I have two major traditions that we count on this time of year. One is seeing The Nutcrackerwith my two daughters. We usually see the ballet, but every now and then, we mix it up. A couple of times we saw The Nutcrackeron horseback (the performers all ride horses and do tricks). Yes, it’s as weird as it sounds. This year, we’re going to see a hip-hop version. I’m not sure how well that’s going to go over with my youngest, who dances ballet, but she’s willing to check it out.
While seeing The Nutcracker is a tradition for my daughters, the other tradition is all mine. Every year, my best friend and I get together and bake Christmas cookies that we then give away to everyone we know. We started doing this when we were teenagers, and now, more than 30 years later, we’re still going strong. Through college, dating, first jobs, marriages, babies, divorce—you name it, we experienced it and still got together for cookie baking. It’s quite the production. We usually bake about 25 different kinds of cookie. I’m not sure how many batches total, but it’s a lot.
Over the years, our kids have all had a hand in cookie day. Unwrapping Hershey’s Kisses, rolling dough, sprinkling or decorating, and of course, sampling everything. They count on cookie day as part of their traditions, but it’s a special day for me and my best friend. Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without it.
Because of my own fractured family experiences, I’ve always been drawn to big, rambunctious families. That’s why I write what I do. I believe family gives us grounding and connection in life. Found family is as real as born family and I think my books reflect that.
I am currently re-releasing my O’Learys series about a big, Irish-American family in Chicago. Next month, the beginning of my Daring Divorcees series will launch about friends who all met in a divorce support group and are now ready for the next phase in their lives.
For a chance to win a digital copy of More Than This (O’Learys #1), leave a comment sharing your favorite tradition or your favorite cookie.
I will draw a random winner from the comments by the end of the week.
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More Than This
A sexy bartender stirs up a daily lesson plan for an adventurous teacher…
When she discovers her ex-husband is about to be a father, Quinn Adams is on a mission. Determined to get pregnant without the commitment of a man, Quinn sets out for her own adventure. But everyone seems to think she need to focus on herself first. With a list of challenges compiled but her sister and their friend, Quinn embarks on some life-altering fun.
Her first challenge is to go on five dates within two weeks. After a few disastrous attempts, Quinn’s ready to give up—until sexy bartender Ryan O’Leary offers his assistance. Ryan is the go-to person for everyone in his large family, so it’s natural for him to want to help Quinn. However, as they get to know each other better, friendship with Quinn isn’t enough for him. Now, it’s time for him to show her how serious the Irish can be. Will the bartender quench Quinn’s thirst by mixing up more than she ever imagined?