December 2018

Here we are, 2018 is almost spent. I'm writing off the cuff today, the lure of sharing Christmas spirit has brought me to my keyboard. It's been a magical kind of year, one that blossomed by concentrated effort and focus. I'd like to share a bit of it with you before we stroll into the New Years celebrations awaiting us.

I last wrote in July, that's mainly because the subsequent months have held some exciting times for my family. We purchased a home in August, a long-time goal I am happy to have achieved. The cottage (as I often refer to it) is named Relica, a Latin word which I also use as a name for the home my newest character will give her residence. In my research of possible names for both homes, I found four definitions for Relica which I think are applicable in my life and Huldah's.

1. future/further

2. rest of/remaining/available/left

3. surviving

4. to be/owed.

It's really quite lovely, to have sought after something for so long and to feel as if the universe placed it in your life at a precise moment, needless to say our Relica has brought us great joy.

Of course being a teacher, I was also starting school in August. It was happy chaos to say the least. By the time I was unpacked at both home and work with a sense of normalcy reestablished we were entering the holiday season. I blinked and the infamous month of November arrived, which is for most writers National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). During this month I raced against the clock to finish my next novel, Huldah: Daughter of a King. I am positively giddy about this story. The idea and outline have brewed for a long time in my mind. When I sat down to write the story unfolded with miraculous ease. Now, don't get your trigger fingers all set to purchase quite yet. I intend to pitch this young adult fantasy novel to traditional publishers in the coming year. If I don't get a bite, I'll self-publish in 2020.

But what about the sequel to Flowers In Winter, you ask. Have no fear, I'm working on it now with the promise of self-publishing in 2019...provided the universe aligns with my best of intentions. Let me tell you, there are some twists I didn't see coming in the story-line and they are great! Watch for a few hints over the next few months. Oh and yes, there will also be more posts on Liv's Story during the course of the coming year.

Now to what drove me to my desk on this beautiful Christmas's each of you. YOU, my gracious and patient readers have made 2018 a dream come true. The unwavering support and love since I published last January has touched my heart and enriched my life. I can't express what it's like to hear about your love for the characters in Flowers In Winter, to see your anxiety about what will follow for Sarah and her siblings, all while supporting my novice attempts at grasping the weighty responsibilities of authorship. Thank you for coming out to signings, supporting me on social media, and sharing my little creation with those you love. YOU are remarkable!

I can't say goodbye to 2018 or close this open note to you, my friends, without mentioning my great love for a little babe born so long ago. A babe without significance whose name has been had for good and ill in an ever changing world. May we choose to live His message of peace and goodwill toward all of mankind, no matter our affiliations.

Be blessed & Happy Holidays! -J.

God never gives someone a gift they are not capable of receiving. If he gives us the gift of Christmas, it is because we all have the ability to understand and receive it. - Pope Francis

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