NECRWA would like to congratulate the 2017 New England Readers’ Choice contest winners, who were announced at the Let Your Imagination Take Flight Conference awards luncheon on April 8, 2017. And the winners are…

SHORT CONTEMPORARY

First place: Anna DePalo, Second Chance with the CEO

Second place: Barbara Wallace, Winter Wedding for the Prince

Third place (three-way tie): Peggy Jaeger, A Kiss Under the Christmas Lights, Robin Perini, San Antonio Secret, and Barbara Wallace, Christmas Baby for the Princess

LONG CONTEMPORARY

First place: Babette deJongh, Angel Falls

Second place (tie): Melynda Price, Beneath the Surface and Melynda Price, Fighting for Control

Third place: Rissa Brahm, Catching Preeya

ROMANCE WITH RELIGIOUS or SPIRITUAL ELEMENTS

First place: Olivia Rae, Redemption

Second place: Laurel Blount, A Family for the Farmer and Dana R. Lynn, Interrupted Lullaby

Third place: Kat Brookes, His Holiday Matchmaker

ROMANTIC SUSPENSE

First place (tie): Tamra Lassiter, Guiding Fate and Tara Wyatt, Necessary Risk

Second place: Robin Perini, Forgotten Secrets

Third place (tie): Cate Beauman, Deceiving Bella and Katie Reus, Love Thy Enemy

HISTORICAL

First place: Loretta Chase, Dukes Prefer Blondes

Second place: Megan Frampton, One-Eyed Dukes Are Wild

Third place (tie): Linda Broday, To Love a Texas Ranger and Nicole Elizabeth Kelleher, Wild Lavender

EROTIC

First place: Laura Baumbach, The Dark Side

Second place: Shana Figueroa, Vengeance

Third place: Christina James, Operation Persuade Me

PARANORMAL

First place: Nadine Mutas, Blood, Breath, and Desire

Second place: Marissa Doyle, Skin Deep

Third place: Michelle Miles, In the Tower of the Wizard King

NOVELLA

First place: Tessa Gray, My Dearest Chloe

Second place (tie): Jessica Linden, Bodyguard and Debra Jess, A Secret Rose

Third place: Katie Reus, Merry Christmas, Baby

 

Thank you to our entrants and our judges for helping make our contest great!

Pat Barletta will be presenting Lying, Cheating, and Making Love: Using Body Language to Zing Those Characters and Slay Those Plots at NECRWA’s April 23rd meeting.

How do you create multi-dimensional characters without going into long paragraphs of exposition? One method is to use body language, an integral part of character development. As a component of dialogue, it allows the writer a means to show rather than tell, and it provides a multi-purpose tool that can be used for subtext, conflict, and characterization. We’ll examine the uses of body language in fiction, and Pat will provide some specific examples you might find useful in your writing.

Pat is a native of the Boston area. Its history has inspired her writing, and probably influenced her decision to become a high school British Literature teacher. She’s also been an accounts receivable clerk, a receptionist and telephone operator (before cell phones), head of an elementary school library, and president of a food pantry, not in that order. Long ago, she published three historical romances in another life where she called herself Amy Christopher. She received a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing degree in Popular Fiction at the fabulous Stonecoast program in Maine, where she met many talented writers, who encouraged me and made my writing better. And now she is an author writing about dark heroes, feisty heroines, magic, and other fantastical things.

 

 

NECRWA’s Annual Conference, “Let Your Imagination Take Flight,” is happening earlier than usual this year—on April 7th and 8th. Are you ready? At this month’s meeting, members of NEC’s Conference Committee will help you prepare, giving brief presentations on

• What’s new at conference this year

• What first-time attendees can expect/should do to get ready

• What to expect during an agent/editor appointment (including some role-playing between your President and your conference Editor/Agent Coordinator)

• How to preparing for a book signing

• How not to lose your mind/cool at conference, especially if you are an introvert

We’ll then break out into smaller groups to talk about these issues in more depth; you choose which topic group to join.

And we’ll end by practicing elevator pitches. Even if you are not meeting with an editor or agent at conference, it helps to have an “elevator pitch” ready to share with fellow conference goers. (Elevator pitch = the two or three sentences you offer when you meet a fellow conference attendee in the elevator, or in line for dinner, or waiting in the bathroom, and that person asks, “So, what are you working on?”) Bring your own elevator pitch for your current WIP and we’ll practice by sharing them with each other, and giving each other constructive feedback.

NECRWA is pleased to announce the finalists in the 2017 New England Readers’ Choice contest! Winners will be announced at the Let Your Imagination Take Flight Conference Awards Luncheon on Saturday, April 8, 2017.

 

LONG CONTEMPORARY

Rissa Brahm, Catching Preeya

Babette deJongh, Angel Falls

Melynda Price, Beneath the Surface

Melynda Price, Fighting for Control

 

HISTORICAL

Linda Broday, To Love a Texas Ranger

Loretta Chase, Dukes Prefer Blondes

Megan Frampton, One-Eyed Dukes Are Wild

Nicole Elizabeth Kelleher, Wild Lavender

 

ROMANCE WITH RELIGIOUS or SPIRITUAL ELEMENTS

Laurel Blount, A Family for the Farmer

Kat Brookes, His Holiday Matchmaker

Dana R. Lynn, Interrupted Lullaby

Olivia Rae, Redemption

 

ROMANTIC SUSPENSE

Cate Beauman, Deceiving Bella

Tamra Lassiter, Guiding Fate

Robin Perini, Forgotten Secrets

Katie Reus, Love Thy Enemy

Tara Wyatt, Necessary Risk

 

PARANORMAL

Marissa Doyle, Skin Deep

Michelle Miles, In the Tower of the Wizard King

Nadine Mutas, Blood, Breath, and Desire

 

SHORT CONTEMPORARY

Anna DePalo, Second Chance with the CEO

Peggy Jaeger, A Kiss Under the Christmas Lights

Robin Perini, San Antonio Secret

Barbara Wallace, Christmas Baby for the Princess

Barbara Wallace, Winter Wedding for the Prince

 

EROTIC

Laura Baumbach, The Dark Side

Shana Figueroa, Vengeance

Christina James, Operation Persuade Me

 

NOVELLA

Tessa Gray, My Dearest Chloe

Jessica Linden, Bodyguard

Debra Jess, A Secret Rose

Katie Reus, Merry Christmas, Baby

 

Congratulations to all of the finalists!

Tamsen Parker and Teresa Noelle Roberts will be presenting How to Throw a Kink in Your Romantic Arc: Using BDSM to Build Complex Characters and Advance Your Plot at NECRWA’s February 19th meeting.

When people think about BDSM, the first thought that comes to mind is usually whips and chains. While physical sensation can certainly be involved, much of the power of kink to participants and to you as a writer can be found in the intense psychological and emotional impacts it can have.

In this presentation, Tamsen and Teresa will explore how to use kink to add dimension to your characters and move your story forward. Much like sex, kink can provide moments of intimacy and vulnerability, and can be revealing of even (perhaps especially!) the cagiest individuals. They’ll also discuss how some of these same principles can be used in your writing even if you don’t write kink.

As we embark on a new year, and inaugurate a new NECRWA Board, let’s take this month to talk about what makes for a good beginning. Incoming NEC President Jackie Horne will lead a full-group discussion about the best beginnings for romance novels, and for your local RWA chapter. For the first half of the discussion, bring your favorite opening sentence from a romance novel, and an opening sentence from your current work in progress, to share with your fellow writers. For the second half, bring your thoughts about how your new Board can best make NECRWA work for you—-ideas for monthly meeting workshops, conference goals, web site design, advocacy for the romance genre, and any other suggestions for how NECRWA can best serve your needs as a romance writer.

Early bird registration is now open for the 2017 NECRWA Let Your Imagination Take Flight conference! Click here to register! The conference will be held on April 7-8, 2017 at the Boston Marriott hotel in Burlington, MA.

The Friday master class will be on “Writing Sexual and Romantic Tension for All Heat Levels” taught by Molly O’Keefe. Keynote speakers will be Joanna Bourne and Zoe York. A full list of the workshops and panels can be found on the Workshops page. And check out the agents and editors who will be taking your pitches!

Questions? Email conference@necrwa.org. We hope you can join us!

2017 FEE SCHEDULE
Fee Schedule NEC Members Non-NEC Members
EARLY REGISTRATION

December 1 – January 31

$199 $219
REGULAR REGISTRATION

February 1 – April 1

$209 $229
LATE REGISTRATION

starting April 2

$234 $254
MEALS ONLY (FOR GUESTS NOT ATTENDING CONFERENCE) $110 $110
MASTER CLASS: DOUBLE RITA WINNER MOLLY O’KEEFE (FOR CONFERENCE ATTENDEES ONLY)

Friday April 7

$40 $40

A workshop for writers who want to create scorching hot dominant heroes while still incorporating real-life BDSM community values. There are complex and valid reasons why female readers may choose to fantasize about a range of non-consensual scenarios in romance novels, from the classic “kidnapped into a sheik’s harem” to the currently popular “fated to be an alpha werewolf’s mate” and “met a billionaire who won’t take no for an answer.” But I feel it’s very important to distinguish between fantasy scenarios and depictions of real life. These fantasy archetypes are “safe” fantasies for women to indulge precisely because they are NOT real life. But how do real-life BDSM doms fit in the pantheon of romance archetypes? In the real BDSM community, doms who come across as pushy assholes or stalkers rarely last. This workshop will explore the intersections between what romance readers and real-life submissives are looking for in heroes and doms, and how romance writers can bring realistic depictions of domination and male dom personas into their work. I’ll present the results of surveys I took of both BDSM lifestyle submissives and avid romance readers which showed many parallels and a few surprising contrasts.

Cecilia Tan is “simply one of the most important writers, editors, and innovators in contemporary American erotic literature,” according to Susie Bright. RT Magazine awarded her Career Achievement in Erotic Romance in 2015 and their prestigious Pioneer Award. Tan’s BDSM romance novel Slow Surrender (Hachette/Forever, 2013) also won the RT Reviewers Choice Award in Erotic Romance and the Maggie Award for Excellence from the Georgia Romance Writers. She is the author of many books including the Magic University Series, Secrets of a Rock Star series, and Daron’s Guitar Chronicles, several collections of short stories, and even some nonfiction books on baseball. In 2017 she will launch a new urban fantasy series at Tor Books entitled The Vanished Chronicles. She lives in the Boston area with her lifelong partner corwin and three cats.

Bestselling author Dee Davis worked in association management before turning her hand to writing.  She is the author of over thirty novels and novellas, including her newest, Cottage in the Mist and the A-Tac series.  When not frantically trying to meet a deadline, Dee spends her time in her Connecticut farmhouse with her husband, and Cardigan Welsh Corgis.

We will be electing a new president and treasurer to a two-year term very soon. Here are the bios of our two candidates:

President – Jackie Horne

I joined NECRWA in 2011 in hopes of transferring the skills I earned during a decade of work in children’s book publishing and a subsequent foray into academia (during which I earned an M.A. and a Ph.D. in children’s literature) into a new career as a historical romance novelist. Knowing that the best way to meet new people in any organization is to volunteer, I worked at my first conference, and the following year, ran for the Board position of Treasurer. Since 2012, I have served the chapter in that capacity, keeping track of our chapter funds and paying our chapter bills. But I’m eager to trade in the checkbook and spreadsheets for the more people-oriented work required of a chapter President.

I still keep several toes in academia. I am currently serving as the Chair of the Children’s Literature Association’s Publications Advisory Board, which reviews potential scholarly books for publication. And I also write about the intersections of romance and gender on my blog, Romance Novels for Feminists. But the bulk of my time is committed to writing and publishing historical romance. Since joining NEC, I have self-published two novels under my pen name, Bliss Bennet: A Rebel without a Rogue and A Man without a Mistress. A Lady without a Lord is due out this coming fall. Those books would still just be visions in my imagination without all the support and encouragement I’ve received from my fellow NEC members.

Publishing, particularly romance publishing, is in the midst of a great period of upheaval. As President of NEC, I would encourage our organization to find ways to support the careers of all romance writers, whether they are traditionally published, self-published, or some combination of the two.

Treasurer – Stephanie Kay

I joined NECRWA in 2008 after typing “THE END” on my first romance novel. We won’t discuss that book, it’s very comfortable lining the bottom of my desk drawer. Over the years I’ve learned so much and I love being a member of this chapter. As an avid reader for years and a newbie writer, I’d finally found a group of people that understood that having voices inside your head wasn’t a bad thing. After years of volunteering at conferences and a two-year stint as the program chair for Rhode Island Romance Writers, I’m ready to take on a larger role in NECRWA. I’ve been a mortgage underwriter for multiple national banks for the last decade, and I was a tax preparer for a year. I’m very organized and detail oriented. I think I would be a great fit for chapter treasurer.

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