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Random Thoughts: Cherishing Charlie (and a few other people, too)

It is the eve of the release of The Saint Who Stole My Heart, my fourth book to be published. I spent a lot of the day at the emergency vet with Charlie, my love sponge of a chocolate Lab. He has a seizure disorder, and so infrequent but small attacks are not uncommon. Unfortunately no matter of valium would stop the seizures this afternoon, so I packed him up and headed to the ER.
It wasn’t until after the seizures stopped and the vet assured me all would be fine that I realized I’d left the house in my slippers. With my hair up in a clip—thankfully, not a banana clip—no makeup, ratty yoga pants and a t-shirt from my college days completing the “hey, in case you were wondering, yes I do work from home” look.

This is not how I pictured the days leading up to my book release. Not. At. All. And you know what? I’m okay with that. Actually, I’m more than okay. Today, a canine health scare served to remind me how lucky I am to have Charlie in my life. While I waited for the vet to give me the news, the only thing I needed was to know that my friend was going to be okay. I can go without celebratory champagne and fancy lunches. Even flowers and thoughtful cards. But I cannot go without my Charlie, plain and simple. He brings unconditional love to the table every single day. And slobber, but it’s a small price to pay for a dog that means the world to my family.

This got me thinking about all of the people who mean the world to me, too. And since it’s nearly release day for The Saint Who Stole My Heart, I figured hey, it’s time to give a hearty and hale shout out to the publishing people that make it possible for me to write for a living. And love what I do.

Junessa Viloria, my editor.
Junessa bought my first book and has brought the enthusiasm, talent, kindness, smarts, and sass every day since. I adore her!

Jennifer Schober
, my agent.
I formed a girl crush on Jenn the moment I met her and the admiration continues to this day. Her ability to remain unflappable in the face of a whole lot of c-a-razy is a sight to behold. And I bring a lot of the c-a-razy.

Ania Markiewicz
, my Ballantine marketing genius.
I haven’t met Ania face to face, but if I had to guess I would say she looks a lot like Wonder Woman. Ania somehow manages to accomplish a million tasks every day while maintaining an awesome attitude and enviable creativity level.

Gina Wachtel
, VP, Associate Publisher and Kristin Fassler, Marketing Director.
Both of these lovely ladies have always greeted my endless ideas and questions with nothing but intelligent answers, grace, and patience. Even though they didn’t have to give this new author the time of day. Classy, with a capitol C.

You.
I know, you’re not in publishing. But if it wasn’t for you buying my books, I wouldn’t have a career.

In closing? A gratuitous shot of Charlie. Just because. Hug your loved ones, people—especially those of the canine persuasion. And maybe buy a book or two today!

Stefanie Sloane credits her parents’ eclectic reading habits—not to mention their decision to live in the middle of nowhere—for her love of books. A childhood spent lost in the pages of countless novels led Sloane to college, where she majored in English. No one was more surprised than Sloane when she actually put her degree to use and landed a job in Amazon.com’s editorial department. She spent more than five years reading for a living before retiring to concentrate on her own stories. Stefanie Sloane lives with her family in Seattle.

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