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UPDATE
Dear <<First Name>>,
August was a complete whirlwind! We began the month with a trip to Florida, where we alternated between melting and getting soaked. Note to self--Florida is best in spring and fall. The month's middle weeks were a blur of doctor appointments, school forms, and dorm shopping and packing. Then, late last month, we sent our eldest to college. I confess, I need a hug. Send chocolate, too! Those of you who follow my Facebook page have probably seen her many times and listened to her music. She's been a source of tremendous joy, and this house is much quieter without her. And while we have one left at home, it feels like an empty nest because my son seems to be hiding from us--probably to avoid becoming the sole object of parental scrutiny.

However, as quickly as August passed, September will be over in a blink. First up, a writing retreat in Vermont with some of my Fiction From the Heart sisters. I'll post photos in our Facebook group, so join it if you'd like to see them. September also ushers in a NEW RELEASE (more on that below)! Mid-month I'll be going to London for the RARE London reader event. I hope to have time to visit some of the spots that Peyton and Mitch visit in London (as seen in The Wonder of Now) and share photos, so stay tuned. Finally, I end the month with a trip to New Mexico for the WFWA conference. It's quite possible my husband and son won't remember me by October first.

If you are envious of my travel and want to take an inexpensive trip this month, why not join Peyton on her European book tour? Hit up Rome, Barcelona, Paris, and London before returning to Sanctuary Sound and New York City. For a free sample of the first chapter, keep reading!

 
Last I checked, THE WONDER OF NOW was enjoying a whopping 4.53 of 5-star average rating on Goodreads. That's my highest rated book to date, and I admit, it has become one of my favorites as well. Also, I'm donating 10% of all preorder and first-week release proceeds to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, so I'd love your help in making a significant donation!

Here's a look at Chapter One:

 
Om Namah Shivaya.

“Let me photograph the treatment,” he’d begged.

Om Namah Shivaya.

“We’ll make art, raise money,” he’d promised.

Om Namah Shivaya.

Dammit.


Peyton opened one eye and stared across the undulating surface of Long Island Sound, which glittered all the way to the horizon. Six hundred thirty-two attempts at meditation in as many days and she still couldn’t master her own mind.

Dwelling for months in a decaying body had forced an existential dread that produced few answers, but she’d never been a quitter. In her darkest moments, she’d habitually forced herself to look for silver linings. By thirty-one, she’d mastered that ritual. Last year, she’d even found two for chemo, like the way she could blame it for all kinds of personal failings. Its other plus? A handy excuse for opting out of her mother’s endless list of social and philanthropic invitations. Of course, those benefits didn’t outweigh the weight gain, skin discoloration, nausea, mouth ulcers, and hair loss she’d experienced while undergoing breast cancer treatment.

Peyton curled a jaw-length strand of newly wavy hair around her finger. Still short, but progress nonetheless.

She uncrossed her legs while taking a deep breath of briny air and then stretched them out, digging her toes into the warm sand. Growing up, she and her brother, Logan, and their friends had played tag here, built sandcastles, lit bonfires while camping out. They’d drifted on rafts and sailed around the Sound, carefree and certain of a future that would always be easy and full of adventure. Now her gaze fixed on the line where earth met sky. These past few months, she’d often stared at that distant place, contemplating her life and purpose and other things she’d never before given much thought to.

Those lazy hours, bookended by the rush of midday and the lonesome stretches of night, had become her favorite part of each day. Stolen moments of peace and presence were probably the closest she’d ever get to nirvana or zen or wherever one is supposed to arrive through meditation.
 

Fun Tips

  1. Fall TV! This Is Us fans rejoice...Season 4  premiere is September 24th on NBC.
  2. Easy Dinners.  School is back in session, which means many of you will be very busy. These  70 crock pot recipes should make life a little easier!

Reading Recommendations 

If you’re looking for this month's best new releases, here are some books and authors you might enjoy! 
 

Cindy Kirk's
One & Only You

Two people who've been burned can either play it safe or take a chance on love.

Donna Kauffman's
Lavender & Mistletoe

This Christmas, small-town Blue Hollow Falls will work big holiday magic for two people who have researched everything but love . .

Lauren Layne’s
Love on Lexington Avenue 

A delightfully charming installment in the Central Park Pact series, following a young widow whose newfound cynicism about love is challenged by a sexy, rough-around-the-edges contractor..

Megan Ryder's
Coming Home to the Cowboy

The town bad boy with hidden pains mixes it up with the town good girl who sees the best in everyone.


And during the entire month of September, Accidentally Hers and Worth the Wait are on sale in the U.S. Before I Knew will be a Kindle Daily Deal on the 24th, and for those of you in the UK, Australia, and Germany, check out the deals listed in the graphic!
 

Let’s wish a happy birthday
to the September Birthday Bunch!


Birthday Bunch Winner is Elaine Sapp!
 

Elaine Barker, Debbie Barker, Janet Barton, Teri Beard, Dawn Bellinger, Gail Bigelow, Jeri Bird, Carolyn Brescia, Bobbie Burkett, Krystal Burt, Laura Burt, Tonni Callan, Shannon Capelle, Jessica Cashen, Dawn Chalk, Margaret Chapman, Kelly Clinard, Paula Corregan, Brenda Curry, Claudia Davis, Emily Deakins, Florence Deputy, Sharon Desrosiers, Judith Dickinson, Jennifer Dismukes, Aleta Dodson, Jenn Donald, L Dosch, Lorrea Duffin, Sandy Edwards, Mary Ehly, Missy England, Sondra Federspill, Diana Ferguson, Ali Fields, Wendy Flewellen, Stephanie Flores, Karen Hart, Fran Foster, Nancy Francis, Patti Frost, Misty Galica, Jamie Gillespie, Sara Grillo, Mary Hale,Jan Hall, Juli Hall, Wendy Hatton, Elizabeth Hendrix, Valerie Hildebrand, Karen Hillis, Hope Hogan, Christy Holt, Jan Jackson, Maddee James, Aggie Jayne, Janine Johnson, Leslie Jones, Jen Karalfa, Becky Kasberg, Judy Kettering, Karen Kleer, Leslie Kline, Siri Kloud, George Labanick, Kathleen Lamoth, Nicole Lau, Vicky Leader, Peggy Leary, Sheri Lemay, Melanie Ley, Alice Lindsey, Martha Marks, Sarah Marshall, Kim Matlock, Christina McCaffrey, Anita McLane, Linda McLean, Erin McNabb, Barbara Melton, Lauren Mendes, Darlene Mohler, Dawn Mottlow, Rose Munoz, Susan Murphy, Marie Neith, Deb Nelson, Wend Neumann, Ena Parcher, Shelly Peterson, Gabby Pianella, Jessica Piercy, Tiffani Pruitt, Shirley Reagan, Gabrielle Reed, Daphnee Reynolds, Virginia Rodriguez, Rhonda Rudd, Elaine Sapp, Janet Sass, Denise Schenk, Susan Shelton, Patty Smith, Laura Souders, Trudy Spiller, Katrina Stack, Donna Stepp, Roselyn Stingley, Susan Strack, Mavis Swart, Sally Thierer, Brenda Treddle, Debbie Turner, Erilda Uka, Judette Vaval, Raquel Vega-Grieder, Patricia Veinot, Lisa Verducci, Lisa Walker, Lacey Waters, Mary Weiser, Ab Wescott, Cheryl Wheeler, Therese Wiese, Delores Wolfe, Nikki Woodworth, Elma Young, Kimberly, Candy, Sonnetta, Bobbi, Alana, Lisa, E, Doris, and those who didn't reveal their real names!
 

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*I’ve added a new feature to the Birthday Bunch, but it only works if I have your birth month and day. If you haven’t already done so, please update your newsletter subscription by putting your email address into the form on my Contact page and then choosing the popup that says: Click here to update your profile. You’ll then get an email that tells you how to update your preferences. Thanks!
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