The difference between perseverance and obstinacy is that one comes from a strong will, and the other comes from a strong won’t.” Henry Ward Beecher


Spotlight on Avalon

 Lia Brown, Editor, presented this spotlight. Avalon is a small, family owned business that publishes hardcover editions primarily for the library market. They publish 60 books a year. They release 10 titles every other month —  four contemporary romance, two historical romance, two westerns, and two mysteries. The books are also available through Amazon and Barnes and  The books are “very clean, very family friendly, cute and fun.” 

The company is small – only four people and Lia is the only editor. Avalon is very open to new authors. They do not require an agent. They publish many first-time authors. In 2010, nine of the authors they published were first-timers. They’re open to a wide variety of ideas in romance, as long as they fit within the guidelines for Avalon, which are primarily that there can be no sex or even hint of sex in their romances, but there must be romantic tension. The couple has to have an intellectual connection, and an emotional connection. They allow “hell” and “damn” in mysteries and westerns but never in romance. They do get letters from readers if there is any swearing in romance. Wine with dinner is okay. They like books in series. Check out the writer’s guidelines for more information.   

Their books are reviewed by Publishers Weekly and Booklist. Libraries subscribe to the series, so you’ll find them in many libraries. Thorndike reprints many titles in large print, which is additional money for the author. They are planning to release books as ebooks in the very near future, including backlist. 

Word count between 45,000 and 75,000 words. Most of their contemporary romances are between 50,000 and 60,000 words, while historicals and mysteries usually run 65,000 to 70,000. They publish all kinds of historical periods. She would love something from the turn of the century or the Russian revolution. But nothing past World War I right now.Snail mail submissions only unless she requests you send something to her via email. Submit three chapters and a synopsis. 

If you want to know more about Lia, you can read an interview with her here.


Musa Publishing launches on Saturday, October 1 with its first three releases, one of which is my new western historical romance, West With the Wind. Follow their Twitter feed @musapublishing for prizes and more grand opening fun. And check out their great line up of historical and contemporary romance, fantasy, science fiction, suspense and more.






Spotlight on Ellora’s Cave 

Kelly Collins, Editor in Chief; Raelene Gorlinsky, publisher; and Grace Bradley, Editor presented the Spotlight. Ellora’s Cave  has been in business 11 years. They launched in November 2000 as one of the first e-publishers. Their headquarters is in Akron, Ohio. They have an editorial staff of about 20 freelance editors. They are a digital-first publisher, selling from the Ellora’s Cave website and all third-party e-book venders. Most of the books do eventually go into print, anywhere from six months to two years after the e-release. 

Grace spoke about what Ellora’s Cave is looking for. They publish romantica, a term they have trademarked for erotic romance – romance stories with a lot of erotic scenes, with a happy-for-now or happily-ever-after ending. They also publish exotica – character driven erotica. They also have Blush – a line of mainstream, non-erotic romance. That used to be published under Cerridwen Press, but this has been rolled into Ellora’s Cave. They publish all sub-genres – sci-fi, paranormal, westerns, historical, gay and lesbian, BDSM. Gen-Edge is a new imprint geared toward college-age readers, with college-age characters. Branded is a line of romantica that features married couples and sex after marriage. This could be couples rediscovering their passion.

 They started two new lines in 2011. Shivers is erotic horror. They want “sexy and scary.” They’re open to all kinds of horror – psychological, blood and guts, slasher, paranormal – anything goes as long as it’s scary. Kink is another new line about fetishes. This will be considered on a book by book basis. There are some fetishes they probably don’t want to get into, but they are open to a very wide range of kink. These books have to have an emotionally satisfying ending. 

They have some theme series open to submissions right now. Oh Canada is looking for books set in and featuring Canadians. The deadline for these books is the end of November, but they may extend this if the books remain popular. They’d like novellas, 18,000 to 45,000 words. 

EC for Men is a new line for male readers, focused more on sex than romance. Stories should be between 7,000 and 30,000 words, written from a male POV and exploring male fantasies. 

Their most popular genres are paranormal, male-male, BDSM, menage, science fiction and westerns. Grace would love to see a witch story, as well as series set in small, Southern towns. Raelene loves menage and paranormal, as well as books with external conflict. Kelly would like some female-female stories. See Ellora’s Cave’s writer’s guidelines for more information.


I have a new website for my historical romances. It’s an easy way to find information about all the books in one place, as well as historical research articles I’ve written. Check it out: Romance of the West.


As always, feel free to pass along the information in this blog to others. All I ask is that you give me credit and include a link to this site. Thank you. Cindi Myers