Christmas Memories

Hi Readers,

Do you have a favorite Christmas memory?

I posed this question to my Street Team earlier tonight.

I absolutely love Christmas and I shared with my group one of my favorite memories from when I was a kid but there are so many more like the time when my mom and I went Christmas Caroling through a volunteer group at our church.  It was wonderful.  There was nothing professional or organized about it.  Just a group of kind volunteers who wanted to spread Christmas cheer.  We followed each other, driving our individual cars to several homes and even to a local shelter to sing our hearts out.  Whether we were out of tune or not, no one cared and the smiles we received for our efforts lit up each home, each facility.

My best memory of that beautiful day was the last home we headed to.  It belonged to a man who was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease.  I remember entering his bedroom and seeing him lying in bed.  We waited as the nurse propped him up on his pillow and he watched us, all huddled in one corner of the room.  It was the first time I had ever met anyone with a debilitating disease and I was humbled by the experience.  After we sung several songs, so out of tune and uncoordinated the angels must’ve blushed, the nurse looked over at us in the silence and said he was smiling.  It almost brings tears to my eyes, once again, while I am writing this.  He has since passed but I truly hope we were able to bring a little bit of peace, a little bit of joy in his life amidst his final battle.

My mom and I tried to volunteer the following year and hoped for the same enjoyment but sadly, the church replaced the random acts of kindness from good people wanting to sing Christmas carols with the professional church choir and it was not the same.

However, I hold this memory of that special day and that precious man in my heart and that is the spirit of Christmas.  Of giving, of loving, and of spreading joy and comfort to those around us.

I truly hope you are surrounded by such love and joy and miracles, too, for each one of you deserves a lifetime of happiness.  This is what I wish for you.  Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas, my friends.  Be safe and enjoy the rest of the year.


These are my favorite things…

Happy-Holidays-snowmanHi Readers,

The Holidays.  Just saying that, how does it make you feel?  Stressed?  Joyful?  Maybe a little of both or in between?  For me, I am sad the Holidays are almost over.  It is frightful to know we are on the last day of November when Halloween seemed to occur just yesterday!  However, I am determined to make the best of the rest of the year and I hope you are too.  These are a few of my favorite things at this time of year.

  1.  No more excuses.  Time to spend with the family and days off too.  Don’t you love it?  Not only do you get days off to spend time with family and friends but you get paid for the days too.  Now if you work in retail or other types of businesses where you have to work the holidays, I apologize because this can be a bummer.  I have a co-worker who worked in retail last year and was scheduled to work on Thanksgiving (for black Friday sales).  She will never forget how sad she felt having to work when her family was enjoying time together around the dinner table with relatives she hadn’t seen in quite a long while.
  2. Lot of sales!  I looove shopping throughout the year but items can add up and get expensive real quick.  However, at this time of year just about everything you can think of is on sale at some point.  You just have to watch the ads or check out the stores to catch them.
  3. Bright, twinkly lights.  Who doesn’t love beautiful lights?  Especially when you don’t have to pay for the electricity.  I love driving around with my hubby viewing beautiful displays of animated snowmen, merry Santa Clauses and cute reindeer.  It’s fun and it’s free.  What’s not to love?
  4. A different feeling in the air.  People are generally happier.  They open doors for you and are a bit kinder than they might’ve been the rest of the year.  Sometimes you might even receive a surprise like your favorite beverage paid for before your car hits the drive through window.
  5. An excuse to eat sweets with less guilt.  Yes, I have a sweet tooth.  In fact, I think I might have two or three instead of one.  Hahaha.  This time of year, you can feel a bit less guilty indulging in your favorite dishes though that’s not an excuse to gorge and overdo it!  But your doctor’s Rx is more lenient at this time and he says “treat yourself because you are special.”  You deserve it.  (wink)

These are just a few of the lovely things I enjoy this time of year.  What are yours?

I sincerely wish you Happy Holidays!  May they be merry and bright and filled with much love and laughter.  Till our next chat, take care and be safe throughout this holiday season!


Holiday Paperback Giveaway

Hi Readers,

Happy Holidays!!!

  • * I am happy to announce a Giveaway for followers of my blog sites, only.   *

One lucky Reader will win a signed Paperback of their choice from yours truly.  Contest starts today, December 20, 2016 and runs until January 6, 2017.  Winner selected and notified on January 7, 2017.  This contest is open to residents of the Continental USA only.

To enter the contest, do the following:

  1.  You must be signed up with either one of my blog sites on WordPress to enter the contest:


2. Follow me on Goodreads and Amazon:


3.  For extra entries, Like and Post a Comment for each of my book trailers:






4.  Comment here when you are done.

***  Please Note:  Author may gift a book with a previous (not current)  cover for this giveaway ***

Thank you for you support.  Good Luck!!

Today, I am Thankful for you

Hi Readers,


Just dropping in to wish you a Happy Thanksgiving!

There are so many reasons to be thankful but this year I am especially thankful to you for your support, your friendship, and your encouragement.  A writer’s life is often hard and complicated.  As there are successes in any industry, there are also challenges and times when we doubt ourselves and our capabilities but this time of year we are reminded to cast away the little negatives that can sometimes snowball into larger obstacles and bog us down and reflect, instead, on the many gifts we have in our life that we forget, take for granted, or don’t recognize.

So, for my readers everywhere, I wish you and yours a very Happy Thanksgiving.  Enjoy the holiday and be safe.


Enjoying the Holidays when you’re under the weather

Hello all.  I hope that you are safe, doing well and are surrounded by love.  I haven’t posted in a while because I’ve been down with a sinus infection but am still trying to enjoy this fast-moving Holiday season as much as I can.  I hope you are too.  It will be 2016 before you know it.

The Holiday season is upon us and yes, it’s much better and easier to enjoy the Holidays when you are feeling well, at your best, have had the eight+  hours of sleep your Family Doctor advised you to get, but when you are sicker than a dog and the weeks pass by with you cooped up like a hermit in your house, what are you to do to get the most out of the remainder of the season when you want to bury yourself underneath layers of comforters instead of bursting into song.  Possibly these 5 tips might help.

  1. Watch Holiday Movies- they have been on since before Thanksgiving, if you haven’t seen one, turn the TV on now, grab a box of tissues, your favorite fleece blanket and park yourself on your couch for the next few hours and let someone else entertain you.
  2. Ask, cajole, or even bribe a friend to take you ‘Christmas light looking.’  Marveling at Christmas lights around the neighborhood is a tradition of sorts during this time of year.  Don’t let the season pass you by without your chance to view the houses you adore.  Your friend can drive you around with the windows up as you stare in fascination at the sparkly, cheery glow of lights and decorations you didn’t have to put up, yourself.
  3.   If you can, donate to a special charity or one that is close to your heart.  The act of giving is what the season is all about and it might even help you heal faster.  Most agencies accept donations online so all you have to do is ‘fire up’ the computer and choose a charity.  It’s as simple as clicking a few buttons on your keyboard plus it will give you a warm, fuzzy feeling in your heart, even between coughing fits, that you helped to make this word a better place for someone else.
  4. Let someone else cook.  If you are up to it, you can plan the meal but let someone else do the cooking, baking and setting up while you relax on your couch with a hot beverage.  Now is not the time to try to do things on your own, it is a time for letting others take care of you.  So if they offer, accept the gift and sit back down, put your feet up and rest.
  5. Celebrate with good friends.  Even if you can’t get together for the actual event or day, spend a little time with those you love and celebrate on a separate day just between you and your friends.  It’s true that love heals and it’s also good for your spirit.  Good-natured laughter improves your mood, the healing process and strengthens bonds.  Don’t let the Holidays go by without experiencing the love of those around you.

Wishing you and yours a happy, safe, cozy Holiday Season.

Of these 5 I am Thankful

So, it’s that time of year again when families gather together around a Turkey and challenge themselves to eat in one sitting more food than they’ve had in an entire day.  But, it is also the time of year when we start thinking about life- those little things we are grateful for that when combined together makes life fun, joyful and worth getting up in the morning.  Those small things that add to our life and that, without, we would miss very much.

The general rule is to be thankful every day but if we can’t do this, let’s consider writing a list, whether on paper or in our own mind of those things we can’t do without that we are happy for.  Here’s my top 5:

  1. I am thankful for family.  This year, we are minus one.  It is the first year we will spend the Holidays without my mom, my best friend, and the one woman who always gave me full support no matter what was happening around us.  I miss her dearly.  Our family has carried on without this shining star and struggles to remain strong.  I am happy that I still have my dad and can care for him as he survives day to day through the inevitable ills and arthritis that accompany the aging process.  My dad and I were never close but, somehow, over the years I have learned to appreciate him and love him.
  2. I am thankful for my supportive husband.  Whoever said it- “A good man is hard to find” was right.  I am so glad my husband chooses every day to stay by my side and live the rest of his life with little ol’ me.  He is your “typical” male in many respects- not one to express his feelings- but I must say he surprised me with his staunch support as we went through the recent deaths of my mom and my beautiful dog (the last of two we had).  I’ve learned with age and experience, the value of having a partner who shares your same values and ideals and I must say, I couldn’t have asked for a better one to stand by my side.
  3. I am thankful for my work.  I am fortunate in that I have two jobs- one full-time that provides me with health, life and dental insurance and supports my other job:  my career, my true passion and calling- writing.  I am thankful I can pay the bills and live my life the way I want to.  Money provides a certain freedom to do, get, experience as you want and I am so thankful I am able to enjoy this freedom and make the most of it, in the ways that I wish.
  4. I am thankful I have a home of my very own.  My home may not be a several-storied mansion, filled with worldly antiques worth a fortune but it is ours- our own little retreat when life gets stressful.  The peaceful, corner lot of our bungalow is perfect sized for two people who don’t like cleaning endless hours of the day.  We love our home.  That we were granted a 2nd chance at owning one is incredible.  The fact that this home is larger than our previous one was just an added bonus.
  5. I am thankful for you.  Like every writer, I am thankful for my readers.  I’m not sure if I’ll ever be able to turn my hobby of writing into a career though I’d like to, but in the meantime, I am thankful and grateful that I am able to speak to people all over the world through my blogs and my books.  Wonderful people I may never meet but wish the best for, always.  You read my blogs, my FB insights, my endless advertisements, my moody rants and you interact and participate with me and I love it!   If it weren’t for you, my lovely readers, there’d be no reason to write, so here’s a big Thank You to you!