Aside from writing a blurb, acknowledgments are always the hardest to write. Why is that? Could it be that I’m about to pour out my heart and soul to so many people? I think it’s more about the paralysis that I get when I’m absolutely terrified of inadvertently forgetting to mention someone. I’m going to apologize up front to everyone, because I promise you that I will forget and it is not intentional. I swear. I love you all and if you’re reading this note, then know that I love you too.

So, I started out thanking my family profusely after my first novel, Dear Emily was published. I also promised them that things would change. That I’d attempt to get more sleep, do more laundry, and keep the house fairly organized. And in keeping with tradition, my first acknowledgment is again directed to my family. But it’s an apology. I’m sorry. I lied. Dear Tabitha took just as much out of me as Dear Emily did and in writing this book, I fell back into bad habits and didn’t do all of the things that I promised that I would improve. Your constant support has been incredible and I love you for helping me through the creation of this book as well. Yes, I still have clothes piled to the ceiling on my dining room table and dishes in the sink. Mr. Trudy is and ever will be a saint. I love you so much and thank you for your unwavering support. My kids are excited that I wrote ‘book two’ and they can’t wait for me to write ‘book three’ although I don’t think they realize exactly what that means. For them, finishing ‘book two’ meant that Christmas stayed up in our home until after Valentine’s Day! I guess that’s pretty cool if you are six and seven years old.

Holy crap! I wouldn’t even be writing this acknowledgement if it weren’t for the incredible and awesome support that Dear Emily received from the blogging and author community. This is where I’m not going to list out each blog or author individually, because I WILL forget to name everyone. Someone will be left off and I don’t want to cause any hard feelings. So what I will say is this. Over 140 blogs and dozens of authors helped spread the word about Dear Emily through the cover reveal, release day blitz, and blog tour. They also jumped in to help out when I had a glitch with Amazon and went dark for almost a day. Did they have to do this? Absolutely not. Did they even know who I was at that point? Nope. Then what exactly happened? They all took a chance on a new indie author and welcomed me with open arms. They didn’t have to do it, but they did. I thank each and every one of you for taking that chance. And Wow! During the release and review blitz of Dear Emily, I heard from so many of you that connected with this story. Thank you for all of your notes and kind words. And a huge thank you for all of your reviews. As part of the indie community, you all know how important reviews are to continue to spread the word about our books. So thank you! I love all of you!

Thank you as well for helping support the cover reveal, upcoming blog, and review tour for Dear Tabitha. I hope that this story helps conclude what I started to tell in Dear Emily. I’ve tried to come full circle and show that beyond tragedy, there is the ability for a happily ever after. It just takes more time for others as you’ve witnessed through Alex and Tabitha’s journey.

I need to thank my incredible BETA girls! OMG! You guys were just so incredible with Dear Tabitha and your reactions were priceless. Your enthusiasm for this book helped me keep my momentum up when I wanted to just curl up and quit. You saw things in these characters that helped guide me to tell the story that they needed to tell. Your honest and constructive feedback is just awesome and I can’t thank you enough. I love all of you girls!!! Julie, Jodie, Jennifer, Mindy, Jennifer, Christina, Karen, Kathy, Tabitha, Trisha, Debi, and Barb. I’m a bit impartial, but I think that I have THE BEST beta team around and I hope you all plan to stick with me for as long as I write books.

Here’s the part where I know that people’s feelings will get hurt and I apologize. I’ve been influenced and supported by so many people that are too numerous to individually mention. But the following people require some additional gushing because of their incredible support. I’m so proud to call my friends.

Amanda Maxlyn. Who would have thought that a chance meeting on Facebook would have led us to where we are today? I can’t tell you how thrilled I am that you introduced me to Brandee (I’ll get to you in a minute 😉 ) But more importantly, I’m so very honored that you have stood by me and helped keep me motivated throughout this journey. Your phone calls just to say hello are always a highlight of my day. You’re a source of inspiration and encouragement. I love you like a sister and I’m looking forward to all of the exciting things that we have planned together over the next couple of years.

Brandee Engel Veltri (Brandee’s Book Endings). You have the biggest heart that I’ve ever seen, and I am so incredibly thankful that you’ve taken me under your wing. You didn’t know who I was and took Amanda’s word for it that I was legit. You worked TIRELESSLY, sacrificing time with your family around the holidays to run the blog and review tour for Dear Emily. The amount of time you put into organizing and keeping things moving is amazing and I couldn’t have done this alone. Thank you so much! I love you and you are stuck with me for as long as you’ll continue to have me.

t.h. snyder. You rock! I love you and thank you so much for all of your support and for always being there for me. You’re so incredibly talented and creative and I’m thrilled that you’re finally getting the recognition that you deserve. The trailer that you made for Dear Emily is beautiful and I believe helped convince some folks to take a chance on me and my book. You’re on notice that I need trailers for ALL of my upcoming books, so be ready. I can’t wait to spend some quality time with you at all of the events planned for this year and next. Love you girl!

Becca Manuel. You created such a beautifully moving and fitting trailer for Dear Tabitha that I have literally watched dozens and dozens of times. You captured this story perfectly through music and stunning visuals. Thank you so much for loving this story enough to create a perfect trailer. Your talent is unbelievable and deserves to be shouted from the rooftops! Love you Becca!

Brooke Page. You make me feel like a star and I’m so humbled by you. You have to be the sweetest person on this planet, and your support and kind words are just incredible. Thank you for being the cheerleader that you are and a wonderful friend. I see big things for you in the future, and don’t change the type of person that you are. You’re just perfect and I love you!

Clara Fox. You hot, belly-dancing chick! And let’s talk about excitement, shall we? You exude it and it’s infectious. I love getting PMs from you throughout the day telling me how excited you are for what’s happening. I’m so proud of you, and what you’ve accomplished with your first book, and I can’t wait to start spamming you with all of the great things that people say. Get ready for a quick ride to the top! Love you!

Nic Farrell. Our ‘secret’ writing group that doesn’t have a name has been such a boost for me! Sharing our ups and downs all the while pushing each other along has been invigorating! You and Amanda have been such pillars of support for me, and I’m truly thankful and grateful that we’ve become friends. I can’t wait to meet you someday, and I’m so excited for you! I can’t wait until the world gets to read the book that you’ve been pouring your heart and soul into for so long. Hugs!

Kathryn Perez. So you took a chance on me big time. You read Dear Emily and shouted it out to the world about how much you loved it. You, along with countless bloggers, spread the word about Dear Emily like wildfire. Your kind words and support gave legitimacy and credibility to my story and made people start to listen. Thank you and I can’t wait to meet you at DEA! I’m so humbled and excited to be included in such an intimate and inspiring event. And I’m inspired by you and your journey. I can’t wait for the world to read Therapy. You are a force to be reckoned with and a true artist. You are an amazing and I love you!

Christine Zolendz. You! You were one of the first authors that I gathered the courage to share my book with. When I saw your note that day on your wall, I threw caution to the wind and asked if you wanted to read my book. I developed a backbone and some confidence. It nearly made me faint when you posted that you loved it. And then you kept sharing it with anyone who would listen. Your kind act gave me enough courage to reach out to other authors that have inspired me throughout my journey of writing. I’ve been a fan of ALL of you forever. Never in a million years did I imagine that I would be able to reach out and share my work. My art. Thank you for giving me the courage. After you read and loved Dear Emily, I wasn’t afraid to fail any longer. I felt validated that what I was doing was real.

Lori Otto. You have no idea (well, maybe you do because I stalk you constantly) how much you’ve inspired me. Reading your series, Emi Lost and Found, taught me how to write and show feelings. Your books gutted me in a way that no other work has. I felt every single emotion that your characters felt and I learned from it. I learned that in order to be considered an emotional writer, your reader needs to FEEL everything. They need to be SHOWN what’s happening. You taught me that. So there. Now you know. You’re an inspiration to me and I’m sure so many others. Keep writing the way that you do, and I’ll keep reading because I want to learn from the best. Love you! Pinkie swear 😉

Tarryn Fisher. I’m a huge stalker of yours. You already know this and probably have a restraining order out in several states. But what I learned from you is how to FEEL toward a character. How did you make me hate Leah so much, but I couldn’t put her book down? How did you make me feel so much agitation toward Olivia and her calculated cluelessness (if there is such a thing) and make me want to smack her and hug her at the same time. You write some of the most POWERFUL characters that I’ve ever read, and you are my inspiration for starting this crazy ‘hobby’. I hope that someday my characters are mentioned in the same sentence as some of yours. Maybe they’ll do shots of tequila together or eat frozen vegetables. One can hope.

Jessica Park. Wow! Jessica. You are just the freaking coolest author that I know! I immediately connected with you when I read Flat Out Love and was thrilled to see a lifelong tradition of mine in your book. It’s no secret to those that know me that I’m a Christmas NUT. I have the same tradition that Julie shared with Matt, and Alex shared with Tabby. I love to lay under the tree and look up at the beautiful lights. One my most favorite memories is of my son under the tree with the biggest smile on his face. He stared at the lights, while at the same time fascinated by his Thomas the Train set. It’s so awesome to have this tradition in both of our books and to see how our characters make this part of their lives. Thank you for being my friend and continuing to inspire me and help me grow as a writer.

There are SO MANY of you incredible authors and bloggers that took a chance by leaping into the pages of my books. I can’t thank you enough for what you’ve done to spread the word and get my name out there. Yes you! Every single one of you. I would be nothing if it weren’t for your support. I bow to you and humbly thank you from the bottom of my heart.

This last group of people cannot be forgotten. They are the ones that have made this book look, sound, and feel beautiful.

Kathryn Crane. Okay, what can I say to you that I haven’t said before? You’re stuck with me, babe! I’m not going anywhere as long as you’ll have me on your team. I am so proud to list you as the editor of my books. It makes me feel so incredible to have your name next to mine. You helped guide me through what my stories should become, and you cleaned up all of my bad grammar and punctuation! The first time I sent you my work, your head was spinning because I couldn’t keep past/present tense straight. The dialogue was choppy and punctuated all wrong. And then you introduced me to your team (BETAs) and released your mad editing skills on my work. And BOOM! It’s damn near perfect. Thank you for helping me stay true to my inner voice. You’re a class act and a truly wonderful person. I love you!!!

BETAS! You get TWO shout outs in this book because you are all so freaking awesome! Julie, Jodie, Jennifer, Mindy, Jennifer, Christina, Karen, Kathy, Tabitha, Trisha, Debi, and Barb. LOVE YOU ALL!!

Steph’s Cover Design – You are a true artist. You nailed my first cover and created a brand for me that’s so beautiful and unique. Dear Tabitha is no different. You created a vision that drills into my soul. You captured the vision of this book cover and you made it perfect. Thank you for all that you do for me and for your flexibility and professionalism. You are so awesome to work with and I can’t wait to see what you do with my next cover! LOL No pressure or anything 😉 Love you Steph!

Toski Reanne Covey. Well, I am so happy to have found you. For so many reasons. Harper Sloan (who always recommends THE BEST support network in the indie world) recommended you above all others. Well, that made my day. I needed a custom photo shoot and you were the one to go to! You found Alex and Tabitha for me and they are perfect. You brought them to life and I fell in love with them all over again. You created a unique vision for the cover and helped me share that with Steph. It’s beautiful and just so perfect. Thank you! You also deserve thanks as a friend! You’ve been a cheerleader for Dear Emily since early on. You read it loved it and told the world. Thank you for taking a chance on my book and my cover. I am so honored to be working with you and humbled by your support.

Emily Mah Tippetts. Once again a huge class act! I can’t thank you enough for continuing to support my work. You really know how to make the inside look and feel like art. Thank you for your undying support and sharing my work with your network. It means so much to me when a contributor of my book takes ownership for the work that they put into it and shows how proud they are of the final product. You’ve done that for me and for so many others, which is why you’re considered one of the best formatters in the business. Thank you so very much!

My last HUGE shout out is once again to the author and blogging community. Thank you for taking a chance on me and my books. I know how much time and effort goes into participating in reveal and review tours. So many books that you WANT to read constantly get bumped so you can support us indie authors. I realize that you don’t HAVE to read any of my books, but I’m so humbled that you do. I get teary eyed every time I see another shout out or mention of me in the large sea of incredible authors out there. I pinch myself every day and can’t believe that I’m out there and you are all supporting me. Thank you for everything, and I hope to never disappoint you with my work. I love you all. Every single one of you that revealed my covers, read and reviewed my book, shared my purchase links and just said hi. It means the world to me and there really aren’t enough words to tell you everything I feel about you. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

Finally, thank you to all of my new readers and friends! I am amazed and humbled by your notes that you send to me as you read and finish my books. It never ceases to surprise me how many people I’m touching with my stories. Thank you for taking a chance and spending your hard-earned money on these books. I promise to continue to try to meet your expectations and produce quality and touching stories for you. I hope that you continue to follow the story of all of the beautiful characters that you have met throughout these two books. They have all become a part of me and I can only hope that they touch or inspire you in some way. Stay tuned, as there will be several more standalone stories in the Forever Family Series. You never know who may have a book or novella dedicated to them.

The Forever Family series will continue to explore the many characters that you’ve met throughout these books.

Dear Emily:

Dear Tabitha: