Royal Palm Literary Award for Best Published Fantasy of 2019


I really have no words anymore, to describe how I’m feeling. Last fall, I entered the RITA® Awards on a whim. Then I thought, “It’s doubtful I’ll final in this, so why not enter a few more published book awards, just to see what happens? Maybe I’ll final in one or two, which would be really nice.”

Dudes. I entered my book in six prestigious literary contests. It finalled in five of them (including the RITAs!) and WON four awards. And ICYMI, this is the book that was rejected over 100 times by agents and editors, until The Wild Rose Press snapped it up!

To say I feel blessed is a massive understatement. But I don’t have any other words, so that’s what I’ll say: I’m so blessed to have traveled this journey, arduous and uphill though it was. I don’t expect it will ever get easier, but I’ve reached at least one summit, and I have to say, the view is pretty damn awesome.

Click for the full list of RPLA winners, or for more about DEBRIEFING THE DEAD.

(P.S. AFAIK, this book is not part of any more literary competitions, so if you’re tired of hearing about it winning all the time  ;), rest assured, I think awards season is over!!  :))

2019 RONE Award for Best Paranormal: Long

And the winner is… DEBRIEFING THE DEAD! I was so stunned, I made Mr. Author re-watch the awards show clip with me – twice.  :)  The entire awards ceremony can be streamed here, but if you just want to see my category (the LAST one!), it starts here.

Seriously – I know I keep saying this, but I’m still stunned. This has been such an AMAZING year. I never want to take any of it for granted, and I especially want to thank everyone who’s read it, and taken the time to rate/review it. The more that happens, the more readers will see it. And clearly, it’s a good book. (LOL!!!!)

Plus, the ebook is on SALE all month, for 99 cents, on Amazon, Apple Books, and Barnes & Noble. Great timing!!!  :)

Royal Palm Literary Award Finalist

Oops…DEBRIEFING THE DEAD did it again!

Does that sound flip? I don’t mean it to be – really! I’m just so much in shock right now. (Again.) (Maybe, after all this, I should stop feeling shocked that people love this book as much as I do.  :))

This book. THIS book is…

I have no words. As an author, that tells you something of my state of mind.

Over ONE HUNDRED rejections for this book (at least 124, after which I stopped counting). And now it’s a double-winner in the HOLT Medallion contest (Best Paranormal AND Best First Book), Romance Writers of America RITA® Award Finalist, Booksellers Best Patti Shenberger Award Finalist for Best First Book, InD’tale Magazine RONE Award Finalist, AND this – a Royal Palm Literary Award Finalist.

This has been such a crazy journey so far. Tomorrow, we leave for New York, and in about nine days, I’ll know the results of both the Booksellers Best award (on Wednesday 7/24) and the RITAs (Friday 7/26). Both the RONEs and the RPLA banquet are in October. Eek!

Has anyone seen my fingernails?? I think I chewed them all off already…..

HOLT Medallion Winner for Best Paranormal and Best First Book

Can you stand even MORE good news?? I am in shock – and feel SO honored and blessed to announce that DEBRIEFING THE DEAD is a Double Winner in the HOLT Medallion Contest, for Best Paranormal and Best First Book! I can’t even begin to describe how I feel, so I’m just going to say I cried. And still feel like crying. Tears of joy and pride, of course – especially because this award is 100% judged by readers. I am SO happy right now!

In fact…. I’m so happy, I’m celebrating with another big giveaway!! I’ll be officially hosting it on the OSRBC Facebook Page, but for those who don’t use Facebook, you can follow the link below and enter to win a Grand Prize Pack of autographed print* copies of both books in The Dead Series (DEBRIEFING THE DEAD and WAKING THE DEAD), or digital copies of both books (second place) or choice of one book (third place).

Ready? Enter here and good luck!

* NOTE: Print copies available only to U.S. residents. In the event an international winner is chosen for the Grand Prize, digital copies will be substituted for the print ones. For further rules and regulations, please see the contest entry page.

Booksellers Best Patti Shenberger Best First Book Award Nominee

GDRWA-BBA FinalistI am so happy to announce that DEBRIEFING THE DEAD is a finalist in the Greater Detroit Romance Writers of America Booksellers Best Award, for their Patti Shenberger Best First Book Award. This is such an honor! The judges are all booksellers and librarians — two of my favorite categories of people!  :)

Seriously, though — I’ve grown up around books, libraries, and bookstores my whole life. My earliest memories are going to the Berkeley Public Library as a very young child, and getting to choose a stack of books to bring home to read. When I was in 1st grade, I remember the day I was allowed to go to the older grades section of our class library and choose any book — I had told my teacher the Dick and Jane books were boring, and I think she was a bit surprised when I came back with a Nancy Drew mystery. Even more so when I proved I could read it.

Later, I biked to the library by myself in the summer. Or biked to the mall, to go to the bookstore. As an adult, my father-in-law owned a bookstore for many-many years, up until his death in 2008. (Yes, that’s the ONLY reason I married my husband.  ;)) I used to stop by on my way home from college classes, and browse his shelves for used French novels (en français, bien sûr!).

So, when I say it’s an honor to final in a contest where the judges are booksellers and librarians, I mean — it. Is. An. HONOR. And then to be told I made it into the TOP THREE — I cried. I’m not gonna lie.

This book was SUCH a labor of love. It’s the one I wrote after trying unsuccessfully to interest an agent or editor with a medieval time travel (which is now under the figurative bed in a figurative box, and will stay there — not even remotely figuratively) and two romantic mystery/suspense novels (which I will be publishing later this year). It’s the one where I said, “I’m going to write this one for me. I’m going to write the book I would like to read. I hope it gets published some day, but either way, I’m doing this how I want. Period.”

It was a risk, and again, I’m not going to lie: It was rejected a lot, before The Wild Rose Press took a chance on it. But I think the gamble paid off in the long run.  ;)  And if people who READ FOR A LIVING like it, well, that’s enough for me.

HOLT MEDALLION FINALIST

Once again, I am so honored and humbled to announce that Debriefing the Dead is a finalist in the Virginia Romance Writers HOLT (Honoring Outstanding Literary Talent) Medallion Contest! It made the cut in the Paranormal/Time Travel/Futuristic/Fantasy category, and also for Best First Book!

One year and five days ago, on May 7, 2018 this book was “born,” after years of hard labor. Now, it’s a finalist/semifinalist in four prestigious literary contests. What an amazing Mother’s Day present!!  :)

Royal Palm Literary Award Semifinalist

I’m very proud and honored to announce that Debriefing the Dead has been selected as a semifinalist in the Royal Palm Literary Awards Competition. And it’s still on sale for $0.99 through May 3! (Couldn’t resist….  ;)) But in all seriousness, I’m thrilled to be in the next round of such a prestigious literary competition.

Between this, the RITAs, and the RONEs, I’m nervously sitting on the edge of my seat, waiting for the next rounds!!

DEBRIEFING THE DEAD Nominated for a RONE Award

On top of the Romance Writers of America RITA® Award Final, DEBRIEFING THE DEAD was nominated yesterday for InD’tale Magazine’s 2019 RONE (Reward Of Novel Excellence) Awards, in the Paranormal: Long category. This means the book moves to the second round of the competition, which is where readers vote for their favorite books. You can bet I’ll be begging on social media for all your votes!! (My round is May 13-19, so you have a few weeks yet.  :))

But wait – there’s MORE great news: To celebrate, it appears that Amazon has decided to start my $0.99 sale a day EARLY. That’s right – you can now read the multi-nominated e-book for LESS THAN A DOLLAR. Hurry – get it now, before WAKING THE DEAD releases on May 27!

Debriefing the Dead is a 2019 RITA® Award Finalist

I am so humbled and honored to announce that DEBRIEFING THE DEAD (Book One of The Dead Series) has been nominated for Romance Writers of America’s highest honor in published fiction, the RITA® Award. For anyone not familiar with it, this is our equivalent of an Oscar nomination. I can’t even take it all in yet!

And I’m in the same category (Paranormal Romance) with incredible authors, such as Suzanne Brockmann and J.R. Ward. Again — I keep squinting at the finalist list, thinking somehow my name isn’t really on it. But it is. Wow. Pop some champagne with me, ‘cuz I’m CELEBRATING. Squee!!!!!

DEBRIEFING THE DEAD Nominated for Another Award

After being a finalist in last month’s N.N. Light’s Book Awards, I’m so excited to announce that DEBRIEFING THE DEAD has been nominated for another award — The Paranormal Romance Guild Reviewer’s Choice Awards! Please consider giving me your vote — DEAD is in the very first category (GHOSTS/HORROR/DARK FANTASY), and voting is open until 1/29/19. You can only vote once (this is not a daily thing!), and you do need to be logged in to a Google account. But you do NOT have to join/be a member of The Paranormal Romance Guild. Any votes, and any help spreading the word is much appreciated!

Link: http://bit.ly/PRGRCA18Vote

Thank you all, and have a wonderful MLK Holiday!