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Houston Bay Area chapter #30 of Romance Writers of America meets on the third Tuesday of each month at 7:30 pm at the Kirkmont MUD Building, 10102 Blackhawk Rd., Houston, TX 77089. See map.

Meetings begin at 7:30 PM, with social time starting at 7:00 PM.
Join us for dinner first at 9ers Grill, at the intersection of Blackhawk Rd. and Beltway 8.

will be held September 12-23, 2017

See conference tab above



JABBIC – Judge A Book By Its Cover Contest
winners have been announced.


The Bookseller Judges spoke. The Readers spoke.
Now say a big congratulations to the Grand Prize First Place winner of each category, and look for the covers in the April issue of the Romance Writers Of America RWR!

(And be sure to check out the Second and Third Place winners selected by our Bookseller Judges, too.)

Congratulations to all our wonderful winners!


January 17, 2017 — Julie Glover (Using Grammar to Enhance Your Voice)

February 21, 2017 — Entangled editor Robin Haseltine (The Secret to Writing Romance that Sells)

March 21, 2017 — Tracy Goodwin (Indie Publishing – be bold, be brave, and realize your potential)

April 18, 2017 — Jennifer Bray Weber (Got Alpha? — what makes heroes larger than life)


May 16, 2017 — Gerry Bartlett and Nina Bangs (That Critical First Impression)

June 20, 2017 — Susan Muller (Digging deep–Enhancing your manuscript with deep POV)

July 18, 2017 — Shana Galen (How to Get the Most Out of Any Conference)

August 15, 2017 — Kristi Gold (on Dialogue)

September 19, 2017 — Jami Albright (How to Have a Successful Book Launch

October 17, 2017 — Julia Justiss (Keeping Track of Your Story — a hands-on workshop)

Do you begin a scene, finish it later, and discover at revision time that your hero drank his morning coffee at its beginning and a page later, is dining at his club?  (or worse, your editor discovers it!)  Having done that—including the editor-discovery part—Julia devised a better way than faulty memory to keep track of what was happening, in whose voice, in which place, as her story unfolded.  In this workshop, she’ll present her low-tech “scene table” way to chart your story from beginning to end, from revision to publication. NOTE: Members should bring their current WIP and we will experiment with translating their work into her simple timeline format

Bio: Award-winning historical romance author Julia Justiss has written more than twenty-five novels and novellas set in the English Regency.  Her awards include the Golden Heart for Regency from Romance Writers of America, The Golden Quill, and finals in Romantic Times Magazine’s Best First Historical, the National Readers Choice, the Daphne du Maurier and All About Romance’s Favorite Book of the Year.

A voracious reader who began jotting down plot ideas for Nancy Drew novels in her third grade spiral, Julia has published poetry and worked as a business journalist.  An avid fan of Georgette Heyer, while unable to work a regular job when her husband was posted at the U.S Embassy in Tunisia, she decided to write her own Regency novel.  And never looked back.

She and her husband live in East Texas, where she continues to craft the stories she loves. Check her website for her latest releases and find her at:

November 21, 2017 — Mary Lindsey/Marissa Clarke (Whose Story Is It Anyway? – a hands-on workshop)

Point of view is one of the most critical decisions facing an author. Sometimes the options are limited by a publisher’s preferred style for an imprint or a particular type of story. Sometimes it’s a genre convention that determines it, but with many books, the author has to decide not only who is best suited to tell which scene, but which point of view to use, and how deep to go inside the characters’ heads.

In this casual discussion session, we will explore factors driving this critical decision and hopefully break free from some preconceived notions about point of view.

Please bring a paragraph or two from your own work (preferably double-spaced) in any point of view and something to write with to edit it  A half-page double-spaced is ideal. No pressure. If you are uncomfortable sharing, you can keep it private.


Bio: Mary Lindsey is a multi-award-winning, RITA® nominated author of romance for adults and teens. She lives on an island in the middle of a river. Seriously, she does. When not writing, she wrangles her rowdy pack of three teens, two Cairn Terriers, and one husband. 
Inexplicably, her favorite animal is the giant anteater and at one point, she had over 200 “pet” Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches. The roaches are a long story involving three science-crazed kids and a soft spot for rescue animals. The good news is, the “pet” roaches found a home… somewhere else. 
Represented by Kevan Lyon of the Marsal Lyon Literary Agency 

Read more at 
Mary also writes under the pseudonym Marissa Clarke 

December 19, 2017 — Annual Christmas Party

Details to come. MEMBERS ONLY.

January 16, 2018 — Cheryl Bolen (There’s Gold in Those Subsidiary Rights)

Cheryl Bolen, a publishing veteran who has sold to New York publishers and who has blazed a trail as a successful indie author, will offer tips on how authors can strike gold with the audio and translation rights to their books. Authors who hold onto those rights are in a position to make more money in audio and foreign editions than they’ve made with the English print and eBook editions.

Many authors are venturing into audio and translations in a big way — and without a penny’s investment on their part. Cheryl will explain the easy processes involved in expanding into audio and foreign translations at the September meeting.

Bio: Since being named Notable New Author for 1997, Cheryl Bolen has published more than 35 books with Kensington/Zebra, Harlequin, Love Inspired Historical, Montlake, and independently. She has broken into the top 5 on the New York Times and hit the USA Today bestseller list. Her 2005 One Golden Ring won Best Historical, Holt Medallion, and her 2011 My Lord Wicked was awarded Best Historical in the International Digital Awards, the same year her Christmas novella was chosen as Best Novella. Her books have been finalists for other awards, including the Daphne du Maurier, and have been translated into eight languages. She’s also been the number 1 bestselling historical romance author in Germany.

She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism and English from the University of Texas and a master’s degree from the University of Houston. Her favorite pursuits are reading diaries of dead English women, traveling to England, and watching the Texas Longhorns play football and basketball. She and her recently retired professor husband are the parents of two sons. One is an attorney, the other a journalist.

February 20, 2018 — Nicole Flockton (Kindle Worlds and All Things Amazon)

Details TBA

Bio: On her very first school report her teacher said ‘Nicole likes to tell her own stories’.
It wasn’t until after the birth of her daughter and after having fun on the community board of that she finally decided to take the plunge and write a book. She writes sexy contemporary romances, seducing you one kiss at a time as you turn the pages. She enjoys taking two characters and creating unique situations for them. Apart from writing, she’s busy looking after her very own hero – her wonderfully supportive husband, and her two fabulous kids. She also enjoys watching sports and, of course, reading.

  • Website:
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  • Twitter:

June 19, 2018 — Cheryl Etchison Smith (Building a Series)

Details TBA.

Bio: Cheryl Etchison graduated from the University of Oklahoma’s School of Journalism and began her career as an oil and gas reporter. Bored to tears and broke as hell, it wasn’t long before she headed for the promise land of public relations. But that was nearly a lifetime ago and she’s since traded in reporting the facts for making it all up.  Currently, she lives in Austin, Texas with her husband and three girls.

Her novel ONCE AND FOR ALL: AN AMERICAN VALOR NOVEL has been named by Romance Writers of America® (RWA) as the 2017 Best First Book, and was a Rita Award finalist in the Contemporary Romance: Mid-Length category.

July 17, 2018 — Gail Dayton (Dialog as Action)

Details TBA.

Bio: Gail Dayton began telling stories when she was five, when Bambi came home with her from the movies, but she didn’t write any of them down until she was in fourth grade–a story about a cat. She discovered fairy tales not long after that, and her horizons expanded.

A RITA finalist for Best First Book in 2002 with Hide-and-Sheikh, a contemporary series romance from Silhouette Desire, Gail won the Aspen Gold award for Her Convenient Millionaire (another Desire), and was a Prism Award finalist for The Compass Rose. She won the Best Fantasy Prism Award the next two years, for The Barbed Rose and The Eternal Rose.

Gail lives with her husband, youngest son, and granddog Dolly the Princess Pitbull, on the Texas Gulf Coast, two blocks from the beach. The problem with living at the beach is that you have to LIVE at the beach. You still have laundry and housework and such, only with sand. However, the beach makes up for it.

For more information about Gail, see her Amazon page at:


August 21, 2018 — Kerrelyn Sparks (Stop the World, I Want to Make a New One!)

Every time you develop a story, you are building a world.  Whether it’s a Regency ballroom, a contemporary office boardroom, or futuristic intergalactic game room, you are building a complicated world that you hope your reader will love. Kerrelyn presents an extensive guide to help you with the task. Great world-building skills can turn a good story into a great one! 


Bio: Although Kerrelyn is best known (so far) for the Love at Stake series, which has hit as high as number 5 on the New York Times list and 22 on the USA Today list, she hopes her readers will love The Embraced as much as they did her merry band of vamps and shifters.

Kerrelyn lives with her family in the Greater Houston area of Texas. You can visit with her on Goodreads or her Facebook page, where she does a monthly contest. On Twitter, she posts as @KerrelynSparks.