A Girl's Guide to Moving On (New Beginnings #2) - Debbie Macomber

Dear Friends,

As an author with a long publishing history, I’m often asked if there’s a favorite book I’ve written. Certainly some stories are stronger than others. That said, I’m proud of every single published book. Perhaps the best way to explain this is to say that behind the words on the page beats the heart of the writer. My love of story is right there ready to link with your love of reading.

I want you to know A Girl’s Guide to Moving On is a special book. I couldn’t wait to get to my computer each morning, and the chapters poured out of me in such a rush that I could barely get the words on the page fast enough. My hope is that you feel that same enjoyment when you read Nichole’s and Leanne’s stories. When I read a good book the story will often linger in my mind. It’s hard to let go of the characters. I had a hard time letting go of Rocco and Nikolai. Treat them with care and fall in love with them the way I did.

Hearing from my readers is a huge bonus to me as an author. I’d love to hear from you. Contacting me is easy. You can leave me a message on my webpage at debbiemacomber or on Facebook or Twitter. If you’d prefer to write a letter, my mailing address is P.O. Box 1458, Port Orchard, WA 98366. I look forward to reading your comments.

Warmest regards,

Not so long ago I assumed I had the perfect life. Because my husband made a substantial income, I was a stay-at-home mom for our toddler son, Owen. My husband loved and cherished me. We lived in an upscale community outside of Portland, Oregon. Jake and I were members of one of the area’s most prestigious country clubs. My in-laws lived close by and adored their grandson, especially my mother-in-law, Leanne.

Then, in a single afternoon, my entire world imploded. I learned that my husband had been having an affair, possibly multiple affairs, and had gotten his latest conquest pregnant. Leanne was the one who told me.

It was common knowledge that over the course of their marriage my father-in-law had been less than faithful. I often wondered if Leanne knew or if she turned a blind eye.

She knew.

When Leanne learned that Jake had followed in his father’s footsteps she couldn’t bear seeing me go through the humiliation and crippling low self-esteem she’d endured through the years. Her fear was that Owen would grow up to be like his father and grandfather, disrespecting his wedding vows, tearing apart his wife’s self-worth.

I wasn’t like Leanne. I refused to look the other way and I couldn’t pretend all was well in my marriage. That said, I was afraid to walk away from Jake. I feared being alone, facing all the struggles of being a single parent and so much else. A divorce would mean a complete upheaval in my and Owen’s lives, not to mention our finances. I needed encouragement and support.

My parents were gone, having died within a short time of each other. My two sisters lived in another state, and while they were supportive and wonderful, I needed someone close who would walk with me through this valley of tears.

That person, to my surprise, was Leanne. When I filed for divorce, she followed suit and filed at the same time, walking away from her thirty-five-year marriage. She’d had enough.

This was how we ended up living in apartments across the hall from each other in downtown Portland. We became our own support group, encouraging each other. She helped me wade through the emotional mire that went hand in hand with the death of a marriage. Together we faced each day of our new independent lives. I don’t think I would have survived without her, and she said the same of me. We’d been close before, but we were even closer now.

Soon after we moved in to our apartments, Leanne and I made up a list of ways in which we would get through this pain. We called it A Guide to Moving On.

The first item on that list was: Don’t allow yourself to wallow in your pain. Reach out. Volunteer. Do something you love or something to help others.

That was easier said than done. I often found myself weepy and struggling against this desperate loneliness. I missed Jake and all the little things he used to do, like gassing up my car or changing batteries and fixing things.