51delhtgxql-_sx331_bo1204203200_THE SURVIVOR’S GUIDE TO FAMILY HAPPINESS

Newly orphaned, recently divorced, and semiadrift, Nina Popkin is on a search for her birth mother. She’s spent her life looking into strangers’ faces, fantasizing they’re related to her, and now, at thirty-five, she’s ready for answers.

 Meanwhile, the last thing Lindy McIntyre wants is someone like Nina bursting into her life, announcing that they’re sisters and campaigning to track down their mother. She’s too busy with her successful salon, three children, beautiful home, and…oh yes, some pesky little anxiety attacks.

But Nina is determined to reassemble her birth family. Her search turns up Phoebe Mullen, a guarded, hard-talking woman convinced she has nothing to offer. Gradually sharing stories and secrets, the three women make for a messy, unpredictable family that looks nothing like Nina pictured…but may be exactly what she needs. Nina’s moving, ridiculous, tragic, and transcendent journey becomes a love story proving that real family has nothing to do with DNA.


Readers’ guide questions.




The Opposite of Maybe


I’m so excited to announce that The Opposite of Maybe is came out in April of 2014. And here’s the cover, which I just adore. It’s the story of Rosie, who at the ripe age of forty-four, discovers that she just might be a tiny bit pregnant. Unexpectedly so. As she puts it, she and Jonathan may have won the fertility sweepstakes since their incident of unprotected sex happened by accident and only one time in their 15-year relationship.

The trouble is…they may be splitting up. And Rosie may now need to become the full-time caretaker to her 88-year old rascal of a grandmother, who has always advised her against motherhood and commitment and giving up her right to do as she pleases.

Yep, it’s a story about a life going off the rails…as Rosie has to figure out if maybe what she’s needed all along was something that she never thought she wanted. But is it too late?


Reader’s Guide Questions.



The Stuff That Never Happened


Annabelle and Grant McKay have been married for 28 years and seem like the happiest couple anybody would ever want to meet. But here’s the thing about them: they met when they were very young and got married quickly because Grant had accepted a position across the country.  To save on expenses, they moved in with another young couple and their children.

And during that time, something devastating happened which changed the course of their marriage forever.

In time, they recovered and moved on.  But Grant’s condition for forgiving Annabelle was that they would never speak again of what had happened. They would move away and live in his family homestead in New Hampshire, where they would raise a family and learn to trust and love each other again.

It worked.  They had two children, Annabelle became an artist and Grant a respected professor, and their house was the place in town where all the kids liked to hang out. They were in love, busy, successful, and happy.

But now, once the kids have left home, Annabelle realizes that she hasn’t really gotten over what happened to them back at the beginning of their marriage. Grant has thrown himself into his work, barely masking the anger he feels toward her–and with the nest suddenly empty and her husband grown cold, she starts to wonder if perhaps they made the right decision after all. And when her daughter needs her to come help her deal with a difficult pregnancy, Annabelle is thrown into a situation that forces her to rethink everything she thought she knew about love and marriage and family happiness.

The story is a quiet, introspective look at marriage and parenthood, and it alternates between the past, when the event happened, and the present day, when the repercussions of pretending it never occurred take place.  It’s a book about life and love and living with decisions you’ve made in the past.

Above all, it’s an affirming exploration of what we choose and what we choose to leave behind.

In Annabelle’s words,  “Maybe this is common. Perhaps the whole human race goes around with an ache like this. Maybe we’re all dreaming of a person from the tantalizing past who sits there, uninvited, watching from the edge of our consciousness, somebody you find packing up and moving out of your head just as you’re waking up in the morning, and whose essence clings to you all day as though you have spent the night with him, wandering off together somewhere among the stars, making out on strangers’ couches and in train stations and football stadiums, laughing over things that make no sense at all.”

Read an excerpt.


Reader’s Guide questions.