Archive for June, 2009

Preparing for the Summer

June 28, 2009 By: Guestauthor Category: Guest Blogger, Latest News No Comments →

It’s that time of year again. The yearly summer visit of my sister and nephew. Her hubby is still unsure if he can make it this year. I am excited they are coming for the summer. I don’t get to see them as often as I would like. I talk with them almost everyday but it isn’t the same as actually seeing them. Whenever they come we do lots of things. I become a tourist and see the sights of New York. I am counting down the days for there arrival while I’m preparing for their arrival.

There is always so much to do when they are coming. Besides cleaning the house and shopping for their favorite foods I like to plan fun things for us to do. We usually go to the museum, zoo, and aquarium and so on. Each year I look for something new for us to do. I’m still racking my brain on what to do this year.

My sis and I will have a gab session to catch up. I love when they come and visit. We chat, cook, laugh, and hang out. And most importantly we shop. Power shop. LOL. My wallet will be crying for mercy when they leave but it is all worth it.

Time and fun with family is priceless.

Happpy Reading!
McKenna Jeffries
…. sensual, edgy, unexpected

Chat Group:
Free Reads Site:

Conquering Jazz – What’s a woman to do when she unwittingly makes a tantalizing proposition to her best friend?

Be brazen, bold and set some ground rules.

Her offer. One night of carnal bliss. No emotion allowed.

His counter offer. A continued affair to fulfill all their sexual cravings.

His hidden agenda. Conquer to make sure their affair never ends.

Buy here at Liquid Silver Book.

Parenting or Romance? Author Angela Lam Turpin Discusses Blood Moon Rising

June 26, 2009 By: Guestauthor Category: Contests, Guest Blogger, Latest News 4 Comments →

Blood Moon Rising is about a vampire mother who must save her dhampir son from death by finding the blood of his human father before the next full moon.

Although Blood Moon Rising is a paranormal romance, the romantic elements of the plot interest me less than the mother/son dynamic.  In this age of divorce, blended families, and single-parents, the relationship between a parent and child often comes before or between a romantic interest, whether that romantic interest is a one-night stand or a marriage.

Valkyrie’s abandoned by her lover before the novel opens, but she has her son, Anthony, whom she’s had since birth.  That bond between them is strong, probably a lot stronger than it would be if Valkyrie had a mate.  But parenthood is not designed to hold the same tension as a romance, and eventually the friction between Anthony’s desire for independence and Valkyrie’s desire for connection threaten to tear them apart.  Anthony’s illness and his need for his mother to locate his father only complicate matters, as does Valkyrie’s growing love for Bill, a human, who may or may not be Anthony’s father.

If you’ve ever struggled with maintaining a love relationship amidst parenting obligations and enjoy the paranormal, this book is for you!

Blood Moon Rising can be purchased directly from my website:

or directly from the publisher, Eternal Press:

Leave a message below about a challenge you’ve experienced trying to combine parenting and romance.  One lucky commentator will win a FREE PDF copy of Blood Moon Rising!  Don’t have children and/or a love interest?  Don’t worry.  Leave a comment about what you love or hate most about vampires for your chance to win!

Character Development: On Being Human by Belinda McBride

June 25, 2009 By: Guestauthor Category: Guest Blogger, Latest News 7 Comments →

Character Development: On Being Human by Belinda McBride

“To err is human, to forgive, divine.” 

That’s been running around in my brain for awhile, not so much the concept of forgiveness, but the nature of being human. It’s had me a little puzzled, because frankly, the bulk of my writing revolves around people who aren’t human. I write about fallen angels and Fae, werewolves and aliens, and the few humans that make it onto my pages tend to be extraordinary in some way. Why worry about their humanity?

Years ago, I had the opportunity to meet Majel Roddenberry, the widow of Star Trek pioneer Gene Roddenberry. She was an extraordinarily sweet woman, and in a talk she gave, she shared something with us that Gene insisted on during the creation of Star Trek. It was a little piece of trivia that stuck with me and guides much of what I write even now.

Star Trek is full of people of various races, creeds, and even species. Some of the aliens are extraordinary in appearance, but Gene insisted on something in particular. No matter how outrageous the alien, it must have human eyes in order for the viewer to relate to the character.

As a writer, I paint pictures with words. My task is to draw a character that the reader can connect with. Whether the character is an alien or an angel, it’s my goal to bring out human elements such as jealousy and lust, compassion, charity and love. I strive to bring out the humanity in every character.

 In reading Soul Keeper, you might not like the centaur shifter Kendra, but she’ll make you angry and frustrated at her bad behavior, just like that cheerleader you knew in high school. You might also get a peek at Kendra’s inner fears and desires. She’s not human, but oddly enough, she is.  In Belle Starr, alpha were Armand de le Croix is outwardly confident and in control, but has doubts and fears that no one but the reader will share. And Annie Tanaka in Dragon’s Blood is a cop, strong and competent, but every day she rides a boat to work, fighting her phobia of the water as she does so.

Developing a character for a story is a process of taking a flat, undeveloped name and physical description, and bringing them off the page, complete with strengths, fears and quirks. There are countless methods of doing character development using charts, index cards and storyboarding. I have to confess, I’m not that organized. I just jot out notes as I write.

On occasion, I will skim photos online, looking for a physical inspiration. Other times I sit at the computer, staring at a blank page and letting the character take shape in reaction to the situation, or to their hero/heroine. As a general rule, I start a separate page and list their names, physical description, and then a list of questions about the character: What do they like to eat? What is their secret shame, their kinks, their greatest joy and their greatest fear?  Their addictions? What is the worst thing you can do to that character? Those details are where you draw your conflicts from.

So in Belle Starr, the worst thing that could happen to Belle and Armand happened. She became pregnant, uncertain what sort of child her hybrid genes would produce. And Armand regained his memories, pulling him away from his lover and into the demands of his pack.  Her conflict was internal, his was external.

  You want your characters to have depth, to be complete, rounded humans. And like your friends and family, you will anticipate their reactions to a given situation, and on occasion, they will take you by surprise. Whether you are a plotter or a pantster, intimate knowledge of your characters will keep the story moving.  You will be less likely to get stranded in the middle of the story, because even if the story stalls, the characters will want to continue forward.   

Belinda McBride is a multi-published author of erotic romance. To find out more about Belinda and her books, visit 

Now available at Loose Id: Belle Starr!

 Blurb: Marshal Annabelle “Cowgirl” Oakley is the best law enforcement officer in Interstellar Coalition Enforcement. With her wolf Tucker at her side, Belle is clearly the best man for the job. Unfortunately, the job comes with hazards, and one of those hazards comes in the shape of tall, mysterious Armand.Armand de le Croix is a werewolf with amnesia. He has no idea how he came to be living in Coalition space, he doesn’t know where his people are, or why his inky black hair is now snowy white. He just knows that the tall dangerous redhead is all that he wants, and he means to have her regardless of what he must do to win.When they meet, it’s magic. When they part, it’s mayhem. available at Changeling Press: Bad Angels: Falling

 Blurb:Just what exactly happens when an angel goes bad?Stripped of his voice, his memories, and his divinity, Rion Hunter falls to Earth in a fiery blaze. After crashing into a muddy sheep pasture in
Scotland, the disgraced angel finds himself face-to-face with an unlikely rescuer: a sidhe-born farmer named Rex.

Rex finds himself rapidly falling for the beautiful angel, which can be risky when the object of your affection just might be psychotic. And if that isn’t enough, the men find that they’ve come to the attention of a ravenous succubus, who has developed an appetite for Scottish farmers.

Falling isn’t so bad… it’s the landing that hurts.

Bad Angels: Burn is a Recommended Read at Joyfully Reviewed!

Birth of a Romance Hero

June 24, 2009 By: Guestauthor Category: Guest Blogger, Latest News 1 Comment →

By Debra Mullins 

What makes a romance hero?  Well, you take a hunky man, add a dash of danger, a smidgen of sexiness and a streak of kindness…mix well, then insert into book. 

I wish it were that easy. 

One of the reasons I love writing romance is because of the hero.  What woman doesn’t love to fall a little bit in love with a guy who is protective, strong, vulnerable, loyal, kind-hearted, smart and has a great sense of humor?  He might be dashingly handsome or homely-yet-attractive, but it’s the heart of the hero that captures us as readers.  We cheer for him even as he makes mistakes.  We want him to be worthy of our heroine. 

When I create a hero, it usually starts with an emotion.  Whether I get the inspiration from a song or a movie or some other place, it starts with that intangible feeling, whether good or bad.  It might be that the hero has to learn to deal with the bad emotion or that he has to learn how to earn the good one.  That’s where the heart of the hero lies. 

In my new book, TO RUIN THE DUKE, the hero is trying to avoid feeling the pain of the recent loss of his wife and unborn child.  Especially the unborn child.  Yet in order to grow as a person, he needs to deal with these emotions.  So how better to make him do that than to bring in the heroine, who shows up with a baby on his doorstep? 

Watching Wylde resist the lure of the innocent baby—a child the heroine insists is his, though he knows it’s not—tugs at the heartstrings even as we watch him ruthlessly track down the man who has been impersonating him all over London.  The heroine—who was friends with the baby’s mother before her death in childbirth—is determined to make sure Wylde takes responsibility for his child.  She does not believe his protestations of innocence. 

The one thing Wylde always wanted was a family of his own.  He desperately wishes his son had not died.  And now here is another little boy who needs a home, a son everyone believes is his yet isn’t.  Wylde can hardly bear to be near the child because it reminds him so painfully of what he lost.  He is tormented by the situation, yet being a good guy he does not turn Miranda and the baby out into the street.  He provides for them until he can discover who the father is—especially since it might very well be the same man he has been hunting down. 

The thing that makes a great hero is a man who doesn’t get going when the going is rough.  Wylde sticks around despite his personal torment.  He does the right thing by helping Miranda, who has nowhere else to go.  And forced to deal with his own dark emotions, he eventually does find peace with the situation. 

Does he make mistakes?  Sure.  Does his personal torment sometimes make him act less than noble?  Of course.  But he learns from all of his missteps.  He immediately regrets his actions and seeks to make amends.  And this turns him into the man the heroine can fall in love with. 

This turns him into a hero. 

Romance heroes linger in our minds because they are the men who prove themselves worthy of love.  By finding the courage to show their vulnerabilities and their strengths, they open up their hearts…and steal ours.

Who are some of the heroes who linger in your memory?

The Men in My Life

June 23, 2009 By: Guestauthor Category: Guest Blogger, Latest News 3 Comments →

I have been married for 16 years to a wonderful man.  He is nurturing and kind…I couldn’t ask for anything else in a mate.  I love him dearly.  But he’s not the only one.  There are other men in my life.  They are dashing and handsome, valiant, outspoken and courageous.  And I love them all. 

Who are the other men in my life?

The other men in my life are my characters and each day I enter into a wonderful world, where one by one, they come out and greet me.  I tag along as they make their mark on their world, and it’s a glorious ride.

Daniel, my latest hero in my debut novel, Three Hundred and Sixty Degrees is the strong silent type.  A little too, silent.  He’s got a secret he’s not telling the woman he loves and it’s about to cost him everything.  And there’s Webster who is living far beneath his potential, allowing his charm and good looks to get him into and out of anything he desires.  The current story I’m working on features Craig, the cad– steer clear of this one ladies, he reeks of no good!  For some reason, he’s my favorite.   And there are others in line, waiting for me to begin a new story, so they can have their time to shine.

My stories are filled with characters of all sorts and I enjoy them all, but it’s the men who steal my heart with each chapter I write.  Some of them perfect, some of them flawed but each of them displaying their own unique voice and coloring the story in their own unique way.  They are strong and complex but there’s a vulnerability and sensibility they hold toward the women they love and they are brave enough to allow that love to shape them.  In a word… they are delicious.  And when it comes to the men in my life, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Tonya Lampley

Life…one chapter at a time  

What happens when things seem too good to be true?

Three Hundred and Sixty Degrees- available at Red Rose Publishing.   Coming soon to print!


June 22, 2009 By: Guestauthor Category: Latest News 12 Comments →


By:  Angelica Hart and Zi

Excerpt from a manuscript being finalized

May 12

A misty mid-morning was gently touched by rain.  The lick of the sun wanted to push the clouds apart, to spread them wide.  A patter of drops could be heard splashing on the new green foliage of the maple trees. 

Our Forever Rest cemetery was expecting a new guest.  Herb Watkins.  A good man.  A father.  A widower.  A friend.

Eight cars were parked facing the same direction in a row on the narrow path.  A small group of mourners were huddled beneath umbrellas flanking a coffin on one side.  A minister stood facing them balancing his umbrella, reading from his vade mecum.  It leather bound, worn by time was protected as if a sugar treasure from the rain.

The loved ones were silent.  One female, his only daughter, was tearing.  Frequently, wiping them from her face with a wad of tissue she had balled in her hand though not making a sound.  She stood somewhat separate from the group.  Wearing a dark blue pants suit and holding a blue umbrella. She was the only family he had and he hers.


            The service for Herb Watkins was attended by a larger number of people then did Mr. Matters anticipate.  He realized that in his private way Watkins had affected others.  This was a refreshing act of support to his premise that Herb was a special man.

By many standards this would be considered a small gathering.  But considering he had one living family member and by most standards he was a graybeard with few friends.  An old-timer who stayed to himself.  Old-fashioned.  Set in is ways.  A loner.  Yet, he touched others in a human way.

Just prior to Mr. Matter’s eulogy he turned to his son and handed him the paper with a poem his son had written and asked, “Could you read this today for Mr. Watkins?  I have realized that in some small way that you became the proxy grandson he had hoped to have.  I know this is asking a lot of you but I know Herb would appreciate it.  I believe that.”

Ronny took the paper, hesitated then responded, “I’ll do it.”

Ronny unfolded the paper his father had handed him, and looked at for a long twenty seconds.  Raised his now reddening eyes to peer at the mourners and began, “I have titled this PROXY GRANDFATHERS IN PERPETUITY

He read:

The nevers are far too many

Sad that is

Their scars time-lines of a hard life

Each worn with honor and respect

Time etched masterpieces

Speaking of wisdom



Each man’s skin was aged by time



And worry

I stand before men of advance age

Humble and proud

I, a young manRaw with possibilities

Humbled by all of their successes

And proud that they are my

Proxy grandfathers in perpetuity.”

He folded the paper, raised his eyes again and put the work into his coat pocket.

Ronny spoke, “Mr. Watkins was my friend.  And I am lucky for that. Thank you all for letting me share my words.”  Then he sat.

His father approached the podium and said with a quiver in his voice, “I have never been more proud as a father then I am today…”

The manuscript, IT MAY BE LOVE, is a romance of a young woman, Mr. Watkins’ daughter, who was looking for online love, and found mystery and danger.

We share this specific piece because it highlights our ample respect for the elderly and in light of our most finished manuscript, LOVE LETTERS, a romantic thriller which has a backdrop of folks at an Assisted Living Facilities being in great peril… we felt it apt.  Our minds were with those of advanced years.  We adore the oldies.  

Be sure to watch for our upcoming September 2009 release, KILLER DOLLS, a precursor to LOVE LETTERS and SNAKE DANCE, a romantic sci-fi fantasy, due out February 2010.  For excerpt go to 

Angelica Hart and Zi

Killer Dolls  ~  September 2009

Snake Dance  ~  February 2010

Champagne Books

Writing and vampires, Vampires and research, Vampires and WW2. Researching for writing and how to have fun with it all. by Georgia Evans

June 19, 2009 By: Guestauthor Category: Latest News 2 Comments →

For the past ttwelve years or so, I’ve been living with vampires and having a whale of a time. Selling books just added to the fun and satisfaction.

It all started, back in my unpublished days, when one of my characters, announced  he was a Vampire and would I please get that straight before I went any further with his story. Even back then, I knew better than to argue with one of my characters. Since I wanted to keep him happy, I decided I’d better do some research and fast  since I knew diddly squat about Vampires. As luck would have it the next weekend,  I found two fantastic non-fiction books:  In Search of Dracula by McNally and Florescu  and The Vampire Encyclopedia by Bunson. I glommed both in the next few days and quickly learned there are as many versions of the Vampire myth as there are world cultures . Then I turned to fiction, reading everything I  could find by Chelsea Quin Yarbro, Lori Herter, Linda Lael Miller, PN Elrod, Ann Rice  and Nancy Gideon. It was a year or two later that Tanya Huff and Laurel K Hamilton arrived on the fiction scene with their wonderful Vamp universes and a couple of years more before VAMPIRE ROMANCE burst on the world as a distinct genre.

What I learned from fiction was you could pretty much take whatever twist you wanted, just as long as it made sense within the story and you stayed consistent in your fictional world.

So, finally knowing a thing or two, I went back to my vampire hero, who quickly told me  he was Christopher Marlowe, the not yet dead and buried Elizabethan playwright and poet, and I finished his story.

No one wanted to buy it. That book amassed my personal record for rejections: 41. Until Kate Duffy at Kensington bought it, retitled it Kiss me Forever,  launched a series, under my own name of Rosemary Laurey, and put me on the USA Today Best Seller List.

Fast forward a bit.  Five vampire romances later, Kate asked me to write a book set in WW2 with vamps as villains.

Time for more research. Lots more.

Since I wasn’t born until 1946, my knowledge of the War (discounting facts memorized in History at school) consisted of tales and gossip overheard from my mother, grandmother and aunts,  a fenced in bomb crater near our house, the concrete dragons’ teeth (tank barriers) that stood in rows across the Surrey landscape, several bombed out buildings in the nearby town and the ruins of my original school building that took a direct hit in 1942.  Not a lot to write a book on.

Since I knew the the Mole Valley in Surrey, where I grew up, had figured large in Operation Sea Lion – the German Invasion Plan, I decided to set my series there during the fall of 1940 when invasion fear was at its height.  I exchanged several e-mails with the local Historical Society and Museum. A marvelous chap there sent me several booklets and a DVD compilation of old propaganda and training films and newsreels. (A note aside here to anyone doing historical  research on a specific area in the UK, local historical societies and museums can be fantastic resources. The Leatherhead one was marvelous)  The next trip to England, I spent a day at the Imperial War Museum in London and came away with a stack of notes and an armful of books. (Too long to list here but your can see it my research list at   Another brilliant source was the BBC’s WW2 web site:  and I mustn’t forget the numerous friends, a few years older than I am, who readily answered my countless questions like “Was milk delivered regularly during the war? (It was)  When you put tape on the windows to protect from blast was it on the inside to outside? (Inside )
Then, at a friend’s suggestion, I started reading fiction written during that period to give me a feel for the mindset and attitudes of the time.

By now I’d learned how seductive research can be and how much discipline is needed to get back to work. But I managed it, created my cast of village Others- my pixies, ( the village doctor and her grandmother) the were fox ( the district nurse) the pair of Welsh dragons, (the sergeant of the home guard and his war wounded son) my water sprite,( an evacuated school teacher form Guernsey)  the Elf (who runs the local black market) and the village Witch and one by one set them vis a vis  to the vampire spies. Battle lines were drawn.

After a couple of title changes, Bloody Good, Bloody Awful and Bloody Right came to fruition – I must give the nod to my editor, Kate Duffy, for the final titles. My version of the invasion that never was is due out this summer in June, July and August complete with three of the most fantastic covers I’ve ever had.

However, having done all that research I feel the germ of a new WW2 book niggling at my consciousness. Not sure where this one’s going but I hope it’s as much fun to write as the ‘Bloody’ books have been.
PS. For giveaways and excerpts please visit Georgia’s web site: or

Historical and Paranormal: Two Great Tastes That Taste Great Together

June 18, 2009 By: Guestauthor Category: Guest Blogger 9 Comments →

Historical and  Paranormal:  Two Great Tastes That Taste Great Together

by Victoria Janssen

For my December 2009 erotic novel for Harlequin Spice, Moonlight Mistress, I combined a historical novel with paranormal elements.  The book is set during the early days of World War One, and begins with a romance between Lucilla, an English chemist and nurse, and Pascal, a French scientist.  They’re trapped in Germany when war is declared and must escape together.  I could have proceeded from there to write a perfectly straightforward wartime adventure novel, but I love science fiction as well as romance, so it turns out the reason Pascal is in Germany in the first place is because he’s investigating rumors of a werewolf held captive by an amoral scientist.  Soon, two werewolf characters are introduced, one a soldier and the other a spy, and their role in the war and their relationship is woven into the novel’s main plot.

I love historical romance, but even more I love historical science fiction and fantasy with romance, or romantic elements.  There’s something about the mix of flavors that draws me in; I get an extra buzz from the story when more than one genre element is present.  I loved Colleen Gleason’s Regency vampire-slayer novels (The Gardella Chronicles) and the time travel aspect of Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander.  Susan Krinard’s werewolf romances do a wonderful job of fitting paranormal creatures into nineteenth century history.  From the fantasy side, Judith Tarr’s novels such as Pride of Kings and Caroline Stevermer’s When the King Comes Home mix magic and romantic elements into history. 

I think the main reason I love combined flavors is that mixing genres is a way to avoid the same-old, same-old of historical romance.  The plot usually runs like this:  hero and heroine meet, family/money/status/scandalous past/amnesia keep them apart, then they are brought together once more.  For me, those plot complications become more compelling if the family issue is that a werewolf needs to marry another werewolf or he can’t have werewolf children, or if the scandalous past is only because the heroine isn’t human and doesn’t have human standards of behavior.  I don’t know what to expect, and the reading experience becomes more exciting as a result.

Moonlight Mistress cover

From a marketing standpoint, cross-genre books can be a problem–how do you market the book?  Is it a romance/erotic novel, or is it a paranormal?  Should there be a clench on the cover, or a man turning into a wolf?  Will the book be shelved in Romance on Science Fiction and Fantasy?  Do the readers of the two genres have differing expectations, so in trying to please both, you please neither?  For Moonlight Mistress, at least, this was less of an issue.  As an “erotic novel” rather than a straightforward romance, I had a little more freedom in how the plot and relationships progressed.  Though there are several romances in the novel, they proceed in different ways, and end at different stages:  one clearly Happily Ever After, one on the brink of a marriage that’s clearly only the beginning of the relationship, and a third, a ménage, still in the formative stages.  Adding werewolves merely added a new flavor to the blend.

Guest Blog with Roxanne Rhoads and a Chance to Win a Free Ebook

June 17, 2009 By: Guestauthor Category: Contests, Guest Blogger 24 Comments →

Hello Everyone,

My name is Roxanne Rhoads and I am happy to be here today at the Romance Junkies Blog. I am making the rounds on a mini blog tour to celebrate the release of my newest e-book Torrid Teasers Volume 59 released through

Torrid Teasers #59 is a double shot of paranormal sexiness. It contains two of my paranormal erotic romance stories, The Questioning Concubine and Renata.

Here are the mini blurbs for the stories in Torrid Teasers Volume 59.


The residents of the sleepy little town of Flushing, Michigan had no idea a vampire lived among them seducing and drinking from all the men in town. Renata walked among them, blending in, taking only what she needed. One night Renata was on the prowl for fresh blood at a carnival when a handsome carnie caught her eyes. She had no way of knowing he was there for her. 

The Questioning Concubine:

Elita, a pure blood witch has come home to find who or what killed her parents and to take her place as the head of the coven. After 5 years of investigating and exhausting all conventional methods at her disposal she decides to do the one thing a good witch should never do, summon a demon. The demon is not what she expected. Elita is soon swept up in his power… and her own.

Both stories take place in the quaint town of Flushing, Michigan. A very real place though I have fictionalized the paranormal creatures that live in what I call Storybookville. Maybe.

I live right outside Flushing, just outside enough to be an outsider but close enough that most of the businesses and stores that I frequent are in Flushing. Main street consists of old Victorian style homes and the brick building store fronts that can be found in old small towns around the country.

I fell in love with the place as a child but always felt like an outsider. It has such great qualities that it makes a fantastic setting for stories of any nature but I love the little perversion of turning such story book perfection into a setting for erotic paranormal creatures to cavort shamelessly.

That gives you a peak into my personality doesn’t it? Perverting the perfect. But there is always something hidden under any layer of perfection. I am sure my fictional perversions can’t even compare to what really lies behind closed doors.

Truth is often stranger than fiction, believe me I know. My truths have often been so unbelievable I question my own life. And others…well they just flat out don’t believe me. So I keep things to myself or insert them into my fiction. Then people don’t question anything and it often makes for a good story. You never know what small snippets or strange little elements in my stories may actually hold a grain of truth.

In addtion to my newest release from Whiskey Creek Press Torrid, I have a short story, Tasty Christmas Treats, available in ebook and print through as well as two short paranormal pieces in the Paranormal Bedtime Stories collection also available at

My short story “The First Brick” appears in the ebook Lasting Lust: Kinky Couples in Love available at And I have two novellas being released later this year through Eternal Press, Eternal Desire will be out in October and Insatiable in December.

You can find my articles and poetry around the web and keep track of me at my sites Roxanne’s Realm and Fang-tastic Books.

Would you like to receive a free e-book download of Torrid Teasers Volume 59? Just leave a comment with your email contact info so I can send the book to you if you are chosen as a winner.

Thanks so much for dropping by today and good luck, hope you win a copy of my Torrid Teasers Volume 59.

Contests: to enter or not to enter

June 16, 2009 By: Guestauthor Category: Guest Blogger, Latest News 23 Comments →

When you make it to that point where you’re brave enough to let others read your manuscript, you inevitably start thinking about entering writing contests. Many groups have yearly contests in which a writer pays money (usually around $20 or so) to enter the first chapter to the first three chapters of their book. Why pay someone to read your work? Because the judges who critique your entry can offer an unbiased opinion and valuable feedback. And if you make it to the final round, your judge will be an editor or agent who may request more material which could lead to your big break.

When I wrote Wild Heart, my most recent manuscript, I felt in my gut that it would be published. When I entered it in The Golden Acorn Contest and received a request from the Kensington judge to see more, I felt justified. Finally, after six years of rejections, I was getting somewhere. Four months went by without a word from Kensington. I was crushed. It was then, while deciding to toss aside yet another finished manuscript, that Kensington called with an offer.

Some people love contests, while others hate them. Let’s be realistic, if you look at the ratio of people who are actually published because of a contest, it’s probably rather low. Not only is your chance of getting a request minimal, but some writers have had unfortunate experiences with unfair judges who belittle their work and do more harm than good. Just because you don’t final doesn’t mean your manuscript isn’t ready. After all, there are many best sellers that wouldn’t hold up under the “rules” of writing, rules that judges often use as basis to grade a manuscript (for instance, limit narrative, especially at the beginning of a book). But, on the other hand, if you are getting the same comments from judge after judge, perhaps it’s time to think about changing your book.  

So are contests worth it? I had the money at the time and I was pretty much willing to do anything legal to get published. But if you decide to enter a contest, do it as a way to get feedback and not just to win. Make sure the final judges are actually editors and agents you’re interested in so it’s not a waste of time and money. If you don’t have the money to enter contests, look for free contests online, they’re out there! In fact, come September I might be having a contest on my blog which could land your manuscript in front of a Kensington editor. Also, find a good critique partner and write the best book you can. After all, in the end, all that matters is how well written and interesting your book is, contest wins or not.

How about you, have you entered any contests, writing or otherwise, in which you had a positive or negative experience? Leave a comment or question. Three people will win a $10 gift card to Barnes and Noble and a signed cover flat of Wild Heart, my debut historical romance out in November.

To find out more about Lori Brighton, visit

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