Romancing the Holidays

by Darlyn Finch Kuhn on July 20, 2010

November 6 Romancing the Holidays Book Signing To Raise Funds for Adult Literacy League

On chilly Central Florida nights, there’s nothing cozier than curling up in a comfy chair with a great romance novel, especially one written by an award-winning local author.  Better yet, follow that delicious read with a romantic dinner and love poems recited over dessert.  More than twenty of Florida’s best known romance novelists, as well as Culinary Confessions of the PTA Divas cookbook author Pam Brandon and Three Houses poets Darlyn Finch & Brad Kuhn, will be on hand to meet readers and sign copies of their latest books at the annual Romancing the Holidays book signing, to be held Saturday, November 6 from 2 – 5 p.m. in the center fountain court of Altamonte Mall.

Not only can readers chat with their favorite writers and get their book purchases autographed, but Barnes & Noble’s Altamonte Mall store, which is supplying the books for the signing, will donate 20% of the event’s proceeds to Central Florida’s non-profit Adult Literacy League.

Book buyers are encouraged to arrive early.  The first 100 people to purchase will go home with a fabulous goody bag stuffed with books donated by authors (many of them autographed) and publishers (including romance giant Harlequin), bookmarks, other promotional items, and candy.

“Reading is the most essential tool a person needs to succeed in life,” says Joyce Whidden, executive director of the ALL.  “So, we are thankful to the Central Florida Romance Writers for choosing the ALL and our eager adult learners to benefit from this very fun event.  Romance fans are voracious readers, and we like that!”

Fans of the romance genre also buy a lot of books.  According to statistics published on the website of Romance Writers of America, a non-profit organization of over 9,500 romance writers mainly from the US and Canada, “Romance fiction generated $1.37 billion in sales in 2009.”  Also, “74.8 million people read at least one romance novel in 2008.”

“I’m thrilled to be taking part in this wonderful event.  I look forward to it every year,” says Catherine Kean, one of the event’s coordinators, who is published in mass market paperback by Medallion Press.  Her sixth book, A Knight’s Persuasion, Book 4 of her medieval Knight’s Series, arrived in bookstores earlier this year.  “I love meeting my readers and supporting an organization as beneficial as the ALL.”

Co-coordinator Dara Edmondson agrees.  She writes young adult and contemporary romances for The Wild Rose Press under her own name and erotic novels for Red Sage and Ellora’s Cave under the pen name Wynter Daniels.  “As an author, I love being out there, meeting readers face-to-face.  When I meet someone who has read my books, it’s such a thrill to hear their comments in person.  Way better than a fan letter!  Knowing part of the proceeds go to help literacy in the area is like the cherry on an ice cream sundae.”

Among those participating in the November 6 book signing are fantasy author C.L. Wilson and romantic suspense novelist Roxanne St. Claire.  Both have had books on the New York Times bestseller list.  Twelve of the authors–Blair Bancroft, Jax Cassidy, Leigh Duncan, Dara Edmondson, Louise M. Gouge, Shauna Hart, Kean, Pamela Labud, Gennita Low, Aleka Nakis, St. Claire and Michelle Young—are members of Central Florida Romance Writers, an affiliated, non-profit chapter of RWA.

Locally, CFRW has about sixty members hailing from almost every county in Central Florida.  Twenty-four are published in mass market paperback, trade paperback, hardcover, or electronic (e-book) formats.  The chapter boasts writers of every romance sub-genre, including long and short contemporary, romantic suspense, Christian inspirational, historical, and paranormal.

Chapter President Lorena Streeter, whose erotic romances are published under the pen name Lara Dien by The Wild Rose Press, encourages aspiring authors to attend an upcoming meeting to see what the chapter can offer them.  Many of group’s members—including Kean and CFRW Past-President Dara Edmondson—have belonged to CFRW for years and grown from newbies penning their first manuscripts to published authors with multiple publishing contracts.  Through monthly meetings, writing-related programs given by chapter members and guest lecturers, conferences, book signings, and sharing of industry news through a chapter email loop, the group nurtures romance authors at all stages in their careers.

For details on the November 6 Romancing the Holidays Book Signing, visit http://www.cfrwa.org/rth.htm or contact Barnes & Noble at (407) 261 – 0213.  For more information on Central Florida Romance Writers, visit the chapter’s website at http://www.cfrwa.com/.

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