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Behind the Dedication

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.

13 comments to “Behind the Dedication”

  1. AndreaW
    August 30th, 2007 at 6:12 am · Link

    This post had me crying, Elizabeth! I hadn’t read the dedication because my copy is going to be delivered by UPS today. This touches my heart because my son, Dylan, was diagnosed with an Autistic Spectrum Disorder (PDD-NOS) when he was 3. Needless to say, I am including myself in your dedication and am so proud of you for what you’re doing to help raise awareness and to help find a cure for autism. I’m off to visit the Autism Speaks Walk Now in Detroit website. God bless people like you, Elizabeth, and Joey!

  2. Haven Rich
    August 30th, 2007 at 7:16 am · Link

    Elizabeth, would you mind if we did a copy of this for RI? It could go up this upcoming week (Teresa Medeiros is visiting the 31st and Sept 1st).

    Like Andrea, I’m wiping away the tears streaming down my cheeks. My kids do not have autism, but I do know many families who’s lives have been changed by it. Yours, Sabrina’s, Andrea’s, Michelle’s (from Avon, formally of RI)..and many others. I may not know first hand what it’s like, but I know what it’s like to have a friend who is facing the challenges. This is a wonderful thing to do and when I first cracked open the book to the dedication (yes I always read them) my first thoughts were of the names above.

    You are so inspiring Elizabeth and I don’t think you have any idea just how much.

    *walks away to grab a hanky*

  3. joey
    August 30th, 2007 at 8:06 am · Link


    I’m crying, but they’re happy tears. Your dedication means so much to not only little heroes like Matthew, Dylan and Gabe…but everyone affected by autism. And the ladies above, thank you. We’re all your fans, and now (because of you) we’re united in a cause.

    I’m babbling and I’m sorry, thank you, bless you! Thank you, Andrea! Please send me an email if you see this!


    “Can i have a hanky, too?”

  4. Michele Gardner
    August 30th, 2007 at 9:42 am · Link

    Elizbo, this touches my heart as well. I had a son whom before he was born was diagnosed with Spinal Imbifida (sp?) and Annesepholy (sp?)..He unfortunately is in heaven. I know that probably isnt considered autism but I always relate the two..I also have a daughter who has a speech problem from when I had her. That is a long story. I do donate to all the spinal organizations out there and Im so glad to see that there are many who donate thier time and money and hearts to these children and adults with autism. I have a family that is friends with my family and I grew up with a women who is now perhaps 50 years old but she and I used to play together when I was a child and I love her more than anything. I think people with autism are the most purest of us and just lovely and I could not see anyone wanting to not help out.

  5. Michelle the Merry
    August 30th, 2007 at 10:03 am · Link

    Elizbo, and all the other wonderful ladies here:

    Isn’t it reassuring to know that you are not alone in this struggle?

    My darling 9 year old son Daniel is Autistic as well. He’s considered “high-function”, but still you have your days when you wish he would stop crying, you wish he wouldn’t scream at certain things, you wish he wouldn’t hurt himself if he gets frustrated, (noises or too much stimulus, etc, etc. The list could go on…)but I know in my heart that he is a very special boy, and he knows that he’s loved.

    Some Autistic children never talk, or interact with anyone. I’m so proud to say that Daniel will talk, give hugs and kisses. In fact, when you ask for a kiss he’ll give you one, then you say “More!” and he kisses you more.

    Even though I am very tight financially right now, I am going to make a donation to the charity you and Joey mentioned. it’s worth it, our children are worth it.

    Being a parent of an Autistic child is such a struggle from day-to-day. Most people, unless they’re around you for an extended period of time…say over 24 hours have no idea what it’s like. But the most important thing to remember…is to LOVE THEM … just as they are.

  6. Tina Pasciak
    August 30th, 2007 at 10:44 am · Link

    thank you so much Elizabeth for the dedication in your new book, Love Letter’s from a Duke. My 6 year old son, Tristan, was diagnosed with autism last year and it had been a long, exasperating road just finally getting the diagnosis. I actually felt relieved when the diagnosis was given. (thanks in part to more Doctors becoming aware.) As much as I love my Tristan, I love losing myself (for a little while) in romance novels. I just finished your latest “lost Duke” story, and absolutely loved it. I started reading your novels about a year and half ago. Without your stories to help me escape and keep me engrossed, I believe I might have gone a little crazy. Keep writing those great stories, I will be a loyal reader.

  7. Elizabeth
    August 30th, 2007 at 6:42 pm · Link

    Thanks all! You can’t imagine how wonderful it is to find friends in all this. I know Joey has been truly touched by your generosity and the best part is, we know we aren’t alone in the daily challenges we face.

    Tina, you might read to escape–I probably write for the same reasons.

  8. AndreaW
    August 31st, 2007 at 6:22 am · Link

    You’re welcome, Joey! I only wish I could give more. Oh, and I’d love to email you, but I don’t have your email addy. If you click on my name and go to my blog (Romantic Inks) my addy is listed under my picture on the right hand side. I’d love to hear from you!

  9. Maggie Robinson
    September 1st, 2007 at 3:47 am · Link

    I have loved your books for years, even more so now that I realize you wrote with such humor when you have a serious challenge in your family. I hope Matthew finds his place in the world with your support and the efforts of all the others whom autism touches.

    My first experience with an autistic child was when I was in college and majoring in speech therapy (I later switched to English, but that’s another story). I had a four year old boy as a client, and when he wasn’t trying to climb out the window (we were on the ground floor, thank God), he was under the seminar table. I did all my teaching under that table, and I’ll never forget how grateful I was for any small sign of progress.

    LLFAD is one of my favorite books this year (I was crazy about His Mistress by Morning, too). Continued success in ALL your endeavors.

  10. Pamela Bolton-Holifi
    September 2nd, 2007 at 9:14 am · Link

    Like Joey, your books are on my automatic to buy list and on my keeper shelves as well! My local bookseller has a standing order for your books as soon as they are released. I was so proud and excited to read the dedication in Love Letters from a Duke. I do not have an autistic child, but my dear cousin Tommy and his wife do. Sean was only three when his biological father decided he could not handle an “imperfect” child. He divorced Sean’s mother and walked away. Enter the white knight, my cousin Tommy. When he married Sean’s mother, he adopted Sean and set about proving everyone wrong when they said Sean would never be anything more than minimally functional. Sean is sixteen now. He can disassemble anything and reassemble it in a heartbeat. He is now considered high functioning and is such a loving boy! He loves music and as I am a retired opera singer, we have a lot in common. No rap for him! He loves opera! Sean is just a joy to our family and a lesson to anyone in the power of love and the ability to laugh through tears. Thank you so much, Elizabeth, for bringing attention to the real pioneers in autism research – the families that live and love with it every day.

  11. Victoria Frerichs
    September 2nd, 2007 at 6:44 pm · Link


    I have to admit to you that I’ve never read one of your books. I’ve never read Love Letters from a Duke or the other books mentioned by your readers in this post. I am, however, a mother of a child with autism, who was so touched by finding this post, that I felt required to let you know it.

    I followed the link from the Romantic Times forums to this blog, and reading the dedication you made in your book and the response from Joey really, really touched me. There’s so little we can do to raise awareness – we can wear our puzzle necklaces and bracelets, have the magnetized ribbons on our cars – but we don’t seem to be waving flags in the eyes of the people we need help from most. Those people whose families are *not* affected by autism, and who simply look at our children out in public and blame bad parenting.

    I am planning to participate in our Autism walk (if they ever release details for it!) and am so happy that you and Joey are doing what you can to promote awareness. My Craig thanks you.


  12. belinda
    September 4th, 2007 at 7:17 am · Link

    I too read to escape. Romance books became my lifeline as I recovered from addiction. Reading your dedicatio led me to learn more about it. I found the comments and your story at your website. I have never known an autistic child but I have the utmost respect for the families that have met the challenge and keep moving forward. Keep up the good work–with the books and with the fight against autism!

  13. KeiraSoleore
    September 5th, 2007 at 11:22 am · Link

    Loved LLFAD and loved reading the dedication and all the posts here. I have a friend with an autistic son, and I know what a struggle it’s been for her. She started a neighborhood weekly playdate at her home where she gives a little talk about something new she’s learned and the kids can benefit from all the educational toys she’s bought for her son. She says that despite the high number of children being diagnosed with autism, awareness of it and information about it is very scant.

    Hats off to Elizbo for continuing to write and publish and to Andrea for her various blog duties.


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