It’s weird how you have a date marked on your calendar for so long and it seems so far away and WAY IN THE FUTURE and then all of sudden it’s here.
That’s April 7th for me. Which is today in case you aren’t clear.
This is the day that my third book, Nobody’s Cuter Than You, is officially out in the world and I’ve had it circled on my calendar for almost a year. Actually, I don’t have a paper calendar anymore so I’ve just had it on my iPhone calendar which is the 2015 version of having it circled on your calendar.
And in case you’re in any of these areas, here are some places where I’ll be signing books in the next few days and weeks:
Wednesday, April 8th – Barnes & Noble San Pedro in San Antonio at 6:30 p.m.
Thursday, April 9th – Barnes & Noble Lincoln Park in Dallas at 7:00 p.m.
Saturday, April 11th – Walmart at 1604 & 281 in San Antonio at 2:00 p.m.
Saturday, April 18th – Barnes & Noble River Oaks in Houston at 7:00 p.m.
I know I’ve talked about the book a little bit but here’s the story. This wasn’t the original book I was going to write last year at this time, but I knew it was a book I wanted to write eventually. And then I flew to Chicago to meet with my publishers and we agreed I should go ahead and scrap the original plan to write a book about friendship instead. All of a sudden I went from extreme writer’s block and massive anxiety to having a million ideas all at once because, while I don’t have it together in many areas of my life, I am surrounded by good friends who have taught me what it means to be a good friend.
The title comes from something Gulley and I say to each other when we’re having a bad day. It doesn’t matter if it’s true or not, but it’s just become our shorthand way of saying, “I’m your biggest fan” and there are all days when we need our biggest fan to make us feel better about ourselves and life and all that goes with those things.
(I also briefly debated calling it “Chicken In The Bed” which is another thing Gulley and I say to specify a day that would be nice to sit around and do nothing together, but that title doesn’t exactly suggest a book about friends as much as life on a poultry farm.)
Anyway, what I’m trying to say is God knew that this was the book for this moment in time and directed this path. When I began to write it a year ago, I had no idea what the next twelve months would hold. I didn’t know that one of my dearest friends, Jen, would be fighting cancer again or that we were going to lose Gulley’s grandmother, Nena, who meant so much to us all. I couldn’t have known what it would mean to me on the other side of turning in this manuscript to have spent all those months looking through old photo albums and retracing the lines and history of friendships that mean more than the world to me. And in the end, to have something tangible to let these girls in my life know that in so many ways they saved me and continue to be my sanity and bring more joy to my life than I could ever convey.
I am seriously sitting here with tears running down my face because there is nothing like a book release to put you on an emotional roller coaster and this one is just so dear to me. And, ultimately, I hope that you read it and it makes you hold your friends just a little bit tighter. Life can get so busy and throw us all in so many different directions, but there are times we just need to remember what a gift we have in our girlfriends. They are the ones who know us, love us, encourage us and challenge us.
I’ve already received so many emails from women who have bought it to give to their bridesmaids or to send to several of their best friends or to read for their next book club and I hope that continues. That in some way it inspires us all to love our people fiercely, which may be a lofty goal for a book where I tell the story about the time I left Gulley to sleep in the lobby of a hospital in downtown San Antonio for hours and then pretended I didn’t know who she was.
I thought I’d share a little excerpt. The pictures aren’t included in the book, but they make me so happy.
“I’d found something deeper than what I always thought I wanted, because God knew what I really needed: friends who carved out a permanent place in my heart. And those friends ultimately helped me find my way back to the God I’d left behind all those years before. He knit my heart together with the people he knew would hold my hands as I walked the path of the Prodigal Son.
Each of them brought out something in me that I couldn’t have found alone and taught me what it means to be a friend who shows up, wipes tears, laughs hysterically, cooks a meal, and eats raw cookie dough right out of the bowl. They taught me that friends share their clothes, their hearts, their dreams, and their study notes.
Friends give grace, advice, fashion tips, a shoulder to cry on, and some of the best memories a girl could ever want. A real friend will help you push your car across a busy intersection when it stalls, pull you out of a trash can when you fall in, listen to you analyze the same situation over and over again, speak the truth even when it hurts, help you find your way when you’re lost, and hold your hand when you have to say a final good-bye to someone you love.
It turned out that my soul mate wasn’t just one guy, but these girls who are some of the greatest loves of my life. There is rarely any other time in your life when you’re given the gift of living day in and day out with people who ultimately become your family.
If I had grasped that then, I would have cherished it even more and maybe looked into staying in College Station for enough years to earn a doctorate in something. My time in college and these people whom God placed in my life had healed what was broken in me, and it broke my heart to say good-bye to them.”
(That last picture was when my Tiff got married and I think our hairdresser was like Annelle from Steel Magnolias and her work tended to get a little poufy when she got nervous. The good news is the hair helped balance out those sleeves. Bless.)
And our friendship has remained. From the days of hot rollers and all getting ready at Gulley’s mom’s house.
to days of unfortunate hats and big perms
from Harley-Davidson costume parties
to rehearsal dinners and weddings
(I can’t talk about that vest. I just don’t know.)
to having babies
We have loved and laughed and fought for our friendship.
I so hope that you love this book. And I’m so excited that it’s officially available today.
You can download it on your Nook or your Kindle or whatever. Or you can walk in a Barnes & Noble or a Walmart and buy a real copy. Or you can order it online from any of the retailers you see on that fancy thing below. Just click on whichever one you prefer and it will take you directly to the site.
I will never be able to thank you or even find the right words to say how much I appreciate the way you cheer me on and encourage me. Thank you in advance for buying the book and spreading the word. If you need anything to pin or tweet or broadcast live on network television, you can find it on the official Nobody’s Cuter Than You book page. Truly, nobody is cuter than y’all.
And just in case you haven’t seen the trailer, these are many of your sweet faces. I love every minute of seeing all the friendships this represents.