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RWA Chapters — A Great Place to Meet Aspiring and Published Authors

Check out this great interview about the Yosemite Romance Writers–one of the many fantastic RWA chapters where aspiring writers and published writers get together to talk craft, marketing, and everything that matters to the writing process.

Heart to Heart Contest for Unpublished Writers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Romance Writers of America chapter has announced that it is open to entries for its 2015 Heart To Heart Contest for unpublished writers.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.

Categories

  • 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

Eligibility

“Open to all writers unpublished by an RWA-approved publisher as of the entry deadline.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.”

Timeline

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

Guidelines

“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.

Aspen Gold Finalists Announced

Heart of Denver Dollarphotoclub_69342724

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

Perilous Play: The Real Fifty Shades by Suz deMello

Perilous Play 5th draftThe cover of Perilous Play states: based on a true story. The fact is, very little in this memoir is fiction.

Places and names have been changed. The time in my life when these events occurred is altered. One scene was added, to wrap up the story and tie it in a tidy bow.

But otherwise, it’s all true.

Check it out:

One woman’s journey into the contemporary kink underworld, Perilous Play is Suz deMello’s explosive personal account of her experiences with BDSM. Engaging and honest, this groundbreaking memoir will grab you and never let you go.

Here’s an excerpt about one of my first dates with the man who would become my Dom–Trapper Hart. Trapper is a real person. That’s not his true name of course, but I gave my word that I wouldn’t reveal his secret life. I don’t owe him anything—not after the way he treated me—but I do keep my word.

Trapper and I spent the rest of the day together. We went to a vegan restaurant and two bars, including one dive so obscure that even Trapper got a little lost in the vast transit system despite his wealth of knowledge about the east bay. As we went back to school so he could pick up his bike, he started a conversation about sex.

Bondage sex.

BDSM sex.

My heart raced. I said I was interested.

He wanted to know what role I preferred.

I said I thought I tended toward submission while trying not to squirm too obviously.

I found some courage and asked him out Saturday night. He said he wanted to go to his condo at Sea Ranch, a beautiful beachside getaway on the Sonoma coast.

I tried not to be too disappointed.

Later in the week he clarified—he wanted me to go with him.

I was stunned.

I was actually considering going with a man I barely knew to his condo, alone, a hundred miles away from my home, where I would have BDSM sex with him as his submissive.

Had I lost my mind?

Yes, but not completely. I might not have known Trapper well, but I saw where he hung out. As far as I knew, few serial killers were bike-riding, Birkenstock-wearing Berkeley-based vegans. In fact, even though I had a legal background and an interest in true crime news, I had never heard of a bike-riding vegan serial killer.

So I figured I’d be okay.

If what you have read intrigues you, here are a couple of buy links: 

suz w name venice maskAbout the Author

Best-selling, award-winning author Suz deMello, a.k.a Sue Swift, has written nineteen books in several genres, including memoir, nonfiction, erotica, comedy, historical, paranormal, mystery and suspense, plus a number of short stories and articles on writing. A freelance editor, she’s held the positions of managing editor and senior editor, working for such firms as Totally Bound and Ai Press. She also takes private clients.

Her books have been favorably reviewed in Publishers Weekly, Kirkus and Booklist, won a contest or two, attained the finals of the RITA and hit several bestseller lists.

A former trial attorney, her passion is world travel. She’s left the US over a dozen times, including lengthy stints working overseas. She’s now writing a vampire tale and planning her next trip.

–Find her books at http://www.suzdemello.com

–For editing services, email her at suzdemello@gmail.com

–Befriend her on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/SuzDeMello

–She tweets @Suzdemello

–Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/suzdemello/

–Goodreads: http://bit.ly/SuzATGoodreads

–Her current blog is http://www.TheVelvetLair.com

Rita Nominees that Sizzle: Focus on Erotic Romance

Only three novels reached finalist status in the Rita Award nomination process in the category of Erotic Romance this year. Romance Writers of America describes the Erotic Romance category as covering novels in which “strong, often explicit, sexual interaction is an inherent part of the story, character growth and relationship development and could not be removed without damaging the storyline. These novels may contain elements of other romance subgenres.” As in other romances, the love story is the main focus of the novel. The judging guideline requires that scenes of explicit sexual interaction are blended with and form a significant part of the love story. Also, the resolution of the romance is emotionally satisfying and optimistic.

Here is an overview of the three finalists. These stories are for mature audiences.

Erotic Romance

Claim Me
by J. Kenner
Random House Group, Bantam
Shauna Summers, editor

For Damien, our obsession is a game. For me, it is fiercely, blindingly, real.

Damien Stark’s need is palpable—his need for pleasure, his need for control, his need for me. Beautiful and brilliant yet tortured at his core, he is in every way my match.

I have agreed to be his alone, and now I want him to be fully mine. I want us to possess each other beyond the sweetest edge of our ecstasy, into the deepest desires of our souls. To let the fire that burns between us consume us both.

But there are dark places within Damien that not even our wildest passion can touch. I yearn to know his secrets, yearn for him to surrender to me as I have surrendered to him. But our troubled pasts will either bind us close . . . or shatter us completely.

Private Practice
by Samanthe Beck
Entangled Publishing, Brazen
Heather Howland, editor

He’ll teach her how to bring a man to his knees…

Dr. Ellie Swan has a plan: open her practice in tiny Bluelick, Kentucky, so she can keep an eye on her diabetic father, and make hometown golden-boy Roger Reynolds fall in love with her. But Ellie has a problem. Roger seeks a skilled, sexually adventurous partner, and bookish Ellie doesn’t qualify.

Tyler Longfoot only cares about three things: shaking his bad boy image, qualifying for the loan his company needs to rehab a piece of Bluelick’s history, and convincing Ellie to keep quiet about the “incident” that lands him on her doorstep at two a.m. with a bullet in his behind.

The adorable Dr. Swan drives a mean bargain, though. If sex-on-a-stick Tyler will teach Ellie how to bring a man to his knees, she’ll forget about the bullet. Armed with The Wild Woman’s Guide to Sex and Tyler’s lessons, Ellie is confident she can become what Roger needs…if she doesn’t fall for Tyler first

When I’m Bad I’m Better in It Stings So Sweet
by Stephanie Draven
Berkley Publishing Group, Berkley Sensation
Cindy Hwang, editor

They vibrated with incendiary Jazz. They teemed with sexual abandon.The Twenties were roaring and the women—young, open, rebellious, and willing—set the pace and pushed the limits with every man they met…

In the aftermath of a wild, liquor-soaked party, three women from very different social classes are about to live out their forbidden desires.

Society girl, Nora Richardson’s passionate nature has always been a challenge to her ever-patient husband. Now he wants out of the marriage and she has just this one night to win him back. The catch? He wants topunish her for her bad behavior. Nora is offended by her husband’s increasingly depraved demands, but as the night unfolds, she discovers her own true nature and that the line between pain and pleasure is very thin indeed.

Meanwhile, Clara Cartwright, sultry siren of the silent screen, is introduced to a mysterious WWI Flying Ace. If Clara, darling of the scandal sheets, knows anything, it’s men. And she’s known plenty. But none of them push her boundaries like the aviator, who lures her into a ménage with a stranger in a darkened cinema then steals her jaded heart.

Working class girl Sophie O’Brien has more important things on her mind than pleasures of the flesh. But when her playboy boss, the wealthy heir to the Aster family fortune, confronts her with her diary of secret sex fantasies, she could die of shame. To her surprise, he doesn’t fire her; instead, he dares her to re-enact her boldest fantasies and Sophie is utterly seduced.

One party serves as a catalyst of sexual awakening. And in an age when anything goes, three women discover that anything is possible…

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