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Firsts and Favorites of 2018

During a recent visit to the chiropractor, she and I got to talking about how we're both unprepared for the year to be over and yet how much we would like it to be over. In her words, it was a fast and furious year, and that's exactly how I feel. At the start of 2018, I had anticipated a truly fantastic year, and while it's wasn't a bad year, it was more frenzied than I would have liked.

Firsts and Favorites of 2018_MK McClintock and McKenna Grey

Of course a frenzied year does not mean I didn't find a lot of great things to enjoy in 2018. Below are just a few that I can think of right now. All opinions are my own.

Movies & Television

I'm often behind the times when I get around to discovering a new t.v. show or movie. Some I enjoy and forget, others I wish I hadn't wasted my time on, and some I liked so much that I will probably go back for more.

  • "Forever": I have only watched a few episodes, but already I am hooked. It's Highlander meets Elementary in this great show with the handsome and talented Ioan Gruffudd as a medical examiner by day and immortal always.

  • "The Man Who Invented Christmas": This movie easily made it into my top five favorites for 2018.

  • "A Christmas in Tennessee": Perhaps it's the baker in me, but I found this movie to be charming.

  • "Christmas at Rosemont": A movie that is not your typical Christmas story. Everything about it was excellent.

  • "Rookie": Another show I've only seen a few episodes of, and it's really good so far. I like the Castle-esque qualities he brings to the show.

I'm sure there were others I enjoyed, but I cannot recall them right now.

Books & Authors

  • Bellewether by Susanna Kearsley. She was added to my favorite author list in 2017, and her writing style is wonderful. If she writes it, I will read it.

  • RaeAnne Thayne. I had read a few of her books prior to 2018, but bought up many more when I started to get into the different series. Delightful stories and all clean reads.

  • The Lighthouse Keeper's Daughter by Hazel Gaynor. First book I've read by this author and it's really a good one.

  • A Touch of Flame by Jo Goodman. I'm quite the Jo Goodman fan. I'm still making my way through her back list, but her new books get moved to the top. Looking forward to book three in this series.

  • Wishing Bridge series by Ruth Logan Herne. There are two books so far and I hope there is a third coming. Lovely stories with nice messages and great characters.

  • Laird of the Black Isle by Paula Quinn. I'm enjoying her Highland romances.

  • Paradox by Catherine Coulter. Many of her FBI thrillers are on my "read it multiple times" list.

  • Comes the Winter by Samantha St. Claire. My pal Sam writes some sweet stories.

Again, I know I enjoyed many more books in 2018, but these are the ones that come to mind.


I don't go in for a lot of variety with my music in the day-to-day. I like a variety of genres, but I tend to create playlists and listen to those over and over. Music with words are great for regular work, in the car, or working out, but otherwise, I prefer instrumental or soft Celtic music where the words aren't distracting.

  • Going Home by Mary Fahl. Amazing song and hauntingly beautiful. Added to my morning playlist this year.

  • You Say by Lauren Daigle. A friend shared this song with me, and it's excellent. The artist has a great voice and the song delivers a great message.

  • "Cathedral Heart" and "Hearts Know It's Never Goodbye," both performed by Kelley Jakle and Adam Mayfield in the movie Christmas Harmony. Okay, so the movie wasn't a favorite, but these two songs really stuck with me. They are now on my morning playlist.

  • Tim Janis, Gary Stadler, Celtic Woman, Maria McCool, and Máire Brennan round out my everyday music.

Favorite Things

  • Glacier National Park, every season of the year.

  • The way the snow blankets the mountains on a sunny day.

  • Cowboy Cookies - a new recipe I tried this year. Seriously delicious and great for hiking.

  • Long walks along the Swan River.

  • Our mountain village after the "elves" decorate for Christmas.

  • Cast-iron deep dish pizza.

  • My pup sleeping at my feet while I write.

  • My wall of book covers and story ideas - keeps me motivated.

  • Roses in winter.

  • When the sun glistens off of Flathead Lake and clouds create shadows on the mountains at the same time.

First Written

Yeah, these are mine. :)

  • Shadow of the Forgotten

  • "Whitcomb Springs"

  • "Forsaken Trail"

  • "Unchained Courage"

  • Wild Montana Winds: Okay, so it's not released yet, but I wrote "The End" right before the end of the year, so it absolutely counts.

I didn't create a gratitude list here because I keep a journal for that. Every day brings something for which to be grateful, and it is far too difficult to narrow those down to a few.

That's it for 2018. Here's to seeing what 2019 has in store for us all! And my beta-reader just sent over notes for the new book, so yeah, I have to get busy.

Be well, be kind, and stay bookish!


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