Monday, July 30, 2018
In Memory of Janga
It breaks my heart to have to tell you that this morning, my dear friend and blogging partner, Janga Rholetter lost her battle with cancer. Some of you only knew her through her insightful and flawlessly written reviews here at the Dish. Others may have met her years ago at Squawk Radio or on the Eloisa James bulletin board or, perhaps, more recently on Facebook or Twitter.
Janga was an admired and respected voice in the Romance community and a valued friend to many. I had hoped we would have more time to giggle together on the phone like schoolgirls; swooning over romance heroes like Parth in Born to Be Wilde, tomorrow's release from Eloisa James, or admiring the beautiful prose and laughing over the hilarious humor in Julie Anne Long's Hellcat Canyon books or lamenting the fact that more readers don't know about the brilliance of Anne Gracie and her wonderful historical romances. But God had another plan and our loss is Heaven's gain. Janga's faith was deep and she was at peace with the knowledge that her next adventure was on the horizon.
Janga loved the English language and was a staunch advocate of the written word. For those of you who only knew her through the blog, you may not be aware that she also loved introducing young minds to written works that touch our hearts, challenge us to think, and turn stereotypes on end. For 37 years, she shared her love of literature of all kinds - but especially Southern literature - as a teacher at a local high school and then at Auburn University. Last week, I was on the phone ordering birthday flowers for Janga from one of the florists in her hometown. The woman taking my order suddenly asked, "Is this for the same Ms. Rholetter who taught at Troup High?" I replied that it was. She said, "She was my teacher! My brother's too. I loved her class! I learned so much from her. She was my favorite teacher." I can think of no better tribute to a woman who held education and the written word in such high regard. I loved her class. She was my favorite. I learned so much.
I treasure the years of friendship with which Janga and I were blessed. I also learned much from her, I admired her, I loved her, and I will miss her deeply.
Rest in Peace, dear Janga. You may be gone from this life but your footprints will never fade.
Tomorrow is a big romance release day and those days were among Janga's favorites. The best way I know to honor my friend is to support a hardworking author by buying one of the books releasing tomorrow, getting comfy, and losing myself in a world of hope, a world of love, a world of happy endings. I hope you'll do the same.
And because Janga so enjoyed sharing her love of romance novels with everyone here at the Dish, I'm gifting three of you with your choice of one of the following three books, by authors whose stories she treasured:
Born to be Wilde by Eloisa James
First Time at Firelight Falls by Julie Anne Long
or Marry in Scandal by Anne Gracie.