I recently finished reading through a pile o’ books for the Romance Writers of America published author awards aka the Ritas. That makes the third contest I’ve judged this year—I also did my local chapter’s contest and the RWA unpublished author contest (aka Golden Heart). I somehow managed to sign up for that last one accidentally but I actually really enjoyed the entries I got, so it was all good. However, it does show you how much of a hazard I can be on-line when I’m not paying attention.

It’s always a strain on my schedule to do the judging—it always falls at the busiest time of year at my job—but it’s one of the ways I can give back to the writing community that has been very good to me. It also forces me to pick up books I wouldn’t otherwise consider, and I’ve found some great authors. It’s against the rules to comment on individual books, but I can say that this year I found one author I’ll be watching for on the shelves.

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