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

 

2014 Golden Heart® Finalists Update: Dresses, Pins, and Photos! Oh, My!

Some finalists bought WOW! dresses for the awards ceremony. Sorry. I won’t reveal any sneak peeks. You’ll have to wait until Sat., July 26th. We ordered pins for our group, the Dream Weavers, and will wear them on our badges at the Romance Writers of America® ( RWA® ) conference later this month. Since the Dream Weaver pins haven’t arrived yet, I can’t show them to you either. However, I can share this photo of the Golden Heart® pin and reception invitation each of us received in the mail.

 

©2014 RWA® Photo by Jillian Lark

©2014 RWA® Photo by Jillian Lark

RWA® posted our photos right below the 2014 RITA® finalists’ photos on the awards section of the organization’s website. Absolutely thrilling! We can’t believe we’re on the same page with our favorite published romance authors. You can see their photos and ours by clicking here.

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