• “The smartest historical sci-fi adventure-romance story ever written by a science Ph.D. with a background in scripting 'Scrooge McDuck' comics.”—Salon.com
  • A time-hopping, continent-spanning salmagundi of genres.”
  • “These books have to be word-of-mouth books because they're too weird to describe to anybody.”
    —Jackie Cantor, Diana's first editor

February 2024 Events in Arizona!

heartsOooookay….moving right along here…



Well, February looks pretty interesting, event-wise. It has our 47th wedding anniversary, but beyond that….

Monday, Feb. 5th – The Poisoned Pen – 7:00-8:30 PM

fourteen-days-cover(Ticketed Event – $35 to $45, which includes a copy of FOURTEEN DAYS signed by myself and Doug Preston. See below for buy links.)

I’ll be doing a live (but also available online) event with Doug Preston (half of the Preston and Child team that produces the Very Entertaining (if slightly gruesome…) Pendergast suspense novels, among others, and the writer of the non-fiction LOST CITY OF THE MONKEY GOD. We’ll be promoting (and signing) a Truly Weird Book called FOURTEEN DAYS, on February 5th at the Poisoned Pen bookstore in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Click here to buy a $35 ticket for this event, which admits one person and includes one signed hardcover copy of FOURTEEN DAYS.

Or… if you’re coming with someone…

Click here to buy a $45 ticket for this event, which admits two persons and includes one signed hardcover copy of FOURTEEN DAYS.

poisoned-pen-logoFOURTEEN DAYS is the brainchild of someone (don’t ask me who, because I don’t know) connected with the Author’s Guild, who in the midst of the pandemic, conceived the notion that a number of professional authors should contribute stories that could be blended into a novel (of sorts) in which the residents of a New York apartment building, unable to go out in public, gather on the roof and exchange tales in the manner of the Decameron. (Just in case you’re not instantly familiar with the Decameron, (per Google) “The Decameron (c. 1351) is an entertaining series of one hundred stories written in the wake of the Black Death. The stories are told in a country villa outside the city of Florence by ten young noble men and women who are seeking to escape the ravages of the plague.”) If it’s been in print since 1351, it’s probably a good book; we’ll hope FOURTEEN DAYS is a worthy imitator… [Reviews below]*

Actually, I can’t yet tell you how the project turned out, because—while they did send me a copy of the final book—I haven’t had a free second to read it, between working on three (at a minimum) books at once (yes, Book Ten is on top!), plus two (count ‘em, TWO…) TV shows. (I’m a Consulting Producer and a screenwriter, for both BLOOD OF MY BLOOD (Season One)—which starts filming… um…. well, now—and the final (alas) season (Season Eight) of OUTLANDER, which starts a couple of months later.)

My guess is that it’s pretty readable, given the number of Excellent Authors involved. I gave them two stories, both true (i.e., not fiction); we’ll see how it all came out!

Publisher’s Description: Set in a Lower East Side tenement in the early days of the COVID-19 lockdowns, Fourteen Days is an irresistibly propulsive collaborative novel from the Authors Guild, with an unusual twist: each character in this diverse, eccentric cast of New York neighbors has been secretly written by a different, major literary voice—from Margaret Atwood and Celeste Ng to Tommy Orange and John Grisham.

*“These stories introduce a theme of diversity that’s one of the joys of the book. There are ghost stories, a war story, many tales of betrayal and revenge, and a report on Shakespeare’s plague experience by scholar James Shapiro…. A multicultural tribute to the New York lockdown experience…. moving and funny…” — Kirkus Reviews

“Putting a bold new twist on the plague novel, this bountiful, unpredictable, witty, and affecting tale-of-tales is made all the more intriguing by the fact that it’s a collaboration by 36 exceptional North American writers…. This enthralling novel of many voices and moods dramatizes the transformation of isolation into community via stories and explores a grand spectrum of human experiences.” — Booklist (starred review)

“beguiling…. fans of literary puzzles will find this worthwhile.” — Publishers Weekly

Annnd…. moving from art to science:

Saturday, Feb. 17th – Orpheum Theater, Flagstaff, 7:00 PM

“A Night of Discovery” at the I Heart Pluto Festival (Also a ticketed event. See below for buy links.)

OK. You may (possibly) know that the (dwarf) planet Pluto was discovered at Lowell Observatory, in Flagstaff, Arizona, in 1930.

2024-I-heart-Pluto-logoProbably you don’t know that the dome of the Observatory’s main telescope was built by a pair of brothers, Godfrey and Stanley Sykes, who had immigrated from England and set up business in Flagstaff, with a shop whose front window bore a notice: “WE MAKE AND MEND ANYTHING.” As the story goes, Percival Lowell (founder of the observatory) walked past this window, and (presumably on impulse) went into the shop and said, “Can you build me a telescope dome?” To which the Sykes brothers replied, “Why not?” And they did. (The dome, still in use, rotates on motorcycle tires.)

So. Stanley Sykes was my great-grandfather, and his brother Godfrey my great-great-uncle. Which is why the Observatory has invited me to come and speak (about what, I have No Idea, but we’ll find out when we get there…) at the I Heart Pluto Festival this year. (The Festival itself will be held at the Observatory, over several days, I believe…)

night-of-discovery-bannerThe event “A Night of Discovery” at which I’ll be speaking (there are other people on the program, too) will be held at the Orpheum Theater in downtown Flagstaff (you won’t have any trouble finding it; it’s a small downtown). More details.

Doors open at 6 p.m. (general-admission seating, first-come, first-seated) at the Orpheum Theatre, and the event begins at 7 p.m.

Click here to buy general admission tickets to “A Night of Discovery” (which range from about $17 to $26 per person, including fees).

VIP Experience tickets are another option available for $125 per person, which include some exclusive events earlier in the day, a VIP goodie bag, and dinner with me and other VIP Experience ticketholders. And, of course, a ticket to “A Night of Discovery” is included. The VIP tickets must be ordered by February 10, and a limited number are available. Click here to purchase VIP Experience tickets for “A Night of Discovery” during the I Heart Pluto festival on February 17.

And a final Valentine—

Thursday, Feb. 22nd – Scottsdale United Methodist Church – 6:00 PM

hibridean-baker-coverBack to the Poisoned Pen, where I’ll be talking to Coinneach MacLeod, who is from the Outer Hebrides of Scotland and authors beautiful Scottish cookbooks that include stories of growing up in the Scottish Hebrides in between the recipes. (This is a ticketed event, but the $35 entry fee entitles you to one copy of Mr. MacLeod’s new book, THE HEBRIDEAN BAKER AT HOME—and you may also (if you like) bring one of my books to be signed. (If you want to buy books at the store, naturally that’s fine, too…)

Note that this event is hosted by the Poisoned Pen bookstore but the venue (where the event will take place) will be the Scottsdale United Methodist Church.

Click here to buy a $35 ticket for this Feb. 22 event, which includes a ticket for one persons to attend and one signed hardcover copy of THE HEBRIDES BAKER AT HOME.

Or… if you’re coming with someone…

Click here to buy a $40 ticket for this Feb. 22 event, which includes tickets for two persons to attend and one signed hardcover copy of THE HEBRIDES BAKER AT HOME.

See you there! (Whichever “there” it happens to be…)

Detailed information on all of my February events (and others as confirmed) are always available on my appearances webpage at:


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