Curse You, 2020! You Won’t Win

This year has been something else. Well, that’s saying the obvious, but as we are at the end of 2020, I’m noticing one thing. People still have hope. It isn’t easy, but they do. I have a lot of writing ahead of me and my own wedding and event flower business is booking for next year. (I’ll have more wedding stories to share.) Couples are planning their magical days…brides are purchasing dresses, honeymoons are being booked, and we are talking about flowers again. Perhaps it is the warp speed of a vaccine introduced to kill this awful virus, or maybe it’s just the holidays. You can’t suppress hope. It’s like many of us say–you can’t stop Christmas from coming.

If you read my books (you have, haven’t you?) I try to introduce different religious experiences. Lily’s job in Kansas City, Missouri constantly leads her into different churches and venues. Whether you celebrate Christmas or Hanukkah, all the shopping and running around has a deadline. No matter what’s left on the list, Christmas happens. Hanukkah occurs. You open your presents; you light another candle.

For me, Christmas was the biggest day of the year, well, not really. I understood the gravity of the day, but for me, my birthday was that day I marked on the calendar. You see, I came into the world at approximately 9pm on December 24. Our family always celebrated Christmas at mom and dad’s on Christmas Eve, around five o’clock. My birthday lasted approximately nine hours. I’m not complaining; it was just different.

Now, strangely, I relish my Christmas Eve birthday. My first name is shared with the little girl in The Nutcracker. I always have a stockpile of gifts that are warm from sweaters to mufflers. They light up the city for me, as does everywhere in the world. I invented Hanukkah birthday which is a multi-day treat time. Somedays it might be a coffee, others I might just sit down and take the time to read a book. It is a treat for me. I don’t need to spend a dime. I just need to take the time. Pretty cool, huh?

This year, it will be different. There will be no traveling to family in Florida or Maryland. We are doing minimal shipping and gifting. Church may be online, and our menu of meatballs (our family’s recipe) and spaghetti may be changed up since there will only be a gathering of three. Yes, changes will be made. Wait, a minute. I want the meatballs, darn it. Lily would eat the meatballs. Heck, Lily would have garlic bread too, and wine, or maybe chocolate martinis. Yes please, to all of it.

Do what Lily would do. Eat, drink, drive around for endless hours looking at the Christmas lights all over your neighborhood, town, and city. Have her enthusiasm for those same things. One thing about Lily, no matter what, she always has that sense of hope and of faith that God has a plan. Yes, she grumbled when things weren’t looking up. Yes, she thought she was destined to be alone, but just when she was looking down, a tall stranger came into her life. She had to look up to see his face. Keep looking up, everyone! I’ll see you next year. It will be the best year of our lives…so far!

A Place I Love–The Tulip Terror and Paris

If you’ve read this latest adventure of Lily’s life, you know she is having the time of her life! Devlin Pierce seems like the perfect man (not really), but he does have a few secrets and some quirky behavior. He also never knew how much he enjoys laughing, especially with Lily. I blended one of my favorite locations with some of my favorite things in this book.

Years ago I was blessed to be able to go on a tour of France. Although it was one of the hottest summers, it was the trip of a lifetime. The next time I visited, my niece and I planned a trip to Paris where we rented a flat, and we were mostly on our own enjoying the city. Filling out our traveling party was her daughter and my sister. We were celebrating life. We had just lost our sister and our nieces’ mother and grandmother respectively. We did toast her many times while there.

We remained in Paris, but we ventured out to Versailles, and on another day to Disneyland Paris. We floated down the Seine. We drank hot chocolate at Angelina’s. We went to Sunday Mass at Notre Dame, and we watched the final stage of the Tour De France. It was a magical trip for all of us, especially since we did it together. My sister, who had never been to Europe before, was mesmerized by how the Eiffel Tower was so lacy.

I chose Paris for Dev and Lily because it is magical, and it is one of the most romantic places on earth. I fell in love with the city (Lily does too), and I can’t wait to return. This time, I’d like to save up to stay at the Hotel Regina (used this as the hotel they stayed at in the book).

And can we talk about the food and wine? Where else would Dev take a foodie like Lily than Paris? From street food to beautiful steak dinners and desserts, Parisian food is a sight for the eyes, and a taste for your tongue you’ll never forget. Even pizza tastes better there. The best cup of coffee I’ve ever had was at Disneyland Paris. If you ever visit, just order the regular run-of-the-mill table wine. We never had a bottle we didn’t like! Oh, and we tried several bottles. We weren’t driving.

I could go on and on about Paris. Oh, I’ve heard how rude the people are. Well, it depends on your attitude. They don’t smile very much, but they love their dogs more than children. If you make an attempt to know a few words, they are very helpful and appreciative. The police were amazingly friendly. Of course, we did have a beautiful young lady with us…that helps a lot!

I hope you enjoy The Tulip Terror! I enjoyed writing it, and I love all the new characters who entered Lily’s world. They’ll be back, and I’ll be back in Paris as soon as I can. Au revoir!

The Hibiscus Heist Is Out

It’s true, the second book in THE LILY LIST MYSTERY SERIES, THE HIBISCUS HEIST is here!  You can order your e-book or paperback almost everywhere now on-line.  You can probably order on-line at Barnes and Noble and pick it up in-store.

I hope you enjoy the further adventures of Lily Schmidt.  Prior to Devlin Pierce walking into her flower shop, her life was pretty normal.  Do you ever feel like a hamster doing the same thing over and over in your own private Groundhog Day?  Well, that was Lily’s World, only hers was very organized with schedules and post-it notes to keep her company going.  Her business was her life, but now things have changed.

In this book, Lily has a car stolen, is being followed, and is haunted by the memory of her friend’s murder.  She’s also falling in love with a DEA agent who is usually unavailable, and sometimes she feels he is unattainable.  Her lack of self-esteem keeps holding her back from a life she only dreamed of having.

You’ll also meet a few of Dev’s gang.  Personalities abound!  You’ll meet a crazy ex-Navy SEAL, a married “normal” member of the former special forces unit, and a priest who offers opinions at the drop of a hat.

And of course, Gretchen Malloy, wedding coordinator supreme, is back.  Abby, Lily’s assistant is making her own changes in her life, and we have more weddings!  (All the wedding stories are based on actual events in the life of my family’s business, CLARA’S FLOWERS.)

I can also announce two more books in the series with my publisher, CORRUGATED SKY PUBLISHING.  Our next installment is THE TULIP TERROR and THE SWEET PEA SECRET.

I’m so excited to be writing this great series.  Even though it is my first, there are future books ahead.  Happy reading!

What Are You Reading?

Do you ever get those posts from authors and blogs that ask what book you are reading right now?  I do almost every Friday.  I love the authors that send them out and even some of the publishers.  But when I’m writing I’m really not reading anyone else.  I’m also beginning to to do my taxes for my small business I own so sitting down and reading a book would be a wonderful luxury right now.  It’s been so cold it would’ve been a real treat to sit back with a cozy afghan and a cup of hot cocoa and just turn those pages…I edited my next novel instead.  The snow was just as pretty.  Don’t feel bad if you aren’t reading anything but the back of a cold medicine box.  Sometimes it just has to be that way.  If you are on your third or fourth book of the month, keep on reading.  We authors really need you to do that!  (The Poppy Drop would be a great idea if you need a novel.)

Cold Outside? It’s Getting Warm For Lily

The Lily List Mystery Series is continuing!  Thank you Corrugated Sky Publishing.  Soon, we’ll be announcing information on book number two.  I’m looking forward to more book events around the nation and enlarging my social media footprint.  It is only the beginning.  Lily is finding more adventure in her future and she’s keeping me very busy!  If you have already read  The Poppy Drop, please, write a review on Amazon and/or Goodreads.  It really does help and if you have some thoughts it is very appreciated.  If you loved the book please tell your friends.  Thanks to all and happy reading!