You guys! I wrote another book! And you can buy it today!

I may or may not be really giddy right now, which is nothing short of miraculous because I’m battling a serious cold and my voice sounds a lot like I’ve been a two-packs-a-day kind of girl for a really long time. Think Barry White meets Bea Arthur.

I wrote a book this summer! I know, I’m a total weirdo. Most people go camping in the summer (ew). Or they join a recreational softball team (double ew). Or they eat their weight in ice cream or in a delicious little number known in Iowa as The Nutty Bar (OK, fine. I did do that.)

In between Nutty Bar purchases, I wrote a book! It’s called Better Together and it releases officially today! Better Together is the third book in my Heidi Elliott series, and I love it. Honestly. I do. It might just be my favorite of the three, and that’s saying something because this series is near and dear.

So here’s the scoop on how this book came to be.

I have always had a third Heidi book in me. I knew I wasn’t done, and I knew I wanted to tell the next installment in her story. These books aren’t exactly autobiographies, but they’re close. Let’s just say writing them was like cheap, indulgent therapy. And let’s also say that Marc is just as handsome and charming and funny as Jake. And that he also tries to book bizarre travel plans that involve yurts and gauchos just because they are screaming deals (see Bottom Line).

I knew I had another Heidi book in me. And when I heard myself say it out loud during a catch-up conversation with the people dearest to me, our words gathering in the twilight as we sat by the lake, I got suddenly sick of my bad self. Sick of saying I should, I would if I had time, I wished I could, blah, blah, blah. I got up early, long before the kids, the following day, and the day after that, and the day after that, and I kept getting up early and writing every day until it was done. I had my third Heidi book and I couldn’t whine about its absence in my life any more.

So here’s what I learned:

*I should whine less and do more.

*I can get a lot done when my children aren’t exactly conscious. Fear not: I will refrain from using blunt objects at 4 pm, but this realization does change things.

*Stepping into Heidi’s story was like picking up a continuing conversation with an old friend. I so dearly hope you feel the same way.

*Work, even when it’s fun, is still work. I love to write and I loved writing this book, but there were plenty of days when I wanted to be done and days when I feared all I had on paper was worth approximately one third of one penny. So if you’re there, if you’re working on something that can make your shoulders slump in defeat or make you want to bang your head not-very-gently on the nearest wall, press on. You can do it. Keep after it and silence that inner critic. That inner critic is dumb and still lives in her parents’ basement and eats all their sour cream and onion dip. She has no idea what’s true.

*I learned again that I love writing stories for you. I love writing romance that has charm and wit and chemistry. I love writing quirky characters who need the freedom of grace as much as I do. I love Heidi and Nora and Jake and Willow and Annie and all the other folks who make Heidi’s world rich and full. And I love a happy ending. I don’t know about you, but I’m in desperate need of a happy ending these days. The world has enough crazy and dysfunction to offer. Give me a book where I can forget the dysfunction for awhile and just read it while I eat my Nutty Bar.

I do so hope you love this book like I do. It’s been top secret for months, so I’m super excited to talk about it now.

Better Together absolutely stands on its own. You do not need to read the other Heidi books to completely enjoy it. However, if you want a refresher, Balancing Act and Bottom Line are available in updated editions here. In fact, Balancing Act in ebook form will be free within the next few days and will remain that way for a good while! So that’s an easy choice.

Thanks for sticking with me. I really do believe we are Better Together, no matter the divisive nature of the last month in our country. I really do believe in well-told stories and happy endings, and that having the patience and courage to get to that happy ending is where all the good stuff happens. Here’s to the good stuff!


p.s. Thanks for all the pre-pub good wishes and PR about Sugar, my first mainstream novel that releases this February. I am THRILLED the book has received such positive endorsements from early readers, fancy bestselling authors, and even a celebrity chef! I’m also very grateful that both Target and Barnes and Noble have enthusiastically acquired lots of copies for their stores. Again with the patience and again with the good stuff. God is kind and I am grateful. I can’t wait to share Sugar with you, but if you’re in a hurry, you can pre-order at Target, Barnes and Noble, and Amazon. Word on the street is that pre-orders tend to arrive a couple weeks early. 😉

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