How can the holidays be here already? It feels like it was summer only a few weeks ago!
But there’s no denying it: the snowbirds are flocking back to Key West, there’s a cat warming my toes as I write this (more on that below), and holiday movies are beginning to stream. I’m particularly excited to see YA author Ally Carter‘s rom-com starring Brooke Shields and Cary Elwes, A Castle for Christmas, on Netflix:
I feel like we have so much to be thankful for this year. We’re in such better shape than we were at this same time last year (yes, I just read over the entry I wrote around this same time in 2020). Obviously, this year we have VACCINES, and the potential of actually spending the holidays TOGETHER without fear of ending up on a ventilator. That is huge.
And yes, I know many of us experienced losses this past year, but like Princess Mia in Royal Wedding, I’m trying to practice thankfulness and feeling grateful that things aren’t worse.
On that note, after the loss of Allie Cat, He Who Shall Not Be Named In This Blog and I went to the local animal shelter here in Key West (which by the way is wonderful, and staffed by the nicest people) and adopted a new member of the family: 4 yr-old Pearl the Rescue Cat (so called because SHE rescued US from abject despair):
You probably already know about Pearl by now if you follow any of my social media, so I apologize for the repetition. But to me, having a pet in the house is what makes a home, and I can’t wait to give Pearl an amazing holiday, with lots of presents under the tree (none of which will contain catnip because she has plenty of energy already).
For everyone else, I’m planning to get books. And I’m buying them early (and locally) because of all the crazy shipping delays. Since there are so many great books out (Is this because all of us writers were home last year, with nothing to do but write?), you can find something for nearly everyone in your life pretty easily.
Here is just a small sampling of some of the amazing books I read this year that I’m recommending for gift giving. I wish I had room to list them all:
For your Mom/Sister/Aunt/Friend Who Wants To Read Something “Like Bridgerton” Only Not Bridgerton Because She’s Read Them All: Sarah MacLean BOMBSHELL
For your Other Sister/Aunt/Friend Who Adores Contemporary Romance With A Little Angst: Trish Doller Float Plan
For your Other Sister/Aunt/Friend Who Wants a Thriller “Like the show Madam Secretary“: Louise Penny/Hillary Rodham Clinton STATE OF TERROR
For your Dad/Brother/Uncle Friend Who Has Probably Already Read It but He’s Going to Exchange Anything You Get Him Anyway: James Patterson/Bill Clinton THE PRESIDENT’S DAUGHTER
For your Drunk Uncle/Conspiracy Nut (every family has at least one. Mine has several): Michael Lewis THE PREMONITION (although truthfully, he probably doesn’t read books, only watches YouTube videos.)
For your Anxious College Age Niece: Julie Tieu THE DONUT SHOP (this adorable book is like a guide to navigating life after college, so she will love it)
For your High School Age Niece: Danielle Paige THE RAVENS (you will look so cool if you get her this)
For your Elementary School Age Niece Who Reads Above Her Grade Level: Rachel Vail BAD BEST FRIEND
For your Fun Friend Who “Has No Time To Read”: Rachel Smythe LORE OLYMPUS (she won’t be able to stop reading this, then will want all the sequels)
For your Friend Who’s Obsessed With YAs Set in Boarding Schools: Emily Arsenault WHEN ALL THE GIRLS WERE SLEEPING
For your Friend Who’s Obsessed With Ren Faires: Jen DeLuca’s WELL MET series
For your Perimenopausal Sister-In-Law Who Keeps Getting Hot Flashes: Dr. Jen Gunter THE MENOPAUSE MANIFESTO
For Your Friend with The Long Flight Home Who “Can’t Find Anything Good To Read”: Zakiya Dalila Harris THE OTHER BLACK GIRL
For Your Friend Who Was Done Wrong By His/Her Man: Laura Lippman DREAM GIRL
For Your Friend Who Wants to Read What Princess Mia Thermopolis is Reading Right Now: John M Barry THE GREAT INFLUENZA
Sorry to anyone who’s book I left out! There were/are SO MANY good books this year!
And if you’re looking for books by me for the Meg Cabot reader in your life, and would like SIGNED copies (and/or personalized), you can order them from Books and Books Key West which also happens to be an indie non-profit bookstore (a qualified [501(c)(3)] charity) set up and co-operated by none other than famous author JUDY BLUME (as well as other community-minded Key West citizens).
Judy Blume at her day-job
All you have to do is visit the online Meg Cabot page at Books and Books KW, select the book(s) you’d like, and let the store know how you’d like the books personalized (or if you’d only like them signed). You don’t even have to speak to anyone if you don’t want to, you can write the instructions on the comment section when you order.
Then leave the rest to Books and Books! (The store is happy to ship internationally, so no worries about that, either.)
ORDER by 6PM EST on 12/7 in order to guarantee arrival by 12/25 (domestic orders only)! You can still order after 12/7 for arrival by 12/25, but you’ll have to pay for expedited shipping. The store cannot guarantee arrival dates for international shipping (this includes Canada).
If you’re interested in purchasing a Meg Cabot book for someone in your life and are looking for a guide on which of my books are appropriate for which age range, click here.
Now for some frequently asked questions:
Q: What is happening with The Mediator Netflix series?
A: It is on track! Sarah Spillane, the writer/director, is finishing up her current project, True Spirit (which is not about ghosts).
Q: What is happening with The Princess Diaries movie?
A: I have no idea. As soon as I hear anything, I’ll let you know!
Q: Do you have any new books coming out?
A: I do! When there’s a formal announcement, I’ll make sure to pin it on my Twitter/Insta and also mention it here in my blog.
Q: Will there be more Corona Princess Diaries?
A: More are written! Just figuring out whether it’s better for them to be posted here or in some other format.
Q: What are you working on now?
A: I’m trying to catch up with the HBO show Succession. But my favorite show for the year so far is Evil on Paramount (and Netflix)! We are living in an amazing golden age of TV – or is it streaming? I don’t know but I love it!
Q: I can’t afford to buy a new book. Do you have any other suggestions for holiday gifts?
A: Yes! If a book is out of your price range right now, don’t worry! You can still get that special someone a literary gift. Send a self-addressed stamped envelope (SASE) to my PO Box (address below), and I’ll return it to you filled with the autographed bookplates (indicate how many you’d like, and if you’d like them personalized), and maybe some other swag pictured here while it lasts (jewelry not included)!
Send the SASE to:
P.O. Box 4904
Key West, FL 33041-4904
Send your SASE now (RIGHT NOW) so it can be sent back to you in time for the holidays, and so that you can then give the enclosed items to your friends/loved ones!
(PS If you feel like you’ve seen this before, that’s because I posted it last year…and the year before…and the year before that. I sort of like that while the world around us has completely changed, LITERALLY THIS ONE THING HAS NOT CHANGED AT ALL.)
Please stay safe during this holiday season! And get your booster shot. I’m very much hoping to see you in 2022!