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The 12 Days of Christmas Blog Hop

Join our 12 Days of Christmas Celebration.

This year’s event is bigger and better, with lots of fun and prizes from 22 authors, celebrating the most wonderful time of the year.

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Ho! Ho! Ho! The Rafflecopter is open for entries.

Starting December 14th (the First Day of Christmas) and running through December 24th, visit our hosts daily, as they will be sharing their favorite holiday recipes, movies, songs, memories, traditions, gift and decorating ideas. Come back on December 25th to find out if you won one of the 16 fabulous prize packages.

Darcy Flynn

Abigail Sharpe

Aidy Award

Ann Lacey

Christi Barth

CynthiaGail

Heather Miles

Jeanne Hardt

Jennifer Faye

Jessica Jefferson

Kim Hotzon

Linda O’Connor

Maureen Bonatch

Meda White

Meggan Connors

Rachel Lacey

Rebecca E. Neely

Ryan Jo Summers

Sloane B. Collins

Sophia Kimble

Stephanie Berget

Tracey Livesay

Protect Her by Sophia Kimble

Squeee! My paranormal romance, Protect Her, is now available on Amazon for $2.99

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Jump on over and read a portion, and if you like, buy it. 🙂

ProtectHer_850HIGHGolden Alexander is trapped in a nightmare.

Trying to flee her hallucination of a demon, she runs heart first into the brooding alpha male she’s been dreaming about for years, and then her nightmare really begins.

Kris Pietka is done with women…he’s broken. But when he meets Golden, an overwhelming need to protect her tests everything he thought he knew about himself, and the paranormal.

A bond forged centuries ago thrusts them together as they search for a way to break an ancient Druid curse prophesying their demise. Racing against the clock, they travel from Vermont, to the Carpathian Mountains in Poland, and the Scottish Highlands in search of answers and a way to break the curse

But something evil watches—it covets, and time is running out.

Will fate allow love to prevail against unbeatable odds, or will Golden wake to find it was all a delusion?

Protect Her is the first novel in The Druid’s Curse series.

Win spooky books and more for Halloween!

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In honor of Halloween/Samhain/All Souls Day, I’ve joined with some fellow authors of spooky books to give away our titles as well as Amazon gift cards.

Enter to win…if you dare!

Scroll down to find out about the books we’re giving away.

Find the entry form on my website here, or click below to be taken to Rafflecopter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Golden Alexander is trapped in a nightmare.

Trying to fleeProtectHer_850HIGH her hallucination of a demon, she runs heart first into the brooding alpha male she’s been dreaming about for years, and then her nightmare really begins.

Kris Pietka is done with women…he’s broken. But when he meets Golden, an overwhelming need to protect her tests everything he thought he knew about himself, and the paranormal.

A bond forged centuries ago thrusts them together as they search for a way to break an ancient Druid curse prophesying their demise. Racing against the clock, they travel from Vermont, to the Carpathian Mountains in Poland, and the Scottish Highlands in search of answers and a way to break the curse

But something evil watches—it covets, and time is running out.

Will fate allow love to prevail against unbeatable odds, or will Golden wake to find it was all a delusion? 

Cursed be the Wicked finalCooper Shaw lives his life under a pen name and enjoys the anonymity it provides during his journeys across the globe as a seasoned writer for a travel magazine. When his job lands him in his hometown of Salem, Massachusetts to cover the famous Festival of the Dead, he soon realizes that he can’t stay invisible forever as he faces ghosts from a past he’s been trying to forget ever since he left.

 The city holds nothing but bad memories for Coop until he meets a quirky young woman with an old soul and curious insights by the name of Finnley Pierce. While she acts as his tour guide through a town he thought he knew, Finn helps him unearth the truth of his childhood and might even begin to open up his heart.

By unraveling the mystery of his father’s murder, Coop may finally accept who he is, where he came from, and perhaps even realize what he wants for his future.

 

perf5.000x8.000.inddFiercely independent and determined to be taken seriously in a man’s world, PI Rose Baxter will do whatever it takes to find the kids who are disappearing from the streets and bring them home safe, even teaming up with PI Marty Brown, a man hot enough to burn whatever part of her gets too close – her fingers, her sheets, her life, and her other nature’s whiskers.

But her other nature knows whiskers grow back and will accept nothing less than this man as her mate for life, a plan Marty’s all in on. Sparks fly when she refuses to be the little woman. Besides, those kids need her and their time’s running out. But, thrown together 24/7 can she fight it?

IThePromisedOneHighResn the wrong hands, the Turning Stone ring is a powerful weapon for evil. So, when homicide detective Alexi Jordan discovers her secret society mentor has been murdered and his magic ring stolen, she is forced to use her shape-shifting powers to catch the killer. By doing so, she risks the two most important things in her life—her badge and the man she loves.

 

Rhys Temple always knew his fiery cop partner and would-be-girlfriend, Alexi Jordan, had a few secrets. He considers that part of her charm. But when she changes into a man, he doesn’t find that as charming. He’ll keep her secret to keep her safe, but he’s not certain he can keep up a relationship—professional or personal.

Danny Shaw needs cash for the elaborate wedding his fiancée has planned, so he goes on a mugging spree. But when he kills a member of the secret society of Turning Stones, and steals a magic ring that gives him the power to shape shift, Shaw gets more than he bargained for.

 

Blood Brothers CoverWhen Delaney Ramsey is enlisted to help train two of the most powerful shape shifters the Turning Stone Society has seen in thousands of years, she suspects one of them is responsible for the disappearance of her daughter. To complicate matters, the man has a secret that could destroy them all. Bound by honor to protect the suspect, Delaney must prove his guilt without losing her life to his terrible powers or revealing to the police captain she’s falling for that she’s a shape shifter with more than one agenda.

The minute Captain Williams lays eyes on Delaney Ramsey, he knows she’s trouble. Uncooperative, secretive, and sexy, he can’t get her out of his mind. When he discovers she has a personal agenda for sifting through all the criminal records in his precinct, and secretly investigating his best detective, he can’t let her out of his sight. He must find out what she’s looking for before she does something illegal. If she steps over the line, he’s not certain he can look the other way for the sake of love.

UNKNOWN PROTECTOR_505x825Two things have helped Nicole cope since the murder of her husband a year ago. One is running her detective agency, and the other is her guardian angel, Mira.

When Mira is killed by a demon, Nicole accepts the help of a Ridge.He is a long haired, cigar smoking diamond in the rough with wings. Things go from bad to worse when a replacement guardian cannot be found.

She has to trust Ridge, which is tricky when she realizes there are no demons or angels, just parasitic aliens that humans have built the myths of these celestial beings around. Ridge isn’t an angel or a devil, but an alien half breed known as a Midworlder.

Nicole finds herself fighting off a Demonic Midworlder who wants to impregnate her so his alien boss can come to Earth. Plus she has an ex priest who wants to attach a demon to her so he can save his friend. She is tough, but has to admit she could do with some help from Ridge, who is as alluring as he is annoying. Amongst all the fighting they manage to fall in love, but nearly lose each other, and their unborn child. What they don’t know is that if they stay together things may change not only for them, but for the future of the world. New rules will have to be drawn up as aliens, humans and Midworlders learn to live with the situation.

This book is the first in a trilogy about other Midworlder couples.

New Beginnings: A writing tip to snag that elusive publishing contract.

So you’ve finished your manuscript…yay! Way to go!

No, seriously, it’s an awesome accomplishment to have poured your heart and soul onto paper (or screen), created memorable characters, and devised a plot twisting story. So kudos to you.

Maybe along the way you’ve had it critiqued, entered a few contests for feedback, and edited it to hell and back, lovingly polishing into a shiny patina.

 

Zenobia_witch***rubs hand together with an evil gleam in your eye saying, ‘muwhahahaha’***

 

(Not the visual you’d use? I write paranormal, so I tend to go with the evil witch-type visual, use whatever suits you!)

 

 

What!? You haven’t polished your manuscript yet?

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Well, do it now.

Go ahead…I’ll wait.

 

Tick, tock. Tick, tock.

 

Done?

 

Okay, good.

 

Next…research editors and agents. Find one’s who’ll be interested in your story. Stalk them. Yes, I said stalk them, but not in the creepy kind of way…just observe. Find them on their blogs,

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266px-Facebook.svg …they’re there.

Most will be posting about books they want to represent, or books they love, which is your clue as to whether you should send your baby to them or keep looking.

Done that? Good. 

 No, it’s not good, you say. Conan_Rejection_Letter (1)

 

You’ve received a gazillion rejection letters, had your hopes so high in the clouds only to fall down into the deepest of gutters.

 

*Sigh* Been there, done that.

 

 Forty two times! Yes, you heard me right…47 times, 47 hopes dashed with 47 rejection letters.

 

Every writer has been there, maybe not as many times as myself, but they’ve been there. It’s part of the business of writing. A sucky part, but a part none the less.

 

*Kathryn Stockett’s, The Help, was rejected 60 times before becoming a bestseller.

* Stephen King’s, Carrie, was rejected dozens of times.

*John Grishim’s, A Time to Kill, was rejected by a dozen publishers and 16 agents.

*Margaret Mitchell’s, Gone With the Wind, was rejected 38 times.

 

WE ARE NOT ALONE! (Yes, I’m a huge X-Files fan)

You think you’ll never sign on the elusive dotted line of the much coveted publishing contract, right? Wrong!

Put on your big girl/boy pants, take a deep breath, and listen closely.

To read the rest of this post, I’m guest blogging on Paranormal Romanitcs, so click their banner below to be taken to their website and find out how to snag that elusive publishing contract!

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Cover reveal: Unknown Protector by Maggie Mundy

 

I have dark speculative fiction author, Maggie Mundy, here today with her newest novel’s cover, Unknown Protector

 Woo hoo! Isn’t it gorgeous?

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Blurb:

Two things have helped Nicole cope since the murder of her husband. One is running her detective agency, and the other is her guardian angel Mira. When Mira is killed by a demon, Nicole accepts the help of a Ridge, a long haired, cigar smoking diamond in the rough with wings. Things go from bad to worse when a replacement guardian cannot be found. She has to trust Ridge, which is tricky when she realizes there are no demons or angels, just parasitic aliens that humans have built the myths of these celestial beings around. Ridge isn’t an angel or a devil, but an alien half breed known as a Midworlder. He is also way too sexy for his own good.

 

Excerpt:

“Please don’t drop me, please don’t drop me,” Nicole repeated as she closed her eyes. She didn’t like flying in planes, let alone being dragged through the night sky by an oversexed scruffy angel who was too hot for his own good. Or was it her own good.

“I won’t let you fall. Look around before we go over. I reckon you’ve guessed the events of tonight aren’t the way we normally do things. Humans aren’t meant to be aware of our flying through the night sky which means I can’t let you remember any of this.”

She took a deep breath and opened her eyes. His face was close to hers as he gripped her tight around her waist. It was too dark to read what he might be thinking from his expression. His lips were so close and her own were parting at the thought he might kiss her. She trembled, but not from fear anymore and hoped he couldn’t read her mind. They were being hunted and she wanted a kiss, no she longed for it. He had to be putting the thoughts in her head.

She needed to get her mind off him so she gazed down at San Francisco. Her adopted city stretched out below with steep streets reaching down to the harbor, while the lights on the Golden Gate Bridge shone in the distance, reflecting on the water below. She smiled as a tear flowed down her cheek. She had never seen it this way before. For a moment she forgot others were after them or after her in particular. She peeked over Ridge’s shoulder and glanced back over his wings as they glided through the sky. Three dark, winged shapes were following and could be seen against the light of the full moon. Maybe the full moon could explain why strange things were happening, because this was like staring at a scene from a horror movie, except it was real.

The shapes of their pursuer’s bodies blurred. She turned back to the city but the lights of San Francisco were disappearing. In the moonlight she focused on the face next to her. Ridge smiled and touched her cheek with his.

“It’s okay. I’m gonna get you a new guardian and all of this will go away. I won’t let anyone hurt you.”

She didn’t want a new guardian, she wanted Mira back. It went dark and reminded her of when she went adventure-caving in Australia. The absolute darkness of underground where not even a trickle of light breaks through, no matter how hard you look. She couldn’t see Ridge anymore, but the closeness of him and the darkness amplified the sound of his wings. For a moment they were all that existed in the universe. His lips touched hers and her mouth opened to him only to have him pull away. Did he mean to do that?

“I suggest you close your eyes and give your mind over to me,” he whispered.

Nicole shook her head and tried to get herself back to reality, whatever that was. “I’m not going anywhere with my eyes shut after tonight, and from what I’m picking up at times your mind seems a bit murky to let you in again.”

“Suit yourself darling, but don’t blame me if you pass out.”

Pain sliced through her temple. She squeezed her eyes shut and instinctively hugged Ridge tighter. His thoughts were in her head again telling her to relax, but this time it wasn’t working. She tried to hold down the rising alarm of what would happen next. Somehow she had an inkling it wasn’t going to be good.

 

 

Find Maggie Mundy at:

 

Website   maggiemundy.com

 

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Unknown Protector out August 13, 2014

 

 

 

 

More books by Maggie…

 

Click cover to see on Amazon

A witch is murdered in 1850 in a ritual that will grant longevity to four men. What they are not aware of is that she has bestowed the same power to another called Seth to avenge her death.

Cara lives in present day Bristol, and is a descendant of the witch. Having been unlucky in love she fills her days with food with her Irish themed catering business. Her nights are another matter; they are full of erotic dreams of a mysterious lover, or nightmares with mutilated bodies. So this wasn’t the best time for her Nana to tell her she is coming into her power.  
out now with

 

 

Click cover to see on Amazon

Trent Feldor is a Seeker vampire who protects human females from Rogue vampires who would take them as mates. Kellie is a reporter who wants to make the front page of the Adelaide newspaper by finding the Parklands Killer. Instead she stumbles straight into a vampire fight and she is the trophy being fought for. 

Kellie has never let anyone into her life since her mother’s death, and isn’t going to let the mysterious Trent get under her skin. As for Trent, he may have found the one woman he could love but he will have to stop Rogue vampires who want to kidnap her, and vampire hunters who want to kill him.  

 

 

Click cover to see on Amazon

Clare is a twenty five year old nurse who loves reading fantasy and paranormal books. Fiction becomes fact when she gets transported from Italy to an alternate world, one that looks like fourteenth century Italy.

The only way back to Earth is through a portal half a world away, plus the local High priestess wants her dead, and the only one she can trust is a vampire called Trevi. He happens to be the only one who exits in this world, and she knows more about what he is than he does. After all the books she has read he is hard to resist, especially when he saves her life.

Trevi can take her home but he is keeping one big secret. She will have to be like him to survive the journey through the portal back to her world making a myth a reality.

 

About Maggie

Maggie Mundy lives in Adelaide, Australia and is a member of Romance Writers of Australia, and the local chapter SARA (South Australian Romance Authors). Maggie MundyShe recently completed a Bachelor of Arts in Drama, English and Creative Writing at Flinders University. She had a short story published in the RWA Topaz Anthology Little Gems in 2010 called Sea and Vines. She has two books out with Rogue Phoenix Press. An erotic novella called Blood Scent and a paranormal romance called World Change. She also has a supernatural thriller out with Soul Mate Publishing called Hidden Mortality.She has also performed for many years in corporate entertainment for which she wrote her own sketches, which probably explains why her head is so full of characters. She loves writing romance but thinks falling in love can be scary, especially in her stories where creatures of the night really exist.

 

A Confederado, A Shopaholic Dog, and a Maverick…Oh My!

Click image to buy from Amazon

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Welcome Linda Bennett Pennell who’s come to talk about her new release, Confederado do Norte, her shopaholic dog, and Maverick.

Be sure to scroll all the way down and read an excerpt from Confederado do Norte!

 Linda, do you have a pet? 

My husband and I share our home with a brown-headed German Short-haired Pointer who is absolutely convinced she is a little girl, one photowho loves to shop.   When we take her to Petsmart, she goes straight to the toy aisle and tests every plush, squeeky toy until she finds just the right one. She then picks it up in her mouth and starts tugging toward the checkout counter.   Her business is done. It’s time to go home so she can play with her new toy. She’s only a little spoiled! Awww, she’s a shopaholic!

 Where does Confederado do Norte take place? Why did you choose that location? Have you ever been there?

Confederado do Norte is set primarily in Brazil. Coffee-Fazenda-Recreiro-in-Pocos-de-Caldas-in-Brazil1 Thank goodness for Google Maps and Google Earth! They allowed me to see what the countryside looks like in a place I’ve never been. The story setting was determined by actual historical facts upon which my work of fiction is based. After the American Civil War, some Southerners decided they wouldn’t live with the terms of Reconstruction. Fazenda_do_Paraizo When Emperior Dom Pedro II offered free land in exchange for agricultural expertise, the defeated Confederates jumped at the chance to start afresh. My novel is the story of a young girl forced to move into the Brazilian wilderness paraiba fazenda-1where the woman she becomes must recreate herself in order to survive.

 What is your favorite childhood TV show and what do you remember fondly about it?

Oooooo, not difficult at all. As a young girl, I was in love with Brett Marverick played by James Garner. maverick_comiccvr   If you’ve never seen a picture of him as a young man, Google him and take a look. Be still my beating heart! James_Garner_Louise_Fletcher_Maverick_1959   I Google’d, and Yum!!!

BIO:

I have been in love with the past for as long as I can remember. Anything with a history, whether shabby or majestic, recent or ancient, instantly draws me in. I suppose it comes from being part of a large extended family that spanned several generations. Long 0449.highressummer afternoons on my grandmother’s porch or winter evenings gathered around her fireplace were filled with stories both entertaining and poignant. Of course being set in the South, those stories were also peopled by some very interesting characters, some of whom have found their way into my work. As for my venture in writing, it has allowed me to reinvent myself. We humans are truly multifaceted creatures, but unfortunately we tend to sort and categorize each other into neat, easily understood packages that rarely reveal the whole person. Perhaps you, too, want to step out of the box in which you find yourself. I encourage you to look at the possibilities and imagine. Be filled with childlike wonder in your mental wanderings. Envision what might be, not simply what is. Let us never forget, all good fiction begins when someone says to herself or himself, “Let’s pretend.” I reside in the Houston area with one sweet husband and one German Shorthaired Pointer who thinks she’s a little girl. Favorite quote regarding my professional passion: “History is filled with the sound of silken slippers going downstairs and wooden shoes coming up.” Voltaire

Books:

Click image to buy from Amazon

Al Capone at the Blanche Hotel now available from Soul Mate Publishing

 

Click image to buy from Amazon

Confederado do Norte from Soul Mate Publishing

Find Linda at:

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Linda Bennett Pennell

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Twitter: @LindaPennell

 

Website:  lindapennell.com

 

Back cover blurb for Confederado do Norte

October, 1866. Mary Catherine is devastated when her family emigrates from Georgia to Brazil because her father and maternal uncle refuse to accept the terms of Reconstruction following the Confederacy’s defeat. Shortly after arrival in their new country, she is orphaned, leaving her in Uncle Nathan’s care. He hates Mary Catherine, blaming her for his sister’s death. She despises him because she believes Nathan murdered her father. When Mary Catherine discovers Nathan’s plan to be rid of her as well, she flees into the mountain wilderness filled with jaguars and equally dangerous men. Finding refuge among kind peasants, she grows into a beauty, ultimately marrying the scion of a wealthy Portuguese family. Happiness and security seem assured until civil unrest brings armed marauders who have an inexplicable connection to Mary Catherine. Recreating herself has protected Mary Catherine in the past, but this new crisis will demand all of the courage, intelligence, and creativity she possesses simply to survive.

Excerpt

Chapter 1 I dreamt the dream again last night. In the small hours, I awoke in a tumble of bedclothes and bathed in perspiration despite the howling snowstorm blanketing the city. I rearranged quilts and plumped pillows, but sleep remained elusive. My mind refused to be quiet. As often happens after such a night, I felt unable to rise at my usual hour and remained abed long after the maids cleared breakfast from the morning room. My daughter-in-law, bless her heart, meant well. I told her it was ridiculous to bring the doctor out on such a frigid day, but apparently the very old, like the very young, are not to be trusted in matters of judgment. After the doctor listened to my chest, a studied sympathy filled his eyes and he gently suggested that perhaps I should get my affairs in order. No doubt he wondered at my smile for he couldn’t have known I have no affairs other than my memories and the emotions they engender. Unlike most elderly persons, I don’t revel in slogging through the past. It isn’t wrapped in pretty ribbons or surrounded by a golden aura. Instead, its voices haunt my dreams, demanding and accusatory. Until recently, I’ve resisted their intrusion into my waking life, but I now believe the past can no longer remain buried in nocturnal visions. It must be brought out into the light of day. From its earliest moments onward, the past’s substance must be gouged out, pulled apart, and examined bit by bit until its truth is exposed. While total objectivity may not be possible, I have concluded that committing the past to paper is my best hope for sorting facts from imaginings. Perhaps then I will achieve the peace that has so long hidden its face from me. You see, when I was quite young—only a girl really—I killed four people. Two were dearly beloved, one was a hated enemy, and the last was a dangerous criminal. Chapter 2 My story begins at the end of a terrible war, one that destroyed many lives and much property. But for that war and a handful of newspaper editorials and advertisements, my life would have turned out quite differently. Sometimes it seems no time at all has passed since I was a nine-year-old child standing on the deck of a ship watching home disappear over the horizon. Warm Gulf breezes tugged at the brim of my bonnet, setting its ribbons dancing. Leaning over the Alyssa Jane’s railing, I stared back in the direction of Mobile Bay and pretended I could see the dock where my beloved Bess stood, probably still waving. Mama, her pretty features marred by a furrowed brow and down turned mouth, paced beside me. “Mary Catherine MacDonald! Get down before you fall overboard. All we need right now is another crisis. And stop wiping your nose on your sleeve.” Mama didn’t seem to understand anything anymore. Before we left home, she was calm and kind. Afterward, she snapped at the least little thing.   Click to buy from Amazon

Thanks Linda for sharing with us, can’t wait to read both your novels!

DRUIDS…Ancient Bad Boys of Summer

I am guest blogging on Paranormal Romantics blog today.

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This month’s theme is Bad Boys of Summer and what better way to start this off than talk about Druids.

Here is a teaser of my post. Click on the banner above to read the full article.

Were Druids the original Hippies?

The Druids, in search of enlightenment, would partake of magic mushrooms. The fly Agaric is one such mushroom. It has been said the Druid would fast for 3 days prior to ingestion. His urine (which would be mostly water and the hallucinogenic components of the mushroom) would then be drunk by others.

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The body absorbs the fly agaric’s hallucinogens first, and then expels the toxins from the stomach. The hallucinogenic chemicals then exert their influence on the body and are expelled unaltered in the urine.

As terrible as this sounds, I found I had to put this in my novel, Protect Her, which features an evil Druid, Lailoken.

 

Be sure to head on over to Paranormal Romantics p

and find out all about the Druids:

How they may have been the original Hippies,

What kinds of sacrifices they specialized in performing,

What holidays they observed,

Sacred trees,

Fortune telling,

…And where they are now.

2014 MELODY OF LOVE WRITING CONTEST

2014 Melody of Love Contest Is Accepting Submissions July 1, 2014- September 7, 2014:

Get Your Book in Front of an Editor/Agent! 

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RWA chapter, Music City Romance Writers, will be taking submissions for our annual Melody of Love Contest. This is a FABULOUS way to get your work in an editor’s/agent’s hands (and we have great Final Judges). Submission requires the first 25 pages.

I’m lucky enough to be the Contest Coordinator this year and want to encourage writers to give it a shot and enter. You don’t have to be an MCRW member or even an RWA member to enter, as the contest is open to anyone with a manuscript in the categories of Contemporary romance, Paranormal romance, Historical romance, New Adult, and Young Adult.

Final Round Judges:

Contemporary:

Danielle Burby– Agent at HSG Literary Agency

Angela James- Acquiring editor at Carina Press

Historical:

Victoria Lowes- Agent at The Bent Agency

Brenda Chin– Acquiring editor at ImaJinn Books

Cindy Brannam– Acquiring editor at Soul Mate Publishing

Paranormal:

Heidi Moore- Acquiring editor at Samhain Publishing

Janet Clementz– Acquiring editor at Soul Mate Publishing

New Adult:

Eric Ruben– Agent at Eric Ruben Literary Agency

Mary Altman- Acquiring editor at Sourcebooks

Young Adult:

Mandy Hubbard Agent at D4EO Literary Agency

Lauri WellingtonAcquiring editor at Black Opal Books

 

It’s important to remember that the contest is limited to 75 entries. It is acceptable to submit the entry form and payment BEFORE you submit your pages in order to guarantee your spot. However, all three parts (first 25 pages, entry form, payment) must be received by Sept. 7, 2014. We begin taking entries July 1, 2014 with the final deadline set for September 7, 2014. So take a look at the info below and if you want to enter, visit RWA’s website for links to the official entry form.

Entry Fees and Eligibility:

* Entry fee for MCRW Members: $22

* Entry fee for RWA Members: $27

* Entry fee for non-RWA Members: $32

* All entries must be received by Saturday 11:59 PM EST, September 7, 2014

* Author can be unpublished or published

* Manuscript being entered cannot have been published and cannot be currently contracted to be published via any means at any time, including self or subsidy publishing.

* Manuscript should be a romance or romantic elements novel of 40,000 words or more.

*Entry form and details on RWA website

http://www.rwa.org/mcrwmelodyoflove

 

* Questions? Contact Contest Coordinator Sophia Kimble: contest@mcrw.com

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Submission:

Your entry must have the following three elements:

1) Payment Via check or PayPal.

2) A completed entry form.

3) Your manuscript’s first 25 (or fewer) pages, no synopsis, emailed to the coordinator as an attachment. We recommend but do not require that you omit prologues and end your partial at a cliffhanger, even if it means you don’t send 25 whole pages. (Note: finalists may need to provide a short synopsis at the request of the final round judges.)

Send your entry to contest coordinator Sophia Kimble at: contest@mcrw.com by September 7, 2014.

Entry Form

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Entry Specifics:

1) All entries must be electronic and in standard manuscript format:

  • 12 point standard font (TNR, Courier New)
  • double-spaced
  • indented paragraphs (ie not block style)
  • 1-inch margins
  • .rtf or .doc format

2) Pages should include a header with manuscript title, category and word count. Pages should also be numbered. Your name should not appear on the entry.

3) Coordinator will send emails to confirm receipt of entries. Please allow 5 working days (ie, not weekends or holidays) before you ask the coordinator whether the entry has been received.

  • Email address for questions is contest@mcrw.com and the contest coordinator is Sophia Kimble.

4) Contest limited to 75 total entries, in order of receipt of all three parts. The optional subgenres (Fiction w/Romantic Elements; Erotic; Inspirational) on the entry form are used only to determine the best judges for your work and do not affect scoring or final round editor assignment.

5) While it is acceptable to submit the entry form and payment before you submit your pages, all three parts (pages, entry form, payment) must be received by September 7, 2014, or your entry will not be counted in the contest. Your entry fee will be reimbursed if this happens. The entry form alone is insufficient to “reserve your spot” should the contest fill up; payment must be included as well.

6) Score sheets will be emailed to contestants.

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Document Formatting Tidbits:

* Your chapter should be in .rtf or .doc format. Please do not send .docx files.

* Important: Be aware that your name may be in the document properties as the document’s creator because of software settings. If you don’t know how to change it, the coordinator can delete this for you with your permission.

* Do not paste the chapter into the body of the email.

* Use a standard font and standard formatting, as described above.

* Your entry will be test-opened upon receipt; if there are issues, you will be notified. If you do not respond to the notification before the contest deadline and work with the coordinator to rectify the issues, your manuscript may be disqualified. With your permission, the coordinator can standardize the format of the manuscript for you.

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Judging Specifics

1) Three Judges per entry. The lowest score will be dropped, but will be used in case of a tie. All entries will be judged by at least one published author, the other two judges will be a combination of published/RWA PRO/trained judges. All judges’ decisions are final.

2) Barring unforeseen circumstances, finalists will be announced mid October 2014. Finalists may be asked to provide a short synopsis. Finalists will be notified via e-mail and posted on the MCRW website. First round scores of finalists will be emailed as soon as possible; finalists may submit a revised draft electronically before it is forwarded to the final round judges in early November, with a deadline to be specified at that time.

3) Other scores will be released within 30 days after the finalists are announced. Winners will be announced shortly after all final round judges return their scores, hopefully mid-December 2014.

 

Prizes:

1st place: $50, and a  certificate

2nd and 3rd place: Certificate

An optional benefit for all finalists is a one year membership to MCRW. Due to RWA rules, this benefit can only apply to current members of RWA or members who join RWA within a couple months of finaling in the Melody of Love contest. We are not authorized to extend membership to anyone who is not a member of Romance Writers of America.

All finalists and winners will be announced on our website.

All finalists will also be published in the Romance Writers of America’s monthly publication, the RWR.

Fine print:

1) Entries received that are found to have been published by any means will be disqualified. No entry may be withdrawn after being submitted to the contest with one exception (see below). Entry fees from disqualified entrants will not be refunded. Entrants who finaled in our contest previously may enter again, but don’t re-enter the finaling manuscript. Membership status of entrants who claim RWA membership will be verified with RWA. For the purpose of this contest, published is defined as available for sale by any means or as a free download via retail sites such as Smashwords and Amazon. Entry fees will be refunded to entrants in any category that does not receive the minimum number of entries unless they request placement in another category. Any entries over the contest limit of 75, or those received after the due date, will be returned along with the entry fees.

2) Here is the one exception about withdrawing your entry. If you receive a contract for your submission or self-publish it before the contest deadline of September 7, 2014, you may withdraw your entry with proof of contract or publication and your fee will be returned.

 ***permission to forward and share granted and encouraged***

 

 

 

 

 

Ever run naked somewhere during college?

 Find out all about Jessica Jefferson (including if she ever streaked naked across a college campus) and her new novel…

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Keep reading to find out if she ever ran naked…anywhere!

   Do you have a pet? 

     My dog’s name is Petey and he’s an English bulldog.  He thinks he’s head of household.  When I run a bath, he’ll jump in.  When we open up a car door, he’ll jump in the seat.  Petey

And that’s the only time he jumps.  Petey is actually incredibly lazy.  He likes to lay down and watch television, he goes for short distance walks, and requires air conditioning.  We once made the mistake of taking him camping – we actually had to put a piece of carpet down on the dirt for him to get comfortable.  

Petey is so cute.

 Where does your novel take place? Why did you choose that location? Have you ever been there?

     shutterstock_118618417I write regency, so of course my novels take place in London.  I found this picture on Shutterstock and had to have it! 

I try to capture the splendor of an English garden, but my words just can’t do justice to these works of art.  

Gorgeous!

 If you had one do-over in your life, what would it be? 

I would love to do college over.  When I went away, I was convinced I wanted to be an English teacher, and write.  But then I went college crazy and my plans went a bit awry after that.  Knowing that I needed to get done with college quickly to make up for “the lost years”, I switched my major and abandoned writing for a while. Purdue pic

 

With that said – there were some good times. 

 

This pic looks kind of risqué, but I’m pretty sure I was wearing a bathing suit.

Hah! Not sure I agree about the bathing suit claim!

 And now find out about Jessica’s latest novel published by…

 

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 Taming Miss Tisdale Blurb

Miss Tamsin Tisdale believes herself to be completely unsuitable for London life. After a myriad of social mishaps, and the potential ruination of her family name, she’s shipped away to her cousin’s northern estate. Only after she accepts the type of existence Society dictates she must follow will she be welcomed home.

Marcus Winston, the Duke of Grayson, has a lackluster reputation. The last in a dying line, he’s endured a protected life—rank with privilege, but encumbered by isolation. After a brief encounter with rebellion, he learns the devastating consequences of his carelessness and willingly accepts living life from inside his gilded cage.

However, a chance meeting with the brazen Miss Tisdale gives Marc the opportunity to reinvent himself into the man he’s always dreamed of being. But when his deception comes to light, and ghosts from both their pasts threaten to unravel the intimacy they’ve come to cherish, will either of them set their fears aside long enough to embrace love? Or will Miss Tisdale’s stubbornness divide them?

 Excerpt from Taming Miss Tisdale:

Marc watched the faint outline come across the dense morning fog, becoming more discernible as it approached. The tall, thin figure was riding along at a perilous speed, given the morning’s lack of visibility. He thought perhaps it was some gangly young man misguided in the fog. It wouldn’t be the first time someone accidentally stumbled upon the vast property that made up his family’s immodest estate.

Then the fog parted in an almost biblical manner, revealing his gross inaccuracy.

Were those … breasts?

Marc closed his eyes and thought for a moment. Typically, women didn’t ride alone at such an hour and they certainly didn’t wander unexpectedly across his property. It’d been quite a while, his last birthday to be exact, since his last intimate encounter with a woman—a gift, compliments of St. Regis—so there was always the possibility that perhaps his half-drunk, sex-starved mind had conjured up the sensual image.

He shook his head, opened his eyes, and looked back again toward the horizon.

Yes, those were most certainly breasts.

And she was most definitely not a young man. The woman’s riding habit pulled taut against her body as she raced toward him. Her hair was blowing behind her—various hues of auburn and gold, like wild flames curling about in the wind. Then a decidedly feminine voice burst through the morning’s silence, interrupting his self-doubt.

“Oh, thank goodness I found you!”

This was no mirage. She was indeed very real.

And very loud.

 I absolutely loved this book!

 I’d never read any of Jessica’s books before, but fell in love instantly. I read Taming Miss Tisdale without having read the first in the series, Compromising Miss Tisdale, and I had no trouble following the story. I will be buying the first in the series and anxiously await anymore to follow. After the ending in Taming Miss Tisdale, I’m quite sure the next will be about Rose Tisdale and the rake! Jessica, hurry and write it!

I highly recommend this book.

Social Media and buy links:

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Website

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I can also be found over with these ladies at:

Embracing Romance.com

New ImageJessica Jefferson makes her home in northern Indiana, or as she likes to think of it—almost Chicago. She is heavily inspired by classic sweeping, historical romance novels, but aims to take those key emotional elements and inject a fresh blend of quick dialogue and comedy. She invites you to visit her at http://jessicajefferson.com and contact her for news on upcoming releases, appearances, and more.

 

Thank you so much, Jessica, for being here and letting us get to know you! I still think you were in your birthday suit in that picture. 🙂

 

 

Second Annual Romancing the Lakes Writing Contest 2014

 Second Annual

Romancing the Lakes Writing Contest  2014

Romancing the Lakes Romance Writers is sponsoring a contest for unpublished authors.

Contest information 

Minnesota is known for its 10,000 lakes where romance can happen in all seasons, on any one of the lakes. Do you have a scene on a lake or any body of water in your romance manuscript? It doesn’t make a difference what State or Country your story takes place in, or if your characters have a romantic encounter on land or sea.

THINKING OUTSIDE THE BOX

        Romancing the Lakes Writers recently opened their 2nd. Annual writing contest for all unpublished writers to enter their manuscripts. The entry must include “a romance and a lake or any body of water”.  So what if you don’t have a lake in your story?  We as writers need to always be thinking outside the box.  That is what makes our writing unique and makes it stand out from the rest.  So let’s consider the part where it needs to include a lake or any body of water.

        As Minnesotans, we do not have by any means a shortage of lakes when our state boasts over 10,000 lakes!  We have no excuses! If you live in any of the states bordered by the ocean, whether it is the East Coast, West Coast or the Gulf of Mexico, you also have an abundance of water near you.  Even those who don’t live near the coasts, probably still have a river nearby, such as the “Mighty Mississippi”.  Then of course there is Nevada and Arizona which are basically deserts, but even they still have lakes and lots and lots of swimming pools.

        Which brings us to the any body of water part.  This would include swimming pools, ponds, or even water fountains.   But your story may not have any of these various bodies of water in it, so now what?  We are writers.  We are creative people.  If you don’t have a body of water in your story, it is as simple as adding one.  Just a line or two, a few strokes on the keyboard  and you can magically add a body of water to your story. Your main character could be jogging past a pond, driving alongside a river, swimming in a pool or shopping at a local mall area where they have a water fountain in the courtyard.

Let your mind be creative and open to thinking outside the box. Give it your best shot and enter the Romancing the Lakes Writers Contest.  Good luck to everyone!

ROSE MARIE MEUWISSEN

RTL President

  • Contest open for submissions March 1,  2014
  • Submission deadline: Midnight of May 30, 2014
  • Entry Fee: $20
  • Eligibility: Open to all unpublished authors. Submitted manuscripts must not be currently under consideration from a publisher.
  • Entries will be sentelectronically as an email attachment to first round judges by May 31, 2014, and they will be provided score sheets to fill out which will be sent back to the entrants.
  • Final Judges will receive entries to rank and comment on. All score sheets will be sent back to the entrants.

First round Judges: RWA PRO and PAN members, along with trained judges, editors and proofreaders.

All Entries must include:

  • Must be sent electronically asan email attachment to rtlcontest@gmail.com
  • Each entry will be the first 7,000 minimum to 8,500 maximum words, to a clear story break (such as a chapter break).
  • The entry must ONLY include the story title, genre and word count.
  • Entry pages must be double-spaced with one inch margins all around and in 12 pt. Courier New or Times New Roman font.

~~~ 2014 Final Judges ~~~

Paranormal: 

CallieLynn Wolfe , Executive Editor

 The Wild Rose Press

Fantasy: 

Rhonda Penders, Executive Editor

    The Wild Rose Press

Erotica:

Nancy Schumacher, Executive Editor

      Melange Books, LLC

Contemporary:        

 Gwen Hayes,  Editor

       Entangled

Historical:

Middle Ages
American Old West
European
Ancient:

Cassie Knight, Senior Editor

  Champagne Books

Historical:

    Regency

    Victorian

    Scottish

    Irish:

 Leanne Burroughs, Editor

      Highland Press

Sci/Fi  &  Futuristic:

 Garrett Marco, Editor

         Soul Mate

Time Travel: 

Gail A. Delaney, Editor

      Desert Breeze

Romantic Mystery/Suspense and Cozies: 

 Terri Bischoff, Executive Editor 

    Midnight Ink 

 (an imprint of Llewellyn Publications)

Young Adult :

  Denise Meinstad, Senior Editor –                 Fire and Ice 

                  (an Imprint of Melange Books, LLC )

 

The final top three winners in each category will receive:

First Place Prize in each category:

The Lakes Writing Award

and $20 gift certificate to Amazon.com.

Second and Third place winners in each category:

Receive a Lakes Writing certificate.

Finalists will be notified by Email.

Winners will be announced at:

Romancing the Lakes Romance Writers

‘Road to Publishing Conference’ August 1-2, 2014

 

Kathleen Nordstrom

Romancing the Lakes Romance Writers-   Chapter Contact/Coordinator 

www.romancingthelakeswriters.com

romancingthelakes@gmail.com

***** Permission granted and please share***