A December Update – the Sad and the Good

igloo seating

It’s finally December. I don’t know about you, but December is always my best/worst month. It’s the worst because I hate gray skies, shorter days, and winter chill. I get grumpy. I have to take extra Vitamin D. My mom’s birthday is Dec. 24, and this will be the 11th Christmas Eve without her. She would have been turning 86, and not a day goes by that I don’t think of her.

But December is also my best month because there are decorations, lights, and multiple holidays. It’s also simply a great month to visit with family and friends, and doing so makes this month far less gloomy.

So I’m trying to get out more. I went to see The Holdovers with a friend. No pic of that, but here are some of the other fun things I did this past weekend and early this week:

My sorority alumnae at Grafton Winery, where we ate charcuterie and sat in an igloo to stay warm. Perfect sunset, lovely views of the Mississippi River, and fantastic friends.

Friends together in a warm igloo

Trivia Night for Girls on the Run with one former co-worker, one of my former students and her family and friends, and another one of my former students. We raised money and had fun, and got 88/100, although we’re not sure how. Highly recommend Girls on the Run as a great charity.

GOTR group photo

Also, visiting another of my former students and celebrating some exciting news she had to share (and eating some of the best food ever).

Michele with a student

Speaking of celebrating, I received the cover for One Suite Deal, Love in the Valley Book 4, which debuts July 2025.

Cover of One Suite Deal by Michele Dunaway

Here’s a teaser:

She won’t play anyone’s fool 

But is her new romance life’s biggest ruse yet? 

Lana Winchester hates liars. She’d be appalled to know that billionaire businessman Edmund Clayton III hid his true identity during their snowbound one-night tryst. Learning the wealthy mogul is also her new down-to-earth friend and coworker, Peter, would be unthinkable! Edmund’s undercover-boss reality show demands he disguise himself as someone he’s not. Yet, soon private outings–and passionate kisses–with Lana feel more authentic than anything he’s ever known. Their romantic connection is real despite Edmund’s subterfuge. But can it survive Lana discovering the truth about the “men” in her life?

And finally, Dec. 7, along with a bunch of other milestones, Harlequin celebrated my 25th book release, All’s Fair in Love and Wine. I’m delighted to be in such good company and published by an excellent publishing house.

Harlequin Celebrates 2023

So the highlights of the month definitely outweigh the gray gloom. I hope you have a wonderful and blessed holiday season and a happy New Year, and that you spend it with those you love and doing things you love.

Michele

PS Don’t forget that my St. Martin’s Press books were re-released and that Mr. December, my holiday story set in St. Louis, along with Mr. September is available now. In honor of Mr. December’s work with rescuing animals, I donated to three pet charities on Giving Tuesday.