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!