Congratulations to the Winners of the 2018 New England Readers’ Choice Awards!

Please join the New England Chapter of Romance Writers of America® in congratulating the winners of this year’s New England Readers’ Choice Awards!

 

CONTEMPORARY – LONG

1st place: Shelly Alexander, It’s In His Arms (Red River Valley #4)

2nd place: Rose Grey*, Waiting for You (Durrell Brothers #1)

3rd place: Maria K. Alexander, Awaken My Heart (Tangled Hearts #3) and Jo McNally, She’s Far from Hollywood

 

CONTEMPORARY – SHORT

1st place: Jen Doyle*, Holiday House Call (Calling It series)

2nd place: Kate James, Home to Stay (San Diego K-9 Unit #4)

3rd place: Angela Quarles, Earning It

 

EROTIC ROMANCE

1st place: Kilby Blades, Snapdragon

2nd place: Marie Johnston, Unmistaken Identity

3rd place: Karen Stivali, Moment of Fate (Moments in Time #5)

 

HISTORICAL ROMANCE

1st place: Patricia Barletta*, Moon Shadow (Book #2 Auriano Curse series)

2nd place: Abigail Dane, The Viscount and the Valet

3rd place (tie): Lisa Berne, The Laird Takes a Bride (The Penhallow Dynasty #2) and Michelle Sinclair, Never Kiss a Highlander

 

NOVELLA

1st place: Miranda Liasson, Can’t Miss Christmas (Mirror Lake Christmas series)

2nd place: Nancy Herkness, Second To None (Second Glances series)

3rd place: Maria K. Alexander, Believe In My Heart (Tangled Hearts #4)

 

PARANORMAL/FANTASY/SCIFI/TIME TRAVEL

1st place: Nadine Mutas, To Enthrall the Demon Lord (Love and Magic #4)

2nd place: Gabi Stevens, Mystic

3rd place: Saharra K. Sandhu, Fire in Ice: Tale of the Dragon Rider

 

ROMANCE WITH RELIGIOUS/SPIRITUAL ELEMENTS

1st place: Dana R. Lynn, Plain Target (Amish Country Justice #1)

2nd place: Dana R. Lynn, Amish Christmas Abduction (Amish Country Justice #3)

3rd place: Karen Foley, A Hummingbird Christmas (Glacier Creek #1)

 

ROMANTIC SUSPENSE

1st place: Abbie Roads, Saving Mercy (Fatal Truth #1)

2nd place: Sarah Andre, Capturing the Queen

3rd place: Katie Reus, Resurrection (Redemption Harbor #1)

 

SHORT STORY

1st place: Gina Conkle, To Steal a Viking Bride

2nd place: Sionna Fox*, Etudes, in Symphony Amore: Erotic Stories of Love and Music

3rd place (tie): Jean C. Joachim, The House-Sitter’s Christmas and Madame de Boudoir, King of the Sea

 

YOUNG ADULT

1st place: Ann Gallagher, Having Her Back

2nd place: Meg Kassel, Black Bird of the Gallows

3rd place: C. C. Hunter, The Mortician’s Daughter

 

GRAND PRIZE ($250 certificate from Barclay Publicity)

Dana R. Lynn, Plain Target (Amish Country Justice #1)

 

* denotes a NECRWA member

May 20, 2018 Meeting – Lend Me Your Ears: Getting Started in Audiobooks, with Amy DeLuca

Lend Me Your Ears: Getting Started in Audiobooks

Interested in turning your novels into audiobooks? How difficult is it? How much does it cost? How do you find the right narrator? Author and audiobook narrator Amy Patrick has been on both sides of the equation and offers tips for getting started, from selecting the right narrator to working with your narrator/producer to where and how to sell the finished product.

BIO:

Amy DeLuca has been writing professionally since three weeks after college gradation, working as a TV news anchor/reporter in four different states–Mississippi, Tennessee, California, and Rhode Island. Then she retired from writing true stories and started making them up. Hers have way more kissing.

April 15, 2018 Meeting – Writing Sex that Will Grab Your Readers with Intent and Emotion, with Tamsen Parker

Writing Sex That Will Grab Your Readers with Intent and Emotion
Aka, How to Put the Bang in Your Banging

Sex scenes. Love them or hate them, if you’re publishing at the spicier end of the romance spectrum, you’ve got to know how to write them. And we all know that when it comes to writing sex, romance writers rule. We can make our readers swoon, give them chills, and definitely keep them turning pages.

We’ll talk about why sex is a useful tool in building intimacy between characters, how to convey the intense emotions and physical feelings that can accompany sex by fine-tuning the language we use, and how to use timing and surrounding scenes to add extra oomph to your characters getting it on. We’ll also cover how playing with power dynamics—whether in “formal” BDSM or not—can add extra zing to your books, and discuss writing sex across the rainbow.

Whether you’re a new writer who feels silly or uncomfortable writing sex, or a veteran who’s looking for ways to make your sex scenes more powerful or change things up a bit, this workshop will give you some new tools to add to your amatory arsenal.

BIO:

Tamsen Parker is a stay-at-home mom by day, USA Today bestselling erotic romance writer by naptime. Her novella CRAVING FLIGHT was named to the Best of 2015 lists of Heroes and Heartbreakers, Smexy Books, Romance Novel News, and Dear Author. Heroes and Heartbreakers called her Compass series “bewitching, humorous, erotically intense and emotional.”

She lives with her family outside of Boston, where she tweets too much, sleeps too little and is always in the middle of a book. Aside from good food, sweet rieslings and gin cocktails, she has a fondness for monograms and subway maps. She should really start drinking coffee.

Repped by the fabulous Courtney Miller-Callihan.

Congratulations to 2018 New England Readers’ Choice Finalists!

Please join the New England Chapter of Romance Writers of America® in congratulating the finalists in the 2018 New England Readers’ Choice contest! At the Let Your Imagination Take Flight Conference Awards Luncheon on Saturday, April 29, 2018 we will be announcing winners in each category, as well as the winner of our Grand Prize: a $250 gift certificate from Barclay Publicity!

ROMANCE SHORT STORY

Madame de Boudoir, King of the Sea

Gina Conkle, To Steal a Viking Bride

Sionna Fox*, Etudes, in Symphony Amore: Erotic Stories of Love and Music

ROMANCE NOVELLA

Maria K. Alexander, Believe In My Heart (Tangled Hearts #4)

Nancy Herkness, Second To None (Second Glances series)

Jean C. Joachim, The House-Sitter’s Christmas

Miranda Liasson, Can’t Miss Christmas (Mirror Lake Christmas series)

EROTIC ROMANCE

Kilby Blades, Snapdragon

Marie Johnston, Unmistaken Identity

Karen Stivali, Moment of Fate (Moments in Time #5)

HISTORICAL ROMANCE

Patricia Barletta*, Moon Shadow (Book #2 Auriano Curse series)

Lisa Berne, The Laird Takes a Bride (The Penhallow Dynasty #2)

Abigail Dane, The Viscount and the Valet

Michelle Sinclair, Never Kiss a Highlander

ROMANCE WITH RELIGIOUS/SPIRITUAL ELEMENTS

Karen Foley, A Hummingbird Christmas (Glacier Creek #1)

Dana R. Lynn, Amish Christmas Abduction (Amish Country Justice #3)

Dana R. Lynn, Plain Target (Amish Country Justice #1)

PARANORMAL/FANTASY/SCIFI/TIME TRAVEL ROMANCE

Nadine Mutas, To Enthrall the Demon Lord (Love and Magic #4)

Saharra K. Sandhu, Fire in Ice: Tale of the Dragon Rider

Gabi Stevens, Mystic

ROMANTIC SUSPENSE

Sarah Andre, Capturing the Queen

Katie Reus, Resurrection (Redemption Harbor #1)

Abbie Roads, Saving Mercy (Fatal Truth #1)

YOUNG ADULT ROMANCE

Ann Gallagher, Having Her Back

C.C. Hunter, The Mortician’s Daughter

Meg Kassel, Black Bird of the Gallows

SHORT CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE

Jen Doyle*, Holiday House Call (Calling It series)

Kate James, Home to Stay (San Diego K-9 Unit #4)

Angela Quarles, Earning It

LONG CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE

Shelly Alexander, It’s In His Arms (Red River Valley #4)

Maria K. Alexander, Awaken My Heart (Tangled Hearts #3)

Rose Grey*, Waiting for You (Durrell Brothers #1)

Jo McNally, She’s Far from Hollywood

 

* denotes a NECRWA member

We Need You–to volunteer!

WANT TO GET TO KNOW YOUR FELLOW NECRWA MEMBERS? BECOME A NEC VOLUNTEER!

Are you a new member of NECRWA wondering how to become more involved in the organization? An old hand with experience to share? A member who lives too far away to attend monthly meetings, but who would still like to contribute to the organization?

Consider volunteering!

NECRWA is always in need of members to help organize and run our group, as well as the many events we hold throughout the year.  We are currently looking for members who would be willing to serve the organization in the following ways:

 

Audit Committee: Chair and two other members

Do you have accounting or other financial management experiencing? Are you good at math? Do you want to help NECRWA without having to leave the comfort of your own home? We are looking for three volunteers to serve on an Audit Committee which will be reviewing NECRWA’s accounting for the 2017 year.

Contact Stephanie Kay ([email protected]) for more information, or to volunteer.

 

Welcoming Committee

Are you a seasoned NECRWA member willing to share your experiences with brand new members? Invite new members to engage in online and in person conversations? Check in with newbies to make sure that they feel welcome, and a valued part of the organization? Volunteer to serve on the newly formed Welcoming Committee.

Contact Jackie Horne ([email protected]) for more information, or to volunteer.

 

Conference Chair, 2019 Conference

Even though 2018’s conference has not yet taken place, planning for next year’s conference is already beginning! Do you want to help choose the conference site and speakers? Do you have event-planning experience? Great organizational skills? The ability to keep a group of volunteers on track? Then we are looking for you! Additional perk: our Conference Chair attends conference free of charge.

Contact current Conference Chair Kristen Strassel ([email protected]) for more information, or Jackie Horne ([email protected]) to volunteer

 

2018 Conference Volunteers

Don’t have a lot of time to spare, but still want to help out? We’ll soon be sending out a call for volunteers for April’s conference, to help out in a variety of ways: moderating a workshop session; helping at the registration table; helping to distribute giveaway books, etc. Help make this year’s conference a success by volunteering an hour or two of your time!

March 18, 2018 Meeting – Negotiate Your Way To An HEA: Intensify Your Novel’s Conflict Using Negotiation Archetypes with Alisha R. Bloom, Esq.

This fascinating session uses basic negotiation theory and dispute resolution principles to create a framework for intensifying your novel’s conflict. We’ll start off with an explanation of the six archetypal approaches to negotiation. Then we’ll consider the characters and situations where we can most effectively and realistically deploy each of these approaches. Last, we’ll use specific examples from popular fiction to illustrate how certain negotiating styles and combinations can prolong and heighten conflicts between your characters, while others can help bring about a satisfying resolution.

BIO:

An insightful, detail-oriented lawyer with a passion for creative problem-solving, Alisha Bloom is the founder and principal attorney of Versant Legal, a boutique law firm that provides outside general counsel services to companies of all sizes. Drawing on more than fifteen years of in-house and law firm experience, Alisha specializes in contracts, software licensing, dispute resolution, and HIPAA and healthcare compliance. She also provides literary attorney services, assisting creatives and literary agencies with licensing and protecting intellectual property. In addition, she teaches mediation as an adjunct professor at New England Law and is a trained community mediator.

In her previous career as an economic consultant, Alisha analyzed intellectual property damages and the impacts of mergers on competition. She received Columbia Law School’s highest academic honor and earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from Harvard University, also graduating with honors. When she’s not lawyering, she writes award-winning contemporary romance under a pen name and reads three books a week.

February 18, 2018 Meeting – Social Media Sidekick: 24 Days of Content Created in 24 Hours with Katana Collins

Do you constantly feel like you don’t know what to post on your Instagram? Do you sit in front of a stock site with no direction on the image to choose? Do you find yourself trying to set up a shot with your phone, only to have a weird shadow or a blurry subject matter?

In this presentation, Katana Collins will teach you how to plan out a month’s worth of social media content. You’ll see detailed outlines of how Katana strategizes her posts to match her ideal reader. You’ll learn how to weave in stock photography to your posts, how to create engaging captions to increase your engagement on Instagram and Facebook. And you’ll get a hands-on demonstration of how to be a better photographer with easy tips and tricks to style and take professional-looking photos on your PHONE (not a professional photographer? No problem!). You’ll leave the workshop with a printed outline of steps for the month and photographs in your phone, ready to post (Yep… if you feel up for it, we’ll be setting up photographs for everyone to take! Katana encourages you to bring copies of your own paperbacks to photograph in the flatlays!).

But most importantly? You’ll learn how to do schedule all these images and posts in only ONE day of work. One day of work for an entire month’s worth of social media. It frees you up to write. It frees you up to live.

BIO:

For as long as she can remember, Katana Collins always had one of two things in hand—a pen or a camera. And now, after twenty-nine years, she is lucky enough to have two of the best jobs ever—writing sexy romances, and also photographing sexy boudoir portraits. After writing for years, Katana finally found her niche with hot paranormal and sexy contemporary romances. When not writing, reading or photographing, you can find Katana in Brooklyn with her husband and two dogs where she drinks copious amounts of coffee and red wine and actively volunteers her time and photography expertise to local animal shelters.

January 2018 Meeting Recap

We had a nice turnout for our first meeting of the year, which focused on goal-setting. We exchanged best practices and supported each other in setting SMART goals for both our writing (such as word count, scenes or chapters, editing) and our businesses (such as networking, attending conferences and reader events, newsletters, marketing activities). SMART goals are those that are:

  • S – specific. Think about the who, what, when, where, and why with respect to your goal.
  • M – measurable. What metric(s) will you use to know if you’ve achieved your goal?
  • A – achievable. What will it take for you to be able to accomplish this goal? Avoid setting goals that are dependent on something outside your control.
  • R – relevant. Is this goal aligned with your broader business or other objectives?
  • T – time-bound. What is your target date for meeting this goal?

We also discussed tools we use to help us stay on track with our goals, including apps, business plans and templates, Facebook groups (for knowledge sharing), and accountability groups.

We hope you’ll join us at our February 18th meeting, at which Katana Collins will present her workshop, “Social Media Sidekick: 24 Days of Content Created in 24 Hours”. See you there!

Happy 2018!

Happy new year, and welcome to NECRWA’s newly revamped website! We hope you find it easier to navigate and find what you need–if you have any trouble or want to provide feedback, please feel free to contact the webmistress. (Which is also me, NECRWA’s VP-Communications.) We will be continuing to add content and functionality to the site over the next few months, including:

  • a revamped members’ area with more information for new (and existing) members
  • an expanded and updated authors page
  • and other cool stuff we’re cooking up. 🙂

Today is exciting for another reason–registration for NECRWA’s fantastic Let Your Imagination Take Flight conference is now open! The conference will be held on April 27-28, 2018 at the Boston Marriott Burlington (MA), and the line-up of workshops and speakers this year is incredible. You don’t want to miss it! Early bird rates apply through February 1st, so register today!

January 21, 2018 Meeting – Setting Goals

The most compelling romances feature characters who have specific, concrete goals, things they want or need to achieve (or things they desperately want to avoid). The same can be said for smart romance authors: successful writers set goals, both for their writing and for the shape of their careers. So, what do you want to accomplish in 2018? Finish a manuscript? Join PRO or PAN? Write 100 words a week? Create a newsletter? Publish 5 books?

No matter what stage of your career you are at, thinking about your goals for both the coming months and for the distant future will bring much-needed focus to your writing, marketing, and publicity efforts. During January’s meeting, we’ll brainstorm about goals for our own writing and for our romance writing careers in 2018, and then set specific, concrete, measurable, and achievable steps we need to take to make those goals happen. For those who are interested, we will set up small accountability groups in which we can share our writing and career goals and encourage our fellow writers to follow through on their own.