Life just keeps getting better and better. At a writers’ conference in Bellingham, Washington, I got to walk on stage and receive a blue ribbon for THE EX LOTTERY. My novel received the Chanticleer Reviews’ Chatelaine Award for Contemporary Romance—and I got to do a happy dance on stage in very, very high heels. I think I was as proud of walking across the stage in those heels—and not falling—as I was of winning the award. My normal work shoes are flip-flops or no shoes at all. My husband took the photograph. He said I moved too fast and so he only got my back and my fluffy hair, but walking fast is the secret of walking on stilts.
Still, how great is that THE EX LOTTERY won an award named Chatelaine? The novel about a young woman whom travels to Ireland to buy her own castle is a winner in a contest named after the mistress of a castle. Love it. And I learned so much at the conference. I sat shoulder-to-shoulder with other award-winning authors. For example, New York Times Bestselling Author Robert Dugoni was the key speaker at the awards banquet. All the authors shared information and ideas whether we were sitting in a group or meeting for cocktails. (By the way, I highly recommend the Huckleberry Vodka Lemonade if you ever travel to Bellingham.) When I returned home, I decided I should rework my cover. I was told to note the book’s awards with a gold sticker on the front, to include that I’m a bestselling author, and to add words that told more about the book’s story. And to do all this in a font large enough to read when the cover in stamp-size… Hope my readers have coke-bottle reading glasses to magnify all this new information. I was told over and over that readers are very visual and the book cover leads to more sales. I get it. I’m a photographer too so I love the images on books… But I’ll admit, I’m finding this new design a bit impossible so it’s a work in progress. So we will see. For now, it’s enough that THE EX LOTTERY has won awards from reviewers and readers.