It’s here, it’s here! The release of Accidentally Hers is finally here. Time for a festive get-together with cake, and maybe a little champagne, right? Yes, tonight is a time to celebrate, and that’s what I plan to do. But I won’t be celebrating the release of my latest book.

“Why not?” you might ask.

Because tonight I’ll be celebrating something far more enduring and important. Tonight is all about friendship.

I’m fortunate to have a tight group of friends here in my hometown, several of whom have birthdays in September and October. Tonight we’re getting together at a fabulous local restaurant, The Farmer’s Table, to wish each other good health and fortune for the upcoming year.

I really couldn’t imagine my life without these women. They’ve seen me through many years of highs and lows. They accept me as I am, and let me tell you, my package contains a healthy dose of flaws. They help me keep perspective. They root for my children’s successes. They are often the calm in the storm.

Lately I’ve grown close to a second set of women thanks to this second career (see the symmetry there?). The writers I’ve met in the past five years have been not only generous with time and advice, but passionate about some of the same things I love. It’s a gift to be able to collaborate with them. To support them. To laugh and share pictures of really cute “heroes” with them! I just returned from a mini-retreat weekend with a handful of these MTBs (most trusted bit@hes) and feel completely reinvigorated and unblocked. So, although they won’t be sitting at the table with me tonight, they will be there in spirit.

Perhaps it’s fitting that I am celebrating friendship on the same day that this book releases, seeing that friendship is one theme of the story. Whether it is the heroine (Avery’s) friendship with Kelsey and Emma, the hero Grey’s with his buddy Trip, or Grey and Avery’s friendship-turned-love affair, the importance and challenges of those bonds are ever-present.

If it’s been a while since you’ve organized a friendly celebration of any sort, what are you waiting for? Pick up the phone and make some plans!

XO-Jamie