My mom died when I was fifteen. It was sudden and tragic. No time for goodbyes or any of that last-minute stuff. We were bonded together like shoe strings tied or fingers crossed so the thought of going on without her was really tough. The morning after she passed, I closed my eyes and saw her face—shimmering white, serene as a heron basking in the morning sun—looking down on me and saying “Be happy, Gracie.” I never let go of this vision and my passion for the pursuit of happiness has found its way into my storytelling.

All of my fiction books are about happiness: Olive Branches Don’t Grow on Trees is about peacemaking and how external and internal peace are inextricably linked. Discovery of an Eagle is about living for the day and as one reviewer wrote, learning that “life is about more that just existing.” The major theme of my forthcoming novel is to live freely and authentically without conforming to society’s conventions.

Through my writing, I attempt to live the wise words from my mom and to spread happiness throughout the world!


This post is from my blog series, “Fiction Books about Happiness.” The theme of happiness runs throughout all of my novels, including Olive Branches Don’t Grow on Trees, Discovery of an Eagle, and The Bird that Sang in Color. These books are available from all major online book sellers, including Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Apple Books.