This journey has been anything but easy. If you told me I would spend the next year and a half writing, then rewriting a book, soliciting feedback, building a fanbase, editing, learning graphic design and mastering marketing and social media hacks, all while taking care of a family, I’d laugh in your face and run the other way. If you told me there would be days I’d burn the candle on both ends, feel like the zombies I love to watch in movies and still somehow find it in me to get up and write with a tired smile, I’d call you nuts. But that’s the whirlwind this has been. Once I started I dared not stop, otherwise the effort and sacrifices made would’ve been for naught. I’ve been quietly stacking my acorns like a squirrel preparing for the big day. And I could not have done it alone.
My faith in the darkest moments of frustration kept me hanging on by a thread. When I asked, I received. Every time. And I must acknowledge the Power, the Source of everything I am. I am Grateful for the Love, the Guidance and the Light. Thank you, God.
He’s the most dynamic man I’ve ever met. He’s intelligent, makes me laugh at the obscene and is a great business man. I knew I was in for a ride when I crossed paths with him. The adventure has been anything but boring. I love the way you startle me awake to life. Thank you, Chris Harrell, my love, for keeping the flame burning bright.
My girls, Jade Hilson-Harrell and Skye Hilson-Harrell keep me on my toes as a parent. And then they turn around and remind me to play and go with the flow. Thank you for showing me the need for balance, girls!
The first figure of female empowerment I ever laid eyes on, my grandmother, Bobbi Williams. A firecracker and fast talker, she was an independent business woman at a time when women stayed at home. To this day she still runs her own business. Many would’ve retired. She has shown me just how resilient women can be. And she continues to inspire me to be greater every day. Thank you, Granny!
My mother is amazing. Joyce Moore is my best friend and confidant. She encourages me when I need it and makes me laugh when all I want to do is cry. She reflects on life with me and seeks out the deeper meaning. We have wonderful hours-long conversations that heal and nurture. I love you! Thank you, Mama.
My little sister, Latoya Woods. She should’ve been a comedian. Her sense of humor always gets me in the gut. She has a way of looking at life from a perspective I’ve never seen before. Her insightful observations are hilarious but she’s also a woman of depth. Our conversations are like checkpoints that remind us to stay on the right path. Thank you, little sis.
My three younger brothers, Eric Hilson, Dave Jones and Davell Jones are a boatload of fun when we can get together. I love the way we gun on each other and joke around. And whenever you’ve had to step up, each of you has become “the big brother looking out for lil’ sis.” Thank you, little brothers!
To my family and friends, too numerous to name, you know who you are, thank you for your constant support, encouragement and for giving my dreams a chance. You didn’t doubt me when I said I wanted to do this. You stayed by the sidelines and gave your thoughts and honest opinions. You helped me make my work better. Many of you are directly responsible for some of the creative decisions made in this book and for some of the life decisions I’ve made along the way. I’ve been blessed to have so many good people surround me. Thank you!
To Ann-Leslie Tuttle, my freelance editor and woman whose work I admire, thank you for telling me the tough truths that pushed me, taking my creativity further and making the story more complete. Your insight has been invaluable.
To Victoria Cooper, my graphic designer and creative soul I just seem to click with, thank you for putting my exhausting search for a great designer to rest. I thoroughly enjoy working with you and look forward to our projects together.
And last, but definitely not least, I have to acknowledge my Wattpad Family. Without you I’d never have the confidence to get out there and show off my writing chops. I love you guys!