It was a great weekend! We met so many wonderful authors and readaholics and made some fantastic new friends. But I'm going to skip ahead to the good stuff - making Mr. Ferguson cry.
We were at the RONE Awards - Mr. Ferguson looking quite dapper in his tux and I admit, I was feeling gorgeous in my deep purple chiffon gown. I had the honor of accepting two awards on behalf of my friends, Sarah Eden (Best American Historical) and Donna Weaver (Best New Adult). The awards had this fun thing going on with some of their male cover models. When the winner stood, one model met the winner and escorted her up to the stage, another model gave her the award, then yet another model escorted her back to her seat after the acceptance speech. So, having done this twice, hubby leaned over to me and said, "I think it would be really funny if I escorted you up if they call your name. Kind of a, 'I got this one' nod to the models." I agreed, but honestly, it had more to do with wanting my hubby by my side to share the moment.
So we had a little plan *just in case* my name was actually called for the award.
Then the amazing Anne Perry was called up to announce the award in my genre. I remember leaning over to Mr. Ferguson and telling him that if she called my name, I was just gonna die, right there. #FanGirlMoment
Those were the longest five minutes . . . A blurb about the category, a fun slide show of the finalist's covers and author photos, then . . .
and the winner is . . . .SWEET CONFECTIONS by Danyelle Ferguson!!!
What did I do? Cry, of course. Then Mr. Ferguson urged me to my feet and escorted me up to the front.
Okay, this is where it was overwhelming for me. Remember all those new friends we just met? There was this roar of cheers from all those amazing, sweet authors and readers. Friends who just filled my heart. Side note: Waterproof mascara isn't as waterproof as they want you to think it is.
First, I'd like to thank InD'Tale Magazine, the RONE Awards committee and my readers for nominating Sweet Confections for this awards. I am so honored that you love Rachel and Graydon's story as much as I do.
Every writer has a story, a journey they traveled to get to the moment they hold their first book in their hands. My story has lots of twists and turns, just like proper novel should. There's even a love story moment involved.
About 14 years ago, our oldest son was diagnosed with autism. I set aside my dreams and goals and jumped into therapy programs and the all consuming disabilities world to give our son the best chance to grow. After several years, my hubby gifted me with a writing themed Christmas and encouraged me to put something I once loved back into my life. He attended my first writers conference with me and took notes in all the classes I couldn't get to. When I'm in editing mode and think I suck, he's my cheerleader. When I want to binge watch Netflix, he nudges me back in to being productive. He even reads romance novels and has studied the craft of writing to support me. Of all the love stories out there, I'm so grateful he's mine. Thank you, sweetie. I love you more.
On this writing journey, I was reminded that challenges make us stronger, to not waste the gift of storytelling Heavenly Father blessed us with, and that there really are love conquers all moments. To all my writing friends here this evening, I challenge each of you to keep dreaming, to keep reaching for that goal that seems impossible. To show the world that it is, in fact, possible and that you totally rocked accomplishing it.
Thank you for this beautiful award!
It took me until mid-morning the next day to fully process everything that happened. The thing I felt so strongly was gratitude.
Gratitude for all my supportive, amazing readers who love Sweet Confections and keep hounding me for the next book (which is coming, promise!). For my new friends who, even though we had just met, truly felt like ladies and gents I had known for a long time. Gratitude for all the hard work the InD'Tale and InD'Scribe staff put into the event, for their bubbly personalities. So thankful for my friend, Heather, who stayed in the Land of Oz to take care of my children so my hubby could attend with me. A heart full of love for my best friend, Mr. Ferguson. I am so incredibly grateful he was there by my side.
Now, a week later, I'm thankful for the blessing of jumping right back into a busy family routine. There's no time for my head to swell when I'm back to being the carpool queen, refereeing squabbles and prepping for homecoming. Ah, the lovely real-life of a mama/award-winning author.
If you'd like to see more pics from the Con or the RONE Awards, hop over to my author Facebook page!