I turned the page of the book, noting that I only had a few pages left. I sat, quite literally, on the edge of my seat, completely captivated, not knowing how the rest of the story would pan out---desperate to know, and yet, at the same time, afraid to find out. My eyes found the final phrase, the last word, and then I sat, my brain like a pinball machine, frantically trying to assimilate all of the new information I'd just received.
"To be continued." How I have come to loathe that phrase. It's every avid reader's nightmare. It means months or, more typically, years of waiting to discover what will happen next. And yet, it also means that the reader has something else to look forward to from the author he/she has come to admire and the characters he/she has come to love.
Sound familiar to anyone? This concept is certainly familiar to me. However, I never thought I'd see the day that it would happen as I read the work of someone I know well. Come to think of it, I wonder if she did either. Two weeks ago, after two years of providing encouragement and advice and receiving chapter-by-chapter installments, I finally received the thing I'd been waiting for---a full and complete draft of the first novel-in-the-making of my favorite budding author. And can I just say that I'm absolutely flabbergasted! I had been from day one, and yet the finished product is beyond anything I'd been expecting! With all the craziness of the past two weeks, I hadn't been able to even touch it until yesterday, and once I did, I was completely hooked. I had to force myself to stop reading it last night so I could go to bed at a decent hour, and it was the first thing I came back to this morning. I've only just finished it, and my brain is definitely still reeling.
Oh, have I not yet revealed the identity of this budding author of whom I speak? Her name is Allie; she was my roommate of two years and is my good friend for life. And the reading world had better hold its breath---I sense a pretty big fantasy name in the making. :)