January 2022 Monthly Letter

Dear Friends,

This is what I wrote a year ago:

Let me start with wishing everyone a happy, healthy, stress-less 2021.  If you feel like you’ve been living in the spin-cycle of the washing machine, you are not alone.  2020 was a year where you wanted to hide under the bed as we were bombarded with bad news on a daily basis.  So, for this new year’s resolution let’s “resolve” to be strong and kind.  I know it’s hard to be pleasant when your life is in chaos,  but remember you are not alone.  We are all going through this together, even if we are apart.  Hang in there.  I truly believe better days are ahead.

It  doesn’t seem like much has changed, eh?   Feels like life is a hamster wheel or a recurring nightmare.  All I can say is the same things I said before.  Be strong.  Be kind.  Have faith.  And yes, I still believe we can get back to an old normal, because this new normal is kind of stinky.

The cats managed to mangle a few Christmas trees.  They think ornaments are toys.  Next year I may invest in rubber ornaments if they make them.  If they don’t, then someone should!  Based on the stories I heard, most pet owners would buy them for sure!

Once again I want to thank you for all your support last year and the years before.  Your kind words on social media mean a lot to me.  I’m not a big fan of social media because too many people use it in negative ways, so I greatly appreciate positive feedback and spreading a little cheer.

Time to talk books. For those of you who are Sisterhood fans, 19 Yellow Moon Road is on sale now.   If you haven’t read any of the previous books in the series, have no fear.  There is a lot of back story so you don’t have to start at the beginning of the series. This one was interesting to write because it deals with a very wealthy man who lures young women into a sex slave enterprise.  Sound familiar?  The subject has been in the news lately.  Sometimes I scare myself when I write about things that eventually happen.  Believe me, I do not claim to have any psychic abilities whatsoever.  It just seems to occur from time to time. Too bad I can’t do that with the lottery!  So this month’s contest will be a signed copy of 19 Yellow Moon Road.

No matter where you live, the weather seems to be unpredictable.  We’ve had temperature swings from 65 to 35 degrees in two days.  I worry about the trees and the plants.  They have no idea what’s going on.  Come to think of it, it seems like the weather has the meteorologists perplexed as well.

Let’s hang on to our hats, coats, and pantaloons and face the New Year with as much gusto as possible.  To help with that I am including some comfort food to fuel your soul.

Be well, be safe.  Be kind.  Have fun.

All the best,

Fern

December 2021 Monthly Letter

Dear Reader,

Looking back I think I’m having Déjà vu all over again.  People are still arguing about masks, but this year we can add vaccines to the mix.  And now they’ve given us one more thing (Omicron) to fuel our angst. How about this:  Dear Santa, Can You Please Give Me Some Peace? Honestly I think everyone could use a big dose of it.

So here we are riding the rollercoaster of the holidays and it’s enough to make you queasy.  Yes.  Let’s all admit it.  Neither you nor I are Super Heroes.  We can only do what we can do without doing bodily harm to ourselves, or that jerk in front of you in line at the store.  Ha. Ha.  I recall discussing “thought balloons” like they have in comic books.  The words that are in puffy-looking clouds.  So when someone starts to get on your one last nerve, imagine them getting hit in the face with a cow-pie!  You’ll probably laugh out loud at the image, and everyone around you will think you’re cuckoo and will get out of your way.  See?  Imagination  can be used in many ways.

I trust most people got through Thanksgiving.  I’ve been hearing that it was mellow for most—everyone is crispy around the edges.  But I did hear of a few skirmishes where people were asked to leave.  And that’s really too bad.  I wish we could flip a switch and have people simply be nice.  I feel like a broken record, but remember Kindness Doesn’t Cost a Thing…Be Generous.  You can really make someone’s day with a smile or a compliment.  But keep the compliments down to something safe like “Nice nail polish”  or “cool sweater.” People are very touchy so inanimate objects are your best bet.

I’d like to offer an idea if you are throwing a holiday party.  Ask your guests—instead of bringing wine, candy, cake, or cookies, etc.—bring an unwrapped gift for a kid, and donate them to Toys for Tots or a local charity.  Another idea is to ask them to bring imperishable food items [canned goods, rice, pasta, baby food] and donate them to the local food pantry.  It takes the pressure off your guests, you don’t end up with six fruit cakes, and everyone can feel good about doing a little something for someone in need.

Last year I said to hang in there and we had come a long way, and I was looking forward to 2021.  While it may not feel this way, 2021 was a little better, but it sure has been a long haul.  Take care of yourself and others.  Just be sure you put your oxygen mask on first!  Nothing is more important than good health and a good frame of mind.  They go hand in hand.  So if anyone tries to rattle your cage make up a thought balloon.

I say this every year…For those of you who have been following me, you know I go all out for Christmas decorations.  Check out the photos of my house and all the sparkle, shimmer, glitter, ornaments, foliage, swags and bows.  Martha Stewart would have a seizure if she came to my house!

Once again I must mention my cats.  They are little maniacs.  They think I had the house decorated just for them and it’s their own personal amusement park!  They are having lots of fun wrecking the place.

Before I sign off, I want to thank everyone for the wonderful comments and reviews for Santa Cruise. People needed a little escape.

I hope you are not disappointed,  but we are not going to run a contest this month.  The elves have a lot on their to-do list and I don’t want to overwhelm them.  Next month we will be running a contest for signed copies of the next new Sisterhood novel, 19 Yellow Moon Road.  All I will say about it is there’s a very rich man who owns a very private estate in the Caribbean and he “procures” women from a religious cult for sexual entertainment for equally international wealthy men.  Coincidently there is a woman on trial right now for aiding and abetting such a person, who allegedly committed suicide while he was in jail.  Considering I wrote the book over a year ago I think it’s rather timely.  Or, as my friend would say, “woo-woo!”

Have a happy, healthy, sane, holiday and a sane, happy, healthy and prosperous New Year to you and everyone who you wish the same.

Fern

December 2021 Recipes

Here are a few recipes for an Italian Christmas Eve dinner.  It’s usually 7 Fishes, but this is a good alternative:

Christmas Eve Dinner Italian Style

Eggplant Stacks

  • (2) large eggplants, skinned and sliced ¼ inch thick
  • (3) cups Italian flavored breadcrumbs
  • (2) eggs beaten
  • (1/4) cup milk
  • (2) cups Parmesan cheese
  • (4) tablespoons chopped parsley
  • (2) teaspoons dry oregano
  • (2) cups Ricotta Cheese
  • (8 oz.) tomato sauce – Prego or other brand
  • (2 cups) shredded mozzarella
  • (1) cup olive oil

Mix eggs and milk in a bowl.

Mix breadcrumbs,  and half the Parmesan cheese, parsley, and oregano in a different bowl.

Heat olive oil to medium.

Dip eggplant in egg batter and dredge through breadcrumb mixture.

Place eggplant in frying pan and brown on both sides.

Place on paper towels.

Mix/whip ricotta cheese and remaining ingredients (except mozzarella) together

Let the eggplant cool.

Begin stacking.

1 slice of eggplant, top with 1 tablespoon of cheese mixture—spread on eggplant; add another slice of eggplant; top with a spoon of tomato sauce and a tablespoon of mozzarella.

Repeat until you have 3-4 slices of eggplant per stack.

Once assembled, bake in 350 degree oven for 15-20 minutes until cheese melts.

Shrimp Scampi

  • 1-2 lbs. JUMBO shrimp/shelled and deveined (leave tail on or off)
  • 2 tbs. olive oil
  • 4 tbs. butter
  • 4-5 cloves garlic minced
  • ¼ cup dry white wine or vegetable stock
  • 2 tbs. lemon juice
  • ¼ cup chopped parsley
  • Crushed red pepper if desired

Heat olive oil and ½ of the butter.  Saute’ garlic 2 minutes.

Add shrimp and sauté on one side for 2 minutes.

Flip shrimp and pour wine/stock over shrimp, cook 3-4 minutes.

Shrimp should be pink.

Add remaining butter, lemon juice, and toss parsley into shrimp (red pepper).

Remove pan from heat.

Can be served over linguini or rice if desired.

Stuffed Flounder With or Without Crabmeat

  • (1) Piece of founder per person (using 6 pieces for recipe)
  • 1 cup chopped crab meat (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • (4) lemons for garnish – cut into equal pieces
  • Zest and juice of (1) lemon
  • 2 cups breadcrumbs Italian flavored breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup finely grated parmesan cheese
  • ¼ cup finely chopped parsley
  • 4-5 cloves finely chopped garlic
  • ¼ teaspoon oregano

Rinse flounder and pat dry.

Heat oven to 325 degrees.

Heat butter and ½ olive oil in sauce pan, add garlic and saute’ for 1-2 minutes.

Add breadcrumbs, cheese, parsley, oregano (crabmeat if desired) and sauté until blended and if  adding crabmeat until cooked.

Place 2-3 tablespoons of mixture and spread in middle of flounder.  Roll flounder and hold together with toothpick.

Mix lemon zest and lemon juice together and pour over flounder.

Bake 15-20 minutes until fish turns white.

Once removed from oven top fish with any remaining stuffing.

Squeeze lemons over fish.

Fresh Apple Cake, courtesy of Deb Yarmula. 

Ingredients:

You will need (3) large mixing bowls, Bundt pan, shallow baking pan

  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 3 ½ cups chopped Granny Smith apples – cored and peeled
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 large eggs

Preheat oven to 325.  Coat 10 inch Bundt pan with non-stick spray and lightly floured.

Spread walnuts in a separate pan and toast for about 7 minutes until golden.  Cool completely.

In large bowl whisk flour, baking soda, and salt.

In another large bowl combine walnuts, vanilla, cinnamon and 3 cups of the cut apples.

In third bowl beat sugar, oil, and eggs with electric mixer on medium until well blended.

Turn mixer to slow speed and gradually add the flour mixture from bowl 1. Scrape bowl occasionally with spatula.  Beat one minute longer of until well combined.

Fold in apple mixture from bowl 2.

Once all ingredients are folded together spoon batter into bundt pan. Add remaining apples to top and gently press into mixture.

Bake 1 ½ hours or until inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Cool on rack.  Serve with a big helping of ice cream.

November 2021 Monthly Letter

Hello everyone!

It’s November!  Time flies when you’re having fun…and even if you’re not.  It just doesn’t seem fair! All we can do is to do our best, even if we’re weary.  I hope Halloween brought you more treats than tricks and now we are heading toward Thanksgiving.  We need to focus on those two words:  Thanks and Giving, especially with the holidays looming.  Many people have suffered a lot over the past year and a half, but as long as you can get out of bed and put your pants on you’re ahead of the game!  I don’t mean to be flippant—just something to think about.

Most of you know I am a news junkie.  Recently I saw an interview with a psychologist talking about all the anger people are feeling, and, unfortunately, acting out in ways that are horrifying. And most of it is displaced, like yelling at the clerk in the grocery store because the line is too long.  Do you really think they planned it that way?  I don’t think so.   I know I talked about this in my last letter but it’s a chronic problem and it’s up to each of us to try to stem the tide. All of us can do a little each day.  I don’t want to get preachy here, but I implore each of you to try a random act of kindness.  Open the door for someone.  Give a total stranger a compliment “Oh, I like your shoes!”  It will make their day, and as a result, it will also make yours.  I know life is very frustrating right now, but if everyone makes a small effort to be nice to one another,  I truly believe we can become more civil and kind, which will truly shift the energy in a more positive direction.

I say this now because as we approach the holidays people are going to be even more frustrated with lack of goods and services.  So, before you blow a gasket ask yourself, “Do I really need that thing?”  (I’m not talking about necessities, like toilet paper.)  Or if your children are becoming too demanding, reel them in.  They will only learn if you teach them.  As Crosby, Stills & Nash said, “Teach your children well.”

Now I shall step off my soapbox and talk about our contests for November.  We will be giving away (5) special links for an audio-book download version of SANTA CRUISE.  There will be a Special Holiday Contest Coming soon. Check back next week for details.

Have a wonderful THANKSGIVING!
Fern

October 2021 Monthly Letter

Dear Reader,

Thank you for visiting my website.  I don’t know about you but as Yogi Berra used to say:  “It’s  Deja vu all over again.:”   It seems like we’re in a hamster wheel trying to move forward and getting nowhere.  Yes, some things have gotten better, but not enough.  People are still arguing over masks and vaccines.  Then when things seem to be opening up,  we get hit with another wave.  No wonder so many people are cranky.  Then there’s the whole school issue.  Virtual?  Hybrid? In-person?  I mentioned once before, I am so glad my kids are grown up and with the exception for one grandkid, they are no longer in school.  It’s a tough time for everyone and that’s an important thing to keep in mind.  We are all going through this.  A friend of mine was having dinner at a nice restaurant and there was a very loud and raucous group of five men.  They were terribly loud and annoying.  Finally she got up and walked over to their table and politely said, “Gentlemen (I know she used that word loosely) could you be so kind as to lower the decibel level just a bit?”  One of the men—who was a bit intoxicated—said “Listen lady, it’s been a rough year and a half. We’re just trying to have some fun. ”  She calmly said.  “Yes.  I agree.  It’s been a rough year and a half for everyone, including all the other people in this restaurant.  They too would like to have an enjoyable evening.”  Four of the men apologized, but Mr. Cranky Pants kept at it.  “And who do you think you are?”  He snapped.  She put out her hand and calmly introduced herself.  He had no choice but to shake her hand, otherwise he would have looked like a bigger jerk.  When she went back to her seat another gentleman at the next table said, “Thank you.  You did something the rest of us wanted to do.”  It takes a strong woman to be soft and reasonable.  I am sure she would rather throw a drink in his face, but that would only have escalated the situation.  My point is, no matter how much you want to smack the snot out of someone, take a minute and think about the outcome you want.  Peace or fisticuffs? And that’s  today’s lesson in tolerance.  It ain’t easy.  Try to be patient.

On to fun stuff.  I am happy to say HIDDEN has been a big hit and has been in the top 3 best-selling paperbacks for three weeks.  SANTA CRUISE just shipped and the cover looks spectacular.  It’s an entertaining read if I say so myself.  LOL.  Lots of shenanigans and a tribute to friendship.  To celebrate the book, each week for the  month of October we will be giving away a signed copy, so be sure you enter the contest. Winners will be chosen every Sunday at 12 PM EST so sign up as often as you’d like!

The kitty patrol are up to their usual tricks like turning on the TV in the middle of the night.  I have to remember to hide the remote, except I forget where I put it.  Need to leave a post-it, but I’m sure Mz. Boo will figure out a way to hide that too!

Be well, be safe, be kind, and try to have some fun.   All the best, Fern

September 2021 Monthly Letter

Dear Reader,

I hope this finds you and your loved ones safe and well.  Hard to believe it’s September.  We’re 18 months into the pandemic, and now Mother Nature is giving us a pounding.  She sure is pissed at us.

It’s been a hard year and a half.  Just when you thought there was a light at the end of the tunnel, it turns out to be an oncoming train!  It’s no wonder people are on edge, depressed, anxious, and angry.  We’ve got to remember the one thing we can control is how we deal with things.  I probably said that before, and now more than ever we need to hang tight and try to be loose at the same time.  Our mental health is major.

I know people are worried about kids going back to school; what is going to happen for the holidays this year; will the pandemic ever be over; should I hoard toilet paper again?  It’s been a whole lot of crisis management.  But it’s important to stop and smell the flowers, find some beauty, choose to find joy.  It’s out there somewhere.  It doesn’t have to be a big thing.  Watching my hooligan cats gives me great joy.  No matter how hard things get or how bad they are, there has got to be something to be thankful for.

Speaking of cats, Mz. Boo, here’s her latest shenanigan.  I have a Christmas tree in my den.  It’s on a timer and I keep it lit year round.  It’s for my daughter, Patti who passed away at Christmastime several years ago.  One night I got spooked when the lights came on at a different time.  Now some of you know about the ghost named Mary Margaret.  For those of you who don’t, I live in a very old house.  Over a hundred and fifty years.  Lots of history, and apparently there’s some about a young woman named Mary Margaret who shows up occasionally.  I’m not cuckoo.  Many people have experienced her presence.  It’s not scary.  Really.  And if it was I wouldn’t tell you.  I’m Fern Michaels, not Stephen King.  LOL.  Anyway, back to the tree.  A few hours after the lights had mysteriously turned themselves on, the lights went out.  A few hours later they came back on again.  I didn’t know if it was a “sign” from the other side. Maybe Mary Margaret was visiting.  But enough was enough.  As I bent down to look under the tree there was Mz. Boo sitting next to the timer giving me a “what?” kind of look.  Somehow she figured out how to change it.  I kid you not.  A friend of mine told me a story last week about her newly rescued kitten and the momma.  Now she has four who create havoc.  Each night she sets her security alarm before going upstairs to bed.  It was around 2:00AM when she was startled awake by loud voices coming from the living room.  She sat up and grabbed the phone and wondered why the alarm didn’t sound.  She listened for a few more seconds and realized it was Andy Griffin!  The fur rascals knocked the remote on the floor and turned on the TV.  At least it wasn’t the news!  That would have been really scary.

I am very excited about the new books that are coming out in the next two months.  Last month I mentioned a new series about sister and brother who have shops in a large art center.  It’s an interesting and quirky set of characters, mystery, humor, and of course a little romance.  The first book is called Hidden and is on-sale now.  I think you’ll find it very entertaining.  Then in October the new Christmas hardcover, Santa Cruise will be on-sale.  Four friends on a singles cruise and lots of shenanigans—a romp on the high seas.  Actually, the Caribbean.  It’s a fun escape.

This month’s contest is a signed copy of Hidden.

Be well, stay safe. Put fun and joy into your life.

August 2021 Monthly Letter

Dear Reader,

I hope this finds you and your loved ones safe and well.  The COVID rollercoaster seems to continue to be in operation.  It’s been so long since this thing started I’ve almost forgotten what life is like without it although my fur family doesn’t have a clue!

Yes, the cats are on a hooligan rampage.  I think they’ve broken everything possible in the house.  I shrug.  It’s just stuff.  So here’s a tip: if you ever adopt young cats lock everything up that has any value, although I think Miz Boo can pick locks.  She surely knows how to turn the water on.  Speaking of which, not sure if I shared this last time but she fell in the toilet.  Henry, my Yorkie was the one who alerted me to the swimming shenanigans.  As crazy as her stunts are she makes me laugh out loud.

August is hot and sticky down here. Every year it seems to get hotter and stickier.  I love to sit on my rocking chairs on my front porch but lately I feel like I’m melting.  Back into the A/C to see what the hooligans have destroyed in the half hour I’m outside.

Lots of new books coming out soon.  Hidden, the first in a new series is coming next month in paperback with an interesting cast of characters.  In October we’ll have Santa Cruise, a madcap adventure on the high seas in hardcover; and then the mass market of The Brightest Star.  Lots of fun and inspiring reading for the fall. I hope you enjoy them.

This month’s contest will be a signed copy of Hidden.  I’m very excited about this new series.

Now on to food!  I’m featuring several recipes from friends for a Southern dinner.  My editor at Kensington, Esi Sogah offered up a flourless cake for dessert.  Many people turn up their nose to collard greens—I for one am one of those people—but this is made with bacon. Everything is better with bacon.  The recipe comes from Ashley Fenimore, a beautiful young pharmacological oncologist who won the Charleston Magazine contest for side vegetables.  Her work is very grueling so she relaxes by cooking.  Another friend Carolyn Williams gave us her family recipe for fried chicken.  And of course, every Southern meal has to have potato salad.

Enjoy the rest of the summer.  Stay cool, stay well, stay safe, and most of all stay sane!

July 2021 Monthly Letter

Dear Friends,

July 4th!  Holy firecrackers.  If you are reading this after the holiday I hope you had a blast! 😊

The weather has been extremely hot and steamy, although that’s not new to South Carolina.  It seems like it lasts longer and gets hotter more often.

I’m not going to use the word age.  As far as I’m concerned it’s a three-letter word.  Therefore I shall substitute it for “mature.”  For those on the “mature” side of life, parts start to wear down or wear out. Not much different than a car.  I have a friend who needed both hips replaced.  She said the doctor told her she was “riding on her rims.”  Now she has two chunks of titanium on each side.  In many ways we are lucky we have those options.  This week I had an option to fix my vision.  I needed cataract surgery.  No fun, but I am on the mend. So for any of you who have gone through it, I feel you!

I trust many of you are getting back to a more normal way of living.  Let’s pray we never have to go through something like that again. Now we can actually laugh about hoarding toilet paper. Talk about counting squares!

Most of you know that I have become one of those “Cat Ladies.”  I refrain from inserting the word “Crazy” but give me time.  I have some fun news. Miz Boo, the three legged maniac, is going to be featured on the Chewy.com social media bulletin board.  I can honestly say I love that little hooligan to the moon and back.

As far as book stuff, this month’s contest will be a signed Advance Reading Copy of my Christmas novel, Santa Cruise.  The official on-sale date is October, but I wanted to offer a little Christmas in July.  I am very excited about this book.  It features four friends from college who meet up at a reunion and they plan the unthinkable:  go on a singles cruise.  Lots of madcap adventures on the high seas. But before that is published, I’m launching a new series about a brother and sister who have shops in a large art center.  The first book is called Hidden and will be out in September.  It’s splashed with mystery, suspense, a bit of woo-woo, and of course romance.  It has a very interesting cast of unique characters I hope you will grow to love.

That’s my news for now.  Be safe, be kind, stay cool, and have fun.

All the best,

Fern

June 2021 Monthly Letter

Dear Friends,

It’s hard to believe it’s June already!  I hope you had a good Memorial Day Weekend.  Time to remember and reflect on those who gave everything for our country.  With all the social media and instantaneous information that gets thrown at us every day, it’s important to stop for a moment and reflect.  Reflect on how lucky we are to live in a country where we can celebrate pretty much whatever we want.  Every day should be a day where we remember our blessings and be thankful.  I know I am.  I am thankful for the opportunity to bring you entertaining stories, and thankful to everyone who reads my books.

When I am holed up in my office with my fur menagerie I get engrossed in the characters and the scenarios I create..  Quite frankly I kind of miss them afterward!  It usually takes about a year from the time I turn in a novel until it hits the bookshelves.  I am always delighted when a fan writes and tells me how much they enjoyed a book and what it meant to them.  It’s like a reunion for me and  heartwarming to know I touch people’s lives in a good way.

I am happy to see we are coming out of  the torturous year of the pandemic, and pray everyone can have an enjoyable summer, spending time with friends and family.  How nice it is to be able to see people and hug them again!

As many of you know, I have become a cat-lady.  Well, almost.  Not quite a “crazy-cat-lady” but they do make me crazy! For those of you who are familiar with the feline species you can probably relate. I have 3 rescued cats.  Well Boo, the three-legged cat with the club foot is a born trouble maker.  She just turned a year old last week.  At 2:37 in the middle of the night I thought I was having a home invasion.  I left the remote to the kitchen TV on the counter and she turned it on.  Her club foot gives her just enough leverage to also hit the SOUND button.  You don’t want to know what happened after that.  Three days prior—again in the middle of the night—my dog Harvey started to bark and bark and wouldn’t stop.  I got up.  It was 4:10.  Harvey was alerting me to the flood happening in the kitchen. Boo, with her magic club foot  learned how to turn on the faucet on the bar sink.  You don’t want to know what happened after that either.  Now it takes me 37 minutes at night to batten down the hatches before I go to bed to keep the three of them out of trouble.   They have just about ruined everything.  I’m thinking of moving out to the barn and letting them have the house. “My name is Boo, my name is Tessie, my name is Winnie and we’re the reason we don’t have anything nice anymore.” Yes, they tear up the house, make a racket at night, but truth be told, they make me laugh.  A lot.

I hope you have an enjoyable June…weddings, graduations, celebrations.  Or just make something up!  Live every day to the fullest.  Be safe.  Be kind.  And keep your sense of humor.  Laughter is the best medicine.

This month’s contest is a signed hardcover edition of the first book in a new series.  The book is called Hidden.  The paperback edition will be available in September.  I’m very excited about this new series and will tell you more as we get closer to the publication date.  Included is a beautiful teacup and saucer from my collection.

All the best to you.

Fern

April 2021 Monthly Letter

Dear Friends,

Hooray for Spring!  The rebirth from the darkness.  Well, it sure has been a long, dark year.  Looking at the flowers starting to bloom gives me hope we will be moving in a brighter and better direction.  We have to think that way otherwise we would be depressed, and I know so many people are feeling down and exhausted.  COVID overload.   It’s been hard, challenging, and a whole lot of anxiety.  When will this ever end?  At least we don’t have to worry about standing in lines hoping to get our one roll of toilet paper.  See?  Things are looking up already!

I know the holidays are once again predicated on COVID, which can be a good excuse to avoid the in-laws!  Kidding.  But…if it suits you, enjoy it while you can.  See?  Another upside to the pandemic!   But seriously, it will be wonderful to get back to some semblance of normal like hugging your friends and family and be able to enjoy people in person.  Enough Zooming, please.

We’re still waiting on some family members to get their vaccine.  I know it’s been frustrating getting appointments but remember, we have never been through anything like this in our lifetimes.  It wasn’t planned and everyone was reacting to the latest news and updates. Yep.  It’s been a drama alright, more for some than others and I feel for anyone who lost a loved one.   I’ve been there and I know.    But we have come a long way and must press forward.  Appreciate what we have and look forward to a brighter tomorrow and the days ahead. Count our blessings no matter how small.

My newest book No Way Out is available now and has been getting very nice reviews. As an FYI, it’s more of a “cozy” than a thriller.  No blood or guts.  It’s a mystery wrapped in a puzzle in a small town.   I want to thank the fans who take the time to read my books and also write about them.

I wish everyone a blessed holiday no matter what you practice as long as you practice kindness in the mix.  Be well.  Be safe.  Be kind.  Keep your sense of humor.  keep reading, and cooking!

This month’s contest will be for a signed first edition of No Way Out.  My publisher just told me they have to go back to press!  Exciting!

All the best,

Fern