At last! MEMORIES IN DECEMBER is with my editor and has a release date.

It’s been a crazy long haul to get to this place. I blame Siobhan.

You see, like all my Calendar Girls full-length books, MEMORIES focuses on two vastly different women with two separate plotlines. In this case, my protagonists are Siobhan, and her grandmother, Althea. Perhaps because I’m closer to Althea’s age than Siobhan’s, I found the older lady a lot easier to write. Siobhan was insecure, uncertain, and combative throughout the writing process. I had to get 3/4 of the way through the book before we finally found a camaraderie to finish her story.

Expected release date is November 7, 2019 – just in time for the holidays! Since that’s a long way off, let me whet your appetite with a deleted scene.

“What time should I pick you up?” Dee said when we pulled up outside the rear entrance of my studio.

Opening the passenger door, I slid out of the seat, eager for a clean getaway. “No need. Pan and I are going out after work. She’ll pick me up.”

“Hitting the bars, looking for love on a Saturday night?” She blew air through her pursed lips. “Please tell me you’re at least going to another town and not just hoping to hook up with one of the local losers.”

See what I mean? Nasty. Angry. Judgmental. In other words, perfectly normal for Dee. I flashed a beatific smile. “Actually…we’re going to church.”

Before she could add anything, I slammed the door and sped to the studio. Once inside, I leaned against the back wall and mimed an invisible checkmark in the air. I didn’t often get the last word in a discussion with her, so I always cheered my small victories when they occurred. And we were going to church—well, to the building that housed the church anyway. Pan had agreed to come to the food pantry with me tonight. I wanted to help set up for tomorrow’s Christmas party. It meant a long night of cooking and baking, but I felt a strong call to be there—without Dee or anyone else in my family knowing. Nana would praise me, and honestly, I didn’t volunteer because I was looking for praise. Dee, on the other hand, would sneer and probably make some condescending comments about people having to “pull themselves up by their bootstraps.” She had no idea how hard survival could be for those without a safety net. Snug Harbor, like many other places on Long Island, was no longer the cozy little village our parents grew up in.

Now that I thought about it, I’d only seen a similar level of contempt from one other person besides Dee: Justin’s brother, Jimmy. I had no idea what stirred up former Snuggies that made them so hateful when they returned, whether for good or for an extended visit. Did they think of themselves as failures for coming home? Or did they believe they were somehow better than the rest of us because they’d dared to escape the humdrum life of Snug Harbor—even for a short time? In which case, returning home when the great big world didn’t deliver on the promises they expected probably sucked all the joy out of life for them. Funny, then, considering Justin didn’t seem to share that attitude. There was another item to file under my “Things I Shouldn’t Obsess About but Did” category: Justin.