Saturday, February 27, 2010


I just got news that I have to share: An Unexpected Father, my April release, was chosen as one of Romantic Times Book Reviews ‘Top Picks’. They gave it four and a half stars, too! I am stunned and honored.

For me, writing a book and sending it out for publication feels a little like sending my children off to school. How are they going to do? Will the other kids like them? Will they behave? Will anyone understand the effort I put in to raising them right? I know that you have to just send it off and hope for the best, but it’s difficult mothering such an unruly child. When a review and kudos like this come along, they bring grateful tears to my eyes.

When I was a teenager, my dad came home one night from work and hugged me. Just out of the blue. Now, my dad’s not really a demonstrative guy. I’d never had any doubt that he loved me, but hugs were for special occasions: birthdays, injuries, good report cards. If you’d been away on a trip—not just a weekend sleepover—yeah, a hug was due. He was glad to see me and I was glad to see him. But his return home from just another day at the office was not a ‘huggable’ event. A kiss from my mom was enough of a greeting for him.

On this particular evening, as far as I knew, I hadn’t done anything spectacular. I was a teenager; no one expected spectacular from me. Getting through those teen years was sometimes all anyone hoped for really, me included. Mostly, I think I was a relatively easy kid to raise—especially after my older brother. My parents didn’t pull their hair out too much over my moodiness, I paid attention in school, I was popular enough. You know, normal. So, I had no idea why my dad hugged me. When I asked, I was embarrassed by his answer. In a good way, though.

I had just spent the weekend with a close friend and gone out on a hike with her family. I didn’t know it, but my dad, a forester, was managing a timber sale with my friend’s father. At work that day, this father asked my dad if I was his daughter. After my dad admitted it was so, the guy shook my dad’s hand and congratulated him on having a good kid. He was impressed because I had picked up some trash on our hike and carried it back out of the woods.

This wasn’t a special thing to me; it was the way I had been raised. But it sure was to my dad. He got to find out—from a complete stranger—that all the hard work of being a parent had paid off. I feel that way about my book. The characters I loved writing went out into the world and did something good. It’s a small thing, like picking up a piece of trash, but they made me proud.

Of course, after I read the review, I hugged them, too.


Marcie said...

First - congrats on the review! It's a beautiful cover too!
Second - my Dad wasn't one for showing affection either. But as an adult and I was going through a bad spell he told me I was a strong person and will be alright. Dads always seem to be there at just the right time when we need them and sometimes even when we think we don't.

Estella said...


Linda Henderson said...

Congratulations on your great review.

Gillian Layne said...


There is nothing more wonderful than having strangers tell you your kids did something great. It's the best feeling ever.

Linda Warren said...