Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

As one who loves Ireland, and spent my final semester at UCLA studying at University College Galway on Ireland’s west coast, today is a special day. I don’t celebrate it with green beer or corned beef and cabbage, but rather, I remember all the great Irish and Anglo-Irish writers I’ve studied and read, as well as the wonderful contemporary Irish authors I favor today like Maeve Binchy, Marian Keyes, and my friend, Harlequin Presents author Abby Green. (Check her out, she rocks!)

And also timed with this one of my favorite holidays is a new contest featuring Easy On The Eyes… details at the end of this post.

Things have been so busy and stressful lately that I thought it’s also time to shift my focus from worries to good things, those little things that we might take for granted but shouldn’t as good things–whether big or small– are always good and shouldn’t be lost in the shuffle. So here’s my list of gratitudes:

-my new tires.  They’re awesome.  I forgot how nice driving is when your car actually sticks to the road versus slides across the asphalt.

-the hour I managed to write yesterday when I didn’t think I’d have time to write.  My youngest ended up joining his big brother for water polo practice and after dropping them off at 5:30 I hit a nearby Starbucks for an hour and wrote 5 pages.  A huge blessing.

-The new GPS/stereo/entertainment center I put in my car three weeks ago as a birthday present to myself.  It was a bit of a splurge but its so wonderful.  The screen is huge and I can see the map clearly and hear the directions and the kids love that I can hook up their iPods and play their music.  And yesterday when I needed to find a store and couldn’t find it, the GPS got me there fast, fast, fast.

-Progress on homework.  One son has been struggling in school in a particular subject and he’s managed to bring the failing grade to a C+ and might, just might, be on his way to a B. The blessing is that he is taking responsibility for the bad grade (chose not to study and “forgot” to turn in homework) and is going to twice a day tutorials as well as communicating with teacher better. Yay! Big step.

So tell me a blessing in your life, can be little, can be big, and you’re entered in my St. Patrick’s Day contest.  I’m giving away a copy of Irish author Marian Keyes latest hardcover, This Charming Man, a Starbucks drink card, a See’s chocolate leprechaun, and lots of JP goodies.  Contest ends Thursday night and I’ll post winner’s name Friday morning.

And since many of you like contests, check out the brand new contest I have on my website.  It just started today and it’s a bigger contest than my blog contest and includes a $50 Barnes & Noble gift card among other good things.  While you’re getting the details on my new contest, read the brand new sneak peek of Easy On The Eyes and let me know what you think!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day and blessings to all!

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