Here’s to Heartwarming Holidays!


Hey, friends!

It’s that time of year –– time for some jolly holiday fun!

Join me and several other awesome authors, in the Heartwarming Holiday Blog Hop! It’s your opportunity to meet new authors and a chance to win a Kindle Fire 7 with Alexa!

Here’s how it works:

Visit each author blog in the hop and look for their “Heartwarming Holidays” blog post. 
Look for the title that includes the words “heartwarming” and “holidays.”
Visiting each blog in this hop is mandatory in order to be eligible for the grand prize, so be sure to comment on all “heartwarming holidays” posts from each of the following blogs between December 4 – 9, 2017:
Nicole Morgan, Suzanne Jenkins, Holly Cortelyou, Darlene Deluca, Casi McLean, Sensuous Promos, and  The Book Pub.

Speaking of heartwarming, it’s one of the words that always comes to mind when I describe my novel Unexpected Legacy.


You might fall in love with hero Matt Dalton who’s just found out he has a 16-year-old son. You might relate to the leading lady, an up-and-coming high school principal who champions her students. And you’ll definitely cheer on Brady, the teenager who’s dealing with the traumatic effects of an accident and the loss of his best friend.

It’s a heartwarming story of bravery, resilience, and, of course, love! One that will leave you with a satisfied smile! Perfect for cozy holiday reading!


Wishing you the happiest of holidays and best of luck!



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The Year we went with Wacky


So we’re planning to get a Christmas tree this weekend. We always get a live tree, and almost always end up going on one of the coldest nights of the year. That’s not the plan, as I am a winter weather wimp, but as fate would have it . . . that’s the way it goes. I’m watching the forecast, but whatever, the schedule says it’s this weekend. Because we don’t want to wait too late.

One year, a few years ago, we decided to wait until both kids were home from college before getting the tree. You know, make it a fun family outing.

Well, we did have that, but when we pulled up to our longtime Christmas tree lot, the place was packed up and put away. Gone. Except for . . . this.

One lone deformed tree had been left behind. I mean, this tree made Charlie Brown’s tree look like perfection. At least his was shaped like a tree! This thing looked more like a shrub in need of a serious trimming — something fitting for a Dr. Seuss scene. Sitting in the car in the cold, we considered our options. Go drive around and try to find another lot that was open? I have no idea whether there were any others that still had trees. It didn’t matter, though,  because a kind of poor-baby sympathy began to well up for this pathetic little tree-thing that nobody wanted. Plus, it was free, right?

In the spirit of Christmas, we decided to give the thing a home. So, we loaded it up and took it with us. My husband had to hack and saw on it just to get it into the tree stand. Once inside the living room, there was a definite “now what?” moment. Laugh or cry?! Well, we dressed it up as best we could with our usual ornaments. Had we known this is what we’d end up with for the year, we might have come up with a clever “theme” more fitting of the situation. But time was running out, so we made do.

In the end, we kind of liked our wacky little Seuss bush-tree. It was worth some laughs. And made a fond family memory!


Do you have a favorite let’s-make-the-best-of-it holiday story? Do share!

Fun-for-all instead of Free-for-all

egghuntBy now you’ve probably heard of the Easter egg hunt gone bad in Orange, Conn. that was sponsored by the Pez Candy Co. Can you relate? Have you ever attempted a public Easter egg hunt? I have. And they generally aren’t much fun. Too many kids, too few prizes, too much frustration.

In my limited experience with such events, some kids always got loads of eggs while others got none. They were mostly a frenzy of confusion for the younger kids – parents screaming or dragging them along. Or no parental supervision of bully-types with no self restraint. There were always kids at different ages, some bigger, some faster, some pushing other kids out of their way. Sadly, such hunts expose an ugly side of humanity in what is supposed to be a fun event in celebration of a Christian holiday.

After attending a few of these events when my daughter was young, I swore off of them. And started my own. My goal was to create a nicer, gentler, more civilized affair. I did it by taking out the competitive component, and eliminating the free-for-all battleground, which, in turn, added the fun!

For about ten years, I hosted an Easter Egg hunt/party for friends and neighborhood kids. I had rules – rules designed to make the event FUN and FAIR for the KIDS! Simple: Younger kids got a head start, and every kid got the same number of eggs.

Of course, on a much smaller scale, it was much easier to orchestrate. And with friends. By invitation only. (I believe there was only one kid who got booted off the invitation list for obnoxious behavior such as greedily grabbing too many eggs or opening an egg then tossing it back if he didn’t like what was inside. Seriously.)

My husband and I would fill and hide 700 to 1,000 plastic eggs. We have a large yard, and a vacant lot behind our property, which is owned by a neighbor gracious enough to allow us to use it.

When everyone gathered, I counted the number of children and divided the number of eggs by that number (maybe minus one or two just in case someone showed up late or all the eggs couldn’t be found). Most years this gave each child 20-25 eggs. The kids were told that once they got to that number of eggs they were done. They could have a cookie and something to drink, then pick a spot and sit down and open their eggs.

The eggs were filled with candy and small prizes such as bouncy balls, coins, nail polish, etc. I went to great lengths to find fun, age-appropriate prizes. And gender-specific ones, too. Blue eggs had boy prizes, and pink eggs had girl prizes. All the others were gender neutral.

It was great fun. For kids and parents. It became a tradition that friends looked forward to. And I’m pretty sure everyone went home happy.  🙂

What holiday traditions have you started? Or ended?!

Huge Holiday giveaway

DD Winter giveawaya Rafflecopter giveaway

Hey, everyone, I’ve joined with a great group of authors to bring you an exciting Christmas giveaway! Okay, it may seem a little early, but the holidays will be here before you know it. And it’s always a good time to find some new reading material for those cool days when you just want to curl up with your favorite beverage and a good book!
This promotion gives you dozens of chances to win books, gift cards, swag and cash prizes! Not only could you win some great stuff, you just might discover your new favorite author!

Enter today, and happy reading to all!