Our Mentors

We are very excited to have this cohort of fantastic mentors from the Romance community to participate in this year's Mentorship Program.

Annabeth Albert

Annabeth is a multi-published Pacific Northwest author of LBGTQ+ contemporary romance. Proudly bisexual, her books feature bi/pan/ace/demi/gay representation and include m/m, f/f, and nonbinary pairings. Good representation and diversity are super important to her. She enjoys reading all pairings and all tropes in contemporary and historical romance. She's hybrid published with indie books and books from Sourcebooks, Carina, Kensington.

Away from the keyboard, she loves knitting, cooking, and spending time with her kids. Annabeth works a rewarding day job as a college professor and has participated on both sides of professional mentorship opportunities. She/Her.


Agent (if applicable): Deidre Knight, Knight Agency

Recent Favorite Book(s): KJ Charles, Any Old Diamonds. Jay Northcote, Second Chance. Sally Malcom, Last Kiss.

Most cringe-worthy word you find in romance novels: Alpha

Year your first book was published. 2012

Favorite Quote:

“You can’t edit a blank page!” ~multiple sources



Latest Release

Kianna Alexander

Like any good Southern belle, Kianna Alexander wears many hats:

loving wife, doting mama, advice-dispensing sister, and gabbing girlfriend. A native of the TarHeel state,

Kianna still lives there with her husband, two kids, and a collection of well-loved vintage 80's Barbie dolls.

Agent (if applicable): Sarah Younger, Nancy Yost Literary

Recent Favorite Book(s): Treasure by Rebekah Weatherspoon, Rebel by Beverly Jenkins, Pink Slip by Katrina Jackson

Most cringe-worthy word you find in romance novels: Man-root

Year your first book was published. 2009

Favorite Quote:

“Caring for myself is not self-indulgence. It is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare." -Audre Lorde



Latest Release

Milly Bellegris

Milly (Gray Plume Editorial Services) specializes in developmental and stylistic fiction editing for self-published authors. With a degree in history and French literature along with an avid interest in mythology, Milly knows that stories are living breathing entities that exist in all of us.

Her goal is to assist authors in expressing their stories clearly with their own unique style and voice. When she’s not at the day job, Milly can be found in her local ravine looking for inspiration for her own writing alter-ego. Her genre of choice is Romance, but she’s not picky. She’ll read or edit anything.


Agent (if applicable): N/A

Recent Favorite Book(s): The Lord I Left by Scarlett Peckham

Most cringe-worthy word you find in romance novels:

Turgid. I’m no longer allowed to hate the word “moist”. Ask me why.

Year your first book was published.

Favorite Quote:

“Swearing, I take another turn around my room like some sort of deranged character in an Austen novel. Only I’m alone.” - Managed by Kristen Callihan





Lorelie Brown

After a semi-nomadic childhood throughout California, Lorelie Brown joined the US Army. She’s traveled the world from South Korea to Italy and now lives north of Chicago. She set many of her books in Southern California because she gets enough sleet and snow in real life.

Lorelie has three active sons, two yappy dogs, and a cat who cusses her out for not petting him enough. None of them really care that she’s won Bronze in the Foreword INDIES and been nominated for a RITA from Romance Writers of America.


Agent (if applicable): Courtney Miller-Callihan

Recent Favorite Book(s): A Lesson in Thorns by Sierra Simone, He’s Not My Boyfriend by Jackie Lau, Break The Rules by Roxie Noir

Most cringe-worthy word you find in romance novels: If anyone says a word other than “moist,” they’re lying.

Year your first book was published. 2010




Latest Release

Gia de Cadenet

A native Floridian, Gia de Cadenet went after a childhood dream and moved to Paris in 2006. A few short weeks after arriving, she bumped into a red-headed Frenchman and her fate was sealed.

A decade later, she got serious about her second big dream: becoming a published author. Her first manuscript, Not The Plan, was showcased in the 2017 PitchWars program. It went on to final in two competitions and caught her agent's eye during #DVPit. Since, Gia has given back to the writing community as a PitchWars and Binder’s mentor.

Agent (if applicable): Léonicka Valcius, Transatlantic Literary Agency

Recent Favorite Book(s): Rafe: A Buff Male Nanny, Rebekah Weatherspoon; A Princess in Theory, Alyssa Cole; The Bride Test, Helen Hoang

Most cringe-worthy word you find in romance novels: Flesh (yuck!)

Favorite Quote:

“Ce n'est pas la mer à boire." ("It isn't the sea to drink")



Robin Covington

A USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestseller, Robin Covington loves writing sexy romance, spoiling her Corgi (Dixie Joan Wilder), indulging in a little comic book geek love, hoarding red nail polish and stalking Chris Evans. It’s a damn good life. A Native American author of color, Robin proudly writes diverse romance where everyone gets their happy ever after.


Agent (if applicable): Nalini Akolekar, Spencerhill Associates

Recent Favorite Book(s): Tallowwood by N.R. Walker, Riven by Roan Parrish, Secret Heir Seduction by Reese Ryan

Most cringe-worthy word you find in romance novels: c*nt (GRRRRR)

Year your first book was published. 2012

Favorite Quote:

“People romanticize their plans but dread the execution. The magic you’re looking for is in the work you’re avoiding.” -- Unknown




Latest Release

Sasha Devlin

Sasha Devlin spends her days problem solving in IT and her nights fixing lonely hearts. Whether she's writing contemporary, paranormal or romantic suspense she loves tweaking tropes & delivering the warm & fuzzies in unexpected ways. She firmly believes HEAs are possible for all, even if they have to contend with murder, dragons and pesky siblings to get there.

Agent (if applicable): N/A

Recent Favorite Book(s):

You Can't Touch My Hair & Other Things I Have to Explain by Phoebe Robinson, Playing House by Ruby Lang, One of Us is Next by Karen M. McManus

Most cringe-worthy word you find in romance novels: lol... Moist

Year your first book was published. 2011

Favorite Quote:

“That's all it is, Miles. A leap of faith. - Into the Spiderverse" -Into the Spiderverse



Latest Release

Susannah Erwin

An eager lover of storytelling in any and all forms, Susannah Erwin worked in marketing for major film studios before writing her first novel, which won a Golden Heart™ award and was published by Harlequin Desire. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and one very spoiled but utterly delightful cat and is working on more tales of high stakes drama and passionate romance for Desire.

Agent (if applicable): N/A

Recent Favorite Book(s): Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert; I Love You So Mochi by Sarah Kuhn; The Rakess by Scarlett Peckham

Most cringe-worthy word you find in romance novels: Lathe. Because, ouch

Year your first book was published. 2019

Favorite Quote: "Bird by bird, buddy. Just take it bird by bird.” Anne Lamott’s father in Bird by Bird.




Latest Release

Avery Flynn

USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling romance author Avery Flynn has three slightly-wild children, loves a hockey-addicted husband and is desperately hoping someone invents the coffee IV drip.


Agent (if applicable): Elaine Spencer

Recent Favorite Book(s): I am really bad at coming up with favorites. It hurts too much to pick! However, I am a huge fan of banter, enemies to lovers, opposites attract, smart characters, and I read and adore books across the many genres of romance. I read it all!

Most cringe-worthy word you find in romance novels: Moist

Year your first book was published. 2011

Favorite Quote:

"Heels and red lipstick will put the fear of God into people."

—DITA VON TEESE




Latest Release

Savannah J. Frierson

Savannah J. Frierson is a USA Today best-selling author who crafts full, happily-ever-afters for independent women who believe transcendent love is worth the wait. She taps into women’s softness to show this vulnerability as a strength to be embraced and celebrated. Savannah’s characters find empowerment through love, and she hopes her dear readers do too.

Agent (if applicable): Saritza Hernandez, Corvisiero Literary Agency

Recent Favorite Book(s): Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert, Sinner by Sierra Simone, Xeni by Rebekah Weatherspoon

Most cringe-worthy word you find in romance novels: manhood

Year your first book was published. 2007

Favorite Quote:

“As I gave power to the sound of my own voice, a way broke before me, I followed my choice.” “I Be Your Water,” Sweet Honey in the Rock



Latest Release

Jami Gold

Jami Gold is an award-winning paranormal romance author, public speaker/workshop presenter, developmental editor/book doctor, and blogger.

Although she hasn’t officially mentored before, she’s helped many thousands of writers through her blog, where she’s written over 1000 posts about the craft, business, and life of writing—and shares free writing worksheets (including the popular Romance Beat Sheet).

Her site has been named one of the 100 Best Websites for Writers, and she’s also presented workshops online and at writing conferences, including two RWA National Conferences.


Agent (if applicable): N/A

Recent Favorite Book(s): A Duke by Default (Alyssa Cole), Luck of the Draw (Kate Clayborn), The Kiss Quotient (Helen Hoang)

Most cringe-worthy word you find in romance novels:

Hmm, I’m also a freelance developmental editor, so I’ve trained myself out of cringing at many words (to respect the author’s voice). The usual suspects—moist, c*nt, and bad racial takes—would apply the most, but it depends on context.

Year your first book was published. 2015

Favorite Quote:

“Now that I know better, I do better.” Maya Angelou



Latest Release

Kristan Higgins

Kristan Higgins is the New York Times, USA TODAY, Wall Street Journal and Publishers Weekly bestselling author of 20 novels, which have been translated into two dozen languages and sold millions of copies worldwide. Her books have received many awards and accolades, including starred and rave reviews from People, Entertainment Weekly, Kirkus, The New York Journal of Books, Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, The New York Times and Booklist. She has mentored countless authors and is an enthusiastic promoter of #ownvoices novels.

Agent (if applicable): Maria Carvainis

Recent Favorite Book(s): The Peacock Emporium by JoJo Moyes; The Boyfriend Project by Farrah Rochon; Being Mortal by Atul Gawande

Most cringe-worthy word you find in romance novels: tumescence

Year your first book was published. Eep! 2006

Favorite Quote: “Comparison is the thief of joy.” –Teddy Roosevelt


Latest Release

Ellis Kaye

Soccer mom by day, bad-ass ED nurse by night, Ellis Kaye writes sexy medical romance to recover from the reality of life. She loves funny, flawed Heroines with a strong backbone and has a swoony soft-spot for stubbled jaws and silver foxes. And a white coat. Or an accent. Or both.

If you can’t find her at the soccer pitch or saving lives - she’s sucking down caffeine at a library trudging away at her next book. She is a long term member of the DFW Writers’ Workshop, and credits her growth and development to her writing tribe. https://www.dfwwritersworkshop.org/

Her debut novel HOW A HEART BEATS was published by Evernight Publishing and is available in paperback from Amazon, and all other digital bookstores.

Agent (if applicable): Amy Brewer , Metamorphosis Literary Agency

Recent Favorite Book(s): The Bromance Bookclub by, Lyssa Kay Adams, Hey Stranger by, Lisa Kleypas, The Bourbon Kings trilogy by, J.R. Ward

Most cringe-worthy word you find in romance novels: No specific word makes me cringe, context is everything. Full on purple pose will get a good, pity laugh and for me to put the book down.

Year your first book was published: 2019

Favorite Quote: “Fix another queen’s crown without telling the world it was crooked."


Latest Release

Sally Kilpatrick

Sally Kilpatrick lives with her husband, a Georgia boy, and her two kids in Marietta, Georgia. Her books reflect the small-town shenanigans and memorable characters she grew up around. Her latest novel, Oh My Stars, was described by RT Book Reviews as written in a way that "makes readers feel as if they are hanging out with their best friend." With five novels under her belt, Sally has won multiple awards, including the 2018 and 2019 Georgia Author of the Year, the Maggie Award of Excellence, the Booksellers’ Best, and the 2016 Nancy Knight Award for Mentorship.

Agent (if applicable): Sarah Younger

Recent Favorite Book(s): Real Men Knit by Kwana Jackson, Recipe for Persuasion by Sonali Dev, A Murderous Relation by Deanna Raybourn

Most cringe-worthy word you find in romance novels: I don’t think I have one…

Year your first book was published: 2015

Favorite Quote: "No experience is wasted if you learn something from it."


Latest Release

Lisa Lin

Lisa is a member of the law refugee contingent of Romancelandia who is thrilled to have finally found her people. She's been an avid lover and reader of romance since she was 13 and got a hold of her first Nora Roberts book while wandering the shelves of her local bookstore.

Lisa writes #ownvoices contemporary rom coms and historicals. She loves books that are fun, witty, and fast paced and strives to do the same in her writing. She is obsessed with politics and considers staying in her pajamas, ordering takeout, and bingeing Netflix to be the perfect weekend.

Agent (if applicable): Courtney Miller-Callihan

Recent Favorite Book(s): Anything by Tessa Dare and Julie James. A recent book I'm loving is The Duke's Wicked Wife by Elizabeth Bright.

Most cringe-worthy word you find in romance novels: lave, c*ckstand

Year your first book was published: N/A

Favorite Quote: "Karma is only a bitch if you are." -Ms. Beverly Jenkins


R.L. Merrill

R.L. Merrill enjoys writing stories of Hope, Love, and Rock 'n' Roll featuring quirky and relatable characters. Whether she's writing about contemporary issues that affect us all or diving deep into the paranormal and supernatural to give readers a shiver, she loves creating compelling stories that will stay with readers long after.

Ro spends every spare moment improving her writing craft and striving to find that perfect balance between real life and happily ever after. She writes LGBTQ romances for Dreamspinner Press, contributes paranormal hilarity to Robyn Peterman's Magic and Mayhem Universe and works on various other projects that tickle her fancy or benefit a worthy cause.


Latest Release

Courtney Milan

Courtney Milan is an author of historical and contemporary romance. She likes baking, reading, and hanging out with her dog. She is (and I cannot emphasize this enough) truly a gigantic dork. She’s mentored people informally in multiple fields.

Agent (if applicable): Kristin Nelson, Nelson Literary Agency

Recent Favorite Book(s): The Boyfriend Project by Farrah Rochon, Every Reason We Shouldn’t by Sara Fujimura, Lord of the Last Heartbeat by May Peterson

Year your first book was published: 2010

Favorite Quote: “This project is only in trouble if you think it’s in trouble. It’s got nothing to do with anything else” —Hands off Eizouken


Latest Release

Rose O' Brien

In the first grade, Rose made up a story and convinced her classmates their school built was haunted. Kids cried. Parents were called. And a storyteller was born.

A cowgirl turned newspaper journalist turned public relations flack turned novelist, Rose lives with her spouse and offspring in Central Texas. When she is not writing, she enjoys crafting, practicing martial arts and horseback riding.


Agent (if applicable): N/A

Recent Favorite Book(s): Get a Life Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert, Rebel by Beverly Jenkins , Rafe by Rebekah Weatherspoon

Most cringe-worthy word you find in romance novels: spurt

Year your first book was published: 2018

Favorite Quote:

“At least once in your life, do something so outrageous that it will have to be kept a secret.” – my Auntie Queta



Latest Release

Beth Patillo

Beth Pattillo is a RITA-winning author of romance and women’s fiction. Her books include Heavens To Betsy, which was made into a TV movie for the UP network, and Jane Austen Ruined My Life, an IndieBound notable book selection. Beth is also an ordained minister, a confirmed anglophile, and believes in happy endings, both temporal and eternal.

Agent (if applicable): Jenny Bent, The Bent Agency

Recent Favorite Book(s): Kristan Higgins’ The Next Best Thing, Sara Hogle’s You Deserve Each Other, Abby Jimenez’s The Happy Ever After Playlist (Thank you, ladies, for getting me through this pandemic…)

Year your first book was published: 2003

Favorite Quote:

“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.”

― Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice



Latest Release

Sophia Singh Sasson

Sophia writes multicultural romance that includes strong heroines, complex stories, and a lot of heart. She is the author of the Welcome to Bellhaven series and the soon to be published Nights at the Mahal series; both from Harlequin. Her books will make you laugh, cry, and snort tea from your nose. Sophia has lived in India, Spain, Canada and now calls the madness of Washington DC home.

She enjoys baking, scuba diving, and watching Bollywood movies.

Agent (if applicable): Barbara Rosenberg

Recent Favorite Book(s): Red Sparrow by Jason Matthews, (and the other 2 books in the series), The Widows of Malabar Hill by Sujata Massey, Pride, Prejudice and Other Flavors by Sonali Dev

Most cringe-worthy word you find in romance novels: wanton

Year your first book was published: 2016

Favorite Quote: “It's the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting.”

― Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist


Latest Release

Karen Stivali

Karen Stivali is a prolific writer, compulsive baker and chocoholic with a penchant for books, movies, and fictional British men. She's also the multiple award-winning author of contemporary straight and LGBTQ romances. She writes novels about love...like real life, only hotter.


Agent (if applicable): N/A

Recent Favorite Book(s): Jane Doe by Victoria Helen Stone

Most cringe-worthy word you find in romance novels: cream

Year your first book was published: 2011

Favorite Quote: "Reality is an illusion, albeit a very persistent one." - Einstein


Latest Release

Sadira Stone

Ever since her first kiss, Sadira’s been spinning steamy tales in her head. After 30 years in Germany, first in the U.S. Army, then as a teacher to kids of U.S. military families, she finally tried her hand at writing one. Now she’s a happy citizen of Romancelandia, penning contemporary romance from her home in Washington State, U.S.A. When not writing, which is seldom, she explores the Pacific Northwest with her charming husband, enjoys the local music scene, plays darts (pretty well), plays guitar (badly), and gobbles all the books.

Agent (if applicable): N/A

Recent Favorite Book(s): Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert, The Worst Best Man by Mia Sosa , Ben’s Bakery and the Hannukah Miracle by Penelope Peters

Most cringe-worthy word you find in romance novels: perfect

Year your first book was published: 2018

Favorite Quote:

"Life may not be the party we hoped for, but while we’re here we might as well dance."


Latest Release

Sera Taíno

Sera Taíno writes Latinx romances exploring the joy of love in the context of community and family in all its rich diversity. She was selected for Harlequin’s Romance Includes You Mentorship, an initiative launched in 2019 to reach out to diverse communities of writers and bring more own voices stories to romance readers.

She has published numerous short romances and her debut novel is slated to be published with Harlequin’s Special Edition Line in Fall, 2021.

When she is not writing, she can usually be found teaching, traveling, or wrangling her family.

Agent (if applicable): N/A

Recent Favorite Book(s): American Love Story by Adriana Herrera, Red, White & Royal Blue by Caisey McQuiston and Get a Life ,Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert

Most cringe-worthy word you find in romance novels: Nothing makes me cringe anymore.

Year your first book was published: First book will be published next year

Favorite Quote:

Who you are is defined by what you’re willing to struggle for.” - Mark Manson