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Ilona Andrews, Magic Bites

From the time I order a package to the time it arrives I cannot step in the shower. I don’t care if it takes days — because the moment I step in the shower, the package delivery guy knocks on my door. It happened this morning — except he was a little late, I was just stepping out of the shower.

Dripping wet, trying to hop into my robe while running down the hall, I’m yelling, “Wait! Wait!” I know what he is delivering and I can’t stand it because I have waited 8 years for this package — eight years! I can’t get my bathrobe to zip and it’s gotta zip because it’s just not polite to open the door while wearing nothing but water, and I am going to open the door. Again I yell, “Just a minute!” The UPS guy answers — “I ain’t got all day lady!” — as I fumble the door open. He looks up at me and laughs. My hair is dripping wet and my glasses are fogged. I sign for my package and shred the cardboard carton with my bare hands!

Around eight years ago I somehow ended up in an online critique group for wannabe fantasy writers. The group did not survive, but my friendship with one of the members, Ilona Andrews, did. Over the years we have traded manuscripts, hopes and dreams. Today in the mail I received Ilona’s first novel.

I examined every millimeter of the outside, read all the bits and bites twice, ran my finger over her name on the cover and the spine — then I opened and read the acknowledgments, and began to cry. Ilona thanked many people. The list was long and my name came last, not buried, but set apart. Highlighted as someone special. All this time Ilona thought I was doing her a favor reading and critiquing her work. But that wasn’t it at all. I was the one blessed. Thank you, Ilona for allowing me to share this exciting journey with you. I hope to be with you through many more!

Quilly is the pseudonym of Charlene L. Amsden, who lives on The Big Island in Hawaii. When she is not hanging out with Amoeba, she is likely teaching or sewing. Or she could be cooking, taking photographs, or even writing. But if she's not doing any of that, she's probably on Facebook or tinkering with her blog.


  1. Ilona — I am loving reading this book. I never saw this entire manuscript. There are parts that are old friends, and bits that are new. The scene where Kate meets Curran for the first time was new to me — and it was perfect: “Here, Kitty, kitty.” I laughed outloud.

    You rock, Lady. I am so proud of you.

  2. Oh Quilly, that is just the sweetest thing! I’m so glad you got the book, and more importantly, a beautiful friend.

  3. Silver — thank you.

    Dr. John — this one is right up your alley. The author cut her teeth on “The wheel” books. And you and Ilona should get together — then you can both nag me about writing. I do write. I blog.

    Donna — I had to share the book with everyone because she is a beautiful friend. But even had we never met, I would have loved reading this book — I just would have had no reason to be proud of it.

  4. What a cool thing! Congrats to your friend on her first published book. It blesses me to hear about good folk’s hard work producing good fruit.

    Plus, your shower story is funny. It’s like when we need rain really bad I wash AND wax my car. Much more effective than hiring a rainmaker.

  5. Jam — and she did work hard. I knew Ilona would make it to publication because she doesn’t know how to give up. As to that washing and waxing the car thing — I’ve even amde that work a time or two here in Vegas!

  6. Minka — thanks — I wasn’t looking for praise, I was hoping a few folk would run out and buy the book! Despite my involvement, it’s a dang good read! It’s full of magic – -werewolves, vampires, shapeshifters …. and has a wonderfully well-written main character, Kate Daniels.

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