Friday, December 30, 2011

Happy New Year!



As we prepare to ring in 2012, I thought it would be appropriate to have an old-fashioned Hogmanay celebration, as they might have celebrated it on Fraser's Ridge two hundred years ago.



This picture shows a cabin built around 1820 near Grandfather Mountain, NC (very close to where Fraser's Ridge is supposed to be located).  I think this might look something like Bree and Roger's cabin, perhaps?
A firstfoot was to bring gifts to the house: an egg, a faggot of wood, a bit of salt--and a bit of whisky, thus insuring that the household would not lack for the necessities during the coming year.

(From THE FIERY CROSS by Diana Gabaldon, chapter 35 ("Hogmanay"). Copyright© 2001 by Diana Gabaldon. All rights reserved.)
I can't participate in a first-footing myself, even if I lived in Scotland (redheads being considered extremely bad luck on such an occasion), but I'd like to share these small tokens with you anyway.





 

 

Finally, here's a video I found last year with wonderful pictures of Scotland. Enjoy!



Happy New Year, and best wishes to all of you in 2012!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

An OUTLANDER quiz

Here's a new OUTLANDER quiz that someone posted a link to on Diana Gabaldon's Facebook page:

http://www.sporcle.com/games/x_autumn_x/outlandercross-stitch-uk-title-characters-

(Please note the hyphen at the end of the URL!  If you leave it out, the link won't work.)

This one is 50 questions in 15 minutes.  There are a handful of errors and misspellings in it (the clue that says "The Horse" should read "Master of Horse", for example), but for the most part, it's reasonably accurate.

My highest score so far is 48 out of 50. :-)

The clues appear in random order each time you take the quiz, but there seems to be only this one set of questions.

Have fun! :-)

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

THE EXILE is available for the Nook!



Diana Gabaldon's graphic novel, THE EXILE, is now available for Nook Color and Nook Tablet e-readers!  (Thanks to CherylT on Compuserve for letting me know.)

I just downloaded it this morning, and it looks great!  The colors come through extremely well.  Of course it's a little small, reading it on a 7 inch Nook screen, but you can tap to zoom in as close as you want.

The link to the Nook version is here.  Please note, you have to be running version 1.4.1 of the Nook software (just released a couple of weeks ago) in order to see it.

THE EXILE is unfortunately not viewable on the Nook for PC app (I tried that and it said it wasn't available), but if you are a Nook Color or Nook Tablet owner, give it a try; I think you'll like it. <g>

I have no idea if there are plans to make THE EXILE available on Kindle or any other e-readers.  (The German version of THE EXILE is available for Kindle, according to Barbara Schnell, Diana's German translator, but I don't have any information other than that.)  I think they should, for all e-readers capable of displaying images in full color, but that's just my opinion.

Please pass this information on to anyone else who may be interested.  Thanks!

Monday, December 26, 2011

2011 Year in Review

2011 was a very eventful year for Diana Gabaldon fans, and for me in particular.

Some of the highlights:

January - Diana Gabaldon unveils her new-and-improved website at www.dianagabaldon.com.  I think it's a HUGE improvement over the old site!  And I was just delighted to see my picture (and a mention of this blog) on the Links page. <g>

February - I started my new job! (No, this has nothing to do with OUTLANDER, but it was the best thing that happened to me in 2011, by far, so I have to include it on the list.) Also, I bought a Nook Color, which I quickly became addicted to.  I have found that the e-books are very handy for searching for a specific quote in one of Diana's books, and it sure beats having to carry around a 900-page book! <g>

March - David McNicoll volunteers to write a series of three guest posts for my blog, about the events surrounding the Jacobite Rising of 1745-46, and its aftermath.  Thanks, David!

ABOSAA Unabridged Audio

April - The unabridged audiobook of ABOSAA finally becomes available on audible.com, more than three years ahead of schedule, thanks to a special deal that Diana's agent worked out with Bantam Audio.  If you haven't yet listened to Davina Porter's narration of ABOSAA, I would highly recommend it!



May - Diana starts posting "Daily Lines" (brief bits from her current writing) on Twitter, under the tagline #DailyLines.  In a very short time, a great many fans become addicted to their daily "fix". <g>

[Please note:  recently Diana has stopped posting #DailyLines on Twitter, now that it's more difficult to post tweets that are longer than the usual 140 characters, but let's hope she will resume if the technical issues can be worked out.]



May-June - The OUTLANDER 20th Anniversary Contest.  This was my first attempt at holding a contest of any kind on my blog, and it was a tremendous success!  Thanks again to everyone who participated!  (Just as a side note:  the contest resulted in Diana's very first comment on this blog!)



June - My interview in RT Book Reviews Magazine is published!  I was thrilled to be asked to do this, and extremely pleased with the way the article came out.



July - The special 20th Anniversary Edition of OUTLANDER is published.  I love the "feel" of this book, with the faux-leather cover, and I really enjoyed the extras that were included in it.



September - Diana announces the title of Book 8 of the OUTLANDER series:  WRITTEN IN MY OWN HEART'S BLOOD.  (See the Book 8 FAQ for more information.)  And Diana's official Facebook page is launched, attracting more than 150,000 fans (!) in just the first three months.



October - "Lord John and the Plague of Zombies" is published in the DOWN THESE STRANGE STREETS anthology.



November - The unabridged FIERY CROSS finally becomes available on audible.com; I start making plans to go to Scotland in July 2012 on the Celtic Journeys OUTLANDER tour; and THE SCOTTISH PRISONER is published! <vbg>



December - Diana sends me a special gift: a silver necklace and locket engraved with "Czarina" on one side, "of Traffic" on the other.  (Click on the photos to enlarge.)  For those of you who don't know, that's the nickname she gave me in the Acknowledgements of AN ECHO IN THE BONE, in recognition of my efforts on Compuserve.





It's been a wonderful year for me personally, and I'm looking forward to a lot more discussion of All Things Outlander in 2012.  Happy New Year to all of you!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Christmas quotes from Diana Gabaldon's books

Here are some Christmas-themed quotes from Diana Gabaldon's books. I hope you enjoy them!

1) It's hard to imagine, from our 21st-century perspective, anyone losing track of the date this close to Christmas. But Roger had a lot of other things on his mind....
"What's the occasion? For our homecoming?"
She lifted her head from his chest and gave him what he privately classified as A Look.
"For Christmas," she said.
"What?" He groped blankly, trying to count the days, but the events of the last three weeks had completely erased his mental calendar. "When?"
"Tomorrow, idiot," she said with exaggerated patience.

(From THE FIERY CROSS by Diana Gabaldon, chapter 33 ("Home for Christmas"). Copyright© 2001 by Diana Gabaldon. All rights reserved.)
2) Here's a quote from one of my favorite scenes in DRUMS, when Claire comes to find Jamie in the snow:
"What if I tell you a story, instead?"
Highlanders loved stories, and Jamie was no exception.
"Oh, aye," he said, sounding much happier. "What sort of story is it?"
"A Christmas story," I said, settling myself along the curve of his body. "About a miser named Ebenezer Scrooge."
"An Englishman, I daresay?"
"Yes," I said. "Be quiet and listen."
I could see my own breath as I talked, white in the dim, cold air. The snow was falling heavily outside our shelter; when I paused in the story, I could hear the whisper of flakes against the hemlock branches, and the far-off whine of wind in the trees.

(From DRUMS OF AUTUMN by Diana Gabaldon, chapter 21 ("Night on a Snowy Mountain"). Copyright© 1997 by Diana Gabaldon. All rights reserved.)
3) I think it's interesting--and rather sad--that Lord John should seek out Nessie, rather than the company of his own family, on Christmas Eve:
“Aye, well, it is Christmas Eve,” she said, answering his unasked question. “Any man wi’ a home to go to’s in it.” She yawned, pulled off her nightcap, and fluffed her fingers through the wild mass of curly dark hair.
“Yet you seem to have some custom,” he observed. Distant singing came from two floors below, and the parlor had seemed well populated when he passed.
“Och, aye. The desperate ones. I leave them to Maybelle to deal with; dinna like to see them, poor creatures. Pitiful. They dinna really want a woman, the ones who come on Christmas Eve--only a fire to sit by, and folk to sit with.”

(From AN ECHO IN THE BONE by Diana Gabaldon, chapter 24 ("Joyeux Noel"). Copyright© 2009 by Diana Gabaldon. All rights reserved.)
4) The next quote is a reminder that Christmas was viewed differently back then than we think of it today. But of course many of today's Christmas traditions date from the 19th century or later:
Catholic as many of them were--and nominally Christian as they all were--Highland Scots regarded Christmas primarily as a religious observance, rather than a major festive occasion. Lacking priest or minister, the day was spent much like a Sunday, though with a particularly lavish meal to mark the occasion, and the exchange of small gifts.

(From THE FIERY CROSS by Diana Gabaldon, chapter 34 ("Charms"). Copyright© 2001 by Diana Gabaldon. All rights reserved.) 
5) Speaking of Christmas traditions, here's a quote from Diana Gabaldon's latest novel, THE SCOTTISH PRISONER.  (No spoilers here, I promise!)
They’d brought down the Yule log to the house that afternoon, all the household taking part, the women bundled to the eyebrows, the men ruddy, flushed with the labor, staggering, singing, dragging the monstrous log with ropes, its rough skin packed with snow, a great furrow left where it passed, the snow plowed high on either side.

(From THE SCOTTISH PRISONER by Diana Gabaldon, chapter 43 ("Succession"). Copyright© 2011 by Diana Gabaldon. All rights reserved.)
6) And what would the holidays be without sweets? <g> Check out The Outlander Kitchen's recipe for molasses toffee, as described in this scene from THE FIERY CROSS:
With a certain amount of forethought, Mrs. Bug, Brianna, Marsali, Lizzie, and I had made up an enormous quantity of molasses toffee, which we had distributed as a Christmas treat to all the children within earshot.  Whatever it might do to their teeth, it had the beneficial effect of gluing their mouths shut for long periods, and in consequence, the adults had enjoyed a peaceful Christmas.

(From THE FIERY CROSS by Diana Gabaldon, chapter 34 ("Charms"). Copyright© 2001 by Diana Gabaldon. All rights reserved.)
7) I love this quote, even though things didn't turn out the way Roger had expected:
She'd wanted to go to the Christmas Eve services. After that...
After that, he would ask her, make it formal. She would say yes, he knew. And then...

Why, then, they would come home, to a house dark and private. With themselves alone, on a night of sacrament and secret, with love newly come into the world. And he would lift her in his arms and carry her upstairs, on a night when virginity's sacrifice was no loss of purity, but rather the birth of everlasting joy.

(From DRUMS OF AUTUMN by Diana Gabaldon, chapter 17 ("Home for the Holidays"). Copyright© 1997 by Diana Gabaldon. All rights reserved.)
Wishing all of you the best in this holiday season!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Chanukah gifties from Diana Gabaldon!

Look at what Diana sent me for Chanukah!

Chanukah gifts from Diana

The package was waiting for me when I got home from work yesterday -- great timing, as last night was the first night of Chanukah. <g>  (Click on the picture for a better view.)

This is the second year in a row that Diana has sent me a package of dates from the Sphinx Date Ranch.  They're locally grown in Arizona, and they are delicious, as I found out last year!

The necklace is gorgeous -- a silver chain that almost looks white.  Very striking, and I'm sure I'll get a lot of use out of it.

And the card reads, "Dear Karen, Have a wonderful time in Scotland this summer!  Diana"  I was so happy to see that.  (Our plans for the Scotland trip are coming along well so far, and we're all very excited about it.)

Thanks VERY much to Diana Gabaldon for these gifts, and Happy Chanukah, to all of you who are celebrating this week!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

SCOTTISH PRISONER discussions on Compuserve

We have been having some very interesting in-depth discussions of Diana Gabaldon's new novel, THE SCOTTISH PRISONER, in the Diana Gabaldon folder on the Compuserve Books and Writers Community.  (For those of you who don't know, this is the online forum where Diana hangs out, and I have been Section Leader in Diana's section of the forum since 2008.)

To see the discussions, go here.  You need to log in to post a message, but it's free.  (If you are having technical problems logging into Compuserve, look here for some troubleshooting tips.)

Here is an overview of the way the discussions are organized.  If you have a comment about something specific, you can post in one of the "chapter threads".  For example, if you want to talk about a scene in chapter 9, just post in the thread titled SCOTTISH PRISONER: Chapters 7-10.

The SP: General Discussion thread is where you can comment on the book as a whole, or talk about broader topics that don't fit in a single scene or chapter.  We had some very lively and interesting discussion in that thread last week -- lots of insightful comments! -- and it's well worth reading from the beginning.  (If you haven't yet finished the book, you may want to be cautious about reading this thread, especially if you are sensitive to spoilers!)

Feel free to jump into any of these discussions.  Diana always likes to hear from her readers, and she has been participating actively in the discussions, answering questions, responding to comments, and clarifying things.

I'm really pleased with the way the discussions on Compuserve have been going so far, and I would encourage any of you who have a question or a comment about THE SCOTTISH PRISONER (or about anything else related to OUTLANDER) to come and join us.

Hope to see some of you on the forum soon!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Live Chat with Diana Gabaldon on 12/20



BookTrib.com will be hosting a Live Chat with Diana Gabaldon at 3:30 pm Eastern Time on Tuesday, December 20.  This will be Diana's last public appearance in 2011.

[UPDATE 12/21/2011 6:41 am: If you missed the live chat, you can see a recording here.]

Do you have a question or a comment for Diana?  RSVP to GabaldonChat@booktrib.com if you would like to join Tuesday's chat.

PLEASE NOTE:  You must be registered at BookTrib.com in order to participate in the chat.

They are giving away 10 copies of THE SCOTTISH PRISONER to people who participate in the chat.

I won't be there myself -- it's the middle of a work day -- but this sounds like a great opportunity to chat with Diana in "real time".  I was happy to be asked to sponsor this event.

For more information, or if you have questions about the event, please check out the BookTrib.com event page here.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

"The Space Between" is done!

Diana Gabaldon announced on Facebook today that her latest story, a novella called "The Space Between", is completed!  I'm delighted to hear this.  Diana has been working on this story for a long time, and it's good to know that it's finally done.

For those of you who aren't familiar with it, "The Space Between" is a story about Young Ian's brother Michael and Marsali's sister Joan (both characters we met for the first time in AN ECHO IN THE BONE), as well as the Comte St. Germain, Mother Hildegard, and doubtless a number of other interesting characters that we haven't encountered before. <g>

Diana says "The Space Between" is about 37,000 words.  Just by way of comparison, "The Custom of the Army" was about 30,000 words, so this story looks to be significantly longer than that.  (Naturally, I think that's a good thing. <g>)

Here is what Diana had to say on Facebook today about this story:
‎"The Space Between" is commissioned for an anthology--the anthology is titled THE MAD SCIENTIST'S GUIDE TO WORLD DOMINATION, edited by John Joseph Adams. I don't think the anthology has a pub date scheduled as yet, but Mr. Adams tells me the book will be around 150,000 words (I expressed the hope that he'd still have room for a few other stories _besides_ TSB <cough>). My guess is that you'll get the book sometime in 2012, though--I hope so!
I will certainly post here as soon as I hear anything more definite about a publication date for the anthology.  Stay tuned!

In the meantime, you can go here for discussion of the story (including excerpts) on Compuserve.

I would expect that with "The Space Between" completed, WRITTEN IN MY OWN HEART'S BLOOD (Book 8 of the OUTLANDER series) will move back up into the #1 spot on Diana's work pile, and probably stay there through the end of 2012.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Diana in Mallard Fillmore comic strip!

Diana Gabaldon was mentioned in today's (December 12) Mallard Fillmore comic strip!  (Click on the picture for a better view.)



Very cool!  And this is not the first time Diana has been mentioned in this particular comic.  Some of you may recall this one, from February 2009. <g>

Thanks to Diana for mentioning this on Twitter; I'm sure I would never have seen it otherwise.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

OUTLANDER Reading Challenge 2012



If you're looking for an excuse to (re)read the OUTLANDER books, check out the 2012 Outlander Reading Challenge hosted by Literary Escapism.

Here are the details (copied from the announcement):
  1. The challenge will run from January 1st through December 31st.
  2. The goal is to read all 7 Outlander novels as well as all 4 Lord John novels, or as many as you can or want to do. (I don’t like inflexible reading challenges, so don’t stress out if you don’t think you’ll be able to get through them all).
  3. Once a month, we’ll get together and chat about where and what we’ve read (more details about this to come).
  4. After reading one of the novels, write your review and then come back to the main challenge page and add your link to Mr. Linky.  Make sure you include your name and which title you’ve read.
  5. Bloggers or Non-Bloggers alike are welcome.  You don’t have to have a site to participate. You can link up via Facebook, GoodReads or even Amazon if you’d like.
I didn't ask whether audiobooks count for this challenge; I'm just going to assume that they do. <g>

If you are participating in this challenge and you want to put a button on your blog or website, look here (scroll down until you see "Grab the Button!", just above the list of participants).  I like this logo quite a bit; it's colorful and very attractive. <g>

Good luck!  And please help spread the word to anyone else you know who may be interested.  Thanks!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Diana's inscription in my book

My signed copy of THE SCOTTISH PRISONER arrived yesterday, and I'm just delighted with the inscription!


In case you can't quite make it out (click on the picture to see a bigger version), it says:

"For Karen, my most thoughtful and generous Aedile Curule!"

What's an Aedile Curule?  That was a title bestowed on me by Birdie on Compuserve in September, 2011:
I move that Karen be elected Aedile here and now....I was sitting with the Oxford Latin Desk Dictionary within arm's reach and here's the nitty-gritty on "aedile" specifically, "aedile curule", which I think fits Karen's role to a T.
"aediles curules...held joint responsibility for the care of the fabric and the people of the city, its corn supply and its public games."
Not every [forum] is so fortunate to have someone as dedicated and capable as is Karen to serve as its Aedile Curule.
Diana has been jokingly referring to me as Aedile, or Aedile Curule, ever since.  I like it, even if it's difficult to say.  It really does fit my role on the forum very well.  I'm told, by the way, by my friend Zan Marie (who used to teach Latin), that it's pronounced "eye-dih-leh ku-ru-leh".

I hope all of you are enjoying THE SCOTTISH PRISONER as much as I am!  I started my second re-read on Thursday and I intend to spend quite a bit of time reading this weekend.

If you'd like an autographed copy of THE SCOTTISH PRISONER, either for yourself or as a gift for the OUTLANDER fan on your list, just contact the Poisoned Pen bookstore in Scottsdale, AZ.  The Poisoned Pen is Diana Gabaldon's local independent bookstore, and they ship all over the world.

Friday, December 9, 2011

SCOTTISH PRISONER is #1 in Canada!



Diana Gabaldon announced today that THE SCOTTISH PRISONER is #1 on Canada's bestseller list!  Here's what she posted on Facebook:
I am Utterly Delighted to announce that THE SCOTTISH PRISONER is now a genuine, gold-plated "#1 International Bestseller"! I.e., the Canadian publisher just let me know that SP debuts on the Globe and Mail bestseller list at....#1. Which is Totally Cool, if you ask me. <g> Thank you, les Canadiens!
Woohooo!!  Congratulations again to Diana, and GO CANADA! <g>

Thursday, December 8, 2011

SCOTTISH PRISONER on the NYT Bestseller List!



I just saw this announcement on Diana Gabaldon's Facebook page:
NEWS!

THANK YOU! Thanks to all of you who've bought and been enjoying THE SCOTTISH PRISONER, I've just been told that the book debuts at #8 on the New York Times Bestseller List!!!

Moran Taing! (that's Gaelic for "Thank You"!)
When I commented on this on Compuserve, Diana said,
I'm delighted, and the publishing people are beside themselves. <g>  They also told me that the first print run has sold out and the book's already gone back to press.  Also excellent news!
This is fantastic news!!  Congratulations to Diana, I think it's well-deserved, and I'm thrilled for her that the book is doing so well! <vbg>

If you want to offer your congratulations to Diana, you can post on Compuserve here, or on Facebook here.

UPDATE 12/9/2011 3:00 pm:  See Diana's latest blog post for her reaction, plus information on ordering autographed copies of SP in time for Christmas.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

I'm going to Scotland in July!!

I'm thrilled to announce that I've made plans to go to Scotland in July 2012, on Judy Lowstuter's Celtic Journeys OUTLANDER tour!  Going to Scotland has been a dream of mine since I first read the OUTLANDER books five years ago, and we finally decided that this is going to be the year for it.

My sister Alice will be joining us on the tour, coming from Israel.  She's also a fan of Diana's books, although she doesn't have a lot of spare time for reading.  I'm delighted that I'm going to be able to share this special experience with her.  And my mom is also coming along, for the sightseeing and to help with the logistics of travel and accessibility.  (She is not a fan of the books but has promised to at least give OUTLANDER a try before we go in July. <g>)

I can't tell you how happy I am to finally be able to do this.  As some of you may know, I have cerebral palsy and use an electric scooter for long distances.  I don't travel a great deal, and I really wasn't sure I'd ever be able to go to Scotland.  But this tour seems just right for us, and Judy has been amazingly responsive and willing to go out of her way to address all of our concerns about accessibility, etc.  I'm looking forward to this so much!  I'm sure it's going to be a fantastic experience. <g>

If you have been on this tour or know someone who has, please let me know.  (Here is an article from 2008 about a group of fans in Florida who went on this tour.) 

And of course if you have any tips for a first-time visitor to Scotland, please share them!

Diana's reaction on Compuserve, when I posted about this last night, was, "Judy is fabulous, and I'm sure you'll have a wonderful time!"

By the way, Judy is mentioned (along with Judie Rousselle and Elenna Loughlin and the rest of the Ladies of Lallybroch) in the Acknowledgements to THE SCOTTISH PRISONER, for "the bench in the eighteenth-century walled garden at Culloden House, kindly dedicated to me and my books".  You can see a slideshow with photos of the bench and Diana here.  (In case you're wondering, yes, this is the same garden where Elenna Loughlin took that gorgeous photo of Diana that appears on the back cover of SCOTTISH PRISONER.)  I'm excited that I'll get to see that lovely garden, and the bench, for myself next summer!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

My review of THE SCOTTISH PRISONER



Here is my review of Diana Gabaldon's new novel, THE SCOTTISH PRISONER.

S

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THE SCOTTISH PRISONER is at least as much Jamie Fraser's story as Lord John Grey's.  It takes place in 1760, during the time when Jamie was at Helwater, and it fills in many of the details of a time in Jamie's life that readers of the OUTLANDER series know very little about.

THE SCOTTISH PRISONER is very much a character-focused, character-driven book, but there's plenty of action, and the story seems very well-paced. The structure of the book, with the alternating points of view between Jamie and Lord John, reminds me in some ways of VOYAGER (and I think it's effective for the same reason).  Just as in the parts of VOYAGER that deal with the search for Jamie, and Claire's decision to go back, we as readers have some idea what's coming, we're rooting for it to happen, and when it finally does, it's enormously satisfying.

As a reader, I want to see John and Jamie reconcile and resume their friendship, and although that's not the whole focus of the plot, it makes me hypersensitive to the smallest gesture that indicates progress is being made there.  ("They're smiling at each other!"  "He said, 'Call me John'!  FINALLY!" etc.)  There is a sense of the pieces of their relationship falling into their rightful place, particularly in the last part of the book, and that's very satisfying to me as a reader.

John and Jamie's adventure in Ireland was highly entertaining, and kept my attention throughout.  I see now why it was necessary to take both of them out of their normal environment before they could begin to re-establish any sort of relationship.  Clearly they couldn't do that at Helwater, let alone on Hal and John's turf in London.  Ireland is neutral territory, so to speak; it gives them a way to begin to interact as equals, and once that happens, once Jamie starts to let go of the hostility, anger, and depression, and begins to relax a bit and let down his guard around Lord John, the chemistry between the two of them really starts to shine through, and that makes the story even more fun to read.

The scenes with Jamie's young son Willie are terrific -- all of them.  Diana Gabaldon has a real gift for writing about young children in a way that's quite natural and believable.  We see Jamie's relationship with Willie evolve very gradually over the course of the book, and by the end of the story, it's hard to imagine how Jamie will ever be able to leave his son. Seeing them together in SCOTTISH PRISONER makes their eventual separation, in VOYAGER, even more heartbreaking.

And speaking of separation....

The constant reminders of Claire's absence, the way she is never far away from Jamie's thoughts (or dreams), are just heartwrenching.  I kept wanting to assure him, "Don't worry, she's fine, you'll see her in a few years."

There's plenty for Lord John fans to enjoy in this book, too.  Many of the major characters from the Lord John novels appear in THE SCOTTISH PRISONER, including Tom Byrd, who is one of my favorites.  It's interesting to see how Jamie interacts with all these characters.  His reactions to seeing John's brother Hal and Harry Quarry were particularly memorable.

(Just as a side note:  Diana Gabaldon has said that you don't need to have read any of the Lord John books and stories in order to enjoy THE SCOTTISH PRISONER, but I think the story will have a lot more depth if you've read LORD JOHN AND THE BROTHERHOOD OF THE BLADE, at least.)

I really wish I could think of a way to communicate to the fans at large, especially those who don't normally read the Lord John books, how much I think they're going to want to read this book.  There's so much in this story that will appeal to even casual OUTLANDER fans.  I think it would be a real shame for people to dismiss this book on the basis that they don't like Lord John, or don't want to read gay sex scenes, or whatever.

In my opinion, Diana Gabaldon has done everything she possibly could in SCOTTISH PRISONER to make the point that

a) This is all one immense, interrelated story,

b) The boundary between "the OUTLANDER series" and "the Lord John books" is largely an artificial one, created by the publisher or the marketing people or whoever. 

c) People who choose not to read the Lord John books (for whatever reason) are missing important pieces of both the overall story, and the relationship between Jamie and Lord John in particular.

I think it's going to be really interesting to see how readers react to this book, and I honestly do think that readers who dismiss it because they think it's going to be "just another Lord John book" are going to be missing out, big time.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Interview with Diana at the Debutante Ball

There's an interesting interview with Diana Gabaldon on the Debutante Ball site.

If you leave a comment on that interview, you could win a copy of THE SCOTTISH PRISONER!

Thanks to Linda Grimes on Compuserve for letting me know about this.

Friday, December 2, 2011

THE FIERY CROSS unabridged on audible.com

Here's some good news about the FIERY CROSS unabridged audiobook that was released last month on audible.com.



Diana Gabaldon's THE FIERY CROSS (the unabridged version, narrated by Davina Porter) is one of five audiobooks in audible's Best of 2011:  Long Awaited category .  The other books in the category are THE GRAPES OF WRATH, THE WINDS OF WAR, DELIVERANCE, and HELTER SKELTER.

It's also #1 on audible's list of Monthly Customer Favorites for November

I'm not at all surprised, considering how long fans have been waiting for the unabridged FIERY CROSS, but still, it's exciting to see it doing so well, barely a month after audible made it available.

I'm listening to FIERY CROSS unabridged at the moment myself (will probably finish it up this weekend) and I would highly recommend it to any of you who haven't had the chance to listen to it yet.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

November poll results

I hope you're all enjoying THE SCOTTISH PRISONER!  Here are the results of the November poll:

Are you planning to pre-order THE SCOTTISH PRISONER?
  • 41.02% - Yes! I can't wait to read it.
  • 18.26% - No, I will buy it on or after the release day.
  • 7.19% - No, I will get it from the library.
  • 6.89% - I'm waiting for the audiobook.
  • 4.49% - No, because I don't want to risk it not arriving on November 29.
  • 4.19% - No, because someone else is buying it for me as a gift.
  • 3.89% - I haven't yet, but I intend to put in an order soon.
  • 3.89% - No, I'm not interested in this book.
  • 3.59% - No, I will wait for the paperback.
  • 2.40% - I haven't decided yet.
  • 4.19% - Other
There were 334 responses to this poll.  (I didn't vote, but I fall into the first category.)  Thanks so much to everyone who participated!

The December poll is all about your favorite way(s) to read or listen to Diana Gabaldon's books.  Please take a moment to vote.

Happy reading, everyone!!