I am usually so bad about receiving/giving awards but this time I am going to be a better person. Inspired by Tracy, who gave me this sweet and wonderful "Let's Be Friends" award, I'm going to pass it on to a few of the most amazing friends I've met on the 'net over the last few years. These are the people I get to talk romance with, the ones who let me gush about a book or a hero and who are just lovely, sweet peeps.
"The Let's be Friends Awards stands for this: These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers. Deliver this award to eight bloggers."
*Kati from Katidom - smart, funny, and with a clever way with words, I've been lucky enough to not only know Kati online, but whenever I go to D.C., we try and get together for dinner (and shock the waiters
). Kati has given me many invaluable book recs, and she even loaned me a precious copy of "The Windflower", which I thought was a wonderful story. We're a bit old school, me & Kati. One of my most treasured online friendships. Smooches!
*Katiebabs from Babbling About Books - now who doesn't just love our little Katiebabs? She really IS an eccentric redhead, one with a heart of gold, and a wonderfully dirty mind. Bless her. One thing I admire most about her is that she tries to include everyone, and is all-around a good egg. Plus I just got a whole stack of books in the mail from her, including, squee! "Under Fire" by Jo Davis. Katie totally rocks.
*Lea from Closetwriter - I haven't know Lea for very long, but she always makes a point to stop by and comment, and her blog is fun and inviting (who wouldn't love the best movie kiss contest and all those wonderful vids?). It's one of my daily stops. She just has so much enthusiasm that it's contagious. Definitely someone who inspires me :)
*Barbara from Happily Forever After - Barbara's another one who makes everyone feel welcome and just loves books and it shows. I've really enjoyed getting to know Barbara at her blog, and she makes you feel a part of something wonderful. Plus after a long, grueling day, I like to visit her blog because it reminds me of all the wonder and magic that are out there. Corny, I know, but it really works.
*Tracy from Tracy's Place - Another one of my daily stops. I love how she posts about all those books she reads as well as lets us see into her world and shares a part of her family. Tracy makes it a point to make everyone feel welcome, and she has put up several thoughtful posts that I enjoy. She's also a part-time reviewer for another of my favorite blogs, so I follow her there as well.
*AmyC from Romance Book Wyrm - I just love Amy's blog. It's so warm and inviting and she always has something interesting to post about. Plus I've enjoyed her chapters on a story she wrote. She's very talented. I'm so excited that she's planning to attend Lori Foster's/Dianne Castell's event in June! I can't wait to meet her :)
*Orannia from Walkabout - I've known Orannia for awhile, from her posts at Michelle's Romance Buy the Book, and she's always been encouraging and sweet and really brightens a person's day. She now has her own blog, and it's fun to see the books and topics that interest her. And she lives in New Zealand, where I would love to visit one day. I am fascinated about her side of the world, and what happens there. Orannia is a very interesting person and I'm glad she's a friend.
*Laurie from Laurie's Laudanum - I've known Laurie almost from the first time I started hanging out on the internet and visiting Lori Foster's yahoo group. That's a lot of years, all of them fabulous. She's probably one of the few, yet invaluable, friends I've kept such long online friendship with. We go to all of Lori's & Dianne's events, and she collects troop donations throughout the year, convincing me she is one of God's angels on earth.
I still had more to name, so here's my honorable mentions list:
*KristieJ from Ramblings on Romance, Etc - Kristie is wonderful. She's read romance for a lot of years, and I love her take on what she's read. She shares a lot of her personal stuff with us, which at times has been heart-breaking yet she's always so brave and gracious. And I will be forever indebted to her for "North & South" (BBC version) and "Broken Wings" by Judith James. Kristie is like a one-woman army when she loves something. It's incredible. She inspires me all the time.
*Kelley from Kelley Nyrae - I don't visit Kelley's blog as much as I should, but I've known her for several years and have gotten the chance to see her start out as a reader and blossom into a writer. She's so sweet, a good friend and mom. I know with her determination, she'll go far. I wish her all the best, and hope she'll be at the Foster/Castell event again this year. She reminds me that dreams do come true if you work hard enough.
*Holly, Rowena & Casee from Bookbinge - these 3 ladies are unique, fearless and amazing. All different, but with definite opinions about what they like and don't like. What I like is how each of their personalities shines through. They have a strong love of books but also like to talk about other topics that catch their attention. They are honest, but never cruel. I like how they are willing to take chances, and have helped me push the envelope with my own reading. These ladies are force to be reckoned with.
*Shannon from What Women Read - I am lucky that Shannon lives in Chicago, because I get to go to booksignings with her, go out for wine, and just talk about some of the books that I've loved over the years. This is a huge deal for me, since the majority of my reader friends are all online. I like having Shannon at my beck and call LOL. She's also given me some great UF recs, like Patricia Briggs and Kim Harrison. Shannon's blog is a lot of fun, I just wish she had time to post more. But the girl's got a life, and she lives in an amazing city, so who can blame her.
*Beth Kery & Julie James - two of my new favorite authors. I named them because they are both here in Chicago, I have met them each and have been lucky enough to hang out with them a few times, and because they are both so appreciative of their fans and are willing to listen to what readers have to say. Beth has been reading romance off and on for years, and Julie is fairly new to the genre. I like having discussions that include a writer's POV because I don't always think of things from that angle. I soak it all up like a sponge (albeit one with a faulty memory). If you ever get the chance to meet these ladies, please do so.
So there you have it, I'm sharing the love :)