I’m thrilled to announce that I’m a finalist in the Romance Writers of America® Golden Heart® contest. My first category-length manuscript, At Her Service, is one of five contenders in the Short Contemporary Romance category.
RWA announced the results of the contest on March 26. That morning, my desk resembled a command center: my desktop computer was set to the RWA site, my laptop was set to a live blogging event hosted by the Rubies (the 2009 Golden Heart® finalists), and my iPhone was fixed on Twitter. Just before 11:00 a.m., I concluded no one would call me, so I called my husband and told him I hadn’t finaled. He wasn’t convinced it was over, but I was already in the pantry looking for the slab of dark chocolate I save for emergencies.
But then I received a call from an unfamiliar number at 11:04 a.m. When I answered, a very nice woman with a great voice told me her name, said she was calling from RWA, and informed me that my manuscript had finaled in the contest. My ears began to throb, and I couldn’t stem the tears. There many “oh my Gods,” and I might have mewled (it was not pretty, trust me).
I asked the incredibly calm and professional woman to repeat her name, and this is what I wrote down: Julie Jessup. Say whaaaa? There is no such individual on RWA’s Board. I suspect the excitement clogged my ears, and I can only deduce that the lovely woman was Janelle Dennison.
After that, it’s all a blur.
This is my first time entering the Golden Heart, and this year’s conference in New York will be my second trip to nationals. There, I’ll join my Golden Heart sisters at a formal awards celebration. I’m honored to be among this gifted group of women, and I can’t wait to meet them in person in July.
My next order of business is to figure out what to wear. Don’t judge my priorities, folks. I get to wear a dress, killer heels, and fancy jewelry. For a romance writer who spends most of her days in lounging wear (okay, PJs), this is a big deal.