Voting ended on Saturday and it showed that I had a healthy lead. But the web page didn't formally announce me as winner until this morning. Shortly after that I got a lovely email from Mary Balogh, one of the anthology's authors, and the woman whose books got me back into reading romance again. She congratulated me on my win and told me that she was "thrilled" that my entry had won. She went on to say she looked forward to writing my story. In fact, she's already written a quarter of it.
Excuse me. Who cares about the prize money? I'm going to step aside for a few minutes and have a loud, embarrassing, squeeing fangirl moment.
OK. I'm back. I'm 52. I know how to be mature.
A huge, huge THANK YOU to all of you who voted for my entry and thought it was worth voting for on its own merits. I was flattered beyond belief that 4 well-respected authors chose my entry to be a finalist. And while I had some friends and family vote for me, it was the votes from all the readers I don't know that put me over the top. That's humbling, and I'm truly grateful.
Christine wants to know if I'll autograph her copy. Ha! Maybe I'll even give away a few. I'm not sure exactly when the book will come out. Early 2011 I believe. I'm sure I'll be letting you know.
Now I get to dream about the $1000 gift card. My kid wants us to get a flat-screen TV. Mama wants a new sewing machine.