December 2008
portrait with cookies Greetings!
Happy Holidays! It's December and the season for celebration and gratitude. I, myself, am extremely grateful to you. Last year I wrote this on my blog and it is just as relevant this year:

I did my holiday duty and went gift shopping for my niece and nephew, age 4 and infant. For a brief moment, I thought of getting clothes or shoes (because kid's clothes are the cutest) but then gave myself a mental slap. I'm a children's book author, I've got to support the biz. If I don't buy children's books for children, how can I expect others?

 So I went into my favorite bookstore and...was completely overwhelmed.

There are just so many books out there, crowding and overcrowding the shelves. I went in determined to buy an unknown gem, but the sheer chaos was disheartening. In that moment, I realized how intimidating it can be to buy a book. The pressure of choosing something age appropriate, reading-level appropriate, taste appropriate for the child, taste appropriate for the parents...suddenly, those cute baby shoes were looking like a good gift choice.

But just as I began to take a step back, I was given an epiphany as a present. I make a living making these books. How is that possible? It was humbling, and the prior feeling of self-righteous pride became one of intense gratitude. Some lovely, kind, patient people must have taken the time to find my books in this mess of a publishing universe, and that's rather a miracle. A  real holiday miracle.

So, thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for being my miraculous reader!

Grace's Cookie Tin Label & Cookies
free for you to download and use

One of my favorite holiday traditions is baking cookies! Every year, I try to make cookies to share with friends and family and, to make it just a tad more fun, I design a special label to stick onto the tin.

This year, I thought I would make that label (see right) available to you as well. Just download the image (instructions included) here:

Grace's Cookie Tin Label

And courtesy of Houston Librarian Kathy Ellwood, my new favorite cookie recipe:

Ginger Cookies
  • 2 cups sugar    
  • 4 cups flour
  • � cup oleo
  • 2 tsp soda
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp ginger
  • 2 Tbl vinegar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • �  cup molasses
  • � tsp ground cloves
Cream oleo and sugar; add eggs one at a time and mix well.  Combine dry ingredients.  Add vinegar and molasses to sugar and egg mixture.  Add dry ingredients.  Chill dough (It will be stiff)

Roll 1-2 tsp of dough into balls and then roll in sugar.  Place on cookie sheet, do not flatten.  Bake at 375 degrees for 8 minutes. Remove from cookie sheet and cool on rack.  Baked cookies may be frozen.

Makes 4-5 dozen cookies depending on size.

Don't Forget!
Last month's promotion ends Dec. 7th

There's still time to get a limited- edition, personalized autographed bookplate to go with any of my books that you may be giving for the holidays. E-mail gracenotes@
before December 7th.
Remember to include:
  • To WHOM you wish the bookplate to be autographed to.
  • WHICH book the bookplate is for (I have different messages and drawings for each of my books)
  • Your name and MAILING ADDRESS

and upcoming event...

I hope to see you at the:
RISD Alumni Holiday Art Sale
Saturday, December 13
10am to 5pm
Rhode Island Convention Center
1 Sabin St, Providence, RI
Booth #310
I'll be selling giclee prints, books, and maybe even cupcakes!
Please visit the Child at Heart Gallery if you are interested in purchasing prints and can't make it!

travel blogs

picture of china
My Grace Goes to Hong Kong blog was so popular, that I chronicled my China trip (Grace Goes to China blog) as well.  See the adventures that inspired my upcoming novel, Where the Mountain Meets the Moon.
From the mailbag
Photo of the Month


Send your letters or pictures to:
Grace Lin
PO Box 441457
West Somerville, MA 02144-1457
[email protected]

please note that I will assume all images received are approved to shared, you must state if permission is not granted

Thanks again and I wish you a joyful, happy holiday!

Grace Lin