Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Which Dress did Fantasy Author Kathryne Kennedy Choose?

A while back I posted photos of four dresses I could choose to wear to an upcoming wedding, and had people vote on them. I was asked to post which dress I finally wore, and I'm sorry to say it wasn't any one of the original four I had chosen! (Here's the original post: http://kathrynekennedy.blogspot.com/2014/03/fantasy-author-kathrynekennedy-needs.html )All except the black one was out of stock (and beware as well when a site says the dress is 'returnable', when they actually mean 'exchangeable'. Learn from my mistake!) I did manage to order the black one, but it was enormous. The entire bodice flopped down. So, measurements don't help a lot when ordering a dress either! The sizes vary from one designer to another, and don't be sad...ALL the dresses run small, so you'll be ordering much larger than your regular size. Anyway, I did manage to get a dress in time, as I went through another ten or so choices that were all out of stock (or couldn't be ordered in time for my wear-date. So another tip, order early. I started six months out, figuring that would be plenty of time. Silly me.) Anyway, it's with a sigh of relief that I'm sharing the photos of the dress I finally chose. I went from fairy princess to a goddess sort of look, and I'm happy to also report that I had many compliments on the dress. And that it was a lovely wedding. Since the dress was so 'flowy' my husband made me sit in the swing to take this photo, and I think he chose well.

And of course, I have to share one of the bride and groom, as that is the most beautiful, important dress!

Thank you for all your help, everyone!
My Magical Best,

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Writing Contest

2014 Hot Prospects Contest

2014 Hot Prospects Contest
Sponsor: Valley of the Sun Romance Writers

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.
Grand Prize Winner
  • The grand prize winner of the contest will have their entire manuscript (400 pages, Courier, 12pt, Double spaced) reviewed by two professional editors at Novel Needs http://novelneeds.com
  • 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, 2014.
Valley of the Sun RW Members
  • $25
Non-Chapter Members
  • $30
Payment Options
  • Valley of the Sun RW reserves the right to return all entries and fees if the minimum entry number for each category (5) is not received. Entrants will be contracted to see if they wish to place their entry in another category before entries are returned.
Postmark Deadline: September 1st, 2014
E-Submit Deadline: September 1st, 2014
The Hot Prospects Contest is open to any work uncontracted and unpublished at the time of entry.
Trained judges for preliminary round, Editors for final round.
Single Title Contemporary-
Romantic novels released as individual titles, not usually part of a series. Projected word count: over 70,000 words.
  • Editor – Sue Grimshaw, Random House
  • Assistant Editor – Cat Clyne, Sourcebooks, Inc
Romantic Suspense-
a suspense/mystery/thriller plot is integrated within a romantic novel. Projected word count: over 70,000 words.
  • Editor – Associate Editor- Lauren Plude, Grand Central Publishing
  • Editor -Tera Cuskaden, Samhain
Romantic novels set in a time period prior to 1945. Projected word count: over 70,000 words.
  • Senior Editor – Esi Sogah, Kensington
futuristic, fantasy, or paranormal elements are integrated within the love story. Projected word count: over 70,000 words.
  • Editor – Editorial Assistant –Kristine Swartz, The Berkley Publishing Group
  • Editor – Amy Stapp, Tor /Forge
Those entries that do not final will be returned approximately October 30th, 2014 to help those who plan to enter RWA’s Golden Heart.
  • Your synopsis should be between 3-5 pages.
  • Up to 25 pages of your manuscript.
Total Submission
  • Entry should be 30 pages max.  Entry or synopsis may be shorter, but neither may be longer than specified.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

I Swear My Roommate Is a Vampire

It is my pleasure to introduce writer Arabella Thorne and her novella:

I Swear My Roommate Is a Vampire
Ever declare bankruptcy? Don’t. It sucks…. Okay, really bad joke. Anyway, after my bankruptcy, my home equity line payment took a jump into the ozone layer and I needed extra money, fast. So, I decided it was time for a roommate.
After screening lots of potential candidates (let me tell you, what a real life horror story that was), I became desperate and did something I never thought I’d ever do. I rented my master suite to a vampire.
I know, what you’re thinking: Dracula, fangs, blood, hot, sexy, the whole package. Well, this one’s different. He’s the perfect renter—quiet, neat, tidy, pays on time. In fact he reminds me of my high school algebra teacher.
All was going well, until things started to happen—nasty things. Apparently, not everyone likes vampires and has no intention of letting people live and let live. Especially with a human as a roommate.
Reality…. Now that really bites!

Sunday, July 13, 2014

So You Want To Write A Book.

Want to be a writer and not sure you have what it takes? I attended a conference workshop taught by Martha Alderson, who has been dubbed The Plot Whisperer. (Pictured above) In her book, Secrets of Story Structure Any Writer Can Master, she says, "Anyone can write a book. The trick is to write a good book. So long as you are honest and true to yourself, you have what it takes to write a good book."

Until next week,
happy reading and writing.
Tina Swayzee McCright

Thursday, July 10, 2014

The Best Two Words

As a writer, my favorite two words are 'the end.'

As a reader.... Well, that's another post.

Writing for me is a struggle. A contest of my will and determination versus the desire to veg out and do nothing. To get the words right is like pulling teeth. That blinking cursor is a minion of the devil.

I know of writers who script their books and then write away.

I know of folks who write disconnected scenes then stitch them together into a book.

I know folks who type what they're thinking and edit the words into a book.

For me, writing is possession by the characters. The tell me to shut up and do what they say. That's difficult as I like to be in control of myself since I know I don't control anything else in the universe. So we battle across the sentences, paragraphs and pages. When I'm tired and give in, the process is smoother. Eventually, my appositionally defiant personality kicks in and the characters and I go back to grappling.

I've heard legends, that some folks pick up speed as they approach those two magic words. I'm  hoping I experience that before I see my first unicorn.

Until then, I'll continue on as I have been. After all, I still arrive at the same place.

The end:D