5 THINGS TO DO IN AUGUST

I originally planned to hang out my “Gone Writing” sign this month, but life had other ideas. I still won’t be blogging, but unfortunately I won’t have much time to write either. While I’m away on an unexpected writing hiatus, here’s a list of 5 things you can do until I return.

Dolce far niente by Auguste Toulmouche (1870)

 

1. Explore my site and archives.

2. Write.

3. Participate in Read-a-Romance Month.

4. Try something or someplace new.

5. All of the above.

6. Clean my house.

OK, I  added the last one to see if you were paying attention, but feel free to volunteer if you want. (WARNING: Beware of the dust bunnies.) To apply click on contact page.

See you in September!
(I hope.)


~Jillian

 

 

 

 

2014 Golden Heart Update: #RWA14 Photo Album Part 4 (RITA / GH Awards Ceremony)

Saturday, July 26th

EARLY MORNING:

I had breakfast with Lia Riley, and fellow 2014 Golden Heart finalist Piper Huguley and I went to the Avon Impulse Meet and Greet. Nicole Fischer and other editorial staff shared information, answered questions, and took pitches in a small, quiet, and relaxed atmosphere. I met historical romance author Lauren Willig at the St. Martin’s Press Book Signing and visited the Ballantine Bantam Dell Book Signing, too.

(right) Historical Romance author Lauren Willig at St. Martin's Press Book Signing

(right) Historical Romance author Lauren Willig at St. Martin’s Press Book Signing

MID-MORNING THROUGH LUNCH:

Sarah MacLean’s workshop was full and closed to additional participants, so I returned to the hotel for my awards ceremony shoes and met the rest of the Golden Heart finalists for the rehearsal in the Grand Ballroom. RWA staff answered our questions, had us walk across the stage, and did a sound check. Some finalists went to Luciano’s for lunch. We discussed the acceptance speeches RWA staff requested, public speaking techniques, and how to walk in heels without clomping or falling down.

2014 Golden Heart finalists Deborah Wilding and Denny S. Bryce

2014 Golden Heart finalists Deborah Wilding and Denny S. Bryce

2014 Golden Heart finalists McCall Hoyle, Sarah Andre, and Sharon Wray

2014 Golden Heart finalists McCall Hoyle, Sarah Andre, and Sharon Wray

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2014 Golden Heart finalists Suzanne Kaufman Kalb and Kimberly MacCarron

2014 Golden Heart finalists Suzanne Kaufman Kalb and Kimberly MacCarron

AFTERNOON:

After lunch I went to my room to take a quick nap and review the acceptance speech. I rushed downstairs to the Grand Central Forever Book Signing to snap this photo of my friend / California CP Lia Riley.

Lia Riley Debut NA author of UPSIDE DOWN (Book 1 Off the Map series) at Grand Central Forever Book Signing

Lia Riley debut NA author of UPSIDE DOWN (Book 1 Off the Map series) at Grand Central Forever Book Signing

I returned to my room to get ready for the awards ceremony. Luckily Cheryl Rae (friend / Austin RWA chapter mate/ CP/ web guru) also worked as a make-up artist and hair stylist for models in New York and made me look beautiful. (Thanks, Cheryl!)

PRE-AWARDS PHOTOS:

Jillian Lark (me)

2014 Golden Heart finalist Jillian Lark. (Thanks to agent Kristin Nelson and others for the compliments!)

2014 Golden Heart finalist Charis Calhoon and husband

2014 Golden Heart finalist Charis Calhoon and husband

(left) Laura Trentham's husband, 2014 Golden Heart finalists Laura Trenthan, Deborah Wilding, and Suzanne Kaufman Kalb

(left) Laura Trentham’s husband and 2014 Golden Heart finalists Laura Trenthan, Deborah Wilding, and Suzanne Kaufman Kalb

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(standing) 2014 Golden Heart finalists Shelly Chalmers and Sara Tompkins

(standing) 2014 Golden Heart finalists Shelly Chalmers and Sara Tompkins

2014 Golden Heart finalists Laura Trenthan, Sara Tompkins, and Lenora Bell

2014 Golden Heart finalists Laura Trentham, Sara Tompkins, and Lenora Bell

2014 Golden Heart finalist Denny S. Bryce and Dreamweavers' pin designer/author Xio Axelrod

2014 Golden Heart finalist Denny S. Bryce and Dreamweavers’ pin designer/author Xio Axelrod

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(center) 2014 Golden Heart finalist Kimberly MacCarron with friends

(center) 2014 Golden Heart finalist Kimberly MacCarron with friends

2014 Golden Heart finalist Marnee Bailey and husband

2014 Golden Heart finalist Marnee Bailey and husband

2014 Golden Heart finalists Jillian Lark and Sarah Andre

2014 Golden Heart finalists Jillian Lark and Sarah Andre

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2014 Golden Heart finalist Sarah Canan

2014 Golden Heart finalist Sarah Canan / soon-to-be Winner of Short Contemporary Romance category

2014 Golden Heart finalists Shelly C. Alexander, Marni Folsom, and Jillian Lark

2014 Golden Heart finalists Shelly C. Alexander, Marni Folsom, and Jillian Lark

2014 Golden Heart finalist Sharon Wray and her sister-in-law author Kieran Kramer

2014 Golden Heart finalist Sharon Wray and author Kieran Kramer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(center) 2014 Golden Heart finalist Vanessa Barneveld

(center) 2014 Golden Heart finalist Vanessa Barneveld

Lee Kilraine's husband, 2014 Golden Heart finalist Lee Kilraine, guest, and 2014 Golden Heart finalist Barbara Gerry

Lee Kilraine’s husband, 2014 Golden Heart finalist Lee Kilraine, guest, and 2014 Golden Heart finalist Barbara Gerry

2014 Golden Heart finalists

2014 Golden Heart finalist Barbara Gerry, guests, and 2014 Golden Heart finalist Carrie Padgett

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2014 Golden Heart finalists Abbie Roads and Shelly C. Alexander

2014 Golden Heart finalists Abbie Roads and Shelly C. Alexander

2014 Golden Heart finalists Abbie Roads, Shelly C. Alexander, and Jillian Lark

2014 Golden Heart finalists Abbie Roads, Shelly C. Alexander, and Jillian Lark

2014 Golden Heart finalist Amy DeLuca and Jillian Lark

2014 Golden Heart finalists Amy DeLuca and Jillian Lark

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2014 Golden Heart finalist Amy DeLuca and husband

2014 Golden Heart finalist Amy DeLuca and YA author Jay Asher

2014 Golden Heart finalists Asa Maria Bradley, Suzanne Kaufman Kalb, and Deborah Wilding

2014 Golden Heart finalists Asa Maria Bradley, Suzanne Kaufman Kalb, and Deborah Wilding

2014 Golden Heart finalists Denny S. Bryce and Jillian Lark

2014 Golden Heart finalists Denny S. Bryce and Jillian Lark

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(right) 2014 Golden Heart finalist Connie Taxdal

(right) 2014 Golden Heart finalist Connie Taxdal

2014 Golden Heart finalists Barbara Gerry, Jillian Lark, Sheri Humphreys, and Shelly C. Alexander

2014 Golden Heart finalists Barbara Gerry, Jillian Lark, Sheri Humphreys, and Shelly C. Alexander

2014 Golden Heart finalist Piper Huguley

2014 Golden Heart finalist Piper Huguley

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2014 Golden Heart finalist Gwynlyn MacKenzie and husband

2014 Golden Heart finalist Gwynlyn MacKenzie and husband

2014 Golden Heart finalist Jillian Lark and Austin RWA chapter mate author Sloan Calder

2014 Golden Heart finalist Jillian Lark and Austin RWA chapter mate Sloane Calder

2014 Golden Heart finalist Jillian Lark and Austin RWA chapter mate author Ana Farrish

2014 Golden Heart finalist Jillian Lark and Austin RWA chapter mate Ana Farrish

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2014 Golden Heart finalists Laura Trentham (right) and  Jillian Lark (left) with NYT best selling historical romance author Eloisa James

2014 Golden Heart finalists Laura Trentham (right) and Jillian Lark (left) with NYT best- selling historical romance author Eloisa James. (Thanks, Eloisa!)

2014 RITA / GOLDEN HEART AWARDS CEREMONY:

2014 Golden Heart Short Contemporary Winner Suzanne Kaufman Kalb receives a kiss from her husband.

2014 Golden Heart Contemporary Romance Winner Suzanne Kaufman Kalb receives a kiss from her husband.

2014 Golden Heart Short Contemporary Winner Suzanne Kaufman Kalb on the jumbotron

2014 Golden Heart Contemporary Romance  Winner Suzanne Kaufman Kalb on the Jumbotron

2014 Golden Heart Inspriational Romance Winner Kristi Ann Hunter slide (not present for award)

2014 Golden Heart Inspirational Romance Winner Kristi Ann Hunter slide (not present for award)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2014 Golden Heart Historical Romance Winner Lenora Bell on the jumbotron

2014 Golden Heart Historical Romance Winner Lenora Bell on the Jumbotron

2014 Golden Heart Paranormal Romance Winner Marni Folsom (center), 2014 Golden Heart finalist Shelly C. Alexander (left), and Marni's friend Joy (right)

2014 Golden Heart Paranormal Romance Winner Marni Folsom (center), 2014 Golden Heart finalist Shelly C. Alexander (left), and Marni’s friend Joy (right)

2014 Golden Heart Paranormal Romance Winner Marni Folsom on the jumbotron

2014 Golden Heart Paranormal Romance Winner Marni Folsom on the Jumbotron

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2014 Golden Heart Young Adult Winner McCall Hoyle on the way to the stage

2014 Golden Heart Young Adult Winner McCall Hoyle on the way to the stage

2014 Golden Heart Young Adult Winner McCall Hoyle on stage

2014 Golden Heart Young Adult Winner McCall Hoyle on stage

2014 Golden Heart Romantic Suspense Winner Denny S. Bryce on the jumbotron

2014 Golden Heart Romantic Suspense Winner Denny S. Bryce on the Jumbotron

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2014 RITA Erotic Romance Winner Julie Kenner of AustinRWA

2014 RITA Erotic Romance Winner Julie Kenner of AustinRWA

2014 RITA Erotic Romance Winner Julie Kenner of Austin RWA

2014 RITA Erotic Romance Winner Julie Kenner of Austin RWA on the Jumbotron

2014 RITA Erotic Romance Winner Julie Kenner of AustinRWA on the jumbotron

2014 RITA Erotic Romance Winner Julie Kenner of AustinRWA on the Jumbotron

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AFTER THE AWARDS CEREMONY:

2014 Golden Heart finalist Jillian Lark hugs 2014 Golden Heart Paranormal Romance Winner Marni Folsom

2014 Golden Heart finalist Jillian Lark hugs 2014 Golden Heart Paranormal Romance Winner Marni Folsom

2014 Golden Heart Paranormal Romance Winner Marni Folsom and her Golden Heart necklace

2014 Golden Heart Paranormal Romance Winner Marni Folsom and her Golden Heart necklace

2014 Golden Heart Paranormal Romance Winner Marni Folsom (right) and friend Joy (left)

2014 Golden Heart Paranormal Romance Winner Marni Folsom (right) and friend Joy (left)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2014 Golden Heart NYT Bestselling author Beverly Jenkins (left) congratulates 2014 Golden Heart Romantic Suspense Winner Denny S. Bryce (right).

Author Beverly Jenkins (left) congratulates 2014 Golden Heart Romantic Suspense Winner Denny S. Bryce (right).

2014 Golden Heart Romantic Suspense Winner Denny S. Bryce

2014 Golden Heart Romantic Suspense Winner Denny S. Bryce

2014 Golden Heart Contemporary Romance Winner Suzanne Kaufman Kalb and her Golden Heart necklace

2014 Golden Heart Contemporary Romance Winner Suzanne Kaufman Kalb and her Golden Heart necklace

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2014 Golden Heart Young Adult Winner McCall Hoyle and her Golden Heart necklace

2014 Golden Heart Young Adult Winner McCall Hoyle and her Golden Heart necklace

2014 Golden Heart Historical Romance Winner Lenora Bell (3rd from left) is congratualated by 2014 Golden Heart Historical Romance finalists Laura Trentham, Jillian Lark, and Ellen Lindseth.

2014 Golden Heart Historical Romance Winner Lenora Bell (3rd from left) receives congratulations from 2014 Golden Heart Historical Romance finalists Laura Trentham, Jillian Lark, and Ellen Lindseth.

2014 Golden Heart Historical Romance Winner Lenora Bell and her Golden Heart necklace

2014 Golden Heart Historical Romance Winner Lenora Bell and her Golden Heart necklace

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2014 Golden Heart finalist Sharon Wray and author Kieran Kramer celebrate with 2014 Golden Heart finalists

2014 Golden Heart finalist Sharon Wray and author Kieran Kramer celebrate after the awards.

2014 Golden Heart Inspirational finalists Sara Tomkins and Carrie Padgett celebrate after the awards.

2014 Golden Heart Inspirational finalists Sara Tomkins and Carrie Padgett celebrate after the awards.

Author Kieran Kramer, Marni's friend Joy, and 2014 Golden Heart Paranormal Romance Winner Marni Folsom (center).

Author Kieran Kramer, Marni’s friend Joy, and 2014 Golden Heart Paranormal Romance Winner Marni Folsom (center) celebrate after the awards.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2014 Golden Heart finalist Jillian Lark celebrates with Austin RWA chapter mate / 2013 Golden Heart finalist Kristin Noel Fischer.

2014 Golden Heart finalist Jillian Lark with Austin RWA chapter mate / 2013 Golden Heart finalist Kristin Noel Fischer.

Austin RWA chapter mate Liana LeFey tries on Jillian's black boa (gift from LERA member Tammy Baumann).

Austin RWA chapter mate Liana LeFey tries on Jillian’s black boa (gift from LERA member Tammy Baumann).

Austin RWA chapter mates Vivien Jackson and Ana Farrish

Austin RWA chapter mates Vivien Jackson and Ana Farrish

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Austin RWA chaptermates Sloan Calder, Liana LeFey, Alexa Bourne, Jillian Lark, and Mindy Miller

Austin RWA chapter mates
Sloane Calder, Liana LeFey, Alexa Bourne, Jillian Lark, and Mindy Miller

Jillian’s Notes: My apologies to the Dreamweavers sisters who aren’t pictured in today’s album. I wish I had photos of everyone. You, the 2014 Golden Heart finalists and winners,  are the best part of the whole 2014 Golden Heart finalist experience. I truly missed meeting Julie Mulhern, Stephanie Winkelhake, Kristi Ann Hunter, and Pintip Dunn in person. Thanks to Charis Calhoon, Denny S. Bryce, Connie Taxdal’s friend Joni, Gwynlyn MacKenzie, Piper Huguley, and Sarah Andre for the use of their photos! Here’s my final #RWA14 snapshot.

 

Stayed up packing until 2:30 a.m. Sunday. and left key cards in room. Heading home.

Packed until 2:30 a.m. Sunday and left key cards in room before heading home. Thanks for the rides, Austin RWA chapter mates Traci A. and Evie B.! Hope to be at #RWA15 in NYC.

2014 Golden Heart Update: #RWA14 Photo Album Part 3

Friday, July 25th

After successful morning pitches, I attended the Agent / Author Relationship workshop and the St. Martin’s Press Spotlight. My friend Tammy Baumann introduced me to her agent Jill Marsal, and I briefly spoke with Jennifer Enderlin.

Jennifer Enderlin, Senior V-P and Publisher of St. Martin's Griffin and St. Martin's Paperbacks at St. Martin's Press Spotlight

Jennifer Enderlin, Senior V-P and Publisher of St. Martin’s Griffin and St. Martin’s Paperbacks, at St. Martin’s Press Spotlight

Since I missed the Avon Spotlight Thursday, I spent time visiting with the lovely and friendly historical romance authors at the Avon book signing. In the afternoon I took photos at the 2014 RITA / Golden Heart reception.

2014 Golden Heart finalists:

Contemporary Romance finalists Suzanne Kaufman Kalb and Shelly C. Alexander

Contemporary Romance finalists Suzanne Kaufman Kalb and Shelly C. Alexander

Short Contemporary Romance finalists Sarah Canan, Nan Dixon, and Lee Kilraine

Short Contemporary Romance finalists Sarah Canan, Nan Dixon, and Lee Kilraine

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Historical Romance finalists Lenora Bell, Jillian Lark, Sheri Humphreys, Laura Trentham, and Ellen Lindseth

Historical Romance finalists Lenora Bell, Jillian Lark, Sheri Humphreys, Laura Trentham, and Ellen Lindseth

Historical Romance finalist Charis Calhoon (not pictured Julie Mulhern)

Historical Romance finalist Charis Calhoon
(not pictured Julie Mulhern)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Inspirational Romance finalist Carrie Padgett

Inspirational Romance finalist Carrie Padgett

Inspirational Romance finalist Piper Huguley (not pictured Kristi Ann Hunter)

Inspirational Romance finalist Piper Huguley
(not pictured Kristi Ann Hunter and Sara Tompkins)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Paranormal Romance finalists Asa Maria Bradley, Marni Folsom, and Shelly Chalmers (not pictured Pintip Dunn)

Paranormal Romance finalists Asa Maria Bradley, Marni Folsom, and Shelly Chalmers (not pictured Pintip Dunn)

Romantic Suspense finalists Denny S. Bryce, Sharon Wray, Sarah Andre, Abbie Roads, Connie Taxdal, and Deborah Wilding

Romantic Suspense finalists Denny S. Bryce, Sharon Wray, Sarah Andre, Abbie Roads, Connie Taxdal, and Deborah Wilding

 

Young Adult finalists Vanessa Barneveld, Barbara Gerry, McCall Hoyle, Kimberly MacCarron, Amy DeLuca, Marnee Bailey, and Jessica Ruddick (not pictured Pintip Dunn and Stephanie Winkelhake)

Young Adult finalists Vanessa Barneveld, Barbara Gerry, McCall Hoyle, Kimberly MacCarron, Amy DeLuca, Marnee Bailey, and Jessica Ruddick (not pictured Pintip Dunn and Stephanie Winkelhake)

2014 Golden Heart finalists present at reception

2014 Golden Heart finalists present at reception

2014 RITA / Golden Heart finalists from Austin RWA:

Julia London, double finalist in Contemporary Romance and Novella categories

Julia London, 2014 RITA double finalist in Contemporary Romance and Novella categories

Julie Kenner, 2014 RITA Erotic Romance finalist

Julie Kenner, 2014 RITA Erotic Romance finalist

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sherry Thomas, 2014 double finalist in Historical and Paranormal Romance

Sherry Thomas, 2014 double finalist in Historical and Paranormal Romance

Jillian Lark 2014 Golden Heart finalist in Historical Romance

Jillian Lark 2014 Golden Heart finalist in Historical Romance

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I grabbed my certificate, and three GH finalists joined me for the Austin RWA party. Barbara, Marni, and Shelly had a great time sipping the free margaritas and talking with paranormal authors. I caught up with my chapter mates, saw agent Emily Sylvan Kim (and her sleeping baby Phoebe) again, and had fun discussing conference misadventures with agent Jessica Faust.

2014 Golden Heart finalists Shelly Chalmers, Marni Folsom, Jillian Lark, and Barbara Gerry arrive at the Austin RWA party.

2014 Golden Heart finalists Shelly Chalmers, Marni Folsom, Jillian Lark, and Barbara Gerry arrive at the Austin RWA party.

That evening the 2014 Golden Heart finalists in the Historical Romance category enjoyed dinner together at Boudro’s.

Finalist Ellen Lindseth, her friend Tami, and finalist Lenora Bell

Finalist Ellen Lindseth, her friend Tami Cusick, and finalist Lenora Bell

 

Finalists Laura Trentham, Charis Calhoon, and Jillian Lark

Finalists Laura Trentham, Charis Calhoon, and Jillian Lark

Finalist Sheri Humphreys, finalist Gwynlyn MacKenzie, and friend ( bestselling contemporary romance author) Laurie Kellogg

Finalist Sheri Humphreys, finalist Gwynlyn MacKenzie, and her friend best selling contemporary romance author Laurie Kellogg (not pictured finalist Julie Mulhern)

 

Jillian’s Note: On Friday I’ll share my #RWA14 RITA / Golden Heart Awards Cermony photos.

2014 Golden Heart Update: #RWA14 Photo Album Part 2

Thursday, July 24th

In the morning several of my fellow GH finalists and I attended the workshop presented by historical romance authors Eloisa James, Julia Quinn, and Connie Brockway. Terrific advice for any romance author regardless of the subgenre they write.

 

 

(left to right) Historical romance authors Eloisa James, Julia Quinn, and Connie Brockway

(left to right) Historical romance authors Eloisa James, Julia Quinn, and Connie Brockway

Had a great chat with Senior editor Micki Nuding after the Pocket and Gallery Spotlight and stopped by the Kensington and Sourcebooks book signings. Although I was disappointed that the Avon Spotlight was full, I visited the Goodie room and talked to a few Austin RWA chapter mates.

(Seated far left) Senior Editor at Pocket Books/Gallery Micki Nuding

(seated far left) Micki Nuding, Senior Editor at Pocket/Gallery

I dropped off my swag before meeting up with a group of Golden Heart finalists for the Keynote luncheon by Sylvia Day. As I left, I saw my California CP Lia Riley and followed her to the elevators. Even though we’ve known each other for two years, this was our first time to meet in person. We eagerly made plans to get together at 4:30 p.m.

Sylvia Day's Keynote Speech

Sylvia Day’s Keynote Speech

 

(left to right) 2014 Golden Heart finalists Amy DeLuca, Marni Folsom, and McCall Hoyle at Keynote Luncheon

(left to right) 2014 Golden Heart finalists Amy DeLuca, Marni Folsom, and McCall Hoyle at Keynote Luncheon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the afternoon I was already late and ran into Eloisa James for the third time. We were often the only ones in the deserted hallways and had time to chat about her books, characters, and favorite lines. (Yes, deserted hallways at #RWA14 really exist. Sometimes it pays to be late.) This time Eloisa and I were both on our way to the Developing a Massive Online Historical Romance Promotion Plan workshop she co-presented with Vicky Dreiling, Madeline Hunter, and Miranda Neville. I enjoyed the dynamic exchange of ideas and sitting with finalist Piper Huguley. Afterwards Eloisa gave me a signed copy of A Fairy Tale Sampler.

 

(Far left to right) Historical romance authors Eloisa James and Miranda Neville

(standing left to right) Historical romance authors Eloisa James and Miranda Neville

I rushed through the Nook Press Open House and NAL book signings, so I could attend the Sourcebooks Spotlight. Very impressive and crowded. Didn’t have time to talk to their editors, because I wanted to sit with Lia at the Grand Central Spotlight. Her debut NA book with their Forever line will be released on August 5th. It was exciting to see the cover of UPSIDE DOWN from the Off the Map series during the slide presentation and meet two of her fellow debut authors.

(Bottom row second from left) Cover from Lia Riley's debut NA Upside Down during slide show at Grand Central Spotlight

(bottom row second from left) Cover from Lia Riley’s NA debut UPSIDE DOWN during slide show at Grand Central Spotlight

 

Several Golden Heart finalists were there, too, so we had an impromptu photo shoot in the hallway after the session. Later I went to the western themed Amazon / Kindle party with finalist Shelly C. Alexander and her LERA chapter mate Tammy Baumann, my wonderful friend and mentor since she judged my entry in the Rebecca contest last year. We toasted Tammy’s recent sale and birthday plus Darynda Jones who didn’t attend nationals this year. (We missed celebrating with you, Darynda.) I grabbed some soup to-go and went to my room early to review the pitch and agent/editor notes for Friday morning.

(left to right) 2014 Golden Heart finalists Barbara Gerry, Asa Maria Bradley, and me

(left to right) 2014 Golden Heart finalists Barbara Gerry, Asa Maria Bradley, and me

 

Cowboy talking to crowds waiting for photo during Amazon / Kindle party

Cowboy talking to crowds waiting for photo during Amazon / Kindle party

 

(l3ft to right) 2014 Golden Heart finalist Shelly C. Alexander and her LERA chapter mate Tammy Baumann at the Amazon / Kindle party

(left to right) 2014 Golden Heart finalist Shelly C. Alexander and her LERA chapter mate Tammy Baumann at the Amazon / Kindle party

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jillian’s Note: Since this post is already long, I’ll blog about pitches and the RITA/Golden Heart reception in #RWA14 Photo Album Part 3 on Thursday. The 2014 RITA/GH awards ceremony will be featured in Photo Album Part 4 on Friday.

 

2014 Golden Heart Update: #RWA14 Photo Album Part 1

Tuesday, July 22nd

After several misadventures while packing and traveling with my friend and chapter mate, Traci A., I  arrived in San Antonio. Due to only two and a half hours of sleep and a misplaced cell phone, I didn’t take photos of authors Jacqui Nelson, Elisabeth Burke, and Ella Quinn, my Golden Heart (Dreamweavers) sisters, and Tammy Baumann.

Austin RWA chapter mate Louisa Edwards and other authors wait in conference registration line.

Austin RWA chapter mate Louisa Edwards / Lily Everett and other authors wait in conference registration line.

RWA#14 Registration Desk

RWA#14 Registration Desk

(Left) Xio Axelrod attaches ribbons to conference badge.

(Left) Xio Axelrod attaches ribbons to her conference badge.

My Jillian Lark RWA badge is backwards. First-timer mistake #1.

My Jillian Lark RWA badge is backwards. (First-timer mistake #1) Special row above name tag has RWA Golden Heart pin(left), 2014 Golden Heart finalist Dreamweavers group pin(middle), and RWA Golden Network pin(right).

Wednesday, July 23rd

After a severe allergy attack and emergency ripped nail repair, I arrived at the RWA Golden Network Retreat in time for the editor/agent/marketing round tables. Loved meeting and learning from Carina Press editor Kerri Buckley and literary agents Kristin Nelson, Laura Bradford, Natasha Kern, and Susan Brower plus historical romance authors Cathy Maxwell and Valerie Bowman, Avon publicity director Pamela Spengler-Jaffee,  Maria Connor (My Author Concierge), and other industry professionals. After an early dinner along the scenic San Antonio River Walk with some of my Austin RWA chapter mates, I explored the RWA Literacy event and joined former Margie Lawson students and the writing craft guru herself in the Marriott Rivercenter Hotel bar.

Carina Press editor Kerri Buckley (left) and literary agent Laura Bradford (right) during the RWA Golden Network round table session break

Carina Press editor Kerri Buckley (left) and literary agent Laura Bradford (right) during the RWA Golden Network round table session break

RWA Golden Network Retreat during recognition and prize awards prizes

RWA Golden Network Retreat recognition and prize awards

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Historical author / 2014 RITA nominee Anne Gracie (right) and me (left)

Literacy event with historical romance author / 2014 RITA nominee Anne Gracie (right) and me (left)

 

Historical author Tessa Dare (right) and me (left)

Literacy event with historical author Tessa Dare (right) and me (left)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(left) NYT bestselling western author Jodi Thomas, the lovely lady who called to tell me I was a 2014 Golden Heart finalist

(left) NYT bestselling historical author Jodi Thomas, the lovely lady who called to tell me I was a 2014 Golden Heart finalist

 

Austin RWA chapter mate and contemporary author Farrah Rochon

Austin RWA chapter mate and contemporary author Farrah Rochon

Austin RWA chapter mate and romantic suspense author Laura Griffin

Austin RWA chapter mate and romantic suspense author Laura Griffin

Austin RWA chapter mate and 2014 double RITA finalist Sherry Thomas

Austin RWA chapter mate / 2014 RITA souble finalist (historical and paranormal romance) author Sherry Thomas

 

Writing craft guru Margie Lawson (left) and me (right)

Writing craft guru Margie Lawson (left) and me (right)

Jillian’s Note: On Wednesday I’ll post #RWA14 Photo Album Part 2 (July 24th) with highlights from the Keynote luncheon. The 2014 RITA/Golden Heart reception with my Dreamweavers sisters (July 25th) will be featured in Thursday’s Part 3. On Friday I’ll share photos from the 2014 RITA / Golden Heart Awards ceremony.

2014 Golden Heart® Finalists Update: T’was the Week Before RWA®14 (abbreviated version)

T’was the week before nationals when all through the loop,
E-mails were stirring with the latest news for the group.

The nervous excitement hung in each heart and the air,
In the hopes that July 23rd soon would be there.

When what to each overflowing inbox did appear,
But a photo of the Dream Weavers pin for this year.

©2014 Dream Weavers  (Photo courtesy Asa Maria Bradley) Pin arrangements by 2014 Golden Heart finalists Denny S. Bryce (design search) and Asa Maria Bradley (pin maker search and orders)

Dream Weavers Pin ©2014 Asa Maria Bradley

More rapid than nanoseconds the messages came,
And we replied, commented, tweeted, and shared each name.

Now, requests! Now, contracts! Now, congrats and celebrations!
On interviews! On, posts! On, dresses and alterations!

To bringing new business cards! To downloading apps!
Now schedule events! Reservations! Maybe short naps?

Jillian Lark business card (front) @2014 Jillian Lark

Jillian Lark business card (front) @2014 Jillian Lark

But you’ll hear us exclaim, as we head on our way,
“We can’t wait to see each other and you in SA.”

©2014 Jillian Lark (with apologies to Clement Clarke Moore)

 

CREDITS:

Dream Weavers pin design by author Xio Axelrod www.xioAxelrod.com Twitter @xioaxelrod

Dream Weavers pin made by Kingpin www.show-pins.com

Final Dream Weavers pin designer search by 2014 Golden Heart finalist Denny S. Bryce

Final Dream Weavers pin maker search/ orders by 2014 Golden Heart finalist Asa Maria Bradley

“A Visit from St. Nicholas” by Clement Clarke Moore

 

Happy Fourth of July 2014!

Opening of the Great New York and Brooklyn Bridge and Grand Display of Fireworks  (American School)

Opening of the Great New York and Brooklyn Bridge and Grand Display of Fireworks (American School)

 

Have a wonderful day with friends and family!

~ Jillian

 

Father’s Day Wishes

fathers_day
A Summer’s Day in Hyde Park by John Ritchie 1858

Retur

Best wishes to fathers, grandfathers, and great-grandfathers everywhere!

 ~Jillian

AUSTIN RWA 2014 RITA/GOLDEN HEART FINALISTS

Recently my fabulous Austin RWA chapter held a champagne party for the 2014 RITA/Golden Heart finalists at the beautiful home of urban fantasy author, Sloane Calder. (Thanks, everyone!) About 25 chapter mates enjoyed conversations and refreshments. Some ARWA members eluded the camera, so you won’t see them in the party album below. President Emily McKay (previous GH finalist, double RITA finalist, and 2013 RITA YA winner) proposed a toast to the current group of nominees and our past finalists and winners. We wished all of you could have attended. I’m truly honored to be among the supportive, talented writers in my local chapter and in this year’s group of Golden Heart finalists.

PARTY ALBUM

 AUSTIN RWA 2014 RITA/GOLDEN HEART FINALISTS

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Julia London (double RITA), Julie Kenner (RITA), Jillian Lark (Golden Heart), and Sherry Thomas (double RITA)

                   hostess                          emily

                      Hostess Sloane Calder and Ana Farrish                               Austin RWA President Emily McKay

the toast

The Toast (Julia London, Julie Kenner in back, Jillian, Sherry, and Susye Bowles)

table

The Refreshment Table
(Foreground) Jodi Linton and Cheryl Rae’s curls
(Background) Aimee Wyatt and Mari Mancusi

 

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Julia London, Julie Kenner, and Jenna Stuart (2009 Golden Heart finalist)

 

photo-8

Melissa Rupert and Elaine Brady

 

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(Left to right) Tracy Talbot, April Kihlstrom, Claire Ashley, Kathy Ramirez, and Susye Bowles

 

photo-6

Anna Castle, Tenaya Sunbury, Chris Campillo (2011 Golden Heart finalist),
Emily McKay, Sloane Calder, and Ana Farrish

 

Mother’s Day Wishes

mothersdayThe Bayswater Omnibus by George William Joy 1895

Return

I love this 19th century painting and its subjects from the clothing to their expressions. The details make me wonder about the passengers. Who are they? Where have they been and where are they are going? What are they talking, reading, or thinking about? Maybe the passengers were on their way to or from visiting the female members of their families like most of you will this Sunday.

Happy Mother’s Day!

            Best wishes to mothers, grandmothers, and great-grandmothers everywhere!

~Jillian

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