So after I walked into my surprise launch party with complete and utter surprise, I looked around at all the fun guests who were there.
First, most of my book club girls were there! I love my book club friends, and we’re going on nearly 15 years now. We’ve all been through so many life events together — dating, breakups, travel, moving, job losses, job gains, weddings, showers, babies, health issues, children in school, children joining the military, children going off to college, parents aging, becoming grandmas (!), the list goes on and on. So sharing this big milestone meant the world to me! I didn’t get a picture of everyone, but here’s some of the group (Laura, Debbie, and Carrie [top photo]; Angela and Mary Ann [bottom photo]):
Two “surprise guests” were friends from high school (who have loose ties to the book club, knowing fellow book-club founder Barbara, and having gone to high school with me and Barbara). One has been my friend since 5th grade (!!), and one was a friend in high school who is now one of my faithful beta readers. (And, as a side note, two went to elementary school with my husband!) Here we are, the VHS girls (me, Michelle, Barbara and Dawn):
(Please excuse my hair in that photo! I don’t know what it’s doing. … It looks like some weird 1960s doll hair. …It was hot in the room, and my hair was turning into a frizzy, curly mess…)
Anyway, as I made my way through the room, I saw that another whole table was filled with the over-70 crowd! My mom, my friends’ moms who were always so supportive of me, and lo and behold, my high school English teacher Mrs. Kerby!!!! My goodness, I couldn’t believe it! (As another side note, Mrs. Kerby was also the English teacher of historical romance novelist Suzanne Enoch, who was a year ahead of me. Mrs. Kerby goes to Suzanne’s events, too.) (Go VHS!)
Anyway, it was great to get caught up with these wonderful, supportive women. Here they are (my mom, Mrs. Lucas, me, Mrs. Kerby, and Mrs. Young):
My son was also there, drinking cocktails, because he just turned 21, which is weird for me. But it was awesome to see him there being so supportive. (My other two kids were too young for a cocktail event.) Here he is with hubby and Mom:
So my friends and I ate delicious seafood appetizers (an amazing clam bake, salmon deviled eggs, ceviche, and more — YUM!), drank champagne, chatted each other up, told stories, laughed, drank more champagne, had cake, I signed a bunch of books, and I had the best time ever!
Thanks, Barbara! That was a moment of a lifetime for me!
P.S. Sadly, I’m missing the lovely Lauran from these photos because she was nice enough to take most of them! Thank you, Lauran!