Yesterday a box landed with a thud on my front porch. Since I work from home and get deliveries all the time (which usually require me to DO something), I finished lunch, read the paper, and then finally wandered out to see what the UPS man had left. I let out a squeal when I realized it was my box of Love at First Flight author copies! Ten years after an eavesdropped conversation in an airport inspired the story and just over three years after I finished writing it, I held the printed copy in my hands. The cover is even more gorgeous than I expected it to be with its raised, embossed type and rich colors. On the thrill-o-meter, this moment ranked pretty darn high! Amazon is now listing it as "in stock," so those of you who pre-ordered it should be getting your copies soon!
Seconds after I opened the box and returned to earth, I got an email from our lovely publicist, Danielle, with the latest review, which said, in part,
I read this book in less than a twenty-four hour period. I can’t remember the last time a story held me as mesmerized as Love at First Flight; I couldn’t get enough and wanted more. . . . It’s a great story that knits together friendship and new-found love around bitter and sweet emotions, fear and sacrifice, and heartache and joy.
While the threats were real and seemingly around every corner, I appreciated how Ms. Force kept control of the situation, or perhaps it was just that her characters were mature, had their heads on straight. Michael and Juliana (most especially, which I was really thankful for) were always smart when it came to the threats, there were no impulsive actions, no stupid decisions. Finally, a heroine I could truly enjoy reading about.
Ms. Force pens so much more than a simple romance, her voice has that "certain something" which captivates the reader from first word to the last. She creates a story and characters the reader can embrace and cheer on whole-heartedly with a smile and a lump in the throat.
Thank you to Connie at Once Upon a Romance for that lovely review. This week I was talking to my friend April, who "loaned" me her former home in Baltimore to use as Michael's home in L@FF. (Check back here on July 1 to see pictures of the rowhouse that inspired Michael's ultra cool home.) April read and loved the advance review copy while on vacation last week. We had a great chat about something Juliana does in the book (NO, I can't tell you what!) that I know readers will either totally get or totally hate. When you reach that moment (I'm STILL not going to tell you what it is...) you will know it, and you may experience a brief but intense moment of panic. You may say HOW COULD SHE? There may be wailing, flailing and possibly even shrieking on your part as the reader. As the writer, I want you to know in advance that any of these reactions will please me. I want to make you feel good, but I want to make you sad, anxious, moved, and aroused. And if I also make you mad? Well, that's just fine, too. If I make you feel, I've done my job.
Want to let me know what you think about this moment-that-I'm-not-going-to-tell-you-about as well as many others that occur during the story? Join me on July 20 at 7 p.m. EDT on my blog for a Love at First Flight Book Club Meeting where I will get the conversation started and then we'll air it all out in the comments section. E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org to RSVP and get more information about the meeting. I'll be giving away signed copies of Love at First Flight and Line of Scrimmage as well as B&N gift cards to the most vocal participants! From July 1-7 on my website, I'll post a different question about the book every day. Send me your answers to be entered into a drawing for a Love at First Flight gift basket. You can also email me if you'd like me to send you a signed book plate to affix to your copy.
The other day I was with my dad, who read Love at First Flight while he was staying with me this past winter. As I said then, it's one thing to have him reading my books when he's in Florida and I'm in Rhode Island. It was another thing altogether to have him sitting five feet from me while he was reading my sexy book. Since we're talking about reviews and endorsements, I thought you might like to know what he told a woman we were talking to: "You need asbestos gloves to even hold it." LOL! Does it get any better than that for a romance writer?
I look forward to sharing the excitement of the July 1 launch with my Casa sisters and all our friends here on the blog!