fireworks 2015 is going out on a decidedly easier note for me than it came in on. But many of my friends are not so lucky. To anyone who’s feeling the pain right now, I offer a shoulder and an ear and anything else I have that you need. This time last year, I was leaning heavily on others, so never feel as if you’re a problem—you are allowing me the opportunity to pay forward all the help I’ve received.

I don’t make resolutions because they’re not good for my mental health. (I end up discussing this every year, so if you’ve been around for a while, this paragraph may sound familiar.) If I “resolve to eat healthy,” I’ll feel guilty when I don’t. Instead, I set goals, A resolution is a destination, but a goal is a journey and different legs of the journey can be taken at different paces. One of my goals in 2016 is to live a healthier lifestyle. That means more exercise and healthier food overall, but it doesn’t leave me feeling rotten if I indulge in chocolate mousse! (My mother makes the most awesome chocolate mousse in the world, so not indulging is not a possibility.)

Speaking of goals, at some point in February (they haven’t given me a specific date yet), I’ll be teaching my SavvyAuthors course,  Planning for Success: Achieving Your Goals of Word Count, Weight Loss, and World Domination Using a Paper Planner. I hope you’ll consider signing up. I’ve added a bit more to it since the last time I taught it because I’ve learned more about goal setting and time division.

Library FlyerAnd also in February, I’m insanely excited to be doing a panel at the Mount Kisco library. That’s one of my other 2016 goals—to get more involved with the Westchester County library system. There are a ton of great libraries in Westchester, and if readers and writers don’t support them, who will?

At some point, I hope to be involved in a similar program for mystery writers as I will be president of the New York chapter of Mystery Writers of America. Eek! The mystery writers, despite their horrifying imaginations, are mostly lovely people, so I am looking forward to spending more time with them.

On the writing front, I have a bunch of projects I hope to bring to you this year.

  • The Gothic I’ve been teasing for a while now
  • The next book or even two in the Harp Security series (I’ll definitely get them both written this year, but their release dates are not up to me.)
  • A short novella in an anthology called Silver Belles, a holiday anthology featuring couples over 40, due out in October of 2016.

There may be more, but that’s what’s on my schedule right now.

I got a new camera recently, so I will probably subject you to more photographs in the new year. I also signed up for the TBR Challenge so I’ll be bringing you commentary on some of the books in my TBR list. If your To Be Read pile is out of control, why not sign up yourself and we can chat about what we read!

Happy Heart imageFinally, I am really pleased to announce that I am one of the founders of a new website called Happy Heart Reads that will be going live NEXT WEEK! On Friday, January 8, we’ll have our first “Happy Hour.” Penny Watson, Lexxi Callahan, and I were talking about how much negativity there was in the world in general and online in particular, and how we wished there were a place where any time you went there people would be supportive and there would be something that would make you smile. Since we couldn’t find one, we decided to start it. Although the site has “reads” in the title, it isn’t (primarily) a book review site. It’s a place for

  • Books designed to give readers the warm fuzzies
  • Movies we love
  • Food & Recipes
  • Hobbies & Crats
  • Puppies (and other baby animals)
  • Music
  • Events

And much, much more. If you’re interested in writing guest posts, we’d love to have you. Saw a great movie? Found a new favorite band? Got a new pet and want to share the pictures? We’re your peeps! Every Friday we will have a happy hour with at least one giveaway. So stop by on Fridays and catch up with the week’s posts.

Want to be reminded when my new books come out, or when Happy Hearts goes live? Be sure to sign up for my newsletter. (You get a free story just for signing up!)