Travel, Interrupted

  Lesson learned in 2018: Perhaps avoid planning travel excursions during the holiday season when people are getting sick and germs are running rampant. Last week, the day after Christmas, for the second year in a row, we had planned a trip to Asheville, North Carolina, with two days in Williamsburg to follow at Christmas….

My Holiday Archenemy

It’s Sunday, and a few days ago we all gave thanks. Truly, I am thankful for so many things in life. I’m blessed beyond measure, and as the holiday season calls upon us to be merry and bright, there is one thing that can inevitably turn me into a Grinch or a Scrooge, if only…

Walking Through the Park and Reminiscing

I was a sophomore in high school and a member of the cheerleading squad. We decided that as part of the Christmas season, we would get together out of a sense of “goodwill towards men” and go caroling. Dressed warmly for the weather, a handful of Christmas carols up our sleeves, we set out upon…

The Power of Being Nice During the Holidays

One of my loyal readers wrote to me earlier today after I asked for suggestions of what to blog about this week. Her reply: “Can you write about why it’s important to be nice to those around you during the holidays? Some people are forgetting that it’s a time for kindness.” Without getting into too…

Cookie Recipes from La Pancia Affamata

If you’re not familiar with La Pancia Affamata, let me acquaint you with it for a moment. In BENEATH THE MIMOSA TREE, my novel, which is set primarily around the holidays, the main character’s mother owns a Pasticerria in Annapolis. The name of the Pasticerria is La Pancia Affamata—translation—The Hungry Tummy. It’s a bakery that…

Conversations With My Daughter & Elf On The Shelf

Yesterday, my family and I went to Washington, D.C. We walked around Georgetown and did a little pre-Christmas shopping. It was a beautiful day to be taking in the sights and sounds of Georgetown, and the place was hopping! Before we left, we were discussing what was in Georgetown to see—and we were talking about…

Mimosa Trees & Christmas Trees: A Letter From A Reader

This morning, I thought I’d share a letter I received from a reader. Dear Stephanie, I read your novel, “Beneath the Mimosa Tree,” and enjoyed it from the first page to the last. It’s such a perfect read for this time of year! While your title reflects something that happened “under the tree,” I wanted…