Autumn Getaway (Seasons of Love)By: Jennifer Gracen
SEASONS OF LOVE BOOK 1
It has been said that I’m verbose. (shoots a warning look at the peanut gallery) But honestly, there are so many people to thank and acknowledge for their part in my journey; that list could comprise its own novella. It really does take a village. I am so deeply grateful and appreciative of everything the people in my life have done to help me get to this point. Being as this is my first published book, this list will likely be the longest. I’ll try to be more succinct in the future… nah.
Anyway, the best place to start is with Booktrope Publishing, for publishing my work and making my biggest dream come true. Big shout out to my friend & colleague, Jesse James Freeman, whose genuine decency is only eclipsed by his sharp wit and amazing talent. Thank you so very much for taking me on, Katherine Sears and Kenneth Shear. Endless thanks to my creative team, without whom this book wouldn’t be what it is: Jennifer Gilbert, my book manager, who is a pleasure to work with and a rock star; Stevie McCoy, my eagle-eyed proofreader; and Greg Simanson, my graphics designer, who gave me the gorgeous cover of my dreams. I appreciate all you’ve done more than I can say. Eternal gratitude. Also, thanks to my original editor on this book a few years back, TJ Proofs; your work made my work sing, and you taught me so much when I was an eager newbie. I haven’t forgotten that.
Thank You to Family: My boys, Josh and Danny, the loves of my life; for your patience and understanding while Mommy spent all that time at the computer. See, I wasn’t always on Twitter and Facebook. So I’m forgiven for the messy house now, right? My mother, Linda, who instilled in me my love of reading, books, and words; and who’s been my gold standard for the lioness mother, as well as a Queen of the Quick Comebacks. My father, Rob, who never lost hope that I'd embrace my creativity and always encouraged me to use my talents and follow my dreams. Thanks for all the blue notebooks way back when, Dad. My brother, Jamie, my lifelong teammate and an astonishing creative artist. Big hugs to the rest of my nuclear family: Stevie, Natasha, Kyle, Teri, and Michael. To Adam, who gave me the greatest gift of my life, our sons; and who made it possible for me to stay home with our boys and to write this book. No matter what else, Ad, I’ll always be grateful to you for that. And to my grandmother, Grace, who taught me how to give amazing hugs and always corrected my grammar; I still think of her often, miss her, and wish she could have seen this. (My pen name is a tribute to her.)
Friends: To all who’ve supported me, stood by me in good times and bad—I know how lucky and blessed I am to have so many of you in my life. But I must thank in particular in regards to this book my very first beta readers back in 2010, Karen Alcaide & Francis Rizzo III. Claudine Dugan, Joann Centrone, & Christie Latorre, my closest longtime friends who are really more like family. Jenny Beal, aka “The Foot in My Ass;” you have no idea how much your initial encouragement in 2009 set this all in motion, JB. You have my undying gratitude for that. Randi Pellett & Ella Schwartz, my biggest hometown cheerleaders. Tracey Valentine Cozzolino, you’re the best, sunniest Head Cheerleader EVER. Maryann Judge, when channeling Donna’s voice, I heard yours. Because you rock. Christina Esdon, Anne Baker, Valerie Haight, & Anne-Mhairi Simpson, love you so big. Karen DeLabar, Janelle Jensen, & Amy Weaver, you are the true sisters of my heart. So much love. Macaulay Cokecan to you. I want cake. And hugs to K.D. McCrite, aka Mama Bear; for believing in me, caring deeply, and sharing wisdom. You’re both a mentor and a cherished friend.
The members of the Long Island Romance Writers (RWA Chapter 160)—your encouragement, dedication to your craft, & solid support was that crucial piece of the puzzle I needed to get to a higher, stronger level of writing and dedication. I’ve learned so much since I joined you in Jan. 2011, and I’m proud to be a part of this fantastic group. Major thanks to my dear friend, Jeannie Moon; I value your opinions, insight, and knowledge. Your unfailing support means so much to me. Not enough words. Brainstorming sessions with/beta reading by the Fab Four—me, Jeannie, Patty Blount, and Lisa Jo Brennan—has become the trusted touchstone that I need as a writer. Love you, ladies. Liz Slawinski, Maggie VanWell, & Myra Platt, hugs.
Also, and no I’m not kidding, genuine love and thanks go out to all my Twitter and Facebook friends, who’ve been so encouraging, interested, and funny—you all know who you are (I hope!), and I thank you from the bottom of my big, goopy, social media addicted heart for your support and smiles that keep me going on a daily basis. Special shout out goes to my friends who were original members of #pubwrite in 2011; and especially the wildly fun, dirty minded, mind-blowingly talented 2012-14 members of the FB group The Lounge — you are my safe place. You all make me want to do better than my best, you give unconditional love and support, and make me laugh, really hard, every single day. Your collective friendship is a true gift that I cherish. But special hugs go to Gordon Bonnet, Jeff Tsuruoka, AJ Aalto, Joe Schmidt, Andrew F. Butters, Shay West, Stephanie Fuller, Alex Diakonis, & a few others I’ve already mentioned in other sections above.