It’s 10.34 am on launch day.

I’m home alone.

The clothes dryer is humming at the end of the hall. Magpies warble in the paddocks. The scent of fried bacon lingers, leftover from the celebration breakfast I whipped up for myself this morning. I’m peering through window panes that seriously need a clean, watching gum leaves dance on twisted branches. Horses graze in the paddocks, a sleeping dog snores and the sky is a cloudy shade of blue, so similar to the sky on the cover of Cross My Heart.

Today I am feeling so many things: nervous, excited, hopeful … but the overwhelming emotion is gratitude.

If you, lovely reader, do buy Cross My Heart you’ll be able to read the long list of people I am so thankful to have in my life, the people who have helped me bring this book from the tiny seed of an idea into full, glorious bloom. But because today is launch day I want to express my heartfelt thanks to everyone who has helped me along the way – my so, so supportive husband and three beautiful daughters, the rest of my family, my writing group buddies at The Inkwell and my wider network of writing friends who are out there right this minute giving my book a shout out on social media, my previous publisher Hachette who got me started on this wild ride and anyone who has ever bought, read, shared, borrowed or reviewed one of my books.

You are all the reason for me being able to publish this fifth book. You have given me the inspiration and courage to continue to follow my dream and keep doing what I love. What a wonderful gift!

This is a book about friendship, about having the courage to be who you truly are and about standing up for yourself. It’s about facing the past so you can face the future and flourish. If you do read it I hope you love the story and characters as much as I loved creating them.

From the bottom of my heart, thank you.

Pamela x