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On Saturday, November 12, 2011, I hosted a working lunch for my test reading staff. It was held at the Redstone Grille in Plymouth Meeting, Pennsylvania. It was an opportunity for us to discuss my upcoming novel, Hot Dogs, which will be available for purchase in May of 2013. This event also allowed us all to see each other and meet new additions to my staff. I am extremely fortunate to have sixteen test readers over the United States. As you can imagine, it's not often we can assemble together. On November 12th, I was flanked by nine, plus Ed Sickles, who is all about running things, especially if its a party. Here's my gang, including Aaron Streets who was my videotographer. These wonderful flicks were taken by Walter Dixon, a Philly based photpographer and the CEO of Perfect Angle Photography. Walt has been a test reader for me since 2003. Sit back and relax and see how we work and play hard together. Those novels that you sooo love have my name on the cover, however, they are built by a team of smart, creative, reliable, diligent and crazy folks. Here are some of them. I absolutely, positively cannot do what I do without my team.


P.S. Okay, I'm getting ready to let them loose. In these pictures are: Shadiyah Abdur-Raheem, Michelle Harmer, Keena Stone-Williams, Rita Bridgeman, Janet Dees, Walter Dixon, Ed Sickles, Lorna Elliott and Lisa Noel. More flicks of them and information about them can be found on the Meet My Test Readers page of this website.

Missing in Action: Regina Bellamy Johnson, Tonya Tinsley, Alia Bellamy, Arlene Sacks, Jonita Mitchell McCree, Susie Snellenberg and Joquina Somerville who'd better have their butts at the next meeting.

Go Test Readers, Go Test Readers, Hoe, Hoe, Put your thing down!

The November 12th Group

Bottom Row: Left is Lorna, Right is Keena, next Row up from left is Lisa, Janet, Adrienne and Shadiyah; Next Row up from left is Ed, Rita, Walt and Michelle


"I'm an alcoholic" Ut oh--That's not this meeting!


I've been around a long time. Sesame Place is my favorite situation in the book! I worked on all her books!

Sgt. Lisa Noel (U.S. Army)

Telling the story of how she met Adrienne and her favorite parts of Hot Dogs. Lisa is the most stubborn of my crew. When I got the Penguin Deal after I had self published Departures, Lisa refused to make the changes the editor requested. To this day she never read the new Departures. She said Penquin was fixing something that was not broken. In my book "The Bitch Tried to Steal My Husband's Body a/k/a Lust Lies and Two Wives--Lisa is the character Yolanda. Lisa has been with me since 2002.

Walt Dixon

Well, we fight about the sex scenes. He and Shadiyah always try to take me over with them. Often, in the past, I've lost the war--but I'm getting better--I did the Bitch book sex without either of them. Walt has been with me since meeting me in 2003. He came in on Connecting. He makes me cook for him, too. Lima beans, and fresh fried mountain trout fish.

Ed Sickles and Adrienne

Michelle says Ed is a pain in the ass and Adrienne agrees. He is fun, generous and lovable and we keep him around for entertainment.

Your Author

Explaining to her staff that she loves them.

Michelle Harmer

Michelle is putting her thing down. This is my 27 year old adopted baby. She has a housekeeping business and is my personal assistant. She is a thinker! I introduced Michelle to reading novels and I'm thankful when I can persuade a person to read. She runs my life, she listens to me and I listen to her. She's kind, thoughtful and generous. Hoe, Hoe, Go Michelle! Put your thing down, Baby.

Janet Dees, Adrienne and Ed Sickles

Adrienne flanked by two teachers who absolutely LUV what they do. I met Janet at a Barnes and Noble Book signing in 2010. She was the first person there waiting to purchase my novel Lust, Lies and Two Wives. I met Ed one day while searching for beer in 2010. I was cooking crab legs that day. He offered me a case of beer.

Keena Stone-Williams

This is my niece, my other child and my favorite cheerleader. Keena thinks her Auntie can do anything! She calls me "Auntie Oprah." She's a great parent of two, widowed, a shopaholic, hoarder, and a smart cookie. She's very social and sociable. This stay at home Mom that works hard from Monday to Friday running the house and the kids and the weekends she is gone, with or without the kids. The girl's got a life--you can believe that! I believe Keena excels in marketing because people gravitate toward her, she's a good listener and she always has a great idea. She and I have such wonderful times being phone buddies and we share an addiction--Costco, BJ's and handbags. She is my baby!!! I am most proud of her parenting skills. Keena came on board in Sepotember of 2010. She's read the Bitch Book. Her favorite character in Hot Dogs is Hailey and she loves Lauren at Sesame Place. HOWEVER, hands down--that cab ride in Hot Dogs wins her prize as being the best thing I ever wrote.


This was a Buddy Party. Everybody assigned a buddy and to bring your buddy a gift. Ed and Walt were buddies and Ed brought him some booze shot glasses. Walt looks pretty happy.

Lorna Elliott

She's read all my novels. She had been impatiently awaiting Arrivals and finally got it early this year. Then we started discussing her coming on board to test readf for me. She is excellent. A bull dog in finding errors. She is very creative and has wonderful suggestions. I made out like a fat rat hooking up with Lorna. Claude is her favorite character in my upcoming novel, Hot Dogs. Lorna and I have laughed for hours discussing Claude. This woman is classy, has great manners, is generous and dependable. Lorna goes way back in my career and I am happy she has just come on board.

Lorna, Rita and Janet

They are concentratng. They're going through the first six chapters of our novel, Hot Dogs comparing errors. Often we find blunders. Once a test reader found a giant mistake: We had a convict facing the death penalty in a state where there was no death penalty. My team does a lot of research. I often write about health issues, so that really requires a lot of "looking stuff up."

Shadiyah, Adrienne and Lisa

Shadiyah (left) and I met in 1975. I had attended a wedding and her band had us rocking. Shadiyah sang lead vocal. This chick can SANG!! She and I became became very close friends. Anything major or minor in our lives, we've stood side by side. And...we fight alot. She quite recently told her sister. "I'm gonna punch Adrienne in her damn mouth." Shadiyah is quite a character and much loved by me. She was at work when I got the call from the Oprah Show that I would be a guest.

She made an announcement to her co-workers and supervisor as follows: "Adrienne's going on Oprah. I won't be here long. When she "makes it," I'm outta here." I'm her son's Godmommy. Here also in this picture is Lisa.(right). We met in a parking lot. We'd both parked our cars, had our kids with us and the restaurant told us they had no hardshell crabs. I invited Lisa and her family to follow me in my car and both our families, though strangers at the time in 2002 had a wonderful dinner. Lisa teases all the time that her boys said "I thought you told us not to go with strangers." Lisa replied "I think she's okay..and she's got her daughter with her." The Noels and the Bellamys have been very tight since then. Lisa has a grandson--I'm the other Grandma.


She's preaching about my career and our friendship. Shadiyah says: I

was sitting on my toilet when I read the last page of the draft of Arrivals and said "She's a genius." Shadiyah says,"She is a pain in the behind at crunch time." Back in the day, before Departures was published, Reba's name was Josie. Regina and Shadiyah changed it to Reba. That was before "Find and Replace" was around on computers, so Shadiyah was the one who had to go through the novel and fix it--one by one. And, there were a lot of "Josie's" in Departures. Reba is still hanging tough in my novels and so is Shadiyah. Arrivals is dedicated to Shadiyah and she is pretty proud of her baby. Shadiyah was pregnant a long time with Arrivals. She delivered a bouncing healthy novel in 2010.

The Crew on November 12, 2011

Hail, hail, the gang's all here minus the missing in action as stated above and...Janet...who ran to the ladies room to pee. She took too long getting back so we did this picture without her. Did I spell Hail right? Well, Lorna and Rita will let me know.

Michelle and Adrienne

Michelle is too young to know this, but Stevie Wonder was once married to a singer---Syreeta. Syreeta had a hot song that I loved called "I Want To Be By Your Side." It's a very favorite of mine--just like Michelle.

Shadiyah, Michelle and Adrienne

One last flick before we split. It's been a blast!

Michelle and Adrienne

Michelle is too young to know this, but Stevie Wonder was once married to a singer---Syreeta. Syreeta had a hot song that I loved called "I Want To Be By Your Side." It's a very favorite of mine--just like Michelle.

Rita Bridgeman

Rita is fun! Rita is crazy! Rita is smart! Rita is one of the BEST editors I have come across. She may be comma crazy, but she knows her stuff. We do have to control her. I met Rita, the legal secretary, in 2010. She was a secretary at a firm that was handling a claim for me. I approached her a few months thereafter to flow read Arrivals. I asked her because during her handling of my lawsuit, I found that she was extremeley efficient, courteous and basicially knew that file of mine inside and out. I had my eye on her. I had watched her in action. I am very perceptive, I have stupid people rage, I am a pain in the ass and a no-nonsense person when it comes to my work being handled. Rita was the bomb. I was so glad she came on my team and I must admit, she did a fabulous job and I mean she was swift. I did get a recommendation from another client at her firm who said "I have no complaints about her, she keeps my stuff done." Rita also likes being part of the team. So, I am extremely grateful that we have her. She just turned in her edits for "Hot Dogs." Shit, I have been working on her stuff all weekend. I am tired. I'm really quite sick of Rita right about now. Her favoriote character in 'Hot Dogs" is Hailey and the Sesame Place story is her favorite situation. She's a Momma and a Grandma. Thanks Rita, for all you do for me and the team. Oh, incidentally people, Rita also stole my dog, my Yorkie-Poo, Nicco, hid him at her office one day and I almost left without him. She is also a dog lover. I got Nicco back. Guess what, people, she's gonna edit this page. She has the "can't help its."

Walt and Adrienne

On Monday November 13, 2011, I received the photos by E-mail from Walt with a note attached. It read "The luncheon was a great idea. We love you so much!" Warmed my heart. Thanks, Walt.

Michelle Harmer

Michelle's love for "Hot Dogs" is solely Claude and Harrison. Michelle thinks everybody else in the book can die and go to hell. She absolutely loves these two characters. Her fascination is with all the things Claude does, the places he goes and the people he meets. It's not just the cab, it's everything! She's also pretty worried about Harrison and what he goes thhrough. Michelle talked so much about these two to me, privately, that I had to tell her the ending of "Hot Dogs." I did it to calm her down. No one else in my staff knows the outcome of Claude and Harrison. Don't get her wrong, she does love my novels, but to Michelle, I have outdone myself in "Hot Dogs." I guess Claude has stolen my book, at least in Michelle's eyes.

Janet Dees

On Sunday, November 13, 2011, the day after the luncheon. I received an E-mail from Janet. It read "Dear Adrienne: Thanks so much. It was an honor to have lunch with such a nice group of people. I have not had such fun in a very long time. I was actually tired from all that laughing and chattering, otherwise I would have come to hang out some more. I am so glad I met you. You are gracious and bring the joy back into everyone's lives (along with the great entertainment of your books). Know this, we love YOU even more than your books, and that is saying something. Again, thank you so much for the food and fun." Love ya, Janet. Adrienne shall briefly reply to Janet: Listen girl, what I am able to do for you, while we are on this planet together, you know it comes directly from my heart. Thanks for being part of my team. And....I love you back! Janet's favorite characters are Ross and Sheridan and Janet always says "I just want to be Sheridan." She also believes that Hailey is "An INSANE liar."

Keena and Auntie Adrienne

.....And....Stevie Wonder said, "For Once In My Life I Have Someone Who Needs Me." Those words work both ways with me and Keena.

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