I'm a Double RITA Award Finalist!!!

Just popping in to share my good news. Today is the day romance writers wait by their phones with bated breath, hoping to get a call from the Romance Writers of America (RWA) because today is RITA call day. The RITA is the romance community's equivalent to an Oscar.

I was lucky enough to win one last year for NICE GIRLS DON'T RIDE and this year, I've had two books final!!!! I'm super excited. This never, ever gets old. I'm over the moon.

Off the Clock is a finalist for the Best Erotic Romance of 2016

and 

Wanderlust is a finalist for the Best Mid-Length Contemporary Romance of 2016

I'm so beyond thrilled. And the Wanderlust nomination is extra special to me because Wanderlust is the first romance I ever wrote. I wrote it before I had an agent or book deal, before I wrote Crash Into You (my debut novel) and it lived "under my bed" for years. When I revamped it and Berkley decided to put it out last year, I was so happy to finally see my first book baby out there. I never expected it to get a RITA nomination on top of that. :)

The awards will be given out in July at the RWA national conference so I'll keep you posted. But for now, go check all the finalists. If you're looking to add new books to your TBR pile, this is a great place to start. RITA finalists are judged by other romance writers and we're a picky bunch, so this is a good list to find your new favorite read. I know I'll be buying a bunch of these. :)

Happy reading!

 

What I'm Reading: The Secret Thoughts of Successful Women by Dr. Valerie Young

RWA always has fantastic speakers at the national conference, and I always leave inspired. This year was no exception. This past week I was lucky to hear authors Beverly Jenkins and Sherry Thomas give keynotes. Both women were amazing. But I had to miss the third keynote given by Dr. Valerie Young on "Imposter Syndrome" because I had another meeting. I'm usually a little skeptical about motivational speakers, so I didn't think much of missing it. Then, I started hearing from everyone how awesome and helpful it was. Cue me being sad I missed it.

However, lucky for me, Dr. Young has a book about Imposter Syndrome and the things she talked about. So though I'm sad that I didn't get to hear her speak, I was excited to order the book. I'm only halfway through, but already it's been worth the price. The basic premise is that a lot of successful women (and some men) suffer from "Imposter Syndrome" or always feeling like you're successful because you "got lucky" or were in the "right place at the right time" or that you "fooled everyone." In other words, for some reason, we feel like we're  frauds. That people are going to find us out. That we're not really that (insert adjective) as good/smart/capable etc. as people think we are. That resonated with me and I know it resonated with a lot of others. Writers tend to be a little neurotic anyway, lol, but I think this is more universal than that. We try to explain away success instead of owning it. This book is about fixing that kind of thinking. 

So even though I'm not done yet, I wanted to pass along the recommendation. If you think you might fall into this kind of thinking, it's worth a read: The Secret Thoughts of Successful Women: Why Capable People Suffer from the Imposter Syndrome and How to Thrive in Spite of It.

About the book:

It’s only because they like me. I was in the right place at the right time. I just work harder than the others. I don’t deserve this. It’s just a matter of time before I am found out. Someone must have made a terrible mistake. 
 
If you are a working woman, chances are this inter­nal monologue sounds all too familiar. And you’re not alone. From the high-achieving Ph.D. candidate convinced she’s only been admitted to the program because of a clerical error to the senior executive who worries others will find out she’s in way over her head, a shocking number of accomplished women in all ca­reer paths and at every level feel as though they are faking it—impostors in their own lives and careers. 
 
While the impostor syndrome is not unique to women, women are more apt to agonize over tiny mistakes, see even constructive criticism as evi­dence of their shortcomings, and chalk up their accomplishments to luck rather than skill. They often unconsciously overcompensate with crippling perfec­tionism, overpreparation, maintaining a lower pro­file, withholding their talents and opinions, or never finishing important projects. When they do succeed, they think, Phew, I fooled ’em again. 
 
An internationally known speaker, Valerie Young has devoted her career to understanding women’s most deeply held beliefs about themselves and their success. In her decades of in-the-trenches research, she has uncovered the often surprising reasons why so many accomplished women experience this crushing self-doubt. 
 
In The Secret Thoughts of Successful Women, Young gives these women the solution they have been seek­ing. Combining insightful analysis with effective ad­vice and anecdotes, she explains what the impostor syndrome is, why fraud fears are more common in women, and how you can recognize the way it mani­fests in your life. With her empowering, step-by-step plan, you will learn to take ownership of your success, overcome self-doubt, and banish the thought patterns that undermine your ability to feel—and act—as bright and capable as others already know you are.

Has anyone else read this or did you see Dr. Young speak? Anyone think "YES THAT'S ME!" when reading the book description?

Holy S#!t! I Won a RITA!!!!! (oh, and I have a book out tomorrow)

*insert all the curse words* I did it y'all!

This past week was the Romance Writers of America conference, and the big event that wraps up the conference is our version of of the Oscars--The RITAs. I was nominated for two this year, which was a huge honor in and of itself. But then this happened...

Okay, so I thought *maybe* I had a chance at the erotic category (where BREAK ME DOWN was nominated) because it only had five nominees and the odds were better. But the Best Novella category was first of the evening and had like ten nominees from all different genres. I was not prepared to say the least. The first words out my mouth as I heard the word "Nice" and my table erupted in screams were, "Oh SHIT!" Lol. Always so eloquent, right? Then I was shaking all over and in some weird out of body state as I walked up to the stage.

I had a speech prepared. I couldn't read it. I choked up on stage and announced that I was going to cry. I forgot to thank everybody I meant to except my husband, mom, editor, and agent. But despite me completely having a breakdown in front of a giant ballroom of people and the live stream on internet, it was the BEST THING EVER. I can't even tell you how amazing it is to bring one of these home. I don't do this for awards, but man, they sure are nice. :)

And so since I forgot to thank you, my readers, I'm saying it now. Thank you, thank you, thank you. For reading my books, for your enthusiasm, and for all the kind words you send me. I couldn't do this job if it weren't for you. So I share the lovely RITA with you. ;)

*hugs* (Oh, and if you want to watch the RITAs and see my complete freak out, I think they're going to upload it to YouTube at some point and will share the link.)

In other news, WANDERLUST will be out tomorrow! And it's only $3.99. So if you haven't already, go grab you a sexy rockstar. ;)

About the book:

From the New York Times bestselling author of the Loving on the Edge series and Off the Clock, a story of sex, love, rock & roll, and a reporter who’s about to learn a new meaning for staying on top of her assignment... 

Restaurant critic Aubrey Bordelon is never at a loss for words to describe her meals in the fancy restaurants of New Orleans. But after her magazine’s high-profile music reporter falls ill, she finds herself out of her element and in a sea of screaming fans awaiting Wanderlust’s lead singer, Lex Logan. The sound of his voice gives her goosebumps, and the stage presence of the hard-bodied rock star takes her breath away. So when he pulls her onstage for a sexy stunt, she knows she’s in real trouble.

Lex doesn’t want to pretend that the sparks on stage between him and Aubrey never happened, but it certainly makes the fact that she’s writing a story on his band all the more dangerous. The last thing he needs is some nosy reporter revealing their problems to the world. But the sexy Southern belle doesn’t give up easily, and soon he’s wondering if the best way to chase her off the story is to coax her into his bed… 

PRE-ORDER THE BOOKAmazon | B&N | Kobo | iBooks | Google Play 

That's all I've got for you today! Hope you have a great week!

Photos from RWA and a New Release!

Hi, everyone! Well, I'm back from my fourth RWA Nationals. It was a fantastic trip, and it was so much fun to meet so many people I only know through the Interwebs. First a quick reminder, NOT UNTIL YOU BELIEVE, Part 7 of my e-serial is out today. We're almost to the end! So for those of you waiting to get them when they're all out so you can read them back to back, next week is the week! :)

Here are some highlights from the trip...

On Wednesday, I had the pleasure of speaking on a panel with Darynda Jones, Eloisa James, Debra Holland, and Robin Convington at the Golden Network Retreat (a chapter of RWA for Golden Heart finalists). The lineup for teh retreat was fantastic. It kicked off with a great talk from Susan Elizabeth Phillips and then a lunchtime speech from, yes, the Nora Roberts. Here's Nora during her speech:

 

 

Then that evening was the HUGE booksigning for literacy. Thank you to all who stopped by and said hi to me or bought a book! :) The event raised over 50k for literacy charities, so it was a great success. Here was my view from my spot. (Isn't my RITA flag pretty? It's now sitting on my desk.)

 

 

On Friday, I did my BDSM 101 for Writers presentation with the lovely Tiffany Reisz (and her sock monkey). We had a full room and a great audience. It was a lot of fun even though we had too much info and ran out of time. Here's a picture courtesy of author Miranda Baker:

 

 

Then, of course, on Saturday night I was a nervous wreck because MELT INTO YOU was up for the RITA award in Single Title Contemporary Romance. For those who don't know, the RITAs are like the Oscars for romance writing, so it's a big, exciting thing to be nominated. 

Here I was before the ceremony when I still had hope, lol...

 

 

Alas, I didn't win, but I truly was just over the moon to be nominated. An erotic romance has NEVER been nominated in that cateogory so that was a huge deal for me. Here was my view from my spot in the audience. My one goal if I won was not to vomit standing up there on that stage in front of 2000 people. o.0

 

 

After that, it was time to fly back home with my big pile of new books:

 

 

And though I was sad to leave all my friends for another year, I did have a nice surprise waiting for me on my doorstep when I got home. Look at the pretties...

 

 

So now back to my normal life of no makeup, living barefoot, and typing away on my keyboard. : )

MELT INTO YOU is a RITA Finalist!!!!

So today I got some of the best news I've ever heard in my writing life.

One of my books, MELT INTO YOU, is a RITA® Finalist for Best Contemporary Romance Single Title!!!

See all the nominees and categories here.

For those of you who don't know, the RITAs are held by the Romance Writers of America and are like the Academy Awards of romance writing. So this is a huge honor. And even more special is that it's THIS book. Historically, erotic romance has had a nearly impossible time breaking through in the RITAs because there is no specific category for erotic romance. Therefore, you have erotic romances up against sweet ones up against comedic ones, etc.

So the fact that any of my books finaled is huge, but MELT INTO YOU is definitely my most non-traditional romance because it's M/M/F menage romance with m/m scenes included. So I was downright STUNNED that this was the book. Stunned and FREAKING EXCITED! And it really makes it extra special to know that this contest is judged by other published authors. There's something so rewarding about being recognized by your fellow writers (who are often the toughest readers and critics.)

And boy am I up against some great authors and books. I can't even believe I'm listed among them. And I get to go to the black-tie ceremony in July in Atlanta and wear a fancy dress and all that jazz. So yay!!!! 

Team Jace and Andre for the win! ;)

*happy dances*

Author Jane Kindred on Romance, Orgies, & The Devil's Garden

Based on what Jane is about to blog about, I feel a little bad saying I'm currently one of those friends at the RWA "orgy", but alas, that's where I am. Though I promise I am not scantily clad and I'm profusely cursing the stupid heels I had to buy.

So without further ado, here is Jane...

 

Click image to view full cover

 

When All Your Romance Writing Friends are off Having an Orgy Without You

Perhaps they’re not having an orgy, exactly, but it’s what I prefer to think. I mean, if everyone’s going to have fun without me, at the very least I should be allowed to imagine them all doing terrible, wonderful things to one another. After all, they’re not here to defend themselves, and I’m forced to live vicariously.

This week (if you’ve been here under this rock with me and didn’t know) is the annual Romance Writers of America Conference in New York City, where hordes of high-heel wearing, half-dressed women descend upon Manhattan. (I’m only guessing based on the tweets I’ve been seeing for months with pictures of shoes and dresses. Like I said, I get to make up what’s going on there, since none of them are here to defend themselves.) I understand there’s even a big, girl-filled dance floor at the infamous Harlequin party. Probably nothing like the all-girl dances I’ve been to, but what the heck, I’ll just imagine it is. What happens at the RWA Harlequin Black and White Ball stays at the RWA Harlequin Black and White Ball.

Right, um, where was I?

Oh, yes, so here I am slaving away at blog posts and novel revisions while everyone else is off having fun. So why am I not at RWA? Well, for one thing, it’s bloody expensive. For another, I’m not exactly a romance writer. My debut novella The Devil’s Garden is just out from Carina Press. Uh, yes, that’s Harlequin’s digital imprint. But I’m not a romance writer. I swear. Not that there’s anything wrong with that! It’s just that I feel compelled to explain when people hear I’m being published by Harlequin. I don’t want anyone to be disappointed when they pick up my novella expecting a typical romance hero and heroine with an HEA. (That’s Happily Ever After, for those of you who, like me, have been living here under this acronym-deficient rock.)

There is a touch of a romance thread in the novella, and an HEA of sorts, and even a tiny bit of very soft-heat erotica, but The Devil’s Garden is a traditional fantasy. And there is nothing typical about my hero and heroine. Or is it heroine and heroine? Or hero and hero? Well, it all depends. It’s neither and both. If I explain, I’ll have to give away spoilers.

What I can tell you is that the main character, temple courtesan Ume Sky, is also on occasion street urchin Cillian Rede. (That’s Cillian with a hard “C”, as in Cillian Murphy.)

*pic no longer available

Damn, look at those eyes. Can he be my B.O.W? (That’s Boyfriend of the Week for those of you who just fell into Roni’s blog out of the back of a turnip truck with me. Which reminds me, what is it with turnips being maligned, anyway? Well, there’s a Google search for that.) Are you getting the impression that I’m easily distracted? No comment. It’s been a long week. Plus, all my friends are off bumping and grinding in high heels and slutty dresses in the Manhattan heat without me.

At any rate, despite my illegitimacy as a romance writer, I grew up on gothic romances by Victoria Holt, Mary Stewart, and Phyllis A. Whitney. Not exactly the steamy stuff, but it left me with a love of intrigue mixed with mysterious, hot-headed gentlemen in fabulous coats and gutsy, conflicted heroines in gorgeous dresses. And I think you’ll find quite a bit of that seeped into The Devil’s Garden.


In The Devil’s Garden, appearances can be deceiving…

Ume Sky enjoys her place of honor as temple courtesan for the reigning Meer of In’La—until an assignation with a client ends in violence. Her elite status stripped away, Ume is forced to return to a life on the streets as Cillian Rede, the boy she used to be.

Cillian finds temporary harbor with dockhand Cree Sylva, where fear keeps him from revealing his former identity, but as the two become lovers, Cillian learns Cree is not without secrets.

When Cillian has the opportunity to regain his position through a liaison with the Meer himself, he is torn between his feelings for Cree and his need to live as Ume. But there’s even more at stake when Ume finds herself entangled in a plot to rid the Delta of divine rule…

The Devil’s Garden is available now from Carina Press.

* * *

 

 

 

Jane Kindred began writing fantasy at age 12 in the wayback of a Plymouth Fury—which, as far as she recalls, never killed anyone…who didn’t have it coming. She spent her formative years ruining her eyes reading romance novels in the Tucson sun and watching Star Trek marathons in the dark. Although she was repeatedly urged to learn a marketable skill, she received a B.A. in Creative Writing anyway from the University of Arizona.

She now writes to the sound of San Francisco foghorns while two cats slowly but surely edge her off the side of the bed.

You can find Jane on Twitter: @JaneKindred
on Facebook: www.facebook.com/somewherebetweenheavenandhell
or on her website: www.janekindred.com