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My friend Dan (who also happens to be my daughter’s father-in-law) sends the best e-mails. I don’t usually forward stuff but could not resist this one. I will almost forgive the yard deer who keep pruning my tomatoes and roses. Photo credit to Les Stocker for capturing the fragility and tenderness of this little critter. Update: Here is more about Rupert the Fawn:






You’ll want to live on Angel Lane when you read this terrific new novel by Sheila Roberts. Here’s her guest post:


fabulous new book

fabulous new book

What’s more fun than having a new book out? Having a new book out at the same time as your good friend! I’m excited about my new release Angel Lane, but I’m doubly excited that it coincides with the release of Susan’s fab new Willow Lake chronicle, Lakeshore Christmas (my personal favorite!). This means we get to do some fun events together to celebrate the birth of our new brain babies. And our calendars are full! We’re doing everything from women’s show appearances to radio interviews. At one of our book signings (Eagle Harbor Books, Bainbridge Island, WA) we’re even having a Christmas cookie contest with a fabulous prize for some lucky winner. How fun is that? Several of our events will include our buddy Suzanne Selfors, popular YA author, who is enjoying the success of her latest book Coffeehouse Angel, so then it will be triple the fun.

and another!

and another!

Since we moved out to our little lake I haven’t seen as much of Susan as I used to, so I’m looking forward to some serious hang-out time and hoping lots of readers will come hang with us and find out what our new books have in common.

Speaking of things in common . . . at first glance Miz Wiggs and I might look like polar opposites. She’s totally fit and is a fearless skier. I’m an out of shape blob who dreams of someday conquering the bunny slope. I could happily spend hours playing all kinds of goofy parlor games. Susan plays with me just to be a sport. If locked in a room and left to solve the world’s problems we would . . . never reach an agreement on how to do it. So, you may be wondering, what the heck do we have in common? The same thing most girlfriends do: love of family, loyalty to friends, delight in finding a great new recipe, an addiction to chick flicks, What Not to Wear, and anything chocolate. We also share a love of reading and a sense of adventure. (No, I won’t climb Mt. Rainier with her, but I’ll cross the ocean in a rowboat (we’ve done something darned close to that!). And we both keep each other highly entertained. Now, here’s hoping we’ll keep you entertained this fall, too.

I have a hard time with forwarded e-mails. There are just so many of them, and while they all offer a joke, word of wisdom or link to something interesting, there’s not enough time in the day to deal with them all. The ones that ask me to forward to 12 or 17 or 4 other friends/colleagues/phenomenal women/people in my address book don’t really work for me, even though they’re harmless. And the ones that promise me a stroke of luck or warn me of something dire if I fail to do so…those are the chain letters of the new millennium.

But here’s one I read. Why? It came as plain text. It was brief. The header wasn’t cluttered with the e-mail addresses of 794 strangers. It was just a simple note, with no blinking graphics, no rows of >>>>, no questionable claims for me to verify on I was told to copy and paste it to friends, but see above. I don’t forward things. I do, however, post stuff on my blog. If it’s lovely stuff. If it’s thoughtful. If it’s worth reading:

May today there be peace within.  May you trust that you are exactly where you are meant to be. May you not forget the infinite possibilities that
are born of faith in yourself and others. May you use the gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you. May you be
content with yourself just the way you are. Let this knowledge settle into your bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and
love. It is there for each and every one of us.

May today there be peace within.  May you trust that you are exactly where you are meant to be. May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith in yourself and others. May you use the gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you. May you be content with yourself just the way you are. Let this knowledge settle into your bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love. It is there for each and every one of us.

Question: What do you do with forwarded e-mails–read, pass on, discard, decide on a case-by-case basis?

I am very inept at doing things on Facebook, but I managed to publish a note on my profile. Since I’m much more comfortable with WordPress, I’m pasting it here.
Once you’ve been tagged, you are supposed to write a note with 25 random things, facts, habits, or goals about you. At the end, choose 25 people to be tagged. You have to tag the person who tagged you. If I tagged you, it’s because I want to know more about you.

(To do this, go to “notes” under tabs on your profile page, paste these instructions in the body of the note, type your 25 random things, tag 25 people (in the right hand corner of the app) then click publish.)

1. I don’t know how to use all the features on my Nikon D-80 but I’m too impatient to read the manual.
2. Barkis’s dog trainer is an expert in the sport of Schutzhund.
3. Jay is my first husband.
4. I used to be a Mean Girl in high school when I played field hockey. 😦
5. I write the first draft of every book in longhand.
6. I don’t really know how to do things on Facebook so this note might go in a black hole.
7. I’m supposed to tag people in this note who tagged me, but I’ve no idea how to do that….just figured it out! And now I’m going to do it by going through the alphabet backwards, just because.
8. One year, I didn’t have enough money to justify entering my novel in the RITA contest.
9. When we incorporated, my first act as president of Susan M. Wiggs Inc was to get a corporate account with Seattle Chocolates.
10. I call my parents every day and talk to both of them.
11. Speaking of old people, Jay and I have dinner together almost every single night, but sometimes we eat at 5:30.
12. My childhood dog, Pepper, won a blue ribbon for “most beautiful” in a school dog show. She was a Dalmation.
13. I love to ski but I’m picky about the weather.
14. I can see Mount Rainier from my house.
15. I have an extensive collection of rare antique golf balls in my living room. And 2 sequoias trees in my yard.
16. My girlfriends and I tell each other everything. Seriously, everything. Are you listening, guys? EVERYTHING.
17. I don’t keep any secrets from my husband.
18. My basement creeps me out.
19. I’m glad Bush is gone and hope Obama stays true to liberal ideals.
20. My favorite radio shows are “Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me” and “This American Life.”
21. I randomly send Seattle Chocolate Truffle bars to faraway friends and business associates.
22. I love burning CDs and sending them in greeting cards to friends.
23. There are two TV stars living in my neighborhood, but I would never say who.
24. It bugs me to use “texted” and “friended” as verbs, as in, “I friended you on Facebook and then texted you about tonight.”
25. It took me 5 minutes and 24 seconds to type this list–I timed it on the computer. And I’m not going back to re-read my answers.

the view from here

A fun party to launch Just Breathe! Slide show here. I have the nicest readers and friends!

ready to launch

ready to launch


Know what makes me happy? When I make friends with a writer and I’m a fan of her books. Which makes me glad I know Carol. Here’s an excerpt of my review of her debut novel. It’s published in its entirety on my favorite review site:

Physician Carol Cassella’s haunting debut novel has generated a lot of pre-pub buzz — for good reason. It’s exactly the sort of book that gets people excited — fresh and different, something you can’t wait to share with a friend or better yet, with your book group. It’s a clear-your-schedule and turn-off-the-phone novel, the kind you want to hide away and read straight through to the end.

OXYGEN tells the story of Dr. Marie Heaton, a gifted anaesthesiologist facing a doctor’s worst nightmare — dealing with the fallout after something in the O.R. goes terribly wrong. It’s not a thriller, although a sense of impending danger and doom pervades each scene, building to a stunning and inexorable climax. Nor is it a medical procedural, though the book pulls aside the curtains on the mysterious and frightening (to lay people, anyway) workings of the operating room. OXYGEN is a story of tragedy and redemption, intricately plotted and told in a compelling voice that will keep you riveted to the page.

[…] I loved this book the way I loved MIDWIVES by Chris Bohjalian. I imagine there will also be favorable comparisons to THE MEMORY KEEPER’S DAUGHTER, or maybe THE LOVELY BONES. The publisher describes this book as “Atul Gawande meets Jodi Picoult,” an awkward but apt shorthand to tell the reader that it combines the literary medical voice of the former with the tautly wound psychological drama of the latter. Yet Cassella writes with a quiet precision and grace all her own, firmly establishing herself as a talent to watch.

    Order OXYGEN from   
    Amazon     Barnes&Noble

PositanoOkay, she knew this would make me blush but never mind that. Geri Krotow’s debut novel is wonderful, as I knew it would be. Here’s a very sweet post from one of my best friends. Here’s a contribution from Geri:

My dear friend Susan Wiggs has offered to let me blog for the sake of promoting my November release, A RENDEZVOUS TO REMEMBER, a Harlequin Everlasting Love novel. But I figure that if you’re reading this blog on a regular basis it’s because you know and love Susan and her work. Geri & me

So why blog about me? I’m going to blog about what you come here for—Susan. Of course I hope you go out and by my book, and more importantly, love it. This is my first published novel, and it’s quite the “full-circle” moment. And in my circle of life, especially my writing life, there have been key sister-friends along the way. Some things are meant to be. In spite of what seem to be long-to-impossible odds, people beat terminal diseases. Lovers reunite. A lost pet finds its owners after a long trek across state lines.

And so it is with friends. Some friends we feel an immediate bond with, regardless of any apparent (or unapparent) dissimilarities. One of my “miracle” friends is Susan Wiggs.

I met Susan in July 2000. I remember when because it was my very first Romance Writers of America National Conference, and it was in Washington, DC that year. As Patricia Potter once said at a Memphis RWA meeting, I felt like I’d “died and gone to heaven with all the other writers.” This was a place I belonged. It took a while to find it, but I did.

Very unpublished and somewhat naïve of professional boundaries, I went up to Susan at the book-signing and asked her which island she lived on in Puget Sound. At her hesitation (did her blue eyes see a psycho-rabid-fan?) I hurried to tell her that our Navy family had been stationed in Washington, and was due back, also to an island in Puget Sound. She smiled, told me where she lived, and encouraged me to contact her as soon as I relocated to the Seattle area.

I did just that, and through her guidance found the Peninsula Romance Writers. Susan became one of my mentors. I’m not sure it was ever her choice to mentor me, as I immediately took advantage of any sage advice she shared. I soaked up any knowledge like Sponge Bob in the Sahara. Susan encouraged me to not only follow my dreams, but to do so with no-holds-barred. “I’ll sleep when I’m dead” is a phrase that’s passed her lips more than once. And it reflects in Susan’s continuous series of richly written, highly acclaimed, and reader-beloved, novels.

Perhaps the greatest honor I’ve shared with anyone I shared with Susan and her husband Jay when they came to help celebrate my husband’s Navy Change of Command.  Susan went on to write THE OCEAN BETWEEN US which I watched, from our overseas tour in Italy, become a New York Times Bestseller. Then of course there was RWA National 2006, in Atlanta. Susan asked me to take her place at the RITA awards, and not only did I do that, I was honored to accept, on her behalf, Susan’s RITA for LAKESIDE COTTAGE.

NaplesOne thing I’ll always remember about Susan is her fearlessness. We once explored the streets of Naples, Italy together. She calmly sat in the passenger seat of my minivan as I whipped up an alley in the ancient, chaotic city. When I got too close to the lamp posts, and inadvertently smashed off the passenger side mirror, Susan barely screamed.

Where and when others would cower in complete terror, or give up, or fail to reach out a helping hand, Susan remains steadfast and true. She’s been there with me when I sold, when I’ve won a contest, and when I’ve received the umpteenth rejection for the same manuscript.

Susan didn’t wait for me to ask, but offered a quote for my novel to my editor. For those of you not in the publishing industry, this is beyond generous. It is downright remarkable.

capuccinoThe world needs more Susan Wiggses in it. Yet, there’s only one Susan, and I’m so grateful to call her my friend.

Who’s been an anchor in your life?

No trick, just a treat. A new book by one of my most favorite romance authors, Lois Faye Dyer, is just hitting the stores.  The Princess and the Cowboy is the kind of sweep-you-away romance that is not only calorie-free, but it lasts longer and is more satisfying than chocolate. What’s better than that? Here’s a blurb to entice you:

Idaho rancher Justin Hunt has loved only one woman, Lily Spencer. When he learns the Seattle lingerie designer has a daughter who bears an amazing resemblance to him, he’ll stop at nothing to claim them both.  But Lily doesn’t trust the cowboy who once broke her heart and before she’ll let him into her life, Justin will have to prove that this time, he’s going to stay.   

And a bit of publishing trivia–this line of books, Silhouette Special Edition, is where the bestselling author on the planet, The Princess and the CowboyNora Roberts, got her start. And her editor was the ever-entertaining Isabel Swift.

Not only that, the heroine of this book and I have something in common. See page 126–we both have the same favorite romance author. 🙂

There’s a delightful note from Lois here. What are you waiting for? Spend the weekend with a cowboy.

I love having company. Especially when it’s Isabel Swift, one of Harlequin’s top executives. She was in Seattle so we got to hang out for a while, talking business and books. We brainstormed some ideas, had an amazing meal and caught up. She’s definitely on the fun side of publishing.

Isabel Swift

 Go read her blog. You’ll learn a lot.

…And the same week, Deeanne Gist, a Christy-award-winning author and friend from waaaay back took a break from her book-research trip to stop by. I first met Dee a hundred years ago when I was new and she was just getting started. I knew she would publish her novels one day. How? Commitment. She had four small children, but she went to the RWA conference in New York, bringing peanut butter and crackers in her luggage in order to make the trip affordable. Would you do it? Leave your family and subsist on peanut butter in order to meet the people who will help you get published? Sometimes, that’s what it takes. Now Dee has published numerous books, won a major award and the kids are in high school and college, one of them about to be married. A writer knows how to make her own happy ending.

Dee, Barkis, me

Elizabeth Engstrom came for a visit. We met years ago when she was the director of the Maui Writers Retreat, and we’ve been friends ever since. She’s a fantastic writer, editor and innovator. There is nothing quite so relaxing as hanging out with friends, talking endlessly. Liz also has a very wise new blog that is fast becoming a favorite. It’s one of the most genuine, funny, poignant and meaningful blogs on the net.

I’m posting this picture now, during a walloping autumn wind storm, so I can remember that just a few weeks ago, we were sitting in the Adirondack chairs on the beach, watching the dogs play.

Liz & me

 Here’s a tidbit from Liz’s blog. I love this because like all writers, I struggle with self-discipline. I mean, when the deadline is weeks or months away, it’s much too easy to procrastinate:

I will never have more discipline than I have right now.

There are many things I hope to accomplish (there’s that whole thing with yearning again), and they all require some aspect of discipline. Clearly, after procrastinating all these years, I can afford another week of bargaining with myself before lowering the hammer. But then I need to take action. I need to either get on with it, or give up on it.

Some dreams I’m sure I will give up.

But some dreams I don’t want to give up. So I better get on with it. Identify the goal, make a plan, and assign the discipline.

Life is short. 

It’s time.

Look for more about Liz next year, when her new series, The Northwoods Chronicles debuts.

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