Creating a dedication or acknowledgment page for your novel

In a past post, I wrote about front matter – all the stuff that goes before your story begins. With the passing of my mother recently, my mind has been on dedications.


After the grueling process of writing and publishing a book, there may be someone special you want to thank. Now, nothing says you need to say thank you to anyone. In fact, I’ve only done two dedications out of five books.

Your dedication can be to a spouse (as was my first one), parent, sibling, another family member, friend, supervisor, colleague, or even your pet. This is a personal choice and you know what, there is no wrong answer.

Dedications should be short and to the point.

My dedication from my first book Summoned:

To my husband,

Without you, this book would not exist.

A couple simple dedications:

For my wife and children – Janie and Johnny

For Marla who made me include her cat.

I dedicate this book to my parents who raised me to love reading.

You can start it with “I dedicate this book…”, “This book is dedicated to…”, “To….”, “For…” or simply write a few lines without a formal address. Another type of dedication is the “In memory of…”

My dedication from my book The Heir to Alexandria:

In Memory of my friend Trish,

Wife, mother and friend

You are missed beyond words

If you have a lot of people to thank or acknowledge that would be for the acknowledgement section.


Acknowledgments are to thank all the people who have helped in the creation of your novel – the police officer you interviewed, your editor, your spouse for their support and so on. It is your way to show them your appreciation in a public (and permanent) form.

You can thank family members, friends, agents, editors, publisher, co-workers, contributors, advisors, teachers, and mentors. This section is all about them – not you.

To write your acknowledgements, first write down all the people you need to acknowledge. You can group them by category to ensure you don’t forget anyone. And make your thanks specifc.

Sample acknowledgement:

Thank you to Officer Frank D. Smith of the Littleton Police Department for answering my endless list of questions on how a small town police office runs. A big thank you to doctors Marshall Smith and Mindy Waters for pointing me the right way in my research and also answering all my questions.

I also want to thank my agent Scott Henderson and my editor Claudia Miller for keeping me on task and helping me hone this work. And last to my husband Jerry and my children, little Martha and Johnny, for your endless encouragement and support. I couldn’t have done this without you.

Another example:

Thanks to everyone on the publishing team who helped me so much. Special thanks to Mary, my ever patient editor and Randy, the greatest cover designer I could ever imagine.

And a very special thank you to Mrs. Smith, my fourth grade teacher, for encouraging me to write and for always believing in me. Finally, to all my friends and family who supported me along this journey: my mother Mary, my sister Sarah, my Uncle Bill, my best friends Kathryn and Joanne, thank you. I could never have done this without you.

Don’t worry about length. This is your time to thank everyone. Use as much space as you want but if you have a very long acknowledgement, you may want to include it in the back matter rather than the front matter. But a word of warning, if you go on and on, you risk watering down the gratitude. If you make your acknowledgment short, you risk leaving someone important out.

In the end, many readers will not care about the book dedication or acknowledgment. Many won’t read them or even later remember what was said. But to those that are mentioned, this is a great way to show that you appreciate their support and help.

The start of new – hopefully normal – school year

School began in our district last Monday. And unlike last year, we began with the kids going back to the school buildings. Even though the Delta variant is surging in Texas, there is no virtual learning option this year. And while last week during the middle school orientation days, masks were mandatory, we begin this school year with them only recommended.

Now I don’t want to get into the heated debate on whether masks work or don’t, whether they are being used as muzzles, or whether the school has any right to require them. I’m not a doctor or an expert. And yes, I have read all sorts of things on the internet but know that as with most things you can find data to support your stance. If the school district says wear a mask, my kids will wear one. If it is optional, I will let my kids decide. Jase didn’t hesitate with his decision to wear one. Lexie took one and decided to wear it when she saw many other students doing the same. Or maybe she is doing it to hide the gap in her front teeth that is a result of the palate expander.

One main difference Jase noticed this year is that there are a LOT of students at the high school. Last year less than half were in-person. Now we have 3200 students using the 5 minute passing period to get to their next class. Lunch has over 1000 people and while last year finding a place to sit was easy, now Jase is sitting on the ground outside. The school day is no longer shortened as it was last year. He leaves on the bus at 8:20 for an 8:50 start and then school gets over at 4:20 and he is home around 4:50. This year’s classes include Orchestra, Algebra II, English, Chemistry, Spanish, World History, and Principles of Arts, Audio/Visual & Communication.

Lexie is now in 8th grade, her final year of middle school. Her day is back to being a full day of schooling too. She goes from 8:20 to 3:50. Her classes include Honors English, Honors Science, Algebra I, Principles of Applied Engineering, Gym, Study Hall, U.S. History and Art. Her Algebra, Engineering and Art classes are all high school classes and count as a high school credit. When she is done with middle school she will have 4 high school credits as she took Principles of Human Services last year. We had hoped to get her another 1/2 credit by taking the High School health credit but she opted to be an office aide for the second half of the year after she gets her 1 semester of required gym out of the way.

The first week went well, and the kids came home daily excited about school. Lexie did miss school on Friday. She developed a sore throat and that is one of the conditions they say if your student has that they should be kept home in case it is COVID. She stayed home and slept a lot. We did a home COVID test on her which was negative. It appears she just has a cold and since she is doing much better, she will be returning to school today.

Our school board did have an emergency meeting about the rising Covid numbers. They have decided to enforce a mask mandate starting today. Right now whether school districts can issue mask mandates is being decided in the court system – and as of Thursday, they can. Our governor would have it be a personal decision and had banned any city, county or school district. But the school district has numbers from the first week that already show COVID numbers are high in the schools compared to last year when they had masks and other precautions in place.

It is looking to be an interesting year. And I for one am glad that the students are back in school and have some of their normal activities happening.

Palate expander for my daughter

Ever since Jase went to the orthodontist many years ago, Lexie has been waiting for her turn. Why, I am not sure as I know I wouldn’t want braces. And in fact, her teeth are not as crooked or out of place as they were for Jase.

My son actually started seeing the orthodontist about a tongue tie. Now, they are saying that Lexie has one too, though hers is not as severe as Jase’s, and I believe only on the bottom. In a few months, we will need to go to another specialist to see if anything needs to be done about Lexie’s. But before that, they said her upper jaw is too narrow. It is causing crowding. This led to the decision to use a palate expander.

A palate expander is a metal device that they install between the upper teeth. The metal bands are cemented in just as they do on braces. Then every night, I get to stick a little device in and expand it one click. It will take 35 days to get the device to push her teeth apart. After that, she will need to leave the device in for 6-8 months as the teeth settle in their new spaces. Then come the braces….

Surprisingly, Lexie has done pretty well with this. She was afraid that it would hurt, but besides a little discomfort, it hasn’t. The hardest part is that she had to give up her beloved Takis. She loves this snack but they deemed it too hard/crisp of a food. She can’t have crackers, chips or anything hard that might cause the cement not to hold the device in. She also can’t have any sticky foods which takes out most of her candy eating – and of course she can’t have gum (another favorite).

We are now about half way through the turns. In another three weeks we will go back to the orthodontist to see if it has been enough. And then like I said, we will be evaluating whether she needs the tongue tie surgery and she will need to lose her last two baby teeth before we move onto phase 2 – braces. The next debate will be regular braces or Invisalign. Lexie wants Invisaligners like her brother. I just worry about whether she is responsible and will wear them the required amount of time per day. I guess we will figure that out when we are done with Phase 1.

Recipe of the Month: Snickerdoodle Cheesecake

Oh, my. I love Snickerdoodle cookies so when I saw this recipe on Facebook, I knew I would have to try it. I still haven’t gotten the chance. (Maybe I’ll make it at Thanksgiving.) But, it is Snickerdoodles – what could be bad about that? This recipe comes from where they too love their Snickerdoodles. She even suggests her Snickerdoodle cookie recipe for the crust. She suggests 1/2 the recipe as you only need 12 cookies for the crust.



1 1/2 cups crushed Snickerdoodle Cookies (about 12)

2 T. melted butter


2 – 8 o.z packages of cream cheese, softened

8 oz. sour cream

1 cup sugar

2 T. flour

2 t. vanilla extract

1/2 t. ground cinnamon

3 large eggs, lightly beaten


1 T. sugar

1/2 t. ground cinnamon


Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

In bowl, mix cookie crumbs and melted butter well. (If using store-bought cookies instead of using the recipe above, you may need a little more butter to get the cookie crumbs to stick together.) Pour mixture into 9-inch springform pan. Pat them flat with your hand and then the bottom of a glass. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, sour cream, sugar, flour, vanilla, and cinnamon with an electric mixer until smooth. Stir in eggs. Pour mixture over crust, spreading evenly.

In a small bowl, mix sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle on top of cheesecake. Bake 40-50 minutes or until cheesecake is dark brown. Let it cool in the pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Cover cheesecake and chill in the refrigerator for at least four hours before serving.