Little Life Moments
In 2008, I began my blog in an attempt to figure out my life--and myself. In November, I traveled on my own to southern France and spent a month at a writer's retreat located in a tiny mountain village in the Languedoc region. Here, I planted vegetables in a cliffside garden, rolled logs down a medieval mountain, finished the first draft of Gold in the Days of Summer, and learned more about myself and what I'm capable of than I ever thought possible.
In 2012, I was diagnosed with late-stage Lyme Disease after being sick with little explanation for nearly 15 years and declining quickly. My doctor, my family, and my dog all played a part in saving my life. With a treatment that gets you sicker before you get better and unable to do little more than walk from the bed to the couch, I spent every waking moment (which wasn't exactly much) starting my business and dreaming of publishing my first book.
In 2013, with the help of a community of family and friends through their generous Kickstarter donations, I published Gold in the Days of Summer under my company, Brown Beagle Books. The book has since been shortlisted in two contests, was a finalist in another, and won the 2014 International Rubery Book Award Children's category. It all feels pretty damn cool.
In March 2014, I helped an author friend publish the first in a series of romance books under a pseudonym. After ghostwriting five books in this genre, I fell in love with the art of writing again and was motivated to move on to my own work. The first draft of my second novel was completed in early 2015.
In April 2014, I unexpectedly lost my beloved cat, Mikey. Three weeks later, I adopted Moxie. Riley embraced her wholeheartedly.
In May 2014, I passed the two-year anniversary of being in treatment for Lyme Disease, and in November, I officially went into remission. This disease--and the overcoming of it--taught me more about myself, what it means to have strength, what it means to survive, and what it means to live than I could ever imagine. I've documented my struggle with Lyme Disease here: Lyme Chronicles.
In October 2014, I officially launched the mentoring and consulting aspect of my business. Services now include creative coaching, editorial development, and publishing consultation.
In June 2015, after a few months in remission, I experienced a relapse of Lyme Disease. In many ways, the relapse felt harder than the original diagnosis. I poured my heart into sharing the emotional ramifications of living with such a complex illness both on my blog and on my new social media page (now LymeBrave Foundation).
In August 2016, I launched a video campaign for Lyme Disease Awareness to coincide with the publication of my second book, The Last Letter. This book, my first full-length novel, was published in September and is a semi-autobiographical account of my experiences living with late-stage, Chronic Lyme Disease.
In December 2016, I became a contributing writer and speaker for Global Lyme Alliance, a leading non-profit organization helping to fund world-class Lyme research and bringing awareness to the general public. Check out the links to these essays on the blog and press page. I'm also happy to be a part of The Mighty community in which I share my experiences with Lyme Disease (cross-posted from this blog).
March 2019 marked the release of my third novel, Lilac in Winter!
In June 2020, my beloved dog Riley passed away. Brown Beagle Books continues in his honor.
In March 2021, I officially launched my spiritual services practice, Susan Dawn Spiritual Connections, LLC, after three years growing this passion and hobby on YouTube and other social media platforms. Services include spiritual development coaching, tarot readings, channelings, and more.
November 2021: Before Lilac, Lia, and Annie lived there, Montours City was just a town where seventeen-year-old Janie could catch her breath. Little did she know how it would also capture her heart. Go back to the beginning with my new novel, East of Everywhere or visit MontoursCity.com to learn more about the evolving town!
September 2023: Fifteen years after that fated trip to France, I returned in a full-circle moment that has brought forth so much healing and new beginnings. Read about my spiritual pilgrimage on the blog.
Coming in Fall 2024: Get ready to learn more about the soldier from Gold in the Days of Summer in TWO new books, set to be released in Fall 2024!