beautiful encounters 💖💫
It's been three and a half weeks since the publication of Awakening Hearts, and, already, my heart has been touched in so many ways by interactions it has sparked. I've reconnected with friends I hadn't spoken to in a long time who told me they were touched by my book. Existing relationships with people in my life have deepened, and I've forged new ones with people who've quickly become dear friends.
I've met a lot of fellow authors on this journey, and I've been blown away by their generosity of spirit. Indie authors truly are a special bunch. There are so many who are eager to share their hard-earned knowledge and give fellow fledgling authors a leg up. I couldn't be more grateful for all I've learned and the support I have received along the way. 🙏🏼
I'm infinitely grateful for all who've taken the time to read and review my book, who've posted about it on their social media, and who've reached out to me and told me what the story has meant to them. Thank you from the bottom of my heart! 🙏🏼💝
And then, a few nights ago, something unprecedented happened that made my heart just about burst. 💗 I received my first direct feedback from a reader who was a complete stranger. Yes, a few strangers had already reviewed my book—thanks to a service called NetGalley that connects reviewers with authors and publishers—but I didn't have a personal interaction with them. I've also had wonderful people read and review my book whom I didn't know previously—but we had an exchange before they read, and they, too, quickly became friends.
Well, on Thursday night, I received a message from a bona fide customer—someone who bought my book on Amazon, probably as a result of the experimental ads I've been running. (That in itself was quite a validation!) This reader loved Awakening Hearts so much that she felt called to visit my website and send me a message through my contact page—a message that went straight to my heart! 💘 She is an 83-year old woman who's just made some life-altering discoveries about herself in the past two years, and my story moved her.
Could an author possibly ask for anything more?
She loved the book so much that she promptly ordered the paperback after she finished reading it on her tablet, so she could mark her favorite passages and re-read them, over and over. And she's eagerly awaiting the publication of the sequel. 🥰💗 (Heart bursting!)
Instead of making progress on Awakening Souls on Thursday night, as I had planned, I spent hours emailing my new friend, Frances—who, incidentally, shares my crazy night owl schedule. We're kindred spirits! 🌙🦉😄
I didn't get any closer to delivering on my promise of a sequel, but it was well worth it. What a gift and delight! 💝
Frances sent me a beautiful poem she wrote about the first shared hug after the mask mandate was lifted back in March, and I shed a few tears. She's given me permission to share her poem here with you, so get your tissues ready.
Such a simple thing
A glad hello
A quick goodbye
It does not even qualify
As an embrace
But after days
Without a single human touch
You, still new to me,
Held out your arms
And so did I
Both trying not to cry
We clung together
Desperate to be heart to heart
To be held and warmed
To hear another breathe
With no space between
You said through tears
“This is my first one.”
And I knew then
A hug is after all
not such a simple thing
When one has been
For so very long
So terribly alone.
March 27, 2021
Are you crying? I'm not crying. 😅😭 I'm just a little misty-eyed...
It seems trite to even write about anything else after this... But once you have composed yourself, I'd love to share with you another story about the magic of Amazon algorithms. 💫 I know, who knew? 😅
Letting my amateur eyes roam over my ad statistics, trying to make sense of them, I was drawn in by a tiny thumbnail depicting the book of another author that Amazon must have deemed would draw similar readers as my own. My heart beat a little faster when I clicked on the accompanying link and read the book's description. An author after my own heart! I knew immediately that I would love the book—and I sure did! Had I not begun reading it at two o'clock in the morning, I would have finished it in one sitting. As it was, I tore myself painfully away from it at five a.m. and finished it the next day.
I was stunned to find powerful similarities between Karen Jasper's book, The Light Stays On, and my own novel. For starters, she also has a main character named Alex, who equally struggles with her morality and hence has a difficult time committing to the woman she loves, Lily. And Lily, like Sage, drives a Mazda—a small detail that gave me the tingles.
There's more, but I won't spoil the fun for you. If you're a fan of my writing, I highly recommend you check out Karen Jasper's book. It's a different story, of course, written in her own unique style—but the deep soulmate love these two women share and the rollercoaster it takes them on resembles the connection between my characters in Awakening Hearts. It's the kind of love you just can't walk away from with finality, no matter how hard you may try.
Check out my review of The Light Stays On on Goodreads.
Of course, I reached out to the author, and we, too, struck up a friendship. She recently released a poetry book I should be receiving from Amazon any day. I look forward to indulging in it! It's called Love & Other Annoyances: All Purpose Poems for Hard Headed and Soft Hearted Romantics. Don't you just love the title already?
What have you been reading as of late that's touched your heart and soul? And what synchronistic encounters has life led you to?
I'd love to hear about the ways magic has infused your life. These times can feel so heavy—I believe it's more important than ever to pause and take note of the magical moments. 💫🦄🦋🌈
With all my love,
P.s.: There's an exciting new development brewing for Awakening Hearts, and I'm excited to share it soon. Stay tuned for updates!