Friday Chat: Authors in Action! Romancing The Runoff Charity Auction

It’s been proven time and time again… “Romancelandia” can move mountains, if it so chooses. The force of nature created when authors and readers in the romance community focus on a common goal is astounding. And they’re doing it again, in the name of voter equality, with Romancing The Runoff.

Some of you may be aware that both Georgia senate races ended during the general election with the need for a runoff. That means Georgia voters will be going back to the polls in January to elect their representatives to the U.S. Senate. This is not unheard of, many races have had runoffs in the past. Some things that make THIS set of runoffs noteworthy are how the outcome of these elections will effect the overall makeup of the U.S. Senate (which ideological “side” will have the majority), the ongoing voter suppression tactics documented during the general election, and the involvement of grass-root organizations and motivated citizens like romance author/former Democratic Leader of Georgia’s House of Representatives, Stacey Abrams.

I’m participating because I believe in democracy and if my small contributions can help even a little bit to ensure more voter equality in Georgia, I want to be part of something bigger than myself. I live in the South and voter suppression in minority communities has loooong been an issue in my state. I see what Stacey Abrams has been doing for Georgia and I am so impressed with her tenacity and wisdom. Knowing that part of the auction funds are going to Fair Fight would have been enough for me to contribute, but I support all the voting organizations involved. I write romance because I believe in hope and simply put, I’m participating in this auction because of the same thing. Hope for a better future and hope that flipping Georgia is just the beginning.

Verona Bay Series author Katie Reus

Romancing The Runoff is a charity auction created by authors Alyssa Cole, Courtney Milan, and Bree & Donna (Kit Rocha), with items donated by hundreds (HUNDREDS!) of authors. They started with the romance community, but authors who write in romance-adjacent genres were also eager to contribute items. (And even a few actors!!) For readers, there are individual books, book series, signed & annotated books, ARCs, handmade novelty & craft items, character naming privileges, Zoom calls & Q&A chats… even a Zoom pajama party with you and some friends! For authors, there are page/chapter/book critiques from authors and editors, planning and plotting sessions, editor pitch sessions, cover art design, social media and marketing lessons, and so much more!

I participated because I believe in voter equality, science and a better tomorrow. I am a New Yorker married to a man from Savannah and have lots of family in Georgia, so this initiative is very close to my heart. I hope many people will look at the issues and get behind this wonderful cause. I have a reader/knitting gift package and a 30 minute virtual ask me anything up for auction. 🙂

REAL MEN KNIT author Kwana Jackson

I was inspired by the Fated States romance phone banking and when the auction idea was floated on Twitter I was quick to donate! I thought I’d offer up something for writers and something for readers. For writers I’ve got a Brainstorming your Book item, and for readers, a Signed Paperback Set of the Entire Night Series! 🙂 I’m so encouraged by the entire romance community getting involved to help Georgia… ❤

Muse Chronicles author Lisa Kessler

Remember when I said that “Romancelandia” can move mountains? Authors and readers have stepped up in a BIG way. The auction is raising money to benefit organizations fighting for fair, equal voting rights in Georgia. ( Fair Fight – founded by Stacey Abrams, Black Voters Matter, New Georgia Project ) There are almost 1000 items available to bid on. They blew through their first and second goals before the auction even officially started (with pre-auction cash donations)!!! They met their first stretch goal by the end of their first official day, and have now surpassed a quarter of a MILLION dollars! The auction runs from Nov 18th – 24th. In addition to spreading the word on social media, regional and national news outlets have spotlighted the event and the organizations they’re supporting.

Many of the items have very high bids on them, at this point, but don’t let that dissuade any of you from checking it out. This is all about equality, after all. 🙂 There are still many items you can find at a reasonable price. And many authors have donated items that are listed as “buy now”, so that you can contribute to the cause, get an awesome item from an amazing author, and not break your budget.

I participated because I believe in providing education so people can make informed decisions, in showing people that their voice can and will be heard, in science and equality and hope for happiness now and in the future. So often, graphics and images depict oversimplified images of red states and blue states, when there are gatherings of people who aren’t heard inside those state lines. I hope that we can reach out to each other and help wherever and however we can, so I donated both my time and signed copies of my books to this effort in addition to my other donations to non-profit organizations working to make the world a better place this year.

True Heroes Series author Piper J Drake

If you manage to scroll through all of the offerings and can’t find anything you just HAVE TO HAVE, there is another way you can contribute to the cause. Through ActBlue, you can donate directly to the auction, which will then disperse donations to the three charities. US residents can click HERE to donate, and outside of the US, you can donate HERE. There’s even a printable (or digitally presentable) certificate to include with gifts purchased from the auction, so the recipient knows you’ve done your part to aide fair and equal voting rights.

I really think we need to flip the senate because of the damage the republican majority in the senate has done over the past four years, and the fact that nothing good can be accomplished if it remains for the next four years. And I 100% trust the organizers of the auction to direct those dollars in the right place to help this happen.

RECIPE FOR PERSUASION author Sonali Dev

Can I just ditto what Sonali said? that is 100% my motivation. Also, I can and have donated my own money, but this allows me to amplify that donation.

Forgotten Empires Series author Jeffe Kennedy

As you’ve been reading this, you’ve seen some thoughts from a few of the authors participating in the auction. Huge THANK YOU to them for sharing their feelings about the situation, and for contributing to the solution. You can find their items for auction by clicking their names:

Katie Reus
Kwana Jackson
Lisa Kessler
Piper J Drake
Sonali Dev
Jeffe Kennedy
Xio Axelrod

As soon as I learned about the auction, I signed up to donate. I didn’t hesitate because there is too much at stake in this election.

These last four years have been a nightmare. And it’s been difficult to watch all of the progress we’d made as a nation – extending long-overdue civil rights to marginalized groups, providing healthcare and assistance to the most vulnerable, encouraging advancement in 21st century, clean tech, and passing laws to protect the planet – get eroded and belittled and, not only erased, but reversed. All in a way that seems malicious.

We are at a crossroads in this country, heading down a dangerous path. If we don’t course correct now, I fear what would undoubtedly come of us over another four years under this administration.

I have donated and advocated as much as I could as an individual. An event like Romancing the Runoff offered an opportunity to join a collective voice with a much more powerful platform.

THE GIRL WITH STARS IN HER EYES author Xio Axelrod

If you are a Georgia voter — there are many sites available with information about the runoff election. Here is one local news page that seems to have all of the pertinent dates/links/answers: https://www.13wmaz.com/article/news/local/georgia-january-2021-runoff-election-voter-guide/93-bd04ed66-acb4-45af-b371-becc71207967

If you’re an author or reader who’s already purchased something, or are planning to, be sure to tell us what you’re getting in the comments!!

*Negative/inflammatory comments will be deleted.*


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