A few weeks ago I was contacted by AAR and asked to donate a critique to their charity auction, to benefit Hands on New Orleans. I was flattered to be asked (and am now even more flattered seeing the company I’m in) but I must admit to having anxiety whenever I’m asked to do something like this. My fears, in no particular order are that people won’t bid on me, that they’ll laugh when they see I’ve been included, that I won’t raise money for the charity and I’ll never be asked again (which is a fear that seems ridiculous since just being asked gives me fear. It’s a vicious cycle), and that I won’t give a critique the winning bidder feels was worth the money. So here’s where I begin my shameless begging that you go and check out the auction when it begins on October 15th and that you help me be worth more than a dollar. Even better, if “you know who” would bid on me and I give him a critique because then I know the recipient will be pleased with what they get 😉

Of course, this auction isn’t really about me (no matter how I joke) and all of the proceeds will go to a great cause so I hope you’ll check it out. Not to bid on “me” but to get something fabulous (like an ARC from Nora? Squee!) and give your money to a worthy charity at the same time. And don’t worry, I’ll be sure to remind you again so you don’t forget. I know you were worried.

Two years ago AAR readers and our friends in the publishing industry banded together to raise over $11,000 in our first AAR Aid auction to benefit the victims of Hurricane Katrina.

As we all know, many in the blighted areas are still suffering. So, once again All About Romance will be holding an ebay auction to benefit Hands On New Orleans, a highly rated charitable organization dedicated to facilitating volunteerism in the city. Their partners are Home Depot, Coca Cola, the Corporation for National and Community Service, Cisco Systems, and FedEx, to name just a few, and their current projects include restoring houses that remain uninhabitable, street and parks clean-up and restoration, and support for local food banks and animal shelters.

This time out the auction will be much smaller and limited to some pretty fabulous items, including ARCs from Meg Cabot, Nora Roberts, Mary Balogh, Lisa Kleypas, Angela Knight, Lisa Marie Rice, and Elizabeth Hoyt, as well as signed sets of books from Loretta Chase, Julia Quinn, Lisa Kleypas, Teresa Mederios, Mary Jo Putney, Rachel Gibson, Liz Carlyle, Jaid Black, Lisa Marie Rice, and Angela Knight.

We’ve even got rare out of print titles from Linda Howard, Anne Stuart, and Marsha Canham.

For anyone looking for critiques, some of the best in the business stepped up to the plate: Cindy Hwang from Berkley; Erika Tsang from Avon; Abby Zidle, Kathy Sagan, and Jessica Zita from Pocket; and Angela James from Samhain. We’ve even lined up the rare opportunity for you to bid on critiques from three of romance’s very best authors: Linda Howard, Mary Balogh, and Anne Stuart.

Please check back beginning October 15th And, if you can, pass the word along in your travels on the Internet. They still need us. Let’s all do what we can to help.

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