After three days, four rolls of packing tape, scores of manila envelopes, fifteen customs forms for twelve different countries, two trips to a computer repair store to bum cardboard boxes, and five heavily-laden four-block trips to the post office with my trusty rolling suitcase, I’m finally out from under all your orders for signed books. Whew! Thanks for ordering so many. It means a lot, and I can’t wait ’til they’re in your hands!

Since I last wrote, I went to the Book Bloggers Convention at Book Expo America, and it was fabulous to be in the company of so many great authors and influential bloggers. It was bizarre to see executives from major publishing houses kowtowing to these amateur reviewers. Apparently book blogs move a LOT of books these days. And four of the biggest bloggers seemed interested in my book and each took a copy from me. Who knows if it will make it out of their slush piles (they all have 20-foot stacks of books to wade through at any given time), but nice to have it out there in contention.

The most hilarious part of the day came when I was pitching my book to bloggers at a table along with an Israeli author who shall remain nameless. After she pitched her book and I pitched mine, she looked at me and said, “Ah, I’ve spent time in a Palestinian settlement!”

“Oh… really?” I said, unsure what on earth she was talking about. “What was it called?”

She named an Israeli settlement.

“Um… that’s an Israeli settlement,” I said.

“Yes, but it’s on Palestinian land, right?”

I bit my tongue so as not to say, “Yes, that’s why they’re illegal.” I didn’t want to get into it.

Then she clucked her tongue and said in her best empathy-voice, “You know, people think the settlements took land from the Palestinians by force or something. But I’ve been there! The Palestinians love the settlements. It’s the only place they can get jobs. Most people don’t know that before the settlements were there, there were no jobs, just poverty. It was terrible.”

I didn’t say anything. Honestly, what can you say to something like that? I just gave her a copy of my book and suggested she take a look. Who knows if she’ll ever read it, but maybe the book will at least take a trip to an interesting place, like a Trojan horse infiltrating the deepest dungeons of denial. Or maybe she trashed it on her way out of the building. Whatever.

Anyway, I was excited to get an email last week from a bookstore in Baltimore requesting copies of my book, because that very weekend I planned to visit Baltimore! My boyfriend was participating in a Go tournament there. (Go is a Japanese board game with black and white tiles, apparently like chess but harder to master.) I visited the bookstore (Red Emma’s) and delivered my copies by hand, which they paid for with cash.

Which I immediately spent on lunch.

Easy come, easy go.

My official book launch is scheduled for the third week of June, which is exciting. In New York, you’re nobody ‘til you’ve had a book launch party advertised through all the relevant listservs. Should be fun. It’s scheduled to happen just before the next Freedom Flotilla sails, and I think reading the book is a great way for ordinary Americans to get up to speed on why people are so upset about Israel’s policies and why Alice Walker calls the flotilla “the Freedom Ride of our era.” The flotilla will include an American ship called the Audacity of Hope. Let’s hope and pray no one gets hurt this time.

Finally, I’ve temporarily dropped the prices on eBooks to $5.99 to build my readership. If you’d like to take advantage of it, and/or spread the promotion around to friends and contacts, please feel free! My website has links to all the ways to buy:

Much love and a mountain of books,