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ldmaudioPart of me wishes I could be at RWA. It’s been years since I’ve seen many of my writing friends. However, the logistics involved in leaving my disabled husband for that many days make it complicated. Not impossible, but complicated.

This year, I’ve actually been too busy to pine (much).

After mulling the top two auditions, both very good, I picked a narrator, Robin Rowan, for the audio book version of Lady Dearing’s Masquerade (cover shown here). I look forward to working with her, because she makes my story sound so good!

I’m continuing to edit Fly with a Rogue to address comments received through critique. Last week I compared being critiqued to sitting in the dentist’s chair. This week it’s more like therapeutic massage. It takes some pressure to work out the knots, but it feels so good afterwards!

I’m also excited to hear that the RITAs will now be open to-self published books. This is partly on a personal note, as I will be able to enter Fly with a Rogue this year. The opportunity for peer recognition is not critical for me—I had already decided, for business reasons, to self-publish this book—but it is nice to know I have the option.

On an organizational level, I think it’s very important. If the purpose of the RITAs is to “promote excellence in the romance genre by recognizing outstanding published romance novels and novellas”, it doesn’t make sense to exclude self-published romances, many of which have already hit the New York Times, USA Today, and other bestseller lists. As I understand it, entrants will have to be eligible for RWA’s Published Authors Network, which means the contest will be open only to authors with a proven record of sales.

There will also be a new category for erotic romance, which many authors of erotic romance have been asking for. I know there are others who say erotic romance should just be entered in whichever category fits otherwise (paranormal, historical, etc…) I understand their point, but I also know that there are judges whose reaction to extremes of sexuality in a book can impair their ability to judge fairly. Allowing those judges to choose not to opt in for the erotic romance category should help ensure better judging.

I haven’t read enough erotic romance to know for sure if this is always true, but in the ones I’ve read, sexual awakening or healing is an important part of the characters’ journey. This is in addition to being part of the relationship development, as it would be in sexy romances in other categories. The special role of sexuality in an erotic romance is also another argument for a unique category.

What do you all think of the RITA changes?

I hope everyone is having a great time in Atlanta and I’m looking forward to seeing pictures here!


Posted in Risky Book Talk, Writing | Tagged , | 4 Replies

Congratulations to the Regency RITA finalists for best Regency of 2005!




  • A Reputable Rake by Diane Gaston–Harlequin Mills & Boon Limited – Linda Fildew, editor
  • Miss Whitlow’s Turn by Jenna Mindel–NAL – Rose Hilliard, editor
  • Just Say Yes by Myretta Robens– Kensington Books – Hilary Sares, editor
  • The House Party by Jeanne Savery–Kensington Books – John Scognamiglio, editor

I particularly want to congratulate my friend Jenna Mindel, a critique partner before she moved away from central New York to the boonies of Michegan (smile!). Jenna, I know how much this means to you, and I know how hard you’ve worked for this. A nicer person couldn’t be made happy!

And for those who did not final–keep doing what you do. We are all winners, doing what we love, writing romances for the best readers in the world.

Viva the Regency!

Lord Ryburn’s Apprentice
Signet, January 2006

Posted in Reading, Writing | Tagged | 6 Replies

Today is the day the Romance Writers of America announce the list of finalists for the Golden Heart and RITA awards. RWA says, “The purpose of the RWA contests–RITA and Golden Heart–is to promote excellence in the romance genre by recognizing outstanding romance books and manuscripts.” These two contests are the big fish in the little pond of romance writing.

Or, as I explain to my non-romance friends, it’s like the Oscars, but for romance books. Finaling in either contest is a huge honor, at least among romance authors. I wonder, however, how important that “Golden Heart Winner!” or “RITA Award Winner!” emblazoned across the top of the book is important to readers (and no, I am not just saying that because I am doubtful of finaling myself). Reviewing the list of past RITA winners is impressive; reviewing the list of past Golden Heart winners is just as fun, especially since some of those authors have since been published.

But does it mean anything? I don’t know, but I am still hoping against hope I get a phone call today from the RWA office in Texas. Barring that, I hope one or more of my fellow Riskies get the call.

So–have you ever been more interested in a book because it’s won an award? If you’re a published author, do you enter these kinds of contests? What do you get out of them? If you’re unpublished, have you found contests to be helpful in forwarding your career?

And–before you answer any of that–wish us luck!


Posted in Reading, Writing | Tagged | 4 Replies
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