Today at approximately 4:30 Elyse ran to get me. “The FedEx guy left a package!” she said. Elyse is deathly afraid or embarrassed by all delivery people and generally hides when they arrive, even if she is expecting something grand like a birthday package.

I ran downstairs and beheld a large box on the doorstep and Ethan and Kaiya dancing around it.

“It’s my box of books!” I said.

“Calm down, Mother.” Elyse said.

I hefted the box inside and grabbed the big scissors.

“Don’t hurt yourself,” said Kaiya. Maybe I was a tad overexcited.

For the first time, I held my book in my hands. It felt surreal.

“Whose books are these?” Kaiya said.

I opened the back flap and showed Kaiya my picture. “Who’s that?”

“Mommy!” She clapped. “It’s your book, Mom!”

“Can you believe it, Ethan?” I said.

“Yeah, are we going to sell that whole box?” he said. “Oh, boy!”

Then he got back to his cartoon. Elyse was already back at the computer.

For some, the packing material held more interest.

But then she got a book out. “Take my picture with your book, Mommy!”

Doesn’t she look proud?

Kaiya was in my belly when I first started writing this book. I had high blood pressure and the doctor had me doing nothing more than sitting up, so during that summer of 2005 I began writing the novel.

Here are the fabulous quotes from other writers:

And the inside jacket with Susan Wiggs’s quote:

And me (courtesy of Elyse):