“No, no, no…” References a silver serving tray laden with sweets. “The cheesecake goes over there…right next to the chocolate covered
strawberries and the melon balls—Oh. Hello.” Smiles from ear to ear.“So glad
you could make it. Please, please...come in. The champagne’s over there and the
hors d’oeuvres are circulating.” Leans in.“Make sure you try the spanakopita.
It’s to die for?”
Blink. Blink, blink.
“You’ve never had spanakopita?!”
“I’m serving it in honor of my publisher? MuseItUp Publishing? As in the Greek goddesses of art?!” A tray of
spanakopita goes whizzing by. “Here. Try one.” Snags a spinach
filled Greek pastry from the fast-moving serving dish then taps fingertips
together awaiting the inevitable— “Seeeeeee…” Waggles eyebrows. "I told you
they were good. Listen, feel free to stay as long as you like and eat to your heart's content. There’s plenty of food and lots to see. Over there is my video corner.
Watch all 30 of my Courting the Flame
Random Quote Teasers at Courting The Flame Book Channel on YouTube .
Or watch just today's special "release party" teaser.
It’s going to become the home base for all
things “Courting the Flame”: updates, specials, contests, fan input, you name
it. You’ll definitely want to stop by and give it a “like”.
“Oh, dear. What’s that?” Sniffs air.“Please don’t tell me
someone’s burned the galaktoboureko?!” Palm to forehead. “Please…mingle
amongst yourselves. Ohhhh…and thanks again for stopping by. I am truly honored. This is such an exciting day for me. I'm so glad you were a part of it.”
Well, here we are…just moments away from the release of my
debut novel. As I sit here I can’t help but think: I’ve lost years of sleep, argued
with people who only existed in my head, and climbed the proverbial Mountain of
Revisions more times than I care to remember, but somehow all that pales in
comparison to the years of love and support I received along the way.
Today’s blog post is dedicated to the amazing group of
people who helped me reach the other side. Today's blog is dedicated to my family and friends.
The first two people I’d like to acknowledge also happen to
be the first two people to learn of my plans to write a book. They are my
sister and mother. Sure they exchanged uneasy glances when I casually made the
announcement. After all, I was a teacher, not a writer…at least not yet. I’m
happy to say that I’ve since convinced them otherwise. Every few days I’d hand
them a new chapter, and every few days they’d eagerly await the delivery of one.
In essence, my mother and sister became my first “fans” and I will forever be
grateful to them for their genuine eagerness to read. As a matter of fact my
sister, Linda, was the first reader to waggle her eyebrows at me and say, “I’d
like me some more of that Michael character, please.”
“Ha, ha, ha,” I chuckled back. “Wouldn’t we all.”
My poor husband and children were the next to learn of my
little summer project. I believe the announcement came during dinner. Somewhere
between the mashed potatoes and the meatloaf I slid in the, “Oh…did I tell you
I’m going to write a novel this summer?” comment. My husband was instantly
skeptical. He is, after all, my husband. To him this was just a new level of “Diana-ness”. He finally
believed me four years later when I told him I found a publisher, LOL. As for
my boys, well…they just know that Mommy has arguments with people who don’t
really exist while she’s in her room “creating”.
And they’re right.
My stepmom, Dad, mother in law, and niece, Angel, were the next innocent
bystanders to learn of my crazy idea, but once again I received nothing but love
and support in return. As a matter of fact, once Angel started reading the book she'd call me nightly and we'd have our own "book talks" about various aspects of the story. She totally got the message and became my third official "fan". Thanks, kiddo.
“But what about your friends?” you ask. Sure, I have
them, and the first friend I told was my BFF, Holly. Honestly, I don’t even think
she batted an eyelash. It was kind of like, “Really? Cool.” Holly’s an avid reader
of romance…including mine. *smiles from ear to ear* Good lord, the girl read every version of Courting the Flame that I ever wrote,
and believe me, there were many versions of Courting
the Flame before I finally nailed it. We still chuckle about some of the
deleted scenes andcharacters.
“OMG...Elaine, please stop.” *slams head on computer desk* That little trip down memory lane was for you, Holly, LOL.
Next up on the friend list are Irene, Holly’s mom, and Judy,
my dear friend and fellow fan of the written word. Both ladies muddled their
way through those early versions of Courting
the Flame and came back with some wonderful input and loads of
encouragement. To round out the list of guinea pigs—I mean “volunteers” are Gwyn, Tom, Sandy, Amy, Wendy, Celeste, Darla, and Jimmy (my brother in law). A great big thank
you to all of them for taking the time to not only read but share their
thoughts on my story and developing skills as a writer. Hugs to you all.
Obviously, I can’t forget my MuseItUp Publishing family: there’s the dynamic duo of Lea Schizas
and Litsa Kamateros (the publishing goddesses who magically make it all happen),
Julie Lynn Hayes (my Muse content editor), Greta Gunselman (my Muse line
editor), and Nika Dixon (my Muse cover artist). You ladies rock! I mean that.
And last but not least is the person I chose to dedicate my
very first novel to…Claudia Suzanne. You’ll have to read my dedication page for
the specifics, but to sum it up in one sentence—I wouldn’t be here without her.
Over the course of four years, Claudia single handedly taught me everything I
know about the writing process. She’s a soul sister through and through, and I
couldn’t imagine my life without her in it.
I truly cherish our friendship, Claudia.
So there you have it. My long list of thank you notes. Each
one well deserved. What a comforting bit of knowledge to hold onto as the hours
tick away—proof that Courting the Flame
was not only created with plenty of blood, sweat, and tears…but also love. I hope
you enjoy reading it, folks…‘cuz I thoroughly enjoyed writing it. My best to
of Courting the Flame
Oh! And how could I forget? Here's the last Courting the Flame Random "Quote of the day" #30.