Sunday, November 30, 2014

Holiday Happenings In Philly!

There are two times of the year when I'm especially excited, and proud, to live in Philadelphia (affectionately known as "Philly"). Those times are July 4th and the Christmas Holiday Season. On the 4th, I'm honored to be in our nation's birthplace. During the Christmas Holiday Season, "philly-folks" are whizzes at making things beautiful and fun.

If you're in -- or around -- the Philadelphia area over the next few weeks, you might want to check out these fun events.

Christmas Light Show (Nov 28th through Dec 31st)

Come to the historic Wanamaker Building, see festive lights, hear holiday music and be part of a Philadelphia tradition that's over a half century.


Dickens Village (Nov 29th through Dec 31st)

Located in The Egyptian Room of the Wanamaker Building, walk through 26 lovely, artistic scenes from Dickens' The Christmas Carol (one of my favorite Christmas stories!).


Franklin Square Holiday Festival (Nov 13th through Dec 31st)

A winter beer garden, holiday market and fantastic light show (the latter of which was motivated by the ingenuity of Benjamin Franklin). Evenings at Franklin Square are great during the Holiday Season.


Neighborhood Lights/South Philadelphia (through Jan 6th)

In South Philly, the 1600 block of South 13th Street is known as the "Miracle of South 13th Street." The dashing, spectacular lights hung on the homes on this block are a holiday treat for folks (like me!) who enjoy walking through the streets and seeing the decorated homes.


Longwood Gardens Christmas (Nov 27th through Jan 11th)

Located in Chester County, Longwood is beautiful at any time of year. But even more so at Christmas! A Longwood Gardens Christmas features plenty of lights, poinsettias, and decorated trees.


Christmas in Peddlers Village (Nov 27th through Dec 28th)

Located in the Philadelphia suburbs of Bucks County, the village at Christmas time is known not only for its shopping and restaurants but for its beautiful and merry decorations.


The Mummers Parade (New Year's Day)

No one who lives in South Philly can talk about the Holiday Season without a mention of the parade that dates back to 1901. Folks line up along Broad Street to cheer, sing and strut to the marchers who make the best, festive music.

If you’re planning a trip to our great city, now or in the future, and need information on events, hotels, or restaurants, visit,

If there are any special activities, or traditions, your community enjoys over the Holidays, please feel free to share.

Have a great week, Everyone!

(photos c/o,

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!

As I prepare for our Thanksgiving holiday, I'm "thankful" to all who visit my weekly blog and follow me on Facebook and Google+. I'd like to wish everyone a wonderful and peaceful week, and a very happy day on Thursday!

(Photo c/o jessalrene and

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Love You, Pooh Bear!

"How do you spell love?" 

"You don't spell it, you feel it." 
...Winnie the Pooh

If you're a visitor to my Facebook page, you know that I often post quotes and pictures of my favorite children characters, Winnie the Pooh and friends. I still have Winnie picture books, Winnie figurines, and my stuffed Winnie. As a child, I loved my "Pooh Bear" who was always there whenever I needed a cuddle or a hug. As an adult, I realize that my affection for the characters in the Hundred Acres Woods stems from their friendship and loyalty to each other.

Some people may not know that Winnie was inspired by a real life bear. 

This week I came across a couple of reviews for a children's book, due to be released in January, Winnie: The True Story of the Bear Who Inspired Winnie-the-Pooh by Sally M. Walker, John Voss and Jonathan D.Voss. I'm counting the days until January to read this book. In the meantime, all you Winnie fans (and I can tell by the post reach on my FB page there are lots of you), I've included the book's description, the Publishers Weekly review, the Kirkus review, and the Amazon and Barnes & Noble links for the book.

"Promise me you'll always remember: you're braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think."
...Christopher Robin 

Publisher Weekly

Kirkus Reviews

"If there ever comes a day when we can't be together, keep me in your heart, I'll stay there forever." 
...Winnie the Pooh

Winnie: The True Story of the Bear Who Inspired 
       by Sally M. Walker, John Voss, and Jonathan D. Voss

Who could care for a bear?

When Harry Colebourn saw a baby bear for sale at the train station, he knew he could care for it. Harry was a veterinarian. But he was also a soldier in training for World War I.

Harry named the bear Winnie, short for Winnipeg, his company’s home town, and he brought her along to the training camp in England. Winnie followed Harry everywhere and slept under his cot every night. Before long, she became the regiment’s much-loved mascot.

But who could care for the bear when Harry had to go to the battleground in France? Harry found just the right place for Winnie while he was away—the London Zoo. There a little boy named Christopher Robin came along and played with Winnie—he could care for this bear too!

Sally Walker’s heartwarming story, paired with Jonathan Voss’s evocative illustrations, brings to life the story of the real bear who inspired Winnie the Pooh.

Available for Pre-Order


Barnes & Noble

Have a great week, Everyone!

(photos c/o

Sunday, November 9, 2014

A Salute to Our Veterans!

I had an uncle who returned from World War II with a great sadness and immense respect for those who didn't return, and a lifelong commitment to help his fellow military personnel and their families. Throughout the years my uncle was consistently active in his VFW post. He organized events for the post, ran errands for those veterans who had challenges getting around, and collected canned goods and toys at Christmas time. 

After my uncle retired from his carpentry job, he would drive Vets who could no longer drive themselves to their doctor's appointments, and he spent a couple afternoons during the week reading to those who lived in the VA nursing home. My uncle would eventually become a resident of that same nursing home, and he passed away this summer at the age of 89.

There are few greater sacrifices one could make than to leave his/her home and family, go off to a strange country, and make it their mission to keep those of us who live in this country safe.

Two simple words mean a lot to folks who deserve to hear them. So, not only on November 11th, but any day you happen to pass one of our military members, please don’t forget to say those two words. The words, “thank you.”

If you like information on organizations that help our military service personnel, I've noted a few websites.

Disabled American Veterans

Paralyzed Veterans of America

Wounded Warrior Project

The Veterans Site

USO (United Service Organization)

If you have a Veterans' organization that you'd like to add to this list, please feel free to note in the comment section. If you have a story to tell about your special Veteran, please share. We'd love to hear it.

Have a great week, Everyone!

(photo c/o

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Conference Update

A huge "THANK YOU" to everyone who shared my blog post last week announcing the release of Running to Love. I'm so grateful.

Writing conferences are wonderful opportunities to learn from other writers, meet industry insiders, network, and share our experiences. Listed below are some upcoming events that may appeal to my fellow writers.

Eckerd College Writer’s Conference: Writers in Paradise 2015, Boca Ciega Bay at Eckerd College, St. Petersburg, Florida; January 17-25, 2015; FMI,

San Francisco Writer’s Conference, Mark Hopkins Hotel, San Francisco, California; February 12-15, 2015; FMI,

Pages to Publication sponsored by CRW Chesapeake Romance Writers; Williamsburg Regional Library in Colonial Williamsburg, VA; March 14, 2015; $10.00 discount for early registration by February 14, 2015; FMI,

2015 California Dreamin’ Writers Conference sponsored by OCC RWA, LA Romance Authors, San Diego RWA, East Valley Authors; Embassy Suites, Brea, California; March 27-29, 2015; FMI,

Have a great week, Everyone!

(Photo c/o Scarab and