Archive | March 2015

One More Day to Enter the Fool for Love Contest

The Virginia Romance Writers “Fool for Love Contest” is still open for submissions, but act fast. The contest is open until April 1st! The Virginia Romance Writers have streamlined the scoresheet this year. There are new categories. They still have the same fabulous prizes plus cool new badges for your website and social media pages. Win a chance to get in front of a fabulous agent to editor, not to mention $50 in cold hard cash.

Polish up the first 7500 words of your unpublished, uncontracted manuscript and send it in! Check out the fantastic line up of final round judges!

Short Contemporary
Final Judge: Allison Lyons, Harlequin

Long Contemporary
Final Judge: Rebecca Strauss, DeFiore and Company

Historical
Final Judge: Courtney Miller-Callihan, Sanford J. Greenburger Associates

Dark Paranormal
Final Judge: Laurie McLean,Fuse Literary Agency

Light Paranormal
Final Judge: Madeleine Colavita, Grand Central Publishing

Romantic Suspense
Final Judge: Esi Sogah, Kensington Publishing

Young Adult
Final Judge: Tamar Rydzinski, Laura Dail Literary Agency

New Adult
Final Judge: Karen Grove, Entangled Press

Published Author
Final Judge: Julie Mianecki, Berkeley

For more information or to register for the contest go tohttp://virginiaromancewriters.com/Contests/ffl.html

Alleyne Dickens & Mary Behre
2015 Fool For Love Contest Coordinators

Rita Run-Down — The Paranormal Finalists

With the announcement this week of the finalists for this year’s Rita Awards, it’s time to take a look at what participating RWA members consider the best of 2014. Let’s start with Paranormal. The finalists, in alphabetical order, are Katharine Ashe, Jenn Bennett, Dristen Callihan, Jane Lynne Daniels, Cynthia Eden, A.E. Jones, Bec McMaster, and Gena Showalter for, respectively, the following stories:

 

My Lady, My Lord
by Katharine Ashe
Self-published
Martha Trachtenberg, editor

KATHARINE ASHE is the award-winning author of historical romances reviewers call “intensely lush” and “sensationally intelligent,” including How To Be a Proper Lady, an Amazon Editors’ Choice for the Ten Best Romances of the Year, and How to Marry a Highlander, a prior RITA® Award finalist.

About the story:

The Bluestocking ~
Lady Corinna Mowbray has three passions: excellent books, intelligent conversation, and disdaining the libertine Earl of Chance.

The Rake ~
Lord Ian Chance has three pleasures: beautiful women, fast horses, and tormenting high-and-mighty Corinna Mowbray.

Neighbors for years, they’ve been at each other’s throats since they can remember. But when a twist of fate forces them to trade lives, how long will it be before they discover they cannot live without each other?

Find Katharine’s web page at: http://www.katharineashe.com/

Bitter Spirits
by Jenn Bennett
Penguin Group USA, Berkley Sensation
Leis Pedersen, editor

JENN BENNETT is the author of the Arcadia Bell urban fantasy series, the Roaring Twenties paranormal romance books, and a young adult contemporary, THE ANATOMICAL SHAPE OF A HEART, coming in 2015 from Macmillan. An artist and lover of all things vintage, she lives near Atlanta with one husband and two evil pugs.

About the story:

It’s the roaring twenties, and San Francisco is a hotbed of illegal boozing, raw lust, and black magic. The fog-covered Bay Area can be an intoxicating scene, particularly when you specialize in spirits…

Aida Palmer performs a spirit medium show onstage at Chinatown’s illustrious Gris-Gris speakeasy. However, her ability to summon (and expel) the dead is more than just an act.

Winter Magnusson is a notorious bootlegger who’s more comfortable with guns than ghosts—unfortunately for him, he’s the recent target of a malevolent hex that renders him a magnet for hauntings. After Aida’s supernatural assistance is enlisted to banish the ghosts, her spirit-chilled aura heats up as the charming bootlegger casts a different sort of spell on her…

On the hunt for the curseworker responsible for the hex, Aida and Winter become drunk on passion. And the closer they become, the more they realize they have ghosts of their own to exorcise…

Sign up for Jenn’s mailing list at: http://eepurl.com/V5il9

Evernight
by Kristen Callihan
Grand Central Publishing, Forever
Alex Logan, editor

KRISTEN CALLIHAN is an author because there is nothing else she’d rather be. She is a three-time RITA® finalist and winner of two RT Reviewer’s Choice awards. Her novels have garnered starred reviews from Publisher’s Weekly and the Library Journal, as well as being awarded top picks by many reviewers. Her debut book Firelight received RT Magazine’s Seal of Excellence, was named a best book of the year by Library Journal, best book of Spring 2012 by Publisher’s Weekly, and was named the best romance book of 2012 by ALA RUSA. When she is not writing, she is reading.

About the story:

Once the night comes . . .
Will Thorne is living a nightmare, his sanity slowly being drained away by a force he can’t control. His talents have made him the perfect assassin for hire. But as he loses his grip on reality, there is no calming him-until he finds his next target: the mysterious Holly Evernight.

Love must cast aside the shadows
Holly cannot fathom who would put a contract on her life, yet the moment she touches Will, the connection between them is elemental, undeniable-and she’s the only one who can tame his bouts of madness. But other assassins are coming for Holly. Will must transform from killer to protector and find the man who wants Holly dead . . . or his only chance for redemption will be lost.

See Kristen’s Amazon Author Page HERE.

Be Careful What You Kiss For
by Jane Lynne Daniels
Boroughs Publishing Group
Jill Limber, editor

JANE LYNNE DANIELS is the author of the Love Rewritten series from Boroughs Publishing Group – funny, sexy stories of second chance romance with that first love. Under a previous pen name, Dawn Calvert, she wrote humorous historical romance for Kensington.

About the story:

When a psychic gives Tensley the chance to erase her biggest regret and replay her life with the one who got away, who would have thought a simple “do-over” could go so terribly wrong—and feel so right?

TAKE IT…
When Tensley Tanner-Starbrook gets the chance for one life “do-over” from a well-intentioned but bumbling psychic, she goes for it. But that change turns everything else upside down. Instead of a buttoned-up corporate executive, she’s now an entirely unbuttoned exotic dancer. And she’s face to…face with the one man she’s never been able to get over.

TO THE MAX
Detective Max Hunter has come a long way from high-school bad boy, and with everything on the line, nothing can stop him…except seeing his first love dancing in the club he’s been assigned to investigate. Torn between getting her far away from the place and needing her help as an insider, he knows only two things for sure: Tensley’s stirring feelings he thought long ago buried, and a relationship with her would be career suicide. Yet, maybe, just maybe, this was a love meant to overcome the past.

Find Jane’s website at: http://www.janelynnedaniels.com

Burn for Me
by Cynthia Eden
Kensington Publishing, Brava
Esi Sogah, editor

CYNTHIA EDEN writes dark tales of paranormal romance and romantic suspense. She is a New York Times, USA Today, Digital Book World, and IndieReader best-seller. Cynthia is also a two-time finalist for the RITA® award (she was a finalist both in the romantic suspense category and in the paranormal romance category). Since she began writing full-time in 2005, Cynthia has written over fifty novels and novellas.

About the story:

Under Fire

Eve Bradley was undercover looking for a story, not a cause. But something about the man they called Subject Thirteen got her involved. The scientists said he was a devil, and they had a decent case: Terrifying power. A bad attitude. And looks that could lead anyone to sin. . .

Cain O’Connor knows the minute he catches her candy scent that Eve could drive him wild. But she’s a threat–in a way no one has been for him in years. She’s safer away from him, too. But with a powerful conspiracy determined to shut Eve up for good, there’s no time to argue. All they can do is trust their instincts–and their hearts. . .

See Cynthia’s Amazon Author Page HERE.

Mind Sweeper
by AE Jones
Self-published
Faith Freewoman, editor

Growing up a TV junkie, award winning author AE JONES oftentimes rewrote endings of episodes in her head when she didn’t like the outcome. She immersed herself in sci-fi and soap operas. But when Buffy hit the little screen she knew her true love was paranormal. Now she spends her nights weaving stories about all variation of supernatural–their angst and their humor. After all life is about both…whether you sport fangs or not.

About the story:

An angel, a demon and a vampire walk into a bar. Sounds like the beginning of a bad joke, but it’s just another day in the life of Kyle McKinley.

Kyle was born with the ability to erase memories, and the inability to keep her opinions to herself. She and her teammates – a vampire who looks like a sexy pirate with fangs, and a Shamat demon with a penchant for Italian pastries – provide supernatural damage control when humans see too much. Today’s problem? A sword-wielding angel and a demon had a supernatural smackdown during happy hour in a Cleveland bar, leaving behind a headless vampire and a dozen human witnesses.

This latest supernatural slip-up is attracting all kinds of attention. So much attention that the police step in, and Kyle has to deal with Joe Dalton, a know-it-all human with the sexiest turquoise eyes she has ever seen. Kyle has no room in her life for yet another human who will treat her like a freak. However, Dalton definitely makes her naughty parts sit up and take notice, and it’s more than mutual. But before they can act on their attraction, they must join forces to solve a dangerous puzzle. And when they uncover the truth, the apocalyptic ripple effect forces Kyle to make a choice. Learn to trust again, or risk losing everyone she cares about, including Dalton.

See Cynthia’s Amazon Author Page HERE.

Forged By Desire
by Bec McMaster
Sourcebooks, Casablanca
Mary Altman, editor

BEC MCMASTER lives in a small town in Victoria, Australia, and grew up with her nose in a book. Following a lifelong love affair with fantasy, she discovered romance and hasn’t looked back. A member of RWA, she writes sexy, dark paranormals and adventurous steampunk romances. When not writing, reading, or poring over travel brochures, she loves spending time with her very own hero or daydreaming about new worlds.

About the story:

A FEAR SHE CAN’T ESCAPE
Ten years ago, Perry fled her thrall contract to find sanctuary among the Nighthawks. In that time, she’s become a respected woman of the Guard, and she’s wanted Garrett Reed for as long as she can remember. But when a new case takes a chillingly familiar turn, Perry finds herself once again in the path of a madman…only this time, there’s nowhere left to run.

A DESIRE THAT CAN’T BE TEMPERED
Out of their depth and racing against time, Perry and Garrett must learn to trust the desire sparking between them…or risk losing themselves forever to the darkness stalking London’s streets.

Find Bec’s website at:  http://www.becmcmaster.com

The Darkest Touch
by Gena Showalter
Harlequin, HQN
Emily Ohanjanians, editor

GENA SHOWALTER is the New York Times and USA Today best selling author of the White Rabbit Chronicles, Otherworld Assassins, Angels of the Dark, Lords of the Underworld, and several of other young adult and adult romance series. She has written over thirty novels and novellas. Her books have appeared in Cosmopolitan and Seventeen magazine, and have been translated in multiple languages.

About the story:

Fierce immortal warrior. Host to the demon of Disease. Torin’s every touch causes sickness and death—and a worldwide plague. Carnal pleasure is utterly forbidden, and though he has always overcome temptation with an iron will, his control is about to shatter.

She is Keeleycael. The Red Queen. When the powerful beauty with shocking vulnerabilities escapes from a centuries-long imprisonment, the desire that simmers between her and Torin is scorching. His touch could mean her end, but resisting her is the hardest battle he’s ever fought—and the only battle he fears he can’t win.

See Gena’s Amazon Author Page HERE.

NaNoWriMo Novels–From Mayhem to Print

National Novel Writing Month is a now famous (or infamous) event with writers. Thousands of writers pledge to draft a 50,000-word novel in 30 days. The question that raises is: “Do these novels get published?”

The answer (after substantial revisions and edits I presume, in most cases) is “yes.” And now at least as to Los Angeles NaNoWriMo participants, there is a list of novels first penned during the event that, after editing and revision, found their way to being published, including:

Seven Weeks to Forever (A Love Story) by Jennifer Farwell

Cassidy Jordan knows she’ll die a few weeks after her eighteenth birthday, and she can’t wait. This is her second time here, and she knows what’s waiting for her in The Life-After — the place most mistakenly call “the afterlife.” Getting back there is supposed to be easy: she just has to find nineteen-year-old Riley Davis and help him get his life on track. By the time she finds him, though, she has only seven weeks to help him. Riley will die too young if she fails, and she’ll never see The Life-After or this life again.

But no one told her helping Riley would mean dating him; she hasn’t dated anyone since the love of her first life caused her death the last time she turned eighteen. When Cassidy realizes she’s falling for Riley, she’s faced with a choice: give him the life he’s meant for and leave when it’s time, or give up eternity for the true love she’s never had, knowing Riley will die the same way she did in her first life and that her entire existence could end at any time.

????????????????????????????????????Hearts in Ruin by J. C. Conway

Andrea had one goal in life, a quiet career as a mainstream archaeologist—nothing more nothing less—and she’s one ancient secret away. When she is teamed with maverick prodigy Daniel Fuchs at his controversial pre-Clovis dig on tribal land, she soon realizes his wild theories may sidetrack her career. Her smartest move is to expose him and that is exactly what she plans to do. Except…he’s hot, sexy, and there is a chance his theories may be right.

As the dig deepens and outside forces mount, Andrea and Daniel find their careers and their shaky relationship on the brink of ruin. Who can she trust? To survive professionally and emotionally, Andrea must decide between what is expected and what she believes, because time is running out and the developers’ bulldozers are poised to level the site.

Delve into the mystery and excitement of an archaeological dig in the New Mexico desert and experience the drive, determination, and passion surrounding the quest to unlock the Paleolithic past in this contemporary, romantic suspense. Hearts In Ruin…no shovel required to join this adventure to discover an ancient truth!

Heartbreak Cake by Cindy Arora

Business is sweet for pastry chef Indira Aguilar. Her indie bakery, Cake Pan, is fast becoming the talk of the wedding circuit for its unique take on cakes and homespun creations for the modern bride, garnering national recognition and drawing in celebrity clients. But while her professional life is blossoming, her personal life is crumbling. Indira may have a talent for blending buttercream into bliss, but when it comes to relationships, she’s got a lot to learn. Considering that the love of her life, Josh Oliver, is not only married, but also runs the award-winning pastry department of her fiercest competition, Crystal Cove Resort, Indira puts much more at stake than just her heart when she ends her affair with him. Rumors begin to fly as the small seaside community of Long Beach learns of her secret relationship, and Indira must defend not only her actions, but her wedding business and her reputation while trying to maneuver the choppy heartbreak waters of starting over, finding new love, and facing her past. With the support of friends and family, a fondness for butter, and a determined spirit, Indira may just bake her way back to happiness and possibly into the heart of Crystal Cove’s dishy new chef, Noah. But one thing is certain. Where there’s heartbreak, there must be cake.

The entire list is posted on Goodreads by the Los Angeles NaNoWriMo coordinators, and can be found at THIS LINK. The list includes books published by LA WriMos (and other LA Region WriMo followers outside of La La Land). It is probably not complete (relying on notification from the authors), but gives a good idea of the number of novels arising from the event.

The list also includes the NaNoWriMo anthology Believe Me Not, An Unreliable AnthologyBrought to you by Sara McBride and a cool cast of Associate Editors. It is the first NaNo Los Angeles Anthology–46 stories, 12 from young writers age 10-17, and all from NaNoWriMo participants. With instant short story classics like Guilt Monkey and Mr. Mungo’s Shop of Oddities (filled with NaNo icons galore), this anthology is a WriMo reading experience. 100% of the proceeds are to benefit NaNoWriMo, its Young Writer’s Program, and help make possible all the wonderful NaNo events held in the Los Angeles area.

The second NaNoLosAngeles anthology is open for submissions, which are due April 6th. Lemur Publishing invites all LA WriMos, Honolulu WriMos (our 2015 Sister City), and anyone who subscribes to either region, regardless of where they live, to submit short stories for the 2015 anthology. This year the theme is TIME.
TIME should be a central element, either thematically or structurally to the story. The prompt is that the story must contain an Oops moment—A mistake must be made. Also, if you can organically use a NaNo Icon – you get bonus points from the judges. For information on NaNo Icons – please see the descriptions at Lemur-Publishing.com/hunting-nano-icons-like-a-stealthy-ninjaDue Date: April 6, 2015. Submit to: LemurPublishing@gmail.com (Ref: Anthology 2015 submission). Submissions guidelines:

-4000 words or less. (Flash fiction is also great.)
-Something approximating standard manuscript format and sent as .doc (not .docx), .rtf, or plain-text attachments.
-Please do not copy/paste your entire story in the email.
-Grammar questions – Check the Chicago Manual of Style (free trial) or do a search on Grammar Girl.
-Please spell check and proof your story before you submit.
-Proofread–have a friend read your story before submission.
-Each submission will be personally confirmed.

A Tale of Romeo & Juliet ……

AnAdventureInBosnia

Emina by Alex Šantić Emina by Alex Šantić

Many centuries ago, it was a tradition for men to go for a turkish bath from time to time. This was where men would gather in a relaxed ambience to exchange small talk. This area was called Hamam.

Then, one young man who was returning from the Hamam, passed by the garden of the city imam (Muslim Pastor), saw the daughter of the imam. Struck by her beauty, he wrote a poem which later made him a famous poet.

Here is my humble translation of the poem, hope you like it.

At dusk, while returning from the warmth of the Hamam,

I passed by the garden of the old city Imam.

There in the garden, Under the shade of the jasmine tree,

A pitcher in her hand stood beautiful Emina.

 

What Beauty! I could swear by Imam!

That even the sultan would not be…

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Surprise Proposal in Rancho Palos Verdes is very Romantic!!

Sechrestphotos 949-291-5300

DSC_3033      DSC_3044DSC_3072   DSC_3100

When Miles contacted Sechrestphotos to photograph an

up-coming proposal to Erika, Alan knew I would be excited.  It seems there is never enough romance to satisfy for me to witness.  Miles and his family included his girlfriend were spending the weekend in Rancho Palos Verdes and Miles thought the romantic bluff setting would be the perfect time to propose.  Miles is 24 and is 26 years old.  They have been dating for about 1 year.  Miles told us Erika was very private and the location we had to scout out would need to be secluded.  He wanted some props there to add to the magic.  Alan suggested we have her favorite song playing and we prepared a beautiful heart in the sand enclosed with beautiful long stem roses.    The planned time would be sunset.

Alan found the spot and through texts and emailed communicated to Miles…

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Abigail’s New Hope | Mary Ellis Marathon

Donna's BookShelf


Today I’m reviewing Abigail’s New Hope, the first book in the Wayne County series by the amazing Mary Ellis.

Here is a brief synopsis:

As an Amish midwife, Abigail Graber loves bringing babies into the world. But when a difficult delivery takes a devastating turn, Abigail is faced with some hard choices.

Despite her best efforts, the young mother dies–but the baby is saved.

When a heartless judge confines Abigail to the county jail for her mistakes, her sister Catherine comes to care for her children while Daniel works his fields.

Catherine meets Daniel’s reclusive cousin, Isaiah, who’s deaf and thought to be simple minded by his community. She endeavors to teach him to communicate and discovers he possesses unexpected gifts and talents.

While Abigail searches for forgiveness, Catherine changes lives and, in return, finds love, something long elusive in her life. And Isaiah discovers God, who…

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