Monday, February 22, 2010

Love, Lauren

Dear Raul:

A light rain is falling as I type this message to you. The clouds outside my window look fat and happy with rain, like they could do this all week long if they wanted to. I am in the library at Abigail's house and we are both sipping tea and eating one of Esperanza's scones. She calls them empanadas but they are really just scones with crimped edges. I saw the recipe she used. I pointed that out to her - all in fun- and she told me with a frown that she put a dash of cayenne pepper and coriander in the mixing bowl which unBritished the dough and made them more an empanada than anything else. She doesn't laugh at her own little jokes these days. She is already grieving the loss of everything that defines her day.

Abigail grows weaker. I think she is in more pain now than she admits. I don't think she refuses to complain because she's brave, though she is that, I think she believes the pain is like a cleansing penance for all the things she wishes she had done differently. It does no good to tell her she has already paid for the mistakes she has made.

The diary will be released on April 1 and I am as nervous as I am excited. My agent wants me to throw a launch party for it at the local bookstore but that's not what I am going to do. I am going to wait until the gallery opens, probably in May or June, and the celebration will not be the book published but the diary displayed. Mercy's diary. Not my book.

I pray everyday Abigail will live long enough to see it. . .
Miss you,
Love, Lauren

Friday, February 19, 2010

Author Intrusion

It's me the author intruding for just a moment to announce the audio version of The Shape of Mercy has just been nominated for an Audie award!

The Audies (you can find out more here) are the Audio Publishers Assn's (APAs) annual awards of excellence and are handed out every May at the very cool Book Expo in New York. The Shape of Mercy audiobook was produced by Christianaudio and narrated by the talented Tavia Gilbert.
I share the nomination in the Inspirational Fiction category with these fine people and their books

A Month of Summer,
by Lisa Wingate, narrated by Johanna Parker
(Recorded Books)

Double Minds, by Terri Blackstock, narrated by Cassandra Campbell

Kiss, by Ted Dekker and Erin Healy, narrated by Pam Turlow
(Oasis Audio)

The Tempest Tales, by Walter Mosley, narrated by Ty Jones
(Recorded Books)

If you want to know how to get your hands on the The Shape of Mercy audiobook, it's available right here for 28% off retail, and that's always nice.

Thanks for letting me poke my head in here. On Monday, Lauren's up. The diary is nearly ready to be released to the world and she's nervous. . .

Monday, February 1, 2010

In the Kitchen with Esperanza

I am making a list of all of Miss Abigail's favorite dishes and I am making them, one a time, so that she can enjoy them and I can see her enjoy them. Today for lunch it will be Fruited Rice Pilaf. Sometimes I make this with a pork roast. But not today. Today I serve it alone. It will not be a side dish to a pork roast today. It will be The Dish. It will make her smile.

Fruited Rice Pilaf
2 Tblsp olive oil
1/4 cup chopped onion (I use Vidalias)
1/4 cup chopped celery
2/3 cup uncooked rice
1/4 cup orzo
2 cups water
1/3 cup orange juice
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/3 cup dried fruit bits
1/4 cup toasted sliced almonds

In large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and celery and cook 5 minutes. Stir in rice and orzo and cook two minutes. Add water and orange juice, salt and cinnamon. Bring to a boil. Reduce to low and cover. Simmer 10 minutes. Stir in diced fruit. Cover and simmer 8 to 10 minutes. Sprinkle with almonds. Serves 4.