What an amazing way to end my birthday month. (Birthdays are celebrated for a month, right?) THE EX LOTTERY won first place in the New England Readers’ Choice Awards for long contemporary romance. The New England Chapter of the Romance Writers of America (NECRWA) sponsored the competition and announced the winners Saturday morning during the 2015 Let Your Imagination Take Flight awards banquet in Burlington, MA.
And THE EX LOTTERY won! See a list of all the winners and finalists at http://0092d63.netsolhost.com/
I missed the conference. I was attending another meeting in Asheville, North Carolina, that had been scheduled a year earlier. But I kept up with the events on social media. Since I knew my novel was a finalist in the Readers’ Choice awards, I mentioned it to a few of my closest friends at breakfast Saturday morning. At noon, I rushed back to my room to check my email and twitter, but no announcements. I grabbed a sweater too. (I dressed for the Low Country, not the mountains. Who knew April could be cold?)
At our late lunch, my friends asked, “Did you win?” And I admitted that I’d not received an announcement so I thought—probably not. But I was still happy. After all, I was a finalist with authors like RITA winner Nancy Herkness and USA Today Bestseller Sophie Moss. And the NECRWA is the RWA chapter that boasts Kristan Higgins as a member. So being a finalist was almost as wonderful as winning—almost.
Saturday night, I went to the Asheville banquet. My husband and I danced and laughed with all our wonderful friends. A wild turkey even snuck up to see what all the fuss was about when we stepped outside for a moment. And we shared a little bread for all her trouble.
When my husband and I returned to our hotel room, I decided to check my email one last time. And there it was—an email congratulating me for winning. I may or may not have done a small happy dance in my pajamas—and it had nothing to do with the fact that I had finished off three glasses of wine at the dinner-dance. I was just still in dance mode. My husband offered to take me to a local bar for a celebratory drink—to drag our friends out again—but three glasses of wine is two passed my limit. So I posted on social media and pulled up the latest Nora Roberts on my Kindle to celebrate my new career success doing what I love best—reading romance.
Thanks again, readers. It’s wonderful when reviewers and critics praise a book, but to a writer, the most important opinion is that of a reader.