Spiked Lemonade - Shari J. Ryan


With so many moving pieces in creating a book, I feel like I never offer enough “Thank Yous” to the people who support me the most. While I always make sure to leave a little something in this blurb, I hope you all know how much you mean to me and that I don’t let a day go by without feeling grateful and appreciative for everything you do with me.

First, and foremost, my editor, Lisa Brown—you’re like the other half of my brain and you totally get me and complete me. I love working with you and I’m happy to have you on this out-of-control ride that sometimes has no driver or direction. Thank you for sticking with me and being my partner in the book world.

Barb Shuler, thank you for always being one of the first to read and the first to point out what needs a little love. It’s amazing to have your support and comforting to know I can always depend on you for honesty and some good laughs. Thank you for everything you do.

Katie Shapcott, I can’t thank you enough for putting the polished finish on this book. Having your detailed set of eyes on all of these words gives me comfort in knowing I’m putting the best piece of work out there for the readers.

A big thank you to Stephanie Phillips for being an incredible literary agent and always having my back. Your feedback and criticism always let me know I can count on you to help me shape my books into something a little better. I’m thrilled to be a part of SBR Media and can’t wait to see what the future holds for us.

Linda Russell and the rest of the crew at Sassy Savvy Fabulous, you are all an amazing marketing and PR team. Linda, you have been my lifeline recently, thank you for holding everything together and managing my book life. I don’t know what I did without you for so long and I don’t know what I’d do without you now. Thank you for laughing at my blond moments and chalking them up to lack of sleep. I’m very thankful to be able to work with you, and I’m looking forward to continuing our relationship for many more books to come.

To my beta readers: Heather, Mignon, Jen, and Stephanie, thank you times a million for being the first readers and giving it to me straight. I hope with all of the feedback you offered, I have made this book bigger and better. I feel so lucky to have you all on my team. Thank you, again.

Readers, bloggers, and fellow authors, this industry is nothing without all of you and as we all come together, I’m even more grateful for each and every one of you for the love and support you constantly offer.

Lori, Mom, Mark, Dad, and Ev, thank you for support and motivation to keep following my dream. Your pride in what I do means everything to me and I hope to continue making you proud as my dream evolves into something larger than I ever expected.

To my friends who support me, each in different ways, even if it’s just to ask how the writing is coming along, it tells me you care, and to have people like you in my life is so important and special to me. I feel so lucky and fortunate for our friendships. Thank you: Jason, Dominique, Jocelyn, Barb, Stephanie, Marni, Annelle, Jesse, Kristina, Kim, Lisa, and Lindsay—friendships like ours are each unique and I hope to always have you in my life.

Boys—Bryce and Brayden, thank you for constantly calling me an artist and telling people that your mom writes books and that I make you proud. You may not realize it now, but some day when you have kids of your own and they tell you they’re proud of you, it will be everything you never knew you needed to hear. I love you both so much!

Josh, our laughs and conversations over this book for the past few months have molded some of these chapters into what they are, and I have you to thank for that. I appreciate your open-mindedness to creativity and believing in my characters as much as I do. If that’s not love, I don’t know what is.



FIVE MINUTES AGO, I was worried I would never forget what I saw over the past year in combat. Five minutes ago, I was focused on making it through another day with a fake