Happy Holidays and Horn Tooting from the Middle East

 Happy holidays to you, wherever you are and whatever you celebrate.

Happy holidays to you, wherever you are and whatever you celebrate.

Just barely in time for the holidays, I am happy to announce that the Mystery Times 2015 anthology has published--and I'm in it! My 2nd-place story, "Pesticides Can Kill You" features a farmers market master who goes too far.... Pick up this short story plus seven other spine-tinglers in Mystery Times 2015, in paperback or as an ebook. What a perfect last-minute gift!

The Aramex delivery guy (he's our local version of the FedEx guy) showed up this morning with the one small box of presents that I ordered for my husband for Christmas. We don't do much here for the holidays (a tiny tree, a couple of poinsettias, a plastic sprig of mistletoe hung from the ceiling), much to our immense relief. We both dreaded Christmas in the States, with its rush and pressure and that nagging sense that whatever we bought, whatever we did, it wasn't quite up to standard. No more! I hope that when we leave the Middle East we can take with us this pleasantly minimalist new style of celebrating, which (ironically, but of course) feels more genuine and brings us closer to our "family" of friends here. 

This year a couple of girlfriends and I are planning a feast of Chinese dumplings and roasted duck for Christmas dinner. Another friend is organizing a Christmas dinner on the beach. We did that ourselves a couple of years ago, putting together a big sit-down supper on the sand, and then lounging around the fire into the evening. It was great! I think we spent thirty bucks on presents that year, but it was one of my most memorable Christmases.

However you choose to spend your holiday, I wish you a peaceful and happy day.