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Don’t eat the candy.

At the beginning of October, I went on a business trip. In an effort to be organized I bought the Hallowe’en candy before I left. I put it on the dining room table and said to my teenagers, “Don’t eat the candy.”.

Riiiiiight.

Yesterday, I had to take time out of a jam-packed workday to buy more. Let’s just say my mood was appropriate to the season.

It would be easy to blame the kids, and while they’re not entirely innocent, this problem started with me. I’m not new here. I’ve been a mother for nearly 20 years. I knew that chocolate had a snowball’s chance in hell of making it to the 31st.

But I was in a rush so I cut corners.

I didn’t take the time or make the effort to hide the treats. Nor did I take the time or make the effort to check on the supplies until the 30th.

Whether it’s Hallowe’en candy, or writing novels, or any other goal we’re trying to achieve, cutting corners is a bad idea.

Cutting corners always means spending more time and money to fix a problem that was entirely avoidable; a problem we tend to blame others for creating.

Valerie Francis

The Mystery of Mrs. Christie

Well, you’re not going to believe this. Reece Witherspoon and I picked the same book for our February book clubs. Sort of.  Late last year, I came across THE MYSTERY OF MRS. CHRISTIE by Marie Benedict and was fascinated by the premise. Benedict writes historical fiction, much like Philippa Gregory,

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Valerie Francis

A Girl Named Howard

This month, rather than recommend one book to read, I’m recommending the entire body of work of one author because Anne Rice, who passed away December 11, 2021, single-handedly revolutionized the role of vampires in literature.  Yes, vampires.  And the impact she’s had is more significant than you might realize.

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Valerie Francis

The Christmas Bookshop

If you’ve had it up to your eyes with holiday preparations and are looking for a light-hearted story to escape into, The Christmas Bookshop, by Jenny Colgan, might be just the ticket. The title is a bit misleading, in my opinion. Yes, there’s a bookstore. Yes, the plot unfolds in

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Masquerade