Valentine’s Day in Mrs. Kuntzman’s Kitchen

Mrs. Kuntzman is the grandmotherly character in the Christmastime series who babysits Tommy and Gabriel. To the boys’ delight, she is an exceptional cook.

She loves to make treats for the boys and often sends them home with extras for Lillian.

I imagine her apartment filled with fragrant baking and platters of cookies always on her kitchen table — gifts of love, ready to bestow.

So for Valentine’s Day, I selected images that Mrs. Kuntzman might have baked for Tommy and Gabriel.

I hope they help to sweeten your day!

(All images from my Pinterest boards.)

The Garden House – spring

The novel The Garden House is set in the Pacific Northwest, with most of the action occurring in Seattle. Other books in the fledgling series might be set on the Oregon coast, or perhaps the San Juan Islands, or even — if shop owner Paula gets her way — the flea markets of Paris.

I lived in Seattle for seven years and I visit my sister in Oregon once or twice a year. I’m always struck by the breathtaking beauty of the landscape.

One of the things I love most about the Pacific Northwest is that spring arrives so early in the year.

As I thrill at the inch-high green shoots of crocuses in my tiny garden patch, I imagine The Garden House’s main character, Miranda, already surrounded by spring’s beauty.

I see her out in her garden on a cool morning holding a steaming cup of tea, or on her hands and knees, turning the soil to plant a box of pansies or brushing aside a few dried leaves to uncover a cluster of grape hyacinths.

Or just sitting quietly on a garden bench, taking in the colors and scents of early spring.