Lots of this happy dancing thing going on here over the news that I’m a Romance Writers of America 2017 Golden Heart® contest finalist, for my WWII-set time travel, BERYL BLUE, TIME COP.
I got the call from the amazing and talented author Tessa Dare, telling me I’m a finalist in the paranormal category. I’m sure she’ll never forget my witty and articulate response: “Huh? Uh, uh, something, something, something, uh, babble, babble.”
I thanked her and got off the phone before I could embarrass myself any further. Then I hyper-ventilated. Then I called everyone I knew, and quite a few people I didn’t know, too.
For those who don’t know, The Golden Heart contest, as RWA puts it, “promotes excellence in the romance genre by recognizing outstanding manuscripts written by members who have not published a Novel or Novella.” A final means the judges liked my manuscript enough to give it a high score. I’m in good company–40 other fabulous authors made the finals in a variety of categories, including romantic suspense, contemporary romance, historical, young adult, and paranormal.
Frankly I’m stunned to have gotten this far. BERYL BLUE colors outside the lines a bit. Sure, the hero is a hunky G.I. and there’s plenty of kissing, but it’s told in 1st person, it’s the first in a series, with a “happy for now” ending, the heroine, a young wannabe-librarian with a rocky past, wields snark like a weapon, and it’s time travel, a tricky genre people either like or they don’t.
Happily, some people liked Beryl enough to get her where she is today–a big damn finalist. Now on to the final round and the awards ceremony at the RWA National conference in July. Apparently I can’t wear my sweatpants, not even my formal pair, so I’d better get thee to the mall…
[If you’re interested in learning more about BERYL BLUE and how this picture inspired the story, I wrote about it HERE last year]