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Congratulations, Paula Reed!

Hester by Paula Reed

The big day has finally arrived. Hester is out and available in bookstores everywhere. Get your copy today!

You’re probably wondering why I’m so excited about this particular book. Sure, it’s written by one of my dearest friends. But I’m an author and a lot of my friends are authors, too. It seems like every month brings at least one, if not several releases from my good friends. Honestly, I can’t keep up with them anymore, though I do try.

Hester, is different, though. Not just because it is hard back. Not even because it’s a literary novel and most of my friends write romance. The reason this book stands out to me is the author’s journey to writing this book and getting it published.

Like me, Paula Reed debuted with Kensington Zebra. In fact, Paula’s book Into Her Arms was the first of the Zebra debut books–a special program that released a debut book each month at a special prices. My debut book, Loving Mercy followed Paula’s a few months later in the same program.Paula went on to write two more wonderful books for Kensington.

But we all know being published once–or even three times–doesn’t guarantee a future contract for that next book. Paula decided to write something different A book that had been calling to her for years–filling in the missing years of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s Scarlet Letter. The story blossomed and grew in the short periods of writing time Paula could find in between her full-time job teaching at Columbine High and the demands of a busy family. As with most literary creations, there were ups and downs along the way.Then there was the task of finding a publisher in a market where bookstores and publishers are suffering falling sales. Today all of that perseverance pays off.

Part of my excitement is selfish. I’m doing the same thing–writing a completely different book on a subject very dear to my heart. Paula’s success is an inspiration to me to keep going.

But more than that I’m just happy for Paula. I know this day is very sweet for her. It is certainly not the end of her journey. There is always another book to bring to life. Because of the way things work in the publishing industry–Hester‘s sales will impact that next book too. It’s a risky game for those with the courage to open a vein and bleed onto a page so that characters come to life in readers’ hearts and minds.

Savor today, Paula. Tomorrow it’s back to work!

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