Thursday, August 27, 2009

More on Diana's book-tour

September 22nd Launch Party

Those of you in the vicinity of Phoenix, Arizona, take note: Diana's web site has been updated with detailed information about the launch party for AN ECHO IN THE BONE, planned for the evening of September 22nd.

Book Tour Plans

I will be attending Diana's book-signing at the Harris County Library in Columbia, MD, at noon on Tuesday, September 29. If any of you are planning to be there too, please let me know. And if you haven't yet signed up, go here to register for the event. This will be my first time meeting Diana in person, and I am VERY much looking forward to it! <g>

What about the rest of you? I think it would be interesting to see how many of you are planning to attend one of Diana's events on the upcoming book-tour, and where. And if you have any tips for those of us who haven't been to one of Diana's book-signings before, please post a comment here.

Updated Itinerary

The Random House site was updated recently with several more additions to Diana's book-tour itinerary. Please note that Diana says these things change frequently, so watch that site for further updates.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

And another one!



Thanks so much to Jerri of Gems by Jerri for giving me the Share Your Flair award!

I'm sort of overwhelmed. And flattered. Three blog awards in the space of a week?! Wow.

So, anyway. In keeping with the spirit of this award I need to share three things about myself with you:

1) I am a longtime fan of the original Star Trek (since around 1974). Watched it in reruns for many years. Have read countless Star Trek novels (some of which are excellent, most of which are, frankly, not all that memorable). And before you ask, yes, I watched ST:TNG, all 7 seasons of it, but I mostly quit following Star Trek on TV after that, so I don't know anything about the later series like Voyager or Enterprise. <shrug> I did see the new Star Trek movie this summer, and enjoyed parts of it, but I'm too much of a purist to embrace it wholeheartedly.

My love for time-travel stories, I'm sure, started first of all with Star Trek. Also my lifelong book-collecting habit. <g>

2) I grew up in New Jersey. Moved to North Carolina more than 25 years ago, originally with the intent of getting away from the snow and ice in the winter. And then, after I'd been living in Raleigh, NC, for some years, we had the Blizzard of 2000, which dropped 20 inches on central North Carolina in January 2000. Take a look at the pictures here to get an idea of what it was like. None of us who were here at the time will ever forget it! (I was snowed in for four days.)

3) I am a graduate of the University of North Carolina, and so was delighted when Carolina won the 2009 NCAA Men's Basketball Championship. Go Heels!

I would like to pass this award on to these three sites:

Passages to the Past

Outlandish Dreaming

Random Ramblings and Recipes

Congratulations to all of you!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

ECHO's official page count

For those of you who have been wondering how many pages AN ECHO IN THE BONE would turn out to be in the end, Diana posted the answer on Compuserve today.
Well, there are actually two answers--depending on whether you want to count the Roman-numeral pages that are considered "front matter"--these include the Dedication, Acks, Table of Contents, and the Prologue, though, as well as the copyright page.

If you _do_ count these in the total, it's 848 pages; without them, Arabic-numbered pages only--that's 828. ....(I did _say_ it would be shorter than either FIERY CROSS or ABOSA, did I not?) I think it's probably just a bit longer than VOYAGER, but close to that size, in terms of word-count.
I realize that this answer will probably disappoint a good many of you who were hoping for a longer book, but in all honesty, Diana has been saying for a long time that this book would be shorter than the more recent ones. So we can't say we weren't warned.

And by knowing the exact number of pages ahead of time, maybe some of you can keep from flipping to the end to check the page-count and inadvertently spoiling the ending for yourselves.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

"B-I-N-G-O" Beautiful Blog Award

Thanks very much to ibeeeg of Mom - Musings for giving me the B-I-N-G-O Beautiful Blog Award! I'm delighted that you find my blog informative.


This "B-I-N-G-O" BEAUTIFUL BLOG AWARD means that this blog is...

B: Beautiful

I: Informative

N: Neighborly

G: Gorgeous

O: Outstanding

The rules:

"Please look carefully at as many blogs as you can to find the top FIVE blogs that YOU think also exemplify these standards and pass it along to them. Please don't break this chain of FIVE! If you are someone who doesn't want awards or doesn't pass them on, please tell the person who is giving it so they can share it with someone who would want it. Thank you. Also, link your award to the person who gave it to you so when people link on the person's name or blog name, it will take them there to see that person's BINGO-RIFFIC BLOG."

Here are my choices:

Beautiful - Gems by Jerri - Check out the photos of beads, jewelry, and other craft items on this site. I am not a jewelry-maker myself, but I think the pictures are lovely.

Informative - Chicago History Journal - I was drawn to this site out of curiosity, because both of my parents grew up in Chicago and I still have relatives in the area. There's a wealth of information here, including quite a lot of interesting historical trivia, and numerous links to books about Chicago.

Neighborly - Outlandish Spirits - A big THANK YOU to Samantha MacKenzie, who runs the Jamie and Claire Tour of Scotland, and her husband, Scot AnSgeulaiche, for sharing their wonderful pictures! I have never been to Scotland, but I feel a little closer to Jamie and Claire's world when I look at the pictures and stories on this site.

Gorgeous - The Photographic Aspect - If you enjoy looking at landscape photography, you can't do better than this site, which features some truly stunning photos of various sites in the Southwestern U.S.

Outstanding - Holy Cuteness - Pictures and videos of animals of all kinds, from cats and dogs to lions, giraffes, bears -- you name it, you can probably find it on this site. Updated frequently, and always worth a look.

Diana talks about her visit to Scotland

Diana Gabaldon has posted a new blog entry at Panalba. (You have to sign up to view the articles, but it's free.)

This article is all about her recent trip to Scotland, the Gathering 2009, her encounters with (among others) Prince Charles and Frazer Hines, the actor whose appearance as a Scotsman named Jamie on a long-ago Dr. Who episode inspired Diana to write about 18th century Scotland. <g>

The direct link to the article is here, if you are a Panalba member. And if you're not, I would encourage you to sign up. The site has a lot of interesting information relating to All Things Scottish.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Another blog award!



This week I received the Zombie Chicken Award from Lisa at Book Blab. Lisa, thank you so much for thinking of me!

Here is the description of the award:

"The blogger who receives this award believes in the Tao of the zombie chicken - excellence, grace and persistence in all situations, even in the midst of a zombie apocalypse. These amazing bloggers regularly produce content so remarkable that their readers would brave a raving pack of zombie chickens just to be able to read their inspiring words. As a recipient of this world-renowned award, you now have the task of passing it on to at least 5 other worthy bloggers. Do not risk the wrath of the zombie chickens by choosing unwisely or not choosing at all."

Here are my five sites. Hope you enjoy them!

English Wilderness - Lovely photography, from insects to landscapes. Check it out!

Kitchen Retro - This site is always entertaining and fun, especially if you like oddball historical trivia. And be sure to check out her Virtual Dime Museum site, which I also enjoy.

First Door on the Left - Political news and commentary from the Democratic side. Even if you are not an Obama supporter, check out the weekly collection of political cartoons posted on Fridays.

Laura's Reviews - Book reviews and lots of other interesting topics relating to books and reading. Take a look at her extensive collection of links to other book blogs!

Paperkraft - A collection of models made of folded paper. Some of them are really quite intricate and creative. I always enjoy looking at them. Updated frequently.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Diana at the Inverness Highland Games

Diana Gabaldon at the Inverness Highland Games

Here is a video that was added recently to Diana Gabaldon's YouTube channel. It shows Diana at the Inverness Highland Games in Scotland in July 2009. Diana mentioned on Compuserve that this video was produced by Orion Books, her UK publisher.

I really enjoyed this video. I think it's very interesting to hear what other fans think of the books. And the brief glimpses of men in kilts are just an added bonus. <g>

Special note to UK readers: According to this video, and also the Orion Books web site, the publication date for the UK hardcover edition of AN ECHO IN THE BONE has changed again, to 7 January 2010.

Book Tour Update

For those of you in the vicinity of Asheville, NC, please note that Diana's book-tour itinerary on the Random House web site was updated yesterday to add an appearance on September 27th at Malaprop's Bookstore in Asheville. For more details, see the thread on Compuserve here. (Many thanks to LeeAnne on Compuserve for letting me know about this!)

Saturday, August 15, 2009

MOVIE REVIEW: The Time Traveler's Wife

I went to see "Time Traveler's Wife" this afternoon. It was better than I expected, considering that I loved the book by Audrey Niffenegger and was somewhat dreading seeing it mangled on screen. But overall I thought it was pretty well done, and I think anybody who liked the book will enjoy it.

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In general I thought the scriptwriter did a reasonably good job of adapting the book to film (which can't have been easy, considering the complexity of the story and the constant shifts back and forth in time).

Some parts of the story were condensed or altered slightly (the first time Henry travels as a child, for example, which combines two separate incidents from the book into one scene) but I thought it was done in a way that stayed true to the spirit of the book. (We can only hope that the scriptwriter for the eventual OUTLANDER movie will manage to do the same!)

And speaking as someone who knows the book well, I thought there was only one scene that was left out that should have been included: the scene at the very end where Henry comes to see Clare when she is an old woman. (I suppose they thought it was superfluous, but I love that scene.)

I didn't like the way they turned the list of dates into a diary. In the book, Clare says she wrote down all the dates from a list that Henry dictated to her as a child, and which he in turn memorized from that very same handwritten list. I suppose the paradox of that was just too complicated (or headache-inducing <g>) to deal with in a movie.

I came away feeling that they had softened many of the hard edges in the original story. Henry, in the book, is a more complex, moody, sometimes bitter and angry man, especially toward the end of the book, and they glossed over most of that in the movie. By skipping Clare's teenage years, they left out some of the scenes that gave added depth to her character. (But I suppose there wasn't time to show everything.)

I thought the special effects used when Henry "travels" were very good, quite consistent with the way it's described in the book. And I loved the fact that they cast a pair of sisters (Hailey McCann and Tatum McCann) to play Alba at different ages. Very clever idea, and it added a lot to the realism of those scenes.

If you haven't read the book, I would highly recommend it, especially for fans of Diana Gabaldon's books who like time-travel stories. And if you have read the book, go see the movie and post a comment here to let me know what you think of it.

Looking for more time-travel stories to pass the time until AN ECHO IN THE BONE comes out? Here are a few of my favorites.

Friday, August 14, 2009

International editions

Here is the Canadian version of AN ECHO IN THE BONE. The cover is identical to the U.S. edition, but the Canadian edition has a different publisher.

The UK edition is pictured below. (And if you are wondering about the symbolism of the leaf on the cover, look at Diana's blog entry from December 2008, and scroll down in the comments until you see the one from Diana that begins, "For Those Who Don't 'Get' the Leaf" <g>)



Special note to those of you in Australia and New Zealand who may be wondering when ECHO will be published Down Under: Diana made the following comment on Compuserve recently, in response to a question from a reader in Australia who'd seen the cover picture with the leaf on it:
Yes, that's the Orion hardcover. It'll be available in Australia and New Zealand on Sept. 22nd, and sometime in January in the UK.

For those of you in the UK who are wondering why you have to wait until January to get the book in hardcover, look here for Diana's explanation, and here for details of a special offer for UK readers that will enable you to get a FREE paperback copy of the book when it's released in September.

Finally, here is the cover of the German edition, titled ECHO DER HOFFNUNG (which, I am told -- I don't speak German <g> -- means "Echo of Hope").

Barbara Schnell, Diana's German translator, is hard at work on her own version of a Final Frenzy at the moment, trying to meet the deadline for a November 27th release of the German edition.

If anybody has any further information on international editions, please post a comment here. Thanks!

UPDATE 8/16/2009 2:38 pm: I just discovered Carmen's extensive collection of international covers for Diana's previous books. Look here to see the picture gallery. Very interesting site, which I have added to my "OUTLANDER Links" list. Great job, Carmen, and thanks for putting that together!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

ECHO on Kindle


I just discovered that the Kindle edition of Diana Gabaldon's upcoming novel AN ECHO IN THE BONE is available for pre-order on Amazon. Click on the image above to see for yourself.

I do not have a Kindle myself, but I know a lot of people have been asking about when the Kindle edition will be out. It appears it will be released simultaneously with the U.S. hardcover edition, on September 22. Which is good news for all of you Kindle-owners out there!

Oh, and don't be misled by the fact that the Amazon listing claims that the book is 832 pages long. When I mentioned this on Compuserve the other day, Diana said that even she still does not know what the final page-count will be, yet. In other words, Amazon is still only guessing, just like the rest of us. <g>

UPDATE 8/31 6:09 am: Unfortunately, Amazon has apparently pulled the Kindle version of ECHO from its web site, so it's no longer possible to pre-order it. If I find out anything further about this, I'll post an update.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

New release date for ECHO on CD

The Recorded Books web site is now showing the anticipated release date for AN ECHO IN THE BONE on CD as October 15, 2009.

This is a bit of a delay, but considering that Diana was still making last-minute changes to the manuscript as recently as last week, I'm not really surprised.

You can pre-order the audio version from Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, or directly from the Recorded Books site. Amazon is cheapest, at this point, but keep an eye on it as the prices may change again before release day.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Official ECHO countdown widget

Diana Gabaldon's web site has been updated with a link to a new ECHO countdown widget. I think it looks great, with the striking black and gold colors of the cover.

I've replaced my "homemade" version with the official one, which is synchronized to midnight Eastern time on September 22nd.

Please spread the word to anyone you know who may be interested in putting this countdown on their site.

UPDATE 8/7/2009 9:13 pm: There is also a Canadian version of this countdown widget, with links to Canadian sites for pre-orders, etc.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Anticipation

With less than 7 weeks to go before the release of AN ECHO IN THE BONE, I thought I'd offer a selection of quotes from the books on the subject of anticipation, and patience, and how hard it is to wait.

1) "I have been thinking of this for months, now," he said, with keen anticipation. "Every night, folded up in that godforsaken nutshell of a berth, listening to Fergus grunt and fart across the cabin. I thought it all out, just what I would do, did I have ye naked and willing, no one in hearing, and room enough to serve ye suitably."

(From VOYAGER by Diana Gabaldon, chapter 52 ("A Marriage Takes Place"). Copyright© 1994 by Diana Gabaldon. All rights reserved.)

2) "Wait and see, Mama," said Bree, with irritating smugness.

(From VOYAGER by Diana Gabaldon, chapter 21 ("Q.E.D."). Copyright© 1994 by Diana Gabaldon. All rights reserved.)

3) "I dinna ken," he said at last, and lifted his head, looking out into the distance of land and sky. "No one does, Sassenach. We must just meet what comes as we can."

(From A BREATH OF SNOW AND ASHES by Diana Gabaldon, chapter 20 ("Dangerous Gifts"). Copyright© 2005 by Diana Gabaldon. All rights reserved.)

4) "I will find you," he said. "I promise. If I must endure two hundred years of purgatory, two hundred years without you--then that is my punishment, which I have earned for my crimes. For I have lied, and killed, and stolen; betrayed and broken trust. But there is the one thing that shall lie in the balance. When I shall stand before God, I shall have one thing to say, to weigh against the rest.

His voice dropped nearly to a whisper, and his arms tightened around me.

"Lord, ye gave me a rare woman. And God! I loved her well."

(From DRAGONFLY IN AMBER by Diana Gabaldon, chapter 46 ("Timor Mortis Conturbat Me"). Copyright© 1992 by Diana Gabaldon. All rights reserved.)

5) "How many nights in twenty years, a nighean? How many hours? For I spent that long in wondering whether my wife still lived, and how she fared. She and my child."

(From THE FIERY CROSS by Diana Gabaldon, chapter 81 ("Bear-Killer"). Copyright© 2001 by Diana Gabaldon. All rights reserved.)

And finally, there's this song, which has been running through my head lately:

Saturday, August 1, 2009

OUTLANDER Challenge 2009 Update

July Poll Results

Here are the July poll results. I should preface this by saying that I knew when I posted the poll questions that the numbers were going to be VERY heavily skewed toward Claire <g>, but I was quite interested to see what other characters people voted for.

Who is your favorite female character in the OUTLANDER series?

  • 78.9% - Claire
  • 6.9% - Jenny
  • 6.4% - Brianna
  • 1.8% - Lizzie
  • 1.8% - Geillis Duncan
  • 1.4% - Marsali
  • 0.5% - Jocasta
  • 0% - Mrs. Bug, Laoghaire, Malva Christie (no votes for any of them)
  • 2.3% - Other

Interesting that Jenny got more votes than Bree, don't you think?

Thanks so much to everyone who participated! There were 218 votes this month, which is by far the most I've had in one of these polls since I started running them last year. (And yes, I would have voted for Claire, too. I think she's an amazing character.)

Please take a moment to vote in the August poll, which concerns a topic many of you have been thinking about: pre-ordering AN ECHO IN THE BONE. I'm curious to see what people have to say about this one.



OUTLANDER CHALLENGE 2009

Some of you may have heard about the "OUTLANDER Challenge 2009", which started in January as a way to encourage people to (re-)read (or listen to) all six books in order, in preparation for ECHO's release on September 22.

I am not affiliated with that site in any way, but I've been participating in the Challenge since it started. I'm finishing up listening to FIERY CROSS this weekend, and may or may not manage to get all the way through ABOSAA again by 9/22, but I did listen to ABOSAA starting in January this year, so I think I'm going to consider the challenge complete, for me, as of the end of FIERY CROSS.

Anyway, I discovered yesterday that the OUTLANDER Challenge 2009 site is running a contest through August 15 to give away a set of OUTLANDER books:

If you'd like to win the whole kit-n-kaboodle, all you have to do is guess the total number of pages that's going to arrive on your doorstep if you win.

Now before you run off thinking how grateful you are for Google, keep this in mind:

This collection is made up of a combination of the series culled from the personal collections of both One Literature Nut and A Reader's Respite. That means the books are a combination of various bindings (some hardcover, some paperback) and various editions (some U.S., some British).

You can enter the contest here. Good luck!