Dear Reader,

Hello again.  Time is moving faster than Santa’s reindeer going downhill on a ski slope!  Actually I have no idea how fast that is because I have never been on skis.  Nope.  Too fast, too cold.  My kids love it, but I’ll stick to a comfortable chair, sitting by the fireplace drinking some mulled cider.

Tis the season for shopping, planning, and panic attacks.  I was in a store the other day and a woman in line started breathing heavily and started to sweat.  She turned to me and said, “I think I’m having a heart attack!”  Naturally everyone gasped, but before someone dialed for an ambulance, I put my hand on her shoulder and said, “It’s ok.  You’re going to be ok.  In fact, I’ll let you get in line ahead of me.”  The woman clutched her chest, looked at me and said, “Really?”  I handed her a cookie I pulled from a bag I was about to pay for.  Like magic, she snapped out of it and pushed her cart in front of mine.  The cashier was so grateful the incident didn’t escalate, she gave me the cookies for free!  One good turn deserves a bag of chips!  Chocolate chips!

I know I told you that we have to have our Christmas decorations up right after Halloween or the Ornament Police will issue a summons and drop a chunk of black coal on your doorstep.  I’m only half kidding.  My kids arranged to decorate my house this year.  I usually go all out turning my modest home into a magical holiday scene, and this year was no different.  I must have thousands of lights in all colors; some are blinking, others are twinkling.  I even have one of those flood lights that shines an outline of Santa in the tree.  If it weren’t for the palm trees and lack of snow, you would think you were at Santa’s workshop!  It gives me such joy to see and know that a passersby can enjoy the magic of Christmas even for a moment.  Please remember to stop for a moment, too.  It’s good for the soul.

Lots of book news to share.  Santa Cruise has hit the shelves, along with Falling Stars.  At the end of December the mass market edition of Tick Tock will be available.  It’s book 34 in The Sisterhood.  The longevity of this series is astonishing.  Goes to show you women like the satisfaction of seeing justice done.

Because it is Christmas, this month’s contest will be a satchel of Christmas books. Be sure to enter.

I am including a lot of recipes this month because holidays are a wonderful reason to share a meal.

Be well.  Be Safe.  Take care of yourself and have a peaceful, wonderful, magical holiday.

And a sane, happy, healthy and prosperous New Year.

Warmest wishes,

P.S. Now we wait and see how long it will take before my little fur family decides the ornaments are their new toys.