Hello Readers!

There is absolutely nothing I love doing more than walking by the ocean, recently at Forest Beach in South Chatham, Massachusetts. After attending two memorials for a dear friend, several of us Wheaton College Class of ’79 grads headed to mutual friend Katie Buckley’s home on Cape Cod for a few days of rest and rejuvenation.

Some highlights included walking the two-mile stretch of beach every morning, taking photos, lingering at the breakfast table, identifying birds, visiting Yellow Umbrella Books, shopping, eating out at The Squire (where we were joined by author friend and Wheaton College Class of ’84 grad Janis Robinson Daly), stocking up on chocolates at The Candy Manor, and sitting up late talking over popcorn and Prosecco.

Pure heaven.

And is it any wonder I love Cape Cod so much? Here are two pix taken in July, 1957 with my mom and dad at Provincetown, Mass.





Hardland Wins Independent Press Award for Western Fiction

This just in from the Independent Press Association:

Hardland, by Ashley E. Sweeney, has been named the winner of the 2023 Independent Press Award for Western Fiction. 

Set in Arizona Territory in 1899, Hardland tells the story of renegade cowgirl Ruby Fortune as she navigates life alone in the American West.

The Independent Press Award competition is judged by experts from different aspects of the book industry, including publishers, writers, editors, book cover designers, and professional copywriters. Selected IPA Award Winners and Distinguished Favorites are based on overall excellence.

In 2023, IPA had entries worldwide. Authors and publishers from Australia, Canada, Germany, India, Japan, Norway, Scotland, South Africa, and the U.S. participated.

Featured Podcast on Authors Over 50

Thrilled to have been featured on Julia Brewer Daily’s Authors Over 50 podcast on March 30. You can access the podcast here (and other recent podcasts as well here.)

Book Club News

Join me at 9 p.m. Eastern Time on Thursday, April 13 as I discuss Hardland with the Third Thursday of the Month Book Club on Facebook (you’ll have to join group ahead of time to access). I’m looking forward to discussing Ruby Fortune with readers! Click here to join this Book Club.

New Release!

Congratulations to author, critique partner, and dear friend Debra Thomas on the release of Josie and Vic, her newest novel, on April 11.


When Josie Serafini’s brother Vic loses his wife and children in a tragic accident, Josie leaves her home and beloved horses in Upstate New York to join him in Los Angeles. While helping Vic pick up the pieces of his shattered life, Josie confronts broken relationships with her estranged father and rebellious, singer-songwriter daughter. Josie and Vic each struggle to find where they belong in their changing worlds. Josie finds comfort in nature and in a budding, long-distance relationship with the empathetic equine veterinarian caring for her horses back home. Vic battles depression as he seeks purpose in his life. Josie’s three horses and a Siberian husky help open hearts to tenderness and healing—but it’s an unexpected journey to the US-Mexico border that offers this fragmented family a chance to reconnect. A story of love, loss, and forgiveness, Josie and Vic conveys hope—even in the darkest of times.

And what about this gorgeous cover?! There’s a story there, too. Follow Deb at https://debrathomasauthor.com/ to learn more and read about her first award-winning novel Luz, her love for horses, and much more.

Suggested by Friends

  • All the Forgivenesses, by Elizabeth Hardinger
  • The Saints of Swallow Hill, by Donna Everhart
  • Dear Edward, by Ann Napolitano
  • River, Sing Me Home, by Eleanor Shearer
  • Echo of Old Books, by Barbara Davis
  • Homecoming, by Kate Morton

In Closing

Spring has sprung! Enjoy this season of revitalization in whatever way you most enjoy. For me, that definitely includes walking, gardening, spending time with friends, and reading. The takeaway from one of the recent memorials I attended is this:

Find what brings you joy . . . and DO IT!

Until next month, do whatever brings you joy and Happy Reading . . .