Dear Readers ~

If your winter was anything like ours was, here in Southeastern Pennsylvania, you’re probably as delighted as I am at the return of clear blue skies and warm sunny days, and everything that comes along with spring. I’m particularly fond of this time of the year — both of my daughters were late spring babies, and my favorite flowers — peonies — bloom in abundance. I actually went outside and counted the other day — we have sixteen peonies of various colors planted here and there, mostly around the back yard. My allergies prevent me from bringing them inside to a room where I spend a lot of time, but I do love the fragrance and love to see a few of the luscious blooms in a pretty vase — at least until I start sneezing! Besides the fact that they smell so good and look so glorious, I love the fact that they live for so long — I read someplace that they are the longest living perennials, and I do believe that may be true.

In my garden, I have plants that my mother planted at least 50 years ago at the house where I grew up. Before we sold the property, she made sure that her favorites were dug up and brought here (along with some favorite irises that my late brother and his wife bought for her). Many of you know that I lost my mother two years ago, and having that reminder of her so close to my back door makes me smile and think of her and her love of flowers every time I see them. She was city born and raised, but once she moved to the country, there was no stopping her! But that’s a story for another day...

I also have peonies that grew at the 125+ year old house we lived in for almost twenty years. Before we moved, I divided several of those plants so I could be reminded every spring of that beautiful old stone Victorian and the happy years we lived there while the kids were growing up. There’s one flower in particular that I just adore — it’s the palest pink imaginable and crazy fragrant. I don’t know the name of this peony because it had been planted forever ago by the woman who had lived in that house for over fifty years before us.

These ties to the past, in whatever form, are important to me, because they remind me of the people and places that have mattered most in my life. All of my books are infused with this same sense of connection and the things that connect my characters to their pasts and to each other. In my newest book, ON SUNSET BEACH, which will go on sale on July 1st, these connections inspire and guide the lives of not only my hero and my heroine — that would be Ford Sinclair and Carly Summit — but the people they love and the places they’ve been. How these two find each other — in spite of their pasts which could not have been more different — and how they grow to know and love each other — is one of my favorite chapters in the Chesapeake Diaries. I hope you have the chance to pick it up — if you do, please let me know (or post your thoughts on Amazon.com or Goodreads, if you are so inclined!). I invite you to join me on Facebook — we talk about books (mine and others that I am happy to recommend), favorite TV shows (THE BLACKLIST recaps on Tuesday mornings are always a favorite!), and yes, peonies.

Next up for St. Dennis: Single dad Daniel Sinclair has been busy raising his two children and growing the Inn at Sinclair’s Point into one of the most popular and successful destinations on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. Widowed for lo these many years, he’s had no time to look for someone to spend the rest of his life with. Enter a mystery woman who captures his attention the minute they meet. But the more time he spends with her, the more he realizes he doesn’t know her at all. More about that book later — no title yet — but don’t worry. I’ll remind you when the time comes!

In the meantime, ON SUNSET BEACH is just around the corner AND just in time for that long July 4th holiday — it’s the perfect beach or poolside book. Read excerpts below (posted each Thursday of June), and join my FB page to win a bound galley before the book is released on July 1.

For now — happy spring, everyone! Now go and smell the peonies!






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