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The End

I’ve been writing a story for almost seven months. Finally, after much research, and a


When the DNA is strong

gazillion hours of putting in the hard work, I finished the manuscript. My husband asked if I was feeling celebratory. My response was a blank stare.

After I type the best two words (THE END), My brain goes hard into overdrive. Did I forget something or someone? Did I tie things up? Did I drop something I started along the way? Did someone have a cat and I never mention it again? That’s before I dive deep into the editing. Then there’s the timeline. Days, months, years. Did I stick with the continuity of it all?

That’s when I ask some folks to read it with fresh eyes and give it to me straight. I can’t do it alone. I don’t trust myself after rolling around in the words for so long. Plus, there are multiple points of view, which makes it even more complicated. Every scene from each POV has to match up the next time I’m in their head. Pardon my brain fog…

But I’m excited about the story–or I will be once it’s all cleaned up.

It’s a story of a woman who gets a DNA test as a gift instead of her expected engagement ring. Predictably, for a great story, the results aren’t as expected. Not only does she figure out that she was adopted at birth, a minor detail her loving parents never found the right time to tell her, but she’s got a sister who shows up on her “connections” profile. This leads her to her birth mother, who doesn’t want her to know who her birth father is except to say, “He’s a bad man.”

But as fate and fiction would have it, she gets an alert on her profile soon after that she has another connection. A brother on her birth father’s side. Now, there’s a whole new branch on the family tree; one that’s far more complicated. 

This is a story about family; the old, the new, and finding out that some things, as unwelcome as they seem, can complicate and enrich one’s life in equal measure. 

Set in the Low Country around the Sea Islands.

Let me just say that researching unexpected DNA results was fascinating. I spoke to several people who’d found out they had siblings and parents who were different than they’d believed. One woman in Florida found four sisters she knew nothing about. Her father had impregnated women throughout the state. They expect to find more matches.

I haven’t done a DNA test personally, but I look so much like both my parents that I wouldn’t expect any surprises, but I might do one for the sake of genealogy.

How about you? Do you have a good DNA story?

I hope you have a wonderful weekend!!

Susan Sands

The Big Game

images-5No matter how you feel about football, there’s a buzz of anticipation in our area surrounding the upcoming University of Georgia versus the University of Alabama national championship game this weekend. I live in the heart of SEC football territory here in metro Atlanta. My son is a graduate of UGA even though we are big LSU fans (also SEC). I would like to say I’m rooting for Georgia, or Alabama. I am neutral, however. When you’re a fan of one big team, it’s hard to root for another.

I write books set in small-town Alabama, so much of my time and energy this year has been spent researching football schedules and creating scenes in my stories about football rivalries between family members and games played during the holiday season and beyond. It was as if I could see the future. I also wrote about two characters whomoovealong175 were on opposite sides of the pro Saints/Falcons rivalry. AND in my latest book, a huge snowstorm hit Alabama and Georgia hard. Hmmm… Just hand over the tarot cards and call me psychic. Just kidding. But it was all kind of juju freaky, I have to admit. I can’t say I predicted every football outcome, but pre-writing the seasons before they were played was strange.

So, if you want to immerse yourself in the fun and excitement of the BIG GAME, plus enjoy some small town fun and romance, grab a copy of Christmas, Alabamaor really any of my Alabama series. They are packed full of all the Southern fun and crazy you could ask for, in addition to SEC football.

Or, just tune in on January 8th. Did I mention the game will be played here in Atlanta? I’ll be watching passively wishing my tigers would have made it all the way. But I wish both teams the best, as I have friends and readers who might be willing to donate a body part (a small, unimportant one) for their team to bring home the trophy.

Have a fantastic weekend, y’all!!



Spring Reading!

Hello Everyone,

I haven’t posted much in the blog lately, but today I’m reposting something really fun. My friend, Jaime Griffon has published a post for her travel blog (see link below) highlighting some fun spring reads by favorite authors.

I hope you will take a minute and check it. Most of us are stuck at home and have plenty of time on our hands right now. Reading is such a fantastic escape!!

Thanks to Jaime for including my first book, Again, Alabama in her Spring reads recommendations!


About Me

Hi! I’m Jaime Griffon! I’m a travel-obsessed foodie and lover of life! I enjoy sharing my adventures but also my friend’s experiences as well. Along the way, I’ll highlight packing tips that’ll make your adventures completely stress-free! 

Spring Reading Roundup!

In the spirit of supporting small businesses during #SocialDistancing, I want to take some time to introduce you to a few authors that I personally know. I’ve read all of these books and I think you’re going to love them as much as I do and, trust me, there’s something for everyone!

“A Feel Better Book for Little Worriers”

Holly Brochmann & Leah Bowen, Authors

Worries can feel like a BIG problem to a LITTLE kid! A Feel Better Book for Little Worriers assures kids that having some worries is normal — everyone has them, even adults! The rhyming narration helps little kids to identify a worry and where it might come from, as well as provides them with helpful tools to reduce and cope with worries.

Enjoy all of the B.Sisters “Feel Better” books including: “Little Poopers” “Little Tears” and “Little Tempers”.

“Some Mistakes Are Great Kissers”

Dr. Stefanie Kleine & Erin Moroni, Authors

Stefanie Kleine seemingly has it all… a highly successful career, an excessive number of degrees, loving parents, devoted friends, and great legs. The only thing she has not been able to accomplish is finding the right person to share her life with. In this no-holds-barred memoir, Stefanie takes us on her brutally honest, hilarious, heartbreaking, and at-times utterly bizarre quest to find true love.

Again, Alabama

Susan Sands, Author

Cammie Laroux is back in Alabama—again. Dragged back to her small town to help her mother recover from surgery while rescuing the family event planning business should be a cinch. Even for a disgraced television chef, right? Wrong. Among the many secrets Cammie’s family’s been hiding is the fact that their historic home is falling down. Oh, and the man hired to restore the house, Grey Harrison, is the same high school and college love of her life who thrashed her heart and dreams ten years ago. Yeah, that guy. As Cammie finds herself forgetting all the reasons she can’t trust Grey or love again, he finds himself remembering all the reasons he wants her to stay with him in Alabama… forever. Enjoy all of Susan’s books including “Love, Alabama”, ‘Forever, Alabama”, “Christmas, Alabama”, and an upcoming holiday book set to be released November 9th!

“Walk to Beautiful”

Jimmy Wayne, Author


Imagine yourself a thirteen-year-old hundreds of miles away from home, in a strange city, and your mom leaves you at a bus station parking lot and drives off into the night with her lover. That’s the real life story of country music star Jimmy Wayne.

Walk to Beautiful is the powerfully emotive account of Jimmy’s horrendous childhood and the love shown him by Russell and Bea Costner, the elderly couple who gave him a stable home and provided the chance to complete his education. Jimmy says of Bea, “She changed every cell in my body.”

Enjoy all of Jimmy’s books including “Ruby the Foster Dog”, “Paper Angels” (which was also made into a movie).

Love What You Do

Dana Spinola, Author

Do you live out your passions through your daily job? Do you know what your passions are? Through the hustle and bustle of the working adult life, it can be easy to let those things that make your heart swell slide to the back burner. In Love What You Do, founder of fab’rik, Dana Spinola, will help you embrace vivid clarity of what makes your heart beat and what makes your heart break. She challenges you to define your true purpose and intricately weaves your drive, passions and job to create a guide for a sincerely meaningful life. It’s not selfish to enjoy your life—it’s your responsibility. You only have one life, so take Dana’s advice and overflow it with your passions and ENJOY it.

The CF Warrior Project

Andy Lipman, Author

Living with cystic fibrosis requires fighting for every breath and working hard to survive as normally as possible. CF Warriors are not guaranteed a normal lifespan and having cystic fibrosis requires a passion for every moment on this earth, a daily determination to maintain health, and courage for striving to do things most of us take for granted.

The CF Warrior Project book shares the experiences of people who conquered Mount Everest; became a circus acrobat; received a lung transplant and ran a marathon a year later; and secured approval of breakthrough CF drugs. These people, from teenagers to septuagenarians, have accomplished amazing things. Each story has its own merits, but the common theme among them is how these CF Warriors maintain positive attitudes all while having a significant impact on the world, despite the challenges of their life-threatening genetic disorder.

Enjoy all of Andy’s books including, “Alive at 25”, “The Drive at 35″, A superhero Needs No Cape”

Dating & the E-Male

Anita Smelley, Author (and my mom!)

“Dating and the Emale is a true account of one woman’s experiences with Internet dating websites. The stories are engaging, funny and enlightening. Follow Anita through her trials and tribulations as a middle-aged female looking for love in the modern tech age and her surprise to find that dating at 50 is no walk in the park.

Follow along on all of Anita’s adventures on her blog about moving to Costa Rica!.


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