Who's a Maggie Finalist?

I am!

So there I was, at the seafood counter at my local Publix, getting a chunk of salmon skinned. (I’ve tried to do it before and it wasn’t pretty, much like the gross-out when I attempted to cut up a whole chicken for the first–and last–time.) My cell phone rings.

“Hi, Seressia, it’s Pam Montovani from GRW.” (Georgia Romance Writers.)

“Oh, hi, Pam.” I’m trying to come up with a good reason why I haven’t paid the conference fee yet. Like the $420 I had to spend last Saturday to keep my car from thinking I was stealing it. (I’m not lying.)

“How’s your weekend so far?” She asks.

“Good, good,” I say, wondering if she’s instead going to take e to task for missing last week’s meeting. It was the Black Arts Festival. I think they understood.

“Well, how about I make the weekend a little bit better for you?”

I swear, I had no clue at this point. She wasn’t yelling at me, or chastising me. Maybe she needed me to pinch-hit on a panel for Moonlight and Magnolias, our conference happening September 28-30. “O-kay.”

“You’re a Maggie finalist.”

I blinked. I stared at the lady holding a chunk of salmon out to me. Then I took a deep breath, and when I spoke, my voice climbed several octaves. I think I cracked the lobster tank.

“Are you %^$#! kidding me?” I shriek. “Really?”

She said the magic words again and added “congratulations” to the mix. I think I ran up the wine aisle, and I lost my buggy, and then remembered that I’d ordered a piece of salmon. Pam graciously let me get back to my shopping, no doubt so that she could rest her eardrums before calling the next finalist.

I lost my buggy again and walked past the 2% milk twice while calling my friend Emily Sewell with the news and more shriekage. I called another writer friend out in California, Jackie Hamilton, who “clutched the pearls” in glee for me.

So I’m a Maggie finalist in Long Contemporary for my book, Through the Fire. To quote the GRW website:

The purpose of the Maggie Awards for Published Novelists is to recognize RWA authors from Region 3 who have published outstanding books in the romance genre during 2006. The Maggie Award is a symbol of achievement given by Georgia Romance Writers to bring special attention to these writers, and the Maggie, a silver medallion commissioned by GRW, receives national attention. Books will be scored and ranked by a panel of booksellers from chain and independent bookstores. The names and categories of Maggie recipients and finalists will appear in the Romance Writers Report.

So to say I am delighted to be a finalist is definitely an understatement. The fact that the contest is judged by booksellers is a definite plus to me. I’m so thrilled to be nominated. I don’t know who my fellow finalists are, but when I do, I’ll post here!

Registration is still open for the 25th Annual Moonlight and Magnolias conference, featuring Linda Howard, Rita Herron, Sherrilyn Kenyon, and bunches more. There will be a booksigning on Saturday afternoon 4:00-5:30 PM that’s FREE to the public, as is Linda Howard’s chat just prior to the signing. Hope to see you there!

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