Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Writing Contest--Open Now till March 1 the FAB FIVE

Wisconsin Romance Writers (WisRWA) FAB FIVE Contest is open now and in need of entries. If you have 2,500 words (approximately 10 pages) of the opening of a romance novel, check out WisRWA's contest tab for complete information. I've been fortunate enough to final and/or win with both of my published books in their early stages, so I can vouch for the value of this contest. Feedback is excellent.

For those thinking of entering, I offer up this previous post as a Valentine to all aspiring romance writers.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Some Friendly Advice for Those Who Are Entering Writing Contests

I’ve judged WisRWA’s Fab Five and RWA’s Golden Heart multiple times, and I’ve learned a lot from doing so—sometimes what I SHOULD be doing, but more often what NOT to do in my writing.

The first and obvious piece of advice should be this: Read and follow the rules.

Now I know entrants are at various stages in their writing careers and have varied knowledge of the conventions of writing, but here are some items to pay attention to fixing BEFORE you submit because if you attend to these issues first, you give your judges a better chance to focus on your story rather than on trying to figure out what is on the page. And what you really want them to judge is the story and characters.


Observe in published novels how dialogue is broken into paragraphs. Put the character’s spoken words in the same paragraph as his/her actions. Readers will be better able to follow who said what if you do this. And following who said what helps the reader see the story without getting lost.

He/She/They used too frequently without identifying who he/she/they might be.

If two male characters are talking, be sure to tag each one clearly with a name or descriptive title because if “he” appears multiple times in a row, you (the author) may be clear as to which “he” is which because you are visualizing the scene in your head, but the reader has most likely lost track. (The same goes for female characters and any time you have more than two characters in a scene.)

The unreferenced “it”

This useful little word can also be a source of major confusion if “it” is not placed close enough to the thing “it” is replacing or standing in for. We, the writer, know exactly what we mean. But readers can’t see inside our heads, so it’s our job to replace all the vague words in our text with clear ones.

When we enter contests, it’s partly because we want to be read, to connect with an audience. We want the judge to assess our story, our characters, our scene setting, our hook, and give us feedback on the story as a whole. The last thing we want to do is interfere with the judge’s ability to see those aspects of our work. My best advice is to pay attention to these few items when you polish that entry.
What about you? What advice would you add?

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

End-of-the-Year Giveaways: Print books, e-book, and cookie recipe

Print books--get 'em while they're hot!

Goodreads has changed their policy on giveaways, so I'm sorry to say these four print books are my last offering on their platform. Enter by Dec. 15 for a chance to win BLOODSTONE. For a chance to win PRINCE OF VAL-FEYRIDGE, enter Dec. 15-23. Use the links to the right.

To learn how I cope with the wonderful Winter Wonderland, check out my guest blog on LASR Blogfest on Dec. 28: I'm posting a favorite family recipe for healthy-ish cookies and also giving away one Kindle copy of BLOODSTONE, the winner drawn from those who leave a comment before the end of the year.

Keep warm, stay safe, and enjoy the holidays!

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Holiday Season Giveaways!

'Tis the season for giving! 

I'm offering two fantastic giveaways on Goodreads this month. First I'm giving away two (2) print copies of BLOODSTONE. Enter Dec. 7-15 for a chance to win an autographed copy of this Beauty-and-the-Beast-inspired fantasy romance. Starting Thursday, Dec. 7, click on the BLOODSTONE icon to the right to go to Goodreads and enter.

Next, I'm giving away two (2) print copies of THE PRINCE OF VAL-FEYRIDGE. Enter Dec. 15-23 for a chance to win an autographed copy of my first fantasy romance, the one packed with Game of Thrones intrigue and enemies-to-lovers, forbidden romance. After Friday, Dec. 15, click on the PRINCE OF VAL-FEYRIDGE icon on the right to go to Goodreads and enter.

Keep warm this holiday season and keep reading. There's nothing like a little romance--or a lot!--to heat up cold winter nights!

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Amazon Giveaway!

Winter is making an early start here, and it's putting me in the mood for curling up with a blanket, hot beverages, and a stack of good books so I can read, read, read till the snow melts.

In that vein, I've set up an Amazon Giveaway for THE PRINCE OF VAL-FEYRIDGE. Click on the link and enter from now through Nov. 24 for a chance to win a Kindle copy of a romantic adventure that will heat up your sense of romance and adventure and keep you warm while the snow flies. No purchase necessary, but you have to sign in to Amazon to enter. (See Official Rules

Also, BLOODSTONE is still on sale on Amazon for only $1.49. That's half price.

Keep warm and happy reading!

Friday, November 3, 2017

Snow and a Sale

Winter has officially arrived--in my book anyway. We had almost 2 inches of snow this week, and temps are more than 10 degrees below normal. It may be 7 weeks early by the calendar to call this winter, but once the snow sticks on the ground for any length of time around here, it's winter.

To celebrate--or commiserate--I've put THE PRINCE OF VAL-FEYRIDGE on sale on Kindle for 99-cents through Nov. 10. If you're in the mood for a sweeping romance with characters and intrigue akin to Game of Thrones, or you need to give a gift to a hopeless romantic friend or relative, here's the link: PRINCE OF VAL-FEYRIDGE

Monday, September 11, 2017

September Giveaway!

To celebrate back to school, I'm trying my first Amazon Giveaway. As a prize, I'm giving away a Kindle copy of BLOODSTONE. Here's the storyline: To save her father Mirianna promises the Shadow Man she’ll do "anything," but the beastly, insensitive creature needs her heart, freely given, and all her courage to help him defeat the mage who cursed him.
For a chance to win a Kindle copy of BLOODSTONE, enter at Bloodstone giveaway and sign up to follow me on Amazon. Contest ends Sept. 26 or earlier if the prize is claimed. (See Official Rules

Monday, July 17, 2017

More Summer Giveaways and Sales

Time for great summer reading deals! This upcoming week brings a giveaway and an ongoing sale.

Giveaway--BLOODSTONE--July 18-26 at Goodreads. I'm giving away one autographed print book. Use the link at the Goodreads box on the right to enter.

Sale!--BLOODSTONE on Kindle is a bargain at $1.49 for as long as the sale lasts:[/url