Thanksgiving – the purest of holidays, and my personal favorite for it is a day devoted to food, family, friends and gratitude.  It is a day too that reminds me of just how much I have in life – my family and friends, my health, my job, the release of my first book last year, and the upcoming release (Fall, 2012) of my second novel, “The Bracelet.”   I am lucky beyond words, and reflecting that, my list of thanks is endless.

I am thankful for a warm and loving family and supportive friends, who have always given me room to grow.  I am enormously grateful for the wonderful new friends I’ve made while promoting “Lipstick in Afghanistan.”   And I am especially grateful to the Marines’ deployed spouses who invited me to be part of their magical birthday ball this year.  We sometimes forget that we live in this wonderful country because the few, the brave, keep perpetual watch for us.

I am grateful too for the stuff of ordinary American life.  I am grateful for the electricity and running water in my house since there are so many around the world who have neither, and I am thankful for my washing machine because I know the misery of bending into an icy stream in some faraway place to do my wash.  I am grateful too for my noisy furnace since with every groan, I know it’s working to keep me warm.

I am most grateful for every single person that has ever come my way.  Whether old friend or new, whether refugee or reader of my novel, my life is richer because of all of you, and I expect that I’ll be expressing my own private gratitude every day of my life.  But, on this Thanksgiving, when I eat a little too much, I will remember to pause and ask that people everywhere, especially those in the world’s hard-scrabble spots, have as much to be grateful for as I do.