Letters from Deborah Rose of You Deserve Each Other by Sarah Hogle | Author Guest Post

Posted December 28, 2020 by Jana in Guest Post / 2 Comments

I’m so excited to have Sarah Hogle, author of You Deserve Each Other, on the blog today to share with us letter from the bookish world’s worst mother-in-law ever. YDEO was one of my favorite books of 2020, and I’m so excited to read what Sarah writes next (it’s called Twice Shy, btw)!

Letters from Deborah Rose

Hello, readers! I’m Sarah Hogle, and my debut novel is YOU DESERVE EACH OTHER, which published on April 7, 2020. For those unfamiliar with the book, it’s a lovers-to-enemies-to-lovers romcom about an engaged couple who have been pretending to be the perfect couple but are actually sick of each other. With the big, elaborate wedding just months away, neither of them want to get married and neither of them want to be responsible for the steep costs of canceling the wedding, so they begin a game of pranks to annoy each other into calling it off and, inadvertently, fall back in love in the process.

Besides Nicholas and Naomi’s issues, the biggest villain in this book is Nicholas’s mother, Deborah Rose. Deborah is what you’d get if you combined Lucille Bluth from Arrested Development and the worst Karen you’ve ever seen. She’s domineering. She’s manipulative. She doles out questionable advice in a newspaper column, Dear Deborah, and guilts her son into shoveling her driveway every winter. For A Bookish Little Christmas, I thought it would be funny, and maybe slightly horrifying, to take the lid off Deborah Rose’s deluded brain and see what her outgoing emails might look like. Chronologically, these come right after the last chapter of You Deserve Each Other. If you haven’t read the book but plan to, there are some major spoilers in here and I’d recommend waiting!

If you haven’t read You Deserve Each Other and don’t plan to, you can still enjoy these emails. You will probably say, “Oh, no, I know somebody exactly like her.” It will not be complimentary. XD

To: Rise and Smile Dentistry

Subject: Important

Dear Nicky,

Have I not given you everything you’ve ever wanted? Is there something I should have done differently? Maybe I should have forced you to pay your own way through college, and then you wouldn’t resent me for aiding your success. I can think of no other reason for this punishment. I have taken to my bed, as nowadays all I can do is cry and think miserably about the joyous occasion of my only son’s wedding, that I’ve missed out on. Tell your wife I said congratulations, and I’m so very glad she’s gotten what she wanted.

Confused and sad,


To: Susan Ratcliffe

Re: Would like to volunteer for bake sale

I couldn’t help but notice on Sunday that you were wearing a very familiar dark green Paige sweater with a turtleneck and shoulder cut-out. You have, no doubt, seen me wearing this same sweater on occasion and have, no doubt, heard the compliments paid to me. I bought it at Neiman Marcus last year and, I must say, this “look” has become somewhat iconic to the Deborah Rose personal brand. A great many people have complimented my sense of style, so I understand why you would try to emulate it. However, this particular sweater is inappropriate for church and makes you look like you’re hunting for an affair with one of your divorced son’s thirty-something pals. You are such a dear friend, which is why I must tell you that when you sneak into church two minutes into the sermon, drawing attention to yourself and your semi-bare shoulder, your choices are frowned upon by Jesus.

I am putting you down for six dozen peanut butter chocolate cookies. I understand that you are diabetic, but please do not make those sugar-free rocks you bring to potlucks. We need the best of the best to spread a heavenly message.

Mrs. Deborah Rose

Popular Advice Columnist and Bake Sale Coordinator

To: Joyce

Subject: Another day passes…

My dearest friend, you are absolutely right. Someday soon, Nicky will see how much he has hurt me and he’ll regret it. Hopefully I’ll still be alive to accept his apology with open arms. But, one never knows when the lord is ready to take them, and I’m gravely worried about the new neighbors who moved in two houses down. They are from California, where ANYTHING goes. Twice now I’ve noticed visitors parking in their driveway after eleven PM, staying for not even half an hour. The wife is a hippie with two eyebrow piercings and she wears HEMP. Do you know what hemp is? Hemp is drugs.
I’m thinking about getting a saltwater aquarium, but I don’t trust Harold with it.


Bake Sale Coordinator

To: Rise and Smile Dentistry

Subject: You do not have enough parking spaces

Dear Nicky,

Now on top of the pain I already feel, I have to put up with the yard looking like a catastrophe. I just find it disgraceful that after everything we’ve done for you, this is the heartless treatment we receive. Your father hasn’t left his chair in days. The only thing he has energy for is watching television. This tragedy has turned him into a shadow of his former self—if you’re not going to apologize for my sake, apologize for your poor father’s. I assume you no longer want to come over for Christmas, which means I have no reason to put up the tree or decorate. Your sister refuses to come because she thinks my remarks about her girlfriend having a degree from an online university were “insensitive,” so I will probably just sit by myself and look through photo albums to remember happier times.

Please tell your wife to stop coming over and shoveling our driveway. Her services are not needed or asked for, and she appears to not know what she is doing.

I found a screwdriver in the garage, if you want it. All the bird seed is gone. I don’t know why it’s so warm this week.


To: Magnolia Rose [BragnoliaRoseSwagShop@hotmail.com]

Re: for the love of god stop contacting me

MY husband smells like someone else’s Febreze. This is a confidential, legally binding petition for you to submit, as evidence, one of your recently worn (clean) outwear garments such as a jacket, cardigan, or scarf for testing purposes. You are lawfully obligated to comply within 10 business days, and must get in touch with my legal representative, Joanne P. at State Farm.


Rose Brand Manager

Dear Deborah

Re: Submission: My Father in Law Goes To Brothels

Hello Seymour Butz,

Your father-in-law is a troubled man, but unfortunately I am not surprised. The destruction of the nuclear family has resulted in husbands and wives neglecting their proper roles. From what you say about your mother-in-law, she ought to mind her business. It is my experience that people who are happy with their own lives don’t stick their noses into others’! We must rise ever above.

To: Nick Jr. Contact Support

Area of Concern [write-in]: You’ve just lost a viewer

I am disappointed that you’ve chosen to give Ariana Grande a wider platform to corrupt our children. I just read an article that said Ariana will be voicing a guest character on your show “Bubble Guppies” next week and am APPALLED. You are supposed to be role models for our children, and this angelfish who teaches the Guppies to reach for their dreams is going to convince preschoolers to get tattoos and date Peter Davidsons. I have twelve grandchildren who have been loyal Nick Jr. watchers, but in all good conscience I can no longer air this channel in my home. I will instead give my patronage to the unproblematic Disney!

Deborah R

To: Star Magazine Tips Hotline

Subject: Kate Middleton

Message: I do not care for Kate Middleton.

To: Joyce

Subject: What sort of world are we living in?

I am in tears, I am shaking. Something truly terrible has happened. Do you remember the new neighbors I was telling you about? They reported me to the police for harassment, and only because I knocked on their door and asked them to take a polarizing “Spread Love Not Hate” sign out of their yard.

Make no mistake, I will not let these people bully me. I am going to have a discussion with the HOA about that sign, along with the poppy seed muffin gift basket they gave to the Harrisons. We all know what poppy seeds are really for!

My Amazon packages are late again. I’ve been looking at the tracker and it said expected delivery was yesterday, but now they’re suddenly delayed. I think someone is tampering with my packages.

I heard from Judy that your sister passed. How unfortunate! Would you mind getting the funeral home director’s information for me and forwarding it to my son? I feel incredibly unsafe with these neighbors around, and if I am killed I just want to make it as easy on Nicholas as possible to make arrangements, as he will be mourning his decision to let that wife of his come between us in my final days. Please also forward your divorce lawyer’s number to him. Are you still bringing German chocolate cake to the bake sale? The funeral isn’t until 3, from what I heard, and the bake sale starts at noon, so you should be able to help out for most of the day and your brief absence won’t affect us too negatively.


Popular Advice Columnist and Bake Sale Coordinator

To: Arby’s Customer Feedback

Subject: The Beaufort Arby’s on Walter Drive

Hello, Arby’s. This evening I ordered two large curly fries and two roast beef sandwiches through the drive-thru. I have not had Arby’s in quite some time because my last experience was unsatisfactory (only one restroom, which meant having to wait a ridiculously long time to use it), but was willing to give you another chance. Well, you blew it. I drove home, opened up my bag, and discovered that one of the fries was a medium.
The worker who gave me my food is named Rhonda. (In case there are multiple Rhondas at the Arby’s on Walter Drive, this one has untidy red hair and is pregnant but isn’t wearing a wedding ring).

Mrs. Deborah Rose

Popular Advice Columnist, Food Connoisseur, and Book Club Leader

To: Diana

Subject: Well I am sorry if you were offended

Actually, I am not sorry at all. If you didn’t want me to talk about you on public radio, you shouldn’t have left that explicit calendar in my guest bathroom. I will be deleting the series recording of The Masked Singer.

To: Pastor Thomas

Subject: Another one of God’s children has lost her way

I have reached out to Susan Ratcliffe regarding her disrespectful church attire, with no luck. I think you should have a conversation with Susan about showing off her shoulders when she is supposed to be Praising Him. I also think you should consider replacing her as a first-row choir singer, since right now she is front and center in front of impressionable young children. Coincidentally, I sang in the choir in college and would be willing to step in.

I am putting you down for six vanilla and chocolate marble cakes.

Mrs. Deborah Rose

Popular Advice Columnist and Bake Sale Coordinator

To: Rise and Smile Dentistry

Re: Customer Satisfaction Survey

Dear Nicholas,

I suppose this means you don’t want me to be your mother anymore. If you do not come to my Christmas party, everyone will speak ill of you, and I can’t bear the thought of hearing my oldest friends and family call you a disrespectful, ungrateful son who has been brainwashed by his wife to care only about her and hasn’t even asked about his parents’ beloved housekeeper’s health scare (not that you probably care at all, since you are so busy, but the results came back and whatever it was is benign, which we all prayed for because otherwise this might have cast a dark shadow on our party and her ability to pull off a halfway decent one for once).
There is no need to bring a dish, since there isn’t enough time between now and Christmas for Naomi to learn how to cook.

Also, I need help blocking Diana’s number from my phone.

To: Amazon Support

Subject: Please transfer me to Jeff Beezus

Someone is sabotaging my packages and I want them fired. On December third, I ordered a waffle iron with two-day shipping, but it arrived a day late and there wasn’t even a refund. On December eighth, I ordered the “First Hill Storage Ottoman in Gray Linen” from BMXSHIPPINGINC, who is one of your middlemen, or perhaps a Russian, and my order took three days for them to ship. Then it simply disappeared somewhere, because the tracker showed no further developments. The ottoman arrived within the window it was supposed to, but I don’t appreciate the shady conduct here, not knowing what was happening to my package in the interim and who was handling it. I want one of your workers to come take it back, and replace it with “Hummel figurine Just Dozing, original MI Hummel Collection, gift-boxed.”

My husband is a very powerful man, and my son is a prominent figure in the health field, putting his life on the line every day. If your business continues to tamper with my purchases, I will take legal action and take my fight public.

Mrs. Deborah Rose

Popular Advice Columnist and Bake Sale Coordinator

Applebee’s Grill & Bar (Marshall, TX) on Facebook

Now offering a contactless menu option! Also NEW Berry Merry Colada and NEW Reindeer Punch!

Deborah and Harold Rose WHEN IS American idol coming back on

To: Rise and Smile Dentistry
Re: Appointment Confirmation (no-reply)

Dr. Rose,

I believe you still have my cardboard box from when I sent a few of your old school assignments and other trinkets home with you on August 13th. There are other things that I need this box for. I find it highly unlikely that you’ve even opened it since the items within are reminders of your terrible childhood and your family that has never done anything but love you, so I would like it back.

You may leave it on the porch, if it is too much to ask for you to come inside.

To: Facebook Support

Area of Complaint (other)

Dear Mr. Mark Zuckerberg,

My daughter-in-law posted something that I am unable to view. It says the post is only viewable for a select group of people and I would like for you to tell me what is in this post. There could be defamation in it, so I believe it is my right as a citizen to see. For more information: her name is Naomi Rosefield and her profile picture is Elmo from Sesame Street, and he is on fire. I believe it is a reference to the movie St. Elmo’s Fire. She lives in Morris, Wisconsin.

She is unemployed.


Deborah Rose

Deborah Rose for City Council


Re: Failure Notice

I don’t know WHO you are or WHO provided you with my private email information and judging by your name, I assume you are satanic. This is your final warning to cease contact. These “failure notices” intended to intimidate me will NOT WORK and if you continue this harassment I will get the authorities involved!!!! My husband is a cop.

To: Naomi


I saw that video of what you’ve been doing with my priceless heirloom salt and pepper shakers. Your childish behavior is an insult upon this entire family and I want them back. I also find it rude that you haven’t invited us over. It is lucky that my calendar is too full for a visit, or else I might feel slighted.

Mrs. Rose

Rose Matriarch

To: Community of Sycamore Lane HOA

Subject: We’re all in danger!

We’re all in danger of getting migraines from the excessively flashing Christmas lights the Harrisons have put up. I’ve checked with all the neighbors and they didn’t consult a single one of us before subjecting us to that enormous inflatable Grinch. It is spoiling the holiday atmosphere. When I am sitting in my upstairs guest room facing the northern window, half of my view is that awful Grinch and I feel no peace because of it.

Deborah Rose

Deborah Rose for City Council

To: viewers@crownmedia.com

Subject: important!!!

WHY are Andrew Walker and that woman from Full House in every single Hallmark movie and WHAT can I do to end it

To: Nicholas

Subject: emergency


You Deserve Each Other by Sarah Hogle
Published by G.P. Putnam’s Sons on April 7, 2020
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Add to GoodreadsAmazon

When your nemesis also happens to be your fiancé, happily ever after becomes a lot more complicated in this wickedly funny, lovers-to-enemies-to-lovers romantic comedy debut.

Naomi Westfield has the perfect fiancé: Nicholas Rose holds doors open for her, remembers her restaurant orders, and comes from the kind of upstanding society family any bride would love to be a part of. They never fight. They’re preparing for their lavish wedding that’s three months away. And she is miserably and utterly sick of him.

Naomi wants out, but there’s a catch: whoever ends the engagement will have to foot the nonrefundable wedding bill. When Naomi discovers that Nicholas, too, has been feigning contentment, the two of them go head-to-head in a battle of pranks, sabotage, and all-out emotional warfare.

But with the countdown looming to the wedding that may or may not come to pass, Naomi finds her resolve slipping. Because now that they have nothing to lose, they’re finally being themselves–and having fun with the last person they expect: each other.

About Sarah Hogle

A mom of three in southern Ohio, Sarah Hogle spends her free time planning weird pranks and hoping for a haunted castle to call her own. She is the author of You Deserve Each Other.

Share this post:
Facebook Twitter Pinterest Tumblr Reddit Stumbleupon Email

Leave a Reply

CommentLuv badge

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

2 responses to “Letters from Deborah Rose of You Deserve Each Other by Sarah Hogle | Author Guest Post

  1. I gotta tell you, fiction normally isn’t my bag. After reading these emails though, I’m extremely interested to see more of this horror character! ;) You may have sold me on a fiction book for the first time in years!
    Joan recently posted…New Year, New Blog