Woo-hoo! Have you heard? Our own Riskies, Carolyn and Amanda, have each been nominated for the RITA award. It’s the annual award bestowed on the year’s best published books, and the winner is announced during RWA’s Annual Conference.


(even though the only pic I have of all of us makes me look dim-witted. I’m the dopey-looking one on the left).

Amanda was nominated for her novella, “Charlotte And The Wicked Lord” in the anthology the Diamonds of Welbourne Manor, while Carolyn was nominated twice; once for her Regency, Scandal, and once for her paranormal, My Forbidden Desire. All the nominees are listed here.

I couldn’t say for sure, but I think I yelped almost as loud as the actual nominees did when I saw the news. It’s really exciting to have such talented, and such good, friends. Another reason why I just can’t quit being a writer. Not yet, at least.

I haven’t been writing fiction this week, but I have an actual good reason: I am heading to Portland, Oregon, to visit my best friend. When she moved out there–what, nearly ten years ago?–I didn’t know what I’d do. But we maintained our friendship, and visit each other when we can (her family is here, so she makes the trip more often than I do) and whenever we see each other, it’s like five minutes has passed.

One of the funnest things about going on a trip is deciding what books to bring. OF COURSE I am bringing Venetia, since I’ve finally finished the ‘cannot put it down’ book, Brent WeeksBeyond The Shadows (the third book in his Night Angel trilogy). I will likely bring Jeaniene Frost‘s One Foot In The Grave, since the library wants it back, and I want to read it. I do have the Kindle for iPhone, so even if I read everything I brought, I would be okay. Oh, and my friend? Works at Powell’s Books, so I’m pretty sure I could pick something up in an emergency.

BUT. There’s no replacement for that hour or so of book choosing, prior to travel. Especially since I stay up later than my friend, and am staying in a hotel room because of her cats (lovely creatures, but I don’t like sleeping at the hospital–I’m allergic). So that means plenty of Megan-time, which means LOADS of reading.

Other options include:
Scarlet Pimpernel, ’cause I’ve never read it.
Clockwork Heart by Dru Pagliassotti — it’s steampunky, and was highly recced by someone whose opinion I respect.
Tempting Danger by Eileen Wilks (another RITA nom, not for this book). This was recced by Carina Press’s Angela James.
What Angels Fear by C.S. Harris–recced by Cara Elliott. But it’s a hardcover, and I don’t like traveling with hardcovers.
And, oh, loads of others down in the room where we store the books. You know, the one with stacks of books (and shelves of CDs?) everywhere?

How many books do you pack for a trip? What’s your favorite part about staying away from home?