Tag Archives: Appreciation

October Spotlight: Amy Alessio

Set * Overcome * Achieve * Receive

October – November

You may encounter defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.

Maya Angelou


Our October Dare to SOAR participants!

J.C. DePaul
Sherry Weddle
Katrina Bauer
R.Q. Bell 
j. leigh bailey

Author Spotlight

Amy Alessio

Amy Alessio is an award-winning librarian (a former WC librarian of the year!) with a black belt in karate. Her latest reference book is the co-authored of A Year of Fandom Fun (American Library Association, 2017). Her fiction includes the Amazon bestselling Alana O’Neill mysteries with vintage recipes, including the 2017 Struck by Shillelagh. She teaches graduate-level young adult literature and webinars on book trends and social media. She enjoys helping authors find readers through her work at AuthorRx and she is a romance reviewer for Booklist. Her husband and two sons keep life moving fast. You can see them on their live cooking videos.
As Lia Violet, she’s been having fun writing romantic erotica with Ginger Leone since February. They have two series and a review blog. Their latest searing collection, Autumn Fever, the third in their Seasons of Three series, was published on Halloween, 2017.
Connect with Amy: www.amyalessio.com
Lia Violet & Ginger Leone review blog: https://www.facebook.com/QuickieRomanceReviews/



September Spotlight: Livia Grant

Set * Overcome * Achieve * Receive

September – October
You have to trust in something – your gut,destiny,life, karma,whatever.
This approach has never let me down, and has made all the difference in my life. – Steve Jobs


Our September Dare to SOAR participants!

Susan Gibberman
J.C. DePaul
Cindy Maday
Sherry Weddle
Katrina Bauer
j. leigh bailey
Stephanie Scott
Kelly Garcia
Michelle Blackstone
Carmella A. Martino

 Author Spotlight

Livia Grant

USA Today bestselling author Livia Grant lives in Chicago with her husband and two sons… one a teenager, the other a furry rescue dog named Max. She is blessed to have traveled extensively and as much as she loves to visit places around the globe, the Midwest and its changing seasons will always be home. Livia started writing when she felt like she finally had the life experience to write a riveting story that she hopes her readers won’t be able to put down. Livia’s fans appreciate her deep character driven plots, often rooted in an ensemble cast where the friendships are as important as the romance… well, almost.

Livia will be releasing her 16th book in October. It’s the next installment of her Black Light series.


Connect with Livia:

Facebook: https://facebook.com/lb.grant.9

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LBGrantAuthor

Email: lb.grant@yahoo.com or livia@liviagrant.com

Instagram: @liviagrantauthor



August Spotlight: D.L. Larson

Set * Overcome * Achieve * Receive

August – September


However bad life may seem, there is always something you can do, and succeed at. While there’s life, there is hope
— Stephen Hawkins


Author Spotlight

D.L. Larson

What do you do when you believe you are headed for the big city only to fall in love with a farm boy? You say, “Good bye, city life, and bloom where you are planted.”

I thought writing was something other people did, not me. I wrote news articles for a lady’s group, I chartered another organization in my hometown and wrote the constitution for it. I became a state officer in that women’s group and used my writing often. I wrote Christmas scripts for church, never believing I was being a writer. I stumbled upon my first paying job. A woman called and asked me to write a poem for her organization. I wrote the poem and got paid. I still have the wooden chest I purchased with the money I received.

By the time my third child was born I had a yearning to write, really write. I went back to school thinking I was pretty rusty with the English language. Seemed I remembered a great deal and won my first awards in writing fiction.

I completed my first manuscript in 1992 – I know, I’m really old! My daughter had just graduated from high school.  It wasn’t until my youngest graduated from college did I sell my first book. I waited and waited for the reviews to come out. Nothing happened. My publisher promised me she had sent my book on months ago. I finally grew brave enough to call Midwest Book Review and asked about the delay. They had misplaced my book. They apologized and within a week I received a personal note and a great review. Nine months had gone by and I never entered that book into any contests. I would like a do-over, if I could …

My other two books, historical fiction, received a few awards. Promises To Keep won a Reader’s Choice Award in 2008, and Promises My Love was in the top fifteen finalists in 2014 in the ILA Soon To Be Famous Illinois Writer Contest.

My goal is to continue writing even as life gets in the way. Currently I’m working on a sci-fi romance. When I get that first chapter to behave and say what I want it to say … I’ll move on to publishing.

My office is littered with my historical romance series along with my sci-fi series. Long ago I prayed for something meaningful to write about and the good Lord delivered. I have seven books in my historical series complete ~ waiting for me to do something with them. Plus my sci-fi series has four and one still a WIP… if only my grandkids weren’t so darn cute … I’d be sooo much more productive.

Writing is a journey. So don’t be discouraged if your writing takes a backseat now and then. I’m still working my way up the mountain.

DL Larson



Cathie Linz Romance Appreciation Dinner

It’s Windy City’s Annual Romance Appreciation Dinner!

Join your fellow WC members, local librarians and booksellers as we gather to honor those who celebrate the romance genre.  Every year we honor one special librarian who goes above and beyond to support romance with the NI Librarian Of The Year Award.

***This is a catered event and we’d love to have an accurate count of our attendees. Please RSVP by 3/24/17***

Windy City members please sign up on the yahoo loop to bring a dish or beverage to share.

(If you have any questions please feel free to contact Susan Gibberman at: sgibberman@stdl.org)

NI Librarian Of The Year Award

  • Any librarian in Northern Illinois is eligible for nomination
  • Criteria for nomination should include going “above and beyond” in service to romance readers, writers, and the genre.
  • Any member in good standing of Windy City RWA can nominate a librarian.
Our RAD dinner is intended to foster good will, education, and communication between Chapter members, local area booksellers and librarians.

January Dare to SOAR – Author Spotlight: Allie Pleiter

Set * Overcome * Achieve * Receive

January – February

When you commit to your dreams, it takes courage and perseverance. Windy City is committed to help and support you to make your dreams soar.

Our January Dare to SOAR participants!

Nicole Leiren
Kelly Garcia
Sonali Dev
Sherry Weddle
R. Q. Bell
Kelly Duff
Katrina Bauer
Jenna DePaul
Vanessa M. Knight
Savannah Reynard* (raffle winner)
Chris Foutris
Lynne Wall
Cheryl Huth
j. leigh bailey
Stephanie Scott

Author Spotlight


Allie Pleiter

 Allie_BookCover_FINALSpend even five minutes with Allie Pleiter, and you’ll learn about knitting.  She’s passionate about the craft, will teach anyone who wants to learn, and includes knitting characters in many of her stories.  Outside of her books, Allie writes a knitting/travel blog called DestiKNITions which features the many yarn shops Allie finds on her frequent travels for book research, conference teaching, and promotion.  She also runs a “Prayer Shawl Ministry” at her church, where volunteers knit soft, fluffy shawls that receive prayers over them before they are sent to people in need of healing or comfort.  The group she started has given out over 250 shawls at last count.RANCHER BT1 cover

“To me, knitting is the perfect refreshment from writing.  It’s creative, tactile, and peaceful.  No words and no screens are involved.  I’ve made friends all over the country from knitting.  I don’t sit still very well, so knitting helps me stay focused if I’m in a lecture, traveling, in a long meeting, or waiting for an appointment.  I call it ‘my socially acceptable fidgeting’.”

Simply put, Allie Pleiter is a Windy City author who spins more than one kind of yarn!

Allie Pleiter is wonderful speaker and can give workshops on a variety of topics. Here are just a few examples. For a complete listing check out her website – http://alliepleiter.com/speaking.html

  • The Five Friends Every Writer Needs

    A touching, tickling look at the role of friends in every writer’s life

  • Aunt Allie’s Guide to Level-Headed Hysteria

    How not to let life’s roller-coaster take you for a ride

  • The Chunky Method of Time Management

    Learn how to get “chunky” about your time and watch your writing productivity rise and stress decrease

  • How to WRITE When Everything Goes WRONG

    How to muck through the mire without losing your muse

  • Dynamic Dialogue

    Strategies for getting the most out of what your characters say–and how they say it

  • Perfect Pairings

    How to build characters who capture the hearts of your readers, your editors, and each other

To contact Allie: allie@alliepleiter.com

Blowing Kisses To: Librarians and Booksellers

100_3076Rad Night!

Romance Appreciation Dinner100_3095 2013

Every year Windy City honors librarians and booksellers from the area who celebrate the romance genre.

We get to mix-n-mingle with those who share a common love of all things books, as well as, our beloved romances. We thank Sherry Weddle who hosted this event for us this year and served as our “food fairy” and Kelly Garcia who coordinated the swag baskets. 100_3084100_3098

One lucky librarian gets awarded the Northern Illinois Librarian of the Year Award. This year it was our very own Amy Alessio. Congratulations Amy! One last thanks to all of our Windy City members and our guests who braved the flooded streets to attend. A great evening was had by all! 100_3089