Twenty-Eight Snow Angels: A Widow's Story of Love, Loss and Renewal

by Diane Dettmann


Book Details



Watch for the release of Dettmann's latest novel, Yasu's Quest A Tale of Triumph, summer 2016.

Diane Dettmann’s memoir, Twenty-Eight Snow Angels: A Widow’s Story of Love, Loss and Renewal, invites the reader into her personal experience of grief, as she faces life alone, after the sudden death of her 54 year old husband. With honesty, Dettmann reveals her daily struggles and the realities of grief. Readers feel her pain and at the same time rejoice in her commitment to succeed. Her story inspires hope as the reader discovers that they can build a meaningful life—alone or with someone new—after a devastating loss.

Endorsed by Marty Tousley, nationally certified bereavement counselor with "Hospice of the Valley" in Phoenix, AZ and by Dr. Gloria Horsley, founder of the "Open to Hope" foundation in Palo, Alto, CA.

"I'm grateful Diane had the courage to share her personal story so honestly, widows will gain from her experience." Marty Tousley, nationally certified Bereavement Counselor, "Hospice of the Valley" Phoenix, AZ.

"In this well written memoir, Diane tells of her emotional journey in touching detail." -Mary Ann Grossmann, St. Paul Pioneer Press

"Diane’s emotions and feelings can be easily identified by anyone who lost their spouse, myself included. She validates those of us still on that journey of grief, allowing us to know there is a light at the end of the tunnel. We must have faith and hope as we build a new future for ourselves and enjoy life once again."-Dominic Murgido founder of SudSSpirit Bereavement Support Group

“Writer Diane Dettmann makes small events, like the sale of a beloved piano, become as momentous as the sale of a national treasure. In the process, she rediscovers faith, community and love.” –Susan Parker, author of Walking in the Deep End

“In Twenty-Eight Snow Angels, writer Diane Dettmann gives us a poignant account of a life badly rent and ultimately revitalized in a way we can all take to heart.” –Peggy Lang, award-winning ghostwriter "

“The reader is drawn in and captivated by Diane’s vivid account of her grief after the death of her loving husband . . . a powerful story of love, grief, hope and faith all can learn from.” –Mary Jacks, M.S. Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist

One widow wrote, "A great read, it'll make you laugh, cry and learn to live life all over again."

Recently listed in "American Widow Project" online bookstore.


Book Excerpt

With the funeral over, I struggled to make sense out of my life. Deep in grief, even daily tasks presented major challenges.
An excerpt from Twenty-Eight Snow Angels, Chapter 6

During all our years together, John had handled the finances, balanced the checkbook and paid the bills. I just left the Visa slips on the desk and magically the balances were paid. As the bills and credit card statements rolled in after the funeral, I knew I had to face the piles on the desk in the computer room.

One night I poured myself a stiff brandy and decided to tackle the bills. It took me five tries to walk into the empty room. I pulled out the desk chair where John usually sat and shuffled through the envelopes. I ripped open the mortgage statement. When I flipped through the checkbook John’s handwriting jumped off the page. The phone rang and broke the silence in the room. I tried to wipe away my tears before I lifted the receiver. Al’s voice came on the other end of the phone. The minute I said hello, my brother-in-law knew something was wrong.

“Hey, Di, are you okay?”

"No. I’m really struggling with all the bills and paperwork that’s piling up.

“Di, just leave it for now. I’ll come down and help you sort things out tomorrow night. Once you get a system figured out, it’ll be easier.”

I wanted to handle everything myself, not bother others, but I gave in to Al’s offer. After I hung up the phone I stared at the open checkbook register in front of me. I picked up a pen. On the transaction line I wrote, “Sorry Sweetheart, I’ll try again tomorrow.” I slipped the checkbook in the desk drawer, shut off the light and crawled into bed.


About the Author

Diane Dettmann

Diane's historical novel, Courageous Footsteps, about two teenagers imprisoned in a Japanese internment camp during WW2 won first place in the Pacific Rim Book Festival in the Young Adult category. The sequel, Yasu's Quest, will be released summer 2016. Diane's also the coauthor of "Miriam Daughter of Finnish Immigrants." She's presented her books at conferences locally and also in Finland and Canada. Diane is also a contributing author for "Women's Voices For Change" "Open to Hope" and "Your Tribute." Diane lives in Afton, Minnesota, where she enjoys spending time with her loving husband, Allan.
Contact Diane at to schedule an event or for more information. 2016 UPCOMING EVENTS: Aug 18 7 PM, Yasu's Quest Launch, East Side Freedom Library 1105 Greenbrier, Saint Paul, MN; Aug 27, 28 Embarrass Fair, Embarrass, MN; Sept 23, 24 Art in the Park, Afton MN; Oct 1 9:30 AM Author Expo, Woodbury Central Park Library; Nov 19 Christmas Tour of Homes, Hudson, WI. Check back for updates!

Also by Diane Dettmann

Miriam Daughter of Finnish Immigrants
Courageous Footsteps
Yasu's Quest


Press the play () button to listen to the author's audio file