is a very classic ballgown-style dress, with an off-the-shoulder black velvet bodice and big black satin skirt, not an early-90s shiny monstrosity with giant sleeves!). The problem–it will only zip up to just below my shoulder blades. So it is now in my mother’s sewing room getting surgery performed on its seams. Stay tuned…

What else I’m thinking about–books that come out in a series. As you know, my “Muses” books are coming out in April, May, and June, and while I’m very happy about this it’s posed a bit of a “doing promo” confusion. I asked Nicola Cornick (whose new trilogy is coming out in consecutive months at the end of this year. I’m so excited about this!) and Michelle Willingham (whose “Accidental” books just came out in two consecutive months) how to let people know about these books without boring them to death. I am still pondering this, but I have to say as a reader I do love this practice of a series coming out close together. I tend to avoid the Massive Series (where there are approximately 253 relatives who all need their own stories) because I am very easily confused and then spend the whole book trying desperately to remember what happened in the previous books. But I love series of 3 or 4 books, because it feels like there’s more time for a whole world to be built and explored. When the books come out months apart, I tend to collect them all before I start reading (to avoid that confusion) so it’s nice to get them quickly.

I was also thinking about this as I watched Vampire Diaries last week. (Yes, I know, another CW show I have grown obsessed with! I have a problem…). This show recently went on a hiatus of more than a month after a slam-bang episode where many plot threads came together. The vampire tomb was opened at last–and Catherine wasn’t in it!!! Stefan almost got trapped in the tomb, and Elena’s brother almost got killed! Bonnie’s grandmother died from opening the tomb! Elena felt sorry for Damon, who actually looked a bit sympathetic for once, having lost his one true love! But then there were no shows for weeks, and when I watched the new episode last week I had completely lost the thread of the plot and had no clue what was going on or who half the characters were who were running around doing–well, not much of anything. I think jumping right back into the series without even showing us a re-run of the tomb-opening episode was a mistake.

Also, the two new episodes have kind of been–dull (despite numerous near-stakings). The spectacle of a drunken, lovelorn Damon in a bachelor auction was hilarious, as was the thought of going on a double-date with your high school friends and a 150 year old vampire boyfriend, but other than that it feels like things have stalled a bit. One of the things I’ve liked about Vampire Diaries is that each episode has something important or unexpected happen and the story leaps forward accordingly. I also like how the characters are actually rather complex (for a CW show anyway) and don’t always act in the ways we expect. So I hope things pick up next week. But I have learned an important lesson from this show–keep the series moving, don’t confuse readers with big info dumps and unfamiliar characters popping up all over (especially when the characters who are already there are interesting enough!), do the unexpected whenever possible, and it’s great when the bad-boy hero is undone by an even badder girl.

So watching TV is not wasted time after all! It’s Very Important Research.

What are you thinking about this week? Are you going to RWA and if so do you have your clothes all planned? What did you wear to your prom? And what’s your favorite TV show right now–have you learned anything important from watching it? (So many questions today!)