I'm delighted to say I got a lot of work done on Stranger yesterday, now that I'm feeling better. But as I wrap up all those pesky loose ends, the darn thing keeps getting longer... it's up to nearly 350 pages now! I'm also thinking of getting rid of the epilogue-- my last three books have featured disgustingly sappy, tie-up-all-the-loose-ends epilogues (I learned my lesson with my first book, which was criticized by some people because there was no epilogue). But honestly, I don't like epilogues very much. I think I can wrap Stranger up adequately without one.
I also got a rather poor review of All I Ever Wanted from Romantic Times... the one place a romance author would prefer not to get a poor review! The irony is that AIEW has ALREADY been reviewed by an RT reviewer, who also writes for a different site. That reviewer reviewed it for her other site, loved it, asked me to send Isn't It Romantic? for review, and loved IIR so much that she called me long-distance to tell me how great it was. If she'd been assigned AIEW for RT, I almost certainly would have gotten a much better review. Which just goes to show you the very subjective nature of reviews, and explains why I wasn't really bothered by this for more than an hour. (I was also helped through this minor crisis by a chocolate cupcake!)
Besides, the NCP ad in RT (which featured the cover of AIEW, among many others) was gorgeous.