Tag Archives: RWA

Death By Chocolate at RWA

Barbara Vey -- July 26th, 2013

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With so much going on, you do have to make the tough choices at RWA.  Unfortunately for me, I couldn’t attend the Death by Chocolate party at RWA, but lucky for you Nancy Naigle did and is the Cub Reporter today.  Author Nancy Naigle (Wedding Cakes and Big Mistakes), lives on a 76 acre goat farm where she juggles a career as an Senior Vice President with a major financial institution with her love for writing. She spends every spare moment working on her next book in hope that her readers will find a little life balance in the pages of her stories, and fall in love with the characters and towns as much as she has.

KODB

 

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Hey y’all! Nancy Naigle here, back after a fun week in Hot-Lanta for the annual RWA Conference and excited to share some of the fun with you. I’m bringing you the update from one of my favorite parts of the week. The DEATH BY CHOCOLATE Party. Yeah! Seriously!

Each year the RWA Mystery/Romantic Suspense Chapter, also referred to as Kiss of Death, throws a bash that tempts the taste buds and brings the best in our genre to the forefront in the Daphne du Maurier Awards for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense Ceremony.

 

Look at this spread!
chocolate

Chocolate fondue for fruit and angel food cake, parfaits, an assortment of delectable cakes and concoctions and I think my favorite was the German chocolate…no wait, the chocolate cheesecake….no, maybe the fudgy fondue that was so amazing I wish I could have stolen the whole copper pot! I totally fell off the diet, but it was so worth it.

As we noshed on the yummies and chatted with old chapter sisters and made new friends it was fun to look around the room at all of the amazing books that our chapter has published over the past year. There were about six bulletin boards full of covers.  <insert book cover photo>

We had some giveaways, too! Cool Kiss of Death chapter tote bags filled with I swear 40lbs of stuff. Books, champagne, chocolate and more!!

swag.bag

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Then, it was time. The Award Ceremony for the Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense for Unpublished and then the Published authors.

UNPUBLISHED

Category/Series::                                           Susan Spaulding, Shielded Hearts

Historical::                                                       Deborah Uchida, In A Sea Of Change

Inspirational::                                                  Bethany Mcmanus, Raw Nerves

Paranormal/Time Travel/Fantasy::             Tina Gower, Identity

Single Title::                                                     Sharon Wray, Rogue’s Escape

Mainstream::                                                   Mary Ann Corrigan, The Art of Deceit

OVERALL DAPHNE Unpublished::                Sharon Wray

 

Joanna Campbell Slan

Joanna Campbell Slan

PUBLISHED 

 

Category/Series::                                           B.J. Daniels, Justice at Cardwell Ranch, Harlequin Intrigue

Historical::                                                       Joanna Campbell Slan, Death  of a Schoolgirl, Berkley Trade

Inspirational::                                                  Elizabeth Camden, Against the Tide, Bethany House

Paranormal/Time Travel/Fantasy::             Christa McHugh, A Soul For Trouble, Self-Published

Single Title::                                                     Cindy Gerard, Last Man Standing, Pocket Star

Mainstream::                                                   Sandy Parks, Repossessed

OVERALL DAPHNE Published::                                    B.J. Daniels

Congratulations to all the finalists for making this genre sparkle!  You can see the complete list of finalists here.

Hope to see all of you there next year in San Antonio.

Bottom Line:  “Women want love to be a novel, men a short story.” ~ Daphne du Maurier

Self-Publishing Packs ‘Em In At RWA

Barbara Vey -- July 24th, 2013

publish

At RWA in Atlanta, one of the hottest author tracts to follow was the Self-Publishing Tract.  This group of workshops, geared to authors thinking of publishing on their own, was standing room only.  Interest came from authors in all stages of their careers. 

This is feedback from several authors (both traditional and Indie published). The tract was developed by #1 NYT bestseller Barbara Freethy and loaded with top speakers.

Thoughts from New York Times bestseller Dianna Love:
honeymoon
As a hybrid author (I’m published by a New York publisher and I’ve self-published a new book series), I am always looking for ways to improve my craft and my business.  During this conference, I learned things from highly successful Indie authors in this tract that I can actually use for both my traditional publishing and my Indie published books. That’s due to the outstanding line up of speakers for this tract who shared their learning curve and insights.  In the packed standing-room-only room for #1 NYT bestseller Barbara Freethy and NYT bestselling phenom Bella Andre’s Top 10 Tips for Self-Publishing E-books workshop not a word was uttered until someone asked a question.  No one wanted to miss any information shared by the two dynamic speakers who were beyond generous with their knowledge and self-publishing experience.  There is too much information to share here, but rule #1 is “write, write, and write some more.” If content is king in developing a publishing strategy then a connected series is queen, and quality is the foundation for that empire.   One repeated mantra is that Self Publishing is a marathon, not a sprint.  Putting out one novella to “test” the SP market is like tossing a baited hook in one corner of a massive lake and assuming you’re going to land on the mother lode of fish the first time.   (I highly recommend getting this year’s conference recordings.)

During the Beyond the Basics in Self-Publishing: Audio, Foreign Translations, POD, and More workshop, bestselling authors Bella Andre and Tina Folsom shared what they did right and mistakes they’d made (sometimes very expensive) in their drive to expand their audiences with audio and translations.  Even though Tina’s native language is German and she has resources (friends and family in Germany) who can beta read or listen to her books, she still had to battle to end up with a top notch translation, but it can be done.  Bella explained how it’s important to do more than have the audio talent you choose to read a scene of your book, especially if you have more than one POV (point of view) and your books include sex.  She suggested that the final audition include a read of the male POV, female POV and a sex scene, because you may be surprised at how different these can sound even with an excellent reader.   Additionally, there were presentations by Amazon, Nook, Kobo, and Smashwords.  If I had to sum up all these workshops and chats in one sentence I’d say it was the most engaging, energetic and entertaining (at times) tract I’ve ever attended at RWA.

*Dianna’s latest Indie book is HONEYMOON TO DIE FOR and her next traditional release is RISE OF THE GRYPHON.

Thoughts from USA Today bestseller Adrienne Giordano:opposing_forces-190x300

As an author emerging from my sophomore year of being published, I’m in learning mode as it pertains to the business side of publishing. Whether you’re a traditionally published or indie published author, the self-publishing workshops at RWA (particularly ones given by authors) were outstanding this year.  In the Metadata, Keywords and Back Matter workshop given by Courtney Milan, she stressed the importance of information that comes after the book’s end (back matter).  She suggested looking for indie pubbed authors who are performing well and studying how they’ve handled their back matter (buy links, newsletter sign-up information, Twitter and Facebook links, etc.).

Courtney also discussed the importance of front matter (everything that comes before chapter one). She mentioned that with print books people browse through the review quotes in the front of the book to help them decide whether or not they will purchase the book. With digital books, people may have already purchased the book so the review quotes don’t necessarily need to be in the front. Eliminating the review quotes in the front will get the reader to the start of the book much sooner.

During Self-Publishing for the Professional Author, featuring Julia Coblentz (Barnes and Noble), Mark Coker (Smashwords), Jon Fine (Amazon), and Mark Lefebvre (Kobo), the panelists briefly discussed price points. Mark Coker referenced a Smashwords study that indicated more books will sell at a price point of $2.99 and $3.99 rather than $1.99. With all the talk about price points, I found this bit of information helpful. I think RWA’s self-publishing tract this year was filled with useful information that will help me with both my traditionally published books and my indie published books.

*Adrienne hit the USA Today list with her Indie publication and her latest traditional book release is OPPOSING FORCES.

Thoughts from Amazon bestseller Nancy Naigle:wedding

Here’s a little bit from my experience with the self-publishing track. I was not expecting to see such a strong self-publishing track at RWA, but it sure was a nice addition. I even overheard people saying that the workshops were more beneficial for their career than meeting with an editor or agent. That’s saying something! The track included information on everything from personal experiences to release schedules.

One of the last two sessions I attended on Saturday afternoon was THE NEW HYBRID AUTHOR with Steena Holmes, Lauren Hawkeye Jameson, and Deidre Knight. No different than our financial portfolios…keeping your investment spread across a diverse set of options always makes for a stronger platform. These gals have been there and done that with traditional and self-publishing and I left feeling good about the prospects for those of us choosing that path to own the flexibility of our cash flow and growing our readership with the different formats.

The last session I attended was a PAN (Published Author Network) session that wasn’t listed as a self-publishing one, but sure applied. GIVING TO GET: Creating Free Digital Content to Promote Your Print Book. The interesting thing about this panel was that with traditional publishers we don’t always have the ability to leverage free content or special sales to drive sales. Authors Victoria Alexander, Donna Kauffman and Sally Mackenzie shared some of the innovative ideas they’ve tried from baking cakes and engaging readers with recipes, capsule summaries of your books, and character interviews. Video seems to be an increasingly popular addition to social media as a way to reach readers.

*Nancy’s latest Indie book is OUT OF FOCUS and her current traditional release is WEDDING CAKE AND BIG MISTAKES.  

Thoughts from historical romance author Tracey Devlyn:Checkmate-My-Lord-Cover-Draft-Mar-2012b-1-182x300

A year ago, indie publishing was not even on my radar. I knew myself well enough to know that I needed a team to publish my books. Working a full-time day job didn’t leave enough hours in the day to write and manage all the rest. Well, the last few months have opened my eyes to just how accessible Indie publishing really is for authors now. I went to this year’s RWA conference with the mindset to learn everything I could about the other side of publishing. The new SP tract did not disappoint.

In the From Ground Zero to Best-selling Author in Two Years: the Indie Revolution workshop by New York Times bestselling author Liliana Hart, I learned Indie pubbed authors should kickstart their careers with five different products (short stories, novellas, novels, serials, box sets) + one in the hole. Publish your five items one month and then publish your “one in the hole” the following month. This strategy helps boost your rankings with vendors on 30-day cycles. Once you’ve jumpstarted your career, keep publishing product as often as possible. Ms. Hart strongly recommended to price your stories with a mindset of making a living and to remember that what we do has value. She said an author isn’t going to live off $.99 or $1.99 books. Use lower prices as a marketing tool only. Readers will buy books in the $4.99-$5.99 range.

Other words of wisdom:
Authors need social media to succeed. Some sites she suggested are: Twitter, Facebook, Kindleboards, Goodreads, Shelfari, Wattpad, Triberr, Amazon Author Central (complete as much as possible—for every country!), and Pinterest.
Newsletters — author’s best friend
Blogging — kinda over
Street Teams – her biggest sellers (super fans)
Best Paid Ads – Pixel of Ink, eReader News Today, BookBub

Everything Liliana Hart discussed in her workshop can be found in The Naked Truth About Self-Publishing .

Audio publication was a big topic in the Beyond the Basics in Self-Publishing: Audio, Foreign Translations, POD, and More by New York Times bestsellers Bella Andre and Tina Folsom. Ms. Andre believes audio books are the fastest growing segment in the business.

Audio books – very lucrative part of Ms. Andre’s business; finding the right narrator is key and the hardest part; make sure the sex scenes aren’t read in a super creepy way; audio book covers are designed separately because of their square shape; average cost is $250-350 per finished hours — most novels are 7-9 hours
Translation – German, French and Brazilian Portuguese are the biggest romance sellers.

In Courtney Milan’s Metadata, Keywords and Back Matter workshop, she recommended that indie pubbed authors use http://bookshow.me for Amazon worldwide redirect. Adding your book’s ASIN number to the back of the URL (http://bookshow.me/ASIN) will redirect readers to the appropriate Amazon website (UK, Canada, etc.) for their particular country. Use this feature on your website anywhere you have “Buy” links.

Kboards.com – where Ms. Milan learns a lot of her new and progressive approaches to Indie publishing
Book description – focus on adding “keywords” to your book’s description to help with Amazon searches
Using Bitly to shorten URLs – helps authors keep track of what social media and posts are attracting readers. Customize your Bitly URLs for each social media venue.

*Tracey is co-founder of the Lady Jane’s Salon in Naperville, IL (a division of the New York LJS) and her latest traditional release is the highly acclaimed CHECKMATE, MY LORD.

Bottom Line:  “I don’t believe there has ever been a better time to be a writer.” ~ Barbara Freethy

Romance Writers of America Launches 2013 Award Finalists Online Series

Barbara Vey -- April 11th, 2013

Chat computer key.
To help the readers get to know the Rita Award nominees this year, RWA will be sponsoring a series of online events.  Think of it like the Academy Awards and how they let people see the movies before the awards ceremony.  You get to find out all about the books nominated, so you’ll have a chance to read the books before the awards are given out in July.

Here’s what the RWA has to say:

In an effort to connect America’s most popular romance writers with their fans across the world, Romance Writers of America® (RWA) is launching an 11-week series of interactive video chat events highlighting 2013 RITA Award finalist authors. Fans will have the unique opportunity to meet one another and ask their favorite authors questions face-to-face in an intimate online environment.
Rita Award
The series kicks off April 11 at 8 p.m. EST/5 p.m. PST with RITA finalists in the Contemporary Single Title Romance category: Barbara Freethy, Barbara Hannay, Ruthie Knox, Kim Law, Roni Loren, Jill Shalvis, and Roxanne St. Claire.

To view a full schedule and to RSVP, please visit http://www.rwa.org/RITAchat. Follow RWA on Twitter @romancewriters (#RITAchat) during the chats.

The events are free to the public, and only 1,000 spots are available at each of the weekly events.

Each week, one lucky participant will win a copy of the books in that week’s spotlighted RITA category.

The RITA award categories are: Best First Book, Contemporary Single Title Romance, Historical Romance, Inspirational Romance, Long Contemporary Series Romance, Novel with Strong Romantic Elements, Paranormal Romance, Romance Novella, Romantic Suspense, Short Contemporary Series Romance, and Young Adult Romance.

Bottom Line:  Now no one will be able to say, “I’ve never heard of that book.”

RWA Rita and Golden Heart Nominees Announced

Barbara Vey -- March 27th, 2013

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Yesterday many writers received “the call” from RWA that their book finaled in the Rita and Golden Heart Contests from the Romance Writers of America.  Romance Writers of America (RWA), the trade association for aspiring and published romance fiction authors, will be announcing the 2013 RITA® and Golden Heart® Award finalists on March 26. The RITA — the highest award of distinction in romance fiction — recognizes excellence in published romance novels and novellas. The Golden Heart recognizes excellence in unpublished romance manuscripts.

2013 RITA Finalists

Best First Book Finalists

The Anatomist’s Wife by Anna Lee Huber
Penguin Group USA, Berkley Publishing Group
Michelle Vega, editor

Crazy Little Thing by Tracy Brogan
Amazon Publishing, Montlake Romance
Kelli Martin, editor

Firelight by Kristen Callihan
Grand Central Publishing, Forever
Alex Logan, editor

Forged in Fire by Trish McCallan
Amazon Publishing, Montlake Romance
Lindsay Guzzardo, editor

Ghost Planet by Sharon Lynn Fisher
Tom Doherty Associates, Tor Books
Whitney Ross, editor

The Haunting of Maddy Clare by Simone St. James
Penguin Group USA, New American Library
Ellen Edwards, editor

My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick
Penguin Group USA, Dial Books for Young Readers
Jessica Garrison, editor

Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry
Harlequin, Harlequin Teen
Margo Lipschultz, editor

 

Contemporary Single Title Romance Finalists

About Last Night by Ruthie Knox
Random House Group, Loveswept
Sue Grimshaw, editor

Barefoot in the Sand by Roxanne St. Claire
Grand Central Publishing, Forever
Amy Pierpont, editor

Forever and a Day by Jill Shalvis
Grand Central Publishing, Forever
Alex Logan, editor

Lucky in Love by Jill Shalvis
Grand Central Publishing, Forever
Alex Logan, editor

Melt into You by Roni Loren
Penguin Group USA, Berkley Heat
Kate Seaver, editor

Sugar Springs by Kim Law
Amazon Publishing, Montlake Romance
Kelli Martin, editor

The Way Back Home by Barbara Freethy
Simon & Schuster, Pocket Books
Micki Nuding, editor

Zoe’s Muster by Barbara Hannay
Penguin Group Australia, Michael Joseph Books
Belinda Byrne, editor

 

Historical Romance Finalists

Beauty and the Bounty Hunter by Lori Austin
Penguin Group USA, Signet
Claire Zion, editor

Bride by Mistake by Anne Gracie
Penguin Group USA, Berkley Sensation
Wendy McCurdy, editor

Defiant by Pamela Clare
Penguin Group USA, Berkley Sensation
Cindy Hwang, editor

A Lady Never Surrenders by Sabrina Jeffries
Simon & Schuster, Pocket Books
Micki Nuding, editor

The Recruit by Monica McCarty
Random House Group, Ballantine Books
Kate Collins, editor

A Rogue by Any Other Name by Sarah MacLean
HarperCollins Publishers, Avon Books
Carrie Feron, editor

Too Dangerous to Desire by Cara Elliott
Grand Central Publishing, Forever
Lauren Plude, editor

Wedded in Sin by Jade Lee
Penguin Group USA, Berkley Sensation
Kate Seaver, editor

 

Inspirational Romance Finalists

Against the Tide by Elizabeth Camden
Baker Publishing Group, Bethany House Publishers
Raela Schoenherr, editor

Betrayal by Robin Lee Hatcher
Zondervan
Sue Brower and Leslie Peterson, editors

An Heiress at Heart by Jennifer Delamere
Grand Central Publishing, Forever
Lauren Plude, editor

A House Full of Hope by Missy Tippens
Harlequin, Love Inspired Books
Emily Rodmell and Rachel Burkot, editors

My Stubborn Heart by Becky Wade
Baker Publishing Group, Bethany House Publishers
Sarah Long, editor

Naomi’s Christmas by Marta Perry
Penguin Group USA, Berkley Trade
Ellen Edwards, editor

The Soldier’s Wife by Cheryl Reavis
Harlequin, Love Inspired Books
Tina Gavin, editor

The Wedding Dress by Rachel Hauck
Thomas Nelson, Inc.
Ami McConnell, editor

 

Long Contemporary Series Romance Finalists

A Cold Creek Noel by RaeAnne Thayne
Harlequin, Special Edition
Gail Chasan, editor

From Father to Son by Janice Kay Johnson
Harlequin, Superromance
Wanda Ottewell, editor

A Gift for All Seasons by Karen Templeton
Harlequin, Special Edition
Gail Chasan, editor

A Life Rebuilt by Jean Brashear
Harlequin, Superromance
Adrienne Macintosh, editor

Making Her Way Home by Janice Kay Johnson
Harlequin, Superromance
Wanda Ottewell, editor

No Ordinary Joe by Michelle Celmer
Harlequin, Superromance
Charles Greimsman, editor

Out of the Depths by Pamela Hearon
Harlequin, Superromance
Megan Long, editor

A Texas Chance by Jean Brashear
Harlequin, Superromance
Adrienne Macintosh, editor

 

Novel with Strong Romantic Elements Finalists

The Anatomist’s Wife by Anna Lee Huber
Penguin Group USA, Berkley Publishing Group
Michelle Vega, editor

Before and Ever Since by Sharla Lovelace
Penguin Group USA, Berkley Sensation
Wendy McCurdy, editor

Bridge of Scarlet Leaves by Kristina McMorris
Kensington Publishing Corp.
John Scognamiglio, editor

A Girl Like You by Maria Geraci
Penguin Group USA, Berkley Trade
Wendy McCurdy, editor

The Haunting of Maddy Clare by Simone St. James
Penguin Group USA, New American Library
Ellen Edwards, editor

Time’s Echo by Pamela Hartshorne
Macmillan Publishers, Ltd., Pan Macmillan
Wayne Brookes, editor

The Welcome Committee of Butternut Creek by Jane Myers Perrine
Hachette Book Group, Faith Words
Christina Boys, editor

 

Paranormal Romance Finalists

Angel in Chains by Cynthia Eden
Kensington Publishing Corp., Brava
Megan Records, editor

Edge of Oblivion by J.T. Geissinger
Amazon Publishing, Montlake Romance
Eleni Caminis, editor

Immortally Yours by Angie Fox
St. Martin’s Press
Monique Patterson, editor

Lothaire by Kresley Cole
Simon & Schuster, Pocket Books
Lauren McKenna, editor

Mark of the Witch by Maggie Shayne
Harlequin, MIRA
Leslie Wainger, editor

Moonglow by Kristen Callihan
Grand Central Publishing, Forever
Alex Logan, editor

Rogue Rider by Larissa Ione
Grand Central Publishing, Forever
Amy Pierpont, editor

Shadow’s Claim by Kresley Cole
Simon & Schuster, Pocket Books
Lauren McKenna, editor

 

Romance Novella Finalists

Breathless by Sophie Jordan
HarperCollins, HarperTeen Impulse
Kari Sutherland, editor

The Duchess of Love by Sally MacKenzie 
Kensington Publishing Corp., Zebra
Audrey LaFehr, editor

“Room at the Inn” by Ruthie Knox in Naughty & Nice
Random House Group, Loveswept
Sue Grimshaw, editor

Seduced by a Pirate by Eloisa James
HarperCollins, Avon Impulse
Carrie Feron, editor

“Sleeping with a Beauty” by Leslie Kelly in Once Upon a Valentine
Harlequin, Blaze
Brenda Chin, editor

“The Valentine’s Curse” by Jodi Thomas in Be My Texas Valentine
Kensington Publishing Corp., Zebra
Peter Senftleben, editor

 

Romantic Suspense Finalists

Celebrity in Death by J.D. Robb
Penguin Group USA, Putnam
Leslie Gelbman editor

Dead Heat by Bronwyn Parry
Hachette Australia
Bernadette Foley, editor

Don’t Cry for Me by Sharon Sala
Harlequin, MIRA
Leslie Wainger, editor

Forged in Fire by Trish McCallan
Amazon Publishing, Montlake Romance
Lindsay Guzzardo, editor

Last Man Standing by Cindy Gerard
Simon & Schuster, Pocket Star Books
Micki Nuding, editor

Scorched by Laura Griffin
Simon & Schuster, Pocket Star Books
Abby Zidle, editor

Twisted by Laura Griffin
Simon & Schuster, Pocket Star Books
Abby Zidle, editor

Vortex by Cherry Adair
St. Martin’s Press
Rose Hilliard, editor

 

Short Contemporary Series Romance Finalists

Becoming Dante by Day Leclaire
Harlequin, Desire
Mary-Theresa Hussey, editor

Cowboy in the Crossfire by Robin Perini
Harlequin, Intrigue
Allison Lyons, editor

The Last Single Maverick by Christine Rimmer
Harlequin, Special Edition
Gail Chasan, editor

A Marriage Worth Fighting For by Lilian Darcy
Harlequin, Special Edition
Bryony Green, editor

A Night of No Return by Sarah Morgan
Harlequin, Presents
Lucy Gilmour, editor

Surgeon Sheik’s Rescue by Loreth Anne White
Harlequin, Romantic Suspense
Susan Litman, editor

The Tycoon’s Secret Daughter by Susan Meier
Harlequin, Romance
Sally Williamson, editor

We’ll Always Have Paris by Jessica Hart
Harlequin, Romance
Lucy Gilmour, editor

 

Young Adult Romance Finalists

Bound by Erica O’Rourke
Kensington Publishing Corp., KTeen
Alicia Condon, editor

The Farm by Emily McKay
Penguin Group USA, Berkley Publishing Group
Michelle Vega, editor

Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company, Houghton Mifflin
Kate O’Sullivan, editor

Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry
Harlequin, Harlequin Teen
Margo Lipschultz, editor

 

2013 Golden Heart Finalistsgolden-heart-art2

Contemporary Series Romance Finalists

“Baby on Board—Help!” by Miranda Liasson

“The Billionaire’s Hypnotized Mistress” by Greta MacEachern

“Confessions of the World’s Oldest Shotgun Bride” by Gail Hart

“Her Soldier Returns” by Kristin Noel Fischer

“Jayhawk Down” by Sharon Calvin

“Southern Comforts” by Nan Dixon

 

Contemporary Single Title Romance Finalists

“The Bollywood Bad Boy” by Sonali Dev

“Clean Sweep” by Nan Dixon

“Climb to Freedom” by Sheila Athens

“Everybody Knows…” by Jacqueline Floyd

“Hijacked” by Leslie Lynch

“Objection Overruled” by Jane O’Hanlon

“Place Your Betts” by Katie Graykowski

“What’s Yours Is Mine” by Tamar Bihari writing as Talia Quinn Daniels

 

Historical Romance Finalists

“Between Love and Lies” by Jacqui Nelson

“A Champion’s Heart” by Piper Huguley

“Come to Me” by Oberon Wonch

“Drawn to the Earl” by Joanna Shupe

“The Last Light of Dusk” by Joanne Lockyer 

“The Promise of Dawn” by Eliss Baker

“The Rake’s Handbook” by Sally Orr

“Sense and Seduction” by Thomasine Rappold

 

Paranormal Romance Finalists

“Dark Secret” by Mariah Ankenman

“Demon’s Bane” by India Powers

“Guardian” by Tara Sheets

“Jinn & Tonic” by Kay Hudson

“Mind Sweeper” by Amy Jones writing as AE Jones

“Sea Panther” by Dawn Wolzein

“Shadows in the Deep” by Lark Howard

“Unbroken” by Ella Sheridan

 

Romantic Suspense Finalists

“Broken Places” by Krista Hall Reynolds

“Crazy for Her” by Sandra Owens

“Juliet’s Rogue” by Sharon Wray

“The Predator” by Chris Taylor

“Rampant Perfection” by Laurie Cooper

“Rogue’s Redemption” by Sharon Wray

“The Shadow Hour” by Jacqui Nelson

“Spies, Lies, and Debutantes” by Miranda Liasson

 

Young Adult Romance Finalists

“Camp Awakening” by Bonnie Staring

“Hidden Deep” by Amy DeLuca

“Leath’Dhia/Birthright” by Kari Miller

“Miranda Perry’s Imported Prom Date” by Sheri Adkins

“Sticks and Stones” by Kimberly MacCarron

“Summer of Supernova” by Darcy Woods

“Ten” by Holly Bodger

Bottom Line:  Good Luck to everyone!  It is indeed an honor to be nominated.

Where in the World is Barbara Vey…2013?

Barbara Vey -- December 26th, 2012

Once again I’m amazed at all the wonderful places I visited in 2012 and all the place I plan to go to in 2013.  As I do every year, here’s a list of where I’ll be and when.  If you’d like me to visit your group or attend your event, please email me at barbaravey@gmail.com .  Hope to see you in 2013!

Appearances

January 12 – Florida Romance Writers, Ft. Lauderdale, FL

March 1/2 – NOLA Conference, Shreveport, LA

March 15/17 – SoCal Conference, Santa Ana, CA

April 25 – Cudahy Library Author Event, Cudahy, WI

April 26 – Q & A with Authors, Milwaukee, WI

April 27 – Barbara Vey Reader Appreciation Luncheon, Milwaukee, WI

May 1/5 – RT Convention, Kansas City, MO

May 29/June 1 – BEA, New York

June 21/23 – RomCon, Colorado Springs, CO

July 17/20 – RWA, Atlanta, GA

Bottom Line:  Looking forward to adding things along the way.

RWA: And the Award Goes to:

Barbara Vey -- August 8th, 2012
Barbara Vey Vivian Stephens Industry Award

Barbara Vey Vivian Stephens Industry Award

 

At RWA there are several awards given that aren’t for writing books.  I know because I received one.  In a luncheon award ceremony, the Romance Writers of America also presented awards to a librarian, bookseller, and several service awards.

 

While it feels kind of funny to toot my own horn, I can’t not mention that I was privileged to receive the Vivian Stephens Industry Award.  This award is given to “one or more professionals in the romance-publishing industry, who is not a writer, who has contributed to the genre or to RWA in a significant and/or continuing manner.”  It gives me goosebumps to think that they mean me.  It’s a very humbling experience to be honored in this way by an organization I have so much respect for.  For those of you who may have missed it, my acceptance speech is right here.

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Janeen Solberg-credit Bruce Wilde

Janeen Solberg-photo Bruce Wilde

 

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Other awards given were to Janeen Solberg, Manager, 
Turn the Page Bookstore, Boonsboro, Maryland for Bookseller of the Year.  She arranges all of the store’s events and hosts its book club. Solberg also arranges romance-friendly book signings and is known to enthusiastically recommend romances to the store’s patrons.

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Mary Moore

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Mary Moore, Reference & Adult Services Manager
Huntsville-Madison County Public Library, Huntsville, Alabama was named Librarian of the Year.  She was a Branch Manager for Huntsville’s largest city branch when she first started working with the local chapter of RWA, the Heart of Dixie chapter. “From the moment we opened the Bailey Cove Branch Library, I knew we needed more romance fiction. I could never keep enough in stock—paperback, hardcover, large print. Plus, romance readers are fast readers. You always need new stock to keep the customers coming back.”

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Laura Hayden

Laura Hayden

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Emma Merritt Service Award Recipient was 
Laura Hayden.  Laura has published twelve novels, four short stories published in anthologies, and one non-fiction book about Nora Roberts. She served on the RWA Board of Directors and also was the Awards Ceremony Chairperson nine times. Besides writing, Hayden owns and operates Author, Author! Bookstore and has served six times as the Conference Director for the Pikes Peak Writers Conference.

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RWA Service Awards are intended to honor major commitments of service to RWA and are presented for the accumulated body of effort a volunteer may make during a lifetime.  The following 3 individuals were recognized.

Natalie Damschroder

Natalie Damschroder

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Natalie Damschroder has been a member of RWA since 1995 and, in that time, has served on theassociation’s PRO Steering Committee. Natalie also compiles the Contests & Conferences column for the Romance Writers Report, RWA’s magazine.  She’s published works including 8 romance novels (with four more on their way), 7 novellas, and 14 short stories.

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Dorian Kelly

Dorian Kelly

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Dorien Kelly, an RWA member since 1995, served eight years on the Board of Directors (with one term as president of the association).  Kelly is the author of more than 19 books and is currently co-authoring books with Janet Evanovich, as well as working on solo projects.

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Diane Pershing

Diane Pershing

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Diane Pershing joined RWA in 1990 and served on the association’s Board of Directors from 2004–2009. She was president of RWA from 2008–2009.  Diane is the author of more than 19 books published by Bantam Loveswept and Harlequin.

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The RWA Veritas Award Recipient
 (for the article that appears in print or in another medium that best depicts the romance genre in a positive light) was given to Denise Schipani for “7 Life Lessons from Romance Novels,” Woman’s Day.  You can read the article here.

 

Bottom Line:  It was an amazing week.  Thanks RWA and members for giving me memories I’ll never forget.

 

RWA: Brenda Jackson Receives Lifetime Achievement Award

Barbara Vey -- August 3rd, 2012
Brenda Jackson and hubby

Brenda Jackson and hubby

According to the Romance Writers of America, “The RWA Nora Roberts Lifetime Achievement Award is presented to a living author in recognition of significant contributions to the romance genre.”   This year that honor was bestowed upon Brenda Jackson. 

 

Brenda started her career in 1994 and became the first African-American author to have her book published for the Harlequin/Silhouette Desire Line.  She also became the first African-American to make the USA Today and New York Times best seller lists for the series romance genre.  2012 became even more impressive when Brenda was nominated for an NAACP Image Award for A Silken Thread.  She has 94 books in print, but will soon hit the 100 book mark.

 

As Brenda took the stage at RWA, a montage of pictures flashed on the jumbo screens.  My favorite part was Brenda receiving a friendship ring, at age 15, from her future husband.  It was so romantic and romance was the reason we were all at this conference.  I’m thrilled that Brenda will be attending my Barbara Vey Reader Appreciation Luncheon in April.

 

 

Bottom Line:  A well-deserved award for a very special lady.

RWA: Free Book Signings

Barbara Vey -- August 1st, 2012

One of the most popular events at RWA is hands down the free book signings.  Publishers separately open the doors to readers and offer free books signed by the authors.  The lines are long, but it is so worth it.  You get up close and personal time with your favorite authors and a free book to boot.  Readers come prepared carrying boxes and pulling suitcases to load up with their treasures.  Here’s a few of the many authors who signed at these events.

Karen Rose

Karen Rose

 

Lisa Jackson

Lisa Jackson

 

Lori Handleland

Lori Handleland

 

Allison Leotta

Allison Leotta

 

Abigail Sharpe and Kathy Fawcett

Abigail Sharpe and Kathy Fawcett

 

Anne Elizabeth

Anne Elizabeth

 

Erin Knightley

Erin Knightley

 

 

Hope Ramsey

Hope Ramsey

 

Jessica Scott

Jessica Scott

 

Kate Pearce

Kate Pearce

 

Maggie Mae Gallagher and Angie Fox

Maggie Mae Gallagher and Angie Fox

 

Mari Mancusi

Mari Mancusi

Mia Marlowe

Mia Marlowe

 

Shelli Stevens

Shelli Stevens

 

Theresa Meyers

Theresa Meyers

 

Tracey Devlyn

Tracey Devlyn

Victoria Alexander

Victoria Alexander

 

Yasmine Galenorn

Yasmine Galenorn

 

Bottom Line:  Getting a free book signed by the author is like Christmas morning.

RWA: Swag, Panels, Parties

Barbara Vey -- July 31st, 2012

One thing I’ve learned from going to RWA conferences throughout the year is that there just aren’t enough hours in the day.  The official schedule is filled with workshops, panels, publisher spotlights, lunches, breakfasts and book signings.  The unofficial schedule includes meetings, coffees, meals, parties, promotions, greetings in hallways, visits to the goody room, chatting with friends (old and new) and my favorite, naps.  I never seem to get everything in that I want to do or see everyone that I know is there somewhere.

Kimberly Lang, Kira Sinclair, Andrea Lange, Sharon Sala, Marilyn Puett and Barbara Vey

Kimberly Lang, Kira Sinclair, Andrea Laurence, Sharon Sala, Marilyn Puett and Barbara Vey

 

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Every year since my first RWA, I have breakfast with my friends from The Writing Playground.  When I first met them, none were published but now three of them are.  We were joined by Sharon Sala who is my favorite person to follow on Facebook.  If you don’t follow her, go do it.  She writes the most amazing little stories of her life every day.  It’s like following a mini-series and I don’t want to miss an episode.

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Some swag I collected

Some swag I collected

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One of the things I always get asked about is the swag that is given out.  The goody room was a treasure chest this year.  I got a Zombie Survival Kit, bandaids, gum, audio books, cookies, candy, pens, jar openers, magnets, calendars, a massager, tattoos, lip balm, popcorn and grits.  And don’t even get me started on the books.  The tote bag at registration was filled with books, there were books at the luncheons, books in the goody room, all the free books at the publisher signings and you could even purchase books at the Barnes and Noble store in addition to the Literacy signing.  People were shipping home boxes of books like there was no tomorrow.

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I did a workshop with James Rollins, Sheila English, Nancy Berland and Rebecca York on Building Reader Loyalty.  I’ve got to say that I could listen to James Rollins talk all day.  He is incredibly funny in that laid back way by just telling stories.  He’s got a ton of them from book signings to posting on Facebook to meeting with fans.  James had the room eating out of his hands.  The rest of us had our say and it was a lively group, but when Jim talked it was like when E. F. Hutton spoke (if you don’t get the reference you’re too young).

Barbara Vey, Sheila English, Nancy Berland, Rebecca York, James Rollins

Barbara Vey, Sheila English, Nancy Berland, Rebecca York, James Rollins (Picture by David)

 

Harlequin had their annual pajama party and I heard it was a blast as usual.  I also missed St. Martin’s party, but Sheila sent me a couple of pictures.  I was off to the ocean with the Sourcebook authors for dinner.  There was a terrific party bus, but since I get motion sickness, I can only sit facing forward.  The wonderful food and company made up for it.

Harlequin PJ party

Harlequin PJ party

 

Sourcebook dinner

Sourcebook dinner

 

Carol Fitzgerald, Christina's daughter, Christina Dodd at St. Martin Party

Carol Fitzgerald, Christina's daughter, Christina Dodd at St. Martin Party

 

Tomorrow is picture day.  I’ll be posting pics from many signings, so stop back to see who you may know.

 

Bottom Line:  Time is the one thing we can’t buy, but we should value the most.

RWA: Librarian Day, Literacy Signing

Barbara Vey -- July 30th, 2012
Suzanna Enoch, Julia London, Sabrina Jeffries and Karen Hawkins

Suzanna Enoch, Julia London, Sabrina Jeffries and Karen Hawkins

Wednesday kicked off the first official day of RWA (Romance Writers of America).  It always starts with Librarian Day.  One of my favorites because I always wanted to be a librarian, so I love talking to them.  There were workshops on Connecting Romance Readers and Authors at the Library, Focus on Historical Romance, and Blast from the Past.   One interesting comment was the librarian who noted that her senior readers were complaining about the lack of large print erotica.  The luncheon featured a speech by Kerrilyn Sparks.  The librarians received swag bags and a visit to the goody room where they could collect lots of great books and other items donated by authors.  Everyone left smiling and excited to bring back some great ideas to their libraries.

 

Sabrina Jeffries hosted one of the many parties held during RWA.  She was promoting her Christmas book and the place was all decorated for Christmas.  Sabrina even had special Sabrina Martinis.  Advanced Reading Copies of the books were given away as very coveted prizes.  The party was filled with bloggers, librarians, booksellers and readers.

Sabrina Martinis

Sabrina Martinis

Sabrina Jeffries

Sabrina Jeffries

 

 

 

 

 

 

The absolute highlight of the day was the Literacy Signing.  This event is free and open to the public.  RWA’s “Readers for Life” Literacy Autographing features hundreds of romance authors signing copies of their novels. Proceeds from book sales go to ProLiteracy Worldwide.  The room was huge, so there was plenty of space to move around.  RWA tried something new this year.  Avon Publishing sponsored the event so when you walked in the aisle was called Avon Alley and their authors lined both sides.

Courtney Milan on the cover of the German Love Letters magazine with it's editor

Courtney Milan on the cover of the German Love Letters magazine with it's editor

 

 

Jeanne Adams

Jeanne Adams

 

Jennifer Ashley

Jennifer Ashley

 

Jill Sorenson

Jill Sorenson

 

Joanna Bourne

Joanna Bourne

Unfortunately for the readers, the authors were not arranged in alphabetical order this year so it was extremely difficult to locate authors.  They did pass out maps, but the print was so small it was extremely difficult to read.  The readers I spoke with were upset and frustrated.  They would find one author they were looking for only to discover that the next one was located on the other side of the room and the third back where they started.  I know I didn’t get to see everyone I wanted because I couldn’t find them.  I hope RWA reconsiders doing it in alphabetical order again next year.   On the plus side, several authors were happy to sit next to people they don’t normally sit by.  But, this event is really about the readers, not the authors.  Regardless, I saw many happy readers clutching books signed by their favorite authors.

 

One final observation on the signing.  It was scheduled for 5-8 p.m. By 7 p.m., there were more than a few authors who had left already.  As a reader, this upsets me.  Even if you sell out of books, I think it’s common courtesy to stay.  The readers that come expect the authors to be there the scheduled time.  Some cannot make it at 5 p.m. due to work or other obligations.  If there are no more books to sign, authors should consider doing what Joanna Bourne was doing.  She was handing out signed book plates and stayed until the very end smiling, greeting her readers and posing for pictures.  Once again, this event is for the readers folks.  Authors pay a lot to come to this conference, so make the most of it.  Kudos and a big thank you to all the authors who were there to meet the readers until the signing officially ended.

 

More about RWA all week.

 

Bottom Line:  Readers are why authors do what they do.