And it has always been that way. Not because we are doing anything stressful. What can be stressful about seeing family and friends? Okay, let me rephrase that—what can be stressful about seeing friends?
The truth of the matter is that it isn’t a bad thing to try and do too much. It isn’t bad to push ourselves a bit or do a little extra. These shorter days beg for us to do something especially cheerful. But what is bad to not take our time and enjoy the doing of it.
One of the ways I de-stress is with books. Hey, books are the best entertainment bang for under twenty dollars—many times less than five. If you go to your library, they are free. Reading helps you keep real worries and fears in perspective or gives you insights into other people’s lives that you can apply to your own, even in fiction. Perhaps I should say most always in fiction. I always feel revitalized after spending time with characters I love. Plus, I’m one of those read-at-bedtime people. It’s “me” time at the end of a long day.
Right now, I’m helping Sid Halley solve a murder in a Dick Francis book. I’ve just finished Kristan Higgins TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE which will be out soon. Delicious contemporary romance. Sort of a Gilmore Girls meet Susan Elizabeth Phillips. She has three other books on the shelf now that you can enjoy before her new one is out and I suggest you do (look up CATCH OF THE DAY). I also devoured an advance reading copy of a Tracy Anne Warren historical romance that is classic Beauty and Beast titled TEMPTED BY HIS KISS. Warren always delivers a great read.
I have a book out now, too—A SEDUCTION AT CHRISTMAS—that has been, thankfully, flying off bookshelves. It’s the beginning of a new series for me that we are calling “Scandals and Seductions” and will give you a glimpse of how the Regency celebrated Christmas which was very much a family holiday and meant it had to have a few stresses! Avon Books has also repackaged YOU AND NO OTHER, the third book I wrote and my take on the Sleeping Beauty story. I think the covers for both of these books are absolutely divine. Each would make a great stocking stuffer. If you’d like an autographed bookplate, email me your mailing address http://www.cathymaxwell.com/. Let us not forget what great reading weather we’ll find in January and February!
But whatever you do this holiday season, please focus on the people you love. They alone give life meaning. And, yes, they are worth the stress.
So share with me, what books have you been reading? You know I have a radio program titled “Books!” where we operate under the belief folks like talking books and we haven’t been proven wrong. I’m always looking for books (even classic ones) to recommend . . .