Posts tagged with: The Golden Heart

Meet 2012 Golden Heart Finalist Jan Nash

Today, as a part of our ongoing series introducing 2012 Golden Heart nominees, I’m excited to present to you Jan Nash, nominated in the Inspirational category. Jan is an amazing lady with an unwavering optimistic personality. I couldn’t be more honored to interview her.

Without further ado, meet Jan Nash.

Q. Tell us a little about yourself.

A. Let’s see…I’m a fifty-something grandma with a passion for writing. I met my muse when I was inspired with a story seven years ago. I joined everything I could to help master my new love. My chapter, Northwest Houston RWA, has been a godsend. All the workshops, conferences, and monthly meetings have taught me so much. I write Inspirational/Romance. For me, faith comes first and I try to reflect that in my writing.

Q. Pretty powerful stuff. Speaking of power, tell us about your Golden Heart final Powerless Consent.

A.  What would you do if you discovered that your cell phone was transmitting a live visual feed viewed by an evil entity?  For my heroine, Kate Ballard, it’s a life-changing event that spirals into the loss of her family and causes her to doubt her faith.

Her and her husband, an average Christian couple, are torn apart by blackmail and struggle through obstacles and lies to uncover the truth and to reunite. The villain, a wealthy communications mogul, is obsessed with Kate and has been spying on her for the past fifteen years. He blackmails her by using his acclaimed invention, Invisible Surveillance and forces her to remain with him. While captive on a luxury yacht, she relentlessly tries to outsmart her captor and return to the love of her life. But the power her captor holds over her is too great. Kate’s husband discovers that he must revisit his past. It is there, in the past, that he finds the truth. The road to retrieving his soul mate is narrow and riddled with risk. But nothing will stop him from saving his true love. Love blossoms for two secondary characters. A loner CIA Agent and the villain’s assistant embrace the broken road that leads them together.  Surely they’re destined to be soul mates.

Q. Wow. I’m breathless! Now the question we all want to know, what did you do when you got the call?

A. It was just past 8:00am. As soon as I saw the out-of-state area code, my heart rate soared. A lovely sounding woman asked if I was Jan Nash. Truth is, it took a few seconds to say yes, but I did. She immediately stated that she was calling on behalf of RWA’s Golden Heart and was excited to inform me that Powerless Consent had finaled. I’m embarrassed to say that throughout the rest of the conversation I answered with one-word responses in the most pitiful ugly-cry-voice you can imagine. She giggled and told me how much she loved making the call. After flaring up a quick prayer of thanks and hugging my husband, I called my critique partner, Jaye.

Q. I bet your critique partner was just as thrilled for you. She may end up saying ‘I helped Jan become the mega-watt star she is today’.

Okay, back to the questions. Besides going to Disneyland <g>, what will you do if you win the Golden Heart?

A. Oh my. Probably smile, cry, and have a margarita. In that order.

Q. I’ll buy you that margarita! Win or lose, after the conference you planned to take a special trip. Please give us the details about that trip.

A. I’m almost as excited about the trip as I am the awards banquet. My book is set in Carmel, California and several scenes take place in a hotel room at Carmel by the Sea. That’s where hubby and I are going! My heroine is held captive on a yacht, so we’ve got a boat ride planned. Even though it’s kind of backwards to do the hands-on research after the book is complete, I can hardly wait!  What a blessing!

Q. Sounds fabulous! Nothing like living the part of your story. What is your writing day like?

A. Well, my day job takes up about seven hours, Monday-Thursday and I run a youth activity program on Friday nights. Maximum daily writing time is two-three hours. Some days, all the words stay stuck in my head because there just aren’t enough hours in the day. On the weekends, I write every moment I can.

Q. What is you favorite part of the writing process?

A. I LOVE editing. For me, it’s like polishing a diamond. Each pass, the scenes get brighter and brighter and miraculously reflect the story I envisioned. A close second, is spending time with my critique partners and chapter mates.

Q. Oh…I love how you explain it. And I couldn’t agree more. I, too, enjoy the editing process. So, where do you get your story ideas from?

A. Too many places to count. Dreams, people, books, nature, and the ‘are you kidding me’ moments in life, to name a few.

Q. Now for a couple of customary questions. What inspires you?

A. Wow. Again, too many things to count. I love life and…I believe. Yep, just believe. That’s sweet inspiration to me.

Q. Who is your favorite author?

A. Honestly, I have more favorite books than a favorite author per say.  But if I had to pick, number one would be John Grisham. Lately, I’m into Anna Quindlen.

Q. If Powerless Consent was optioned for a movie, what actor/actress would you see playing your hero/heroine?

A. Dennis Quaid and Michelle Pfeiffer. But, I’d be thrilled and honored if my local high school put on the play!

Q. LOL! Great answer! What’s next for you?

A. I’m working on the sequel to Powerless Consent. Two secondary characters that fall in love in Powerless Consent take center stage in Sweet Surrender. As far as my brand, I’ve got my website up and running and continue to take steps toward publication. Life is good!

Thanks Jan!

You can visit Jan at

2012 RITA/Golden Heart Announcement Celebration Party!

 IT’S PARTY TIME!  The day we’ve all been waiting for!

If you are a 2012 Golden Heart Finalist, here is the link for the yahoo group that has been set up.


During six of the eleven years I entered the Romance Writers of America® Golden Heart® contest, I was a GH finalist 7 times. Therefore, I’ve been elated and disappointed  on numerous occasions.  I’m sure I don’t have to tell you it’s a lot nicer to get a call from RWA than to pace the floor, staring at a silent phone all day, with only the fear of missing the call to stop you from throwing the contraption against the wall.

Speaking as the reigning Susan Lucci of the Golden Heart, my advice is don’t wait for the darn phone to ring. There are over a two thousand other writers who’ve entered either the RITA or GH contest and who are also sitting on pins and needles.

Now I’m not saying we should be pessimists and quit hoping. Hope is what keeps us going. Hope that we’ll get a call. Hope that we’ll land an agent. Hope that our manuscript will sell. Hope that we’ll hit the NYT list. However, luck and timing play a huge part in all of those things happening.

I’m simply suggesting you keep the contest in perspective. Becoming a finalist means an author is in the top tier of writers. However, NOT being a finalist means absolutely nothing. I know lots of people who have sold books and made the NYT Bestsellers list without ever being a Golden Heart or RITA finalist. And I’m a prime example of an author who’s been a GH finalist and winner numerous times without ever landing a contract. We all need to stay focused on what the real prize is—getting paid a mountain of cash for letting readers enjoy our stories.

So instead of pacing the floors, listening for the phone, and setting yourself up for potential disappointment this morning, here are some more productive ways to spend your time waiting.

1.  (Read my post from last year for some of  the reasons your manuscript may not make the cut.  2011 RITA/GH Anticipation)

2. While you’re NOT waiting for the phone to ring this morning, you can also entertain yourself by reading my count-down post from 2010, The Diary of a Golden Heart Finalist.

3. For those of you who missed FRIDAY’s Ruby Release of A Kiss in the Wind, by Jennifer Bray-Webber, there’s still time to comment on her Friday post to be eligible for her drawing of A FREE COPY of A KISS IN THE WIND as well as A PAIR OF SKULL AND CROSSBONES EARRINGS!

4.  Check out the post

After you do all of that, plan to spend today celebrating with those who are lucky enough to receive a phone call. If Karma really is a beeyotch, as they say, I suspect the best way to increase the positive psychic energy we send into the universe is to be truly happy for others.

Of course, you’re probably thinking, someone has to fill those RITA/GH finalist slots, so why not me? This reminds me of a joke my late father told about a little old man named Herbie who went to <insert your place of worship> every morning and fervently prayed, “Please, God, let me win the lottery. I promise to do lots of charitable things with the money.” After several months of praying, one morning a bright light shone on the wrinkled man and a voice boomed from Heaven, saying, “For MY sake, buy a ticket, already, Herbie!

Back in November, many of us bought a ticket for RWA’s jackpot, and all we’ve been doing since then is waiting and praying. The wait is finally almost over.

The first time I was a GH finalist, two of my books were nominated for the GH in the single-title category, which meant I had to compete against myself. (Believe me, I never made the mistake of entering two manuscripts in the same category again.) So to liven things up this morning, it seems appropriate to give a prize to the FIRST author who announces on the Ruby Blog that she/he has TWO (or more) finalist books. 

That individual will receive free copies of my two first GH-WINNING novels, A Little Bit of Déjà Vu (to be released mid-April) and The Memory of You, which made it to #10 on Amazon’s Top 100 Free Books for Kindle list this past Saturday.  (available now at Amazon).

Throughout the day, the Rubies will also be holding periodic drawings to give away the following fabulous PRIZES!!!

–    Four winners, choice of Codename or Pointe by Amanda Brice

–    Three winners, one each of Welcome to Last Chance, Home at Last Chance, and Last Chance Beauty Queen by Hope Ramsay

–     Taste Me/Chase Me (ARC) Duo SET by Tamara Hogan

–     Two winners, choice of Cate Rowan’s three e-book titles

–     Autographed SET of Charley series books by Darynda Jones

–    Two winners, one each of His Witness to Evil and In the Presence of Evil by Autumn Jordon

–    Two winners, a choice of Jennifer Bray-Weber’s two books

–    Three  winners, one each of Jockeys and Jewels, Color My Horse, and Fillies and Females by Bev Pettersen

–     Two winners, one of Baby It’s Cold Outside,  and the other, a future copy of Warrior Enchanted (May 1st) by Addison Fox

–      One winner, a copy of Doctor’s Guide for Dating in the Jungle by Tina Beckett

–      Two winners, one each of  Lily in Wonderland and This Side of Dead e-books  by Kelly Fitzpatrick    

So without further ado, LET THE CELEBRATING BEGIN!!!! 

If you receive a call from RWA® telling you you’re a finalist, please post it in the comments as:

FINALIST in all caps/CATEGORY also in all caps

The Title of  your book BY the name your writing under

If you’re a RITA finalist, we’ll also need the publisher and your editor’s name.

It’s impossible to predict how many finalists will be in any particular category, and finalists will be listed in the order we receive information about them. No one but RWA knows how the titles ranked in the first round of judging.





1. Warped by Maurissa Guibord (Delacorte Press; Michelle Poploff, editor)

2.  Hourglass by Myra McEntire (Egmont USA; Regina Griffin, editor)

3.  First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones (St. Martin’s; Jennifer Enderlin, editor)

4. Beautiful Disaster by Laura Spinella (Berkley Publishing Group; Leis Pederson, editor)

5.  How to Marry a Duke by Vicky Dreilling (Grand Central Publishing Forever; Michele Bidelspach, editor)

6.  The Devil in Disguise by Stefanie Sloane (Ballantine Bantam Dell; Junessa Viloria, editor)

7.  I’m Not Her by Janet Gurtler (Sourcebooks Fire; Leah Hultenschmidt, editor)

8. The Darling Strumpet by Gillian Bagwell (Berkley Publishing Group; Kate Seaver, editor)


1.  A Bravo Homecoming by Christine Rimmer (Harlequin Special Edition; Gail Chasan, editor)

2.  Donovan’s Child by Christine Rimmer (Harlequin Special Edition; Gail Chasan, editor)

3.  How a Cowboy Stole Her Heart by Donna Alward (Harlequin Romance; Sally Williamson, editor)

4.  I’ll Catch You by Farrah Rochon (Harlequin Kimani Romance; Glenda Howard, editor)

5.  A Mother’s Homecoming by Tanya Michaels (Harlequin American Romance; Kathleen Scheibling, editor)

6.  Rancher’s Twins: Mom Needed by Barbara Hannay (Harlequin Romance; Meg Lewis, editor)

7.  The Texan’s Bride by Linda Warren (Harlequin Superromance; Kathleen Scheibling, editor)

8.  Doukakis’s Apprentice by Sarah Morgan (Harlequin Presents; Lucy Gilmour, editor)


1.  Cooper Vengeance by Paula Graves (Harlequin Intrigue; Allison Lyons, editor)

2. The Man from Gossamer Ridge by Paula Graves (Harlequin Intrigue; Allison Lyons, editor)

3.  Soldier’s Last Stand by Cindy Dees (Harlequin Romantic Suspense; Patience Bloom, editor)

4.  Stranded with Her Ex by Jill Sorenson (Harlequin Romantic Suspense; Stacy Boyd, editor)

5. Taken to the Edge by Kara Lennox (Harlequin Superromance; Johanna Raisanen, editor)

6. Nothing But the Truth by Kara Lennox (Harlequin Superromance; Johanna Raisanen, editor)

7.  The Doctor’s Deadly Affair by Stephanie Doyle (Harlequin Romantic Suspense; Wanda Ottewell, editor)



1.  Black Ties and Lullabies by Jane Graves (Grand Central Publishing Forever; Michele Bidelspach, editor)

2.  Heartstrings and Diamond Rings by Jane Graves (Grand Central Publishing Forever; Michele Bidelspach, editor).

3.  Silver Sparks by Starr Ambrose (Pocket Books; Abby Zidle, editor)

4.  Slow Dancing on Price’s Pier by Lisa Dale (Berkley Publishing Group; Cindy Hwang, editor)

5.  At Hidden Falls by Barbara Freethy (Pocket Books; Micki Nuding, editor)

6.  The Welcome Home Garden Club by Lori Wilde (Avon Books; Lucia Macro, editor)

7.  Boomerang Bride by Fiona Lowe (Carina Press; Charlotte Herscher, editor)

8. Summer at Seaside Cove by Jacquie D’Alessandro (Berkley Publishing Group; Cindy Hwang, editor)


1. Scandalous Desires by Elizabeth Hoyt (Grand Central Publishing; Amy Pierpont, editor)

2. Silk Is for Seduction by Loretta Chase (Avon Books; May Chen, editor)

3.  Always a Temptress by Eileen Dreyer (Grand Central Publishing Forever; Amy Pierpont, editor)

4.  The Danger of Desire by Elizabeth Essex (Kensington Brava; Megan Records, editor)

5.  The Black Hawk by Joanna Bourne (Berkley Publishing Group; Wendy McCurdy, editor)

6.  Heartbreak Creek by Kaki Warner (Berkley Publishing Group Sensation; Wendy McCurdy, editor)

7.  Unveiled by Courtney Milan (HQN Books; Margo Lipschultz, editor)

8. The Many Sins of Lord Cameron by Jennifer Ashley (Berkley Publishing Group Sensation; Kate Seaver, editor)


1.   Katie’s Way by Marta Perry (Berkley Publishing Group; Ellen Edwards, editor)

2.  The Measure of Katie Calloway by Serena Miller (Revell; Vicki Crumpton, editor)

3.  My Foolish Heart by Susan May Warren (Tyndale House Publishers; Karen Watson, editor)

4.  Deadly Pursuit by Irene Hannon (Revell; Jennifer Leep, editor)

5.  Love on the Line by Deeanne Gist (Bethany House Publishers; David Long and Julie Klassen, editors)

6. Save the Date by Jenny B. Jones (Thomas Nelson; Natalie Hanemann and Jamie Chavez, editors)

7.  The Ladies’ Room by Carolyn Brown (Avalon Books; Lia Brown, editor)

8. The Christmas Child by Linda Goodnight (Harlequin Love Inspired; Allison Lyons

9. To Win Her Heart by Karen Witemeyer (Bethany House Publishers; Karen Schurrer, editor)


1.  Spider’s Revenge by Jennifer Estep (Pocket Books; Megan McKeever, editor)

2.  The Dark Enquiry by Deanna Raybourn (Harlequin MIRA; Valerie Gray, editor)

3. Death Magic by Eileen Wilks (Berkley Publishing Group Sensation; Cindy Hwang, editor)

4. First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones

5. Goodnight Tweetheart by Teresa Medeiros (Gallery Books; Lauren McKenna, editor)

6. The Rose Garden by Susanna Kearsley (Sourcebooks Landmark; Deb Werksman, editor)

7. How to Bake a Perfect Life by Barbara O’Neal (Ballantine Bantam Dell; Shauna Summers, editor)

8. Song of the Nile by Stephanie Dray (Berkley Publishing Group; Cindy Hwang, editor)

9. Shadow Walker by Allyson James (Berkley Publishing Group Sensation; Kate Seaver, editor)


1.  Dragon Bound by Thea Harrison (Berkley Publishing Group Sensation; Cindy Hwang, editor)

2.  Nightfall by Ellen Connor (Berkley Publishing Group Sensation; Cindy Hwang, editor)

3.  The Restorer by Amanda Stevens (Harlequin MIRA; Denise Zaza, editor)

4. Changeling Moon by Dani Harper (Kensington Brava; Alicia Condon, editor)

5.  Envy by J.R. Ward (NAL Signet; Kara Welsh, editor)

6. The Lost by Caridad Piñeiro (Grand Central Publishing Forever; Selina McLemore, editor)

7.  Archangel’s Blade by Nalini Singh (Berkley Publishing Group Sensation; Cindy Hwang, editor)

8.  Lord of the Abyss by Nalini Singh (Harlequin Nocture; Tara Gavin, editor)


1.  When Beauty Tamed the Beast by Eloisa James (Avon Books; Carrie Feron, editor)

2.  How to Marry a Duke by Vicky Dreiling (Grand Central Publishing Forever; Michele Bidelspach, editor)

3.  How to Seduce a Scoundrel by Vicky Dreiling (Grand Central Publishing Forever; Michele Bidelspach, editor)

4. Lady Sophie’s Christmas Wish by Grace Burrowes (Sourcebooks Casablanca; Deb Werksman, editor)

5. The Devil in Disguise by Stefanie Sloane (Ballantine Bantam Dell; Junessa Viloria, editor)

6. A Night to Surrender by Tessa Dare (Avon Books; Tessa Woodward, editor)

7. Heiress in Love by Christina Brooke (St. Martin’s Press; Monique Patterson, editor)

8. To Seduce an Angel by Kate Moore (Berkley Publishing Group Sensation; Wendy McCurdy, editor)


1.  “Chaos in Death” by J.D. Robb in The Unquiet (Berkley Publishing Group, Jove; Leslie Gelbman, editor)

2. “Resolution” by Linda Winstead Jones in The Heart of Winter (Harlequin Enterprises; Stacy Boyd, editor)

3.  I Love the Earl by Caroline Linden (Avon Impulse; Lyssa Keusch, editor)

4. “Compassion Can Wait” by Carly Phillips in More Than Words, Vol. 7 (Harlequin Enterprises; Marsha Zinberg, editor)

5. “One Wish: a Christmas Story” by Jodi Thomas in A Texas Christmas (Kensington Zebra; Peter Senftleben, editor)

6. “Unforgiven” by Ruth Ryan Langan in The Unquiet (Berkley Publishing Group; Cindy Hwang, editor)

7.  “Angel’s Wolf” by Nalini Singh in Angels of Darkness (Berkley Publishing Group Sensation; Cindy Hwang, editor)

8.  “The Storm Within” by Trish Morey in A Royal Engagement (Harlequin Presents; Joanne Grant, editor)


1. New York to Dallas by J.D. Robb (Penguin Putnam; Leslie Gelbman, editor)

2. True Colors by Joyce Lamb (Berkley Publishing Group Sensation; Wendy McCurdy, editor)

3. True Shot by Joyce Lamb (Berkley Publishing Group Sensation; Wendy McCurdy, editor)

4. Where All the Dead Lie by J.T. Ellison (Harlequin MIRA; Adam Wilson and Miranda Indrigo, editors)

5.  Hidden Away by Maya Banks (Berkley Publishing Group Sensation; Cindy Hwang, editor)

6.  Hot Zone by Catherine Mann (Sourcebooks Casablanca; Deb Werksman, editor)

7. Hush by Cherry Adair (Pocket Star; Lauren McKenna, editor)

8. Secrets of Bella Terra by Christina Dodd (New American Library; Kerry Donovan, editor)


1.  Touch of Frost by Jennifer Estep (Kensington Teen; Alicia Condon, editor)

2. Warped by Maurissa Guibord (Delacorte Press; Michelle Poploff, editor)

3. Hourglass by Myra McEntire (Egmont USA; Regina Griffin, editor)

4. I’m Not Her by Janet Gurtler (Sourcebooks Fire; Leah Hultenschmidt, editor)

5. Enclave by Ann Aguirre (Macmillan Feiwel & Freinds; Liz Szabla, editor)

6. Flawless by Lara Chapman (Bloomsbury Publishing; Caroline Abbey, editor)







1.  The Divorce Deal by Kat Cantrell

2. A Second Chance Bride by Ami Weaver

3.  Montana Cherries by Kim Law

4. Cyrano at Your Service by Tamra Baumann

5. Tell Me Something Good by Jamie Wesley

6. A Perfect Wife by Carol LaFever

7. Priscilla Kissinger, His Perfect Partner.

8.  Bachelor: Baited, Hooked & Bedded by Bernice Greenham


1.  Meant To Be by Theresa Osborn

2.  No Peeking by Talia Quinn Daniels

3.  Blackjack & Moonlight by Magdalen Braden

4.  You Had Me At Habari by Maggie McConnell

5. Thrown by Colette Auclair

6. Cat on a Hot Steel Flight Deck by Heather Nockodem

7. Earning Wings by Laurie Sanchez

8. All Beautiful Things by Nicki Salcedo


1.  Highland Promise by Tracy Brogan

2.  A Private Affair by Jennifer McQuiston

3.  A Knight of Her Own by  Oberon Wonch

4.  A Duke’s Wicked Kiss by Kathleen Bittner Roth

5. Love in the Music Room by Sarah Mayfield

6. Notorious by Alison Atwater

7.  A Hero To Hold by Sheri Humphreys

8. The Devil May Care by Elisa Beatty


1. Language of Love by Dristen Ethridge

2. Love’s Advocate by Karen Fleming

3. Powerless Consent by Jan Nash

4. Whispers in the Night by Carol Post






1.  Low Country Boil by Susan Boyer

2.  Beulah Land and the Happy Hour Choir by Sally Kilpatrick

3.  Song without Words by Lisa Laing

4. The Devil She Knows by Anna Stewart (writing as AJ Stewart)

5.  A Tangled Season by Natalie Meg Evans

6. Taking Wall Street by Disguise by Terri Bolyard

7.The Lazarus Gambit by Deborah Wright

8. Faking It by Nikki Figueiredo


1.  Never Deal with Dragons by Lorenda Christensen

2.  Bathtub Jimn by Kay Hudson

3.  Trouble in Mind by Donna Frelick

4.  Unchained Memory by Donna Frelick

5.  Better Dead by Pamela Kopfler

6.  Draxis by Laurie A. Green

7. Figs From Thistles by A.J. Larrieu



1.   Scandal in Spades by Wendy La Capra

2.  A Whisper to the Wild, by Eileen Emerson

3.  King of Swords by Anne Kenney

4.The Last Light of Dusk by Joanne Lockyer

5. The Perfect Heiress by Kimberly Ohara


1.  Rogue’s Return by Sharon Wray

2.  In Wolf’s Clothing (aka Smokescreen) by Sally Eggert

3.  Edge of Deception by Elizabeth Bemis

4.  Spy in the Harem by Diana Belchase

5.  Rescuing Rembrandt by Jean Willett

6.Chemical Reaction by Mary Oldham

7. Exposure by Robena Grant

8. Body of Evidence by Rachel Grant


1.  Forget Tomorrow by Pintip Dunn

2.  The Matter of Souls by Stephanie Winkelhake

3.  The Silent Sister by Megan Macijauskas

4.  Canvas Crossers by Natalie Vawter

5.  Pandora’s Clock by Natalie Vawter

6.  The Suspicions of Cairo Jones by Mary Danielson

7.  Wired by Romily Bernard

8.  Angel Academy by Cecily White


Tomorrow, please come back and help us congratulate and welcome the 2012 RITA/Golden Heart Finalists.

Then on Wednesday, we’ll be holding a CONSOLATION PARTY with lots of prize drawings for those who entered and didn’t receive a call.

If you are a 2012 Golden Heart Finalist, here is the link for the yahoo group that has been set up.


Are You in Danger of Becoming an East German Judge? (Reprise)

It’s that time of year again!  Since so many of us are judging Golden Heart entries right now, it was suggested that I re-post my blog from last year about how to decide what scores to award.  So here goes!

In an effort to remain politically correct, first let me apologize to all East Germans who have gotten a bad rep from the Olympic judge whose lowball scores garnered a perfectionist stereotype for them.

I don’t know about anyone else, but I’ve never read a perfect novel.  During the course of a story, I invariably find a typo, punctuation error, or notice some characterization or plot problems. Even one famous, bestselling author, whose name I won’t mention, mistakenly used the phrase ‘combustible engine’ instead of ‘combustion engine’ (and her editor let it slip by).   My apology to this author if she actually meant the engine was highly flammable.

KISMET’S KISS Release Day and Free-for-All-Friday: Publishing Industry Edition!

Welcome to a combination of a Ruby Sister Release Day and a Free-for-All Friday about the changing publishing industry!

Cover of KISMET'S KISS by Cate RowanI’m proud to announce the release of my debut book, a two-time Golden Heart® Finalist, eight-time contest finalist and three-time winner, Kismet’s Kiss. Along the way, Kismet’s Kiss received three agent offers and two publishing offers from small presses.

Here’s the kicker: I’m choosing to publish this book myself on the Amazon Kindle ebook platform. (I’ll also probably self-publish in print through Amazon’s CreateSpace program and I may add ebook distribution through Smashwords and/or Scribd.)

Are you scratching your head right now and wondering why the heck–after the above successes with contests, agents, and publishers–I’m choosing to self-publish an ebook with Amazon? There are numerous reasons (this decision has been a long time in the works, LOL), but here’s a taste:

  • With ebooks and online shopping, there’s no need to pick a single marketing box (like fantasy OR romance, but not both) for a novel so it can be classified for bookstore shelves–and no need to write a story so it will fit into a particular box. (For more on this, see a previous post.)
  • You gain a direct connection with readers–the people most writers truly want to reach–and you can write and publish at your own pace. (Note: Quality editing is a must for any author, self-published or not.)
  • You’ll enjoy greater ownership over (as well as responsibility for) your own novel. You get to follow through with your own vision from storyline to cover art to ebook formatting style. I added images to the ebook file and I had a ball putting them in. I got to be creative on multiple levels and make the book stand out. This thrilled me!
  • I know some folks are worried about ebooks, but in my personal opinion, e-readers and ebooks are an oncoming blessing for readers, for writers, and for books. For example, a recent article in PC World noted this: “Forrester Research estimates around 11 million Americans will own at least one digital reading device by the end of September… Amazon says people buy three times more books on their e-readers than they would with printed products.”
  • The new Kindles are $139 and $189. I suspect there will be a Kindle under $99 by Christmas and under $49 within a year and a half–and it will have good competition, too. E-readers will soon be a common tool for any avid reader. Do I think there’s an ebook revolution coming? YES.
  • Self-published ebooks can be offered at low prices (for example, Kismet’s Kiss is a mere $2.99 for the ebook) while offering high royalty rates to the author (Amazon offers authors 70%–about $2–from each $2.99 ebook sale). And when prices are low, more readers are willing to buy.
  • Kindle books can be read by anyone with a PC, Mac, iPhone, Android/Droid phone, or iPad. And books without digital rights management (DRM) can be converted into other formats (for example, for the Nook or Sony Reader, or PDF, RTF, TXT, etc.) through free software like Calibre. (Mine has no DRM. Convert away!)

So here are a few questions to start off our Free-for-All Friday discussion (but feel free to jump in with your own questions and ideas!): What does being “published” mean to you now? Has your definition shifted since you first dreamed of writing a book? If not, do you think it might shift in the future as e-readers become cheaper and more commonplace? What do you think the next five years of technology will bring to our industry?

Blatant Self-Promotion/Debut Exhilaration coming up. 🙂 Here’s a mini blurb for Kismet’s Kiss:

A deadly epidemic strikes a sultan’s family and only a magical healer from an enemy land can save them. Soon Sultan Kuramos wonders if he can save his heart from the feisty infidel, a woman whose sorcery is condemned by his culture. Varene falls for him too, but can she relinquish her homeland and her principles for the sultan’s love–when he already has a harem?

“Magic, passion, and intrigue–Kismet’s Kiss has it all! Cate Rowan’s uniquely compelling fantasy debut is set in a fascinating and fully realized world where danger lurks in every shadow. Rowan is definitely an author to watch!”
– Alyssa Day, New York Times bestselling author

To buy Kismet’s Kiss (it’s just a wee $2.99, folks 🙂 ) or to read a free sample, head over to In fact, the Amazon listing is so brand-spankin’ new that it doesn’t even have a description up as of this writing–so you can read a full description at my website here.

Happy Friday, dear blog readers, and ask away!

Go for the Gold! Tips for Turning Your GH Entry Into a Potential Finalist

Call it cliché, but speaking as a five-time finalist in Romance Writers of America’s® Golden Heart® contest, I must admit it was an honor just to be nominated.  (Especially the first time when the GH fairy instantly transformed me from a wanna-be into a gonna-be author).  More importantly, I can’t deny it was even more thrilling to actually WIN in 2004 & 2006 and be ranked in the top one or two percent of unpublished romance writers—not just once but twice.  (But alas, as of this writing, I’ve yet to sell a book.)

The Latest Comments

  • Autumn Jordon: Also proof to IRS that this is you’re serious about being a businessand not just a hobby.
  • Vivi Andrews/Lizzie Shane: Oh ugh! Editing is NOT my cake. It’s TORTURE. I love the shiny new words when I can...
  • Heather McCollum: Wonderful tips, Kim! I try to get in 2000 words a day if possible (definitely not when life throws...
  • Rhonda Clark: I love editing, so I guess for writing my tips would be: planning a plot twist, exploring different...
  • Kim Law: lol. Tell us how you really feel about interruptions, LOLOLOLOL! But yes…death glare! I don’t...