All The Big News!
A lot has happened in the last week. A lot. At first I attempted to keep up with it all on social media but I’m behind and really, this all deserves a heartfelt blog post. Good news makes me happy. The world needs more good news in it! So without further ado, here is all the big, good, amazing news from my last week!
1. Writers Unite
You remember in Last Fall when Zoe goes on a writing retreat (that Erik and Wes crash and Wes makes breakfast and the girls Instagram it…) well that was one of my Easter eggs. (Easter egg: a nugget of hidden information, secrets, or fun information that can be found when you know what you’re looking for.) My crew of my very best writing friends go on retreat and it is THE BEST.
This year we went to Denver a few days ahead of RWA (Romance Writers of America, our annual professional conference.) We rented a historic house and everyone got their own bed! It was glorious! We worked, we brainstormed around a giant dinner table, we ate, drank, and held a small party for our friends as they arrived in town. Five years ago when I went to my first RWA in Atlanta I knew no one. Not one person at the conference. It was a leap of faith that this was the next right step. At that conference I met Julia and Mary Chris, and through them I met Lindsay, Alexandra, and Laura. My world keeps growing because of them and this year, instead of knowing no one, we had a RITA winner, a double RITA nominee, the Librarian of the Year, and several chapter presidents over for dinner. WHAT IS LIFE???
2. Lindsay Emory Get a Starred Kirkus Review!!
Here’s the story: we’re at the Golden Hearts luncheon at RWA. I’m fixated on the food, because FOOD, and the loudness of the room, when all of a sudden there’s a squeal/squeak from across the table. The kind that makes you think someone just found a roach in their salad (spoiler: there were no roaches or mice or rats of any kind!) I look up to see Lindsay covering her mouth with tears in her eyes. My first thought: something happened to her family. But then beside her Laura starts hyperventilating and reading from a phone. “Lindsay is getting a starred Kirkus review for The Royal Runaway!”
So of course we all scream and she goes from teary eyes to hiding her face and full-on crying. Here’s the thing. A Kirkus review is a big, big deal. A starred Kirkus review is a really big, big deal! Of all the books they accept to review only 10% get a starred review. It means they loved it. It means they see what we saw when we read her book. It’s special. It’s fun. It’s that special sauce of an adventure and a tale and a romance and story you can’t put down. She deserves this review. Here is what they had to say:
“The progressive princess proves to be as resilient as she is rebellious. Even when her throne is threatened, she insists that “human lives are more important than our culture!” Under her reign, “happily ever after” gets a refreshing update.
This imaginative, absorbing, and empowering story is a must-read.”
Needless to say, you need to reserve your copy RIGHT NOW so you can read it the minute it releases on October 9th!
You can also enter to win a paperback copy on Goodreads!
(***Another Easter Egg: also in Last Fall Zoe reads Lindsay’s book on the plane. It was THIS BOOK that I was thinking of in that scene! And yes, I did read it on a plane!)
3. RITA WINS!
Winning an award for your writing is the end-all, be-all every writer dreams of. We write alone. If we’re lucky our readers will drop us a line and tell us they enjoyed the book. Sometimes they’ll leave a review. Sometimes they’ll leave a bad review or drop us a line to tell us how much we suck at writing. Basically, if you like a book, I strongly encourage you to leave reviews and drop a line to your writer because 99.9% of us only hear about what we did wrong and very rarely hear that what we wrote didn’t suck balls.
Which is why awards feel extra fantastic. It means readers and writers thought what we wrote was pretty fantastic. So this week when several of my friends won awards I was over the moon excited for them!
Librarian of the Year: our dear friend Frannie’s Romance! She loves romance every bit as much as those of us who write it. She spreads the Happily Ever After gospel. And to top it off she’s the sweetest. She even took the time to remind me to breathe when I was overwhelmed by all the extroverting.
RITA WINNER FOR BEST CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE (LONG): Lexi Ryan! I finally met Lexi last year at RT in Atlanta and instantly fell in love with her. She’s one of those authors you want to read because she’s a genuinely good person. We bonded over YouTube obsessions and Crossfit. From the moment she was nominated I was cheering her on because 1) she’s indie and we indie’s need to stick together! and 2) because I like seeing people who deserve the praise and attention win awards. Read her RITA winning book now!
RITA WINNER FOR BEST FIRST BOOK: Alexis Daria! She has the BEST first name but she’s also a genuinely amazing person! Alexis is not only dedicated the her writing, but to our profession. She takes the time to help other writers and participate in our industry. I could not think of anyone better deserving of the award. Read her RITA winning book now!
4. New book alert!!!!!
I tripped and fell over myself when Warning and Wildfires by Autumn Jones Lake released early on Amazon! Apparently that doesn’t help you one-click the Buy Now button faster, but here I am, a mangled tangled mess with a copy in my e-reader! Mission accomplished! I no longer post “reviews” on my blog (conflict of interest and all…) but I DO post about the books I love to read. And Autumn in an auto-buy for me! She writes my favorite kind of romances: alpha males with mushy, protective hearts, and heroines with steel in their bones. Get your copy right now!
5. The Aquaman Trailer
Do I really need to explain that this is Romancelandia crack? I think not. Let’s simply enjoy…
“Red heads. You gotta love ’em.”
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