Bella Books authors want to express their gratitude to all our readers, supporters, and colleagues. It’s been a wild year unlike any before and we’re grateful to still be here to share our stories with you. Everyone here at the Bella Books office wants you to know how much your reviews, tweets, and purchases mean to us—we couldn’t be us without you.
Don’t miss a token of our gratitude: a free short story you can download right now! “The Bright Side” by Bella Books author Laina Villeneuve explores the creative solutions required for a workplace romance to thrive!
Now, onto our lovely authors and their gratitude!
Riley Scott: Even in a year like 2020, my heart is full of gratitude for both the hard lessons learned and the opportunities for personal growth that came this year. I’m thankful, now probably more than ever, for an incredible wife, who embraces all of life’s roadblocks as adventures. I am thankful for her unceasing creativity, her willingness to try every new recipe I whip up, her support in every situation, and her ability to always make me laugh. I’m grateful for good books, avid readers, strong female characters with authentic LGBTQ representation, our adorable dogs, our new journey with six hilarious chickens and the delicious eggs they provide, a President-elect who cares about the LGBTQ community, and the first female Vice President-elect!
Heather Rose Jones: “Being thankful” always seems an uncomfortable wording to me, because one thanks someone for their actions. Seasonal thankfulness has traditionally been about thanking a deity and, as an atheist, that framing doesn’t work about. But I’m happy to frame it as a “gladness” thing. It seems strange to review what I’m glad about this year and focus on things that didn’t happen. I’m glad my 91-year-old father has avoided getting Covid-19 since it would most likely have been a death sentence for him (and possibly for my brother who cares for him, who also has underlying health issues). I’m glad for (and not a little guilty over) having a job that can be done remotely during quarantine conditions such that I never had to fear for my livelihood and security. I’m profoundly glad that enough Americans put out enormous efforts to repudiate the horrifying direction our government was going and give us a little breathing room to regroup and move forward on the essential work of justice and equity for all. And yet “glad” seems less appropriate than “relieved.” Perhaps we can move through to genuinely “glad” again in the future.
RJ Layer: I’m thankful for family, friends, my Bella Books family, and all the wonderful readers who make writing such a joy. My loving wife, our feline girls, health, happiness, our freedoms and time to enjoy all of these.
Nancy J. Hedin: I am grateful for more time with my wife and teenage daughters. Because of COVID we are home more and I work remotely more often. It has been so cozy being at home as winter begins. I am also thankful for good books.
Laina Villeneuve: I am fortunate to be thankful this year for a job that transferred online without impacting my income. I am so thankful for the space my family helped me create that is keeping me sane. Even more so, I am thankful for my family and neighbors for helping me weather this historic time. Most of all, I am thankful for romance and how every single one reminds me in some way of my own HEA in progress. I could never have invented the kinds of conflicts my wife and I are facing, but day after long ass day, I have my wife’s arms to fall into.
I’m thankful for Laurel, my lovely wife and sons’ mother,
for Henry, our first born, and Grayson, his brother.
We love, laugh, and cry.
It’s hard work, but we try.
Not ever perfect, but perfect for each other.
Dillon Watson: I am thankful for my family’s continued good health at a time when so many are not as fortunate.
Melissa Price: Gratitude is my daily appetizer even in normal times. But in this past year where so many people have lost their health, their family and friends, and their jobs, I’m intent on finding and sharing some of their experiences. I think one of the hardest things for me has to have been going through this alone, and for that reason I will be sojourning through the West to tell some compelling stories. I’m so grateful in my wellness for this opportunity.
Jessie Chandler: This year has definitely been a tough one. But no matter how tough there are always some bright spots.
- As always, I’m thankful to have my family and friends who’ve become family. And Zoom and texting especially, because guess who hates talking on the phone.
- I am super thankful that my book, Quest for Redemption, finally came out! I’m now working on a new Shay O’Hanlon caper, which always it’s fun to write, and sometimes makes me laugh out loud while I do it. Perfect antidote for these days.
- Another thing I appreciate is the continued support of Bella Books, support both to its authors and the voracious readers who consume the novels we write. Reading is one thing that is perfectly escapist these days, and we can all use that!
- I am incredibly thankful to frontline workers, from grocery store staff to everyone in healthcare, and those who work retail. I know this has been said many times but it is so incredibly true.
- I’m grateful for the sun when it’s out, and dreary days, which makes the sun extra special when it reappears. For some reason a sunny day always lifts my spirits and gives me hope.
This is a year most of us would certainly like to forget, and I’m very thankful it is soon coming to a close. Brighter days are ahead for everyone, and I’m keeping my eyes on that prize. Bring on 2021!
Karin Kallmaker: I’ve become inordinately grateful for anything that works the way I count on. That the coffee maker brews vanilla-pecan half-caf when I remember to press the button. That autumn brought gold and red leaves along with cleansing rain. That stories old and new enrich me. That the overwhelming majority of my neighbors and community are working together to keep all of us safer. That classic rock is classic and it rocks. That readers still seem to think my stories are worth hearing, and that my wife and friends still make me laugh. The little things that are closest every day — I am grateful for them all.
Mary Griggs: I’m so grateful to have survived Hurricane Sally pushing nine feet of storm surge up the bay and into my parent’s house. It was such a busy storm season and I’m so relieved we escaped injury and only lost things not lives. I may have lost my job due to the COVID-19 pandemic but I still have my health and the support of my family and friends. I am thankful to be safe, happy to be alive and hoping my readers remain so as well.
Micheala Lynn: This year particularly I’m thankful for family and friends. It’s been a tough year on many fronts but it’s those we love and those who love us that make all the difference.
Cindy Rizzo: My rabbi says that developing a practice of gratitude is like strengthening a muscle, especially important during times like these when it is difficult to find something for which to be grateful. In Hebrew we say “tov lehodot L’Adonai” — “it is good to give thanks to The One.”
So, for me in 2020, I am grateful for the following: my wife and other family, my health, my job, my cats. I am grateful that I can find and take space for writing. I am grateful that enough people in my country acted to bring sanity back to our government. I am grateful to the Black women activists in Georgia and to all who took to the streets in support of Black lives. I am grateful for Anthony Fauci and all the scientists and truth tellers. I am grateful to be back in touch with my college friends via Zoom after so many years apart. And I am grateful that we got to see our three granddaughters for the first time in six months so we could all celebrate little Nina’s first birthday.
J. E. Knowles: While this year looks very different from how any of us imagined, I am more aware than ever of how much my partner and I have to be thankful for:
- That our health service, though under strain, has never broken and is always there for us when we need it.
- That I have a day job where I’m able to work from home, and that she started a job before the pandemic that is classed as “essential.” (Because she has to have essential work to do at a time like this.)
- That we’re fortunate enough to be in a position to help family and friends in a crisis.
- For all the researchers and volunteers who are making it possible to find vaccines that will get the world out of this.
- For people overcoming all kinds of obstacles to vote in such a difficult year.
- For technology that enables us to stay in touch with friends around the world whom we cannot visit.
- For time to write and the chance to share stories with you.
Cheri Ritz: With all the twists and turns 2020 has brought us, I’ve been holding tight to the small, everyday joys in life. With that in mind, this Thanksgiving I’m especially thankful for cozy cups of tea with my wife, the laughter of my kids when we play board games together, and the way my sisters all look out for one another. I hope you all find joy every day, even if it’s just a small dose. Happy Thanksgiving!
EJ Cochrane: This year, I’m especially thankful for family and friends and that we’re all healthy and safe. I’m also thankful for positive change.
What are you grateful for? Perhaps you love Bella Books and our authors? Maybe you’ve read a book that changed you this year? Whatever it is, comment below or share this article on social media and tell us what you’re grateful for this year. Make sure to tag us on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook. We could all use a little gratitude right now.
And don’t forget to support all of these authors and more by purchasing their exceptional books from Bella Books!