Author Archive

9/26/22, REALLY?

Posted on September 26, 2022

Hi Everyone,

I hope you’ve had a good week, and it hasn’t been too difficult. We’ve all watched the British royal family suffer nobly through eleven days of agonizingly exhausting highly emotional ceremonies surrounding their queen’s funeral, and not just a Queen, but a mother, grandmother and great grandmother. And on the final days, they had at least 12 hours daily of marching, walking, sitting, listening, and wiping away tears, under the constant scrutiny of the Press. We watched the new King, with all the stress and pressure that must entail, watch his mother’s casket being lowered into the crypt. My daughter was so moved by it that she couldn’t stop crying. Imagine how he felt, with billions of people watching him at such a private, heartbreaking moment, watching his mother disappear. And in our own family, it was the anniversary of my son’s death this week, the day after the Queen’s funeral. It’s a day that breaks my heart every year, and my family’s. Last week was not an easy week for any of us. And I hope this week will be better.

What struck me reading some of the press coverage of the funeral was how critical some people are. What has happened to us that people are so free and easy with saying nasty things about other people, with such fervor!!! Where do we get off being so tough on everyone else? Who made us the arbiters of fashion, taste and everything else? I read a flood of nasty comments about the headpiece (fascinator) that Mrs. Biden wore to the funeral. I have no political stake in it, and I actually thought it looked nice on her. I read a flood of comments that it was inappropriate at a funeral—-WHO SAID??? If you looked at the crowd, there were every kind of hats, some gorgeous (Princess Kate’s on the day of the funeral), some beautiful, some silly or funny, and some ugly, and I would guess that about 10% of them were wearing headpieces just like Mrs. Biden’s. Let’s be real here, they had to go to a state funeral where they would be under total scrutiny, which means that people would be commenting on whether her suit was appropriate, if she looked fat or thin in it, how much did she spend on it. She had a long flight to London, had to emerge from the plane looking chic and well dressed, no matter how tired she was, or if she slept or not (I look a complete MESS when I get off a plane), and she had to go straight from the plane to the funeral, while worrying how she looked to cameras, if people thought she looked okay or if she got a run in her stocking—–and people were upset about her headband? which I repeat, I thought looked both appropriate and chic. But what is wrong with us? Where is our compassion and our sympathy, we don’t care how tired she might have been, or nervous, or sad—-and people have to complain about her headband?? WHY? How do you look getting off a plane, how do you feel going to a funeral where you will be videoed for hours and everyone will have some comment to make about your outfit? Why can’t we give people a break? We live in a cult of fame and celebrity, where every waking moment is on Instagram or Facebook or some form of social media, and all we do is criticize how people look, how their hair looked, how big their bottom is, how ugly their dress was. Do we really HAVE to criticize every move that people make, what they wear, what they eat, who they date, and how bad their hair looks. I think it’s time to back off and show a little compassion—-and think how complicated our own lives are, and realize that other people’s lives are just as complicated or more so, and what their headgear looks like really doesn’t matter. How great would you look coming off an all night plane ride, with a big time difference, heading into a state funeral where EVERYONE is going to comment on what you’re wearing, how you look and what you’re doing. I think it’s time that we give each other a break. You didn’t like Mrs. Biden’s fascinator? Ok, then don’t buy one just like it, and next time you go to a funeral, make sure that you look perfect, and wear a hat. Let’s lighten up on the nasty criticism…..it will make life a little or a lot better. Have a great week, and let’s try to be nice to each other.

love, Danielle

9/19/22, A week of goodbyes

Posted on September 19, 2022

Hi Everyone,

I hope that the week has gone smoothly for you. In the UK, US, Europe, and countries around the world, the news is full of the ceremonies and tributes to the late Queen Elizabeth the II. Her seventy year reign has left her subjects deeply saddened to lose her, and she has touched hearts around the world with her deep devotion to her duty and her subjects. She began as one of the youngest queens at twenty five, and ended as one of the oldest still working queens at ninety six. And whatever one’s politics, her humanity touched millions as much as her majesty. And all of the ceremonies paying tribute to her are deeply touching, as Queen, mother, grandmother, great grandmother. Beyond the pomp and ceremony and traditions is the love of her country and the admiration of the entire world, and the loved ones she left behind who are moving through the proceedings with dignity and grace.

The world will be watching her funeral today, and it must be exhausting and emotionally draining for her family to share their grief so publicly, while honoring her.

I have an odd tie to the date, which is emotional for me as well. On Tuesday, the day after the Queen’s funeral is the anniversary of the death of my son Nick. It’s a hard day for my family every year. He died at nineteen, by suicide, after a lifetime of bi polar disease. He was a brave, wonderful, brilliant, talented, funny adorable boy, and although we miss him every day, these anniversary days are always particularly hard. You never get used to them. There is no easy way to spend these days. I usually try to spend part of the day with some of my children, but on some years that’s complicated, and I will be alone on his anniversary date this year, the day after the Queen’s funeral. And tuesday will be a quiet day for me, with thoughts of Nick, and memories of a very challenging day. We have honored his memory with a foundation dedicated to funding organizations that provide hands on treatment to people who suffer from mental illness. And all we can do is remember those we have lost on these anniversaries, cherish their memories, remember the wonderful times we shared and go forward into the future, doing good for others in their name.

Whether as public as the Queen’s funeral, or as private as my son Nick’s anniversary, they are days filled with the love that we shared with them in their lifetimes, may they be long remembered for the joy they gave us and the love and blessings we shared.

I hope it will be a peaceful week for you, with much love, Danielle

9/12/22, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

Posted on September 12, 2022

The Entire World is mourning the death of Queen Elizabeth II of England,the longest reigning monarch in the world, she became queen at 25, reigned for 70 years, and passed away yesterday at the age of 96. Beloved by her subjects, respected and admired throughout the world, she worked as Sovereign until her very last day when she met with the new Prime Minister at her summer home in Balmoral, Scotland.
I admired her for my entire life for her strength, courage,dignity, her hard work, she embodied all the qualities I admire in a woman, and was an icon as queen. She managed to maintain her family life, marriage, and was true to her people, while ruling the country, and had a poignant humanity to her. She was without question not only a remarkable and wonderful queen, but an extraordinary woman of immeasurable accomplishments.

During the darkest hours of the pandemic,while I was in France for 15 months, far from my children, isolated and confined, the Queen’s Christmas and Easter messages gave me comfort and strength.She directed them to her British subjects, “to others all around the world, to people of Faith, and people of no faith”. I loved the inclusiveness of her message, the kindness, compassion and humanity of what she said. Her message of comfort and reassurance went straight to my heart.

Immediately after her death was announced by the Palace, a massive double rainbow appeared over London, and over Windsor Castle. The two double rainbows lit up the sky and nothing like it had ever been seen before. I can only imagine that God was welcoming her into Heaven with a huge well deserved celebration for a life well lived and a job well done.

God bless the Queen.

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9/6/22, Sailing into Fall

Posted on September 6, 2022

Hi Everyone,

I hope you had a wonderful Labor Day weekend, to celebrate the end of summer, and now we all get back to ‘real life’ in the fall. The summer vacation is over, kids are back in school, and the pace will pick up quickly as we slide into September. I love the fall, the energy, and the excitement of getting back to work!!!

In the fashion world, everyone involved in fashion is preparing the shows for Fashion Week, which I always say is really fashion month, since it begins in New York, then moves on to London, Milan, and Paris at the end of the month, with a week in each city dedicated to the designers of each country, with fabulous shows on the runway. Preparations are happening now with fittings on the models, and the final touches on the collections. Two of my daughters, Vanessa and Victoria are hard at work on their shows, working incredibly long hours, to show fashion editors and buyers the collections for next season. It’s an exciting time in fashion, and happens twice a year, in fall and Spring. And the Haute Couture shows are in June and July. It’s always exciting to see the new collections, and what each designer is showing for next season. It’s a dazzling way to start the fall, with runway shows by all the big designers, and new ones, and parties to celebrate the event!!

And I’m working on a new book, which will keep me busy, and get the fall off to a good start.

My new book “The Challenge” has been out for two weeks, and was #2 on the New York Times bestseller list this past Sunday. I love that book, and hope you’ll love it too, about the rescue of 7 young teens lost on the most dangerous mountain in the US, and the daring rescue to find them and bring them home, and the impact on their families and the town of Fishtail, Montana, as even the National Guard is brought in to try to save the missing kids. I hope you’ll find time to read it. And my next book will be out in October, “The High Notes”, about a young girl with an incredible voice, who began her singing career at twelve, in bars, in the dusty small towns in Texas, and her arduous climb to success. It’s a behind the scenes look at the hardships of the music business, and what it takes to reach fame and stardom. And I hope you love that book too.

Have a great week as we sail into the fall. I hope it’s a great week for you and gets the season off to a great start!!!

lots of love, Danielle

8/29/22, Ready for Fall!!!

Posted on August 29, 2022

Hi Everyone,

I hope you’re enjoying this very last week of summer before Labor Day and summer will be officially over!! I’m flying and travelling, and things have definitely calmed down compared to a month ago, when airports were jammed and it was utterly crazy trying to get anywhere. I think the kids going back to school has brought people home and calmed things down.

I have a mountain of work on my desk for the fall, and am ready to roll up my sleeves, get to work and hit the typewriter. It will be nice to settle down. I’ve been running into heat waves everywhere I travel, and am ready for cool fall weather somewhere!!! And now I’m ready to tackle all the projects I didn’t do this summer and have been saving for the fall, and now here we are.

It’s not a subject anyone wants to hear anymore, but Covid is still out there, among us, it was rampant among my employees this summer, some light cases and some bad ones, all among people who had been vaccinated and bolstered, so we can’t ignore it yet, and I still wear a mask when in crowds, and travelling, and I eat outdoors. Everyone has to find their own comfort level, and the right balance for them personally. I hope the day comes soon when it’s no longer an issue and a dim memory for all of us.

I hope the summer gave you a much needed rest, some fun, that you got beach time or mountain time, or just some peaceful time, so that you’re ready to face the fall with new energy, and excitement about some new projects. I hope it’s a fantastic fall for you, so bye bye Summer until next year…..and I hope the coming months will be great for you and for all of us!!!

love, Danielle

8/22/22, Back to School!!!

Posted on August 22, 2022

Hi Everyone,

I hope these last days of summer are still giving you some fun times, as we all begin to rev our engines up for the Fall. This time of year still smells to me of new pencils, new Superman or Wonder Woman lunch boxes, new notebooks, and all the excitement of new classrooms, new teachers and old friends. September always feels like the time for new projects, and moving ahead with fresh energy.

The children I know went back to school last week, and the rest of us are getting the sand out of our shoes and putting on real clothes again. I just finished editing two books and am working on a new outline. My daughters who work in fashion are revving up their engines to start work on fashion week this week. And it’s exciting to start new projects with fresh ideas.

I enjoyed a week’s vacation in July with three of my daughters, and managed to see all of my children for a brief visit in August, but it was so wonderful to see them and be together. And now we’re all off and running to work. September is an exciting month. And I have a new book out, “The Challenge” about the daring rescue of 7 kids in their early teens lost on a dangerous mountain in Montana. It was inspired by the incredible rescue of the 13 boys in Thailand trapped in a cave, four years ago. The entire world held their breath as the rescue unfolded, completely successfully, which inspired my book. There is a new movie out about the Thai rescue, and a documentary, and I haven’t had time to watch either one, but I will. When it was happening, I was mesmerized by the complicated rescue operation and jubilant at its success. And I hope you love my book about the mountain rescue.

Since organizing a big family takes a lot of planning and military precision, I’m already thinking about the holidays, and I start my Christmas shopping in August. My family makes fun of me for it, but I love getting an early start!!!

I hope you have some fun plans for the Fall, and some exciting new projects in view. Have a great week!!!

much love,
Danielle

8/8/22, The Good Doctor and The Challenge

Posted on August 8, 2022

Hi Everyone,

I hope you’re enjoying the second half of summer, and finding time off to just lie under a tree somewhere and dream, or read on a beach, or enjoy a series.

I love sharing it with you when I find a series I love. I am currently LOVING “The Good Doctor” on Netflix. It’s a medical series with appealing characters, knotty medical problems to solve and life dilemmas. It’s beautifully acted and well written, and there are enough positive resolutions and good life lessons in each episode that you come out on an up note and not a down one. I don’t like series where so much bad stuff happens that you’re more depressed after a show than before you watched it. We watch these shows for entertainment and distraction after all. And The Good Doctor gets my vote for the best show at the moment.

And if you would rather read quietly, I have a new book coming out in two weeks, “The Challenge”, about 5 young wholesome 14 year olds, a slightly older brother, and a younger one who go for a picnic at the base of Granite Peak, in Fishtail, Montana, and a fun afternoon turns into a nightmare with a flash flood out of the mountains, which blocks their way back, and traps them on the mountain. A five day search begins, as the parents are sorely tested, and the picknickers fight for their survival, with a forest fire approaching. I love that book, between the tension of the parents, and the brave struggle of the kids. It will keep you on the edge of your seat. I hope you have time to read it before vacation time ends.

Have a great week, full of fun moments and the final days of summer,

love, Danielle

8/1/22, It never gets old!!

Posted on August 1, 2022

 

Hi Everyone,

 

I hope that all is well with you as the second half of the summer gets started on August 1st. I hope you have some fun plans for the month ahead, days off, or a vacation, and a break from work.  Back from my week of vacation with three of my kids, I’ve been working on three books, as I often do, at different stages. And I finished one of them on Sunday, which was so exciting. It always is!!!

 

Writing is arduous and solitary. Not lonely because the characters in the books keep you company, but you have to be alone to do it. I can’t work with any kind of noise, distractions, or interruptions. If something interrupts me, it stops the flow of the story, and it can take me a day or two even to get back “in the groove”. And when I finally finish the book, it’s an AMAZING feeling—like flying. Writing is like climbing a mountain, it is hard work. And sometimes you feel like you’re crawling up the mountain and you’ll never make it. Along the way, there are some beautiful views, of sunsets and sunrises, or peaceful moments in the middle of the night, when the story is just the way you want it to be, and you’re on top of the world. And four hours later, you have four flat tires and you’re at the bottom of a ravine, and you can’t see your way up the cliff again, and you think you’ll never make it. It’s a rocky path along the way.

 

So when you do make it, and you finish that last sentence on the last page, you feel as though you just made it to the summit of Everest. YOU MADE IT!!! It’s the most incredible feeling and it never gets old. I love it, and I hope you love the book I just finished!!! Now on to the next one….there is always another mountain to climb. I love the challenge!!! Have a great week full of victories and fun moments and things you love to do!!

 

Enjoy these last days of summer!!

 

lots of love, Danielle

7/26/22, Hard at Work!

Posted on July 26, 2022

 

Hard at Work on a new book for you!! Have a great week and hopefully some time off to relax and have some fun!!!

Love, Danielle

 

7/18/22, Gone Fishing

Posted on July 18, 2022

 

Hello Everyone,

 

I hope that you are having a break from work and your regular routine, as the month of July rolls out. People are on the move this summer, hungry to return to normalcy, travel, and summer vacations, after two years of staying home during the pandemic. Our family tradition has been a week’s vacation together every summer, which was cancelled for the last two summers, and we finally got back on track with a family holiday, for the first time in 3 years. Only three of my children were able to get the free time, and although we’re a small group, it is wonderful to be together, to swim and relax, and have dinners out in the same beach town where we go every year for our annual family week together. We go to the same hotel every year, and it was a joy to see the same people working there and everything unchanged, as the two disrupted years fade away. And next year, we hope that all of my kids can make it. I am so grateful for this precious week together.

 

My new book “Suspects” is on the bestseller lists and doing well. I was working hard right up until the vacation, and I will start a book the day after I get back. But I am thoroughly enjoying the time off for the first real vacation I’ve had in three years. And we all need time off from our daily routines to see things with a fresh eye. I hope you are getting time off this summer too!!! And I hope you have time to read ‘Suspects’ before the summer is over. It’s a thriller with Russian spies in it, as innocent people cross their path and get caught in a web of intrigue, and a dedicated CIA agent, who is discreetly following the spies tries to keep the innocents out of harm’s way before they realize the danger they are in. I hope you have fun reading it, and that this turns out to be a great summer for you.

 

Have a great week, with some beach time or time on vacation somewhere in a place you love!!!

 

with much love, Danielle