Happy New Year!

Hard to believe another year is gone. 2017 was a wild ride–and ended like a five-star theme park attraction. I’m seriously hoping for a much calmer 2018. I loved the full moon tonight (though my cell phone doesn’t take the best night photos).

My New Year’s traditions are tame. My husband’s work schedule often had him working either New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day, and usually had to go to bed early. As the mother of two, my “New Year’s Eve celebrations often consisted of trying desperately to stay up until midnight long enough to say “Happy New Year!” to myself, followed by desperately trying to keep my kids from attempting to stay up until midnight; to appreciating them trying to stay up with me. I’ve never really done the wild party scene. Some folks in my neighborhood set off fireworks throughout the day/night; it’s more annoying than celebratory–and sets off the dogs. The kids are now teenagers, and will be looking for their own celebrations far too soon. I tell myself some day I will throw my own party–not this year; maybe next.

I gave up on lists of Resolutions a while back–never found them useful or successful. What I do instead is a New Year’s Letter to Myself. It’s a great exercise for writers. Instead of listing all the things you want to change about yourself, or positive traits you want to develop, you handwrite a letter dated a year in the future–so this year, it’d be January 1, 2019. Treat it like one of those letters you get in holiday cards about all the interesting stuff that happened that year. So, if your Resolution list would be things like:

  • Lose weight
  • Organize the kitchen
  • Read more
  • Join  a writers group
  • Finish my novel

your New Year’s Letter would read something like:

Happy 2019!

Wow, I cannot believe what a fabulous year 2018 turned out to be. Who would have imagined?! It started off successfully when I cleaned out all the plasticware that had been taking up space, and found most of the missing lids as well–that let me donate the entire batch to charity. That opened up enough space that I rearranged everything and it is so much more efficient, I’ve started cooking again.

That has an unexpected side effect–I’m down two sizes! Not only am I eating more healthily, I’ve got the energy to start using the stationary bike. I’m listening to books on tape while I exercise, which is giving me plenty of inspiration for my writing.

I couldn’t believe how nice the people in my local RWA chapter are–I not only joined, I’m volunteering. And I’ve taken a couple of amazing workshops that helped me get my book finished. Now I’m interviewing editors and hope to have it out shortly! This year has been amazing!

It’s positive, upbeat, and shows SUCCESS. Note I said HAND WRITE. As in long-hand. Pen and paper. Not just typing it on the computer. This is one of those psychological tricks you’re playing on your brain. If you’ve read any Jack Canfield or Notes from The Universe, you’ll get the idea. What you’re doing is telling your brain all this good stuff has already happened. Yet, your brain “knows” that it hasn’t. So, the subconscious solution is to start finding tons of ways to make all this great stuff happen. Because clearly, it already has. It’s odd, but I find that I’m more successful with this technique than with intimidating lists.

It can be as long or as short as you want, and as wild and imaginative as you want. Use some caution–if it all does come true, you don’t want it to be totally outrageous. : ) Enjoy, and let me know if it works for you! (And no, you never have to share any of these sorts of exercises with ANYBODY. Keep it to yourself.)

And for New Year’s Day, I have previously provided the recipe for a blackeyed pea dip. https://wp.me/p2jJ14-2y I think it’s a Southern tradition that says if you eat blackeyed peas on New Year’s Day, you’ll have luck all year. As I kid, I always used to mutter, “Maybe it’s just if you eat it on the first day, nothing worse can happen to you the rest of the year.” I was NOT a fan of blackeyed peas in any format. I also don’t like spicy stuff. This recipe is both. And I LOVE it. A former boss brought it in after the Christmas/New Year’s break one year, and I was a total convert. Easy to make–you can cut it in half if you don’t have a big crowd. I haven’t tried doubling it–it makes a good amount. Enjoy!!

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Coming soon! PERFECT STRANGER Book 2 of The Foresters

Perfect Stranger CoverI’m excited to announce that Perfect Stranger, Book 2 of The Foresters series, will be available shortly.

You met Whip Forester and got a glimpse of Esme Burke in Past Imperfect. When their lives intersect, things get even more bizarre for the Forester Pack. The Pack had been tracking a killer—but now they’re wondering if they are facing more than one enemy.

Esme Burke’s carefully organized life turns upside down when she becomes the latest victim of a brutal serial killer. Staked out on a mountaintop with no family or friends to even realize she’s missing, Esme is convinced she’s about to die—until a gorgeous stranger appears out of nowhere.

The growing number of bodies on the mountaintop has the local shapeshifter Pack on edge. It doesn’t help that the evidence keeps pointing the police back to their den. Determined to stop the killer, Whip Forester finds himself saving the latest victim—and now they’re both being hunted.

Whip and Esme take refuge in each other’s arms, but when they become entangled in a magical spell, a mad doctor’s plot to clear his family’s name, and the vicious web of a murderer with a grudge, they’ll need more than just true love to survive—especially when they discover their mutual attraction isn’t exactly natural.

There’s magic and murder in the air, and time is running out for the Foresters and their allies.