I am delighted to introduce my dear friend, Ann Whitford Paul, to you today. Ann and I go way back — in fact, she knew me long before I was ever published. Her friendship has meant the world to me, and I am also very grateful for her critical eye when it comes to improving my manuscripts. 
Brew yourself a mug of hot chocolate and enjoy Ann’s post!

Friends and family call me, “Crazy for Christmas.”  They don’t mean it as a compliment.
I start decorating for the holiday right after Thanksgiving.  Nothing gives me more pleasure than spreading the red and green patchwork quilt over my sofa, placing needlepoint and ribbon pillows on the chairs, hanging cloth gingerbread men from our sconces and Christmas pictures about the walls.  I bring out placemats and table runners and even the Christmas China I purchased years ago on sale after one holiday. 
I love the preparations—the baking, and yes, even the shopping and gift-making.  Nothing pleases me more than to set aside my writing and focus on family and friends and what might make them happy.  It’s that rare time of the year when we all think more about others than ourselves.
Of course, this takes work, and I admit that I’ve been getting tired.  Hence this new book 
‘TWAS THE LATE NIGHT OF CHRISTMAS
                       



  The book began several years ago as a Christmas letter.  Instead of writing about our family’s activities, I decided to try something different.  What spilled out was my exhaustion about Christmas—exactly like this mother on the cover.  Someone had to help and the perfect person, the only one who would appreciate the stress on women, would be another woman—Mrs. Saint Nick. (Read Mrs. Saint Nick’s blog here.)
The response to the card was so great, I wondered if it could be a book.  I approached my dear friend and much published illustrator, Nancy Hayashi.  She loved the idea.  I love how she envisioned Mrs. Saint Nick.


We’ve gone the self-publishing route, because our book is not easily classified.  It’s a picture book for kids and adults, too, especially those who like me find the preparation work both wearying and wearing. It will be available as an e-book and also the old-fashioned page-turning kind.  
You can find it at your local store or at www.barnesandnoble.com or www.amazon.com  Check out the darling YouTube video Jane Kcazmarek (mother of Malcolm in the Middle) made for the book.  She also narrates the iTunes Version.