Five years after publishing her debut novel, “Growing Home,” Sonoma County author Heidi Freestone has published follow-up novel, “Not Quite Happily Ever After,” continuing the story of Sara, a divorcee who fled the big city to her new home in Sonoma County, and found love and her fairytale ending.

This second novel, however, tells what happens after the happily ever after. Set ten years after the first book, Sara discovers she no longer fits into her dream job at the local land trust, a seductive stranger is making her question her perfect marriage, and her best friend Jen has been diagnosed with depression. This last development has inspired Sara and her husband, Matt, to take in Jen’s son, along with all the issues that come with raising a child.

A lover of the land, Freestone incorporates gardening and environmental issues into her writing, this book included.

“I have either worked at nurseries or been a landscape gardener and designer for all my professional life, and I think that, except for the gophers, Sonoma County is probably the best place you can find to garden and grow food,” Freestone said. Having moved from Southern California many years ago, Freestone remembers when the train used to run down Sebastopol’s main street. “I have to admit that the changes we, and time, have wrought on the wild land in the county prompted Sara’s career choice” as an environmental lawyer, Freestone said.

The Sonoma County author attributes the large amount of contemporary women’s fiction she’s read as inspiration behind her own novel writing. While caring for her newborn grandson, she devoured many lighthearted reads, and was especially drawn to books that incorporated entertaining and easygoing topics with factual, relevant information. This motivated Freestone to begin writing her own stories, using what she knew from tending the earth, and entwining it with the stories that ran through her head.

“Not Quite Happily Ever” is available at most online retailers, including Sebastopol Community Market in the Barlow, and also at the Sonoma County Library. Learn more about this novel at

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