Or more correctly, I never went away. The dh went down with a bug and our trip had to be cancelled. The competition isn't though, so if you know in which country The Girl With the Pearl Earring was painted and presently resides, sent me an email with "Picture" in the subject line for a chance to win something from my backlist. I'll draw the winner on the 31st April.
I really could have done with the break. Or at least my elbow could. I appear to have a version of RSI, but so far it's only affecting my elbow. It doesn't stop me typing, or even mousing -- although I'm trying to do that left-handed, which is, to say the least, interesting -- but it's hell to pick anything up. So I'm also cooking and pouring tea left-handed.
ON LINE SALES
I've mention The Book Depository before. I bought my copy of Twyla Tharp's "The Creative Habit" from them. The first copy went awol in the post and the lovely people at TBD sent me another copy instantly. I was impressed with their caring emails and excellent service so I went to their website and discovered that they don't charge postage which is why I've added them to my "Buy" list on the sidebar where I can. The downside is that they don't have all my books. And they don't have them as quickly as Amazon. But they are discounted just as they are at Amazon and M&B direct and when the difference for one M&B paperback means paying half the amount, I do think they should be encouraged.
So, M&B have them a month before retail if you're desperate for a fix from your favourite author, Amazon have the long backlist, and The Book Depository send them for free. Lots of choices on which to make a buying decision. And of course there's still the fun of tossing them in with the groceries at your favourite supermarket, or at WHS or Borders, or even ordering at your local bookshop. Even if they don't stock M&B they can get them for you.