Guest Post Enchanted Encounter: Author Brenda Bowen on how she met Broadway actress (and ENCHANTED AUGUST narrator!) Sierra Boggess

There’s not a lot that’s great about New York City in the summer. What people say is true: It’s hot, it’s smelly, it’s sticky, and everyone other than you (it seems) has a house in the country.

But on a Friday evening in June, 2014, I wasn’t thinking about other people’s country houses. I wanted to celebrate. A few days earlier, Pamela Dorman had bought my book, ENCHANTED AUGUST, for her imprint at Viking. I met my buddy (and fellow-writer) Tim Federle at an outdoor cafe in Hudson River Park at 68th Street, just as the sun was setting. We were going to celebrate.

We ordered drinks and food, found a table that afforded a beautiful view of the persimmon sky, and clinked plastic glasses. Pam had told me she wanted to fast track the book—which meant it would come out in exactly twelve months’ time. “Next summer is going to be huge for you,” Tim said. Then he spotted a face in the crowd. “I think that’s Sierra Boggess. No wait, that is Sierra Boggess,” he said. “We were in The Little Mermaid together. She was Ariel. I was a seagull.”

Sierra BoggeHe wasn’t sure if he should go over and say hi: she was with friends; we didn’t want to intrude. But he caught her eye and she waved, and beckoned for me to come over, too. We toasted the sunset, the river, New York…and then Sierra offered to read my Tarot cards.

I’m not usually a great believer in the spirit world. But I felt an immediate connection with Sierra—her warmth and gorgeous, positive energy overcame my reservations. She dealt out the cards, told me their significance, and l listened and tried to make connections to my life. Sierra has a beautiful voice, and the way she spoke with such assurance made me feel she truly knew me, even though we had never met before.

When it came time to choose the last card, I hesitated. “This is an important one,” she said. “It will tell you what to expect for next year.” I put my hand out; chose one card; then changed it to another.

She turned the card over. It was an upright Sun.

Sierra smiled her fabulous smile. “Next year will be full of light and happiness and success for you, especially next summer.”

enchanted augustShe got it exactly right, or the cards did. I told her all about the book and she said it sounded fantastic and then we hugged and I thought I’d never see her again, unless I was in the second balcony and she was on stage.

But when it came time to select someone to read ENCHANTED AUGUST for the audio edition, my heart told me, Call Sierra. Wonderful Tim made a connection again; Penguin Random House Audio got in touch with Sierra, and she graciously agreed to read the book.

Now she’s part of the enchanted success she foresaw. I am elated that she’s the voice of my book.

Those people with summer houses? They don’t know what they’re missing.

—Brenda Bowen

Sierra and Brenda - and the Tarot cards!

June 2014: Sierra and Brenda – and the Tarot cards!

Brenda_Sierra_with_book

March 2015: Brenda visits Sierra in the studio!

ENCHANTED AUGUST goes on sale June 2, 2015. Available as a CD and audio download from BOT; print and e-book from Pamela Dorman books.

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