My Golden Heart® Call Story 2016

To tell the truth, I’d forgotten all about the date Romance Writers of America® notifies contestants if they are Golden Heart® finalists. You may have noticed on the news floods had tried to wash Louisiana away over the past few weeks.



I’d been helping my mother prepare to fight a rising river, my stepdad had been in a fight of his own in the hospital, and I’d buried my fourteen-year-old dog. Sounds like a bad country western song, huh?

But it could have been so much worse and it’s all getting better now.

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Generally, I have a very good life, and I’m thankful. But can you see how the date may have slipped my mind?

The night before call day, my dear friend Colette Auclair sent me a text. Good luck tomorrow.


It took me a minute to figure out what kind of good luck I should look for.

Early Friday morning was filled with phone calls but none from RWA®.598px-Hemingway_1953_Kenia

I tried to tell myself it didn’t matter if I made it to the finals or not, but my “Hemingway detector” zapped that lie. (If you don’t know what that is, ask me privately or look up Hemingway’s writing advice.)

At 9:30, my cell phone buzzed and a local number and name flashed on the screen. Farrah Rochon, my SOLA chapter sister. I’m on the board (program director and president-elect), so it’s not unusual to get calls from chapter members.


“You know why I’m calling, right?” Farrah asked.

I’m thinking, what have I done or what does she want me to do?

“Not really,” I said.

“Sure you do.” Farrah reeled in the bait.

I didn’t bite because I was still trying to figure out what Farrah was talking about when she started reading the official notification. “I’m pleased to inform you…”


I’m not sure exactly what I said. There’s no doubt I screamed. And I was still trying to figure out why my chapter sister had called me with this big news. She writes contemporary romance. Not my category. Lives in my area. Then it dawned on me. Farrah had recently joined the RWA® board. Duh… Call day challenged brain.

Finally, I thought to ask which manuscript.

She told me BETTER DEAD in the paranormal category. Thrilled, I squealed again, then thanked her and we chatted a while. I learned that she’d been assigned my name completely at random. How wild is that? I thought the conversation was winding down, but she’d have none of it. She dragged it out a bit longer, sweet little devil that she is, and then told me ONE MORE BREATH was a finalist in the inspirational category. Double final! More screaming. A tear or two. And the luckiest day ever.

Congratulations to all the RWA® Rita® and Golden Heart®Finalists!


34 thoughts on “My Golden Heart® Call Story 2016

  1. It’s a huge win for you and so well deserved. I guess there is a God, and an angel or two of your own watching over you! I have no doubt whatsoever that great things remain in store for you!


  2. So excited for your final this year, and what a cute story. When everyone else snatched the phone up to answer, you didn’t even know what the call was about! A very good surprise 🙂


  3. So fantastic Pamela! Congrats! A double final! YAY! Its news it seemed you could really use. I hope all is well with you and your family and I’m so sorry about your beloved dog. She is surely smiling at the news from her plush bed in doggie heaven. ;0)


  4. What a gorgeous wee dog – chock full of character! You must miss her terribly – even if our dogs live to a grand age, they’re still gone too soon. But, yes, congratulations Pamela-Pamela 😉 on your 2016 double GH final! Can’t wait to see your beautiful face on the big screen in July – I can’t be there in person this year, but shall be watching it live on the RWA website. And, yes, like you said, by being a finalist you’ve already won – brilliant!


  5. You deserve to be excited! Writing is such hard work and only fellow writers truly understand such validations!! So happy for you! I can say there’s another famous writer in my Sola group!!!


  6. Super SUPER excited for you, Pamela!! You’ve worked hard for this and it’s great to see your work recognized! I can’t wait to cheer you on in San Diego!

    And I can’t wait for our write-in Sunday together in a couple weeks!

    Hugs, Pris


  7. Whoohoo! You’re using your blog 🙂 Congratulations X 2!! So excited for you. I’ll be cheering from my new home. You’ll have to come visit for a rest! Sending out a big hug on losing your dog. They’re like family, no? May you float happily to San Diego.


  8. My day has been a bit dreary – it’s raining here in Southern California and we totally need the moisture, but it’s gray and dreary. Your story made me so happy and brought a huge smile to my face. I loved it. So much joy.

    Snoopy happy dancing for you and all of the other finalists.



  9. Gorgeous story. I’ll be watching the ceremony from afar this year, but with all the wonderful Dragonflies on the screen it’ll feel like I’m right there. Your dog was such a cutie – how wonderful that you had such a long happy time together.


  10. Congratulations, Pamela! Wow! Some sunshine through all that rain! Enjoy being one of the belles of the ball in San Diego this year. 🙂



  11. Oh, wow, you really had things working against you when that call came–and then it was from Farrah! How sweet! Keeping everything crossed for you that you’ll take home a win! Or two.


  12. Many congrats on the DOUBLE FINAL, Pamela! Oh, what a feeling! And in two categories, to boot. Your multi-talents are shining through. So happy for you and wishing you a wonderful experience as you board the Golden Heart crazy train for another wild ride. Ah, how I miss those days. Best of luck in the finals, Firebird sis!


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