So much to celebrate this year … I say hopefully … it’s obvious that we still need to be cautious with the lingering infections still affecting so many. But with that in mind we may celebrate with family and friends after such a long time. Whether your traditions are for Hanukkah, Christmas, or Kwanzaa, or even if you simply celebrate each day as it comes, I hope you find joy in special moments.
One thing that remains constant through good times and bad is the magic of story and the love we all share for books. Books capture our hearts, souls and minds. No matter what genre, they transport us into different worlds that inspire, encourage and often challenge us. They carry us away.
Here’s a quote from the beloved author, Nora Ephron. I’ve shared it before and I’m sure will do so again. I can see you all nodding agreement as you read it.
“Reading is everything. Reading makes me feel like I’ve accomplished something, learned something, become a better person. Reading makes me smarter. Reading gives me something to talk about later on. Reading is the unbelievably healthy way my attention deficit disorder medicates itself. Reading is escape, and the opposite of escape; it’s a way to make contact with reality after a day of making things up, and it’s a way of making contact with someone else’s imagination after a day that’s all too real. Reading is grist. Reading is bliss.”
I love this illustration! I think it says it all, don’t you? Libraries are the heartbeat of communities and the place where children in particular can learn to love reading and exploring every dream. I hope you support your local library and visit often.
And speaking of books, I’m happy to share with you this great giveaway that begins on Monday, December 19th. Click on this link (but not before Monday) to join … good luck!
More book news ~ The First Noël at the Villa des Violettes, is on sale for $2.99 until the end of December. This series was written thanks to all of you! After so many requests from readers of my Provence trilogy to write more about all the characters, this Villa des Violettes mini-series evolved and this is Book #1.
Here’s the blurb: THE LOVE IN PROVENCE CHARACTERS ARE BACK …
Everything was going so well in Kat and Philippe’s life together. Then suddenly it wasn’t.
Roman ruins delayed the work on the Villa des Violettes. The Russian drug gang might be back in the neighbourhood. On top of that, Kat had worked herself into what Molly classified as a full blown “Christmas conundrum.” Kat wanted the holidays to work perfectly as she blended a Canadian Christmas with a Provençal Fête de Noêl for the first time in their new home. Now she’d lost her confidence and, with it, the holiday spirit.
Philippe hoped a weekend trip to the famous Christmas markets of Strasbourg would solve everything.
As it happened, things were about to get worse.
I loved writing all of these books and in this first one I particularly had fun when I had Philippe take Kat to the famous Christmas markets in Strasbourg. Make yourself a mug of mulled win or hot chocolate and sink into the festive surroundings. CLICK HERE FOR YOUR COPY
My next bit of book news … there’s so much to share this month! … is that Book One in the Sail Away series that I mentioned a few months ago, will be available on January 1. Advance readers are sending in reviews now and we are delighted with the response. I really enjoyed writing Lost At Sea, which is Book #8. It won’t be published until March, but you can read the prologue to it in Welcome Aboard.
We’ve got some fabulous giveaways planned with the publishing of each book. I’ll post the details of the first one here in two more weeks. Here’s what the complete series looks like. Great fun!
Did you know December is The Bridge Club Tenth Anniversary Edition’s second book anniversary (bookiversary)? Did the time fly by or what?
Fans of this story know it is the perfect gift for your BFFs! Especially friends who love the game of bridge because included in the book are eight excellent bridge lessons contributed by Canada’s bridge guru, Audrey Grant. It’s a real BONUS for those friends, but you don’t need to play bridge to want to read this story. It’s about the friendship of these women from age twenty onward and the game of bridge is simply a side issue.
Did you read how easy it is to gift an ebook that I share earlier in this letter? In case you missed the instructions, I repeat ~ On Amazon, simply click the link below the words “buy now”, where it says “buy for others.” Here’s the link.
“A deeply touching story about the bonds of friendship, about finding our way, and the ability to dig deep to navigate the most challenging turning points in life. Patricia Sands captures readers from the atmospheric outset, drawing us in to this group of strong women. A poignant tale that left me truly grateful for my friends.” —Alison Ragsdale, bestselling author of Dignity and Grace.
I know this is a longer post than usual but I felt I had so much to catch up on. Here’s a gift for everyone ~ my Gram’s shortbread recipe. Give it a try! It’s simple and delicious!
- 1 lb. salted butter – softened overnight
- 1-1/2 cups golden yellow (brown) sugar (no substitution, Gram insisted)
- 4 cups enriched white flour
In a glass or ceramic bowl, mix #1 and #2 thoroughly by hand (this is important) and then gradually add #3, again mixing by hand, until dough does not stick to bowl.
Flatten with your hand and cut cookie shapes. Add sprinkles if you like. Bake at 330 F for 10 to 12 minutes (depending on oven) on ungreased cookie sheets.
When cookies begin to look golden brown, they are done.
You can decide how dark you like them. Enjoy plain (our favorite) or add sprinkles before baking or icing when cool.
WARNING: these cookies are extremely addictive! Let me know if you try them.
Warmest wishes to everyone no matter what you celebrate. See you in January!