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Is it better to give than receive?

Psychologists have discovered that if you receive a gift it makes you happy. If you give a gift, it makes you happier. As someone who has suffered from occasional bouts of depression, I can tell you that sometimes the only way to break out of it is to do or give something nice. That may not surprise you. It feels good to give.

Is there such a thing as too much giving? I think there is... When it's  painful instead of pleasurable. Some people ruin their holidays by rushing around, doing too much for too many. So what if you can't find the perfect gift for Uncle Ed? He'll survive. In fact, he'd probably rather you not go into debt or get into an accident driving around in an ice storm for his present.

This year, instead of Christmas cards I sent the money I would have spent on the cards and postage to one of my pet charities. The Arbor Day Foundation. Because of the many recent wild fires, a lot of reforestation will need to take place.

A gift of $15 will plant two trees. This year, I was able to send $150. That's 20 trees. It may not seem like a lot considering the thousands of acres that burned, but it makes me feel better to know that I've made a contribution. The amount wasn't painful, and it's a step in the right direction.

Now, if only I could smack the people who don't crush out their cigarettes, or leave a campfire unattended, I'd feel even better. (evil grin.) Sorry--sometimes a well placed snarky remark makes me feel better too. That's why I always have a character who can get away with those quips in my books. Either they're someone who can't be touched--like a ghost, or someone with a lot of power and confidence, or someone who just doesn't care what people think. It's refreshing to have a character who can say what the rest of us are thinking.

So, if you like snarky humor, I guess my books are for you! I'm delighted to let everyone know that Sourcebooks contracted another spin-off series, and it begins this March! Hooked on a Phoenix is ready for preorders on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, etc. And--as always the gorgeous cover is a terrific gift to me!


Misty Carlisle works as a bank teller in Boston's financial district. She's had more rotten luck in her life than most, except when her childhood crush shows up to cash his paycheck. Then her heart races and her mouth goes dry.

Gabe Fierro is a firefighter—and a phoenix. Like his brothers, his biggest challenge is finding a woman open-minded enough to accept a shapeshifter into her life. When his boyhood friend asks him to watch over his little sister Misty, he reluctantly agrees. But when the bank where she works gets held up, Gabe does everything he can to protect her. The two of them end up locked in the bank's vault...where things get steamier than either of them ever imagined.

Readers love Ashlyn Chase's Boston Dragons:
"This story has it all, laughter, tears, magic and sizzling heat."—Night Owl Reviews, 5 Stars, Top Pick!
"Snarky dialogue and sizzling heat."—Booklist

 To make it even easier to find your favorite online store, I've made a universal link. I think you'll enjoy the book.

Did you give to any charities this Christmas? Or maybe you did something special for someone?  Tell us about it! Make us all feel good.


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