Author Beverly Barton passed away last week, and today is her book release day. One thing that struck me and other folks who visited Barton’s website was that she was very excited about 2011 and the books she had scheduled for release this year. Judging by the number of sad messages on her Facebook page, there are many sad readers who have lost a favorite author, and there are many heartbroken authors and writers who have lost a close and valued friend.
When I asked people who had worked with Ms. Barton to tell me about her, I received quotes from a few varied sources.
Kerri Nelson told me, “Beverly Barton’s books are one of the reasons I became a romance author. Her written words captivate both the heart and the soul. Having had the opportunity to meet her on several occasions in the last decade, I can honestly say that she’s as gracious as she is talented. To say that she’ll be missed seems a less than adequate tribute to a legend in romance fiction.”
Author Christina Dodd emailed me and said, “Although I knew Beverly only slightly, her passing touched me because I felt as if I knew her through her books. She created mood. She sucked me into her world. She made me live with those characters, made me care about them. She made me feel, which is why I read. I will miss her. All her readers are in mourning.”
Rachel Chou, Chief Marketing Officer Open Road Integrated Media, said “I had the pleasure of working with Beverly over the past year and got to meet her at RWA 2010. Each of us at Open Road would describe her as the ultimate Southern Lady: always willing to try something, quick-witted, and unparalleled in manners. The mere mention of her name in our office brought about smiles and laughter. She will truly be so missed by us all.”
And Teresa Mederios told me, “She was just an incredibly gracious, generous and funny Southern lady all the way to her core. I adored her!”
So, to borrow some phrasing from Wendi Corsi Staub’s memorial to her friend:
Beverly’s latest book, DEAD BY MORNING will be released tomorrow, less than a week after her death. She had such high hopes and jittery nerves for this one—well, for every one, really. I don’t know an author who doesn’t count off the days until the next pub date with the same anxious anticipation of a pregnant woman approaching her due date. That Beverly didn’t live to see her final novel hit the shelves makes this a bittersweet day indeed.
Among the last words Beverly ever wrote to me, in a recent email, were these, cut & pasted: Wouldn’t it be great to be one of those authors who always hits The Lists in the Top 10. Dream, dream, dream.
So as a fitting memorial to an author who was truly loved by many, many people, I heartily pimp this book because Ms. Barton isn’t with us here to do so herself.
I think many people take it for granted that once an author hits a list, they always do each and every time, but I’m learning that that is not true at all – and like Corsi Staub wrote, every author counts the days until their release date with anticipation and excitement. So let’s be excited for Ms. Barton – and pimp that book all up and down the joint. I’ll be giving away copies (digital or print, your choice, when possible) throughout the day here, and on Twitter and Facebook. To win here, just leave a comment – or spread the word and email me at sarahATsmartbitchestrashybooksDOTcom and let me know where you spread the word.
Or, if you want to buy a copy for yourself or for a friend, you can find it at Amazon, for the Kindle, BN.com, for the nook, AllRomance, Book Depository, and Powells – and very likely your local bookstore of choice.
As usual, standard disclaimers apply: I’m not being compensated for this giveaway. I’m buying the books myself. No publisher was involved or harmed in the making of this giveaway. Void where prohibited. And most of all:
Dream, dream, dream.