I'm late in posting, but I've had one of those weeks.
I picked up my first romance when I was fourteen. I did it begrudgingly, but my mom was so sick of me reading those Judy Blume books over and over again, she insisted I read a Harlequin Presents. Six White Horses by Janet Daily.
I read the book. I fell in love. I immediately re-read it. From then on, I devoured every romance novel I could get my hands on.
My mom quickly ran out. She suggested I call my grandmother and see if she had any, since both Grandma and Grandpa loved them. She had tons! It was like my Nirvana.
Eventually, I expanded my reading to include single title books. My grandmother and I became reading buddies. Jude Deveraux, V.C Andrews, Jackie Collins, Janet Daily just to list a few. She would tell me to hurry up and finish a book so we could discuss it. We had a connection that bonded us through our love of romance.
I don't have many regrets in my life, but the one that hurts my heart the most is that Grandma didn't live to see me become a writer. I know she would have loved each and every story I wrote, even the early ones that I wouldn't let my worst enemy read.
One day I will be published and from the first time I ever wrote "The End" I have always known what my first dedication would read:
"This one's for you, Grandma..."