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On November 20, 2015, the Official Kristal Hollis Website will launch at www.kristalhollis.com.

At that time, this blog will discontinue. A heart-felt thanks to all who followed me here, and I hope you will continue to follow me at my new site where the adventures will continue.

KristalHeader

Much love, and may happy tales be forever in your heart.

~kristal

May 11, 2015 began like any ordinary work day. Up at 4:30 am, hair and make-up completed by braille, dogs fed, Hubster fed, and backed the car out of the garage by 5:20. Cruised to work on auto-pilot. Noticing the Blue Bandit was low on fuel, and that I was a few minutes ahead of schedule because of light traffic, I decided to fill the gas tank after I had already turned in the opposite direction of the station.

As I drove down the dark road, I passed a sneaky sheriff deputy parked in the median with his lights off. Hubster thinks I drive like a bat-out-of-hell, so I prudently checked the speedometer and wondered where he gets those ridiculous notions. At the first opportunity, I u-turned and puttered back by the deputy’s car. Hahaha! I hoped he didn’t think I was driving suspiciously.

Stopped at the intersection, I figured out that I was in the wrong lane, and turned right on red which is allowable in Florida, but with the PoPo lurking I got a little nervous.  I finally made it to the gas pump and fished for my purse, only to come up empty-handed.

Oh, crap! No purse meant no wallet, no driver’s license, no insurance card. AND, a block away sat a sheriff deputy who could probably sense my catastrophe.

Paranoia set in. I’m going to get a ticket, I’m going to get a ticket, and I’m going to run out of gas on the home way. Because, when I say the Blue Bandit is low on gas, what I really mean is “The gas fumes are about to run out, y’all.”

Inching the Blue Bandit past the deputy for the third time, I aimed my best Jedi mind vibe at him. “This isn’t the suspicious car you’re looking for. She can go about her business. Let her move along.”

Petrified, I arrived at TDJ without incident and reached for my phone to call Hubster. My blood congealed. Not only had I forgotten my purse, I’d left my phone on the kitchen counter.

I was unplugged from the universe at large. How would I get through the day without a watching a cat video on Facebook? Or checking personal email? Oh, my God! I wouldn’t get any text messages.

I was facing a technological zombie apocalypse. My guardian fairies refused to materialize my phone, no matter how much I begged through-out the day.

At the end of the work day, I thought, “Hahaha! Wouldn’t it be funny if today, of all days, was the day I got THE CALL and didn’t have my phone to answer it?”

I laughed all the way home. (It could’ve been the gas fumes.)

In IM withdrawal, the first thing I did when I entered the house was treasure-hunt my phone. I might’ve hugged and kissed it, but I can’t be sure because I got distracted by the missed call from a strange number and the glaring voice mail alert. Thinking a telemarketer had called, I hit play to clear the message.

Then I heard Ann Leslie Tuttle’s message and I nearly dropped my Precious, errr my phone because Oh my freaking God! , Harlequin Nocturne’s Senior Editor had called.

“It’s Harlequin! It’s Harlequin!” I knocked Hubster on the shoulder hard enough to push him over and interrupt his live video gaming.

Hubster remarked, “I don’t read romance, but even I know who Harlequin is. This is good, yeah?”

“This is very good!”

In my excitement, I couldn’t hear the phone number Ann Leslie provided, so I needed to replay the message. Only, I accidentally deleted it instead.

Holy crap! I lost my very first CALL message. Oh, the horror. Oh the devastation!

Oh, the lack of sympathy from Hubster, who snarked, “How did you lose the message all ready? Wait, I forgot who I’m talking to.”

Running around the kitchen, I hollered, “What do I do? What do I do?”

Hubster said, “Hit the call back for the missed call.”

Oh, yeah. I knew that.  Apparently unexpected excitement turns me stupid.

I immediately connected with Ann Leslie, and my day ended on a higher note than it had started. I’m pleased to announce that I have sold my paranormal manuscript HOWLIN’ HEARTS to Harlequin Nocturne in a two-book deal.

So, even bad starts can lead to big grins. And, I haven’t stopped grinning yet.

In further news, after a pow-wow with our cell service provider, Hubster was able to restore my deleted CALL message which is now hanging in a place of honor in my “cloud.”

 

 

 

The RWA® Golden Heart® contest is a H-U-G-E ta-do for unpublished romance novelists and authors from all over the world enter. To become a finalist is akin to Cinderella getting to go to the ball. I’ve dreamed of it ever since I attended my first RWA® conference in 2010. After beau-coup writing workshops, critiques, re-writes, more critiques, more re-writes, a few tosses in the garbage and then pulled out again, I found my groove and gained the courage to enter. On 12/6/14. Now, all I had to do was wait. For three months and twenty days.

3/26/15 is the Golden Heart announcement day. Yep, by the time it finally got here, I had no fingernails left. The moment I hit the submit button to release my entry, doubt rushed in. What if people think it’s crap? What if they don’t like my voice? What if, what if, what if.

Three months and twenty days is a long time to play the What If game. I write paranormal. I came up with some pretty scary What Ifs.

Warp ahead to 3/25/15. Tons of advice poured in on what to do and what to expect on “The DAY.” I went to sleep that night, just wondering . . . what if.

When I woke up, I immediately checked my phone . . . as if I would’ve gotten the call in the middle of the freakin’ night. There were no missed calls. Already, I was disappointed.

Got ready for work, sending out positive thoughts for everyone I knew who had entered. Realized half-way to the office that I had forgotten my coffee. I never forget coffee. Decided I must be showing early signs of dementia, made a mental note to call my doctor–then promptly forgot.

I arrived at the day job around 7am. Check my phone again. No missed calls. I turned it off and turned it back, then called my cell phone from my office phone just to make sure it would ring. It did, so I sat it right next to the mouse on my desk where it was easily reachable, should it ever decide to ring again.

I stared at it. Hard. Willing it to ring. Since I was up at the crack of dawn, every one else should be too whether or not they were bright-eyed and bushy tailed. I certainly wasn’t.

Obviously, I had no idea what time the BODs would start their calls. I have no sense of time, whether it’s zones or daylight savings. By 10:00am, I figured everyone in the world had received good news but me. I gave myself until 10:30, and then I planned to tuck my phone into my purse and dream of next year’s chances.

At 10:28, my phone rang. My heart stopped. “Oh, shit!” The display flashed a number from the San Diego area. I thought if it was a freaking telemarketer I just might reach through the phone and strangle them. I said “hello” so quietly, I wasn’t sure the caller could hear me.

I wasn’t entirely convinced that this wasn’t a sales call until the woman said, “I’m from the RWA Board and I’m calling with good news.” I burst out with “Oh My God! Are you serious?” Thank goodness I have an office, not a cubicle, and the door was closed. I wrote her name down, Helen Kay Dimon, before I started shaking so bad that couldn’t read my handwriting. She went through the rest of the information, to which I continued to respond, “Oh my God, Oh my God.” At one point, I told her that I might pass out. Good thing I work with doctors. Anyway, we got through the conversation and said our good-byes. I don’t know how long I sat in my chair staring at my cryptic handwriting with no idea what I wrote or what she said after “your entry Howlin’ Hearts has finaled in the Golden Heart Contest.”

All I could think was, they liked my story. They really like it. For an author, that’s the best feeling in the world.

Congratulations to all the finalists. I’m honored to be in your company.

~kristal

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