We have a great example of what great smarts and a sincere heart can do for a person and in turn, for the rest of the world. Vice President Joe Biden’s wife, Dr. Jill Biden, is not only the Second Lady of the United States but also a teacher at Northern Virginia Community College. She holds a doctorate and is a fierce supporter of military families. She’s a military Mom and knows the sacrifices we all make on this unique path. I had the privilege of meeting her (and her husband!) yesterday and gave her a copy of SASHA’s DAD as a small token of my appreciation. It’s always great to be a writer, wonderful to be a published author, but even better when I can hand an extension of myself to someone as a gift. For whatever reason, but this was a great one!
The next time I get bummed about too long between contracts or the difficulty of pursuing a writing career while overseas, I’ll think “what would Dr. Biden do?” She’d get to work!
This month is a banner one for me. I hit a significant milestone albeit sad in many respects in that I have lived longer than my mother did. We lost her too soon, too young, to breast cancer. Because it’s my birthday month, I have my yearly mammogram scheduled. Have you scheduled yours yet? If you’re age 40 or over, go do it now! If your insurance won’t pay, or you don’t have health insurance, find a community outreach program in your area that provides free or reduced-cost mammograms. Because as women we are the rocks of our families and communities. And we need to manage our health–no one else can do this for us.
The third and great thing about this month, this year, is today! My third book, Sasha’s Dad is released by Harlequin Superromance. I have an excerpt and behind-the-scenes information for Sasha’s Dad on my website, and if you join me on my Facebook Author Page you’ll get more frequent updates on how the launch is going, where people have taken pictures of Sasha’s Dad, and what I’m doing in my local area to promote my third novel.
Today I gave a workshop or in local parlance, a “brown bag lunch” presentation to interested American Embassy staff and personnel in Moscow, Russia. I came away so motivated to continue to pursue my art and get my characters and stories on the page. While copies of Sasha’s Dad haven’t arrived in my mailbox yet, I was able to hand out bookmarks and Russian chocolates to keep the group happy and alert. I promised signed copies of Sasha’s Dad and champagne/sparkling apple juice once the books arrive. My publisher graciously offered several complimentary copies for me to hand out here at the embassy.
Several readers have emailed to let me know they’ve already downloaded Sasha’s Dad onto their Kindle or other e-reader, and I thank you all from the bottom of my heart. My children thank you, too, especially the oldest who will be going to college next year.
Each book, each story is so special to me. It takes many people to bring the story to publication, from me the writer to my agent and then my editor; copy editors, the art department, marketing, distribution…I am grateful to each pair of hands that worked on Sasha’s Dad.
A last note–once again the “small world” theory is proved. A high school track alumnus of mine now works at the Harlequin Distribution Center in Western New York. He sent me some great photos of my book on the warehouse shelves. If you’re curious, find them here on my Facebook personal wall.