The one from Love Letters of a Duke is completely and utterly from my heart. And my daily life. Let me share it with you if you don’t have a copy handy (which, hint, hint, you should!):
To the families who live with autism.
May your day be blessed with the kindness of strangers,
the love of friends and families, and most of all, a cure.
And to FEAT of Washington and Autism Speaks,
my unwavering gratitude to you for your dedication and spirit of hope.
You help us believe.
And last, but far from least,
to Jamilla Kounellas and Rhoda Toulouse
for lending their names to this story
and their generosity to the charities near and dear to my heart.
So I did this and wondered if anyone would notice, if anyone would care as deeply and personally as I do. And imagine my shock and sheer joy when I got this email within eight hours of Love Letters from a Duke being released:
last night i was looking for a book to read. when i started to look
through boxes i found stealing the bride (i loved!!!! diana…temple,
too) and one night of passion (one of my top 5 romance novels). this
morning i went to the grocery store for a quick trip (i have two
little boys, it’s NOT easy) and saw a new Elizabeth Boyle book on the
stands…yay! it seemed like destiny, i had just found your older
books in my keeper box!
Okay, can I just say that at this point, I already like this lady. I mean, anyone who loves my books is obviously a reader of good taste and someone I want to know better. A kindred spirit in the making. So I read on:
and then i opened “love letters from a duke” and read your dedication.
So I have to interrupt again and say I don’t usually read dedications, unless its a friend’s book and I am secretly hoping they’ve dedicated it to me. (Which thank you very much Jane Porter for the honor! Now the rest of you, get cracking–I’m not getting any younger.) So as I am glibly reading this fan letter, enjoying her great breezy style, I discover we are indeed kindred spirits.
my 3.5 year-old son, Gabriel, was diagnosed with autism at 18 months.
our second son, Graydon, is a part of the university of michigan
sibling study (from birth) aimed at lowering the age of diagnosis
using the ADOS.
i haven’t read the book, but the dedication alone won me over…not
that i had to be won…boyle, quinn and brockmann are auto buys for
me! thank you, from the very tiniest tip of me heart, for your
dedication. that alone raised autism awareness exponentially!
Okay, now I am crying and sobbing and the DH comes rushing in my office, and I share the email with him. He’ll never admit it, but he got misty-eyed. You see it is so hard having a child with autism, so very isolating. And reading her words, brought hope and joy to my heart. Not because her son has autism, but because she’s helping where she can, just as I am doing. That feeling of loneliness or separation and outcastness that crowds into your life every day when you have child with autism seemed to lift, because I was no longer alone. And Joey’s words gave me hope because this problem that affects 1 out of every 150 children in this country it is like putting together a puzzle when you only have one piece–eventually enough people will add their pieces and the hope and dream and nightly prayer that every family with autism has–that there be a cure–is just that much closer to being solved.
So when you buy a copy of Love Letters from a Duke, a portion of my royalties will go to help kids like Gabriel and my dear Matthew. But if you want to do more, or do something very personal to help a mom, a fellow romance reader and now, my friend, Joey, consider helping her family raise money for the Autism Speaks Walk Now in Detroit by making a donation here. Then click on the Team Member Joey Begeman to make a donation. Any amount will help. And Joey, bless her heart, will feel the same joy I felt when I got her email.