The Story behind The Butterfly Garden

Mary and her siblings

I am the third child in a family of four—two older brothers and a younger sister, all born in less than six years. Our family wasn’t wealthy, as a matter of fact, we were much less than wealthy, though we never knew it. We thought sharing a bed was normal, and a bathroom, and a closet, and clothes…as for entertainment, well, there was only one mother in the neighborhood who had a car and it wasn’t for carting kids around to play dates.

We spent our early childhood playing and working together, and of course, as siblings do, complained the oldest got favored and the youngest got spoiled, and the two of us in the middle got all the work. Even today, we think there’s a grain of truth in that, though our mother insists we were all treated the same. Any middle child will tell you that is doubtful!

And so, The Butterfly Garden is especially important to me because it delves into sibling relationships and family hierarchy as children and as adults. It also deals with metamorphosis on various levels and an eventual letting go…of old beliefs, habits, rituals. Just as the butterfly sheds its cocoon to emerge in dazzling splendor, so too, if given proper nurturing and guidance, do we.

I am so very grateful for my brothers and sister. Through the years we have leaned on one another, never more than a phone call away, listened with great empathy, advised with caution, accepted our differences, and above all, loved one another. That is indeed a cherished gift.

For a very limited time, The Butterfly Garden is free. For lovers of my bestselling Truth in Lies series aka the A Family Affair books, it’s also the prequel to A Family Affair: The Return. Here’s a description of the book that is both a romance and a “sister’s” book:

It’s all about that second chance…

The Butterfly Garden is Book Six of That Second Chance Series. (These are stand-alone stories tied together by a common theme— belief in the beauty of that second chance.)

Sometimes love happens when you least expect it…

Jenny Romano has never been a white-picket-fence, happily-ever-after girl. Despite a mother who rejected her free-spirited, unique ways as irresponsible and just plain wrong, Jenny has found happiness as a photographer, flitting around the country and snapping photos of other people’s lives. Her older sister, Grace, has a husband, children, and a carpool schedule. She’s the one their mother calls “perfect.”

But when tragedy strikes her sister’s carefully constructed life, Jenny must step in and offer support. Soon, she finds herself in the sort of small-town suburban life she swore to avoid…

Psychologist Elliot Drake spends so much time healing other people’s pain and witnessing the backlash of caring too deeply that he prefers to keep his own relationships short and bittersweet. He’s loved and lost once and with a young daughter to raise, he’s not willing to risk his heart again. But he’s never met anyone quite like Jenny. Outrageous and unpredictable, she’s a force of nature—not at all like her well-controlled older sister. Suddenly, Elliot isn’t so sure that short-term is what he wants…

Taken by surprise and unsure of the next step, Elliot and Jenny are about to discover that real life happens whether you want it to or not. Will they let real love happen, too?

That Second Chance Series

Book One: Pulling Home – (Also prequel to A Family Affair: The Promise
Book Two: The Way They Were – (Also prequel to A Family Affair: The Secret)
Book Three: Simple Riches – (Also prequel to A Family Affair: Winter
Book Four: Paradise Found – (Also prequel to A Family Affair: The Wish)
Book Five: Not Your Everyday Housewife – (Also prequel to A Family Affair: The Gift)
Book Six: The Butterfly Garden – (Also prequel to A Family Affair: The Return)

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