Posts tagged with: Kellie Parker

2019 Golden Heart Finalist Kellie Parker on What She’s Packing for Nationals!!

Today we’re joined by another lovely Omega, Kellie Parker, a 2019 Golden Heart Finalist whose manuscript THE INN AT MILL CREEK has been nominated as Best Romance with Religious or Spiritual Elements.

Kellie Parker writes inspirational romance and young adult fantasy novels about flawed characters finding courage to face hardship, love in unexpected places, and a dash of danger. In her quest for adventure, she earned college degrees in biology and nautical archaeology before figuring out what she really wanted to do was write novels. Kellie lives in west Michigan, where she homeschools her four kids, helps her husband with DIY projects, and looks for new ways to eat local. When she’s not writing, she enjoys baking, gardening, and camping.

You can connect with Kellie online at, where she blogs about the writing life, and on Twitter at @KellieMParker. Her inspirational romance Fatal Flashback debuts with Harlequin Love Inspired Suspense in December of 2019.

Here’s a blurb for THE INN AT MILL CREEK:

Katie Morris has spent the last six years caring for her sick father and struggling to keep the family bed and breakfast afloat. When news breaks that a major resort will be built in her tiny town of Mill Creek, Maryland, Katie is determined not to let it affect her life or her business. But when the resort owner’s handsome son arrives with an offer to buy her property, Katie discovers that following her own heart may be the most complicated business of all.

 Nick Reynolds will be the next CEO of Reynolds Resorts, if he can convince the board he has what it takes to fill his father’s shoes. The task should be easy enough—all he has to do is get stubborn B&B owner Katie to sign on the dotted line. Between his charm and his father’s unethical tactics, the sale should be easy…until his heart gets involved.

 It isn’t long before Katie becomes painfully aware of her growing feelings for Nick, but is his interest in her purely an act? And will Nick’s increasing respect for Katie and her faith be enough to change his heart?

That’s a fabulous set-up!! (Future Lifetime Channel Christmas movie????) I feel happy just reading the blurb!!

Kellie’s here today to share her plan for what she’s bringing with her to Nationals. Kellie’s a conference newbie, but I think we all could learn a thing or two from her approach!!

Take it away, Kellie!!


What I’m Packing for My First RWA National Conference

Thank you, Rubies, for having me as a guest on your blog! What a thrill it is to be an Omega and join so many amazing writers as a Golden Heart finalist! I have a confession to make: I’ve never been to a national writing conference before, especially not one as big as RWA. As you might imagine, my head has been in the clouds for the past three months ever since I got “the call” and decided I had to go to New York.

I’ve spent way too many hours shopping for dresses, thinking about shoes, and reading blog posts on what to pack for RWA National. But today I want to add a few of my own ideas to the packing list. Some of them are a little unconventional for a list like this (don’t worry, I won’t forget the basics like my toothbrush and business cards), but hopefully they’ll help you get to know me a bit.

CourageI’m a homeschool mom to four kids ranging in age from toddler up to thirteen. My imagination is a whole lot bigger than my actual day-to-day world. So the prospect of traveling alone into New York City to a hotel right on Times Square, to a conference where I’ll hardly know anyone and be expected to mingle with industry professionals, is just a bit daunting. While I know it’ll make a great adventure in hindsight, I’m going to need my courage to get me there and back again in one piece.

My phone – My courage needs a sidekick, so I’m coming prepared with Google Maps (hey, a girl’s gotta eat, and that means finding restaurants!), the RWA app (where am I supposed to be?), and pictures of my kids (free warm fuzzies).

My Extrovert Hat – Sadly, it’s not a literal hat, though I bet something hot pink with ostrich feathers would make a great conversation piece. Since I’m a tried-and-true introvert, who almost always prefers a book to large social gatherings, I’ll be bringing along my extrovert hat. Pop that little puppy on my head, and I can smile, make pleasant conversation, and try to set others at ease for as long as need be. But you can be sure as soon as I reach my hotel room, I’ll hang it back up, throw on my cozy jammies, and curl up with a book to recharge.

Tea bags and snacks – Speaking of recharging, a scalding hot cup of tea is like a mini-getaway in every sip. I might not be in my room very often to make a cup, but when I am, I’ll have my tea bags on hand. And snacks. Maybe some Larabars, apples, and chocolate. Which I won’t have to share with any kids. Bonus!

Respect – With all the issues surrounding diversity and inclusion swirling through RWA right now, it’s a given that I’ll meet people from different walks of life, with views and ideas unlike my own. I feel very strongly that the foundation of every conversation should be respect for others. We’re all unique, beautiful in our own way, and have something to contribute.

Ribbon to decorate my RWA tote – Because nothing says respect like not mixing your stuff up with everyone else’s. 😉

Humility – I’ve been writing seriously for about five years now, which is long enough to know that there’s a lot I don’t know. Being teachable is a good first step, and I look forward to soaking up writing wisdom from my fellow Omegas, other writers I’ll meet, industry professionals, and the amazing workshops. And I hope to be able to share a bit of what I’ve learned already with writers coming after me on the journey.

Notepad and pens – I’m very picky about my pens. My favorites are Pilot EasyTouch (black for notes, blue for revising/editing, red for grading kids’ schoolwork), and my kids almost always swipe them off my desk. Maybe I’ll treat myself to a new pack for the conference, because I suspect I will want to take a lot of notes!

Excitement – This one’s kind of a given, considering I haven’t stopped being excited in nearly four months! I never expected to be chosen as a GH finalist, and I had no idea what it entailed before I finaled. Considering how amazing this experience has been so far, I can only imagine what it will be like to meet so many of my Omega sisters in person and be part of the conference!

So, if you see me wheeling my little suitcase along the sidewalk, looking lost and confused in the neon lights of Times Square, be sure to remind me to pull out my courage. My extrovert hat will already be on. See you in New York!

Now it’s your turn! What have I forgotten? What are your must-have items for RWA National?

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