Updates: Awards, Sales and 2019 Speaking Events

One of the ads I will be running December 16-26.

A quick update before we start with a series of blog posts on Christmas traditions tomorrow:

Awards
Mistress of Legend is a semi-finalist in the Chaucer Awards for historical fiction pre-1700. We will find out the final results in April.

There is another award I know about, but can’t announce yet…

Sales
Madame Presidentess got an international BookBub ad for December 21 to celebrate its film option, so it will be on sale all over the world December 17-26 for only $0.99 in ebook. (Don’t forget that it is available in audio and print as well!)

2019 Events
2019 is shaping up to be a busy year. Here is my schedule so far:

Book Signing with Missouri Romance Writers of America
February 9, 7 p.m.
The Novel Neighbor
7905 Big Bend Blvd. 
Webster Groves, MO 63119

Presentation: Victoria Woodhull: Forgotten by History
Monday, March 4, 7 p.m.
Eureka Hills Branch Library
156 Eureka Towne Ctr
Eureka, MO 63025

IBPA Publishing University
April 4-6
Chicago, Illinois

Historical Novel Society Conference
June 20-22
National Harbor, Maryland
Nicole will be presenting three times during the Reader’s Festival on June 22:

  1. 1:15-2:15 p.m. – Dynamic Duos: Husbands and Wives Who Worked Together During the Women’s Suffrage Movement (presenting with Hope Tarr)
  2. Time TBA – THE TIMES THEY ARE A CHANGIN’: Historical Fiction Joins the Protest March (pannel with Glen Craney, Diane McPhail, and Charles Degelman)
  3. Time TBA – GASLAMPS, GHOSTS, AND TROPES: Writing the Neo-Gothic Novel (panel with Kris Waldherr, Leanna Renee Hieber and Hester Fox)

Novelists Inc. Conference
September 25-29
Tradewinds Resort
St. Petersburg, FL

Mistress of Legend Short-Listed for Chaucer Award

You read that right! Mistress of Legend doesn’t even come out for 22 more days, and it’s already on its way to its first award! It has been short-listed for the Chaucer Award for historical fiction talking place prior to 1750 by Chanticleer Reviews.

I’m especially honored to be on the list with my friend, the amazing writer Anna Belfrage, who is shortlisted for not one, but two novels! And there’s another Arthurian book on the list. I hope this is the beginning of trend!

Two Honors for The Once and Future Queen

I’m happy to be able to say that The Once and Future Queen recently received two awards:

  1. First in category for Instructional & Insightful Non-Fiction Books at the Chanticleer Book Awards.
  2. The Indie BRAG Medallion, which honors the best in independently published books. This is my fourth Indie BRAG Medallion.

Here are some comments from the Indie BRAG reviewers:

“When I chose this book, I wanted to send out a warning to the author “I LOVE Guinevere stories and have read a great many of them. Well, good for you Ms. Evelina, this was not a disappointment! This is a very well researched book told in a very fluid and readable way. I will certainly be looking forward to the next book in this incredible story. Thank you.”

“This is a very thorough examination of Queen Guinevere in literature for at least 1000 years. It is well-researched and well-documented with an abundance of footnotes. There is a clear line discussing the changes in the character through the years. I enjoyed the book very much.”

“Extremely well-researched with comprehensive footnotes. An excellent compendium of scholarly research and fictional sources, both ancient and modern. A useful reference book to have in the library of anyone interested in this period.”

“This is a very well researched book with a number of new, to me, insights. I will be interested in reading what the author does next.”

TOAFQ is a Contest Finalist & Other Fun Stuff

The Once and Future Queen has been shortlisted in its first contest: The Chanticleer Reviews 2017 Instruction and Insight Non-Fiction Book Awards. We’ll find out if it takes home the Grand Prize in its category on April 21, or maybe even Book of the Year! (Hey, it can’t hurt to hope!)

I’ve also had some really fun things happen lately and if you don’t follow me on social media, you might have missed them:

  1. A blogger told me that she’ll be using The Once and Future Queen as part of her sources for presentation she’s giving at her local library and that she has asked them to purchase my books for the library. This is proof that targeted blog tours can result in sales!
  2. My audio book narrator for Been Searching for You, Ashley Clements gave the book a shout out on Instagram Live.
  3. Susan Weintrob did this really cool review of Madame Presidentess where she added in a recipe for the tomato sup Victoria is said to have ordered at Delmonico’s.
  4. Here’s my first moment of having someone fangirl over my books (and on video, no less):

If you can help out Kelly’s literacy project, please do!

Also, I have several books in free giveaways on BookFunnel this month:

  1. NonfictionThe Once and Future Queen
  2. Mythological March Madness Daughter of Destiny and Camelot’s Queen

Please tell all your friends if they want free books!

Update: Awards, Google Play, Writing and More!

Grinning like a fool, but I do love my awards.

Yes, I’m still here. Quick update for everyone.

What I’ve been doing

  1. Traveling to the Chanticleer Author’s Conference (see photo) and visiting Seattle (OMG, that Pike’s Place Market…I would give anything to have something like that here!).
  2. Writing on The Once and Future Queen, my debut non-fiction book tracing the evolution of the character of Guinevere from her Celtic roots to today.
  3. Auditioning actresses to narrate the audio book version of Madame Presidentess.

Award updates

  • Daughter of Destiny and Been Searching for You took home Silver in their categories at the Independent Book Publishers Association’s (IBPA) Benjamin Franklin Awards last weekend.
  • Camelot’s Queen won First in Category (Mythic and Legendary Fantasy) in the Ozma Awards, sponsored by Chanticleer Reviews.
  • Camelot’s Queen and Been Searching for You are both nominees for In D’Tale Magazine’s RONE Awards. Voting starts Monday and I need your help to get into the finals. Look for a post on Monday with directions on how to vote.

One thing you can do now: You MUST be registered at www.indtale.com in order to vote for the RONE Awards, so please sign up today. It’s a two-step process:

  1. Register at www.indtale.com. 
  2. Click the verification link sent to you via email. (If you don’t verify, you won’t be able to vote.)

Book news

More from me soon, I promise!

Two Award Wins – No April Fools Joke

I have two happy announcements that are no joke!

I found out this morning that Been Searching for You took third place over all categories in the Lyra Awards for Fiction!

Tonight at the Chanticleer Author’s Conference, Camelot’s Queen took home first in category in the Ozma Awards for Fantasy.

Needless to say, it’s been a great day!

Been Searching for You Shortlisted for Romance Award

Chatelaine-Awards-2015Been Searching for You has been short-listed for the 2016 Chatelaine Awards for Romance/Women’s Fiction, sponsored by Chanticleer Reviews! This is the same award Daughter of Destiny ultimately won Grand Prize in last year before going on to take home Book of the Year. Here’s hoping for that luck two years in a row!

Book Review: Doctor Kinney’s Housekeeper by Sara Dahmen

dr-kinneyFull disclosure: I met the author at the Chanticleer Author’s Conference last year and we’ve become online friends. That doesn’t influence my review, however. This is my honest opinion.

Our modern world makes complexity out to be the be-all-and-end-all, and as a result life seems to get more and more complex by the day. Because of this, sometimes simplicity is refreshing, and that is one of many reasons why I truly cherished my time reading Doctor Kinney’s Housekeeper by Sara Dahmen.

I mean no insult by calling the book simple. Rather, that is a compliment of highest regard. It’s easy to write flowery prose; spare language in which every word pulls its weight is much harder. More difficult still is using such prose to paint a picture of rough-and-tumble frontier life while avoiding cliché and giving the reader a viable sense of a bygone era in which life was slower-paced and values meant something. Ms. Dahmen does all this in spades and it’s easy to see why this book won the Grand Prize in the Laramie Awards for Western Fiction (sponsored by Chanticleer Reviews).

Doctor Kinney’s Housekeeper is the story of Jane, a widowed, childless woman seeking a life away from her home and family after her husband’s death. In answering an ad for a housekeeper in the Dakota Territories, she sets her life on an unexpected course in which she encounters love, friendship, grief, prejudice and joy in the company of wonderfully drawn characters that range from a dusty cowboy to a wise Sioux widow. The plot is quietly powerful, as are the characters, all of whom evoke a strong sense of personhood and strength, remaining with you long after you’ve read the closing words of the book.

This is one of those sleeper books that has much more to it than one might think at first glance. More than just another work of historical fiction, more than a love story, more than a western – though it is all of these things – Doctor Kinney’s Housekeeper is a story of patience and triumph over adversity through faith and steely determination, of allowing our lives to change and mould us into better human beings through trials and sorrow, and of treasuring the simple joys in life. This is a book not to be missed, one that will haunt you for weeks to come as you ponder the curious depth of plot and the bravery of its characters.

Sara Dahmen is a writer of true talent and rare gifts. I look forward to reading more from her.

Daughter of Destiny Takes Home Book of the Year!

Book of Year RibbonI was hoping to write this post a bit sooner than a week after the fact, but with traveling, the day job and other book-related events, I just haven’t had time. (What a wonderful problem to have!)

For those who haven’t heard on social media, my books took home four awards at the Chanticleer Author’s Conference in Bellingham, Washington, last weekend. I knew going in that Daughter of Destiny and Madame Presidentess were both going to get first in category awards, for romance/women’s fiction and historical fiction, respectively.

Chatelaine AwardI had no idea that Daughter of Destiny was going to continue on to take home overall category Grand Prize in the Chatelaine (romance/women’s fiction) Awards. They asked me to speak (which I wasn’t expecting) and I told a short version of how I got here (two years to find an agent, two years with an agent, getting close to traditional publications so many times, then leaving my agent, unsuccessfully trying to get another and finally going indie) with the theme of never giving up, which I almost did many times.

Imagine my shock when it was proclaimed Book of the Year! I will never watch awards shows the same way again. Those reactions you see? They are genuine. I leaned forward, covered my face with my hands and uttered some sort of guttural cry. I think at a time like that, it’s all you can can do. When they asked me to speak again, I felt like the Oscar winner who didn’t prepare an acceptance speech. People told me the next day I was very eloquent, though I have little memory of what I said. I know I thanked my mom, who is always my first reader, and who was there in the room with me. I talked about other things, but I can’t recall them.

Two first place ribbonsLater, when i was trying to hold up all four ribbons at once, i felt like the multi-Grammy winner who can barely hold all her awards. It is so overwhelming and humbling all at once. On top of that, you are in a state of shock.

I can’t even put into words what that night meant to me. I am so thankful to everyone who listened to me complain and be scared and frustrated and reassured me that I would figure it out. All of you who have been with me on this journey (whether from the beginning or just recently) are the reasons why I can now say I have written the Book of the Year.

I still can’t believe it a week later. All I can say is believe with everything in you, put in the hard work and it will happen. Manifestation, or as some of us know it, the Red Feather process, is a real thing and it does work, but you have to put in the work as well.

Thanks to everyone who has read my books or supported me in any way, shape or form.