January 2023 Monthly Letter

Dear Friends,

Happy New Year!  I hope 2023 will bring you good health, happiness, and blessings.  Don’t forget to count them too.  😊

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 you are aware, scams are in no short supply, and every single one of us is going to be a target.  You can’t escape the attempts, but you can try to arm yourself the best way you can.  I am telling you this because recently someone was asked to pay an entry fee for one of my contests.  I will say this right now, NO WAY.  NO HOW.  I will never ask you for money.

I know very little about cyber security (don’t tell Myra or Charles), but a cyber security specialist gave me this advice about passwords—don’t moan, this is very easy and the scammer hasn’t been able to run code that includes a lot of letters and numbers.  That’s why you’ll see those funny password suggestions.  Here is what is recommended:

Substitute numbers for letters.  For example:

Mister Pickles  would become M1$t3r P1ckl3$

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.

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.  LOL.

Book news:  Tick Tock (Sisterhood 34) has just hit the shelves.  Spoiler alert:  It has nothing to do with TIK TOK.  It’s tick-tock, as in a bomb.  And that’s all I am going to tell you about it.

Be well, be safe, be kind.

This months’ contest is:
A bundle of Sisterhood books that includes the first one (Weekend Warriors) and four recent ones including Tick Tock.

December 2022 Monthly Letter

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.

November 2022 Monthly Letter

Dear Reader,

Thank you for visiting my website.  It’s mind boggling that we are now in the month of November.  They say our universe is expanding as in THE universe, and galaxies are moving faster.  Well I can’t move any faster even if you lit a fire under me!  Ha.  All jokes aside, time does seem to have accelerated.  Perhaps we will be moving faster into a nicer, kinder, gentler world.  Yeah, I can hope!  And that’s what prayers are for.

Thanksgiving plans also seem to be moving at breakneck speed, and before you know it Christmas will be at our door.  It’s exhausting thinking about it, so I won’t—for now.  Although where I live, if you don’t have your holiday decorations up the day after Halloween, they’ll send the ornament police after you!

Back to Thanksgiving.  It used to be a time when families would gather and show their gratitude for their blessings.  Today it’s football, faces stuck to cell phones, video games, and getting ready for Black Friday.  Again, exhausting.  Let’s not forget the stress of inviting annoying relatives.  The upside of having a big family dinner is that you can avoid the pesky ones.  But if you have a small family and you drink, start early.  If you don’t drink, reconsider your invitation list.  Or, pretend you’re going away for the weekend.  Pull the curtains shut and keep most of the lights off.  Maybe leave a newspaper in front of your door to look authentic.

Now let’s talk about Black Friday.  I understand there are lots of bargains, but it seems as if there are sales every other weekend.  Truth be told, you couldn’t get me near a store even if they were giving away a free giant television.  (I’d send my grandson.  He’s young.  He can manage.)  Seriously, I am really grateful for internet browsing, and of course all the shopping networks.  Click here, click there.  Done.

Looking ahead, my advice is give yourself a break.  Boundaries, my friends.    I’ve adopted a new saying: “Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.”  There’s already enough stress to go around the world a few times.  You really don’t have to do anything but be kind.  A simple smile at the person working at the cash register can go a long way.  Appreciation for each other can change someone’s day.

On to all things books.  As many of you know Falling Stars is out now in hardcover.  Santa Cruise a fun, holiday story of four friends and their escapades on a singles cruise is now available in paperback.  Secrets, Book Two of the Lost and Found Series is on the New York Times Best-Seller List!  Woo-hoo!  If you haven’t read the first book, Hidden, don’t despair, there’s plenty of back story, although Hidden sets up the series and the quirky, artsy characters.  Tick Tock, Book 34 in The Sisterhood is coming in December.  Those women are still at it, getting justice when the system fails.  I wish they were real.  That’s why I started the series in the first place!

So, following the topic of all things books, this month’s contest will feature a copy of each book that I just mentioned including the soon to be released Tick Tock!

That’s all I have for now.  Remember, be good to each other and good to yourself.

Stay well, stay healthy and stay strong!

All the best,

October 2022 Monthly Letter

Dear Reader,

Thank you for visiting my website.  I want to start by saying my thoughts and prayers go out to the victims of Hurricane Ian.  We got hammered in South Carolina.  I spent 2 hours sitting in the shower due to 80mph sustained winds.  The storms are getting fiercer, and there is nothing we can do about them except be prepared as best we can.  Makes me want to build a bunker, but it would probably get flooded!  I always worry about a power outage because you don’t know how long it will last.  I have a generator,  but that won’t keep the wind from blowing off the roof.  Yep.  Scary stuff.

The kitty squad is 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!   And then there’s her ability to turn on the faucet.  I swear they have a meeting as soon as I go to bed to decide what havoc they’re going to wreak.  But I have to admit they always make me laugh.  I suppose I’m an enabler.

There’s lots of book news to spread holiday cheer:

FALLING STARS – Hardcover On Sale Now

SPIRIT OF THE SEASON – On Sale Now with new packaging

SANTA CRUISE – Paperback on Sale Oct 25.  I must be psychic because I wrote this 2 years ago and there is a new “REAL” LOVE BOAT show airing this month, too!

People are starting their holiday shopping now because stores have too much inventory from the supply chain backlog.  So be careful out there.  The craziness is about to begin!  It seems like we’ve been living in the spin cycle of the washing machine for a couple of years.  Please try to be patient and kind as you traverse the holiday mania.

This month’s contest is a collection of books including FALLING STARS.

Be well, be safe, be kind, and try to have some fun.   Trick or Treat!

All the best, Fern

September 2022 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.  The summer was so hot I didn’t even bother to attempt a vegetable garden.  According to some friends of mine who live in the Garden State of New Jersey, the only thing that made it through the heat was the corn.  Nothing like a good, buttery corn on the cob.  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 doing cartwheels!  The past two years have been a big challenge for most families, between figuring out how to work from home, and school your kids.  Talk about a juggling act.  Maybe this will be the beginning of things getting back to normal once and for all.

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 have been dozens of studies from accredited health organizations stating that interacting with an animal has shown to decrease levels of cortisol, a stress related hormone.  That helps to lower your blood pressure.  They also found animals help lower anxiety levels.  Of course, they provide companionship and help to structure your day.  You ain’t kidding.  My fur family bosses me around all day long.

On to book news.  Secrets, book two in the Lost and Found Series just hit the shelves and is already a USA TODAY Best Seller.  So thank you to all my fans who bought it and read it.  I was very pleased to see how many people are enjoying the escapades of the characters.  The third novel Liar! will be out next year.

This month’s contest is for an assortment of six of some of my favorites including Hidden (book  one in the Lost and Found series), and Secrets.

Stay well, healthy, and strong!

All the best,
Fern Michaels

August 2022 Monthly Letter

Dear Reader,

I hope this finds you and your loved ones safe and well. Here we are in the “Dog Days” of summer thinking about pooches panting in the heat and searching for some shade. But the true origin of the term comes from astronomy. If you look closely at the night sky, you may notice one star is brighter than the rest. That’s Sirius, The Dog Star, part of the constellation Canis Major, meaning “Big Dog.” This year it will be visible until August 11th. You should be able to see it without a telescope but if you have one enjoy the magnificent sparkling display.

Yes, the cats are on a hooligan rampage again. 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. I think she’s been watching Tick Tock videos with Tessie. Speaking of Tessie (Miz Boo’s Mommy), she is quite talented. She can turn the TV on, and if it’s a show she likes she’ll leave it, but if not, she’ll turn it off. She still hasn’t mastered changing the channel. Yet. She also knows how to turn on the water but hasn’t been able to figure out how to turn it off. It’s a learning curve. I’ve also discovered her favorite beverage is ginger ale. And she must drink it from a straw. We’re trying to figure out how to do a blind taste-test. I’ll let you know how that turns out.

My pillows are no longer my own. Harvey sleeps on one, and Boo sleeps on the other. She is sweet as honey with 3 legs, a club foot, one orange eye and one yellow eye. She’s quite a site but she’s my little baby. I know I mentioned Winnie has taken residence on the dining room table, and that’s fine with me. It seats 12 so there’s still plenty of room for company. If people don’t want a cat at the table they can go somewhere else to eat. My house. My rules. 😊

August is hot and sticky down here. Every year it gets hotter and stickier. I love to sit on my rocking chairs on my front porch but last month it was impossible. I needed a spatula to get up. After 5 minutes of that I decided to hunker down in the air conditioning and watch my fur-family destroy whatever is in their path. Gotta love ‘em.

Big book news:  No Way Out is on The New York Times Best Seller List; Secrets (Book 2 in the Lost and Found Series starring Luna and Cullen Bodman) will be on sale the end of this month; The Guest List and The Marriage Game are being reissued in August and September with spectacular new covers! I’ll save the fall announcements for next month!

It is hard to imagine school will be starting in some states at the end of this month, so the weekends are precious and there is nothing better than a good family dinner, especially a traditional Southern dinner. I wrote about this last year, but it’s worth repeating. Many people turn up their noses to collard greens—I for one, am one of those people—but this is made with bacon. Everything is better with bacon. (I wonder why no one has invented bacon flavored toothpaste…oh well) As I mentioned before, this recipe comes from Ashley Fenimore, a beautiful young pharmacological oncologist who won the Charleston Magazine contest for side vegetables. Her collard greens was the winning recipe!  Ashley is one of those people who work tirelessly in search of the cure for cancer. After a long week in the lab, she relaxes by cooking with her family. Another friend Carolyn Williams gave us her family recipe for fried chicken. And of course, every Southern meal must have potato salad.

Contest stuff:  Everyone seems to be enjoying the contests for a bundle of my personal favorites so we’re going to do that again!

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

Warm regards,

July 2022 Monthly Letter

Dear Friends,

Oh my goodness it’s July already!   I hope you had an enjoyable holiday weekend.  Personally I spent a lot of it hiding in a large closet with the fur babies.  We had torrential rain, and clouds so black it looked like a tornado was about to hit.  Surely we are not in Kansas anymore.  The weather here in South Carolina has been all but consistent.  The only constant is change.  Kinda like life, I suppose.  But seriously, people may not want to acknowledge climate change, but guess what kids?  Climate changes every single day.  We just happen to be experiencing wide swings of it in a very short time.  Call it whatever you want but even the weather people can’t seem to get a handle on it either.  (I want that job.  Get paid lots of money and you can be wrong every single day.  Not bad.  LOL.)

The world surely seems in need of some kind of realignment.  A re-set button so to speak.  Every day there is more to fret about.  I know I’ve said I don’t want to be a Debbie Downer and I won’t.  I’m simply saying while there is a lot to fret about, we need to be strong.  We need to be Bad-Ass.  One of my favorite expressions is “Just because I can, doesn’t mean I should.”  We have to pick our battles and boy oh boy do we seem to have many.  So pick the ones that mean the most to you.  Narrow it down.  Don’t be overwhelmed by the overshadowing cloud of doom.  Imagine if all of us could take a deep breath at the same time and then blow away all the evil?  Now that is what I call a fantasy.  My point is, try to stay positive.  Try to stay kind even if you want to choke the living heck out of the idiot at the head of the line at the post office who never bought a money order before.  Sorry.  Was that mean?  Thought balloons.  Like in the cartoons.  Sometimes I laugh out loud at what’s going through my head and then everyone around me takes a few steps back.  Gives me a little more elbow room.  Ha! Ha!

I am happy to report the latest paperback release NO WAY OUT is # 9 on the NEW YORK TIMES Best Seller List, and I thank all of you for your support.  I cannot tell you how much it means to me that after all the years I’ve been writing, I can still reach people’s hearts, minds, and souls.  So thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Speaking of paperback releases and being a shameless self-promoter (if you know me personally you know that’s a big fat lie.  I have people pushing me all the time 😊),  the second installment of the Lost and Found series SECRETS, starring Luna Bodman and her brother Cullen will be out in six weeks.  So we are going to make that part of this months’ contest.  A bundle of my favorites including HIDDEN the first book in the series, just in case you haven’t started it yet.  I am truly enjoying writing it.  It’s set in the atmosphere of an art center and the eccentric people who inhabit it.  There’s mystery, romance, friendships, twists, and turns.

For the dog days of August I suggest lots of watermelon, sweet tea, ice cream, hot dogs, and corn on the cob, and not necessarily in that order!  Eat what you want, and when you want!


June 2022 Monthly Letter

Dear Friends,

June is busting out all over and so are the magnolias, roses, gardenias, hydrangeas, and some curious mushrooms.  Those I would not trust to eat, but they sure are interesting looking.

I hope everyone had a nice Mother’s Day and Memorial Weekend.  Sadly there seems to be more people to keep in our prayers every month.  It’s important to be thankful for the blessings in our lives even if it’s only having a day with no drama!

Hard to believe we are almost halfway through 2022.  Let’s hope things start to improve soon.  It’s been a heck of a couple of years and none of us are getting any younger!  Try to stay healthy so when the world finally regains balance, we’ll be around to appreciate it!  Geeze.

We have several holidays this month starting with Flag Day on June 14th.  Let’s join together and show our patriotism for our country regardless of politics.  On June 19th we have Father’s Day, so remember to honor your Dad whether he’s still with you or not.  Chances are if he’s not, he’s still keeping an eye on you.

The summer solstice is on June 21st which marks the beginning of summer and the longest day of the year when the sun is at its highest,  most northern point in the Northern Hemisphere.  At the same time, it is the beginning of winter in the Southern Hemisphere.  That’s today’s astronomy lesson.

On to my animal kingdom.  My cat Winnie has decided to make my dining room table his/her new permanent residence.  I know, I know.  How appalling.  Not really.  I have a big table and he/she takes up very little room.  Yes, it seems like I’ve turned into a “Crazy Cat Lady!”  By the way, I’m not intentionally being politically correct with the pronouns because when Winnie first showed up, I thought it was a she so I named her Winnie.  When he/she finally was tame enough to be an indoor cat, the vet gave me the surprising news that Winnie was a “he.”    So now I tell people Winnie is short for Winston.

Oliver the Owl is still trying to cajole Olivia into some kind of tet-a-tete, but she won’t have anything to do with him; and he’s keeping everyone awake with his longing.  Typical male.  Ignore them and they  keep coming back!  Fred, the woodpecker taps out his annoyance with them all day long.  I have to admit it sure beats hearing the sounds of horns and sirens!

I’m excited to announce the paperback edition of No Way Out is now available.  As I mentioned last month, a few comments were, “it ended too soon” and “what happened to Elle/Libby?”  The next sisterhood book, Tick Tock will see the return of Libby, and a few characters from Hidden (Book One of The Lost and Found Series) will also make an appearance.  I hope you become as attached to these characters as I have.

Last month’s contest saw a record number of entries.  Thank you, thank you, thank you!

I think we should reprise that with another bundle of my favorites including No Way Out.

A few more things.  June is cataract awareness month.  Take it from me, if your doctor tells you to have them removed, please listen and take action.  Waiting too long can cause serious vision issues.  It’s also National Adopt a Cat Month; and let’s not forget National Accordion Awareness Month.  Polka anyone?  LOL.

Thanks for visiting.  Hope you come on by again soon.  Be safe, be well, be kind.


May 2022 Monthly Letter

Dear Reader,

Here we are in the month of May.  Did you ever wonder why they call it “The Merry Month of May?”  It would be reasonable to assume it’s because winter is in the rear-view mirror and flowers are in bloom.  And that, my friends, is not far off.  It’s a poem from a play The Shoemaker’s Holiday written by Thomas Dekker (circa 1590) an Elizabethan poet and pamphleteer.  It was first performed in 1599 by The Admirals Men, also known as The Earl of Nottingham’s Men, considered one of the most important acting troupes of The English Renaissance Theatre.  The play depicts everyday life during the reign of King Henry VI.   Here’s the first verse:

O the month of May, the merry month of May,
So frolic, so gay, and so green, so green, so green!
O, and then did I unto my true love say:
“Sweet Peg, thou shalt be my summer’s queen!

One of the lines mentions “Kiss and Toy” so I’ll just leave the rest to your imagination.  But isn’t it nice to know there was real heated romance way back when?  I guess they don’t call some of the more current romance novels “Boddice Rippers” for nothing!

Getting back to this month.  Mother’s Day is coming.  Do something nice for your mother if she is still here.  And if she isn’t, light a candle and say a prayer.  A mother’s love never dies.  And nobody’s perfect.

I have a few additions to my wildlife family.  An owl named Oliver keeps trying to seduce his girlfriend, Olivia all through the night.  He keeps calling her and she answers but she’s playing hard to get.  Then there’s my new alarm clock, Fred the woodpecker.  He’s up at the crack of dawn doing his jack-hammer thing all day long.

On to book news:  A new anthology has just been released called In Bloom.  It’s a collection of three stories, one by me (Amazing Gracie,) Carolyn Brown (The Mother’s Day Crown), and Lori Foster (Meant to Be.) They are novellas about family and motherhood that will make a wonderful gift and introduce readers to new authors.

Next month the paperback edition of No Way Out will be available.  Some of the comments from the hardcover were “it ended too soon” and “what happened to Elle/Libby?”  It makes me happy when people become attached to the characters so in a forthcoming Sisterhood Novel, Tick Tock we will see the return of Libby, and a few characters from Hidden (Book One of The Lost and Found Series) will also make an appearance.  Many children have imaginary friends and so do I.  LOL.

One more VERY important thing, and VERY close to my heart:  May is National Pet Adoption Month.  Please think about our  furry friends and help give one a furr-ever home.

This month’s contest will be a bundle of my recent favorites including In Bloom.

Thanks for visiting.  Hope you come on by again soon.  Be safe, be well, be kind.


April 2022 Monthly Letter

Dear Friends,

Just when you thought things were going to get back to some semblance of normal (even though it seems harder to figure out exactly what “normal” is), people are still losing their homes, livelihood, and their loved ones in Ukraine.  I know the situation is bad for a lot of people all around the world, and my heart breaks every time I turn on the news.  When did we become so uncivilized?  Makes me want to cry.  But I am not going to be a Debbie-Downer and ask that we take a moment to send positive thoughts throughout the world and spread as much loving light as possible.  So remember, when someone at the grocery store is getting on your one last nerve, be thankful.  Be thankful you can put on your pants, shoes, and be able to move about freely.   Never take anything for granted.

According to the calendar it’s officially Spring.  But where?  Even the seasons are a mess.  Many of my beautiful blooms were killed by a frost a week ago, and it’s South Carolina.  I enjoy gardening and it pains me to see lovely azaleas and camellias wilt on the vine.  I hope your gardening efforts are more fruitful.  I may start planting artificial flowers outside.  Just kidding.

This month we have Easter.  Time to color eggs and stuff our faces with chocolate bunnies.  Did you ever wonder how eggs became associated with Easter?  It’s a symbol of new life.  Jesus reborn.  BTW, jelly beans are a symbol of the egg.

Now what about bunnies?  It’s still a bit of a mystery, but it’s thought that since they are prolific little creatures they represent fertility, and fertility is associated with Spring; and it was originated by the Germans who brought the tradition to America in the 1700’s.

Chocolate?  Sometime around 1890, a gentleman named Robert Strohecker made a 5 feet tall chocolate bunny to promote Easter in his drug store in Pennsylvania.  And there you have it!  You will be the best trivia person at the dinner table.

As I mentioned last month, Fear Thy Neighbor, a stand-alone hardcover will be available first week of April.  It’s about a woman, Alison Marshall, who is looking for a place to call home.  She finds something that seems to be is everything she hoped.  But as days turn into weeks, she uncovers a dark side to this supposedly peaceful haven, but something clandestine is lurking among the locals, and once Alison discovers what it is, she faces a stark choice.  It’s intriguing and suspenseful and I don’t want to give any more details away.

We received a lot of entries in last month’s contest so we will be running it again for a signed copy of Fear Thy Neighbor!

Be safe, Be kind.

All the best,