Here we are getting ready to welcome 2018 and yet it seems impossible that another year has flown by…and what a year it was!

Although Beyond the Carousel was my only new release in 2017, it turned out to be a year of exciting new ventures, growth and good times with good friends.

The year started off with a bang when the Huffington Post named Baby Girl Best Chick Lit Fiction of 2016, then got even better when the book won the 2017 International Book Award in the same category. That same month, Silver Threads, Book 5 in the Memory House Series, won the Indie Next Generation Gold Medal. Dick and I attended a very lovely Award Ceremony at the Harvard Club in NYC. I was super honored because The Regrets of Cyrus Dodd won the Silver Medal for Historical Fiction.

This year I also entered into three new ventures – the first and most exciting is a three-book contract with Lake Union, the Amazon Publishing Imprint for Women’s Fiction. It has been a whirlwind fun experience from day one. Alicia Clancy, my editor is a Jersey Girl with a Southern background and a love of dogs—can there be a better match up than that? Then I signed with Book Sparks to promote the Lake Union Books and my Publicist, Liane Worthington, is also an ex Jersey Girl. Oddly enough, we all three lived in the Hudson County area. Small world, right? We have laughingly dubbed ourselves “The Jersey Girl Team”.

Lake Union will be publishing two Magnolia Grove Novels plus the brand new stand-alone that is currently a work in progress. The first Magnolia Grove Novel The Summer of New Beginnings will be released on March 27, 2018. The second book is scheduled for the fall of 2018.

And here is some news that is sure to be welcomed by the many fans who have asked for audio books… I have contracted with Tantor Media to publish the first three books in the Wyattsville Series (Spare Change, Jubilee’s Journey, Passing through Perfect) in audio. And the fun thing is, there will not just be a single narrator— Amy Melissa Bentley will read the female roles in all three books and Sean Crisden will do the male narration. I must say I love the idea of having both voices and look forward to hearing them bring these stories to life. No release date yet, but rest assured I will keep you posted.

This past year I also spent a fair bit of time updating my website. I was fortunate to work with an awesome webmaster who made my creative visions come to life in a most beautiful way. If you have a free moment, please stop by for a visit and feel free to roam around and explore the pages. Thanks to his genius programming, the navigation is easier than ever.

CLICK HERE to get Words, Wit and Wisdom

Sugar celebrated her fifth birthday in November and has happily settled into a lazy life of contentment. Although she has calmed down, there was plenty of excitement throughout the year with Facebook parties, recipe contests, magazine giveaways, e-book giveaways and signed paperbacks dropped in the mail. I was pleasantly surprised to find the membership in my BFF Clubhouse doubled this year and according to Facebook my posts were liked by friends 85,000 times. (that’s a whole lot of love to be sharing!) My Goodreads Reading Group now numbers almost 300 and we have begun a quarterly group read. While we haven’t voted on the book for the first quarter, we’re sure to do so within the next two weeks. After a year like this, it will be tough to top it, but we’re going to try. Coral and I have already been working on some exciting new fun stuff including a number of special events, and a dynamite launch party for The Summer of New Beginnings.

One thing you can definitely look forward to is seeing more of me on Facebook… now that I have mastered my fear of Facebook Live Conversations, I plan to give it a go at least once of twice a month…maybe more.

In addition to my reader events, I’ll also be hosting another author get together toward the end of January. When a group of authors get together it is always a fun event and we inevitably end up with tons of new ideas for marketing and reaching out to readers… stay tuned for pictures.

All in all this was a truly great year but there were a few exceptions—Hurricane Irma brought a rushed evacuation and a monumental traffic jam. Kudos to my sweet hubby for making the long drive to Alabama with patience way beyond what I myself had. This summer brought a second disaster when a pipe beneath the foundation of the house sprung a leak and flooded my office. Such leaks take time to fix, so for two months my laptop and I were camped out in the family room.
So I guess you could say the year now ending was somewhat of an emotional rollercoaster ride—but isn’t that what life is all about?

On Sunday night when the clock strikes twelve we will be surrounded by good friends and be filled with good thoughts for the coming year. I wish each and every one of you the same.