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!