Grateful for the Season – December 2016 Kohano Newsletter

In this holiday edition of the Kohano Newsletter –ice-sculpture

  • What the holidays mean to me
  • Yes, I love fruitcake!
  • Last minute gift ideas

Topics to dwell on!

Happy December and whichever holidays you celebrate, my friends!

It seems creativity and its results are all around us at this time of year.  From things we cook or bake to things we make, sounds when we lift our voices or hearts when we lift up a stranger, the things we can do to benefit our microcosm of the world surround us with the perfect occasions to make things beautiful.

With these possibilities come, dare I say, gratefulness.  It’s easy, perhaps too easy in today’s society and after the kind of whirlwind year our country and the world has had, to want more.  And yes, I want more too, but in an effort to be a better person, I’m focusing on more of the gratefulness stuff.  You know what I’m talking about.

More respect.  More trust.  More love.  More peace.

Some might call me a Pollyanna for dreaming about such things, and that’s fine with me.  I made a choice in my adult life to believe the best of people first.  If that trust proves to be unfounded in the end, I treat it as a life lesson.  It doesn’t mean I become suspicious.  Quite the opposite!  The more I open my heart, the more love I find in the world.

So reach treeout a hand in a creative way that makes sense for you and embrace someone who’s day might not be going as well as yours.  Smile widely at the harassed checkout clerk at the grocery store.  Make a funny face at the crying baby waiting with you at the airport terminal and give its mom or dad a compassionate wink.  Lift your voice and sing a carol, even if you’re off key, to lift the spirits around you – and your own.  None of this costs anything but your time and a teensy bit of effort.

Most of all at this time of year, I’m grateful for all of you.  I call you my friends because that’s how you feel to me.  Your support allows me to follow a dream.  I wish that same wonder for all of you.  Find a dream, a passion, a reason for living that makes you smile and lifts your soul.  And live it in some way every day.

Merry Christmas with wishes for an amazing and wonderful 2017!



Yes, I Love Fruitcake!

You remember the old Johnny Carson joke.  There’s only one fruitcake in the country, and we all pass it from house to house.  The last one stuck with it each year loses!  Why does this tasty treasure warrant such comic abuse?

History records fruitcake in use as early as the 8th century, ancient Roman times.  It served as a means to preserve food for long marches into battle.  I’m sure the use of spirits to raise spirits during said battles wasn’t a bad idea either!

No matter what you’re ethnic background, there’s a fruitcake in your heritage.  Let’s run through some common names:  Panettone (Italy), stollen (Germany), Christmas cake (historical Commonwealth countries), gâteau aux fruits (France and other non-English-speaking countries), keks (my ethnic Poland), black cake (Caribbean).  Whether you smother it in rum (Bahamas), marzipan and icing (Britain), or honey (India), the basics are consistent.

fruitcakeSpongy or dense dough.  Nuts.  Dried, candied and fresh fruit.  Sometimes citrus zest or cocoa or chocolate.  Soak the fruits in spirits, or douse the whole cake in spirits – or both.  Sometimes there is a “surprise” inside, like a toy or coin, and the person who finds it (hopefully without breaking a tooth) has particularly great luck in the new year.  Or there’s a fava bean inside (Portugal) and the founder has to pay for the cake next year!

But seriously, a well-made fruitcake filled with goodies and spices is a treasure to eat.  In my case, they are gluten-free and filled with local nuts (filberts) and fruit (fresh cranberries and dried blueberries and raisins) and things from my happy place, Hawai’i (dried pineapple).  Oh yes, and there’s a touch of rum, my friends!

Whatever version you enjoy (or not), may your holidays be filled with sweet surprises!  Interested in my gluten-free recipe?  Drop me a line on Facebook or Twitter or via email.


Last Minute Gifts – Ebook Box Sets Available!

Take advantage of discounted prices for sets of the first Flynn’s Crossing books.  Boxes available for books 1-2-3 and 4-5-6 (plus, for Kobo users, a bonus novella in each).  Pictures of Redemption is always free, so the first set is only $5.99, and the second is $8.99.  That’s 25% off!  Here are the links to Kindle (1-2-3 and 4-5-6) and Kobo (1-2-3 and 4-5-6).

Just Released – MIND ETCHED

As the evil visions arise unbidden, Psychologist Katherine Draper can do little to block them. Can she use the links etched in her mind to venture deeper into the darkness and destroy her enemy? Even if she succeeds, she may never again call her mind and her soul her own. Available on Kindle and all major ebook platforms and coming in paperback.

Need a nudge toward the holiday spirit?

Check out Love and the Christmas Tree Nymph(Read the first chapter for free here.)  If a Christmas tree gets chopped down in the forest, does a man who believes the pen is mightier than the saw come back in one piece?

Here’s Vince’s first person account of the adventure, and his tale of the Christmas tree nymph’s love from long ago. Enjoy the magic of a holiday tradition, with a whole lot of love and sugar added in!  (Available exclusively as a Kindle ebook.)


Fun Facts about December

What’s not to love?  In addition to being the home to our many happy holidays, December is also National Cookie Day (the 4th – did you celebrate?), Read a New Book Month (I have suggestions above), Human Rights Month, Calendar Awareness Month, and (no surprise) National Fruit Cake Month!  The month takes its name from the tenth month in the Roman calendar, the Latin word decem

To stay informed, follow me at (fiction), (creativity tips), and on Facebook and Twitter to learn what tickles me about being a writer.



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