Posts in Awards and Accolades
"Love in an Elevator" Just Won its First Award!

Last night, I was so busy wrangling the littles and cooking a dinner I wouldn’t even get to eat myself (long story) that I missed a call I would much rather have been taking from Fenley Grant. It was the best kind of call from someone with a strange number: a call to tell me I’d won something. Not a free three-night stay in Las Vegas if I agree to listen to a brief ::cough::not brief::cough:: sales pitch—something far more awesome than that.

I’m excited to share that early chapters of my brand-spanking-new manuscript, “Love in an Elevator”, just finaled in the Great Expectations Contest put on by North Texas RWA! I know, I know—it’s not good that I just put a 1989 Aerosmith song in your head…

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"The Art of Worship" Just Won 1st Place in the Erotic Short Category of the 2018 International Digital Awards!

I’m honestly not sure what they put in the water in Oklahoma. All I know is that OKRWA loves them some Kilby Blades. This week I was notified that the Oklahoma Romance Writers of America have named “The Art of Worship” 1st Place Winner in its Erotic Short Story category in its International Digital Awards!

Unlike OKRWA’s National Reader’s Choice Awards, the focus of the IDAs is novels or short works that are available ONLY in digital or print-on-demand format. My unconfirmed suspicion is that this award is intended to level the playing field for indie authors.

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"Snapdragon" is a Finalist in the Book Buyer's Best Contest!

In an unexpected, good-news twist, I found out today (after having a very bad week) that Snapdragon was named a finalist in the Book Buyer's Best Contest run by the Orange County chapter of RWA (OCCRWA)! I had, frankly, given up on this award, as I'd heard titterings that finalists were receiving calls (a call that never came for me), and the notification date had long-passed. This is a tough business, people. The books that we sweat, bleed and develop drinking problems over may never do well commercially, may never receive a single accolade, etc. Snapdragon is a different work of romance, both in its structure and complexity. The fact that it isn't formulaic made it even less of a sure thing on the awards circuit. 

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"Crocodile Tears" Wins 2nd Place for Fiction with a Central Romance in the Rudy Awards!

I'm not the kind of author who is blessed with plotbunnies that will yield straightforward books. My work is complex and doesn't always fit clearly into a single category. Snapdragon was a doozie to write, but even more than Snapdragon, I've struggled with Crocodile Tears, my unpublished manuscript that's gone through quite an identity crisis. I haven't said much about Crocodile Tears yet--what you should know is that it deals with a multi-generational family feud. When the hero's father dies and leaves the daughter of the enemy family half of his multi-million-dollar fortune, my hero and heroine are forced to get to the bottom of the family feud.

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Four Books. Four Awards. And an Amazing time in Denver at RWA 2018!

It's hard to even know how to begin this article. My experience at RWA this year is a lot different from my first year in Orlando in 2017. Not knowing anything about anything that first year, I blindly followed the advice of my book bestie, L.G. O'Connor. I signed up too late to have secured appointments with agents and editors, and, either way, I wasn't sure whether I wanted to go traditional. But I was sick of sitting at home in my bathrobe, writing and swilling coffee. It seemed a good opportunity to get out of the house. So I went. I attended workshops. I had, literally, no place to be. I met other authors. I visited the overwhelming swag room. And I watched nominees walk across the stage to accept RITA Awards.

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RSJ Emma Awards for Diversity in Romance Honor Kilby Blades as Best Debut Author

I'll admit it--it's been a tough year for me in terms of discovering truths about the industry--and, by that, I mean coming to some realizations about how far we still have to go with respect to promoting diversity in romance. I certainly knew that we were underrepresented--that it seemed more difficult for diverse authors to get traditional publishing contracts and, if we get them, to have good experience with our publishers around marketing and promotion. I did not know until recently about a litany of other issues--from earning retail space, to being dropped from publishing, to problems with book displays and shelving, to serious issues with the RITA Awards.

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Praised as "Feminist Fiction" by IndieReader, "The Art of Worship" Won its 2018 Discovery Award

We talk a lot, in romance, about empowering our heroines. So much of what I read still misses the mark. Typical romances still make heroes better at nearly everything, compared to heroines. Heroes tend to have more prestigious jobs, are more likely to be self-made if they're wealthy, tend to have more grit, wit, foresight and problem-solving skills. They're more comfortable sexually and are generally in better harmony with their bodies. This is ludicrous. Men are insecure (duh). Men have body image issues. Men worry about sexual performance. They have money problems and, contrary to what the romance genre would have you believe, they're not all rich. 

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"The Art of Worship" is a Finalist in the Passionate Plume Contest!

I never talk about my novel, The Art of Worship, without admitting that it's super weird. Most romance stories are boy meets girl (or girl meets girl or boy meets werewolf--you know what I mean). It's full of really fuzzy love and really funny sex, but it's just not a typical romance. Trust me when I tell you that I do not look back at all of my books as volumes that I can read again and again. But I can read The Art of Worship 100,000 times and never get tired of it.

With that said, it's a bit of a love-hate kind of read. Reviewers love, love, love it, but its plot is so weird that, in contests, it's done just okay. I am thrilled to announce that

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"The Secret Ingredient" and "Crocodile Tears" are Finalists in the Unpublished Stiletto Awards!

More news on the awards front: this time about two unpublished manuscripts I've been sweating over for months: the Contemporary Romance Writers of America have named "Crocodile Tears" and "The Secret Ingredient" as finalists in their unpublished Stiletto Contest! 

These books are very special to me. I'll be blogging about them one of these days and releasing teaser pages that show off the plot. For the time being, it means a lot to get the scorecards, hear validation that judges liked both, and to see where these manuscripts may need work.

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"Snapdragon" is a National Readers Choice Awards Finalist!

Whoa! Have you seen some of the names on the finalists list for this year's NRCAs? I'm on the same page--twice--with Jill Shalvis. Being in such talented company makes it even sweeter that "Snapdragon" has made it to the finals in this year's National Readers' Choice Awards for Best First Book and Erotic Romance! I'll be looking forward to RWA Nationals in Denver in July, where they'll be announcing the winners and where I hope to meet (in person) some of the lovely ladies of OKRWA. Beyond staying with me through some technical problems as I was entering the contest, these girls were all just as sweet as apple pie.

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"The Art of Worship" is a Holt Medallion Finalist for Best Novella; "Snapdragon" is a Finalist for Best Erotic Romance and Best First Book!

In the dumbest of all first world problems, I was starting to get worried. I've received more amazing accolades for Snapdragon than I ever could have hoped. But Snapdragon wasn't the only book I released this past year--it was one of three, and one of two that I've put my hat in for contests. Up until now, The Art of Worship (which I actually think is a better book) hasn't gotten any love. I am thrilled to announce that at least a few people had the courage to upvote my novella The Art o Worship. It's got a plot that I've never seen anywhere in the romance world before…

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A First Place win for "Snapdragon" in the NECRWA Awards (And a Generally Great Time Had By All)

You know what they say about fifteen minutes and fame. So when I was named a finalist in the New England Chapter RWA's Reader's Choice Awards and invited to the conference to revel in the honor, I figured I'd better absorb whatever warmth I could from my day in the sun. At the time, the other book I'd been entering into awards had won exactly zilch. I figured, maybe this was it! There were other compelling reasons to attend the conference. Beverly Jenkins was giving a masterclass on small town romance, and let's be honest--she could've been giving a masterclass on underwater basket weaving. I still would have wanted to go, because Beverly f*ing Jenkins!

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A Bronze Medal for "Snapdragon" in the Independent Publisher Awards (IPPY Awards)

I wouldn't have even entered the IPPY Awards if it hadn't been for my friend, Liz. She is my beta reader, turned get-off-your-ass-and-come-to-RWA-nationals, turned mentor-of-all-things-author-world, turned friend. When I met Liz about a year and a half ago, she gave Snapdragon a look before I published it. At the time, she herself had just won a Bronze IPPY in the Romance category for her wonderful second chances novel, Caught Up in Raine, and had some very nice-looking pictures of her floating around from the awards gala. It was Liz who inspired me to even take the step of entering awards.…

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"Snapdragon" Has Been Named a Finalist in the New England Readers' Choice Awards!

Believe it or not, this story starts with me waking up to an e-mail messsage in Bolivia. For those of you who have never been to La Paz, the elevation is around 12,000 feet and my altitude sickness medicine made it so that I was getting only about four hours per night of sleep. So, for one, I was cranky. Add to that the fact that I hadn't seen my family for going on a week. Unable to sleep at the early hour of 5AM (2AM, my local time) I was figuring this wouldn't be my best day. Until it was. My friend-who-happens-to-be-a-writing-coach, Beth Barany, had forwarded me an e-mail…

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"Snapdragon" Has Been Named a Foreword Indies Finalist!

More great news about "Snapdragon"! This week, it was named a Finalist in the 2017 Foreword Indies Awards in the Erotica (Adult Fiction) category. This feels particularly special, since the very first book I published, in 2012, a non-fiction book under my real name also won the Foreword Indies prize in its category. As most folks know, Kilby Blades is a pen name, since I write the steamy stuff :) Indie publishing isn't easy. There are a ton of wonderful indie books out there (most of the indie romance I read, for me, surpasses the bestsellers). I can't tell you how gratified I am to receive the validation that a book that started as drabble a few years before I made a serious tackle to write it received such recognition…

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"Snapdragon" Has Advanced to the BookLife Prize Semifinals!

BookLife and Publishers Weekly announced the titles advancing to the quarterfinals of the 2017 BookLife Prize. My debut novel, "Snapdragon" is one of the seventy-nine chosen works. The mission of the BookLife Prize is to discover, cultivate, support, and celebrate great works of unpublished or self-published writing by independent authors. The Prize also aims to provide feedback to authors about their work, provide a Critic’s Report which may assist finalists in the marketing of their fiction, and provide financial support via a cash prize to the grand-prize winner.

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Snapdragon Has Been Named a BookLife Prize Quarterfinalist!

BookLife and Publishers Weekly announced the titles advancing to the quarterfinals of the 2017 BookLife Prize. My debut novel, "Snapdragon" is one of the seventy-nine chosen works. The mission of the BookLife Prize is to discover, cultivate, support, and celebrate great works of unpublished or self-published writing by independent authors. The Prize also aims to provide feedback to authors about their work, provide a Critic’s Report which may assist finalists in the marketing of their fiction, and provide financial support via a cash prize to the grand-prize winner.

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