Sunday, December 24, 2017

Happy Holidays!

I'm taking a break from blogging to enjoy the holidays with family and friends. Best wishes to everyone for happiness, good health, and peace. 

In the meantime, I leave you with words to ponder by one of my favorite Dr. Seuss characters -- "the Grinch!"

(photo c/o

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Do you have a favorite Christmas Song?

During this time of year, you'll hear lots of Christmas music streaming through my house. The other day, when I was having a "writer block/brain freeze" moment, I just sat back and concentrated on the music, a trio of ballads, "O Holy Night," "What Child is This?," "The Christmas Song."

These tunes happened to be several of my favorites. Closing my eyes, I took a deep breath and simply concentrated on the words and melody. When the arc was over -- and the commercial began to play -- my "brain freeze" had defrosted.

Anyone have a favorite Christmas song (or songs!)? Do you gravitate toward the sentimental songs that make you teary-eyed? Or the gleeful ones that make you feel "jolly" and "bright?" Have you ever considered what about that song makes it so appealing?

Enjoy the music, Everyone, and have a great week!

(photo c/o

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Christmas Around Philly!

This time of year always brings back childhood memories for many of us. My most cherished  memory of the season is strolling through the South Philly streets with my Mom and Grandmother (affectionately called "Gram"), and admiring the Christmas decorations and Tree Lightings.

When we were tired of walking, we would stop in Woolworth's (aka "Five & Dime" --  anyone remember those?) for something warm to drink (tea for Mom, coffee for Gram, and hot chocolate for me). Once relaxed, warm, and ready to go, we would trek back home.

Although thanks to the internet, I can admire and share some of the current Philadelphia sights, I do miss strolling with Mom and Gram.

Citizens Bank Park 
(home of the Philadelphia Phillies)

East Passyunk Avenue Christmas Tree

Elfreth's Alley

South Smedley Street

Rittenhouse Square

South 13th Street

Any Holiday memories you'd like to share? We would love to hear them. Have a good week, Everyone!

(photos c/o;;;;;;


Sunday, December 3, 2017

Holiday Books for Children!

'Tis the season for adorable Holiday picture books for children. Few settings are more relaxing than a fireplace, hot chocolate, and sharing a book with the little one in your life!

If you have toddlers, preschoolers, or Kindergarten-age children in your family, check out these reads!

A World of Cookies for Santa 
M.E. Furman and Susan Gal

Travel across the globe and discover the special treats awaiting Santa on Christmas Eve.

Buy Links:


Barnes & Noble:


December's Gift: An Interfaith Holiday Story
Ashley Smith-Santos, Stassie Bitton, and Sandra Salsbury

Clara and her two grandmothers, Bubbe and Grammy, prepare special treats -- and recall memories -- during their special holiday season.

Buy Links:


Barnes & Noble:


My First Kwanzaa
Karen Katz

A sweet introduction to a holiday celebrating the value of family, friends, and community.

Buy Links:


Barnes & Noble:


Have a good week, Everyone!

(Poinsettia photo c/o

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Good Reads Come in Bundles!

The 2017 Holiday Season is here! Relax with a some hot chocolate and great holiday reads. Bundles allow readers to enjoy books in a group, following a common theme, and for a special, bargain price!

My RWA chapter mate, Vicki Batman, has joined an awesome group of authors and given readers the following trio; Season of Magic, Season of Surprises, and Season of Promise.

So, grab your mug, curl up on the sofa, and enjoy!

Season of Magic

Noel Noel Noel by Merry Holly 
Dumped and lonely, is it possible to find love at the local mall? Noelle thinks not, but a chance encounter with Chase Clayborne while Christmas shopping has her rethinking her rigid set of rules, as sparks flare between them.

A Cinderella Christmas by Cara Marsi 
Jessica Gallo no longer believed in fairy tales or happy endings. And she certainly didn’t believe she’d find her Prince Charming at Saks Fifth Avenue. Her Fairy Godmother thought differently.

Matchmaker Matchmaker by Bobbi Lerman
With Chanukah around the corner, is there enough magic left for a matchmaker to bring Molly's cynical heart back to life.

Holiday Disaster by Vicki Batman
The week before Christmas and all is in disarray when a librarian experiences horrible plumbing issues and a Mr. Maintenance Man who isn’t nearly as jolly as Santa Clause. This Christmas is a disaster.

Yuletide Bride by Gerri Brousseau
The Dowager Duchess’s decree that her grandson must marry before Twelfth Night or relinquish his title and fortune sends him into a tail spin. Without any prospects and with only two weeks until Christmas will Stuart Nelson find himself destitute or will he find The Yuletide Bride.

Buy Links:

Season of Surprises

Noelle’s Surprise by Merry Holly, Amazon Bestselling Author
Noelle has a secret. One she doesn’t know how to tell Chase. Married and isolated on the tropical island they now call home, it’s not what she imagined their life would be. To complicate matters, one of the client’s he’s introduced her to has made her intentions toward Chase public. Noelle believes Chase wouldn’t cheat, yet the doubt has been planted. To make matters worse, the women have elected her to the Christmas in July committee. 

Frustrated at Noelle’s unhappiness, Chase has tried everything to combat it. But her mood swings are driving him crazy. When he finds a brochure on plastic surgery, he flips out. His beautiful wife doesn’t need it, nor does he want her to look like the “plastic wives,” of his clients. How can he finish the job and keep her on the island until its completion?

Enticed by a Laird by Gerri Brousseau, Amazon Bestselling Author
She was an Englishwoman of title, and he a Scottish Laird. He captured her heart from the first moment she laid eyes on him, but would her family ever approve? She knew she should forget him and walk away, but how could she when she’d been enticed by a Laird.

Holiday Handbag Extravaganza by Vicki Batman, Amazon Bestselling Author
Christmas Countdown is On! Hunk-a-licious customer, Jack Treadaway, pesters boutique owner, Callie Woods, to locate a vintage handbag for his mother. Too bad the wedge between them is his sister, the meanest girl in town.

Her Frog Prince Holiday by Cara Marsi, Award-Winning and Amazon Bestselling Author
At a Halloween party, uptight gallery manager Bella Cassani lets her friends goad her into kissing a handsome stranger. Yes, a girl has to kiss a lot of frogs to find her prince, but Bella prefers “frogs.” They’re safer than the sexy-but-unfaithful kind. When fate brings the knock-her-hat-off-with-a-kiss guy back into her life, things get complicated.

Chad Prince likes his life just as it is. Working in art galleries, he travels the world with no complicated relationships or family entanglements. There’s more to life than the money and success that were so important to his father, and no woman will betray him again like the last one did. Falling for sexy Bella Cassani is the last thing he wants.

Providence by Bobbi Lerman
Accused of theft, Amy Beale flees a New Year’s party and the detective determined to arrest her. An accident sends her traveling back in time for one last chance to clear her name and find her fate in a love that transcends time and space.

A Day for Destiny by Jane Gale
Destiny’s life is turned upside down after receiving a court summons. A sexy and mysterious man arrives in town throwing her mundane life further into a tailspin. Destiny doesn’t know who to trust or if she should take a chance and risk it all.

Turkish Delight by Madison West
Birthdays have never been kind to Amelia, but on her 28th birthday she receives a birthday gift that changes her life forever when an unexpected work trip takes her to the hauntingly beautiful Istanbul, Turkey in search of a rare tapestry. In a city where East meets West, Amelia finds her past colliding with her future when she unexpectedly falls in love with a fearless world traveler named Owen.

Holiday on the Home Front by Kristin Drew
Betty’s been on the move for as long as she can remember. Van’s a small-town boy turned soldier just days shy of deployment. A chance encounter brings them together for a few spark-filled days before Uncle Sam calls him to battle. Can a new love survive distance? Will her soldier survive the war?

Buy Links:

Season of Promises

Unexpected Holiday Bonus by Merry Holly
CEO Suzette LeBlec has a problem. Well, two actually. She needs a top-notch temporary replacement for her administrative assistant’s maternity leave, and she needs to find a way to outmaneuver a hostile takeover attempt by Mark Adams. To make things worse, it’s almost Christmas, the time when Suzette most feels alone in the world. Too bad that handsome man at the party got away. But when the same stranger applies for the temp job, his almost-too-good-to-be-true credentials set off Suzette’s alarms.

Dirk Harvey worked hard for years to remain anonymous while he built his father’s floundering company back up to its glory days. But when he discovers the stunning woman he’d spotted at a party is hiring, he decides to go undercover as “Dirk Mulligan”, administrative assistant extraordinaire. Besides, he and Suzette have a common problem: takeover King Mark Adams. Maybe they can find a solution together plus a little holiday bonus as well.

The Littlest Angel by Vicki Batman
Lauren MacDonald has always coveted her mother’s ornament, The Littlest Angel. When her mother gave it to another, Lauren embarks on a lengthy search and finds a replacement only to have it snatched from her hands. 

Smith Hancock’s grandmother had a little angel which has gone missing. Finding another at a flea market would make her holiday the best ever. Only a feisty girl is claiming it for herself. 
Can the twosome find common ground and discover the true meaning of Christmas?

A Promise of Forever by Gerri Brousseau
Her virtue is lost, and her reputation in tatters when a twist of fate sends Lady Roxanne Rothchild from London to the vibrant city of Venice, and into the arms of the handsome and intriguing Danté. But she is not the only one vying for his affection. Anna Maria Delafino de Padova will use everything in her power to drive a wedge between Danté and Roxanne and win his favor, including revealing the truth about Lady Rothchild. Will Roxanne be able to put her blemished past behind her and find love, and will she have the courage to reach for a promise of forever?

Bad Luck Partners by Award Winning Author Cara Marsi
Holidays have never brought Las Vegas hotel concierge Laney Sikora anything but bad luck in the romance department. The worst was her fiancé dumping her on Valentine’s Day. Via text. She’s determined to spend New Year's Eve alone with no romantic entanglements. But when her hunky new neighbor locks himself out of his apartment, she can’t leave him standing in the hallway. What's a girl to do?

Las Vegas is just a pit stop for Chicago native and radio personality Chance Carlisle while he waits for his agent to land him something bigger in L.A. But in the meantime, he keeps bumping into—literally—his adorable, but accident-prone, neighbor. Their private New Year’s Eve celebration leads to a plan: they’ll become the Bad Luck Partners, dating only on holidays and special events, avoiding holiday heartbreaks and matchmaking mamas.
But Fate might have something else in mind for the klutzy cutie and the hotshot talk show host. Can their temporary partnership become a forever deal?

Tillie’s Last Match by Bobbi Lerman
Legendary matchmaker, Tillie has one last heart to mend before retiring, but Miriam & Mike may be her hardest match ever. Can she summon the magic one last time to bring the enchantment of love long given up back to life.

A Christmas Promise by Jane Gale
District Attorney Cherry Stevens is rescued by sexy police officer Drake Boarden during an attempted robbery igniting their passion for not only justice but for each other.
A violent attempted robbery at District Attorney Cherry Stevens’ parents’ convenience store has her setting her sights on the city’s crime boss. Finding herself in the line of fire, Cherry is rescued by the sexiest seasoned police officer on the force. 

Buy Links:

(wreath photo c/o

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Relationship Between Romance Novels and Sports Writing...

A popular attraction in romance writing is the use of sports as a background. One of my favorite series is Susan Elizabeth Phillips' reads revolving around a fictional football team, Chicago Stars.

Philadelphia Magazine columnist, Sandy Hingston, penned her November feature on the relationship between Romance Novels and Sports writing. 

For readers and writers of Romance Novels, check out Sandy's "must read" column.

Have a great week, Everyone!

(illustration c/o Kagan McLeod for "Philadelphia Magazine)

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Honoring All of Our Veterans...

Although the official date for Veterans Day, a day set aside to honor the men and women who served in our U.S. military, is November 11th, we started early in Philadelphia by holding a Veterans Day Parade and Festival on Sunday, November 5th.

A good time was had by everyone who attended as we honored the men and women who have served and protected our country.

But, let's not forget our military veterans who were not able to celebrate with us. They're the veterans who are struggling with trauma, addiction, illness, and homelessness. Their service is honorable, and they deserve our assistance and support.

Please offer a helping hand to those veterans. I've posted several websites for information.

Paralyzed Veterans of America

Disabled American Veterans

Wounded Warrior Project

Veterans Multi-Service Center

The Veterans Site

Thank you for visiting today. And, to all of our Veterans, thank you for your service.

(photo c/o

Sunday, November 5, 2017

For Everyone with a "Green Thumb"... and Even Those Without...

While I’m not known for having a “green thumb,” I do appreciate events like The Philadelphia Flower show, spending a Saturday at Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, and strolling through South Philadelphia’s retail landscaping establishment, Urban Jungle Philadelphia. 

Urban Jungle Philadelphia offers an amazing variety of flowers and tropical plants. The staff is happy to assist customers with everything from purchasing a floral centerpiece for a table to reshaping your property. 

I was “browsing” in Urban Jungle last week and got the idea to share the sights with you. If you love flowers and gardens, enjoy the awesome photos!

Have a good week, Everyone!

("love" photo c/o;
 urban jungle photos c/o

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Life Lessons from Dr. Seuss!

As children, almost all of us, have read books written by Dr. Seuss. His wit, charm, zany and sensitive characters have captivated, educated, and entertained children for decades.

But, have you ever stopped to read a Dr. Seuss book as an adult? If not, you should. It's interesting, and thought-provoking, that many of his stories and quotes can inspire adults, too.

Listed below are "Five Life Lessons" from Dr. Seuss (c/o Take a moment to read them, and perhaps one or two (or more!) can apply to your "adulthood."

Have a great week, Everyone!

(Seuss postage stamp photo c/o;
 5 Lessons photo c/o

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Looking for a Writers Conference?

Writers Conferences are occasions to learn from fellow authors, network, and simply have a good time. Since a few events showed up in my email recently, I thought I'd take a minute and share them with you!

Michael Hauge Story Mastery
Sponsored by Saguaro Romance Writers; Saturday November 18, 2017; Viscount Suites Hotel, Tucson, AZ; Theme: How to Elicit Emotion Through Story Concept, Plot Structure, and Character Development.


Desert Nights, Rising Stars Writers Conference
Sponsored by Arizona State University; Thursday, February 22-Saturday, February 24, 2018; Historic Quarter Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ; Genres, Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry.


2018 Spring Fling Writers Conference
Sponsored by Chicago North RWA; Friday, April 20-Saturday, April 21, 2018; DoubleTree, Oak Brook, IL; Featured Authors: Beverly Jenkins, Meredith Duran, Damon Suede plus many more.


Have a good week, Everyone!

(photo c/o

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Halloween Reads for Children!

Halloween, despite the scary movies, is one of my favorite times of the year. I say "times" because our neighborhood civic association sponsors events and activities for the children beginning the Saturday before and lasting until October 31st. Halloween is an occasion for the little ones to dress up and enjoy themselves.

There are many delightful books for children, although they don't seem to get as much attention as Christmas and Valentine's Day reads. While some stories have a teaching goal, most are aimed for children to simply laugh and have good time.

Here are some Halloween theme books that little ones will enjoy!

Room on the Broom
by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler

The witch and her cat are flying through the sky on a broomstick when the wind picks up and blows away the witch's hat, then her bow and then her wand. Luckily three helpful animals find the missing items and all they want in return is a ride on the broom.

Buy Links:


Barnes & Noble:


The Night Before Halloween
by Natasha Wing and Cynthia Fisher

Little monsters and goofy goblins take center stage in this silly, spooky spin on Clement C. Moore's beloved poem.

Buy Links:


Barnes & Noble:


The Biggest Pumpkin Ever
by Steven Kroll and Jeni Bassett

Desmond and Clayton must work together to win the Biggest Pumpkin competition.

Buy Links:


Barnes & Noble:


Have a great week, Everyone!

(photo c/o

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Autumn in Philadelphia...

Autumn or "Fall" is my favorite time of year. The weather is generally cool and crisp and there are lots of outside activities to enjoy before Winter, and snow, creep in!

Here are a few events we look forward to in Philly!

Chrysanthemum Festival at Longwood Gardens

Saturday, October 7th - Sunday, November 19th; A beautiful variety of mums everywhere. A little bit of a drive from Philly, but if you love flowers and gardens, there's no better place than Longwood Gardens.


8th Annual Mums & Mutts Fall Festival

Saturday, October 14; Family Fun in the Park; Games, Contests and Prizes; Raffles, Eagles tickets, Hotel stays, and more! Doggie Costume Contest! Bouncey House, Face Painting, and Arts and Crafts!

Over 15 Local Shelter and Rescues with adoptable pets -- all breeds, ages, and sizes looking for forever homes!

The Bigger-Than-Ever Harry Potter Festival

Friday and Saturday, October 20th-21st; Fortune tellers, crafts, costume contest, live performance and more!


Saturday, October 28th-Tuesday, October 31st; Although the "official" date for Halloween is October 31st, in Philly the celebration begins early. On Saturday, the 28th, most of our neighborhood civic associations hold parades and parties for the children leading up to the "big trick-or-treat event" (on a Tuesday this year)!

Veterans Day Parade & Festival 

Sunday, November 5; Lots of food, fun, and a chance to honor the Veterans of  the United States Military, and give them our thanks.


Thanksgiving Day Parade

Thursday, November 23rd; Even Mickey and Minnie love coming to Philadelphia to be part of our parade! Floats, marching bands, and fun for the family.


Wherever you are, enjoy Autumn!

(Peanuts photo c/o;
 chrysanthemum photo c/o Gardens;
 Mums/Mutts photo c/o;
 Harry Potter photo c/o;
 Veterans photo c/o;
 Parade photo c/o

Sunday, September 17, 2017

A Stroll Through Philadelphia's Society Hill...

When William Penn found Philadelphia, the city was merely two square miles along the Delaware River as opposed to the over 120 square miles it is today. Society Hill is not only a beautiful section of the city, but one filled with an abundance of history.

The neighborhood known as Society Hill was named for the Society of Free Traders in the early 1700s. Influential merchants, the group engineered the commercial interests of the newly formed colony. 

Although perceived as an elite area due to its many prominent residents (including future president, James Madison), by 1776 Society Hill was a diverse neighborhood and home to various social classes.

As lovely as Society Hill is today, that wasn't always the case. Despite its impressive initial days, the area had slipped into despair by the early 20th century. Given that many of the historical buildings remained standing, in the late 1950s Edmund Bacon, (actor Kevin Bacon's dad), a member of the Philadelphia City Planning Commission, stepped in with a plan to bring Society Hill back to its original prominence.

Now a mixture of residential, historic, and commercial sites, Society Hill was one of my recent Walking Tour Strolls sponsored by The Preservation Alliance for Great Philadelphia.

With her impressive research notes, our awesome Tour Guide was eager to share her knowledge. Our tour group consisted not only of Philadelphians, who like me enjoy learning more about our city, but visitors from California and Canada! Our brochure listed over twenty stops. Here are a few of my favorites.

Headhouse Square

Built in 1775, and used as a fire house back in the city's early days. The houses surrounding the square are from the 18th and 19th century and are a mixture of commercial businesses and private residences. Head House Square is popular during the Spring and Summer for holding a variety of Flea and Farmers Markets. The blocks, which I always thought were cobblestone, I learned are actually "Belgian Blocks."

Man Full of Trouble Tavern

Built in 1759, this is the last surviving Pre-Revolutionary War tavern in the city. A short stroll from the river, the tavern was generally patronized by mariners and dockhands. In the 18th century, taverns were more than just the place to meet, drink, and eat. They were also the "go to" place for the latest news. 

The cellar of the building was used as the kitchen, storage, and quarters for the maids and hired hands. Rooms for sailors, who were away from their ships, were on the second floor. 

Society Hill Synogogue

This building has a wonderful history with a heritage of religious freedom (William Penn's goal for the city). Built in 1829, this building originally was home to the Spruce Street First Baptist Church. In 1916 a Roumanian American Congregation purchased the site. The Yiddish words for "Great Roumanian Shul" can still be seen above the synagogue's main entrance.

In 1967 a Conservative congregation acquired the building which was entered in the National Register of Historic Places in 1971. 

Hill-Physick-Keith House

Built in 1786 by Henry Hill (who was also the executor of Benjamin Franklin's will) and purchased by Dr. Phillip Physick in 1790, this is the last freestanding mansion in Society Hill. A respected physician, Dr. Physick is also remembered for inventing "soda pop." The lovely garden, complimenting the house, includes plants common in the 19th century.

As with almost all businesses of the day, Dr. Physick's medical office was in the house where he treated famous patients such as Dolly Madison and Chief Justice John Marshall.

Samuel Powel House

The house was built in 1765. Samuel Powel, one of the colonies' wealthiest men, purchased the home in 1768. Along with being the first mayor of Philadelphia after the Revolution, Powel and his wife, Elizabeth, were respected for their party planning expertise. George and Martha Washington, friends of the Powels, visited the house on many occasions.

The lush narration of the Powel House can be chronicled in its decorative arts assortment, detailed portraits, and lavish garden. Powel died in 1793 during the Yellow Fever epidemic. 

The Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia is a nonprofit organization whose goal is safeguarding historic properties through education and activism. To find out more about their mission, events, and activities, check out Preservation Alliance's website,

Thanks for stopping by, Everyone, and, have a great week!

(photo, Society Hill neighborhood c/o;
 photo, Head House Square c/o;
 photo, Man Full of Trouble Tavern c/o;
 photo, Society Hill Synogogue c/o;
 photo, Hill-Physick-Keith House c/o
 photo, Powel House c/o;
 photo, Preservation Alliance c/o