Wednesday, January 12, 2011

No, no... She Said SmallCOX!

Spoiler Alert: Dinna read unless you have read "Dragonfly in Amber".

OK - so I've been whipping out the iPod lately and listening to Dragonfly. The first time around I was a bit "eh" about the France stuff. Probably because I'm a complete spaz and I was still pining for Scotland. But this time I'm rather enjoying it.  Probably because I'd love to spend some time in France and I'm jealous as hell of Claire right now. She's moving into Jared's townhouse... and meeting her his staff... and having new gowns made. And she's doing all of that while living in wedded bliss with Jamie Fraser and carrying his child. How incredibly awesome is THAT?!

And I also have a question that I still have from reading  DinA the first time:

Why didn't Jamie stop Claire from saying the ship that carried the Comte's liquor had Smallpox aboard? He knew she was trying to help the sick fellow. He knew she was talking about what was wrong with him. Why not pull her aside and say "Claire - dinna say the word "smallpox" or "plague" or you may sign our death warrants, ye ken?"

And then - after she does flub up and say it, unknowingly - he sounds a bit condescending while explaining why she shouldna have said it. And I love how she's all "Whoopsie! My bad!" about the whole thing. Claire cracks me up.


  1. I'm going to have to read that again. Your so dang funny Carol! I love all your blog post!

    k- so another random person for Jamie. I was watching that new show Off the Map on abc tonight. Martin Henderson! Has he been mentioned before? Those blue eyes...mmmm!

  2. sometimes, well then, most times, claire is just like a bull in a china know she's going to make her point and have her say--it's just in her nature and she canna help herself! And Jamie isn't always perfect---yes, he is human. (Carol --smallcox? whoopers!) --Julie

  3. LOL Julie - I did mull that one over for a few minutes before saying "Awww. What the hell."

    Angela - I totally agree that guy has a Jamie look to him. I flipped when I first saw the commercials. But only one problem; he's 5'9". Booo hooo! Oh well. He's still nice to look at. :)

  4. Don't overthink these plots, Carol!

  5. Ya gotta think like a writer, Carol. Claire's big mouth creates excellent conflict opportunities. Why would Diana squelch that? lol

  6. I need to reread that part again, but I don't remember ever having a question about it--I don't think Jamie thought about it one way or another. There are so many "Um, that's not how we do things in 1744" moments--if Jamie stopped to consider whether to explain each and every one to Claire, he really wouldn't get much done during the day, ken? He knew she wanted to help the sick guy, but I don't think he even stopped to think where it might go beyond that....

    BTW, I truly liked the France stuff SO MUCH MORE the second time around. I'll be curious to see if you do too!

  7. I recently listened to DinA, and I felt uncomfortable about the way Claire interacted with Fergus. She was not really the motherly kind. She came back home when Jamie and Fergus were ill, and moved Fergus to the pallet on the floor, so she could climb in bed with Jamie. Why didn't she just climb in and all 3 share the bed?

  8. I'm already looking forward to my 2nd read of DiA (I'm still on Breath of Snow... it's my first read of the series, newbie, ya'll). I was too in shock, in denial and traumatized by the first DiA chapters that I, like you Carol, just couldn't get into France. Also, I think Jamie's boy's night out version of "What happens in Vegas..." will be funny, now that I know him better.
    Off topic- Off course I totally picture Lord John Gray singing the chorus (@ 1:30) of this song.

  9. So much to say... so little time!

    OK I'm going to start with Nikki (yey! Nikki! Hi!) :) I do think like a writer, I promise you. I know the whole purpose of making Claire ignorantly say "smallpox" is so she'd have a running negativity with the Comte through the whole book. But unfortch, I canna say "Why would Diana write it like this?" because she is my patron saint of all things Outlander (aka what is good and right in this world LOL) and who am I to question the writing of Herself?! So instead, I play dumb, and question the characters' motives. (insert humble look and lots of eye-blinking here!)

    Now - if it were me - I'd have made Jamie walk down to the other end of the dock to take care of some business with someone... and at that point I'd have had Claire go over to the sick fellow... and exclaim "This is smallpox!"... and I'd have had Jamie seeing the commotion and shake his head at her when he got back up the docks and saw what was going on. Then it would make total sense to me that she was able to blurt it out (because Jamie wasn't there to stop her) - and why he was acting so condescending to her while they were discussing the situation indoors while waiting for the ship to burn.

    Did that make sense? Probably not as it is moi writing it! LOL!

    OK now onward...Adventures North - HA HA HA HA HA HA HA... like THAT will ever happen!! I am a chronic overthinker!! I just overthought the toilet paper I was buying at Costco!!! :)

    Tracey - you may be underthinking this one. See my comments to Nikki and reread that section and let me know what you think. We shall discuss on Saturday while we are wishing we didn't eat so much at dinner.

    Deda - ME TOO ME TOO ME TOO! I actually blogged about that last year during my first read! Dang I just searched for it to no avail. I'll find it. But anyway - that stuck with me, too.. the way Claire was like "awww poor GIT!" when Fergus was in bed with Jamie and they were both sick.

    TalkSupe - first off - I get the best songs/vids from you!! It is because of you that I now love Mumford and Sons! And this video is classic. I seriously got giddy when I saw the title said "Jamie" I was in the 8th grade and the boy I liked was coming down the hallway. You have a way with hearing current music and putting it to a story about the 18th century. It's fascinating! Give us more! PS - I am not kidding - I now cry - CRY - every time I hear "Little Lion Man" on the radio because I think of Jamie lying there, wishing he were dead in the beginning of his POV in Voyager. And then it's really horrible because my mascara runs and I end up driving by the cute cop in the school parking lot. ;)

  10. Ok,about the smallpox thing. First of all I don't think anyone knew (or was sure of anyway) that the man had smallpox. Any number of things caused him to be sick with fever. Claire, of course, was ignorant of the consequences of her actions, although you would think that she would learn that later in the books but she doesn't seem too. She_is_kinda headstrong. I don't think Jamie expected her to blurt it out like she did. When she did he knew the seriousness of it and I could see why he would be frustrated with her for not listening to him. It is not the first time that she didn't listen to him afterall. They are in France on a serious mission and that can't jeprodised just because she can't keep her mouth shut. I think their time there was dangerous and stressful. Butttt...I still can't get over Jamie and the kittlehoose and the cock ring. Yuck!!! I didn't spell jeaprodised right.

  11. Oh, Fergus. I agree that Claire didn't seem to take to Fergus much. Such a cute little guy..I would have fallen in love with him and wanted to mother him. She doesn't worry about him that much. When Jamie was in the Bastille it seemed that Fergus was an afterthought to Claire. He was just a little guy, all alone with no one to care for him. Makes me want to cry.

  12. Sanderson - oooh now THAT is a good point! Jamie DID tell Claire not to go help the sick fellow... so he probably never expected her to go running over to him when she was told not to (ew, reminds me of his comment to her about Laoghaire always being where he'd left her).

    I am dreading the Jamie-Vegas night as Talksupe put it. I HATED that whole scenario... ask Tracey. I bitched for days. Not nearly as badly as with the Indian squaws mind you... but enough that she'll remember how mad I was about the cock ring.

  13. I'm sorry... did I just totally freely say the word "cock ring" like it was "apple juice" or "hammer"? Yes... yes I did.

  14. ECHO spoiler ahead:

    Carol, I like your adjusted scenario. I can't come to terms with the Vegas Night (love the name!) or the 2 gals in the teepee either. If my 'Jamie' ever did either of those things.....!

    So I digress. What I'd like to know, Carol & gang, is if you had a hard time with the smallpox scene, did you buy that a) Claire would've sailed away from Jamie over sleep apnea and b) that Jenny would've shown up in tow?

    I'm trying, I really am. I've been trying to reconcile these 2 points for months now. The LJG stuff pales compared to those issues for me. I trust that She will make it all right in the next book or else I'll get whisked away all over again and forget about my gripes, but in the meantime...!

  15. AdNor--here's the thing, re: sailing away. You have to realize that J/C don't know what we readers do: that it is a BAD, BAD, BAD idea for them to be apart. EVER. I mean, I suppose it's permissible for one of them to go to the privy without the other. And in cases where actually battle combat is happening, obviously that's a tough one for Claire to stick to Jamie in that case. But pretty much any other separation is a Very Bad Thing.

    BUT they don't know that. And if you think about it from their vantage point, it's probably not much more complicated than it would be for us 20th century folks to take two cars somewhere (ie, "DH can't get out of work early, so I'll get a head start to the shore house and he'll meet me there later.")

    I agree tho--as all those events were unfolding, I was literally yelling, JAMIE, WTF????? You're REALLY letting her out of your sight???? Do you never LEARN, man???? But I didn't find it unbelievable, I guess, to think that Claire would leave sooner than Jamie.

    The Jenny stuff I bought, too. She was right--what reason was there for her to stay? Yes, her kids and grandkids (that would be tough to leave, I would think)--but the fact is that Lallybroch was a well oiled machine, and she knew she wasn't really needed there. And hmmmm...I wonder if there's any merit in the thought that maybe she realized young Ian needed her more than his siblings did? Being NEEDED is a very important aspect of these books, I'm realizing...

  16. *Fiery Cross spoiler ahead*

    I've always questioned Claire as a mother (ducks head to avoid flying objects hurled her way). I recently reread a section of FC where she is contemplating Bree and Roger going back through the stones. She ponders how Jem (who is only 6 months old during this pondering) would actually be considered "independent" or "grown" far sooner than Bree was in the other time. Bree and Roger could conceivably go back through the stones in like a few years. :O Claire talks about a mother walking away from her child FOREVER very nonchalantly, cavalierly (are those words?). She left Bree and I can sorta forgive her for that, but to assume that all moms can do that is quite the leap.

    Hearing about her (lack of) relationship with Fergus just confirms my feelings more.

  17. Tracey, I think traveling across the ocean, especially when there is a war going on, if far far more dangerous than just taking two cars and I'll meet you there. Plus, Jamie is so debilitated during the journey I would think Claire would want to be with him to do her acupuncture thing and help him. Did they know_that_much about sleep apnea in the 1970's early 80's? I don't think the cure for that is to take out the adenoids. Maybe what Henri-Christian had was more serious. In any case she must have known that Ian was_very_ close to dying..couldn't she have waited a week or so? I think Jenny left partly because she realised that with Ian now dead young Jamie was the true Laird of Lollybroch now and_his_ wife should run the household now. I think it would be hard for Jenny to turn over control and still live there.

    I agree about Claire and her mothering skills. I didn't get that being a mother was the most important thing to her. I think her career as a dr. was right up there. Sometimes I felt that was more important to her. She kind of left the parenting up to Frank. He was much closer to Bree than Claire. When she learned Jamie was alive then that was more important. Bree was still young when she left. She should have waited until Bree finished her schooling and then maybe Bree would have been able to make the decision to go with her. Especially because Bree had no family to support her when Claire left (Abernathy was a friend but not the same as family) In general I have always felt Claire never really got_very_ seriously invested in anyone other than Jamie.

  18. Oh please, oh please, oh please do a post on the DinA Vegas night! I had to read that scene so many times trying to picture Jamie in the 18th century French version of the Bada Bing's champagne room. Seriously the cock ring (you said it first so I assume it's ok.. ;) ) What the..? Did they just have a stash of these lying around the tavern for guests? It's like it was so commonplace, like a guidance counselor handing out condoms in the high school caferteria. Ugh. Je ne suis pas prest pour Francais.

    Yay! So glad I could get someone else on board with my "Little Lion Man" scenario! LOL @ your running mascara and the cutie.
    Music I think Roger would have sounded like Fleet Foxes (

  19. sanderson--well, of COURSE traveling across the ocean is more dangerous--I'm not disputing that. What I'm saying is that you have to consider their 18th century mindset. I mean, look at us today--if you break down in your car, you have a cell phone and call for help. But 30 years ago, if you broke down, you either waited for someone to help you or you got out and found a pay phone. Clearly the former is much easier and safer than the latter--but back in 1981, you didn't know any better. It's just the way it was.

    So going back to J/C--I think Claire's dilemma is made pretty clear in the book. She gets the word about Henri-Christian, and she knows what's wrong with him and how to fix it. And the fact is that although everyone knows what's going to happen to auld Ian, no one knows WHEN it's going to happen. So in my mind, it does make sense for Claire to go on ahead, given that she's got young Ian as an escort. (If anything, I think the fact that YOUNG IAN leaves is a head-scratcher.) I don't get the sense that it was THAT rare for one spouse to travel across the ocean without the other, with the intention that the spouse will join that person later. What makes the whole thing difficult is not so much the separate journeys, IMO, but the fact that this is fiction and that we the readers know that isolating Claire and Jamie is a plot device that is going to invariably lead to some plot messiness that they're not going to like.

    As far as Claire's mothering skillz, don't discount the fact that she never really HAD a mother. The way she was raised accounts for a lot.

  20. Hmmm...lots to chew on.

    Re. parenting skills, I always thought it was a shame that Jamie didn't get to enjoy his children directly as a father during their formative years. He's a good dad, uncle, father-figure, etc., in his way (-; I think he's a dear grandda, too, and I hope he's reunited with his grandkids at some point.

  21. And really, would Jamie saying something make a difference to Claire? I feel like in the face of the smallpox Claire would have gone with her doctor instincts and mention it anyway!

  22. Sanderson, I think we have to remember (as evidenced by her ability to leave everything, not least Brianna, and return to the past and Jamie) that there is more than just love between Jamie and Claire; there is something essential and unbreakable between them, and it is almost more than Claire can handle to think of losing Jamie forever. There is a lot at stake, and I think it is understandable (given all the surrounding circumstances, especially her traumatic miscarriage) that she is less than totally absorbed in Fergus

  23. JoM - which is why I cannot buy that they would've crossed the Atlantic separately! I get what you're saying, Tracey, but Jamie & Claire are not a normal couple. They've overcome so many odds, crossed time, lost and found each other. I would've expected more of them in valuing each other and all they have at stake at that point in their relationship.

    Plus crossing the Atlantic was a huge deal. Between shipwrecks, piracy, a war, disease - you name it - I'd take my chances on breaking down without a cell phone any day (-:

    They obviously had to separate to move the story toward wherever it is headed. I still just don't buy how it was done. Sorry. I want to, I really do! Which is why I told Carol not to overthink the smallpox thing. I think these are things we just have to 'go with' whether we like it or not.

    And Jenny was horrible to Claire! I can't believe she would just show up. And that Jamie would let her!

  24. Jo M: Good point re: Claire not listening to Jamie--and I think that might apply to the whole "Claire goes back to America without Jamie" idea, too. Even if Jamie were against Claire going back without him (and I don't think he was, tho I'm sure he wasn't happy about it), I doubt that anything he might have said would have stopped her, when she knew what was at stake for Henri-Christian.

    Now of course, there was no WAY Jamie would have allowed Claire to cross the Atlantic alone--he would have physically restrained her if she tried to do that. But given that young Ian was going with her, I don't think any argument Jamie might have made would stop her.

  25. AdNorth: But that's just it--J/C DIDN'T have a travel choice. The ocean crossing WAS the normal, accepted (and of course, only) way to get from one coast to another. And while it was a big deal, I don't know that the ocean crossing was the Big Deal it is NOW, looking back on it 200 years in the future. (I mean, LJ does the trip like four times in Echo alone, doesn't he?)

    I think we just have to agree to disagree when it comes to this issue.... :-) It was a tough nut for me as a reader, of course, because I know that a Jamie and Claire divided canna stand. ;-) But I didn't have a problem buying that they might have to potentially travel separately. For me, the biggest "huh" issue was that Ian went back. Who knows, maybe THAT ended up happening only so that Claire wouldn't have to travel alone...

    Now as for think she's being horrible to Claire by coming to America with Jamie? Interesting. I didn't think that at all--but then again, I am a big Jenny fan--even with all the water under the bridge. (LOL--any time I'm really mad at Jenny, I go back to Outlander and read the part where she and Claire go after Jamie. She's so bloody awesome in it, there's no WAY I can stay mad at her.... ;-)

  26. Remember the first part of Echo when the story backed up a bit and we got a few more details on a few scenes? Well, book 8 just HAS to do that. I want to see what happened on the ship between Jamie and Jenny. I want to see what Jamie knew before he went to see LJG and Claire in the cozy little bedroom scene.

    I always wondered if Jamie and Claire traveling separately was out of character, but we ended up with a great story. I love how DG gets us all twisted up - she is the master.

  27. OK, Tracey, I'm willing to compromise. I'll believe that she left Jamie for that perfectly reasonable trans-Atlantic voyage in the middle of the war that would change the world to cure sleep apnea if its really because...she wanted to get away from Jenny!!!!

    As for Ian, yah, that was odd that he left, but I also felt like he'd made his peace and that he departed with his parents' blessings. So I was ok with it in the end. Maybe because his story had the most resolution?

  28. History Geek Alert!
    Re: taking separate journeys across the 18th C ocean.

    You should check out the letters of Abagail Adams to John Adams while he traveled through Europe as a US embassador, leaving her home for years at a time to run the farm and raise the 4 kids, never knowing if he was alive or drowned at sea. (His ship was caught in a few battles.) Oh - AND the time he took their 14 year old son with him to France and then sent him to work in RUSSIA rather than coming home!! Talk about anguish, and it is heartbreaking because you know she was a real woman, wife and mother.

    Anyway, just started my reread of DIA - I loooved it the first time, so can't wait to see how I feel a 2nd time!

  29. Diane--right you are! Abigail did join him in France as well, but only after, like, four years! I can't even imagine what that must have been like for people back then--to say goodbye and literally not know whether or not you'd ever see the person again.

    This is reminding me that I REALLY need to finish John Adams (I was halfway through before I found out about some other book that maybe I should read... ;-) ) My John (not Adams, LOL) got me First Family for Xmas, which I also need to start--and I still need to get "Dearest Friend," which is the collection of letters between John and Abigail throughout their lives. Obsessed, party of 1?

  30. hi all..! wow! this is a great, wonderful, interesting, controversial, etc., thread on the jamie/claire dynamic, claire's bone-headed determination to do things her way or the highway, 18th century travel, relationships, Amer. history, and even whether or not LJG books are worth the effort (not, but ok--they do push the rest of J/C story forward). Digress, digress, LOVE IT! --too lazy to open a google account and just stick with anonymous... -Julie

  31. I think, too, that we have to remember that Jamie would have been concerned for Henri-Christian but definitely felt honor-bound to stay at Lallybroch (for many reasons). And we all know how Jamie feels about his honor...

  32. Whoa, whoa, whoa...what's this about Jamie and a cock ring?!? I remember him coming back from the brothel with scratches and such, but I don't recollect a cock on earth did I forget about that?!
    Also, Talksupe's idea of Lord John singing "Jamie, my intentions are bass" is HILARIOUS! That just made my day :)

  33. Adventures - I did have a giggle at "sleep apnea" when I first read it... must admit. I was verra upset when Claire decided to go without Jamie (they should NEVER separate! Have they not learned anything from Edward and Bella?!) But it didn't bug me to the point where I didn't buy it. But I'll tell ya - there have been things I've had a hard time wrapping my brain around. (I may have to blog that!) I did have a hard time believing Jenny would ever leave her bairns and grandbairns...BUT - I was so excited at the new juicy storyline that I suspended disbelief and said "OK! Jenny's here! Bring it on!"

    Ajenn - I'm with ya. Definitely. There are times when I have to swallow things Claire does and leaving without Bree was definitely one of those times.. and she was "grown"! Can you imagine? "See ya, Jem! "We've left some clouts for you on the tree stump and there is some rabbit stew on the hearth.. dinna burn yer wee self!"

    Diane - I love the History Geek alert! I am a history geek too!

    Talksupe and BlueMoon - yes - the cock ring... wasn't it in his pocket? Canna wait to read that part again. I'll be much more calm this time around. Grossed out..but calm.

    Everyone else - I read the rest of the thread and I canna even begin to fathom where to jump in, so I think I'm going to sit this one out. But I'll say this: I canna wait for Jenny to BRING IT. It's going to be tremendous. And when she finds out about Claire and LJG??? Oooooh girlllll... somebody get Claire a body bag because she's going to need one!!!

  34. Tracey R, I read Dearest Friend and it was excellent. You might like My Thomas by Rebecca Grimes a novel of Martha Jefferson's life. And for you history geeks, Mayflower by Nathaniel Philbrick is the story of the Mayflower and the settlement of Plymouth Colony. Two historical fictions that are also very good..The Widow's War and Bound by Sally Gunning. Set in Satucket Mass 1750's-60's. Back to Scotland, Corrag by Susan Fletcher fiction about the Glencoe Massacre.

    Wow, who can forget the cock ring? It was in his sporran. Jamie's excuse that he couldn't leave Bonnie Charlie wasn't good enough for me. After all Charlie was an adult and I'm sure he carried on at other times that Jamie wasn't there. Jamie should have left. I think he was just havin' a good time lookin' at those whores and didn't want to leave. _Then_ he expects Claire to accept it and even feel sorry for him because his_balls_were burning. Give me a break!!!

  35. LOL Sanderson - which pocket did I think it was in? The one in his sock?! He was still wearing his kilt at that point! Rightttt.. the sporran! I'm dying to skip ahead and read that part now! LOL! Nope - can't do it; Jamie just met Bonnie Prince Charlie and helped the King with his morning routine. I promised myself I'd stay the course!!

  36. Carol, I love your version of the note Brianna would leave for Jem if they left, especially "we've left some clouts on the tree stump!" Classic My Outlander Purgatory...

    And please do blog about the things that were hard to believe!

  37. Wow!!! Just read through THAT thread...lots to take in.

    Vegas - Jamie. Yeah, dinna like him so much then either but loved the scene where he returns for the bath & the maid comments about his being "enorme"!!!

    Why did Ian return with Claire in Echo??? Was it to claim Rollo back or Rachel or was it for his son (if it is his - is it???)

    As to Jenny returning with Jamie. Fireworks are sure to follow when she finds out about Claire & LJ. But, do you think Jamie would tell her about that??? Afterall, I doubt Claire told anyone & LJ probably didn't. I think Jenny's role will be to help William comes to term with Jamie.

    Just my thoughts,

  38. So going back to the original post: why didn't Jamie stop Claire from blurting out Small POX!? I think (and sorry, I know some of us don't want to over analyze the process of DG's writing) we needed knowledge and the imagery of a ship condemned, b/c later SPOILER... J and C and Murtagh conspire to destroy a ship/cargo in just such a fashion. It's all tied together, ken?

    (I'm on my 3rd re-read since April 2010, DinA)

  39. Carol and Tracy, my new BFFs, I have no one to discuss this with, so please help! I'm doing a rekilting of DIA, and I'm shocked by something I read in Chapter 36. I don't know if y'all have discussed this before, so please let me know. Spoiler alert.....

    There is a young boy, who has just tried to kill Jamie. He thought Jamie was going to hurt Claie. Turns out the boys name is....WILLIAM GREY! WHAT?!?!!!! After Jamie decides not to kill him, William says, "I owe you my life, I should greatly prefer not to, but since you have forced the gift upon me, I must regard it as a debt of honor. I shall hope to discharge that debt in the future, and once it is discharged....I'll kill you!" Jamie tells him "In that case, sir, I must hope that we do not meet again."
    William then tells him, "A Grey does not forget an obligation, sir." as he leaves. Again, WHAT?!?!!!!

    What does that mean? Is he somehow related to LJG? Please let me know your thoughts! I'm dying! DYING!!!!

  40. hi carol
    i so want to go and find and read all these snippets of d-i-a after this thread --but-- i,m being good and will wait :-) i,m on another re-listen and am determined not to skip around finding bits lol (c has just been left alone with jr in the room at the inn at brockton (outlander of course)
    reading your post and all the comments,which i wanted to add to but all i wanted to say has been said :-)), has been like having a coffee morning with friends :-) as i was drinking a brew and eating cake while reading lol

  41. Laura, I'm assuming you've read through Voyager; if not, continue at your own risk as there are spoilers!!!!!

    Laura, this actually IS Lord John (it was fairly common for the nobility to be known by a different name than their titled name), and he is the only reason that Jamie actually survives Culloden: Lord John's brother is the commanding officer of the regiment that discovers the Scottish rebels in the cottage; everyone else in the cottage is executed, but Jamie is sent back to Lallybroch so Lord John's brother can fulfill John's (and by extension the entire Grey family's) debt of honor to Jamie. Lord John recalls this scene from his perspective upon first meeting Jamie again in Voyager at the prison.

  42. Wow! Jo M thanks so much! Yes I have read them all, but I guess that just blew right over my head! There's so much in these books, I can't keep up. I was actually trying to remember how Jamie met LJG, but could not. I have not read further, because I'm so floored by this chapter. Thanks again for clearing it up for me!!!

  43. No problem! DG does that a lot, slipping in characters in a rather nonchalant way and then having them show up later in MAJOR and IMPORTANT ways (she's rather like Dickens in that regard!). Glad to be able to help!

  44. I did read about her books, that you never meet anyone "by accident". Or something to that effect. There is always a reason to that person being there. ;)

  45. Jo M and Laura - glad that was cleared up. This thread has taken on a life of its own! I was in PA this weekend with Tracey at The Third Sister's house... and by the time I saw the new questions they were already answered! I love when threads become discussions!

    And Lesley, I am a fan of all things cake-related. Nothing like sitting down to a good discussion and some cake - no matter what you choose for your beverage of choice! :)

  46. Carol, what can I say...I check your blog obsessively! It's part of what will get me through the next 2-3 years while we wait for Book 8 :)

  47. Me, too, Jo M. But did you see on Herself's new blog the date 2012 mentioned???! That's not 2-3 years away, my friends! Or am I hallucinating this?