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To: My Fans!
From: Ann
My Year in Review

December 2014

Hi, readers!

It's hard to believe that it's already December, but here in the Hudson Valley, I see daily proof in the colder temperatures and occasional snowfall. I've welcomed these changes since I was a child, because it means that the holiday season has arrived. There's so much that I love about this time of year, but one of my favorite things is receiving cards, pictures, and letters from friends and family that share news of their lives. I thought this would be a good time to share some of the highlights of my past year with my readers.

As an author, this has been a wonderful—and busy—year. In April, the third book in the Family Tree series, Best Kept Secret, was published. Best Kept Secret is narrated by Francie, daughter of Dana (The Long Way Home), and granddaughter of Abby (Better to Wish). It's been a rewarding journey for me as I chronicle the stories of the women in the family from the 1930s into the present day. Next, the fourth book in the Doll People series, The Doll People Set Sail, was published this past October. The story finds Annabelle, Tiffany, and their doll families at sea when they are accidentally put in a box on a ship. My latest novel, Rain Reign, also came out in October. It tells the story of a girl named Rose who is obsessed with homonyms, prime numbers, and rules. It's also been an exciting year for the Baby-sitters Club books. Each month, Scholastic has released additional titles from the original series, mysteries, and Super Specials in eBook format. I'm happy that there is yet another way for long-time fans to add to their BSC collection.

My family is the most important part of my life, and I try to spend every holiday with them. This past March, I vacationed in Jamaica with my sister Jane, brother-in-law Doug, and nephew Henry. I'm happy to say that I got to cross "swimming with the dolphins" off my bucket list! We had such a fantastic time that we're planning to go back next year.

I never imagined that I'd see the same Broadway play four times in one year, but I did this year! Beautiful—The Carole King Musical, which was written by my brother-in-law Doug, opened on Broadway in January. It was my first time attending a Broadway premiere and the after-party celebration, and it was an incredible experience.

On the home front, I'm continuing to foster kittens until they are placed in permanent homes. Happily, every kitten I've fostered has been adopted! In August, I said goodbye to my almost twenty-year-old cat Gussie, who lived a long and happy life. Now it's just my two cats, Pippin and Simon, who continue to make me laugh. Pippin is quiet, sweet, laid back, and affectionate, while Simon is a wild, overgrown kitten with lots of energy! I still miss my old dog Sadie, but I've been dog-sitting periodically for my next-door neighbor's poodle Piper. Piper is very sweet and fits right into the household when she's here.

This past year, I've enjoyed meeting readers at schools and bookstores in Washington DC, Miami, New York City, Boston, and St. Louis. In many cases, the people who came to see me are the original readers of the Baby-sitters Club books, and now that they are grown, they've encouraged a love of reading in their own children. I'm honored to meet them, and inspired to continue to write new books for a new generation of readers.

Wishing all of you the happiest of holidays, and the best of everything in 2015.

Happy reading!