Wishing You a Happy New Year

Happy New Year, Everyone! 2013 has whooshed on by and 2014 has arrived! Can you believe it?

How did you celebrate New Year’s Eve? Berlin supposedly had the biggest party in all of Europe. Two million crazy people crowded by the Brandenburg Gate, in Pariser Platz, and on down the lengthy stretch of street to the Siegesäule. Insanity!

Since my husband and I aren’t all that into New Year’s we decided to head on out of the hectic city where any Tom, Dick, and Jane can buy explosive rockets and shoot them off closer than you’d ever prefer. And since our Christmas gift to each other was our very first car, we weren’t looking forward to possibly seeing firework litter and dust, smashed champagne bottles, and you name it covering our new car. Berlin can get much too rowdy during this time; but luckily, according to the day-after reports in the German newspapers, there weren’t as many firework-related accidents as anticipated, and “only” a small knife fight occurred at the 2-mil-peep party. (Good grief…) Overall, not bad for that many partying people, but still too much action and potential for accidents.

Eager to avoid the mess, we headed to a quiet town about 3 hours south of Berlin and not that far from the Czech border, near Chemnitz. There we relaxed in the comfort of this charming hotel where we had some tasty food, played some Uno, accidentally became mesmerized by the World Darts Championship on TV (seriously addicting and I don’t know why), and we did a small trek about the woods (where I saw a farm-hand donkey and stared about in childlike wonder, noting for sure this donkey was Shrek’s best bud and had Eddie Murphy’s voice). It was a fun and low-key New Year’s, which is just what we wanted!

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2013 was a fabulous year and I’m really excited about what’s in store for 2014. 2014 will see the seventh and FINAL When Girlfriends… book. Each girlfriend is supposed to have her own story, but I couldn’t help myself and just had to give Sophie a second story. That book will be out winter/spring 2014. I am so excited (and a bit sad) to share that final book with you.

I’m also going to be releasing a new series this year: a chick lit trilogy. I’m really excited to meet some new characters and follow them about on their adventures! I’ve also got a new adult stand-alone novel in the works. So many ideas, so little time!

Just as there will be new books I’ll be writing this year, there will be a handful of books I’m looking forward to reading! Last year I shared my Top 5 books of the year, as well as the Top 5 books I’m looking forward to reading in the new year. Since fellow reader recommendations is the way I find out about most of the books I read, I thought I’d share my faves and interest list with you. Perhaps you’ll find one here you’ll like.

Of the 50 books I gobbled up in 2013 I had quite a few I was over the moon for, but here are just five, and in no particular order.

1. Where We Belong by Emily Giffin

This author is my favorite women’s fiction and chick lit author. This book, her latest one, is really fab. It doesn’t beat her first two, but I think it just might take that third slot. (PS: It looks like it’s on sale for $3.99 right now on Amazon, so score!!)

2. The Stand by Stephen King

Brilliant. Everything this man writes blows me away. He has such a style, such a mastery of language and story-telling. My favorite genre is women’s fiction, and I’m not much the goer for horror or too-far-out-there sci-fi, but pretty much anything King writes I’m sold on, he’s that amazing!

3. How to Eat a Cupcake by Meg Donohue

I scooped this baby up for a bargain price via BookBub and couldn’t get enough. I loved this fun women’s fiction read and have a new author-to-follow on my list!

4. Stolen Without a Gun by Walter Pavlo, Jr.

Totally engaging, and not just because it’s non-fiction. If there’s a true counterfeiting or art theft book to read, it’s usually got major 5-star potential for me. I love those kinds of reads. This book, which is right up there with other intriguing and true theft and crime books, was a page-turner. My husband and I’ve had this book in our shelf for quite some time and finally decided to dust it off. The author actually came to speak at one of my husband’s classes when he was studying for his MBA and gifted signed copies of his book. The author’s decided to turn his criminal past and lessons learned into something greater, sharing his story via his book and guest speaking at universities.

5. My Life in France by Julia Child

If you love anything about Julia Child—her classic cooking shows, her recipes, even that sweet film with Meryl Streep—you’ll love this book. I actually teared up when it ended. A definite must-read!

 And here are some of the books I’m looking forward to reading this year!

1. Mini Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella

I adore all of the Shopaholic books, but haven’t read this one yet. Very excited!

2. Er ist wieder da by Timur Vermes / Look Who’s Back (in English)

Oh the premise… Oh the premise… This is on the top of the charts in Germany right now. I’m going to brave it and read the original version in German. Goodness knows I need the practice!

3. The One and Only by Emily Giffin

As always, I can’t wait for her books!

4. Inferno by Dan Brown

I wanted to read this this summer but too many other books were on the TBR list. Looking forward to it this year!

5. Sugar Spun Sister by Anna Garner

Fellow chick lit indie author Libby Mercer (aka Anna Garner) has just released the first book in her too-sweet-of-an-idea chick lit series. I’ve already got this baby loaded on my Kindle!

What were you favorite books this year? Any on your list for 2014 you can't wait to dive into?

Thank you for dropping by my Blog and thank you so very much for making 2013 such a rocking writing year! I wish you all the very, very best this year!

Happy New Year

Happy New Year and Happy Reading!