April 2024 Monthly Letter

Dear Friends,

Hooray for Spring!  Blooming flowers brings me so much joy, and we can all use some of that now.  I know the world is a mess, but we can’t give up on hope.  Pray, meditate, whatever brings you peace.  We have to think that way otherwise we will be depressed, and I know so many people are feeling down and exhausted.  Maybe vow to not watch the news for a day or two.  Take a walk.  Start your gardens.  Nature is a good antidote.  If it’s raining watch an old favorite movie.  Bake something delicious.  Meet a friend for lunch.  Reframe those photos that have been sitting in a box.  Do something that brings you peace, and a little satisfaction.

We have a rare cosmic event on April 8th:  A full solar eclipse will be seen by most of the states.  PLEASE be sure to wear special glasses.  You can buy inexpensive cardboard frames that are specifically designed for this.  And I mean inexpensive.  You can get a pack of ten for ten bucks, but make sure they are ASS (American Astronomical Society) and ISO (International Organization for Standardization) certified.

For the past two months I have been plagued with major computer issues, and I know I am not alone when it comes to techno nightmares.  And, if you’ve been through this, you know how frustrating it is, plus all the time wasted.  Being on deadlines makes it even more annoying, but here I am, back at the keyboard, until the internet decides to “take a powder.,” which means to leave in a hurry.  Some of you know that expression, but did you know where it came from?  Back in the 1920’s laxatives were in powder form.  When a doctor would prescribe it, you had to leave in a hurry!  I think it’s kind of funny.  But here’s something that’s not so funny.

BEWARE OF SCAMMERS.  THEY ARE INFILTRATING WEBSITES WITH REQUESTS FOR YOUR CREDIT CARD.  I WILL NEVER, AS IN NEVER, EVER ASK FOR THAT.  SCAMMERS HAVE SET UP WEBSITES USING PHOTOS FROM FACEBOOK.  WE HAVE CONTACTED THE AUTHORITIES BUT THIS IS SPREADING OUT OF CONTROL.  SO PLEASE BE CAREFUL.  IF YOU THINK IT’S A SCAM, REPORT AND DELETE IT.

Book news:  this is a little eerie, but I wanted to share it with anyone who hasn’t read ROCK BOTTOM yet, or if you did, you know it’s about buildings and bridges collapsing, and last week there was a terrible accident on the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore.  Gave me chills in more ways than one.

THE WILD SIDE is out now, and as I mentioned last month, Melanie Drake kicks butt as a retired OSI officer, brought back for a few missions while she is currently working as a guidance counselor.  She is a woman of many disguises as she escorts some of the richest men in the world.  Lots of intrigue, mystery, and two dogs!

This month’s contest we will have two winners.  Each will receive a pretty tote bag with signed copies of ON THE LINE, THE WILD SIDE, ROCK BOTTOM, WISH LIST and HIDE & SEEK.

Be well, stay safe, be kind, and remember to maintain a sense of humor.

All the best,
Fern

March 2024 Monthly Letter

Hello Friends,

March comes in like a Lion???  Been on the warm side, all over the country.

Lots going on this month and into the first week of April.  First, we have The Ides of March, the day when Julius Caesar was assassinated.  Most people were taught that Caesar was warned by a soothsayer “Beware the Ides of March,” but, in fact, the line comes from William Shakespeare in his play, Julius Caesar.  Interesting, eh?  And “Et tu Brute?”  (And you too, Brutus?  Accusing his friend of treason) was also from the play.  By the way, the play was written in 1599, by candlelight.  Glad I have electricity and a computer!

Two days after the Ides, we have St. Patrick’s Day.  Here’s another interesting factoid.  St. Patrick was kidnapped when he was sixteen and worked as a shepherd for six years.  During that time, he received a “message from God” telling him to flee to the coast where he would find freedom.  And he did, which was what inspired him to become a priest.  The legend that he banished “snakes” from Ireland is an allegory—he actually banished paganism from Ireland.  I guess pagans were called snakes at the time.

At the end of the month, we have Easter.  I mention this every year because I find it fascinating.  As you know, Easter falls on different Sundays.  Why?  Because it’s the first Sunday, after the first full moon, after the Equinox.  Equinox is March 19th.  Full Moon is March 26.  The next Sunday is March 31st.

Now that we’ve completed the history part of this letter, let’s move on to things more personal.  The fur family is doing just fine, and I still haven’t been able to figure out who is unraveling the toilet paper.  Some of you know, Miz Boo’s front paw is a stump, which is what has me stumped.  When I ask them who made the mess, they all look at each other and shrug.  Mind games.

I also want to remind you about cyber security.  There is an enormous amount of scams and spam flooding the internet.  When you search for a specific company or website, make sure https: accompanies the name of the company.  It’s easy to be fooled into thinking you’re logging into one website when it isn’t what you think it is.  Be careful.  It’s scary and dangerous out there in cyberspace.

Book news:  The Wild Side will be published on March 26th.  Melanie Drake, a seemingly ordinary guidance counselor, gets dragged into doing one final job for her previous boss at the Department of Special Investigations, and goes undercover as a high-class escort to bring down a dangerous network of ruthless and powerful men.  I’ll be giving away a signed copy in this month’s contest, as well as a few of my favorites.  Goodreads is also sponsoring a contest.  So be sure to enter one or both.  I think you’ll like Melanie.  She’s a kick-ass character.

Be well, be safe, be happy.  Thanks for stopping by.
All the best,
Fern

February 2024 Monthly Letter

Dear Friends,

I hope this finds you and your loved ones safe and well.  I was looking over some of my previous letters.  Three years ago we were in the midst of a pandemic.  Seems like yesterday when you could walk into a bank wearing a mask and no one would call the police.  Ha.  Glad that’s behind us, but let’s not get complacent my friends.  It’s flu season, and there are a few different strains running amuck.  So still be mindful when you’re in public, especially if someone is sneezing and not covering their mouth.  And, of course, wash your hands.  That was my health reminder for the month.

The weather has been crazy everywhere and it seems as if the sun has taken a very long vacation.  I keep trying to sing “The Sun Will Come Up Tomorrow” but then I am reminded I can’t carry a tune in a bucket, so I’ll sing it in my head.

Here’s a factoid about Groundhog Day:  I heard that Staten Island Chuck has a better forecasting average than Punxsutawney Phil.  Chuck’s accuracy is 80% while Phil’s is 39%.  My money is on Chuck.  In either case, Spring is due on March 19th this year.

Besides Ground Hog Day, we also have Valentine’s Day.  I have mixed feelings.  As a writer of romance novels, I am sometimes ambivalent about it.  I know that sounds contrary but the reason I write those types of novels is because it’s the kind of romantic experience we wish we could have.  And who says we can’t?  If no one buys you candy this year, buy some for yourself.  Or buy yourself a new purse.  Something to treat yourself.  We shouldn’t have to wait for other people to do something nice for us.  That being said, in addition to signed books, this month’s contest will include a small box of four real, red preserved roses to share the love.  Also is a signed copy of THE WILD SIDE.  It’s an advance reading copy.  I believe I explained what that was in a previous letter, but just in case you missed it, the publisher prints a very limited edition of uncorrected proofs to be sent to reviewers in order to give them time to read it and review it before the book goes on sale.  In addition, it will include a copy of ROCK BOTTOM – #35 in The Sisterhood.  #35!  Wow.  I am amazed, so thank you for your continued support.

That’s all I’ve got for now.  Be well.  Be safe.  Be kind.  And keep your sense of humor!

All the best,
Fern

January 2024 Monthly Letter

Dear Friends,

Happy New Year!  I trust everyone survived the holidays without too much drama or travel delays.  It seems the pressure mounts year after year.  Maybe we should think about slowing down a bit.  You know, stop and smell the coffee, roses, fresh air?  You owe it to yourself and your loved ones.  When we’re better balanced, the world around us gets better, too.  It may not seem that way,  but we influence every person we see whether we realize it or not.  So recognize yourself in this new year and take care of you!

I want to start by saying thank you for your support, and all of your kind words.  It means the world to me to know I touched your lives in some way.  I read every comment and I appreciate you taking the time out of your day to correspond.

As many of you know, I am a news junkie, and there’s a lot of bad news going around.  It’s easy to fall into a state of despair, or a lack of motivation and optimism.  But, as a reminder, stop for a moment and look around you.  There are probably a few things that bring you joy if you think about it.  It doesn’t have to be winning the lottery, although that would be fantastic, but maybe it’s your garden, your children, your friends, your church, and community.  For me, it’s all of it, and my fur-family.

A quick reminder about cyber security.  Hackers always seem to be one step ahead, so we need to be vigilant.  To recap one of my suggestions from last year, here is an easy way to manage your passwords.

Substitute numbers for letters.  For example:
Mister Pickles would become M1st3r P1ckl3$
I = 1
O = 0 (zero)
E = 3
S = $

See how easy that was?  And it’s easy for you to remember because you probably use the same password for everything.  Right?  That, too, is a no-no.   If you can, spend a little time reviewing your “on-line presence.”  Take a few minutes each day to change your passwords.  You don’t have to do it all at once, and never purchase anything on-line from a public internet network like a café.

Which brings me on to the next subject.  Not everything has to be done in one day, or all at once.  Take clearing out closets, for example.  You don’t have to do all of them at the same time.  Pick one.  I promise you will feel like you accomplished something.  You will feel so good you’ll be motivated to do it again.  With this crazy world, that is probably the one thing we can control.  Our closets and our sock drawers.  😊

I am happy to announce that the next installment of The Sisterhood, Rock Bottom is on sale now.  This time the sisters come to the aid of Izzie’s college friend who suspects her company of manufacturing sub-par building materials.  We hear about buildings and bridges collapsing, and a recent garage failure in New York.  It is in the news too often, so I wanted to bring topical issues to the fictional page, and more importantly getting revenge on the bad guys who do it!

I hope 2024 will bring you good health, happiness, and blessings.  Don’t forget to count them, too.  😊

Be well, be safe, be kind.
Fern

December 2023 Monthly Letter

Dear Friends,

I hope you had a peaceful Thanksgiving.  Speaking of holidays, wasn’t it Christmas just a few days ago?  How did it get here so fast?  Santa must be giving the reindeer some serious caffeine.

Here we are again, in the season for shopping, planning, and manor angst.  I find it almost amusing when you go into a store during the holidays and there is only one cash register open among a row of eight, and the line of people wraps around shelves filled with “last minute” items.  I have a theory.  They do it on purpose so you’ll buy more stuff!  Ha.  But seriously, did Christmas come as a surprise to store managers?  And they wonder why people are shopping on-line more than ever.  I also have another theory.  People really like to shop in person.  I know I do.  You get to touch the stuff you are pondering to plop down your hard-earned money.  You get to see the REAL color of that sweater.  But the convenience of hitting a key on your computer is appealing.  Still…

I know I told you that we must 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.  Now we wait and see how long it will take before my little fur family decides the ornaments are their new toys.

And a friendly reminder for you.  Take it easy.  You will get everything done.   And if you don’t, don’t sweat it unless it means getting arrested.  LOL.  Breathe.  It’s good for the soul.  And remember to be kind even when you’d rather scream.  Life is too short to be in a crummy mood.  Sure things go awry all the time, which means you should choose your hissy-fits accordingly.  Most of the time it’s not worth getting yourself tied up in knots.  Wait five minutes and things could change.

Lots of book news to share.  Santa & Company has hit the shelves, along with Falling Stars.  At the end of December the mass market edition of Rock Bottom will be available.  It’s book 35 in The Sisterhood.  The longevity of this series is astonishing.  Goes to show you women like the satisfaction of seeing justice done.  More of us should be in charge!

This month’s contest will feature a signed Advance Reading Copy, known as an ARC, of The Wild Side.  Let me explain what that means.  In the publishing world, in order for the book to be reviewed it has to be submitted four months before the book goes on sale.  That gives the reviewers time to review it before it hits the shelves.  It’s a very limited print run in a large paperback format—even though the finished book will be in hardcover—and they print less than 100 copies.  That being said, this signed edition is a collectors’ item, for those collectors out there.  There will be a few other titles, as well as a Godiva mug with hot chocolate to keep you cozy while you read.

I mentioned this last year and it’s worth repeating 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 non-perishable 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.

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,
Fern

P.S.
You may often hear about the Italian tradition of Christmas Eve dinner when they serve seven fishes.  We’ll do an abbreviated version below.  Plus we have some scrumptious desserts from my friend Diane Sarrocco, as well as a yummy cranberry crumble from my former editor Esi Sogah.

November 2023 Monthly Letter

Dear Reader,

Thank you for visiting my website.  I know I say this every month, but boy does the time fly!  It’s November already!  I hope Halloween brought you more treats than tricks as we head toward Thanksgiving.  We need to focus on those two words:  Thanks and Giving, especially with the holidays looming.  It’s been a rough year all around.  Just when we thought the pandemic was behind us we were slammed with floods, fires, volcanos, war, and tragic mass shootings.   Most of you know I’m a news junkie, but there seems to be very little good news.  It truly makes me sad, and I pray for the world to heal.  People have suffered a lot, and it’s important to remember that as long as you can get out of bed and put your pants on, you are ahead of the game.  So look around you and give thanks for the people and pets in your life.  Yep, count your blessings.  I don’t mean to be flippant—just something to think about.

Now on to more stress:  The holidaze.  Thanksgiving.  Who to visit or who to invite?  I suggested this once before and I still think it’s worth mentioning again.  Maybe it’s time to pull out the old TV trays, heat up a few TV dinners, and watch your family’s favorite movies.  Or order pizza.  I’m sure the Pilgrims would understand.  I imagine they would have done the same thing if it had been an option.  Anything to take a load off many of you who are juggling family, work, dinner, sports, volunteering.  Or perhaps have a small group and ask everyone to bring a covered dish.  Less work for everyone.  I remember way back when people would host covered dish dinners.  There were a lot of green beans and Campbell’s mushroom soup casseroles—don’t forget the crispy onions on the top from the Lipton onion soup box!  My point is, try not to burden yourself more than necessary.  Everyone can pitch in.

One more little speech from my soapbox:  as we approach the holidays, people are going to be even more frustrated with lack of goods and services.  You’re probably going to be spending a lot of time waiting in lines or trying to find the packages that were delivered to the wrong address.  Don’t blow a gasket.  It’s not worth it unless it’s cheese or chocolate.  LOL.  So try to stay cool.  One more thing I will ask is to perform one random act of kindness each day.  It can be as simple as saying good morning to someone you don’t know, who you pass by on the street, or in a store.  Granted, some people will give you a strange look, but most people will smile and you’ll see their eyes light up.  You are acknowledging their existence.  Isn’t that what most people want?  To be acknowledged?  Open the door for someone.  Give a total stranger a compliment “Oh, I like your shoes!”  Or “Nice handbag.”  Even if it isn’t, it will make their day, and as a result, it will also make yours.  Here’s another example:  I was in Kohls a few weeks ago to return a pair of slippers.  They gave me a coupon for $5.00 in Kohls’ Cash.  I knew I wasn’t going to be back in the store before it expired.  As much as the Godiva bag of truffles beckoned me, I decided to give the coupon to a couple who were in the check-out line.  I just said, “here’s a coupon for five bucks.”  They thanked me but I could tell they were taken aback.  As I was walking away I heard the husband say to his wife, “Wow.  That was so nice of her.”  The thing is, it wasn’t so much the value of the coupon.  It was the value of kindness.

On to fun stuff!  LIAR! is still on the New York Times list, and I am grateful to all my fans who bought it and who wrote such wonderful reviews.  For the month of November we will be giving away a beautiful Lenox snowflake ornament, with signed copies of Santa Cruise, Santa & Company, and a couple other favorites.

Have a wonderful THANKSGIVING!   Be safe and be well.
Fern

October 2023 Monthly Letter

Dear Reader,

Thank you for visiting my website.  It’s October.  Wow.  Where does the time go?  I’m just getting used to seeing Halloween decorations, and if you blink a few times, you’ll start seeing holiday decorations!  Can someone please slow it down?  We should be able to enjoy what’s happening now, but everyone is moving at the speed of light, and there’s barely enough time to enjoy each day as it comes.  I know, I’ve been on that soap box before, but try to stop and smell the pumpkin spice before it’s frankincense and myrrh.  😊

Now that we’re officially into Fall, for many of you it’s time to do the wardrobe switch-over.  What a royal pain that can be, but it’s a good time to purge some of those things that you will never, ever wear again.  Make a pile and donate them.  There are people who are in desperate need of clothing.  As my Aunt Irene would say, “let someone else enjoy it.”

On to fun stuff.  I am happy to say LIAR! has been getting great reviews, so I thank all my fans and readers!  AND it’s # 10 on the NEW YORK TIMES Best Seller List!  People really like the brother and sister team, Luna and Cullen.  SANTA & COMPANY is on sale now and is an “Editor’s Pick.”  For those of you who read SANTA CRUISE, you’ll be delighted to reconnect with Frankie, Rachael, Amy, and Nina as they hit the slopes in Lake Tahoe with lots of twists and turns.  (No pun intended…you’ll see what I mean when you read it!)

This month’s contest is a collection of books, including LIAR!, HIDDEN, WEEKEND WARRIORS, TICK TOCK, ON THE LINE, ABOUT FACE.  (Maybe some early Christmas gifts?)

Be well, be safe, be kind, and try to have some fun.

All the best, Fern

September 2023 Monthly Letter

Dear Reader,

Hello again and thanks for visiting.  Even though it’s early September we still have some hot weather ahead, especially if you’re in the South.  I don’t know about you, but when the temperature is about to burst the thermometer, I don’t feel too much like cooking so I will share some easy recipes besides digging into a carton of ice cream.

Kids are going back to school, and I am sure there are mothers and fathers out there who are doing cartwheels!

The cats are still running my life and I am very happy about it and so is Harvey.  He thinks they belong to him.  If you don’t have a pet, you don’t know what you’re missing.  I’m serious.  There was an article in the news a couple of weeks ago about how petting animals can lower your blood pressure and reduce stress, unless you’re awakened in the wee hours when one of them hits the remote and Columbo is in your living room looking for clues.  It’s happened more than once.  One night I heard voices and it scared the bejeezus out of me.  After listening for a few more seconds, I realized it was Opie and Andy talking to Aunt Bea.  If you don’t know what I’m referring to, go to COZI TV.  Great television shows from days gone by.

Before I go any further, I want to advise you of a scam on Facebook.  (What else is new?)  This is the second time someone has used my contest to try to get credit card information from you.  I WILL NEVER ASK YOU FOR ANY SUCH THING.  EVER.  So PLEASE BE CAREFUL.

I also want to thank the people who take the time to write to me.  I cannot tell you how much it means to hear how my books have helped you, whether it’s nights of insomnia, or sheer entertainment.  Please keep sharing your experiences.  I read all your comments.  Recently I received one who has been a fan for many years.  She claims she’s addicted.  LOL.  At least it’s a healthy addiction!

So here we are in September and Halloween decorations are up.  I actually saw boxes of holiday ornaments being offloaded at a big box store.  Time moves too swiftly.  Can we please slow it down a notch?

On the book side of things, LIAR! Book 4 in the Lost and Found Series is on sale now in mass market.  Lot’s of twists and turns and an insider’s view of New York City.

ROCK BOTTOM – Sisterhood # 35 (can you believe it?) library edition is available the end of this month.

A new Christmas hardcover SANTA & COMPANY is coming in October when four friends, Frankie, Amy, Nina, and Rachael meet up in Lake Tahoe for another zany adventure.  FALLING STARS in paperback will also be available.  There are also many e-book promotions that will be running so tune into my Facebook page often.

This month’s contest is for autographed copies of a few of my favorites with a special autumn surprise.

Stay well, healthy, and strong!

All the best,
Fern Michaels

August 2023 Monthly Letter

Dear Friends,

Talk about a hot summer!  The heat, the smoke, the rain, tornados, and the red lantern flies in the Northeast. If you see four men riding on horses (Red, Black, Pale, White) hitch up your pants and run like the wind! But seriously, there is a lot of energy swirling around us. Do you ever feel like you are in the spin cycle of the washing machine? Hang on, my friends. Think good, calm, cool thoughts. We too can be bursts of energy, so let’s focus it on good stuff. I know it can be difficult to find good stuff when you’re dealing with a boatload of chaos, loss, stress, and strife. You name it. But there is always something to smile about. Sometimes you have to look in the most unlikely places. Where? Your friends—I know you’ve got at least one or two—your pets—your family. I try to look at life like I’m watching television. If I don’t like what’s on, I change the channel until I find something amusing, engaging, or entertaining. I suppose that’s why people have hobbies. They are a distraction, and hopefully satisfying. Me? I enjoy diddling in the garden, but the biggest joy are my pets.  (Don’t tell my kids, or the grandkids. LOL.) Speaking of gardening, some of my vegetables didn’t make it through all this heat, but the tomatoes are hanging in there. Literally. It’s a bumper crop out there!

I mentioned this once before about the “Dog Days” of summer. I always thought they were called that because the dogs would look for shade and pant their way through the month. But that’s not correct. The term actually started over a thousand years ago when the Greeks discovered Sirius, known as The Dog Star. Sirius appears in the night sky in August, hence “Dog Days.” Who knew?  The Greeks I suppose.

August 22 will be the release date of LIAR! the third book in the Lost & Found Series. This time Luna gets locked in an armoire and discovers a disturbing message. This leads our main characters on a wild goose chase to find its origins, while they grapple with the mystery of a long ago kidnapping and ransom. They travel to New York for an art opening not realizing the two situations are connected. From “old money” to “new art,” follow them to lesser-known and historical parts of Manhattan, the city that never sleeps. In fact, this month’s contest includes a limited edition of LIAR! and the two preceding titles, HIDDEN, and SECRETS. As a bonus, there are two sisterhood novels, and a stand-alone novel of suspense. And, another bonus is a zippered tote bag to carry all your books, groceries, or whatever you choose.

All the best,
Fern Michaels

July 2023 Monthly Letter

Hello Friends,

I believe I can call you friends.  Friends are people you can count on and rarely disappoint.  You have been extremely kind and supportive over the years and I am truly grateful for it.

This summer has started with a lot of upheaval between the extreme weather in the Southeast and Midwest, and those to the north have had horrible air quality.  The fires in Canada are quite sad.  The fires anywhere are sad for that matter.  I always ache for the animals and hope they can find their way out of it.  Of course there’s the vegetation.  So if you pray, pray we can have a better, balanced world.

Now let’s move on to a few uplifting things.  Fireworks!  I trust everyone followed all the safety precautions.  It reminds me of when I was a kid and boys would throw cherry bombs into trash cans and hope they didn’t blow off their eyebrows!  Ah, the good old days!

Speaking of days, they sure blow by fast.  Too fast.  It’s been three years since I became a crazy cat lady.  Imagine that!  You would think they would have calmed down by now, but no.  Still turning on the faucet, the TV, and using toilet paper to decorate the bathroom.  But guess what?  I don’t care.  They amuse and entertain me and they’re not creating a scene that would require the police.  LOL.

Otherwise it’s been quiet.  Too quiet, to be honest.

The summer will come to a close before you know it, so enjoy what you can of it when you can.  And if you can’t, then make time to do it.  Remember what they say, no one’s last words are “I wish I spent more time at the office.”  So be good to yourselves and each other.  Carpe diem.  (I think I spelled that right.)

There are a lot of e-book specials this month so please check out my FB page for details.  This month’s contest will be a selection of some of my favorite books and a cute little basket.

Be good, have fun, and be safe!
Cheers!
Fern

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