The Magic City

The Magic City

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

The International Flight of Dragonflies: Meet the 2015 Golden Heart Contemporary Romance Finalists

Sassy. Sweet. Sizzling. Sexy. The stories that are finalists in RWA®’s 2015 Golden Heart® contemporary romance category have it all.  I am thrilled to introduce this international flight of Dragonflies to you:


DSC06148 black 1[1].jpgJoAnne Banker

Jo Anne lives in the eclectic Montrose area of Houston with three overly pampered cats. She has owned a bookkeeping service for thirty-five years, and finds balance to the mundane through the creativity of her writing. She enjoys the theater, good books, good food, good friends, and her family.  She loves reading anything by anything by Nora Roberts, Jayne Ann Krentz, Sarah Maclean, Sharon Sala, & Shana Galen, and her most recent favorite is Heroes Are My Weakness by Susan Elizabeth Phillips.  She is a Golden Heart finalist with manuscript Homecoming.


Susan J. BickfordSusan Bickford

Susan is a self-employed decorative artist and a co-owner of a vintage retail shop, The Painted Dragonfly, She does most of her writing while waiting for paint to dry. She lives in Nashville, Tennessee, with her husband and college-freshman daughter. She's a proud member of Music City Romance Writers and loves living in a city full of great artists, musicians, and writers.

Currently, she is seeking representation for her Contemporary Single-Title, The House of D’Innocenzi, in which a young widow fights to keep her business afloat after her husband’s accidental death. She’s offered the career opportunity of a lifetime by a man she suspects is nothing but trouble. She has no idea how right she is. Her would-be hero is a mob defector on the run, but he’s a man needing redemption. Saving her from bankruptcy is a small thing, even if he doesn’t need her kind of complication. In no time, he's in her business, she's in his, and the pull between them is hard to resist—until his past comes calling. She learns there’s more at stake than her business and her heart. Her savior may cost her everything.


Jennifer Brodie
Jennifer Brodie

Jennifer Brodie is a Scottish transplant who lives in New England with her Scottish husband and their two boys. She is fiercely guarded (from the men in her house) by her butterfly-eared, fluffy piranha of a dog named Buster. When not lost in story land, Jennifer can be found mowing the dandelions or scaring her boys with a new recipe.

Blurb for Mace, Men and Margaritas:

A choca-slimma-holic with a secret aversion to exercise, curvy physiotherapist Emma Hughes resolves to transform herself into a kick-ass Charlie’s Angel, after her ex develops an unhealthy obsession with her. However, lacking both discipline and the ability to coordinate her body parts, the transformation does not go smoothly… Emma’s always believed The Universe had great things planned for her, but she’s approaching thirty, her supply of eggs is dwindling rapidly, and when her lease expires next month, she’ll be going back home to live with her parents.

Seasoned bachelor Dr. Mark Falconer has returned home on a pit-stop to check on his ailing father, but home is the last place he wants to stay – despite Ballacrae’s white sandy beaches, ruined castles and coastal golf courses. In an attempt to avoid his meddling sisters - who’d love nothing more than to see him settle down with A Nice Local Girl - Mark throws himself into work, helping the local hospital get their surgical waiting list down. He’s determined to stay focused on the surgery and not get sucked back into small town life, but his physiotherapist has other ideas.

He’s traveled the world and isn’t ready to come home. She’s a homespun jeans-and-wellies girl who’s never ventured out of mainland Britain. He’s not looking for a wife and she’s certainly not looking for a confirmed bachelor, but now they’ve found each other, letting go isn’t an option.


Kimberly BucknerKimberly Buckner

Kimberly Buckner is active with RWA as a PRO member, and has used what she learned to teach at local writers' meetings and conferences. She won the 2014 Maggie, and the 2015 Emily,  and is a 2015 RWA® Golden Heart® Finalist. After fourteen fabulous years below the Mason-Dixon, Kimberly now makes her home in Denver.

She can be found online at:

www.kimberlybuckner.com

www.facebook.com/kimberlylinbuckner

www.twitter.com/K_L_Buckner

www.instagram.com/kimberly_buckner

Blurb for Call Me Mrs. Whitlock:

Della was wicked close to her dream of opening a wellness studio, when her boyfriend disappeared with all her money. With no leads and no help from the police, she must go to his small southern town and convince his friends and family she’s his wife so they’ll help her track the goob down.

Jude, a reluctant new fire chief, knows he’s the last person to be called a hero, but will do whatever he can to protect the people he loves. Even if it means keeping an eye on the mysterious woman who shows up claiming to be married to his AWOL former best friend. Della wants something, but clearly doesn’t plan to stay forever which should be fine. And yet, the longer she’s around, the less willing he is to see her leave. But Jude can’t let himself fall for Damien’s wife. Not again.

As Della and Jude become closer, its hard to deny their growing attraction. If she comes clean, will he help her find Jude? Or lead the party to drive her out of town?


Alice FarisAlice Faris

Alice Faris grew up in a small community in Northern California that proudly boasts of having more cows than people. She raised Guide Dogs for the Blind, is dyslexic, and can shoot a gun and miraculously never hit the target (which at some point becomes a statistical improbability). Alice also publishes science fiction and fantasy under the pen name Tina Gower, has won the Writers of the Future, and Daphne du Maurier Award for Mystery/Suspense (paranormal category).

@tinagower
@tinaalicefaris
blog: www.smashedpicketfences.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/gowertina

Alice is represented by Rebecca Strauss at DeFiore and Company.

Blurb for Good Girl's Guide to Talking Dirty:

When budget cuts slash her school psychologist job, relationship-shy East Winters lands an interview across country for her dream job. She breaks all her strict rules and works as a phone sex operator to finance the trip. Worse, she hitches a cross-country ride with a hunky, emotionally unavailable truck driver. Soon she's counseling him for his intense anxiety issues from surviving a school shooting. Close quarter ignite an attraction that forces her to decide which is more important, her job or her heart.


Kelly Farmer

Kelly has been writing romance novels since junior high. In those days, the heroes were star quarterbacks on the high school football team who drove Corvettes and were named Brad. Now, she writes down to earth stories about the guys and girls next door. Her current manuscript, Puppy Love, takes place at a small-town animal shelter in a fictional southwest Michigan resort town.

Kelly FarmerWhen not writing, she enjoys walking her two spunky senior Labrador retrievers and following NHL hockey. Kelly lives in the Chicago suburbs, where she complains about the weather 300 days a year.

She is represented by Melissa Jeglinski at The Knight Agency.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kellyfarmerauthor
Twitter: https://twitter.com/KellyFarmerAuth

Puppy Love:

Welcome to Serenity, Michigan, home of Two Hearts Pet Sanctuary. The animal shelter is a haven for cats and dogs and a cast of quirky characters. It’s “Where Two Hearts Become One”. Where two lost people find their way in Puppy Love.

Maggie Day has moved to small-town Serenity to start a new life as the veterinarian for the Two Hearts clinic. She’s hoping to find professional satisfaction and a place to call home while avoiding thoughts about her noncommittal ex-fiancée. Trevor Hart is trying to get back to his orderly, private life in Chicago. He’s been helping his mother at Two Hearts since his father’s sudden death. An established law career and peace and quiet await him in the big city. Brought together by a three-legged dog named Jenny, Maggie and Trevor learn that letting go of past hurt and the idea of a perfect life will lead to the home and contentment they’ve been searching for. Puppy Love is a story about finding yourself and true love where you least expect it. And Kurt Russell movies--it’s definitely about Kurt Russell movies.


Jen Gilroy

Jen Gilroy writes heart-warming contemporary romance about finding home, family and
Jen Gilroyhappy ever after, and finding yourself too. She lives in England with her husband and tween daughter, but small-town Canada is still her heart’s home and writing inspiration. She loves cats and dogs (which find their way into her stories), ice cream and vintage style.

Port Fairlight Summer

What if everything you ever wanted is in the place you left behind?

Globe-trotting journalist Charlotte (Charlie) Gibbs isn’t into roots. Or family. Or reminders of Port Fairlight, the Canadian resort town where she spent childhood summers. But when her  last assignment almost kills her and she comes back to recover and sell the family cottage, she’s intent on letting go of the past she’s spent years avoiding.

Sean Carmichael is all about roots. And family. He had his heart broken by Charlie once but  the sexy single dad has moved on. Running the boat building business that’s been in his family for three generations, he likes his life just fine. All Sean wants is to stop Charlie from selling the cottage to a developer, and turning his ordered world upside down. The last thing Charlie and Sean expect is to still have feelings for each other. And when their no-strings fling turns serious, can they change enough to get what they both really

Agent: Represented by Dawn Dowdle, Blue Ridge Literary Agency

Website: www.jengilroy.com

Twitter: @JenGilroy1


Arianna JamesArianna James

Arianna James lives in the aptly named Valley of the Sun with her husband and their genetically ambiguous rescue dog. When not typing dictation for the voices in her head, she can be found baking, singing at the top of her lungs, or avidly consuming all types of fiction.  

Blurb for Caught on Film:

Having grown up hounded by paparazzi, Gwen Blackmore shuns the limelight and her famous parents’ help scaling Hollywood’s ladder of success. But her moment has finally come. After years toiling as a production assistant on America's #1 reality singing competition, she's offered a promotion with an up-and-coming network drama—as long as she makes it through the competition's current season without incident, that is. So when a harried escape from an overzealous fan sends show star Luke Grayson headlong into Gwen’s life, she can't risk offending the popular mentor, no matter how much she despises his rock star sense of entitlement and baffling efforts to be the most dated celebrity in Hollywood. Yet as their forced refuge continues, Gwen finds herself falling for the man beneath the public image. Too bad they can’t hide from the paparazzi forever—nor from the person whose obsession with Luke has taken on a sinister edge.  

Arianna is presently unagented and seeking representation.

Website and social media links:

www.ariannajames.com
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/pages/Arianna-James/275178892662653
Twitter - https://twitter.com/AriannaRJames

Priscilla Kissinger
Priscilla Kissinger

Pris is a romance writing, sports loving, beach going, super busy Latina single mom of three. Her  contemporary romances have a hearth and home tone, with a Latino flavor.  One of her  favorite mantras is: Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good.  She loves pretty much anything by Suzanne Brockmann, love Tracy Brogan's contemporaries.

His Perfect Partner shares the love story between two people headed in different directions—one to the bright lights of Broadway, the other determined to lay down roots in their close-knit community. Until their paths collide.

Yazmine Fernandez is an experienced Broadway dancer struggling with the need to meet her family’s expectations and the personal sacrifices her career demands. Tomás Garcia is a single father and advertising whiz that has convinced himself his daughter and career success are enough.

When his nanny is called away for a personal emergency, Tomás realizes that instead of a nanny, he needs a partner to help parent his daughter.  But after his ex walked out because she valued her job more than family, he vowed never to fall for a woman who would view him and his child as a weight slowing her down. For Yazmine, changing her career plans would negate everything her ailing father sacrificed for her, every plan she’s ever made for herself, leaving her uncertain of who she is and where she belongs. But when she steps in to help care for Tomás’s daughter, her relationship with them both deepens. She and Tomás experience family life together, from every day ups and downs to a heart-breaking tragedy, and attraction sparks from initial awareness to a soul-stirring intensity. In the end, Tomás and Yazmine must choose between the separate paths they have been stubbornly trying to forge and a new one that could ultimately lead to their Perfect Partner.

Pris is represented by Rebecca Strauss with Defiore and Company.

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/prisakiss   @prisakiss

website:  www.prisakiss.com

Instagram: @prisakiss


Kelly SiskindKelly Sikind

A small-town girl at heart, Kelly moved from the city to open a cheese shop with her husband in Northern Ontario. When she's not neck deep in cheese or out hiking, you can find her, notepad in hand, scribbling down one of the many plot bunnies bouncing around in her head.

Blurb for Chasing Crazy:

Pininfarina's rise to shame began the moment her father branded her with those five syllables. Predictably, her reinvention as Nina, non-disaster magnet, tanks within seventy-two hours. In New Zealand. All it takes is scalding soup and a picture-happy mean girl. Then there's mayhem-inducing Sam. Falling for his infuriating self has no place in her fiasco-free life plan. Not when her coordination nosedives in his presence, and landing him means owning her crazy.

Kelly is represented by Stacey Donaghy of the Donaghy Literary Group




Not to keep you on the edge of your seat (see what I did there?!?!?!), but drop by next week to meet the ladies who are the Golden Heart Romantic Suspense finalists!

32 comments:

  1. Love seeing all my Contemporary Romance sisters highlighted with me here! Can't wait to meet those who make it to NYC in person. :-)

    Here's to many sales, lots of success, and even more happiness and love for all of us!

    Hugs,
    Pris

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    1. Thank you for dropping by the blog! Can't wait to meet you in NY.

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  2. Fantastic blurbs. I can't wait until these women are published!!

    Hugs,

    Arlene ~

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    1. Thank you for dropping by the blog! I am with you - can't wait to get my hot little hands on these ladies' stories when they are published.

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  3. Love the Contemporary category because I can't wait to read all of these stories. Such an amazing class this year and I can't believe that I am sharing this experience with all of you. Yay #2015GH Flight of Dragonflies.

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    1. I agree, Maria. It is both an honor and humbling to be in such fantastic company!

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  4. Glad I don't have to pick the "winner" but they all sound like winning stories. Love reading those and getting to know a bit more about these awesome writers. Good luck in NYC. Can't wait to meet y'all!

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    1. The stories all sounded so good when I was putting the post together, it drove me crazy not to be able to read them.

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  5. Glad I don't have to pick the "winner" but they all sound like winning stories. Love reading those and getting to know a bit more about these awesome writers. Good luck in NYC. Can't wait to meet y'all!

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  6. Honoured to be amongst the Contemporary Romance finalists, and looking forward to meeting all my Dragonfly sisters in New York in July.

    Enjoyed reading the blurbs, and finding out more about you and your stories.

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    1. Jen - your story sounds fantastic. Can't wait to meet you in July.

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  7. Thanks for putting names, faces, and storylines together! Good luck to everyone.

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    1. The amount of awesome these ladies generate blows me away!

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  8. Love these interviews, Heather. And I love getting to know my GH sisters!!! Thank you!

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    1. Can't wait to be able to share your double finals with the world next week!

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  9. Wonderful! congratulations to all!

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    1. So glad you were able to drop by to meet these fabulous ladies.

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  10. These sound great!! Good luck to my GH sisters in the Contemporary category and looking forward to hanging with you ladies in NYC.

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  11. We are a good looking bunch, aren't we Contemporary Romance Dragonflies? :-) So proud to be associated with Class of 2015 - super group of ladies! Heather, thanks for doing this. Looks good! :-)

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    1. Can't wait to see all the Dragonflies soar!

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  12. Wow, what a fabulous field of finalists! The Contemporary Romance category is packed with great authors and great reads. Congrats, ladies!

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    1. These ladies blow me away as well :)

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  13. Thanks so much for hosting us today, Heather. I loved reading the contemporary romance girls' bios and book blurbs - the 2015 Dragonflies are such a great bunch of girls - I'm so proud to be one of them!

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    1. Thank you so much for being part of today's blog!

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  14. Wow! This sure is the International Flight of the Dragonflies! ;-) I love that our group are so dispersed and from so many different backgrounds. It was fun learning more about all the finalists in this flight. Can't wait for the next! Lol

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    1. This group evidences the universal bond of romance

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  15. Love reading about our Dragonfly group! We rock :)

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  16. Still in awe of you ladies! Congratulations, Dragonfly Sisters!

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