February was my debut release month with Harlequin Heartwarming. I’ll admit to shedding a few tears when the box of Make Me A Match books arrived at my house. I was alone in my kitchen, holding a book with my name on the cover. There was something surreal about seeing a long time dream realized. That was the last “quiet” moment before we headed into release week. There were Facebook parties, author chats and a blog tour that all gave me the chance to interact with new readers and old friends. Release week was busy, overwhelming and wonderful. It was okay to talk, post and tweet about Make Me A Match. (I’m still trying to embrace the idea of self-promotion without cringing.) But this was all part of my dream to be a published author coming true. This was expected.
What wasn’t expected was the tremendous support and encouragement from family and friends, both new and old. What I’d never envisioned in my dream was my two daughters asking for signed copies of Make Me A Match and then taking those copies to school to show their teachers. (And the girls’ teachers asking where they could get a copy.). My dream hadn’t included walking into my parents’ house in sweatpants and discovering a surprise party for my release orchestrated by my husband. (Or the cake with the Make Me A Match cover again designed by my husband).
I’d only really dreamed of my name on a book cover. I just never knew my first Heartwarming release would be so much more: It was a moment to connect with friends and family to share my passion for stories about romance and true love. It was a moment to realize my husband wanted this as much (if not more) than me. It was a moment to finally look my daughters in their eyes and tell them that, yes, dreams do come true if you work hard, believe and have faith.
And it was a moment that will be remembered, but even more a reminder to expand my dream. (I want to repeat release month. Not because I want another surprise party – although spending time with good friends is never bad – but because I have more stories to share and a passion for writing that release month strengthened.) So now I’ll sign off to finish revisions on my next book to keep my Heartwarming dream going.
Happy reading and don’t forget to dream!