March Madness

IMG_1368So most people have March madness and it’s all about getting your bracket correct. Picking the right teams and seeing how they play out.  For me the madness is a monthlong celebration of birthdays, anniversaries and spring.  I’m not going to lie, spring is hands down my favorite holiday.  Maybe it’s because I grew up in Florida and the scent of orange blossoms from our family grove would fill the air and to my child’s mind herald the arrival of my birthday.

I could put away my socks and walk barefoot outside in our yard.  Since we lived behind 100 valencia orange trees using the term yard is being generous.  It was filled with crab grass and dirt and a large 1/4 acre garden that my mom and dad tended.  Strawberries and green beans and tomatoes would all ripen and be warmed by the sun.  I’m sure my mom was surprised at the small yield of her crop after my sisters and I had spent the afternoon walking up and down the rows eating whatever looked ripe.

As a child March was divided into two sections for me…my grandfather and cousin Thomas’ birthdays at the beginning of the month and then just mine at the end.  🙂 But then everything changed when I had my Coco on the 18th.  I didn’t mind sharing my special day with her.  And then four years later my nephew took the 20th and two years after him my niece claimed the 15th.  Now we were on a roll.  We had a week worth’s of celebrating especially when you add in my brother-in-law (19th) and sister-in-law (21st) and suddenly March wasn’t just my special month, it was a celebration of family.

Since the core of who I am is really family I couldn’t be happier.  I don’t live as close to my family as I’d like so we catch up via text, video calls and Facebook and I can’t put my socks away just yet since its still in the 50s in the UK, but I am definitely enjoying my own personal March Madness.

What about you?  Do you have a month that is all about family celebrations?

Goodbye 2015

HAPPENED Year!I love this week. Everyone is home and we have no pressure to do anything but hang out and enjoy our time together. I’m doing some writing on a project that I really love and setting goals for 2016.

I have ordered a new planner system for 2016 and it won’t be here until the first week in January because I dithered so long about which one to choose. But since I use my planner every day it was a big decision.

2015 was a challenging year for me.  On one hand I dedicated myself to writing every day and found that I loved the journey the stories took me on because of it.  Not that I didn’t enjoy them in previous years but the stories unfolded in a different way last year.  The challenging part was the health of the men in my life.  My husband and my dad both had big health issues this year and are thankfully recovered and doing much better, but they took a lot of my energy.  I found strength in my friends and my family during that time.

For 2016 I’m envisioning a year with a lot of great new books and lots of happy times with my friends and family.  I
hope you are enjoying lots of fun during the last week of 2015.

Happy early New Year!


Recommended Reads For Your Wish List

It probably will come as no surprise to you that a lot of the items on my Christmas list are books. In case you are looking for some good new reads are my favorites for the year!

51qtdZOxkGL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_The first book that I have been eagerly waiting for and have downloaded on my Kindle is Cindy Kirk’s CHRISTMAS IN GOOD HOPE.  Some of you may already know that Cindy and I are good friends. Check out my Events page for a close-up of us blowing kisses from the Harlequin Party last summer! Cindy’s books are always heartwarming and emotional. Her books make me feel like I’ve gotten a warm hug when I’m done with them. In stores and online now, Cindy’s book CHRISTMAS IN GOOD HOPE is the first in her new series and I can’t wait to read it!

Here’s a little blurb:

Ami and Beck would rather forget the past, but this Christmas of love is one to remember.

Amaryllis “Ami” Bloom’s cheerful smile greets everyone in Good Hope, Wisconsin. But her merry facade hides a dark secret she won’t ever forget. Still, she throws herself into celebrating Christmas—and convinces her handsome, and stubborn, new neighbor to join her.

Beckett Cross, however, is determined not to celebrate the holidays. He moved to Good Hope to leave behind reminders of how he’d had it all…and lost everything. But it’s hard to resist adorable Ami, the designated keeper of the small town’s holiday traditions, when she asks for help with the Twelve Nights celebrations. And Ami has a hard time resisting Beck’s soft Southern drawl and gentle eyes. Will a Christmas miracle give them a second chance at love and the hope to heal both of their hearts for good?

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The second book I’m recommending is WHY NOT ME? by Mindy Kaling.  I don’t know her but I wish I did!  This book spoke to me from the first blurb I read about it. And I think it’s a really great read.9780804138147_p0_v6_s192x300


In Why Not Me?, Kaling shares her ongoing journey to find contentment and excitement in her adult life, whether it’s falling in love at work, seeking new friendships in lonely places, attempting to be the first person in history to lose weight without any behavior modification whatsoever, or most important, believing that you have a place in Hollywood when you’re constantly reminded that no one looks like you.

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Next up is the latest from RaeAnne Thayne A COLD CREEK CHRISTMAS.  I have always had a special place in my heart for the small town charm of the Special Edition series that RaeAnne has created with Cold Creek and this year’s holiday story is now different.  It’s heartwarming and full of the kind of Christmasy feeling that I love.AColdCreekChristmasStory


Sparkle In The Snow Leads To So Much More 

Celeste Nichols has always preferred to keep to herself in her hometown of Pine Gulch, Idaho…until she becomes an instant celebrity! When one of her children’s stories becomes a major success, she’s suddenly the talk of the town. Celeste should be gloriously happy…but something, someone, special is still missing from her life. Could the return of her childhood crush be the answer?

Flynn Delaney has moved back home for his daughter’s sake. Yet all the millionaire’s resources can’t help the little girl heal from the tragic loss of her mother. Shy librarian Celeste and her stories do hold some indefinable magic, though. Flynn came home looking for support—can he find that, and true love, in the one who got away?

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Which books have made your holiday wish list?  Tell me to be entered to win a signed print copy of my ONE HOT CHRISTMAS, a festive ornament and some great reader swag.   Giveaway closes Dec 8th with the winner announced Dec 9th!