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Home > Book News

'Dear John': Woman Delves into Her Family's Past and Discovers Herself in New Novel

MANAHAWKIN, N.J., June 25 /PRNewswire/ -- When financial aid administrator Susanna Smith goes to Massachusetts to settle her aunt's estate, she doesn't suspect that her well-ordered life is about to take an unusual turn. Susanna and her faithful Weimaraner companion, Quincy, embark on a journey to the past that not only reveals a connection to a famous ancestor whose circumstances parallel her own, but also results in an important discovery about her own life.

In her debut novel, "Dear John" (published by AuthorHouse --, Norma L. Betz immerses readers in the chaos and excitement on the brink of the American Revolution as Susanna and Quincy's excursion to Weymouth reveals an historic drama and unexpected danger.

Susanna is named for her late aunt, Susanna Abigail Smith, who was a direct descendant of Abigail Smith Adams, the wife of John Adams, the second president of the United States. Susanna hates her name. The family history is weighty, and Susanna has always tried to ignore her famous ancestor. But now that her aunt is dead, she has to face her family's heritage by going to Weymouth to settle her aunt's estate.

"Dear John" has all the elements of a classic tale: a heroine, engaging characters, an appealing animal, struggle, danger, friendship, humor and romance. Betz explains:

The historical references speak of a time when, embroiled in a war, the
colonies struggled to define their image as a nation. This struggle is
paralleled today as our nation, embroiled in another war, also struggles
to redefine itself. In a similar way, as Susanna struggles to find
herself, her life parallels that of her famous ancestor. Both are
strong, intelligent women who have issues to deal with that test their
strength and wits.

From tweens to adults, "Dear John" will appeal to anyone who likes romance, who has a beloved companion pet, or who is interested in the events that formed our nation.

Professor Norma L. Betz earned her doctorate from Drew University in New Jersey. A financial aid director and professor of sociology and history for many years at New Jersey colleges, she presently works and teaches at Ocean County College. She and her husband Allen make their home with Quincy, their beloved Weimaraner, in Manahawkin, on the New Jersey Shore.

"Dear John" is her first book. More information is available at

AuthorHouse is the premier book publisher ( for emerging, self-published ( authors. For more information, please visit





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