November 2009

“The profession of book writing makes horse racing seem like a solid, stable business”  John Steinbeck

The winners of my contest are 

Jenna Bayley-Burke 

Cynthia Boris

Koko Brown  
You’ve each won a Platinum Membership to Auto-crit. Someone will contact you via email about this soon. If anyone else wants to check out Auto-crit, go to
Thank you so much to everyone who entered.
Samhain Publishing has put out a call for Submissions for two new anthologies:
Red Hot Fairy Tales To be released in Summer 2010, this anthology focuses on “super-hot fairy tales.” Stories can be any subgenre of erotic romance, though they must have a happy ending.  Stories should be 20,000 to 25,000 words. They’ll be released individually as ebooks in August 2010 and  in print in Spring 2011. Submit the full manuscript with a 2-5 page synopsis. Submit only one manuscript per anthology. When you send your manuscript, please be sure to use the  naming convention FairyTales_Title_MS or FairyTales_Title_Synopsis.  Deadline for submissions is February 1st, 2010 and final decision will  be made by February 15th, 2010. Please send your submission to and include Red Hot Fairy Tales Anthology
 in the subject line. Questions and queries can be addressed to Laurie
 M. Rauch (
Steampunk Romance Anthology Samhain plans to release this anthology in Fall 2010. ” Don’t know what steampunk is? Think League of Extraordinary Gentleman and The  Wild, Wild West. Even Joss Whedon’s Firefly and Serenity have steampunk elements transported into space. For more information about  steampunk, you can check out the entry on Wikipedia.”  All sub-genres of romance and all levels of sexual heat are welcome in this anthology, as long as the ending is Happily-ever-after or “Happily for now”.  25,000 to 30,000 words. The stories will be released as individual e-books in November 2010. Send the full manuscript with a 2-5 page synopsis and a letter of introduction. When you send your manuscript, please be sure to use the  naming convention Steampunk_Title_MS and Steampunk_Title_Synopsis.
Deadline for submissions is April 30, 2010. A final decisionwill be made by May 31. Please send your submission to and include Steampunk Anthology in the  subject line. Questions and queries can be addressed to Sasha Knight  (
Pill Hill Press  is holding a short story contest with the theme Love Kills: My Bloody Valentine. Winners will be published in an anthology. In addition, the following prizes will be awarded:
 1st Place – $125.00 + 1 contributor’s copy of the book
 2nd Place – $50.00 + 1 contributor’s copy of the book
3rd Place – $25.00 + 1 contributor’s copy of the book
Runners-up – 1 contributor’s copy of the book
The editors are looking for scary stories. “Stories should take place
 at or around Valentine’s Day. Think obsession, lust, heartache,  stalkers, etc. Serial killer stories welcome.  We prefer stories with atmospheric suspense vs. gore. Gruesome and/or  sexy scenes are acceptable as long as they are essential to plot  development.”  They prefer stories written in third person. Stories should be 2,000 to 6, 000 words, though they prefer stories in the 3,000-5,000 word range. Dealine January 15, 2010.  Stories can take place at any time (past, present, future, alternate),  and can take place anywhere (Earth, sea, outer space, other planets,  etc.) as long as they fit the theme of Love Kills: My Bloody Valentine. Find all the details about this and other upcoming Pill Hill Press anthology projects at 


My website has been updated. Check out my upcoming projects and bookcovers at
As always, feel free to pass along the information in this blog. If any part of it is reproduced or quoted, please give me credit, and please include a link to this blog.

“Be persistent. Editors change; tastes change; editorial markets change. Too many beginning writers give up too easily.”  John Jakes

The big buzz this week is about Harlequin’s new e-publishing venture, Carina Press.  Headed by veteran Malle Valik and edited by Angela James, formerly of Samhain Publishing, the e-book only publisher expects to release its first titles in the Spring of 2010. Though the parent company is Harlequin, Carina Press is structured as a separate entity. They’ll have an e-book store just for Carina Press. Contracts will be similar to other e-publishing contracts: i.e. no advance but higher royalties. Royalties will be 30% of cover price, paid twice a year.

Plans are to publish “a broad range of fiction with an emphasis on romance.”  They will look at almost anything except young adult, poetry or nonfiction, including: romance, women’s fiction, science fiction, fantasy, mystery, adventure,  thrillers, horror, futuristic and erotica. They are interested in complete manuscripts only at this time, but ask that you query first. Send your query to Fine the complete submission guidelines here.


Markets for short genre fiction are hard to come by, so it’s always nice to be able to share a new one. The pay is not great, but if you have a short story you’d love to find a home for,  Untied Shoelaces of the Mind might be for you. The editors are looking for genre and literary stories between 100 and 2000 words. Payment is 3 cents a word up to $30.  They’re interested in romance, humor, science fiction and fantasy, thriller, mystery, horror and mixes of the above. Find all the details at the website.


Thank you to everyone for your great blog comments. Keep them coming. The contest is open until Sunday, November 15. Post a comment on the blog and you could win one of three platinum memberships to


Her Christmas Wish is available from now and will be for sale in stores soon. This is the last of my Crested Butte mini-series for Harlequin American. Think romance in a snowy ski-resort town. Perfect for curling up with in front of the fire or under the Christmas tree — or while you’re digesting that Thanksgiving feast.


I’m guest blogging today at RomCon. Please stop by and say hello.


Thank a veteran today. Their service means so much.

I write when I’m inspired, and I see to it that I’m inspired at nine o’clock every morning.”  Peter De Vries

I’ll start this first week in November with a look at the Spotlight on Bethany House from the Romance Writers of America conference in Washington, DC.

David Long, Sr. Acquisitions Editor for Bethany House presented this spotlight. Bethany House is owned by Baker Publishing Group. Baker is the fourth largest Christian publisher in the world. In 1979, Bethany House published Love Comes Softly by Jeanette Oke, one of the very first inspirational fiction titles. They are pioneers in the field. Bethany House is known for its beautiful covers.

Bethany House today publishes best-selling and award winning authors. They publish in a variety of genres. Historical romance is a big part of their list. Of the approximately 40 books a year they publish, 18-20 are historical romance. They are usually set in the 1800s in the US. They publish prairie romances, as well as other historical time periods. They do a few books set in England in the Regency and Victorian eras.

They also publish historical women’s fiction or multi-generational sagas. There may be a romance element to these stories, but romance is not central to these books.

An emerging genre of successful inspirational fiction is Amish fiction. Every major Christian publisher is publishing these books right now, which have proved very popular with readers. Bethany House publishes Bev Lewis, one of the first successful authors or Amish fiction.

This has led to other books about closed communities, featuring Mennonites, Shakers, the Amana Colonies, etc.

Bethany has not done a lot of romantic suspense, but they are interested in romantic suspense. Long cited romantic suspense as the area at Bethany where there is the greatest opportunity for new authors. They don’t do cozy mystery type stories. The stories should be darker and more intense and he’s very interested in historical romantic suspense. He’s not so interested in typical roles such as FBI agents and law enforcement characters or serial killers.

Bethany has not published straight contemporary romance but they’re interested in contemporary women’s fiction with romance as a subplot. They don’t do Chick Lit or Mom Lit. They do some romantic comedy.

They also do suspense and mystery and some speculative fiction aimed at teens and twenties. (But no vampires.)

They don’t have a hard and fast word count. They’ve published 120,000 word books (though not a lot) and 65,000 word books.

Bethany’s books are carried in Christian Booksellers Association (CBA) stores, in mass merchandisers such as Walmart, Sam’s and Costco as well as the Christian Fiction sections of general interest booksellers such as Barnes and Noble and Borders. Walmart is the number one retailer of Christian fiction in the world.

Bethany House has no formal list of dos and don’t. Content concerns are addressed on a book by book basis. “If you’re looking to get into the inspirational market, that’s something you’re going to have to face and reconcile as a writer,” Long said.

Bethany House is looking for books that has Christian themes woven in in an organic way. They arise from the characters and the issues in the book.

“We are a house that values new writers and new voices.” They continue to buy new authors. They don’t accept unsolicited submissions. They generally prefer agented submissions. However, if you meet an editor at a conference or another Bethany House author recommends you, you can send a query or any requested material.

For more information, visit their website at


To celebrate the launch of this blog,, an editing website for writers, has donated three Platinum memberships for me to give away to three lucky readers of this blog.  You can find out more about Autocrit at

Here’s how the contest works. Anyone who posts a comment this week or next week will be eligible to win. The cutoff day for posts is Sunday, November 15. I’ll draw the names and announce the winners sometime after the 15th. Good luck!


Strangetastic ( is a new online publication looking for all kinds of supernatural fiction, from dark fantasy to light horror.  Stories should be between 1000 and 6000 words. Payment is $25. Find all the details at


Her Christmas Wish is available from now. This is the final (for now) installment of my Crested Butte series. You can order the book here:  Or wait for it to show up in stores December 12.


Feel free to link to this blog or reprint or share the information with others. All I ask is that you give me credit and print the link to the blog.