To connect with
Fern online, please visit:


Dear Readers,

I’ve always thought of Christmas as the happiest time of the year—not just the day, but the whole Christmas season! Everything is so festive, so colorful, and people just seem to treat each other nicer. I remember when I was little I’d get so excited I’d make myself sick. My mother used to block off the days on the calendar so I wouldn’t know exactly which day it was. 

Of course now, as an adult, it seems there aren’t enough days in the month to get it all done: the shopping, wrapping, decorating, cooking, and planning! But all of the prep work is part of the fun. Making Christmas for others is just as exciting now as it once was receiving it as a child.

When I sat down to write Spirit of the Season, I poured all my favorite things about the holidays into its pages. The decorations, the smells, the big dinner, and the songs. But being with loved ones, sharing moments of laughter and companionship—that’s the true spirit of Christmas.

In Spirit of the Season, the little North Carolina town that Joy Preston moves to when she inherits her grandma’s bed and breakfast loves the holiday season as much as I do! It’s always elaborately decorated for the season, with Christmas-themed guest rooms and dazzling lawn displays created for the annual Parade of Homes. There’s something else special about Heart and Soul B&B. Rumor has it that during the holiday season, guests can be reunited with the spirit of a loved one who’s passed on.

Readers may know that I share my home, a 300-year-old plantation I remodeled, with a resident ghost who we call Mary Margaret. She may cause mischief sometimes, but Mary Margaret is “a friendly.” I know when she’s around, but we live together very peacefully, and I know when she approves of something and when she doesn’t! In the same way, Joy feels her Nana still with her, guiding her as she makes a new beginning.

I hope you enjoy reading Spirit of the Season, and that your own holidays are full of the gifts that really matter—warmth, happiness, and time spent with the ones you love.

Warmest holiday wishes,