In My Words: Celebrating Friendships & My Debut Novel

Look carefully at that photo and you’ll see I’m holding 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 stars! And while I’m committed to unhitching my wagon from the stars — not making my writing career about reviews — I will treasure those 5 stars forever.

I am blessed — yep, blessed is the absolutely best word — to be part of the My Book Therapy leadership team. And on the day my novel Wish You Were Here debuted, I was with bestselling authors Susan May Warren and Rachel Hauck and the team at a retreat in South Carolina. (Waving at Lisa, Michelle, Edie, Melissa, Alena and Reba.)

Let’s just say they know how to celebrate a debut author.

It started with Rachel finding my book at a Barnes and Noble near Charleston on April 30 –after I assured her it wouldn’t be on the shelf yet. Watching Rachel run toward me, holding my book and grinning from ear to ear. And then Reba announced it to everyone sitting in the Starbucks section that I was the author of the book. People cheered and applauded and Rachel told me to sign the book — and I did. (She told me to!)


The next day (May 1), the team surprised me with a postcard-themed lunch, complete with postcards from their home states and a world map (in honor of Daniel, the hero of WYWH), and those beautiful, bold 5 stars.

What do those stars signify for me?

Friendship. Loyalty. And the kind of love exemplifying the true meaning “team” — and teammates who have your back through thick and through thin.

I’m home now and looking forward to some more fun: a book launch party this Saturday! There’ll be wedding cake and some fun prizes, including a stuffed llama and a copy of Llama Llama Red Pajama, a photo shoot with Lisa Anne Photography and a set of Thomas Mangelsen nature photography cards.


In Your words: Had any fun celebrations lately? Who’s on your team?


**Had to include this last photo. It’s me and a “faux” llama because it’s actually an alpaca. But my friends saw it at the Marketplace in Charleston and said, “Quick, get a picture with the llama!” If you’ve read Wish You Were Here, you understand. **

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  1. May 3, 2012, 5:29 am   /  Reply

    Beth, this was wonderful! What a fabulous way to celebrate! I could feel the excitement going on from across the screen! Congratulations and enjoy this fabulous time. I would love a piece of that wedding cake, and a picture with the llama. LOL

    • Beth Vogt
      May 3, 2012, 6:07 am   /  Reply

      I wish you could be here on Saturday too. It would be loads of fun!

  2. May 3, 2012, 5:41 am   /  Reply

    One of my Little Darlings was sitting on my lap as I read your post. She saw the picture of you with the faux llama, and starting singing “Llama, Llama, Mad at Mama.” We love the Llama Llama books.

    I loved celebrating with you!! No matter what reviews may say, you will always be 5 stars in my book. Wish You Were Here is a fabulous book!! Congratulations!! Wish I could be there on Saturday, but know my heart is with you.

    • Beth Vogt
      May 3, 2012, 6:08 am   /  Reply

      Still savoring the memories of the lunch with the team, LJ (obviously!)

  3. May 3, 2012, 5:51 am   /  Reply

    Oh, Beth, how fun!! It’s wonderful to celebrate those exciting moments with those who truly understand their significance. Ten – count then ten! – five star reviews on Amazon of Wish You Were Here so far. I’d say you’ve hit a home run, my Friend. CONGRATULATIONS!

    • Beth Vogt
      May 3, 2012, 6:11 am   /  Reply

      Thanks for celebrating with me, Donna.
      Family and friends are making this a fun, fun time.

  4. May 3, 2012, 6:20 am   /  Reply

    I’m so glad you were properly cherished & feted in Charleston–may there be many more such celebrations for future books. And love those stars!
    My best writing team is the Ponderers w/ you as part of it.
    There are some Christian friends on team, not all in same church, which sometimes complicates things.
    And of course family, especially enthusiastic and properly loved grandkids.

    • Beth Vogt
      May 3, 2012, 7:04 am   /  Reply

      Agreed, Dee, the Ponderers are a special group of writing friends, without a doubt!

  5. May 3, 2012, 6:32 am   /  Reply

    Congratulations, Beth. I am so happy for you. And what a way to celebrate! That was a good team you had around you. Praying Wish You Were Here hits the best seller list. It’s already a best seller with me.

  6. Patti Mallett
    May 3, 2012, 6:37 am   /  Reply

    Five Star Wonderful is what this post is!!!!! It all sounds absolutely Perfect, Beth!! It’s exactly what we’ve been hoping to read on here. Wow!! Love the photos, and your descriptions allow us to experience the joy with you.

    The My Book Therapy team is amazing and so many of us share your gratitude for such a thoughtful, talented, giving (funny) bunch of women (as you all are)!!

    The last celebration I was part of was a Surprise! Birthday Party that showed up at my house at 8:00 p.m. Luckily I wasn’t soaking in the tub yet.
    To have friends who have your back (as you have theirs) is the best thing there is, right up there with kids and grandkids.

    Again – thanks so much for letting us in on how your Big Event has gone so far. I am anxious to read “Wish You Were Here” and would love to be there on Saturday to buy a copy and get you to sign it!!

    • Beth Vogt
      May 3, 2012, 8:57 am   /  Reply

      I thought of you as I wrote this post, my friend.
      And that surprise party sounds like fun!

  7. May 3, 2012, 6:53 am   /  Reply

    Congratulations! There is no better way to celebrate a life long dream than to do it with friends – and friends who understand the significance is even better!

    • Beth Vogt
      May 3, 2012, 8:57 am   /  Reply

      Agreed, Gabrielle. Agreed.

  8. Jeanne T
    May 3, 2012, 6:55 am   /  Reply

    Happy tears sit in my eyes right now as I read today’s post. It’s so fun to see how you are celebrated. So wonderful to have those kinds of friends. Can’t stop smiling. 🙂 Also can’t wait tll Saturday!

    I have a “llama llama mad at mama” right here in my own kitchen, but we’re working on that. 🙂 Have a wonderful day, my friend!

    • Beth Vogt
      May 3, 2012, 8:57 am   /  Reply

      LOL, Jeanne!

  9. Amy Leigh Simpson
    May 3, 2012, 7:02 am   /  Reply

    Sounds wonderful! And blessed is right… How honoring to have a group of people who believe in you, who are cheering you on! I hope to have that one day too! So happy for you, friend!

    • Beth Vogt
      May 3, 2012, 8:58 am   /  Reply

      Amy: I do believe in you, friend.
      I do.

  10. May 3, 2012, 7:05 am   /  Reply

    You’re on my team!! What a fun way to celebrate, girl!

    • Beth Vogt
      May 3, 2012, 8:58 am   /  Reply

      Yes, yes, I am, Katie.

  11. Megan DiMaria
    May 3, 2012, 7:09 am   /  Reply

    Exciting and well deserved. I’m glad your friends celebrated with you!

    • Beth Vogt
      May 3, 2012, 8:58 am   /  Reply

      Thanks, Megan.
      Hoping to see you soon.
      After I get back from BRMCRW?

  12. May 3, 2012, 8:22 am   /  Reply

    So fun!! I’m so excited for you. Totally wish I could be there at your par-tay, but I’m there with you in spirit!

    And your retreat makes me so look forward to ACFW and hopefully an MBT retreat sometime. I want to hang out with all of these amazing people I’ve met online and in MBT! I have a feeling lots of learning and laughing is in my future… 🙂

    • Beth Vogt
      May 3, 2012, 8:59 am   /  Reply

      Lindsay: Lots of learning and laughter in your future — absolutely!

  13. May 3, 2012, 8:43 am   /  Reply

    Oh Beth, celebrating with you was one of the highlights of an already awesome, awesome, awesome week. You bless and encourage me in so many ways…it was SO fun to celebrate with you. Five stars all the way!! I’ll be thinking of you as you celebrate on Saturday, as well. I hope it’s a blast!

    • Beth Vogt
      May 3, 2012, 9:05 am   /  Reply

      Missing you — and the team — today. We had some fun, didn’t we?

  14. May 3, 2012, 9:08 am   /  Reply

    Beth, I love your smile in all these pictures. Priceless. 🙂

    • Beth Vogt
      May 3, 2012, 9:24 am   /  Reply

      I had good reason to smile, Sarah. Friends are the best!

  15. May 3, 2012, 10:05 am   /  Reply

    Beth, sounds like a wonderful day with wonderful friends. I’ve got to figure out how to navigate My Book Therapy. I know it’s a great support to writers.

    You were near my stomping ground, I live a couple of hours from Charleston. Love the market and Charleston’s food. So happy for you!

    • Beth Vogt
      May 3, 2012, 10:46 am   /  Reply

      If you need any help with MBT, let me know. It certainly helped me so, so much as a writer! If I get to Charleston again, we’ll have to try to get together!

  16. May 3, 2012, 11:42 am   /  Reply

    Congrats Beth! So awesome 🙂

    • Beth Vogt
      May 4, 2012, 9:54 am   /  Reply

      Thank you, Coleen.

  17. May 3, 2012, 12:16 pm   /  Reply

    How fun! You deserve all the fun and all the recognition, lady! It’s a fabulous book! I shared it with my mom who LOVED it. 🙂

    Congratulations, friend!

    • Beth Vogt
      May 4, 2012, 9:54 am   /  Reply

      Thank you for sharing WYWH with your mom — and I’m glad she loved it too!

  18. May 4, 2012, 7:24 pm   /  Reply

    Congratulations Beth!!!
    I can tell even though I’m a newbie to MBT that the members really cheer each other on! That is so great that they cheered and celebrated with you like that!
    My book club friends insisted on throwing me a “book launch party” (even though I told them it would be embarassing), and it ended up falling on my birthday! I feel very loved and supported by my sweet friends. When there are some who question these crazy author dreams, it’s nice to have some friends in our corners. 🙂 Congrats again!

    • Beth Vogt
      May 4, 2012, 9:35 pm   /  Reply

      Thank you, Charity. So glad you were celebrated.
      (Here’s a secret: My launch party is on my birthday too. Sssh. Don’t tell anyone.)


  19. Glenda Fowlow
    May 5, 2012, 4:38 pm   /  Reply

    Congratulations on your debut novel!

    Just wanted to let you know I enjoy your daily words and pictures and fun. I find you to be inspirational yet real and I appreciate that about you. Looking forward to reading your first (but not last) book!

    • Beth Vogt
      May 5, 2012, 11:30 pm   /  Reply

      Thank you so, so much, Glenda.
      You’ve put a smile on my face.

  20. May 9, 2012, 8:26 am   /  Reply

    How fun to share your release with some of your nearest and dearest writing friends, Beth. I can’t think of a better way for you to have celebrated that milestone.

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