An Offer and Free Book Opportunity from Best Selling Author Debra Salonen

How’s your summer going? Fantastic, I hope.

I was excited to be part of the huge Romance Writers of America Literacy Book Signing in San Diego a week ago. Connecting with readers –and other authors — never gets old. I came home with some fantastic books to read and a few copies of my own print books to giveaway.

Email your “snail mail” address (anywhere in the world works for me) to and I’ll send you one of my cool new bookmarks, PLUS, I’ll enter your name in a drawing to win one of my print books, either: BLACK HILLS BABY or MONTANA MIRACLE.

I’ll announce the four winners in my next newsletter.

I have some exiting to news to share, too. I’ve been invited to write a book for The Inheritance Project. If you haven’t heard of this fabulous collection of books and authors, you’re in for a treat. My book will be a new addition to my Black Hills Rendezvous series, called: BLACK HILLS LEGACY. I’m working on the details now, but I can tell you it will involve The Mystery Spot.

You can find out more by liking our Facebook page: THE INHERITANCE.

If you’d like to check out the most recent Inheritance Project release, you’re in luck. Author Margaret Daley’s romantic suspense, Deadly Legacy, just released. It’s definitely on my #mustread list.

Amazon      iBooks       Kobo       Google        B&N

Legacy of Secrets. Threats and Danger. Second Chances. From USA Today Bestselling author, Margaret Daley, is another romantic suspense from her series Strong Women, Extraordinary Situations.


Entwined Contest Update

This short romance contest, Entwined, is well under way and coming to a close this month. The contest is open for submissions (it’s free to enter) until the end of the day October 11. Voting closes one week after. Entwined is sponsored at, a site for readers and writers featuring contests in different genres, forums, and various other features.

The description of the contest from the Inkitt site is:

“He stepped down, trying not to look long at her, as if she were the sun, yet he saw her, like the sun, even without looking.” — Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina

We are looking for romance stories, for pieces of writing that capture the heart and mind, and that take us to a place of love. Showcase the trials and tribulations of romance, explore the heartfelt motions of a first love, or venture into romanticism and take on all the genre has to offer. Woo us with your writing, and whisk us away with your stories!

  • Authors will retain all rights to works submitted to the contest.
  • Submissions close on October 11th, but voting will continue for an additional week
  • Old or previously published works are acceptable.
  • There is no word limit, stories of any length are welcome.
  • Multiple entries are allowed, but each individual participant have to share the contest on Facebook and Twitter.
  • There is no age requirement for participation but all stories must be rated appropriately by their authors.


Before submitting a story be sure to check our guidelines page to ensure that you comply with all of our publication rules.

It appears that prizes consist of “badges” on the site and, of course, bragging rights. The main site for the Entwined contest is From there writers can enter and readers can read. For readers, it is a great place to find endless hours of free reading in bite-sized pieces. Works are submitted as parts of larger works or as standalone shorts. Links to authors’ other works are easy to find, and reviews are easy to post.

As of about an hour before this posting, there are 220 entries in the Entwined contest, all free to read, many with reviews, all with short descriptions of the piece, with the top ten stories (with story and author links) being:

1. Better Than Byron

Short Romance Contest at Inkitt

Time hosts writing contests in various genres, including romance. The current romance contest is “Entwined.” The contests are free to enter. Reprints are acceptable. Short stories or excerpts are acceptable. Readers vote on their favorites until the end of the contest. Readers must register to vote, but that only requires a confirmed email address.

Two J. C. Conway stories are entered in the Entwined contest: “Time, Heat, and a Smoking Ember” and “Fog Light,” both previously published and doing respectably well.

Please feel free to browse the stories and vote. If you enter a story or excerpt, please feel free to add a link in the comments below. We believe this is mostly for fun and exposure at this point. Writers keep their rights, but entry is certainly internet “publication” in terms of other markets’ consideration of your stories. So don’t enter something you intend to submit to a paying market that does not accept reprints.

The site is easy to navigate, and there are many stories available to review and/or vote for in many genres. There is also a “Random Story” button that serves something up at random for the more adventurous readers among us.

Heart to Heart Contest for Unpublished Writers

The San Francisco Area Romance Writers of America chapter has announced that it is open to entries for its 2015 Heart To Heart Contest for unpublished writers. Entries are to be made electronically only. The top three finalists in each category will have their entries read by a literary agent, a traditional publishing house editor and an e-publishing editor. SFA-RWA will announce the winners, and certificates will be awarded to the top winner in each category.


  • CONTEMPORARY — Novels set in the present
  • EROTIC — Novels in which sensuality constitutes a strong element in the romance
  • HISTORICAL — Novels featuring romance in time periods other than the present. Most editors consider as historical books set prior to WWI
  • PARANORMAL – Novels that mix the elements of paranormal, time travel, futuristic or fantasy
  • YOUNG ADULT — Novels with a strong romantic theme geared toward the young adult reader — may contain paranormal, time travel, futuristic, or fantasy elements


“Open to all writers unpublished by an RWA-approved publisher as of the entry deadline. Prospective entrants may be published with a non RWA-recognized publisher. However, they may not enter books/manuscripts that have been professionally edited or have ISBN numbers.”


  • August 31, 2015 — Deadline for submissions (electronic only)
  • October 5, 2015 — First-Round Finalists Notification
  • November 6, 2015 — Final Round Winners Announced


“Enter the scene(s) in which the hero and heroine meet for the first time or for the first time in the book, if previously acquainted, up to a maximum of 15 pages. Each entry may only be entered in one category. However, you may submit as many different entries as you wish. Each new entry must have a contest entry form and payment.”

More Information

Go to the Heart to Heart Contest Web Page for important additional information.

Deadline Next Week: Hot Prospects Contest

The HOT PROSPECTS contest, sponsored by Valley of the Sun Romance Writers, is still open and there is plenty of room in the categories for additional entries, so long as they are received by the deadline. It’s open for unpublished works by published or unpublished writers.

“it is still relatively low on entries entries Looking to
sign your first book contract, switch from a small press to
a large publisher or simply explore another genre of romantic fiction?
Turn up the heat on your writing career with the Hot Prospects Contest.”

The Deadline is Approaching:

  • Postmark Deadline: September 1st, 2015
  • E-Submit Deadline: September 1st, 2015


  • The grand prize winner of the contest will have their entire Romance manuscript (400 pages, Courier, 12pt, Double spaced) reviewed by two professional editors at Novel Needs


  • All finalists in each category will receive a certificate, a graphic for their website and an acknowledgement in the Romance Writers Report. Approximate date of winner notification is December 15th, 2015.


The Hot Prospects Contest is open to any Romance work uncontracted and unpublished at the time of entry.


  • Single Title Contemporary
  • Romantic Suspense
  • Historical/Regency
  • Fantasy/Futuristic/Paranormal

For more information, see Valley of the Sun Romance Writers

Aspen Gold Finalists Announced

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The finalists in the Aspen Gold Contest for published works, sponsored by Heart of Denver Romance Writers are:

Contemporary Romance

  • Robin Perini for Secret Obsession
  • Bev Pettersen for A Scandalous Husband
  • L.A. Witt with Aleksandr Voinov for Lone Wolf

Erotic Romance

  • Peggy Bird for Unmasking Love
  • Kathryn Loughran for Funny Girl
  • Alexis Walker for Passion of Sleepy Hollow
  • Sabrina York for Devlin’s Dare

Historical Romance

  • Collette Cameron for The Earl’s Enticement
  • Deeanne Gist for Fair Play
  • Jess Russell for The Dressmaker’s Duke

Romantic Novella

  • Kerri Carpenter for Flirting With the Competition
  • Manda Collins for Once Upon a Christmas Kiss
  • Margaret Mallory for The Gift

Paranormal/Fantasy/Sci-Fi Romance

  • Mary Behre for Guarded
  • Zoe Forward for Protecting His Witch
  • Sharon Kay for Wicked Flames

Romantic Suspense

  • Toni Anderson for A Cold Dark Place
  • Toni Anderson for Cold Light of Day
  • Kaylea Cross for Hunted

Romantic Short Story

  • Christi Barth for Never Too Late
  • Marci Boudreaux for Forever Yours
  • Colleen Collins for The Ungrateful Dead

Single Title Romance

  • Christi Barth for Up To Me
  • Janet Gover for Flight to Coorah Creek
  • Nancy Herkenss for The Place I Belong

Young Adult Romance

  • Callie James for Innocent
  • Callie James for Student Bodyguard for Hire