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May spring please get sprung? While the birds were chirping on mornings this week, I still was wearing my down coat! March is coming to a close; um, that means we are one-quarter through the year. Whoosh!

My weekends of great reading continued this past weekend. I devoured an advance copy of THE WHISPER MAN by Alex North, which is coming out on August 20th. I literally read it in a day! It is a completely addicting thriller with odes of Stephen King rippling throughout. Following the death of his wife, Tom Kennedy is struggling with life with his young son. He decides to leave painful memories behind and move to a new house in a new town, called Featherbank. Two decades ago, a serial killer kidnapped and murdered five children in Featherbank. And now another child has gone missing. Pete Willis, the detective who originally worked on the case, is called back up to re-interview the original killer, as the police grapple with tragedy revisiting their town. This book twists and turns, and you will want to be alert on every page, which is not hard to do. It will be a Bets On selection.

The Sugar Moon has made sleeping “interesting” this week. I am one of those people who needs complete darkness to sleep well; blackout drapes are de rigueur. Little things like the red button on a TV or the blue light that indicates my phone charger is working will wake me up. Hotel rooms are often a nightmare with the lights on the phones and the sprinkler systems. This week it felt like it was 2pm at 3am; the moon was that bright. I was wearing eyeshades last night like some Hollywood celebrity. But I did get some good reading in when the moon woke me up. More on that in a second.

“Beware the Ides of March!” – Shakespeare

You know how many books start with a quote? I thought I would tap that and start this newsletter with a quote.

We are not even three months into the new year, and already I have enjoyed so many books that have been published. Today I am going to share three more that are upcoming.

For years, people have been telling me to go to the Tucson Festival of Books --- and I am so very glad I did. What a fabulous weekend of books, authors and mingling with book lovers. While the Festival is big, I quickly got myself acclimated to where the panels were taking place. People were so friendly and helpful, clearly very proud to be hosting this event. There were lively conversations among the attendees, as well as great banter among the authors.

I moderated three panels, and above you can see me with the authors who I had the delight of speaking with. As always, I kept the conversation fast-paced and loved my role as “talk show host.” There was not a dull moment, and we could have kept talking well past the allotted time.

It is so nice to be in Tucson; I think the last time I was here I was 14 years old. I am happy to share that after a few weeks of typing "Tucson," I have perfected not typing it first as "Tuscon"! I walked out of the airport terminal, and it was 71 degrees. I was the person wearing the down vest and two scarves; call it a force of habit.

I had a lovely dinner last night with Therese Anne Fowler, the author of A WELL-BEHAVED WOMAN and Z. One of the nicest parts about traveling is being able to meet up with far-flung folks who you may not otherwise see, and Therese and I did a three-plus-hour catchup at Café Poca Cosa. Longtime readers know that I love to cook and rarely dine out, so when I travel I always am looking for amazing meals --- and we found one here, along with a brilliant spicy margarita.