Congratulations Finalists

Today was the day when romance authors across the country were waiting by their phones for “the call.” The call from the RWA (Romance Writers of America) that they were now a finalist in the RITAs and Golden Hearts.

See the list of finalists here.

This is like the Academy Awards for romance novels. Winners will be announced at a formal event at the 2017 RWA Conference in Orlando. RITAs are awarded to the best of the published works in the last year. Golden Hearts are for unpublished novels, which is a great way for an author to land an agent or a publishing contract.

Just being a finalist is an honor.

For the first time in ages, I haven’t read a single finalist in any category. Which is pretty amazing, considering I read three-five romance novels a week. I don’t know if my favorite authors didn’t enter (as Pamela Clare said she hadn’t), or if I’m reading more Indie (self-published) writers this year. Although I’m leaning towards it being the former.

Bottom line for me — the depth of talent in the romance world is astounding. Congrats to all the finalists! I’ll be reading what I can before Orlando, and cheering you on.

Guardin’ your heart

Click the cover to visit kristenashley.net to learn about all the Rock Chicks

“Who woulda thought, givin’ my heart, havin’ it broken, learnin’ to guard it, I’d learn something else one day. That bein’ the best way to keep it safe is to find a man who’d prove he could handle it with care and give it to him.” — Daisy, in Kristen Ashley’s Rock Chick Reawakening

My heart melts reading that. I know I’ve been blessed having found my HEA, but for Daisy to get it, too, awwww. Get me the tissues.

Daisy hasn’t had it easy in Reawakening, which is actually a prequel to the eight-book Rock Chick series, even though it was published last. We’ve gotten to know Daisy as she was along for the wild rides that were the Rock Chick courtships, and she has got to have one the biggest hearts of anyone I’ve ever met.

What does it look like to you that someone would handle your heart with care? What would he have to do to prove that to you? How hard is it to give your heart to someone else?

 

Relationships hurt. Relationships heal.

“I suppose that since most of our hurts come through relationships, so will our healing, and I know that grace rarely makes sense for those looking in from the outside.”William P. Young, The Shack

Click on the book cover to purchase at Amazon.

The Shack movie comes out in early March, and I wanted to reread the book before going to see it. The Shack is not my normal reading. I tend to like happy reads, and a good portion of The Shack is decidedly not happy. (He didn’t refer to it as “The Great Sadness” for nothing.”) I’m not entirely sure why the book touched me as it did, but it clarified ideas for me in a way I’d never considered.

My tagline as a writer is “Trust love to heal yesterday and promise tomorrow.” For me it means that no matter what’s happened in your life, you can trust love to still come find you. It means that when you trust that love, you will find joy in the rest of your tomorrows because it’s going through life with a best friend that makes that life worth living.

This quote says almost the same thing. That relationships can be the cause of great hurts, but it’s also through relationship that we find healing. No one can go it alone.

 

Quote me on this

This current design trend to decorate with quotes makes me happy. We see them all the time on social media as memes. But they’re also stamped on pillows, written on small wooden boxes — just about anywhere you could have words or pictures are covered with quotes.

I was ahead of my time (that statement is so not true, it’s funny) . I decorated my childhood bedroom walls in quotes. “If you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll probably end up somewhere else,” was my favorite. It was a black poster with bright, rainbow-colored words on it.

Reading is the other thing I adore. Every now and then I come across a quote in a romance novel that touches me. So one of the goals of this blog is to bring you those quotes. I hope you enjoy them, too.

It’s all about hope

What is it about romance that touches my heart? Hope.

The idea that everyone is lovable makes me happy. No matter what the hero and heroine have gone through, there is always hope that love will come to them, enriching their lives every single day.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying a woman needs a man to complete her (stealing the cheesy line from Jerry McGuire), but I do believe having a partner to face life makes the bad times seem not so bad and the good ones even sweeter.

For me, all relationships are built on trust. With a boss and employee, you want to believe they’re not out to use you to get ahead. Without that trust, work can be a minefield where you’re over-analyzing the other’s motives all the time.

A child has to trust that their parents want what’s best for them. It starts developing when they’re a baby, and it’s the security their world is built on.

And in a loving relationship, you have to trust your partner to not to want to intentionally hurt you. Because he will sometime. That’s life. But knowing he’s not trying to makes all the difference in being able to forgive.

So join me in the romances of our lives, trusting love to forgive yesterday and promise tomorrow.