First of all—wow. I’m still in awe that this long-standing dream is actually coming true. It’s been a crazy ride to get here, but I haven’t been riding alone.
Thanks to my family, the Lovelace and Scroggs clans who have listened to me drone on and on about this “writing thing” for years, smiling and nodding and humoring me. The only reason I made it this far is because of your faith, love, and support! I know everyone’s family is amazing, but mine truly rocks. (wink) I love y’all with all I’ve got!!
To my kids—Amanda, you are the light of my life, you smart, wonderful, witty, exasperatingly mouthy, beautiful girl. You were there ten years ago when it started with the Snuggly Ready Writey Club, complete with English accents. (You had to be there.) Now here you are, a stunning young woman, a writer in your own right, and I’m so proud of you. I love you, boog. Ethan, I’ve watched you grow from boy to man, and the trip has never been boring! LOL! I love the memories we have of just us (Evil Cult Children) and Sharla Warla Barla Darla Biscuit Muffin. Your spontaneity makes me crazy and makes me laugh and I love you so much. You are a one-of-a-kind individual, and I’m so proud to call you my son. Amanda and Ethan—I would never truly understand sullen, snarky, moody, make-me-gray teenagers without inspiration from the two of you. Riley came honestly. (love you!!)
I thank Troy, the love of my life, and the man who makes me smile. You let me share this with you, and actually let these characters have life, talking about them with me like they were real people. (they’re not?) You will never know how special that is for me. Every writer needs someone who loves them enough to tell them when something sucks, as well as when it’s good. That’s luuuuuurrrv, baby! You’re my other half, my love. And that’s forever.
My brothers, Randy and Marty, and their families, who are now saying, “Really? My sister wrote a book?” Yes I did. Hopefully, I got the fishing part right or I’ll never hear the end of it. (laughing)
My parents, June and Buddy—who are in here as Nathaniel and Helen June. (sorry, Mom!) You supported every single crazy idea I ever had with vigor and love, and I wish you were here to celebrate this one with me. I love and miss you both every day, and while we can’t sit on the porch for coffee, I know you are up there on our three stars smiling down. Hopefully not fussing at each other. Be nice.
Big thank-yous go to my awesome friends and coworkers who’ve been bouncing with me the past year—thank you for listening to me rant and sometimes lose my mind. Especially Renee, who has learned more about the book industry than she probably ever wanted to. (ha!!) I love you! To my crazy TCPT friends () who taught me about physical, emotional, and spiritual strength, and then made me go home and write and quit talking (lol). To all my online writer friends—I would not be able to stand the voices without you! To my fellow RWA-WFers for being a daily source of inspiration and support. Writing is so solitary, especially in a small town, and connecting to all of you keeps the sanity! On that note, I want to shout out to a particular group near and dear to me because it was the first time I met other writers in person. My friends from the DFW Writers’ Conference (2010 and 2011)—Maria Ghiglieri, Stephanie Hollis, Kimberly Rood, Ellie Soderstrom, Janet Butler, Dawn Alexander, Candie Campbell, Lindsay Cummings, Roni Loren, Piper Bayard, and Kristen Lamb. Love. Y’all. So. Much.
To my agent, Jessica Faust of BookEnds—you are a Godsend. Seriously. Thank you for all your support and calming influence when sometimes I need to be talked down—LOL! I am so blessed to have you in my corner. Thanks to my amazing editor at Berkley Sensation, Wendy McCurdy, for having the eye of an eagle and making this as perfect as it could possibly be, and to the art department for conceptualizing such a phenomenal cover. I’m so excited to work with such a great team.
Huge thank-yous to the authors who took the time to read my book and give me their quotes. A special nod to Jodi, who took my pages with her on a European vacation, and then wrote me the most fantastic letter about leaving little bits of it behind as she went, in six countries. Love it! I thank you all so much.