In the three years since Confessions of a Counterfeit Farm Girl came out, there’s been an explosion of blogs that review books. Maybe you knew this but I, stuck-in-the-sticks Suzy, was caught unawares. Thanks to my very dear friend, the uber-cool and connected Kim Petro, and Kaitlyn Kennedy, my terrific publicist at NAL, 500 Acres and No Place to Hide made its way to many of them.

I can’t tell you the names of all the bloggers out there that review books, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t encourage you to check out those who gave 500 Acres and No Place to Hide a chance. When you have a moment, please visit and subscribe to…HomeGrown, A Parent in Silver Spring, WoMom, Confessions of an Overworked Mom, Girlfriendbooks, and last but not least, Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke’s kick-ass Chick Lit Is Not Dead.

A few weeks ago, Liz and Lisa invited me to contribute to their hugely popular “5 DO’S and a DO-OVER” series. Before I drafted my piece, I read those contributed by authors like Jen Lancaster, Allie Larkin, and Sarah Strohmeyer. You should, too. Chick Lit Is Not Dead is a terrific book review site, and “5 DO’S and a DO-OVER” really gives readers a glimpse into the personalities of their favorite authors. I’ve pasted my column below. Hope you enjoy it, and all the aforementioned book blogs!

5 DO’S

1. Laugh. If you can’t fix it, kill it, cure it, or eradicate it from the face of the earth, you can laugh at it. And you should. It helps. It heals. It makes the whole “life’s a bitch” thing more bearable. Trust me on this.

2. Love. Never miss the chance to tell someone you love them. Your mom, your kids, your spouse, the hair stylist who fixed the dye job you did yourself, the friend who de-skunked your dog so you wouldn’t come home to it after a long day at the hospital. Life is short. If you love someone, tell them.

3. Listen. The little voice telling you to buy the shoes and the bag, get the Goth black manicure,and learn to ride a horse? That’s the one to listen to. You can always take the shoes and the bag back, the polish will last ten days tops, and as long as the little voice isn’t suggesting your ride bareback (and if it is, I suggest you stop putting Bailey’s in your breakfast coffee), go for it.

4. Leap. Maybe you’ve always wanted to see the Amalfi coast or try stand-up comedy. Maybe you’re itching to ditch your corporate gig to run a tiki bar or write the great American novel. It doesn’t matter what you want to do, just that you do it. Don’t wait for the time to be right, for someone else to give you permission, or for all the pieces to be in place. The stars will never be a hundred percent aligned so leap, as the saying goes, and build your wings on the way down.

5. Let go. Anger, guilt, resentment, perfectionism, and shame are all crippling, soul-sucking emotions. Forgive others. Forgive yourself. And for Pete’s sake, stop trying to be perfect. Flaws are the new black. Pass it on.

Not laughing, loving, listening, leaping, and letting go sooner. It took my husband’s illness and subsequent death to make me realize how little time we really have, and how crucial it is to be present and thankful for each moment. I don’t regret not getting to this point sooner (particularly since regret is one of those aforementioned soul-sucking, crippling emotions I urge all of us to kiss off). I’m just happy to be here now.