Celebrating Successes

Xmas Close upIt’s my favorite time of the year—Christmas and the New Year.  A chance to have the whole family home.  I love to spend time in the kitchen with my kids, apparently that is how I show love—cooking and maybe having a lovely cup of tea.

It’s also time to think about the goals for the New Year.  But before I flip the mental calendar to next year’s task, I want to celebrate this year’s successes.  It’s been a grand year for me.

Professionally, I was a finalist in the Golden Heart—once again.  Golden Hearts smallThe calls are made in March.  I was on the west coast and got the call pretty darn early in the morning.  It was my fifth time as a finalist, almost an embarrassment.  But there is something wonderful about being a Golden Heart finalist.  After much debate, lobbying and voting, the 2014 group took the name—Dreamweavers.  The Dreamweavers are forever friends.  They are the best cheerleaders and pick-me-ups you will ever find.  This is true of all the Golden Heart sisters I’ve been privileged to meet.  The Unsinkables, The Starcatchers and the indescribable Lucky 13s.  These are dedicated writers and I am honored to be included in their ranks.

But the fun didn’t stop there.  I saw many of my Lucky 13 friends at a conference in Chicago.  I also talked until the wee hours with my fantastic agent—Laura Bradford.  When she called on April 30th after having just seen her the prior weekend—I thought she was calling to say the Harlequin had rejected my book.  No!!!  Megan Long bought SOUTHERN COMFORTS!!!

ThumbprintThey kept my title—which was a surprise.  Then there was a whirlwind of revisions, line and copy edits all happening between mid-May and mid-July.

The book released December 2nd.  (Something I didn’t know.  Even though the eBook is released on December 1st, the book birthday is the release of the print form.  Sometimes the learning curve to published author is pretty steep and long.)  I still haven’t found the book on a shelf, but I can hold it in my hands—and that is pretty darn special.

I’m waiting to hear whether Books 2 and 3 in the Fitzgerald House series will be bought by Harlequin.  There’s been a delay because of changes in the senior editor role at my publisher.  It is a thrill to have readers contact me asking when Bess and Dolley’s stories will be out and if Cheryl will get her own happily-ever-after.

Fluffy top

Princess Fluffy Top

Personally, my life has been full this year.  Princess Fluffy Top, my first grandchild was born.  She is such a wonderfully happy baby.  She does like to pass the germs around.  And another daughter is engaged with a Bourbon and Lace wedding now being planned.

We were able to gather all the family earlier in the year and again for the holidays.  Even when there are numerous trips to the airport—it is worth the time just to gather everyone together.  And the out of town children came back and spent time on their own this year.  I was also able to take my annual trip with my sisters—always a highlight of my year.  My hubby and I traveled to see our children scattered on both coasts during the colder months and didn’t have any trouble with storms—always a blessing.  And we also spent time in Savannah—book research!

Prosecco by the fire This year has been the start of some many wonderful things.  It is important to celebrate the successes.  So I will make sure I raise a glass of Prosecco.  Then I will start working on my 2015 goals.