Butterfly Swords wins the Golden Heart contest

golden-heart-art2When they were getting ready to announce my category, my husband took my hand. I held onto him so hard as they read the names of all the finalists. Yes, I wanted to win even though I had a contract. Don’t we all hope and dream for the moon?

And I did win. I won, I won, I won! I can always boast that Butterfly Swords won the Golden Heartยฎ for the best historical romance manuscript of 2009. No one can take that away. Ever.

Is this ungraceful of me to strut like this? I do admire and genuinely hope the best for my GHยฎ sistas, especially in the historical category. In fact, I have a feeling a couple of them are also really, really close to signing. One in particular, but I won’t name names. ๐Ÿ˜‰

It’s just been such a long journey with so few celebrations up until the very last few months. And even with the contest placements and manuscript requests, I was getting scared. The best agents in the industry and the top romance editors were saying my Asian setting was too risky.

When I got up on stage for my acceptance speech, do you know how I felt? I felt like that moment at the end of the movie, The Pursuit of Happyness. They finally announce that Chris (Will Smith) has earned the job he worked so tirelessly for without any promise of success. The executive says, “Tell me Chris. Was it as easy as it looked?”

Chris fights back tears as he replies: “No. No it was not.”


  1. Lisa
    Jul 19, 2009 @ 21:30:37

    Oh my gosh, I got chills reading your post! CONGRATULATIONS! This is such an inspriation for those of us who are still unpublished and muddling through the hell that is submissions.

    Enjoy every second of this success. You have earned it!

  2. Imogen Howson
    Jul 20, 2009 @ 07:33:45

    You’re so clever. ๐Ÿ™‚ Very, very well done and many congratulations–on winning the GH and on the sale to HQ! I’ll definitely be looking out for this book, and the Asian setting sounds wonderful and intriguing.


  3. Megan Kelly
    Jul 20, 2009 @ 08:06:03

    Congratulations! on the win and the sale. ๐Ÿ™‚ Looking forward to reading your entire book. I’m a big fan of your writing but a greater admirer of you as a person. I’m thrilled to see a truly nice person get good things back from the Universe.

  4. Dara
    Jul 20, 2009 @ 10:03:45

    YAY!! I am so happy for you!

    And I’m glad a publisher as well as many others, see the promise of an Asian setting. I truly believe it’s a market that’s been untapped…until now! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Bask in the glow of all of this–I’m sure this is only the beginning of a very promising writing career!

  5. cindy
    Jul 20, 2009 @ 10:52:26

    OMG!! eeeeeeeeee!!

  6. Victoria Dixon
    Jul 20, 2009 @ 12:17:25

    Once again, SQUEEEEE!! Congratulations! It’s obviously well earned. I can only hope this bodes well for you and for all the rest of us attempting to tap into the Asian market.

  7. Robin
    Jul 20, 2009 @ 13:27:27

    Huge congratulations!! I was so thrilled to see you’d won on the LARA loop! I’m sorry I wasn’t there in person this year so am sending a virtual hug and best wishes during this exciting time! Congrats on selling as well! I’m grinning from ear to ear for you.

  8. Jax Cassidy
    Jul 20, 2009 @ 18:19:14

    I’m so proud of you! I know I’ve told you many times but I knew you had something special and I’m glad you did too!

    Congrats on the GH and selling! You can always remember the journey and I believe you’ve helped publishers see that romance outside of the norm will capture audiences! YOU GO GIRL! Love ya!

  9. Jeannie
    Jul 21, 2009 @ 08:39:21

    Thank you everyone! I really mean it when I say I couldn’t have done this without everyone’s support. There is an insane amount of hard-headedness that went into writing Butterfly Swords and sticking with it. This really is a dream come true and it’s only beginning. Right when you think you’ve reached another milestone, you always find that you’re just beginning. I love it.

  10. Victoria Janssen
    Jul 21, 2009 @ 09:38:27


  11. Kate Walker
    Jul 21, 2009 @ 10:46:45

    Hi Jeannie

    I’ve just got home (back to the UK ) from RWA and I wanted to send you my congratulations on your wonderful success with the Golden Heart and the fabulous sale to Harlequin. I was in the audience for the GH win and at the Harlequin Spotlight when they announced that they had bought Butterfly Swords and I’ll be looking out for it as soon as it is released. I hope it’s the first of many such successes.

    Congratulations again


  12. Jeannie
    Jul 26, 2009 @ 10:04:40

    Hello Kate!

    I’m waiting on pins and needles to find out the release date myself. I’ll be plastering it everywhere once I know.

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