I know things have been quiet around here for the last month, but changes are coming and I’m hoping they’ll be done soon. And, as everyone knows, that first step is always the hardest.
Even though I write adult and YA romantic suspense (fiction!), my goal has always been to make this blog a place of truth and beauty.
With heartfelt photo essays, interviews with my favorite authors, and random musings scratched out in the dark, I’ve tried to offer you all photos and words that are worth your time. Hopefully I’ve succeeded.
This is why the first thing on my change agenda is that I’m moving this website to a new host. The domain will stay the same but the site will be more photo-friendly. I’m excited about the design and am doing all the customization myself.
It should be a seamless transition with no glitches. (Right? I’m laughing too.)
Next item on my change agenda is my semi-annual Middle Grade & Young Adult reading list. Aside from my photo essays, it’s the most popular download from this blog.
As many of you know, I rely on my Reading Army to help me with this growing venture. Unfortunately a number of my recruits are Juniors in high school this year. Not only does the passing of time make me want to cry, the demands of Junior Year are so intense (ACTs, SATs, SOLs, final exams, college tours, learning to drive, and endless essay writing classes. And, of course, Junior/Senior Prom) that they haven’t been able to read as much as they’d like.
So, for the first time, I’m asking for recommendations from my readers. You can leave your recs in the comments below or use my direct email link. My only request is that you’ve read the books and can give an honest rec. No promos please. Teens and middle-schoolers can spot shameless promo and will react accordingly.
Mild mocking, hiding behind closed doors, random sighs, and exasperated eye rolls make for a really long summer. 🙂
As for blogging, I have a number of posts I’m working on and plan to debut on my new site. Besides the annual MG/YA reading list that I should have up by the end of June (school doesn’t end until June 23!), I’m hosting the annual Kiss and Thrill blog interview with the current Golden Heart Romantic Suspense finalists. Two of this year’s finalists are not only friends, they’ve both won the category before so I’m excited about this post.
I’m also continuing with my 2012 Golden Heart class’s Writer Wednesday blog series which has been so much fun.
And since many of you have asked, I’m announcing that my Sisters of Suspense blog is getting a new name. Due to domain issues, we had to make a change and as of June 2016 will now be the Sisterhood of Suspense blog. We’ll have a new site as well and we’re all very excited. Once it’s up, I’ll post the new web address on this blog.
I’m lining up a number of interviews with debut RS and YA authors for this summer and into the fall and will let you know when the details are finalized.
I’m also hoping to welcome back Suzanne and Melanie Brockmann for another K&T mother/daughter interview for their second YA paranormal romance book Wild Sky. My daughter and I adored it and are looking forward to hosting Suz and Melanie again.
I’m not good with shameless promo, but since I’ve been asked I’ll confess there’s been a bit of news on the contest front.
I recently won the Marlene Award for best Romantic Suspense for my manuscript Let the Heavens Fall. This contests was sponsored by my local Washington, DC RWA chapter which made the win even more special.
Also, my Young Adult story Wicker Hollows (Speculative Fiction for my purist readers) just finaled in the Daphne du Maurier Contest sponsored by RWA’s Kiss of Death mystery and suspense chapter. The best part about this final is attending the annual Death by Chocolate party at the RWA National Convention in San Diego.
Anything that names itself Death by Chocolate cannot be missed!
I’d also like to congratulate many of my Golden Heart sisters, Blog sisters, and Critique Partners for all of their success on the contest circuit. Between the Rita, Golden Heart, Daphne du Maurier, RWA Pro Mentor of the Year, and the Booksellers’s Best Award, I know more than twenty authors who’ve finaled/been selected for these awards. I’m blessed to be surrounded by so much talent and proud to call these women friends.
(Note to my GH sisters: I’m not naming you all because I’m terrified I’m going to miss someone and then you’ll all go out to dinner without me in San Diego!)
Time is passing, changes are being made, and things are moving forward. Since I’m not great at stepping out into the great, dark unknown, these three things are usually sources of stress for me.
But today I’m optimistic.
I’m reminding myself that time is a gift we don’t deserve. Changes can be a blessing. And forward momentum can bring new friends and opportunities.
My new blog should be up and running in a few weeks and I can’t wait to see you all on the other side!
All photographs courtesy of Sharon Wray
(And a special thank you to the members of my reading army for allowing me to use prom photos!)