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December 2020

Dear Readers,

Can you believe we're at the tail end of this whirlwind year? Cheers to that! I know the holidays will look different for most of you this year. They certainly will for me. But remember this: Monday is the Winter Solstice and after that, the light lingers a little longer every day. I for one will be toasting to that with my Pomegranate Whiskey Sour recipe, shared at the bottom of this email if you’d like to join me? 

In this newsletter you'll find many exciting updates and details about a very special holiday giveaway that ends Monday night, which you should enter! And as always, there's some inspiration to warm your soul.

Wishing you a cozy, safe holiday with much relaxation and a bright, hopeful New Year!

With Love,



On December 16th, an essay that I wrote in 2007 – before I'd even published a novel! – received new life on the New York Times Modern Love Podcast. It's centered around the holidays, jumping from my foster care upbringing to the December I spent selling Christmas trees out of a shed, to my married life with young children – the happiest of endings, or so I believed then. 

You can listen to the episode, here, which includes an interview with yours truly at the end. I talk love, success, my childhood, and coming into my own. If you prefer to read the essay, you can do so, here.
Graphic by Brian Ria for The New York Times


On December 17, an Audible Original short story that I wrote “Something Cannot Die” was released! It's read by the wonderful Cynthia Nixon and portrays Georgia O’Keeffe, torn between the city that made her and the desert that promises to set her free. 

You can listen to it, here.


The natural world has always been my escape, clearing my head and replenishing my energy. My connection to nature is one of the ways I inhabited the mind of Georgia O'Keefe while working on this story – through our shared love for all that's wild and unfathomable. Once you read When the Stars Go Dark, my novel out April 13th, 2021, you might notice that my protagonist, Detective Anna Hart, also relies on nature as medicine, the thing that returns her to herself. I hope that this holiday season, even if you can't gather with family, you can retreat to the woods or the beach or the park. Sometimes even one short walk can ground you in the world and break through even the bleakest moments of winter.


I'm hosting a special holiday giveaway on my Facebook and Instagram accounts! Two lucky winners will each receive a net galley of my forthcoming novel, When the Stars Go Dark, and a copy of The Paris Wife. This way you can begin reading When the Stars Go Dark immediately and, if you like, I can inscribe The Paris Wife and send it to one of your loved ones as a special holiday gift. Or, I'll inscribe it to YOU!

Click here, to enter on Instagram.

Click here, to enter on Facebook.

Giveaway closes Monday night. Good luck!


Pomegranate whiskey sour — just the right color for the holidays!

•2 oz bourbon or rye whiskey
•1 oz pomegranate molasses*
•1/2 oz simple syrup
•1/2 oz lemon juice

Shake well in a cocktail shaker with plenty of ice and serve over ice or straight up in a coupe glass.

To make pomegranate molasses, simmer 4 cups pomegranate juice, 1/4 cup of sugar and 2 tbs lemon juice for one hour on low heat until reduced to 1-1/2 cups. Will thicken as it cools. Refrigerate unused portion and use your imagination with the rest.


I asked people on Instagram and Facebook how they get through/enjoy the icy months and here are some of my favorite tips. Thank you for sharing!!
  • "When I take down the holiday decor, I make sure to replace it with something— snow houses and snowmen make January a little less gloomy " (from @isabel_edmiston)
  • "Winter is not my favorite, so I stick to taking walks in the morning or evening. I find that the world becomes so calm and quiet when it snows, which is why it probably helps me process my thoughts when I’m outside. Otherwise I spend time at home, baking, reading, writing and listening to music" (from @sejlawrites) 
  • "Remind yourself...cold hard winters are good for keeping bugs populations down next spring" (from @bmbracht)
  • "Snow pants, good boots and determination." (from karensandstrom)
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