Lex and Lu(104)

By: J. Santiago


He shot her the death glare, at which she laughed, the Lu laugh, which made his heart clench.

“You’ve got nothing on Dr. J.,” she said. She must have realized that his calm façade was really just that—a façade. “So Mrs. Auberly and Nina are at your house.”

He almost smiled. “My house?”

“Yeah. I figured I wouldn’t want to leave you in the middle of the night, so it seemed the best solution.”

Standing, he took her hand and pulled her in to him. “Awfully presumptuous of you.”

She raised both her eyebrows, “You think?” she said, smiling.

“Yeah. It was. You have something to say to me?”

Her smile faded. “I love you, AJ.”

“That’s my girl,” he said, right before he kissed her.





Acknowledgments


I’ve been writing stories all of my life. I even have a first novel, still sitting on my desk, with all sorts of editing left to be done. But, then I got married and had children. Finding time to write became difficult. A really good friend of mine told me about National Novel Writing Month. I missed it in 2011, but marked my calendar for November of 2012. Lex and Lu had already taken up residence in my brain—but forcing myself to sit down everyday and meet a quota gave me the extra push I needed to write this book. I loved meeting my word requirement and watching my characters come to life. I liked it so much that I did it again in November 2013. I can honestly say that without the National Novel Writing Month, I may never have taken the time to write this story.

They say that writing it is the hardest part. And maybe that’s true, but for me everything that comes after it is overwhelming and intimidating. I may never have taken the next step if it wasn’t for my friend Ken. When I sent him the file, I was extremely nervous. He’s definitely not a romance novel guy. But he read it and liked it and pushed me to do something with it. His belief in me, and what I could do, made me feel like I could actually get it published. As soon as he finished it, he was on the phone reaching out to Lee Gordon. Before I knew it, I was calling someone I didn’t know, asking him to point me in the right direction. When I asked Ken what I was supposed to say to Lee, his response was, “I wrote this awesome book and I want to get it published.” Thanks to Ken and Lee, I was submitting my book for consideration the next week. Ken, I feel some sort of way about what you did for me.

The idea for Lex and Lu came about during a gathering of our neighborhood supper club and our families. Watching all of the kids run around and interact, it seems natural that somewhere along the way some of these children, who have known each other most of their lives, will fall in love. Suddenly, Lex and Lu were born. Thank you to the amazing women who took me in: Cathy, Leah, Heidi, Evette, Cori, Stephanie, Janice, Shelly, Chris, Stephani. Without your acceptance of our family into yours, this story would never have made it to the page.

I have to give my most heartfelt shout out to my GIRLS. It’s not the traditional beta group—but it totally worked for me. They received my work every Monday, which made Tuesday my favorite day because they were always quick to respond—for better or worse. Brandi, Patti, Jen and Gwen, I love you all dearly. There’s no way this happens without love, support, critique, and praise. And to my more-than-best friend Nhatle, thank you for always being there for me and my children.

Thank you to my team at Greenleaf Book Group, LLC. Hobbs, who brought me in; Bryan, who managed my project; Kim, my cover designer; and Amber, Elizabeth, and Don, who had the task of editing. I appreciate all of the help and guidance throughout the process.

I’ve watched my parents support us in whatever endeavors we’ve embarked on. I’ve always stayed on the straight and narrow, but I realize now that without their ever-present belief in our ability to do whatever we think we can do, I wouldn’t have taken this leap of faith. I hope that I can be the same for my children so that they have the courage to be who they are.

Finally to my non-reading husband, Fatty. You are the perfect partner, an amazing father, the love of my life. Thanks for helping me find the time to do what I do.

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