Book Update

Since I made the announcement of the publishing of my upcoming book, Peach Cobbler for Breakfast—surviving a life-altering experience, many of you have sent messages of congratulations and good wishes. I can’t tell you how much that means to me. I stopped by the mailbox on the way to meet my agent for lunch yesterday and found a beautiful note from my good friend and neighbor, Anne. When I showed it to my agent he suggested I post it on my blog to help promote the book. So, here it is—












Thank you, Anne. The hard part for me in this process will be learning to promote myself. I have promoted organizations, activities, and celebrities during my long and varied career; in fact, I have made a profession of making other people look good. I guess it is now time to switch gears and promote myself.

To give you more of an idea of what the book is about I am listing a brief chapter summary. I will be running brief excerpts from the book occasionally on this site.



Peach Cobbler for Breakfast

A journey from self-discovery to recovery after a life-altering event

By Sheila Moore Thornburg Dobbie





Chapter 1

            The Premonition—dark storm clouds

As we leave our favorite vacation beach island I have an uneasy premonition but rationalize that I’m over-reacting to the incoming storm clouds.

Chapter 2

         Oh, Those West Virginia Hill—how majestic and how grand

A brief biographical sketch of my family and my background including a look at my family history; also, what it was like growing up in the protective environment of the West Virginia hills during the 50’s and 60’s.

Chapter 3

         They Tried to Tell Us We’re Too Young—but only time will tell

I was 15 when I met and fell in love with David, my husband to be. We dated through high school and college and finally got married seven years later. Things didn’t always go smoothly and my parents were against us in the beginning but they eventually changed their minds.

Chapter 4

         Mushroom and Crutches—receiving bad news

The mushroom shaped tumors continue to reappear in David’s bladder. He has another procedure and the day after his surgery a disc in my back ruptures.

Chapter 5

         The Sweetest Words—a father’s love

David has another surgery but things don’t go as planned. I prepare to spend the night at the hospital and send my parents home. As my mother steps on the elevator my father steps back and puts his arm around my shoulders. He is spending the night with me. He knew I would protest if I had advanced warning. I’m just too independent.

Chapter 6

         The Impatient Patient—preparing for the long journey

As I sit by the east window in David’s room I see the sky brighten and turn shades of red and purple. Fiery fingers ignite the city below. I know the doctor will be in soon to give David the bad news and I dread that moment. I prepare for the long journey with the impatient patient.


Chapter 7

         Lightning Flashes—swimming like a mad salmon

Buddha said, “….To watch the birth and death of beings is like looking at the movements of a dance. A lifetime is a flash of lightning in the sky….”in the following year my father is diagnosed with a brain tumor and dies ten weeks later. David’s health is on the rebound but the cancer returns only three months later. He dies a little more than six months after my father.

Chapter 8

         Quicksand—drowning in emotions

My life is like a movie I saw as a child which traumatized me for weeks in which a horse is caught in quicksand and struggles to get out. Now, I feel as if I am that horse. I am exhausted and my body feels disjointed. I feel trapped by emotions I don’t understand and can’t control.


Chapter 9

         The Stages of Grief—the long road to recovery

Sigmund Freud said, “We are never so defenseless against suffering as when we love.” The journey to recovery is long, individualistic, and lonely but every tear we shed brings us that much closer to the healing.

 Chapter 10

         Annoying Words of Comfort—a cliché is a sure way to dilute an idea

Many well-meaning people use the same worn out phrases to comfort me. After a while they lose their meaning. A simple “I am here for you” is all that is needed.

Chapter 11

         Encouraging Words and Deeds—make it personal

A personal note or an act of kindness is always appreciated.

Chapter 12

         The Merry Widow—things aren’t as they seem

To some jealous women I appear to have it all with no responsibilities. I am the subject of gossip. I am hurt and confused by the changes in my social circle but I must accept the changes in my life. Times change, people change, but life goes on.

Chapter 13

         Bubble Baths and Wine—what a way to relax

I know I must restore my mental, physical, and emotional health. I develop a bed time ritual of a bubble bath that helps me gradually unwind and relax. Somehow my bedtime routine turns into a rumor that I entertain men with bubble baths and wine.

Chapter 14

         Pick A Little, Talk A Little—mean girls grown up

Handling the negative forces and gossip that come my way; I learn to look at the gossip mongers in a fresh way.

Chapter 15

         Be a Clown—make room for fun and laughter

You can’t be sad while trying to make other people laugh, and laughter is an essential part of healing. Humor helps me overcome the negative.

Chapter 16

         Never Volunteer—unless you want a fresh outlook

I reluctantly volunteer to assist with a new community concert association and find new friends who give me a fresh outlook on life. The most I had hoped for when I joined was to serve punch and coffee and meet a few celebrities backstage. Little did I know that my whole life would change.

Chapter 17

         Let the Force Be with You—be open to unseen and coincidental influences

So many unbelievable coincidences occur that I begin to believe a path is being carved out for me. I follow the path, learning to rely on my intuition.

Chapter 18

         A Smorgasbord of Friends—variety brings spice to life

As I venture out into my new world I am surrounded by many new and interesting people. One of the most exciting aspects is that they are from all types of social, educational, ethnic, religious, and professional backgrounds. I now have a more rounded and grounded life.

Chapter 19

         Finding the Mountaintop—finally, a new life

My journey through the dark valley of hurt, confusion, and depression has taken seven years but I finally made it to the mountaintop.  I have emerged a new person with a new life.

Chapter 20

         A Diamond in the Rough—from lumps of coal to diamonds

Once coal is subjected to ages of extreme heat and pressure, a diamond gemstone emerges. I have been under extreme pressure for a long time but now I am a stronger person for it.

A Letter from the Author

Recipe for Mom’s Fresh Peach Cobbler






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