by Suzanne Welsh
Wow, we’ve been together for another whole year! This time last year, we’d had 4 books reach the book shelves. Now, we have sales by more than half of our Banditas with 14 books on the shelves and 5 more coming out by April of next year…and more to follow!
At the RWA National Conference in San Francisco this past July, for the first time ever, 19 of the Banditas made it to the conference at once. Believe me, the Banditas took the place by storm and created our own kind of special commotion. And even the Golden Rooster was out and about in SF!
Speaking of the GR, it was just after the first of the year that the wily bird made his first appearance in the Lair. He’s been back and forth between the hemispheres and continents so much he should have enough frequent flyer miles for a trip to the space station. When he took over the blog one day we discovered he is a fowl spy who is bent on not only infiltrating the lair, but revealing many of the Banditas’ secrets as well. I wonder what other antics he’ll be up for in the coming year?
We’ve had many guest bloggers this year. NYT Bestselling authors, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Eloisa James and Lorraine Heath all drew lots of attention. We’ve had editors from Source Books and NAL. Michelle Buonfiglio from Lifetime.com visited, too. We were invaded by firemen, knights, dukes and ladies…we even got a masseuse named Swen!!
And the Bandits raided RomanceNovelTV for an entire fortnight, (er, two weeks for those not into British historical time periods). What great fun that was! Rumor has it another raid may be in the planning for next year. Stay tuned for details.
Another thing the Bandits have become involved with is raffle baskets. These are packed full of Bandit booty, including signed copies of the Bandit books. The proceeds from these have gone to various charities or readers/commentors. Here are some of the places you might have seen them: Dreamin In Dallas conference, Buns & Roses Tea for adult literacy, Brenda Novak’s auction for Diabetes research, the Heart of Dixie Readers Luncheon, Washington Romance Writers, RWA National Conference for literacy, RT, Lori Foster’s reader event, Lora Leigh’s RAW, COFW’s conference, the Jo Leigh Fundraiser, and of course, our Christmas one just given away by Kate!
Here are some individual achievements by the Banditas this past year:
Jeanne: Dark and Dangerous, June 2008 and second book DARK AND DEADLY, June 2009 with two more books sold to Kensington in 2008. Dark and Dangerous, A Romantic Times TOP PICK (4.5 Stars!), Just nominated for an RT Reviewer’s Choice Award! Acquired an agent. And a new member of the family…Diver, the Irish Water Spaniel!
Beth: Sold 2 books to Harlequin Superromance Not Without Her Family came out in June. NWHF finaled in the Golden Leaf contest. Acquired an agent.
Anna C:Best New Author of 2007 in the All About Romance Annual Reader Poll.
Claiming the Courtesan:* Finalist, Mainstream Category, 2008 Romance Writers of Australia Romantic Book of the Year Award * Finalist, Best Regency Historical Romance, 2008 Romance Writers of America RITA Awards * Best Debut of 2007, Michelle Buonfiglio’s Lifetime TV Romance: B(u)y the Book * Book of the Year 2007, Michelle Buonfiglio’s Lifetime TV Romance: B(u)y the Book * Best First Single Title Romance of 2007 (Debut Author) in the Single Titles.com Readers Choice poll * Winner of Best First Historical Romance in the Romantic Times Book Reviews Reviewers’ Choice Awards 2007 * Best Long Historical Romance, Greater Detroit Romance Writers of America 2008 Booksellers’ Best Awards.
Untouched: * Romantic Times Top Pick and winner of January 2008 K.I.S.S. (Knight in Shining Silver) Award * Finalist, Best Regency Historical Romance, 2008 Romance Writers of America RITA Awards * Realms Shooting Star Award for a book “that changed our universe” from Realms on our Bookshelves
Tempt the Devil: * Romantic Times Top Pick and winner of January 2009 K.I.S.S. (Knight in Shining Silver) Award
First two short stories published this year. Lady Kate’s Scoundrel was in the Australian Women’s Weekly in April and The Return which was in the Woman’s Day in November.
Kate: HOMICIDE IN HARDCOVER: A Bibliophile Mystery, NAL, February 2009…just received a 4 1/2 star review from RT, and she recently sold to Silhouette Desire. Be watching for her books to come!
Caren: Won Indiana’s Golden Opportunity and the Golden Pen and finaled in the Heart Of the Rockies.
KJ: 2008 Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense, Unpublished Division:Romantic Mystery/Suspense The Matador – First Place
Joan: Her Romans continued taking honors with The Patrician’s Fortune winning The Suzannah and placing 3rd in The Maggies! Whoot, Joanie!!!
Christie: Every Night I’m Yours 2/08, debut release. Won NJ Golden Leaf in the Historical Category. Contracted for 3 more books with Kensington. Finished her whole house remodel and of course, acquired a Siberian Cat!
Jo: Had another granddaughter and that makes the count 15 grandbabies for our JoMama!! When she isn’t busy getting her baby fix, Jo is currently submitting her Romantic Suspense and Historical Suspense books and anticipating a sale.
Donna: THE EDUCATION OF MRS. BRIMLEY won the More than Magic contest, earned a certificate of merit from the Holt medallion contest, and was a finalist in the Golden Quill contest all for Best First Book. It tied for second place in the Barclay Gold and finaled in the Maggies for Best Historical. It was a finalist in the 2008 RT award for Best First Historical and was featured by Gina Bernal in her RNTV video.
THE TROUBLE WITH MOONLIGHT came out in 2008 to a 4.5 TOP PICK review in Romantic Times Bookreviews. Just recently it was nominated for 2009 Romantic Times award for Historical Love and Laughter (Winners to be announced in April).
Cindy: Debut release “The Wild Sight” came out in Oct. and received a starred review from Publishers Weekly. THE WILD SIGHT is nominated for a “Cupid and Psyche Award” (CAPA) by The Romance Studio. Sold two more romantic suspenses to Sourcebooks, one is her 2006 Golden Heart final. Tentative release dates are Fall, 2009 and Spring, 2010.
Trish: first book (A Firefighter in the Family, Harlequin American) came out in September. Sold two more to H.A. in November. Yippee, Trish!
Cassondra: While working on some secret plans in the Lair, she also changed jobs in her non-writing career and adopted a new family member, Thor…a four-year-old, African Pied Crow, whom y’all met earlier this month on the blog!
Nancy: Won the Maggie and finaled in the Daphne and the Orange Rose. Had a feature article in the UNC-Charlotte magazine, Exchange.
Kirsten: Spent 2008 hard at work editing her YA book (scheduled for publication in winter 2009) and is currently starting on the second book in the two-book series. She’s also got several works in progress in adult romance and is dreaming of sales in 2009!
Susan: Won the Golden Heart for for Best Contemporary Single Title Romance with “Money, Honey“. Sold two books, including Money, Honey to Berkeley. Release dates yet to be announced.
Anna S: Had manuscripts place second in the Fab Five and Touch of Magic contests. Alas, she also moved home to England. (Missed greatly in the states by the Bandits!)
Tawny: Our spiciest pubbed author so far, has sold 9 books now, this time last year it was 6. Her 3rd Blaze, Risque Business garnered 4 1/2 stars from RT. Her first Blaze, Double Dare took 3rd place in the Laurel Wreath contest. Look for more sexy fun from her this year!!
Christine: Her second book THE DANGEROUS DUKE hit the shelves to widespread acclaim (it’s Anna here pretending to be Christine so I’m allowed to say that!). She handed in her next book WICKED LITTLE GAME and was contracted to write three more historical romances for Berkley Sensation! Huzzah! Christine made it to her first RWA conference, met all her Bandita sisters, flirted with the GR and generally had a ball!
Suz: As for me? I became a grandmother!! Managed to survive being President of Dallas Area Romance Authors, (DARA) and my first Erotica finaled in the Unpublished Beacon contest.
It’s been quite a year!
In fact, this year we not only talked about a special treat from Australia, Tim Tam’s and had them at the Bandit bash, BUT the Pepperridge Farms company has sent us some Tim Tam’s as a thank you for all the talk about them by us and our Bandit Buddies. In celebration of our fantastic year, the Bandits would like to give them to one of our commenters today!!
So, in honor of such a momentous give away, write us a limerick as to what the Bandits and their blog mean to you. Include Tim Tams somewhere in the poem!