• “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.”
    —ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY
  • “These books have to be word-of-mouth books because they're too weird to describe to anybody.”
    —Jackie Cantor, Diana's first editor

THANK YOU – THANK YOU — MORAN TAING!

THE SCOTTISH PRISONER Hits Da List!

And

Signed Books in Time for Christmas!

Thank you VERY much! Thanks to all of you who’ve bought and been enjoying THE SCOTTISH PRISONER—I’ve just been told that the book has hit the New York Times Bestseller List, after only one week on sale! We’ll be #8 on the list (not the Dec. 8th list, but the one that appears on Dec. 15th; they compile the lists a week ahead), and I couldn’t be more pleased. Moran Taing! means “Thank You!” in Gaelic, and so Moran Taing to all of you!

Speaking of Gaelic, one of the Author’s Notes in THE SCOTTISH PRISONER tells you that there are sound files of the Gaelic bits from the book on this website, so you can hear what it really sounds like, spoken by native speakers. Those Gaelic bits _will_ be up here very shortly, but the wonderful Cathy MacGregor, who did the recording and is doing the phonetic pronunciation guide to go along with them, discovered several more bits in the book that hadn’t been recorded yet. She’s doing those with the aid of Catherine-Ann MacPhee and Kevin Dooley (the native speakers who helped with all the translations), and the whole thing will be up within just a few days. Thanks for your patience, too!

Now—if I may—a few administrative details, for those of you who might want signed books (THE SCOTTISH PRISONER, the OUTLANDER 20th Anniversary Edition, THE EXILE, or any of the other books) for Christmas:

CHANGING HANDS Event – December 12th, 7 PM

For those of you in the Phoenix area–I’ll be doing the last “live” signing event of 2011 at The Changing Hands Bookstore, an independent bookseller in Tempe, AZ.

Here is their link to the event, with directions.

For Those of You NOT in the Area:

The Poisoned Pen is my local independent bookstore, who kindly handle autographed sales for me all year (I don’t have any financial stake in the bookstore; I just approve of independent bookstores {g}). They’ll ship any of my books, any format (hardcover, trade paperback, mass-market paperback, audiobook CDs) anywhere in the world. It does, however, take some _time_ to ship books places, especially at this time of year.

So the people at the Pen would like me to tell you that December 16th is their cutoff date for ordering autographed books to be delivered in time for Christmas (in the US; the situation may be different for foreign shipments, but it depends where the shipment is going). If you order books after that, you’ll certainly still get them signed or inscribed (I go by the Pen every week to sign orders and stock), but they may not arrive by Dec. 25th.

Here is the link for autographed SCOTTISH PRISONER books,

And here is the link for the backlist,

And here is the link for the OUTLANDER 20th Anniversary Edition!

The Poisoned Pen wanted me also to include this request: “When placing the online order, please write your desired inscription in the Instructions field.” That will make it easier for them to track your book and make sure you get the right inscription.

Nollaig Chridheil! (That’s Gaelic for Merry Christmas!)

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Happy Release Day to the UK!

Theoretically, THE SCOTTISH PRISONER was released in the UK, Australia, and New Zealand today (well…December 1. I haven’t gone to bed yet, so it’s still Dec. 1 for me). I _know_ it was released November 29th in the US, because we had a delightful launch party for it, and people have apparently been enjoying it ever since. Hope y’all enjoy it!

I did hear from several people that they had received emails from Barnes and Noble, informing them that their books hadn’t shipped yet, “because the release date had changed.” {ahem} Far be it from me to say that a respectable large bookstore chain lies like a rug, but I also have a number of photos sent me by readers, proudly showing off their new books–not a few of which sport B&N “20% Off Bestseller” stickers.

Now, they may possibly not have ordered _enough_ copies, and thus be trying to prevent people canceling their orders and buying the book elsewhere while they scramble to get more–I’m sure couldn’t say as to their possible motives–but I _can_ say that the book is out.

Hope you enjoy it whenever and however you get it!

And Many, Many Thanks to Elenna Loughlin, who provided the beautiful author’s photo–which I include here, because the UK readers tell me it isn’t on the trade paperback edition that they mostly get, and they should get to enjoy it, too.

Now, for those of you who’ve already reached the Author’s Notes, there is a note there to the effect that we have sound files of the Gaelic bits, _and_ phonetic pronunciations, and those will be available here. They _will_, but probably not before the end of the weekend–I’m madly finishing a novella (“The Space Between”) and the wonderful Cathy MacGregor is working on the pronunciations in the interstitces of her own work. But they _will_ be up here, as soon as we can manage it!

A Word From Mike Gibb

Dear Guys–

Many of you will know Mike Gibb as the lyricist (and original inspiration) behind OUTLANDER: The Musical, and will have enjoyed his wonderful songs. A hard-working and compassionate man, he’s also one of the chief supports of Bianca, a lovely (and vital) charity for abandoned pets. I was very impressed, hearing about them, and so I’ve offered to put up here his description of Bianca and their work.

While on holiday in Portugal Mike Gibb (Outlander The Musical) was horrified by the many stray and abandoned dogs, most of whom displayed horrific signs of neglect, mistreatment and starvation, and shocked by the fact that there was no one to care for them except charities run by volunteers such as Bianca. And so on his return home he decided to set up Friends of Bianca a group established with the sole purpose of raising awareness of and funds for Bianca throughout the English speaking world. Every penny donated through Friends of Bianca will go directly to the charity in Portugal.
To explain, Bianca is a Portuguese charity that rescues, treats, cares for and then re-homes stray and abandoned dogs and cats. Many of the animals, which are left in the streets to fend for themselves or found tied or chained the fence of the Bianca compound, have suffered severely though neglect and abuse and, without Bianca, would starve to death or die of treatable diseases. Established in 2002 in Sesimbra, south of Lisbon, and run solely by volunteers, Bianca now takes 600 animals into its care. Every year. The shelter currently looks after 250 dogs and 30 cats and re-homes the animals both locally to responsible owners and through a network of animal associations in Northern Europe.
If you would like to support Bianca’s remarkable work you can do so by becoming a “God Parent” or simply through a donation.
About one third of the animals in Bianca’s care cannot be re-homed because of their age or ill health or simply because they are just too shy. Irrespective of where you live you can become a god parent to one of these animals. For (a minimum of) 2.50 Euros/ £2.50/ US$ 4.00 a month you can foster one of these dogs or cats, safe in the knowledge that your money will be used to buy food, pay veterinary bills and generally ensure that the animal concerned lives out the remainder of its days, loved and cared for. As a god parent you will receive a photograph of your new friend and your name will appear alongside the respective dog or cat on the website. To see the dogs available for fostering go to www.bianca.pt/english and click on “DOGS FOR FOSTERING” in the right hand column. Once you have chosen, contact Mike at info@hamepages.com.
Alternatively if you simply want to donate you can do so by sending money to info@hamepages.com through the Friends of Bianca Paypal account. If you are unsure of how to do that, just email Mike.
And if you have a moment to spare, check out this video on You Tube which shows how kindness, care and compassion can redress the worst excesses of the evil that humans can inflict on defenceless creatures.

YOU’RE INVITED! LAUNCH-PARTY for THE SCOTTISH PRISONER – November 29th!

YOU’RE INVITED! THE SCOTTISH PRISONER LAUNCH-PARTY, November 29th!

The Poisoned Pen bookstore (bless their independent little hearts {g}) is hosting the launch party for THE SCOTTISH PRISONER, due to be released November 29th. This will be held at the Biltmore Hotel in Phoenix, AZ (because we haven’t been able to fit the launch-party crowds into the bookstore since THE FIERY CROSS) at 7 PM on (reasonably enough) November 29th. (Party actually starts at 6 – I come on at 7-ish.)

I’ll be talking and signing books, and I believe food and drinks will be available (provided by the hotel on a cash basis). Now, I will have signed a thousand (or so) books before the event, so that people who only want a signed copy don’t have to stand in line. But if you want a personalized or inscribed copy, I’m more than happy to sign one (or two or three, if you’re doing your Christmas shopping…). (And certainly you can take pictures of me or with me, if you’d like to.)

The EVENT IS FREE (!!!)—but one caveat: books to be signed have to be purchased _from_ the Poisoned Pen. (This is only fair; they’re paying for the event, and the Gold Ballroom at the Biltmore don’t come cheap.) You don’t need to buy the book ¬_at_ the event; if you want to buy one earlier in the day (so you can start reading {g}), just keep your receipt when you bring the book to be signed. (But you can’t bring books bought via Amazon or Costco, for instance. Support your independent bookstore!)

If you can’t come to the party (alas!), but would like your book personalized or inscribed, this is no problem. Just email Patrick@poisonedpen.com and let him know what you want; if at all possible, I’ll sign the inscription orders before the party so they can be shipped out right away.

See you there! (And if you’re not there, I hope you’ll enjoy the book and lift a glass to join us in spirit. Slainte mhath!

HOORAY! THE FIERY CROSS IS AVAILABLE UNABRIDGED ON AUDIBLE.COM!

Many, many thanks to the kind folks at Recorded Books and Audible.com, who rushed to put together a contract, and who pushed THE FIERY CROSS to the front of the 170-book queue waiting to be uploaded to Audible.com!

JAMIE or JOHN? SCOTTISH PRISONER EXCERPT on SCRIBD!

Well, alrighty, then! Do you want to know whether THE SCOTTISH PRISONER starts with Jamie or John? Random House has posted the beginning of the book as an excerpt on Scribd. Click the link below to see which way the editors (and I) decided to begin the book–and I hope you enjoy it!

The Scottish Prisoner by Diana Gabaldon (Excerpt)

THE FIERY CROSS UNABRIDGED AUDIOBOOK

THE FIERY CROSS UNABRIDGED AUDIOBOOK –

OK, I talked to my agent (who talked to Recorded Books–who made and owns the Unabridged audiobook). The license for the ABRIDGED recording has now expired, which means that Recorded Books _can_ go ahead and sell the recording through Audible.com and other retail outlets. However, they couldn’t do a contract with Audible.com for this _until_ the other license expired–which it did, yesterday. So they’ll do the contract as quickly as they can, and as soon as that’s done, THE FIERY CROSS will be on Audible “within a matter of hours,” they said.

SO–you’ll get it pretty darn quick, I hope–but that’s all I know about it.

Happy Halloween!

And many thanks to Blue Moon Magnolia for this lovely tribute to Jamie’s backside. {g} [I call it "pumpkinbuns"--it's a reproduction of the famous Page 5 scene in THE EXILE.] Click “continue reading” to see the picture.

Happy Birthday, Claire!

In honor of Claire Beauchamp Randall Fraser’s birthday–October 20, 1918– here’s Claire’s first scene from WRITTEN IN MY HEART’S OWN BLOOD. (NO, I don’t have pub date for this book. I’m not done _writing_ it, for heaven’s sake. When it’s done, I’ll tell you, OK? (I’m hoping to have it finished by the end of 2012. Meanwhile, THE SCOTTISH PRISONER and Jamie will perhaps help tide you over–that one comes out next month–November 29th))

WRITTEN IN MY OWN HEART’S BLOOD

Copyright 2011 Diana Gabaldon

Mrs. Figg was smoothly spherical, gleamingly black, and inclined to glide silently up behind one like a menacing ball-bearing.

“What’s this?” she barked, manifesting herself suddenly behind Jenny.

“Holy Mother of God!” Jenny whirled, eyes round and hand pressed to her chest. “Who in God’s name are you?”

“This is Mrs. Figg,” I said, feeling a surreal urge to laugh, despite–or maybe because of–recent events. “Lord John Grey’s cook. And Mrs. Figg, this is Mrs. Murray. My, um…my…”

“Your good-sister,” Jenny said firmly. She raised one black eyebrow. “If ye’ll have me, still?” Her look was straight and open, and the urge to laugh changed abruptly into an equally strong urge to burst into tears. Of all the unlikely sources of succor I could have imagined… I took a deep breath and put out my hand.

“I’ll have you.”

Her small firm fingers wove through mine, and as simply as that, it was done. No need for apologies or spoken forgiveness. She’d never had to wear the mask that Jamie did. What she thought and felt was there in her eyes, those slanted blue cat-eyes she shared with her brother. She knew me, now, for what I was—and knew I loved—had always loved–her brother with all my heart and soul–despite the minor complications of being presently married to someone else. And that knowledge obliterated years of mistrust, suspicion, and injury.

She heaved a sigh, eyes closing for an instant, then opened them and smiled at me, mouth trembling only a little.

“Well, fine and dandy,” said Mrs. Figg, shortly. She narrowed her eyes and rotated smoothly on her axis, taking in the panorama of destruction. The railing at the top of the stair had been ripped off, and cracked banisters, dented walls, and bloody smudges marked the path of William’s descent. Shattered crystals from the chandelier littered the floor, glinting festively in the light that poured through the open front door, the door itself hanging drunkenly from one hinge.

“Merde on toast,” Mrs. Figg murmured. She turned abruptly to me, her small black-currant eyes still narrowed. “Where’s his lordship?”

“Ah,” I said. This was going to be rather sticky, I saw. While deeply disapproving of most people, Mrs. Figg was devoted to John. She wasn’t going to be at all pleased to hear that he’d been abducted by–

“For that matter, where’s my brother?” Jenny inquired, glancing round as though expecting Jamie to appear suddenly out from under the settee.

“Oh,” I said. “Hm. Well…” Possibly worse than sticky. Because…

“And where’s my Sweet William?” Mrs. Figg demanded, sniffing the air. “He’s been here; I smell that stinky cologne he puts on his linen.” She nudged a dislodged chunk of plaster disapprovingly with the toe of her shoe.

I took another long, deep breath, and a tight grip on what remained of my sanity.

Mrs. Figg,” I said, “perhaps you would be so kind as to make us all a cup of tea?”

[end section]

OUTLANDER: The Musical is now on iTUNES!

Yay! I’m delighted to be able to tell you that

— at long last—

OUTLANDER: The Musical is available on iTunes!

Thanks to Kevin Walsh, the composer of OTM, who made arrangements through the British Academy of Composers, Songwriters and Authors to make this happen. (Many thanks also to the BACSA!).

You can, of course, still get the whole CD (which is probably a better Christmas present than a 99-cent iTunes gift card), either from Amazon.com or from Mike Gibb (the OTM lyricist), but now you can download your favorite songs to your iPod without the nuisance of ripping them. {g}

And for those of you who’ve got copies of the OUTLANDER 20th Anniversary Edition—you have a sampler CD bound inside the back cover, which will give you a chance to listen to four of the OTM songs. (I know most of you know that already, but I met several people at the last book-signing I did who didn’t realize there was a CD in the book, so thought I’d mention it.)

And of course, there’s a link in the middle of this page to the OUTLANDER: The Musical website, which will give you lots more information.

The nice-looking people above are Allan Scott-Douglas, who sings the role of Jamie Fraser on the CD, and Sue Robertson, who sings Claire.