I want to thank all of you who have reached out to me publicly and privately. As some may know, I was away in South Carolina while the storm hit New Jersey and it was nerve-wracking to be away from family and friends at such a critical time. Luckily I was able to arrive at home only a day late and brought with me electricity, cable and the Internet. Or at least that’s the way it seemed.
I was blessed that my home suffered no damage, but my thoughts and prayers are with my neighbors who had trees in their homes and for my many friends still without power.
My daughter’s new shop in Ocean Grove was also spared and for that we are truly grateful. There was some damage to nearby Bradley Beach and flooding in some areas. The dunes took the brunt of the hit and are now gone. Flattened, but they did their job and protected so many.
Most of the pier in Ocean Grove is gone and the boardwalk looks like a roller coaster ride with the boards all up and down in what looks like an ocean wave. On Saturday when my daughter and I went down to check things out, members of the community were out there collecting debris and shoveling sand out of the beachfront pavilion. My heart was gladdened by that sight of people working together peacefully and my daughter and I helped carry some of the debris to a nearby Dumpster.
The Great Auditorium in Ocean Grove sustained damage and we’re hoping to find out how we can help fix this unique and historical building that is such a gathering place for people from all over this area.
All around the Jersey Shore people are helping others. Giving them rides, finding unused clothing and necessary items to donate. Helping clean up the mess left behind. It gives me hope to see such actions.
Some of you may remember that my next release, THE PRINCE’S GAMBLE, is set in Atlantic City. My heart was heavy as I saw the sights from AC, Seaside Heights, Brigantine, and other familiar towns, devastated by the storm. After discussions with my editor at Entangled, we decided that it was appropriate to write Hurricane Sandy into the book. I did so and with what I hope will be seen as a message of hopefulness.
New Jersey will rebuild. Bigger. Better. Stronger.
To help with that, I am donating my share of the royalties for the book to the Hurricane Sandy New Jersey Relief Fund. My publisher, Entangled Publishing, and editors are now feverishly working to try and keep to the November 10 publication date for THE PRINCE’S GAMBLE. As soon as the book is available, I will let you know!
Thanks again for all your well wishes, thoughts and prayers. Your kindness means the world to me.
As you can imagine, I am a little behind with e-mail messages, the blog tour, etc., but I will be catching up in the next week, announcing winners, etc.
Here’s a picture of what the Ocean Grove Pier used to look like. There is less than half of it left standing.