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— Essentials —

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For our final book club selection before we break for the summer, we’re featuring the second book in Ellen Herrick’s magical Sparrow Sisters series, The Forbidden Garden. It’s the story of Sorrel Sparrow and her rare gift for nurturing plants and flowers. Sorrel travels from her New England home, to an English country estate, where she’s been asked to revive a Shakespeare garden imbued with family secrets. Gardeners, art lovers, and romantics will love the fairy tale Herrick spins. I had chance to interview the author and ask her some questions. She’s also happy to answer any of your questions in the comments field.

Q. You write such beautiful characters in The Sparrow Sisters. How did the idea of the sisters come about? Continue Reading

— Life —

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For March’s book club, we’re discussing Abby Fabiaschi’s novel, I Liked My Life. It’s a beautiful examination of grief, marriage, parenting, mother-daughter relationships, and aging. I’m thrilled the author is able to join us for Q&A. Continue Reading

— Life —

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I give this advice in my new book, Sick and Tired & Sexy: Living Beautifully with Chronic Illness: “Never go out of the house when you aren’t presentable.” That doesn’t mean dressed to the nines–I’m a blue jean girl, after all–but it does mean hair brushed, sunscreen on, eyebrows filled in and a touch of mascara and lipgloss. What are we talking here, five minutes? And yet, there are days when I… just…can’t. I feel like there’s not enough air in the air. What’s a woman to do? Well, for most of you, you’d probably be ill if you felt like this, so the thing to do would be call in sick and crawl back in bed, knowing you’ll feel better tomorrow.

If, like me, you are one of the approximately 65-million women who live with chronic illnesses, you look at your schedule and prioritize, apologize, and reschedule.

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— Life —

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I love Caroline Leavitt’s novels. Not only are they very readable and filled with fully-rounded, memorable characters, but they also impart all of the wisdom of a good self-help book. Leavitt’s soon-to-be-released book, Cruel Beautiful World (available for pre-order), is a skilled observation of the interplay of grief, healing, and love. Below are some of the quotes that stayed with me, long after I’d finished the book, as well as the lessons I took from them.

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