Bean Pot Finalists Announced

We are pleased to announce the finalists in the 2012 New England Readers’ Choice Bean Pot Award
(In alphabetical order)

**NEC Member

SHORT CONTEMPORARY
A Rancher’s Pride – Barbara White Daille
The Daddy Catch – Leigh Duncan
**The Heart of a Hero – Barbara Wallace

HISTORICAL
In the Barrister’s Chambers – Tina Gabrielle
More Than a Mistress – Ann Lethbridge
**Promise Me Forever – Diane Amos

ROMANTIC SUSPENSE
Deadly Descent – Kaylea Cross
Edge of Daybreak – Jannifer Hoffman
**Fatal Consequences – Marie Force

EROTIC
Bastian, The Lords of Satyr – Elizabeth Amber
The Closer You Get – LA Witt
Take Me Away – Tina Donahue

FUTURISTIC; FANTASY; PARANORMAL OR TIME TRAVEL
Dyad Love – Ann Hinnenkamp
Memories of Murder – Lara Nance
**Salad on the Side – Karenna Colcroft

INSPIRATIONAL
Hometown Dad – Merrillee Whren
Love on the Line – Deeanne Gist
Nightwatch – Valerie Hansen

MAINSTREAM W/ROMANTIC ELEMENTS
Blood Rights – Kristen Painter
Promises to Keep – Char Chaffin
The Proper Care and Maintenance of Friendship – Lisa Verge-Higgins

NOVELLA
Drive-In – Kelli Scott
**I Love the Earl – Caroline Linden
Painted with Pleasure – Dena de Paulo
Stormy Wedding – Kelli Scott

YOUNG ADULT
Awake at Dawn – C.C. Hunter
Love Story – Jennifer Echols
**Tales Out of the Psych Office – Shirley Ann Howard

March 18 – Writing Sex When you Don’t Feel Sexy

Have you ever had to write a smoldering love scene, and yet your heart just wasn’t in it? Does the thought of writing steamy sex make you cower in fear?

Erotic romance author Suzanne Rock will talk about tips and tricks that will not only put you in the mood to write great sex, but add depth and character to your scenes that will make them memorable for both your readers and you.

The course will be based on her book co-written with author Em Petrova entitled Writing Sex When you Don’t Feel Sexy, available at all major ebook distributors.

Award winning and bestselling author Suzanne Rock resides in central Massachusetts with her college sweetheart and two daughters. She started writing paranormal erotic romance in 2009 and sold her first story, Spyder’s Web, to Loose Id in June of that year and has since published eleven erotic works with three different publishers. In addition to writing, she teaches courses on craft and the publishing industry through Romance Writers of America and Savvy Authors. She’s also is the social media partner for Pink Petal Books and Astraea Press.

Goldrick Award: Celebrating Chapter Volunteers

Each year at the Let Your Imagination Take Flight Conference, the Goldrick Service Award is given to a deserving New England Chapter member.

The award, first awarded in 1996, is given in honor of the late Bob Goldrick who, along with his wife Emma, wrote as Emma Goldrick for Harlequin. They were longtime chapter members who generously volunteered their time, knowledge, and help to the chapter and their fellow members.  Upon his death, it was decided to create a service award that would annually celebrate a member whose contribution to the chapter exemplified the service and cooperation among fellow writers that so characterized Bob’s legacy.

The Board encourages the membership to nominate any member they feel promotes the best of what the chapter is about, in particular those who have given their time, energy and emotional/mental stamina to the chapter, especially those unsung members who so quietly give of themselves. Current Board members are not eligible.

The Board will review all the nominations and choose a recipient. The award will be presented to the winner in a special presentation during the conference luncheon. There is no formal nomination submission process for the award. You can simply email or mail your nominations to any member of the board. However, please include a detailed statement as to why you have nominated a particular member since this will help the Board during the selection process.

If you have any questions, contact Tara Holt, Chapter President, at [email protected].

Past award recipients are:

1996: Neringa Bryant and Jo Ann Ferguson (joint recipients)
1997: Terri Pino
1998: Blanche Marriott
1999: Betsy Eliot
2000: Michelle Drosos
2001: Lori Lotti
2002: Katy Cooper and Cindy Jachrimo (joint recipients)
2003: Barbara Wallace
2004: Lesley Mathews
2005: Jessica Andersen
2006: Liana Dalton
2007: Cathryn Parry
2008: Barbara Keiler
2009: Jessica Smith
2010: Tara Holt
2011: Hannah Howell

February 19 – E-BOOK PUBLISHING MADE EASY(ER)

If someone had told Barbara Keiler a year ago that she’d be an indie publisher, producing and selling e-book editions of her backlist titles, she would have roared with laughter.  She’s a writer, an artiste—and a confirmed technophobe.  But she had obtained the rights to a bunch of her out-of-print novels and figured she ought to do something with them…and to her amazement, she’s managed to e-publish ten of them so far, to place them for sale in the Kindle, Nook, Sony, Kobo and iTunes stores, and to land several of them on Amazon bestseller lists.  Barbara will share what she’s learned so far about preparing manuscripts, commissioning artwork, pricing, promoting and trying to stay sane in the brave new world of electronic publishing

Writing under the pen name Judith Arnold, Barbara is the author of more than eighty-five published novels. She has been a three-time finalist for RWA’s RITA Award, and she’s won several Reviewer’s Choice Awards from RT as well as the New England Chapter’s Bean Pot Award for her novel Hope Street. Her next novel, Good-Bye to All That, will be released in March.

January 15 – Open Meeting

It’s a New Year and NEC resumes our monthly meetings on January 15, 2012. As usual, meetings are held on the 3rd Sunday of the month, with December and July being vacation months for our chapter. We will also resume meeting at the Old Town Hall in Bedford, Massachusetts. Directions are on NEC’s website.

As 2012 dawns, there are some exciting things on the horizon for many of our members, as well as new ideas, publishing industry changes, the rising popularity of self-publishing and Mayan predictions.

In honor of the New Year, the board thought we’d open up January’s meeting to the membership by opening up a discussion about writing goals and resolutions and how we can obtain those goals. Whether your goal is to create or update a website, join social networks and media, or start a brand new novel, breaking through writer’s block, or switching genres we hope the discussion will be lively, helpful and encouraging. Likewise, we will break into small groups and discuss goals amongst your groups and how you might go about accomplishing those goals. Afterward, share your goals for 2012 if you’re willing and VP Mary Reiber will follow up at the monthly meetings to see how things are progressing.

If you’d like to know what’s coming up from February until August 2012, here’s a look at our meeting speakers and topics:
February – Barbara Keiler – Self Publishing
March – Suzanne Rock – Writing Sex Scenes When You’re not in the Mood
April – Marley Gibson – Writing Fiction and Non-Fiction
May – Karenna Colcraft – Writing a Series
June- Outgoing Board Party w/ NEC and Book Swap

First Kiss Contest Finalists

We are pleased to announce the finalists in the First Kiss Contest!

Congratulations!

‘Til There Was You  by  Elle Twifold, Baltimore, MD

Nothing Left to Lose but Me by Lynn Lindquist, Batavia, IL

The Lavender Trail by Cindy Thompson, Thunder Bay, ON Canada

How to Divorce a Vampire by Mimi Jean, Pleasant Hill, CA

The Fire Walkers by Shelley N. Greene, Columbia, MD

Encore by Bobbi Ruggiero,  North Easton, MA

These entries will be sent along to Patience Smith from Harlequin by the first week in January for Judging!

Good Luck to all!

November 20th – Kristan Higgins on Defining and Refining Voice

Two-time RITA Award Winner and New York Times and USA Today Best Selling Author Kristan Higgins will be joining us for our November 20th monthly meeting. Kristan’s talk will focus on Defining and Refining Voice. As she says, voice is an element of writing that is often hard todefine. Every editor and agent wants a strong, fresh voice, but no one can identify just why a voice works or doesn’t. This workshop will examine examples of strong voice, definitions of voice, and why voice matters as much as it does. Exercises to define and refine voice will be described, as well as traps that often muffle voice. The revision process will be discussed in depth as well, since voice so often blooms during this phase of writing.

Called “the master of small-town romance” by Romantic Times, Kristan is a long-time New England Chapter member. Her hobbies include baking, eating desserts and stalking Derek Jeter. Visit her website at www.kristanhiggins.com and www.Facebook.com/KristanHigginsBooks. Her latest release is UNTIL THERE WAS YOU.

Lions, Werewolves, Birds, Oh My…!

Whether you’re writing Paranormal Romance featuring a badass shape-shifting vampire, werewolf, a spicy Contemporary with a cute puppy, an Historical with horses, dogs, and birds of prey, or Urban Fantasy with modern day dragons, Centaurs or reptilian creature of your own imagination, understanding the animals and creatures within the pages of your book is as essential to ‘world building’ as the setting, time and place.

Oftentimes, a dog or pet in a story can evolve into a secondary character, interrupt a romantic moment, provide a moment of comic relief, or increase tension in a dark Romantic Suspense. Sometimes, animals are portrayed incorrectly or it’s difficult to suspend belief when a person shape-shifts into a bird of prey. How can this be possible? How can you as a writer make the reader believe a full grown man can turn into a gigantic hawk?

Join NYT Bestselling author, Jessica Andersen, and multi-published Ellora’s Cave author, Frances Stockton, as they discuss this topic in depth at NEC’s October 16, 2011 meeting. Bring a pen, notebook or favorite note-taking device and we’ll have an entertaining discussion.

New York Times Bestselling author and multi-nominated RITA and Reader’s Choice nominee, Jessica Andersen has penned more than twenty science-based Romantic Suspense novels, the Mayan-based 2012 doomsday prophecy, Nightkeeper novels, and a four-book miniseries from Harlequin Nocturne with powerhouse authors, Gena Showalter, Nalini Singh, and Jill Monroe. And, believe it or not, there is more to come. To find out more about Jessica visit her website!  http://www.jessicaandersen.com

Frances Stockton is the author of the Panthera series with Ellora’s Cave Blush and spicy Contemporary Romance with Ellora’s Cave. Having spent 12 years as a Veterinary Technician at a small animal veterinary clinic in Fallston, Maryland, earning a degree in History/Secondary Education and a genuine love of big cats, the idea of the Panthera was born during a horse-drawn carriage ride through Dallasduring RWA Nationals a few years ago. But as much as she loves incorporating giant leopards, lions and tigers into sensual romance, she’s been telling stories since kindergarten. Visit http://www.francesstockton.com to learn more!