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After Ten is a story about four women from very different backgrounds who became friends through a shared experience and then parted ways, until a decade old promise brings them together again.

In writing this novel, Jordan, Sarah, Beth and Tracey became good friends of mine. I hope that by reading their story, you might consider them your friends as well.

I am forever grateful for the support of my family and friends, who always encouraged, rather than rolled their eyes (even though I am sure the temptation was there) when I said that I was writing a novel.

I also owe a thank you to my sixth grade teacher for sparking my interest in writing. She gave us an assignment once to write the first chapter of a book. I did, and then told her I wanted to write the whole book. She said, “Go right ahead.” I never wrote the rest of that book. I don’t even remember the plot, if there was one. I doubt it would have been any good, anyway. I was twelve at the time, and my writing skills rather unpolished, to say the least. Still, I’ve never forgotten those words of encouragement and the role they played in getting me to this point.

One of the most valuable assets a writer can have is a good critique group. This novel would not exist if not for the great people at Critique Circle. There are many people there who critiqued all or part of my various drafts over the past few years, and while I cannot thank them all by name, everyone’s efforts are appreciated. I owe a very special thanks to Ardyth, Travis, Dawn, Rachelle and Mel for all of their helpful contributions. If any of you are reading this, you might very well recognize some of your own suggestions. I tried to put them to good use, and I think it is a stronger story as a result. I hope you agree.

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