A Crafty ChristmasMost of my friends have left me. I feel a bit bereft. Oh sure, I’m thrilled for Sheila, who won a major design contest with a grand prize of a scrapbooking cruise. But I’m not thrilled that she took both Paige and Vera with her. DeeAnn and I stayed at home for different reasons, but here we are in cold, gray Cumberland Creek, while they are off to sail the gorgeous Caribbean.

DeeAnn stayed at home because this is a very busy time of the year for her bakery and I stayed home because it’s Hannukah. My husband Mike and I decided a long time ago that it was important to stay at home with the boys, when we could, for the holidays. So, while I have a great reason for being at home, I still miss my friends.

I have to admit that I’m even a bit worried about them—as is Beatrice, who hates cruises. Given half a chance, she will hold forth about the dangers of cruises and how she’d not go on one if it was the last vacation option available on Earth.

I don’t feel quite that strongly, but I kind of see where she is coming from. Cruises have never been at the top of my vacation list.

But this cruise is special, of course, in that it’s a “scrapbooking” cruise. Many of the world’s most famous scrapbooking and paper craft designers are on board. Paige, Sheila, and Vera will be learning from the pros. That would be interesting. Imagine all that creativity on one ship!

And perhaps the most exciting thing for all of us is that Sheila will be interviewed by several of the design companies. Great things are happening for her. It’s her time and it’s fabulous to witness.

In the mean time, DeeAnn and I look forward to texts and Skype calls from them as they cruise. Modern technology is fabulous. (For the most part.) It does help in keeping in touch. Here’s hoping for smooth sailing for my friends.

You can read more about Annie in A Crafty Christmas, the fourth book in the “Cumberland Creek” mystery series, published by Kensington. The first book in the series is Scrapbook of Secrets.

GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment by 6 p.m. eastern on October 21 for the chance to win a copy of A CRAFTY CHRISTMAS. The giveaway is open to U.S. residents only.

About the author
Mollie Cox Bryan first book in Cumberland Creek Mysteries, Scrapbook of Secrets, was nominated for an Agatha Award for Best First Novel of 2012 and was selected by B & N as a mystery to watch. Other books in the series are: SCRAPPED, DEATH OF AN IRISH DIVA, SCRAPPY SUMMER (e-novella), A CRAFTY CHRISTMAS, and SCRAPBOOK OF THE DEAD (forthcoming 2015).

She is also the author of the regional bestselling MRS. ROWE’S LITTLE BOOK OF SOUTHERN PIES (Random House 2009) and MRS. ROWE’S RESTAURANT COOKBOOK: A LIFETIME OF RECIPES FROM THE SHENANDOAH VALLEY (Ten Speed Press, 2006).

She has worked for years as a freelance food journalist with articles published in Taste of the South, NPR’s Kitchen Window, and Grit Magazine, among others. She lives in Waynesboro, Va. with her husband and two daughters.

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