Somehow I volunteered to recap our first year (all four months of it) as a romance blog. And it really didn’t seem that intimidating. “It’ll be easy. It’s only four months of postings.” I said. “It’s just a listing” I thought. Oh how mistaken I was. I mean, it started out innocently enough. Six ladies introduced themselves. Simple enough of a beginning, right? I got lost in a whole day of rereading our awesome posts. Thank goodness I was on vacation over the holidays.
How Many Authors Fit In the Tearoom?
I spent about three hours rereading the posts about our eight guest authors and I’m not afraid to admit some of that time was merely spent drooling over covers. Valerie Bowman, stopped by to visit first at Amy’s encouragement and celebrated her release of Secrets of a Wedding Night. Then Laura Simcox visited and shared her Summer Promises release, followed shortly thereafter by Marni Bates with Decked With Holly (our first Christmas post!). It was a steady stream of visitors through the rest of the year.
Anna Randol arrived book in hand with Sins of a Virgin (major cover love) and Vanessa Kelly showed up with another Christmas read, His Mistletoe Bride (more cover love). Marquita Valentine held us in thrall with her magical Third Time’s a Charm. We continued into November with Catherine Gayle who stopped by with Seven Minutes in Devon, her first book in a new series. The charming Marsha Ward dropped in that month and shared with us her Spinster’s Folly release too.
What About Debut Authors and Brave Self-Publishers?
Of course we were delighted to be visited by a few debut authors. I spent another couple of hours rereading those posts. Nancy Northcott was our first and shared her Renegade with us (yummy yummy cover) and our very own Katherine Bone with her Duke By Day, Rogue By Night. The ever-amusing Andris Bear showed up and seduced us with her mini pumpkin pie recipe, conveniently leaving a copy of her Angel Unborn lying around for us to stea…er, borrow. Not long after, Chasity Bowlin stopped by with a copy of her Haunting of Duke, which simply had to be talked about if only because it was written due to a bout with swine flu (no joke).
With all the visitors, it’s a wonder we managed to get any writing done around here, but write we did, both on our own works in progress and also for our readers. We peppered the year with writing tips and research that we’re working on. Cora shared with us how she copes with the doubts we all face as writers in her post “15 Minutes and an Episode of Jeopardy.” I know that self doubt is something we can all identify with. Erica tackled this too when she wrote about having to “Trust Your Gut” when you’re writing, because sometimes your gut knows what your brain isn’t willing to recognize yet.
Personally, I found that Lisa’s post on motivation and procrastination, “Keeping Your Butt in the Chair,” really hit home for me as I navigated the realities of NaNoWriMo. Thankfully, Amy was kind enough to post some tips for that adventure too in her post “Ready, Set, Survive National Novel Writing Month.” How did I start out my NaNoWriMo journey? With a post I shared detailing “The Secret Starting Point of Any First Draft” (hint: it starts with your desk).
(That was another few hours I spent rereading and taking notes, by the way.)
…and Posts from the Heart
And then there were the couple of hours I lost realizing that it was more than just writing for us here at Teatime. Sometimes it was personal, joyous, romantic, and even bittersweet. Katherine visited family during October, telling us about her son’s military service in “Duty, Honor, Country.” We shared Cora’s hearbreak over the loss of her beloved canine, Zeus, but rallied with her when she shared “Unusually Thankful” with us on Thanksgiving Day.
Amy confessed her nerves about attending Moonlight & Magnolias because she was “Pitching and Moaning” but the net result was her first pitching session went FANTASTICALLY! Just before Christmas, I relayed the tale of my early marriage years in “Ramen & Romance” to explain why simple meals are by far the most romantic to me around the holidays.
My personal fav, however, was Erica’s confession that she was, deep at heart, not into the holidays. But she managed to see the error of her ways and confessed to them in “Merry Christmas, Mrs. Scrooge.”
What the Future Holds
That’s our year in review folks. What’s up for the coming year? Well, we’ve heard rumor of a potential scavenger hunt, possibly around Valentine’s Day (we’ll let you know when we get that finalized). We already have some oustanding authors lined up as guests (one with a gift card to give away in January). And, of course, our witty and charming selves. Lisa is up first with her New Year’s day post tomorrow. As the year progresses, I suspect we’ll have more than one fantastic announcement writing-wise, so cross your fingers for us, ok?
From all of the ladies at Teatime Romance to all of you, thanks for joining us on our first year of blogging. We can’t wait to see what the coming year offers us. Happy New Year!
~ Jennelle, Cora, Amy, Erica, Katharine, and Lisa ~