A gift from Ireland

Hello from Ireland! Joe and I just arrived at a small cottage on the southwest coast, within walking distance of some great restaurants and shops. It’s a great place to write! Of course we’re doing lots of walks and hikes, too.

Yesterday I found a great little gift to add to our giveaway celebrating the tenth anniversary of the launch of my Sharpe and Donovan series. A pair of Hanna’s Bees small Irish-made pillar candles: “These beautiful hand-rolled beeswax candles burn with a gentle flame and release a sweet and comforting scent of honey and beeswax.”

Here’s a photo I took at our cottage:

Have y… Read More

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It’s July! Hiking, book deals and summer reading

Happy July! Happy summer!

June ended with a heat wave even here in our corner of Vermont but it’s cooled off now. Our crew will be here for Fourth of July weekend. Our granddaughter, Niamh, five, specifically requested fireworks this year; they were canceled last year. We’ll spread out a blanket in the grass and watch the show.

We’re also planning a hike this weekend, and more hikes this summer. Last week, we visited the Vermont Institute of Natural Science. Raptors, reptiles, woodland trails and the popular “canopy walk.” The kids had a great time! So did the a… Read More

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Running, Writing and June Book Deals

May was a whirlwind and now it’s mid-June. Almost summer! It’s a great time to be on our hilltop in Vermont. I just chased a woodchuck out of the rose garden and watched a hummingbird flutter among the flowers. I was on a quick break from writing.

Yes, I’m writing!

I know it’s been longer than usual between book releases, and I appreciate the notes from readers wanting more books. It’s happening! I’ve been in “deep work” mode, as well as spending quality time with my ailing mother and my young grandchildren.

And training for my two half-marath… Read More

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April Flowers and April News

Happy April! I love these early spring days. Daffodils and tulips are popping up here on our hilltop in Vermont, near Quechee Gorge. Tulips are risky with the critters but fingers crossed. I’ll report back.

I’m writing, as always, and look forward to finally talking more about what I have in the works. Yay!

I do have some news. Print-lovers, Finding You will be back in paperback on October 26. It’s one of my early single-title romantic suspense novels. Jayne Ann Krentz called it “A delicious read. Bright, sassy and romantic.”  You can pre-order your copy toda… Read More

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It’s maple-sugaring time in Vermont

The maple sap is running here in Vermont, a sure sign of warming temperatures. Too warm, though, and the sap stops. We don’t want that, not yet, anyway. We still have a lot of snow on our hilltop in Vermont but we are seeing more bare spots. Buckets to collect sap are picturesque but tubing is more efficient and more common now. Either way, we love the results! Pure maple syrup.

I’ve mentioned maple-sugaring in several of my books, including my Black Falls trilogy, set in Vermont. Cold Pursuit is on sale in eBook this month (March) for just $1.99.

Happy spring!

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The promise of February

As I type this, I’m watching the snow fall on our hilltop in Vermont. Just took the photo below. It’s quiet and still, with no wind. And it’s warmer than it was this past weekend. A great day for writing, and perfect conditions for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. I’ll get outside for sure.

Not terribly exciting but that’s okay. “Deep work,” as Cal Newport would say, is happening, and I’m never bored, even as I think about roses in the garden instead of in vases. March will be here soon, and spring.

Like so many of us, I’ve learned th… Read More

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Happy 2021!

Here’s to a happy, healthy, fulfilling New Year to you and yours!

All the best,

Carla

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Merry Christmas!

Wherever you are, whether you’re on your own this year or with family or friends, I wish you a merry, merry Christmas!

All the best,

Carla

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A recipe for hot chocolate

When we were growing up in small-town New England, my six brothers and sisters and I would spend hours sledding on the hills behind our 18th-century house (a work-in-progress!). We’d come in pink-cheeked, usually with snow in our boots and cold, and inevitably our mother had a big pot of hot chocolate simmering on the wood stove. What a way to warm up!

I’ve made lots of hot chocolate since then, for adults as well as children. I’ve used mixes but prefer to make it from scratch. Since my father was Dutch, I’ve tended to use Droste cocoa. King Arthur Baking Company, its head… Read More

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A recipe for mulled wine

On a chilly winter evening, Joe and I love to have a pot of mulled wine simmering on the wood stove. Not only is it delicious as we read or warm up after snowshoeing or cross-country skiing, it fills the house with wonderful scents.

Here’s the recipe included in my Swift River Valley novella, “Christmas at Carriage Hill.”

Ingredients

2 bottles of dry red wine
1-2 orange(s), sliced into “circles”
1/3 cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup brandy
1/4-1/2 cup sugar (to taste)
8 whole cloves
2 cinnamon sticks
2 nutmegs, cracked into pieces

Preparation

Combine all the ingredient… Read More

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