Have you found that the early Thanksgiving this year has made the holiday season seem a tiny bit less frantic? I have for sure. I feel I’ve had more time to shop, prepare, menu-plan, and endlessly review my holiday to-do list. Less insanity all around.
I’m planning on spending another holiday season with my husband and kids at our home in Uruguay and I’ll admit, it’s gonna be kind of WEIRD for me. I love being away from the cold, and it’s a choice my family and I have made to be there. But the holidays are not a big deal in Uruguay so at moments it can seem like the world has shifted on its axis. No tree! No yule log! No cheese with port wine added! One crazy little thing I do to make it feel more like the Christmases of my past is pack bayberry scented candles because they remind me of one my mom burned once when I was young.
Since my husband and I stopped exchanging holiday gifts years ago and my kids are on budgets, I don’t have high expectations in terms of presents–which is fine with me–and yet still, I ended up with a really big, wonderful gift this month. I’m signing a terrific new contract with my publisher, Harper Perennial! And thus, I’ll have plenty more books in the pipeline. Hey, I’m sorry, but you can’t get rid of me!
All kidding aside, I hope your holidays are all you hope they’ll be. See you in 2019!
What I’m Cooking/Serving
The Most Delicious Olive Oil Cake
I tried my first piece of olive oil cake lately–from a bakery–and loved the taste and moistness. I never expected to end up with a perfect substitute using an online recipe, but hey, that recipe produced an even better cake than the first one I sampled. I’ve been serving it with whipped cream and toasted sliced almonds or mascarpone frosting. Or all it by itself! Seems perfect for this time of year.
Salad Nicoise Sans Romaine
If you follow me on Facebook, you know I’m a huge salad Nicoise fan. So what’s a girl to do when they yank Romaine from the shelves because it’s suddenly dangerous? I experimented and made one this past weekend with Bibb lettuce and added a little Radicchio and endive for crunch. Not bad at all!
My 6 Favorite New Mystery Authors
I’m a fan of so many authors of mysteries and psychological thrillers and I eagerly await their next releases. But this year I ended up discovering a bunch of great new authors. Consider putting them on your list.
Susie Steiner: Her two procedurals (Missing, Presumed and Persons Unknown) feature a flawed but captivating and very smart female British detective. Can’t wait for the third.
Caz Frear: The protagonist of her wonderful first book, Pretty Little Lies, is also a flawed but captivating and very smart female British detective, but totally different. The writing is so smart. Can’t wait for the second.
Mary Kubica: Kubica has been around for a while–her gripping debut The Good Girl was published in 2015–but I somehow only discovered her this year. What a find!
Catherine Steadman: Successful British actress who wrote a can’t-put-it-down thriller this year, Something in the Water. Not fair to have so many talents!
A.J. Finn: His book The Woman in the Window was an instant #1 New York Times bestseller this year because of so much pre-publication buzz. If all the hype has somehow discouraged you from buying, don’t let it. Twisty and compelling!
Liv Constantine: Actually Liv is two sisters. Their first effort together, The Last Mrs. Parrish, is absolutely delicious. Lots of evil surprises are waiting for you.
Until next month,
Christmas came early for me this year!
A box of galleys of Such a Perfect Wife arrived in early December.