Happy St. Patrick’s Day! And a Review!

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An Old Irish Blessing for you on this beautiful morning:

May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind always be at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
and rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.

And, if you’re feeling up to it, head over to Long and Short Reviews. They posted an awesome review for Dark Tide Rising this week. Rated 4 out of 5 Books!

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Valentine’s Day and Fried Chicken

I’m a romance writer. I’m supposed to be jumping for joy that there’s a day reserved for celebrating the unique love you and your significant other share, right?

Right.

At least that’s what the stores would have me believe. I went grocery shopping today and was slammed with a wall of red and white the instant I stepped in the store. Dozens of roses screamed to be bought for $19.99. (They’re beautiful, sure, but I’d much rather have roses given to me when my significant other doesn’t feel obligated to buy them or be shoved into the “all-my-other-friends-husbands-got-roses-for-their-wives-why-didn’t-you?” category. Boxes of candy perched on the edge of racks for $16.99. (They’re delicious, but they’ll also make you feel worse when your pants feel tighter next week.) Everywhere I looked fluff-stuffed squirrels smiled at me eerily, holding signs that read “I’m nuts for you.” (They’re cute, but really? I mean…REALLY?)

That’s when I realized I’m a realist. I’m practical. I don’t need to buy my husband chocolates when I know I’m the one who’s really going to be eating them. I don’t need a special day to tell him I love him or that he’s “beary special” to me.

So I did what any real, practical wife would do. I bought all the fixings to make his favorite meal. (I’m frying chicken as I write this.) Haven’t you heard the saying “the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach”? Well that’s where I’m aiming. (Little side note: the first time I got my hubby’s attention is when we were in high school and I offered him my sandwich–we were on a field trip and the lunch provided was peanut butter and honey sandwiches. I hated honey–still do.)

Today, tonight, forever, don’t go for the “easy”. Don’t buy the card and do the usual. If you normally buy flowers, offer to go for a walk, pick some, pull a pre-planted ribbon out of our pocket, tie it around the stems and give it to him or her. (Husband can take credit for that one.) Spice things up. If you normally go out to eat for special occasions, eat in. Offer to do the dishes. Do something meaningful. Give a foot rub without having to be asked. Put effort into something that will make your significant other happy. Because when your partner realizes that you didn’t take the easy-cheesy store-bought-romanticism way out, THEN you’ll be jumping for joy. And it won’t be because of the red-swamped holiday infused with love-firing cherubs. It will be because on this day, you’ll feel closer to your partner than you were the day before.

Come to think of it, that’s how every day should be lived, and loved. Don’t you think?

Christmas Traditions

Christmas Eve is at the Miller house this year, as its been the last five. I decided against the traditional turkey and potatoes dinner and went with a more Italian feel (although we’re Portuguese, not Italian). We’re having mozzarella sticks, sourdough spinach dip bread bowls, lasagna, green bean casserole, french bread, and a salad fit for a king. I’m making everything from scratch (minus the casserole–thank you Best Mother Ever). Should be delicious, traditional or not. I’ve spent three days shopping, cleaning and prepping for TODAY where (after this blog post) I’m going to park my feet in front of the oven for five hours.

There is one tradition that will remain the same this year: Every year I light a bunch of different candles and sprinkle them around the house. At the end of the night I go around snuffing them all out…but the last candle, the one perched on the living room window sill, gets blown out by the youngest at the party.

After everyone leaves, Santa will stay up way past midnight watching some old Christmas movie on TNT (PLEASE let it be Christmas Vacation this year!) and struggle to put together the kids’ gifts for Christmas morning. Some things never change…

Whether your Christmas is full of the lovely familiar or nontraditaional food and new-to-you family, the Miller clan wishes you and yours the merriest of season traditions.