What marks the start of the holiday season for you?
I start thinking about the Christmas holiday right around the 4th of July. 

Does your family have one very special holiday tradition?
In our family, we put a $25 cap on gifts we exchange. It keeps us within our budgets and inspires ingenuity.

What are you most looking forward to during the holiday season?
For the Christmas holidays, we'll be in California and the tour for ‘U’ Is for Undertow will be wrapped up so I'll be looking forward to getting out of my pantyhose.

What’s your favorite holiday book or song?
I love most Christmas carols...especially if I'm not singing them.

Why do books make the best gifts?
No sugar, no fat, and no calories. Books are easy to mail and there are enough choices to please everyone.

What are your top 10 books to give as gifts to friends and family?
Each year, I tailor my shopping list to the latest fiction and nonfiction books available. As the holidays approach, I'll get out my list and start licking my pencil point, making notes about books that interest and seem suitable.

There's never a shortage. For friends who like to cook, I enjoy giving the Martha Stewart Everyday Food: Great Food Fast. I also adore her cookbook, Cupcakes. For the gardeners on my list, I like McGee and Stuckey's Bountiful Container: Create Container Gardens of Vegetables, Herbs, Fruits, and Edible Flowers. And for the knitters, Comforts of Home: Simple Knitted Accents by Erika Knight and John Heseltine, or Caroline Birkett's Hand Knits for the Home. Both offer beautiful easy projects for knitters like me, who have no patience for the complicated stuff.

What was the best book you read this year?
I just read Blink, which changed my thinking about the writing process.

What’s your number one resolution for 2010?
To be mellow, which for me includes long walks, knitting projects, reading every chance I get, spending time with family and friends, and getting my work done. Also kissing my cat even when it annoys her.

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