How did it get to be Thanksgiving week already? In my mind, it's still Fourth of July, but the calendar tells me I need to get caught up. One of the things I love best about Thanksgiving—other than the apple pie, pumpkin bread and STUFFING—is the opportunity it gives us all to take a moment remember all the reasons we have to be grateful. My gratitude list this year is a cornucopia of family, friends, readers, books, community and a darling puppy named Brandy who has brought such joy and laughter to my life this year. So without further ado, here is my 2010 gratitude list. Please give me your list in the comments. I'd love to hear it!
1. My Family
This one is rather obvious, of course, but I have been blessed with the loveliest of families. This past weekend, Dan and I had the supreme joy of watching our Emily shine once again on stage. At 15, she is a gifted actress, and I believe her talent is going to take her as far as she wants to go. As she races toward adulthood, there's not a single thing about her we would change (well, except for the landfill she calls a bedroom). And then there is our buddy Jake, 12 years old and into every sport there is. He's recently taken on hockey and is turning into quite the skater. We're proud of him for working harder in school and taking on new challenges for himself by venturing into hockey. We feel very lucky to have two outgoing, personable kids who make us laugh (often inappropriately—they get that from their father, I swear!) and make us proud every day. Dan will tell you that I got lucky in the husband department with "one of the good ones." Don't tell him that I agree. I do have to live with him, you know! In addition to my fabulous foursome here at home, I also am grateful for the continued good health of my dad, who as many of you know is truly one of my BFFs. We are also surrounded by an enormous extended family on both sides, including my unruly posse of cousins (speaking of inappropriate laughter: churches, funeral homes, weddings—nothing is off limits).
2. My Friends
I have the best-est friends—the ones I see every day, the ones I keep up with from afar and all the new ones I've never met in person but who've become such a big part of my life. I'm grateful for the group of high school classmates who've become later-in-life friends, and I so enjoy the time we get to spend together with our families. I said to one of them recently: old friends who are new friends are the best friends, and that is SO true.
3. My Job
I love my day job! In January, I'll mark 15 years as the communications director for AGA. I work with and for great people promoting the worthwhile cause of advancing government accountability. I get to work on all sorts of fun stuff every day, and it's still interesting and challenging after all these years.
4. My Books
Well, 2010 has been quite the year! Did I really sign three contracts with Harlequin or did I dream that? I'm so very pleased and grateful for the success of my Fatal Series. After a tumultuous run (read more about that here) the Fatal Series has a found a home at Harlequin's Carina Press. I'm delighted that Fatal Affair will be released in print by Harlequin in July 2011. Also coming in 2011:
Jan. 3: Fatal Justice
Feb. 1: Everyone Loves a Hero
July 1: Fatal Affair in print
July: Fatal Consequences
October: Fatal Destiny
In addition, I've begun offering some of my other books to readers via Amazon and Smashwords. The first of these is True North, which I posted this week. Here's a brief synopsis:
The first time Travis North lays eyes on Liana McDermott, she’s wearing the most hideous bridesmaid dress he’s ever seen. He doesn't immediately recognize the world-famous super model who is attending her cousin Enid's wedding at the country club he owns. Thanks to Enid's shameless matchmaking, Travis and Liana become acquainted and later embark on a two-week fling intended to be free of emotion and entanglement. As Liana's return to work gets closer, however, Travis wonders how he'll ever let her go when the time comes while Liana considers whether he might be her true north. Two high-powered careers, two amazing weeks and a love that comes along just once in a lifetime. Is she ready to give up her career for a different kind of life? Does he want the same things she does? After insisting on an emotionless affair, she can't very well ask him. Or can she?
5. My Readers
I can't say enough about how much I love my readers. So many of you have become close friends and provide me with endless entertainment and laughter. Hanging out on Facebook with y'all has been so much fun, and I'm thrilled that we formed the book club so we can dish on our favorite subjects, romance and Oreos, every week. It's not lost on me that 2010 turned into such a great year because of so many of you and your support of my books. I KNEW there were readers out there who would love a romance series featuring the same couple in every book. Thank you for proving I was right about that and for embracing Sam and Nick the way you have. I hope you'll enjoy the next books in the series, coming soon!
6. My Dog
Brandy came to live with us on March 16, and for a while there we wondered if she'd blend into our family. Well, rest assured she has more than blended in. She has become an essential part of us, and I couldn't love her more. After losing Consuela last year, I wondered if I could ever love another dog. When Brandy was first here, I tried to protect myself from falling in love again. That didn't work out so well, to say the least. She has wormed her way into my heart (and my bed) and now I can't imagine life without the little devil. One of my favorite things about Brandy is how besotted my dad is with her. She brings him joy. That brings me joy.
I don't drink. I don't smoke. I probably eat too many Oreos. I'm okay with that.
Now, let me hear your list! Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!