Merry Christmas, Happy New Year—and thank you!

Every year at this time my editors and clients seem to disappear, and if I’m lucky I can get in a week, maybe two, of decent work without interruptions. But I’m finding it hard to concentrate this morning, the first day back from the long weekend, hence this quick note. There’s no doubt in my mind that 2015 was an annus horribilis for our family. We lost three family members, which impacted the manner in which we celebrated Christmas this year, and the tenor of our thoughts during the entire season.

We also lost precious time in 2015. My output was severely curtailed by caregiving, estate settling, and our own move to a new home late in the year. But we got through it all. A ghostwriting client materialized in the last half of the year, miraculously boosting my own earning. 

Through it all, there were still some bright spots. The Derringer winThe appearance in Best American Mystery Stories anthology. And the belated award for my chidren’s picture book. So I can't really complain. I also managed to complete the first draft of a new novel. Yes, I realize that isn’t saying much. I’m very good at doing first drafts; I have three sitting on my hard drive that are crying out for attention. But when the ghost gig evaporates in spring, I hope to polish this new book and pass on to my agent.

I am incredibly grateful to those of you who have supported my writing and who have taken the time to stop by this blog from time to time. You are among my most loyal readers and followers. Here’s a wish that 2016 is a better year for us all.

When the Puritans Banned Christmas, 1659

The Obfervation of Christmas having been deemed A Sacrilege, the exchanging of Gifts and Greetings, Dreffing in Fine Clothing, Feafting and similar Satanical Practices are hereby FORBIDDEN With the Offender liable to a fine of Five Shillings.

Pursuant to my proposal yesterday, here’s a public notice from 1659 Boston, when the Puritans banned the holiday.


Asheville's Weird and Wonderful Thanksgiving Parade

Happy Thanksgiving!

Think we can get some momentum behind the idea of banning Christmas? Nearly every blogger I’ve read this week has said that Thanksgiving is their favorite holiday. I know it’s mine. It’s probably yours, too. So how about it? No Christmas this year. Let’s just have two Thanksgivings and be done with it. Santa can put in an appearance at the Thanksgiving Parade, but he can’t really arrive. I’m into it.

Above: Some photos from the Thanksgiving Parade in our little mountain town in NC.

Holiday Reminder

Signing Their Rights Away by Denise Kiernan and Joseph D'Agnese

Just a reminder for anyone who is looking for signed copies of my traditionally published books: The best way to get autographed copies is to order them by phone from the two independent bookstores in the town where I live.

Both Malaprop’s and the children’s bookstore Spellbound will take orders, get me in to autograph the books any way you like, and ship them out to you.

Both stores currently have stock on all my titles, and ordering from them is simpler than mailing me the book and having me sign and return it to you.

As always, if you already have a book and would like a signed bookplate, contact me via the contact page. A good season to all!

Yes, I am trying to post here more often. Thank you for noticing. If you want to sign up for my newsletter and claim your collection of free ebooks, go here. Thanks!

Funny Man, Funny Book

Santa in Space by Jack Silbert (published by Golden Books)

Pal o’ mine Jack Silbert celebrates his birthday today. He is perhaps best known for lots of hilarious posts on the Internet, but I like to bring his book, Santa in Space, to the attention of all who want to know the truth behind our beloved mythical fat man. At $3.29, it’s a steal. And hey, Christmas is only about 270 days away...

Yes, I am trying to post here more often. Thank you for noticing. If you want to sign up for my newsletter and claim your collection of free ebooks, go here. Thanks!