Monday, February 15, 2010

Reviewers' Choice Winner!

I found out on Friday that According to Jane was selected as one of CataNetwork's winners for the 2009 Single Titles Reviewers' Choice Award! Very exciting and a huge honor!! The complete list of Single Title winners is here. There were also awards given for Sensual and Category Romance books. Whoo-hoo!

As if that wasn't nice enough, the simply wonderful Laurel Ann from Austenprose emailed me with the happy news that her review of my debut novel was now up on the Jane Austen Centre Magazine's website, thus making my weekend incredibly sweet (even without all the chocolate candies I devoured ;).

But this new year has ushered in with it so many blessings for me and for people I know--writing-related and otherwise--that I can't help but feel I should have celebrated Thanksgiving yesterday instead of Valentine's... It's a thought that's been running through my head with increasing frequency, particularly in light of a few random happenings in the first half of February. Sometimes something as seemingly simple as a caring email from a friend or a surprise greeting card in the mail or a kindness for no reason whatsoever have been reminders of the tremendous good out there.

I know saying stuff like this leads some to think I'm Pollyanna-ish. But I don't feel optimistic all the time and certainly not "for no reason." In fact, there was an incident last week that really ticked me off. It involved a woman I'd never met--nor do I ever intend to meet her now--with a lack of common sense SO profound that...YIKES. (Consider this word a placeholder for the stream of obscenities I'm thinking.) I almost wouldn't know where to begin to explain the situation, if I were to waste my time trying. Not worth it. But there was a positive side effect: The next morning I got together with three good friends and managed to impart to them some of the ridiculousness of that woman's behavior. Their immediate understanding, intelligent humor and consequent eye-rolling had me laughing and succeeded in dispelling the negative experience in ten minutes. It prompted me to remember anew this truth: Genuine friendship carries with it restorative powers...a kind of magic.

And over the past month I've been reminded repeatedly of the generosity and thoughtfulness of my fellow authors. Lauren Willig and Cara Elliott surprised and delighted me by including According to Jane on their "supplemental reading list" for the romance class they're teaching this semester at Yale. (It's SUCH a cool course, too! Makes me wish I could be a student again.) And fabulous authors Cathy Lamb, JoAnn Ross and Susan McBride have taken precious time away from their writing to share with me their humor and words of wisdom this past week--a truly priceless gift, especially on a couple of days when I felt I was swimming circles in a very murky moat.

And then there are the friends I've made through this blog, who have shown their supportiveness in countless and touching ways over these almost three years... You know how much I appreciate you, right?! Well, it's worth saying it again: You're AMAZING, and I thank you.

Today in the States it's Presidents' Day. Tomorrow is Mardi Gras around the world. I expect to hear about some celebrations... Or, if those holidays aren't your thing, then at least do something fun to welcome the Year of the Tiger. I'm trying to convince my husband that some good Chinese carryout is just what we need. Moo shu chicken. Sweet-n-sour pork. Ohhhh, lettuce wraps! I may have no good excuse personally, from a cultural-heritage standpoint, to celebrate the Chinese New Year, but I'm not Irish either and that never stopped me from eating those green-sprinkled shamrock cookies on St. Patrick's Day.

Coming up later this week: a Q&A with talented mystery writer Hank Phillippi Ryan + a book giveaway for Drive Time!


Tonya Kappes said...

Congratulations!! How exciting!
Plus, I can't wait to see Hank here! What a great way to start the week.

Edie Ramer said...

Congratulations on all the good stuff! I hope many more fabulous things happen to you.

I've had a good start of 2010, too. I hope it keeps getting better.

Pamela Cayne said...

Congrats on the awesome award, Marilyn! (I mean it's no surprise and you totally deserve it, but still, CONGRATS!) And on Lauren and Cara's reading list at Yale? That's a double scoop of awesome!

And I hear you and Edie on the 2010 blessings, especially genuine friendship. May all our years be this great!

Marilyn Brant said...

Tonya~thank you!!! It was a great way to head into the weekend--hope you had a good one as well! And I'm looking forward to Hank's visit, too ;).

Edie~thanks so much for the congrats and, let me tell you, I'm thrilled to hear you've had a good start to 2010, too. Keeping my fingers crossed for more great news for you!

Pamela~thank you, hon! I just *loved* Lauren and Cara's thoughtfulness, plus, I'm so tickled to be on a list like that...makes me grin every time :). Here's to REALLY wonderful things happening for you this year!

Robin said...

Congratulations, Marilyn! What fantastic news! And being included in a reading list at Yale? OMG! So totally cool and so totally deserving! I'm so happy to hear all your great news and share in this wonderful time. (BTW- I recorded the latest Emma miniseries on PBS and started watching it last night. It's delightful! Did you see it?)

Nancy J. Parra said...

Congratulations Marilyn!! This is awesome sauce. Your good news and sweet friendship lift me up. Thanks for sharing!!

Marilyn Brant said...

Robin~thanks!! I've been watching the new "Emma" with great interest (LOVE that Jonny Lee Miller ;), but I still have a little bit left to see...part of me likes the anticipation... Glad you're enjoying it, too!

Nancy~thank you and back at'cha ;). Hope you had a lovely Valentine's!!

Maria Geraci said...

Yay, Marilyn! Congratulations on the Reviewers Choice Award. Well deserved! And I love your words on friendship. What would we do without our girlfriends?!?

Susan McBride said...

Yay for all the cool stuff, Marilyn! You deserve every last drop of fabulousness! :-)

Sandra Ferguson said...

What a fun, meandering blog. I'm completely on page with your thoughts. Guess that means I meander as well. Not surprising. I've decided that writers are some of the loveliest tangent thinkers I've ever met. They can follow the most twisted, convulted trail of thoughts and normally arrive right on schedule, with me.

I, too, had a lovely evening with a great creative friend. Just sharing a good bottle of wine and moaning over our fabulous, if sometimes trying, children was a wonderful way to start the week.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Marilyn. I always feel warmer for having shared a part of your day.

Marilyn Brant said...

Maria~good friends and loving family members...it doesn't really get much better (unless we add creamy chocolate to the list ;). Hope you have a marvelous week!!

Susan~thank you for the congrats, but thank you even more for YOUR fabulousness. Your supportiveness meant a lot to me! *hug*

Sandra~I was wandering around all over the place, wasn't I? LOL!! Well, that you could follow it is the mark of a very smart chica ;). Thanks for wanting to...and for taking the time to share your lovely observations. Glad you had such a great evening. And I'm SURE you saw the pairs skating final--whoo-hoo!!!!

Middle Ditch said...

Well done you and let's hope good things keep happening to you in the year of the tiger. Apparently not a good year for the dragon lady.

lainey bancroft said...

Well done! AND well deserved!

Enjoy. =)

Marilyn Brant said...

Monique~thank you ;). Here's hoping this year turns out to be a good one for everybody, dragons included!!

Lainey~thanks, sweetie!! Hope you're having a great week.
p.s. It's be SO fun to watch the awesome Canadians host these Olympic Games :-).

Anonymous said...

WOWZA. Congratulations!!!!!

xo.sorcha.ox said...

Oh, I have your book on my wish-list (and have had for a few months now, alas!)! I hope to read it sometime this year; I caught the review at Austenprose and it sounds like a novel I will heartily enjoy. I should hurry up and get on with it, shouldnt I? :)
Congratulations on the win!

Marilyn Brant said...

Thanks, Tina!!!! *hug* I've been thinking of you and hoping all the pre-release craziness hasn't gotten to you yet. How are you?!

xo.sorcha.ox~hello! I'm so glad you stopped by ;-). I love getting to meet other Austen fans. I saw your name on Haley's challenge, too--looks like it'll be a fun one!

Vesper said...

Marilyn, congratulations on all these good things! I love your optimism and your enthusiasm. Keep it up! :-)

Pamala Knight said...

How did I miss commenting on this wonderful news?? I think my head might be running around without my body and if you see that, steer her towards the chocolate okay? I obviously need some, lol.

Congratulations Marilyn dear for the much deserved recognition.


Gail Fuller said...

Congratulations on all the wonderful happenings in your life! :) I love when great things happen to nice people. It's especially sweet when they happen to people as nice as you.

Big hugs,
Gail :)

Marilyn Brant said...

Vesper, Pamala and Gail~You ladies are wonderful! Thank you all for good wishes and just for being so supportive :).

Have a GREAT weekend!!