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Five Things for Friday

Opening one eye after a day of baking, roasting, rolling, snapping, mashing and stirring to offer a better-late-than-never wish of a happy Friday wherever you are. Goodness, I love Thanksgiving. Even pared down pandemic Thanksgiving. Throw together a turkey sandwich and enjoy the following:


I love picking a word for a week or a month or the year, and trying to find ways to express it in my bullet journal. So I thought for the next four weeks of Advent, I would share with you what I am writing about.

This week I chose Joy, because while it seems in short supply this year, but despite all the changes and challenges, I have found it in the smaller world around me in so many ways.

So here are my five things that bring me Joy.

  1. The birds who visit the bird feeder outside my office window. From the flitting sparrows

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    , to the acrobatic flickers, to the flock of tiny and dainty bush tits who come by once daily. They always make me smile.

  2. Having my family under one roof. What a treat it was this year to have our college son home most of the year. I will always treasure the joy of cooking together.
  3. My garden this year struggled, and yet, it fed us–and watching it grow brought faith and joy to my heart.
  4. Turning on the Christmas lights each afternoon. This is dark season in Seattle, and nothing brings joy more than a string of colorful lights brightening the darkness.
  5. All of you. I had no idea what would happen when I started this newsletter back during the early days of the pandemic. Your emails and notes and ideas have brought me back here every week trying to find the best to share with you. Thank you for the joy of inspiration.


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, what are five things that have brought you Joy recently?


Clearly Christmas cookies are a hit, and since I love baking and sharing, here is our next entry: Yule Crispers, straight out of Grandma’s old shoe box of recipes. As a child, I always found these cookies highly suspect because they had those weird cherries on top.

As an adult, I’ve realized I spent a lot of years avoiding a very nummy cookie. I think Grandma put the cherries on them to keep us kids out. Full of cinnamon, a hint of nuts and the joy of getting to that cherry treat in the middle, they are a delicious cookie to share, or hoard.

No judgments here.


LIVE! Julia Quinn and I will be chatting live on Julia’s Instagram page on December 8th at 2pm, Pacific Time. I have never done this before–Instagram Live, that is. I’ve been chatting with JQ for years. 😉

I would love to have as many of you share in the fun as possible. So if you can make it, join us.


Runneth over with Turkey today? This is my favorite thing to do with extra turkey (short of the perfunctory Turkey Cran Sandwich) is making these Chicken Pot Pies by Ree Drummond (I know, I am on Ree Drummond kick!) with leftover turkey.

What I ADORE about this recipe? It makes enough that I can freeze the extras before baking, and then when I don’t want to cook, I slide these frozen turkeypie-sycles into the oven and an hour later, dinner. Delish.


Do you listen to podcasts? I recently found Plot Trysts! Meg and Laine are hilariously fun as they dissect

, discuss and dig into their favorite historical romances. You can find them on  Facebook, Instagram, and their 160+ episodes are available wherever you go for some listening fun.

If you want to see what they said about me, check out the August 27th episode where they reviewed and discussed The Matchmaker’s Bargain (linked to Apple podcasts). (There is also a January 2020 episode that features His Mistress by Morning, which can be found here.)

Meg and Laine are a hoot! Add them to your listening list.

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P.S. Meg and Laine wondered why my story in the this anthology, The Matchmaker’s Bargain

, was significantly longer than the others, and there is a reason for that–it was meant to fill in the space of two other novellas.

Here’s the behind the scenes tattle: Avon had done an anthology of four authors, but had a hard time finding a spot to publish it that didn’t bump into one of those four authors’ new releases, so they decided to split that book into two projects and add a third author to each of these two new anthologies to fill in the gap.

I got tipped off by one of the authors about the open slots–thank you, JQ– and had really wanted to do an anthology and had the perfect story in mind, so when I got the news on a Friday afternoon, I had my proposal in by Monday morning. I also got the luxury of being able to tell a longer story. Which is why The Matchmaker’s Bargain is so much longer…

But you didn’t hear about that from me.

Have a great week. Stay safe. Wear that mask. I hope to have news of a new book in 2021

, and you wouldn’t want to miss that.

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