Fantastic Friday: Thankful (Part 2)

I forgot to post this on Friday, so please excuse the tardiness.

After a long weekend of visiting family, I wanted to highlight the simple joys of being together. As an introvert, I can’t help but admit my desire for solitude. But family—blood or adopted—provides a level of comfort that comforts even an introvert.

Whether it’s enjoying a family toast that has become a tradition many-generations long, or introducing a new member of the family to everyone else, there’s something comforting about the ritual of family and celebrations.

While growing up, there were several years during which I was assigned to put the lights on the tree. It’s one of those situations where one is “rewarded” for being good at something by being asked to do it more and more. My dad even jokingly called me Martha Stewart because of the way I string lights. Last year, my parents mentioned that they were going to replace the lights on their artificial tree with LED ones that don’t get hot. Last year, before knowing how exhausting a baby would be, I promised to put 015the lights up for them as an early present.

This year, I held myself to the task (even though they didn’t). It didn’t take that long, and it brought back memories of stringing lights as a teenager. In the meantime, my parents got to reminisce about the way I used to play with kitchen utensils and measuring cups as my daughter played with the same things I did right out of their kitchen drawers.

Now, the tree is lit—and hopefully will stay that way for years, overseeing many more memories. While an introvert is motivated by goals and hard work to attain them, sometimes the greatest motivator is to make sure to appear in the year’s “group toast” photo—or capture the perfect smile of a ten-month old discovering glowing LED lights or really cool orange measuring cups.




crystal-ankh-200x300I’m also thankful for the release of my most recent novel, The Man with the Crystal Ankh. 

You can view my author page over at World Castle Publishing or check out the preorder link at

I wrote it based on my love for the violin and my love of spooky things–especially the spooky atmosphere of New England in the fall.

Everyone’s heard the legend of the hollow oak—the four-hundred year curse of Sarah Willoughby and Preston Grymes. Few realize how true it is.

Sarah Durante awakens to find herself haunted by the spirit of her high school’s late custodian. After the death of his granddaughter, Custodian Carlton Gray is not at peace. He suspects a sanguisuga is involved—an ancient force that prolongs its own life by consuming the spirits of others. Now, the sanguisuga needs another life to feed its rotten existence, and Carlton wants to spare others from the suffering his granddaughter endured. That’s where Sarah comes in. Carlton helps her understand that she comes from a lineage of ancestors with the ability to communicate with the dead. As Sarah hones her skill through music, she discovers that the bloodlines of Hollow Oak run deep. The sanguisuga is someone close, and only she has the power to stop it.

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