Here it is. August 26th. The day this book comes out. Of all the books I’ve written, this one feels like it has taken ages to reach this point. I wrote it nearly two years ago, just after His Mistress by Morning came out. So to me, the process has been a whole lot of waiting to share this very fun story. At least I think it is fun. It was fun to write, if that means anything.
But today, I would like to talk about the Dedication in this book.
To my good friend, Anne Ricci.
Whose support over the last few years has been unfailing.
You dare to live your dreams and thus inspire me.
My heartfelt appreciation and thanks.
Anne and I met about eight years ago–our kids are sandwiched in ages from 9 to 4, hitting each respective year in between. They were all babies or as yet to be born back in those days. And like most stay-at-home-Mom-friends, we got acquainted at a baby gym class. And as luck would have it, discovered we lived about a block from each other. And we loved books, cooking, raising our kids, travel and found a wonderful friendship as our children played and squabbled and laughed around us.
A couple of years ago, my mom and I were planning a trip to London and my mom couldn’t go. So in stepped Anne, leaving family on nearly no notice and we had a great time running around London and Bath. Here is one of my favorite shots from the trip–Anne standing before the ancient roman baths. She has this vastly curious intellect and was the perfect travel partner for a writer interested in poking around a lot of old corners and into some strange places. I truly owe her several hours at the British Museum which we cut short to see Sir John Soanes House.
In Anne, I also found a fellow tea lover. Not just the pot you are drinking, but going to tea. The elegant sit down, eaten in courses, savory to sweets sort of affair. We’ve gone to teas here in Seattle and hunted down a tea in London, just because, well we were in London!
Anne is also loves to read, and does a huge favor for me each book–she reads my copy edits over for me as a sort of a double check for errors. Yes, folks. She gets to read all my books before they ever come out. Funny story with that as well–when the kids were little and before they could read, she’d use the blank back of the pages for their coloring paper. That is until her daughter colored pictures on the backs of several pages from one of my books, took them to preschool and proceeded to gift all her friends. And you want to guess what scene was on the other side of those sweet, innocent drawings? Ya, you guessed it. A not so innocent one. Sort of caused a bit of a stir at preschool, and the phone calls were interesting.
But I want to get to the reason of my dedication. Anne and her husband always talked about opening a restaurant. Cook the sort of food they loved and treat other people to great meals. And three years ago, when a space in our town of Burien came open, they took a leap of faith and turned an old scrapbook shop into the coolest place on earth. 909. Pronounced just like it reads, Nine-O-Nine. Which makes it easy to find, because it is also the address. 909 152nd SW, Burien, WA.
Frank and Anne worked tremendously hard to make this place a reality. They stretched themselves beyond their dreams and I say to anyone who has a dream like this–follow their example and go for it. They have a place to be proud of and an accomplishment that just boggles my mind.
Now if you are in the Seattle area, 909 is about 10 minutes from the airport, in Olde Town Burien and has some great shops around it. Order the Beef and Blue Salad which is one of my favorites, and anything they do with a pork tenderloin is going to be exceptional. My kids love 909 because Anne knows how to make cookies and treats for kids and those who wish they could still eat like kids, and always want to go after school for a cookie, or as Anne calls them, “Scooby Snacks.” My advice: skip the cookies and go straight for the Chocolate Terrine. It should be called Chocolate Heaven. It should be for breakfast. It should be calorie free. A girl can dream, can’t she?
But most of all, thank you, Anne for the friendship, the help and always being there to listen and offer advice. For standing by your friends always and showing all of us (because believe me, she has legions of friends) what determination, dreams and hard work can accomplish.