Anthology


“People on the outside think there’s something magical about writing, that you go up in the attic at midnight and cast the bones and come down in the morning with a story, but it isn’t like that. You sit in back of the typewriter and you work, and that’s all there is to it.” – Harlan Ellison

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This week I begin my review of publisher spotlights from the Romance Writers of America annual conference in New York City. This year’s spotlights included a good mix of large and small publishers who publish a wide variety of romance and other fiction. Up this week: Kensington Books.

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Editor Alicia Condon started off the spotlight. The focus of the Spotlight on Kensington Books was on letting attendees know what makes Kensington different from everyone else. Ms. Condon noted that lLast year the company celebrated its 40th anniversary. It is the largest New York-based independent publisher in the U.S. Steve and Adam Zacharias run the family-owned company. Being small allows them to respond more quickly to changing market trends. They give personal attention to each author but are large enough to have books on the New York Times list almost every week. Kensington editors and departments work at a team. As a smaller company, everyone knows everyone else.

Senior Editor Esi Sogah presented an overview of the kinds of books Kensington publishes. They publish over 500 books annually, in all genres and all formats. Zebra is the main mass-market romance imprint, publishing historical, contemporary, erotica, sweet romances, romantic suspense, paranormal – everything romance. Lyrical is Kensington’s digital first publishing program. In 2016 Zebra will debut Zebra Shout, which will focus on debut authors. The books will be priced at $4.99. Lyrical authors will also have the opportunity to move from ebook only to print in the Zebra Shout program. Dafina, Kensington’s African-American and multi-cultural program publishes over 80 books a year in all formats and all genres. Dafina is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. Pinnacle publishes thrillers, westerns and true crime. Sogah emphasized that Kensington is willing to take risks on authors.

Associate Editor Martin Biro talked about Lyrical Press, Kensington’s digital-first imprint. They publish 20+ books a month and are growing fast. They also release a trade-paper POD version of every Lyrical book that is 60,000 words and up. Lyrical publishes a wide variety of fiction. It is very romance focused, but they also publish mystery and suspense with Lyrical Underground and contemporary romance with Lyrical Shine. They publish mainstream commercial fiction and young adult in Lyrical also. Lyrical is actively acquiring and they are open to experimenting with a wide variety of fiction.

Tara Gavin is the newest editor with Kensington. She comes to Kensington after a long career with Harlequin. She spoke about how to submit to Kensington. Kensington accepts queries from both agented and unagented authors. She advised authors to study the market and think about where they fit in best. Read a lot and become familiar with what each publisher publishes. Send your query electronically and in your query let the editor know you have a complete manuscript. Compare your work to books that are already in the marketplace. This helps the editor understand the type of book you are writing and where it fits in the market. Summarize the story in a few paragraphs. Include a synopsis of a couple of pages with your query letter. Submit to only one editor at Kensington, but if the manuscript is not right for that editor and he or she believes another editor would like it, he or she will pass the submission on to them. Tara is actively acquiring and building an author base.

Alex Nicolajsen is the associate director of digital at Kensington. She works with Lyrical. She talked about marketing and Kensington. Vida Engstrom is director of marketing at Kensington. They develop a marketing plan for each book and have a dedicated communications person for each genre and imprint. They brainstorm ways to promote books.

The next section of the Spotlight was devoted to each editor revealing what is on their wish list.

Alicia Condon is looking for a “fantastic Amish romance” with a fresh theme or a fresh setting. She noted they have an Amish series that is set in Appalachia, which is the type of unusual setting they are looking for. She is looking for a mystery romance with a humorous, off-beat voice. She would love some “feel-good fiction” exploring the themes of friendship and family, on the sweeter side, verging on inspirational but not inspirational.

Tara Gavin loves historical mysteries. She would love to find some new cozy mystery series. She loves series and readers do too. She wants women’s fiction that focuses on community.

Alex would love to see a sexy cozy mystery for Lyrical, as well as contemporary romance with different settings, such as the French countryside.

Martin Biro said he’s looking for more mysteries for Lyrical. Personally, he loves historical romance from different settings and cultures. He also said if anyone wants to write “Dexter meets Murder She Wrote” he would probably buy it.

Esi Sogah is also very interested in sexy cozy mysteries. She would love to see more historicals with unique settings. She would also like an American romance set in the earlier part of the 20th century – roaring 20s or turn-of-the-century.

Alica Condon announced that Wendy McCurdy is joining Kensington as of August 3rd. McCurdy is a former senior editor at Bantam Dell and the former executive editor at Berkley. She is acquiring women’s fiction and romance.

You can find out more about what specific Kensington editors are looking for at their website 

The editors present briefly talked about their pet peeves. Do your research and confirm the editor you are submitting to actually works on the kind of book you are writing – don’t send your YA to an editor who doesn’t work on YA. Spell the editor’s name correctly, and verify their gender (Alex doesn’t want to be addressed as ‘Mr.’).

You can reach any editor at Kensington via email by addressing your email to them using the address of their first initial last name @kensingtonbooks.com

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Starting this week you can read a free story by me online at Harlequin.com. Black Canyon Betrayal is part of my Ranger Brigade miniseries from Harlequin Intrigue, and for the next ten weeks you can read a new chapter each week here. And check out all the books in the series. bookbanner

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The Dark City is seeking crime and mystery short stories, 1,000 to 7,500 words. Editor and Publisher Steven Oliver is interested in stories that explore the dark underworld of crime and the immoral side of human nature. Currently he is particularly interested in stories set in the western U.S. with a basis in reality. Payment is $25 per story. See the guidelines here. 

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CBAY Books (Children’s Brains Are Yummy” is seeking stories about giants and ogres for an upcoming anthology aimed at readers 13 to 18 years old. Editor Madeline Smoot is looking for science fiction or fantasy stories of up to 5,000 words which feature a giant or ogre from a classic fairy tale, re-imagined in either a re-told fairy tale or a new story. Payment is $30 per story and the deadline for submissions is September 18. Learn more here.

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As always, feel free to share the information in this blog with others. Repost, reprint, retweet, etc. Please give me credit as the source of the information and include a link to this blog. For more about me, visit my websites here and here, or check me out on Facebook. 

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“Dialogue is not just quotation. It is grimaces, pauses, adjustments of blouse buttons, doodles on a napkin, and crossings of legs.” Jerome Stern
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If you’ve always wanted to write for televison. CBS’ Writers Mentoring Progam could be your ticket to realizing your dream. The program pairs aspiring television writers with a senior-level writer on an existing CBS series, plus a network executive for one-on-one coaching, networking and other opportunities to make contacts and develop your craft. Each candidate for the program must submit a one-hour or half-hour spec script for an existing CBS television series, plus an original pilot script, stage play or short story. The deadline to apply is May 1, 2015. For all the details, go here

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“Tales of the Grimoire” is a forthcoming anthology of erotic fiction for women. Publisher Ylva Publishing is seeking contributions of lesbian dark fiction featuring paranormal creatures such as werewolves, demons, trolls,vampires, etc. Stories may be any genre of erotic, including romance, humor and suspense and should be between 4,000 and 10,000 words. Payment is $40 per story. The deadline for submissions is May 31, 2015. See the guidelines here.

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aboveitallThe next chapters in my Eureka, Colorado stories go on sale at the end of May and June. Both books are available for pre-order now. The e-book only novella, Rocky Mountain Getaway, follows the story of Danielle and Janelle’s chance at the spotlight on a national cooking show. The book includes original recipes from the Last Dollar Cafe. At the end of June, Above It All follows Maggie and Jameso’s efforts to adjust to marriage and parenthood. while another resident of Eureka reveals a secret past. You can pre-order both books now.

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Harmony Ink is sponsoring a Young Author Challenge for LGBTQ youth writers, ages 14-21. Submit your 2,000 to 10,000 word short story showing a LGBTQ character who grows and changes during the course of the story. The deadline for submissions is May 1, 2015. Winners will be including in a special anthology, receive payment of $25. to $55, plus a critique from a professional author. Find all the details here.

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Red Moon Romance is a boutique publisher or romance and erotic romance. Assistant Editor Laura Harvey loves paranormal romance, including time travel and fantasy romance. She likes dark and edgy heroes and strong, smart heroines.

Assistant Editor Trish Thompson craves stories with well-developed characters and unexpected plot twists. She likes stories with humor and great storytelling.

Assistant Editor Cori Vidae  likes dark and twisted stories, and kink among consenting adults. She’d love to see an erotic steampunk romance or an erotic second-world fantasy.

Editor-in-Chief Eileen Wiedbrauk favors sexy paranormal, fantasy and science fiction romance. She likes stories with Alpha males and a sense of magic. Her favorite heroines are ordinary women who rise to the occasion in extraordinary circumstances. Among her likes: “Highlanders, shifters, dragons, plus-size heroines, vampires, dark fae, and hot humanoid aliens.”

Red Moon primarily publishes electronically. They do not pay advances, but pay 40% of net royalties. They accept novellas over 20,000 words and novels 50,000 to 100,000 words. See all of their detailed submission guidelines here.

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As always, feel free to share the information in this blog with others — repost, reprint, retweet. Please credit me as the source of the information and include a link to this blog. Find out more about me on my websites here and here, or on Facebook, or follow me on Twitter@CMyersTex. Thanks!  Cindi

I want to write books that unlock the traffic jam in everybody’s head.” John Updike

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If you know anything about beekeeping or have an interest in the hobby, this may be the contest for you. WicWas Press is assembling a bee-keeping themed anthology and they are looking for short stories and articles revolving around beekeeping. Submit your story of up to 1,500 words by March 1 for a chance to win the $500 first prize. There is no fee to enter. Find more details here.

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One Teen Story is acquiring literary short stories for young adults. One Teen Story publishes nine issues a year and each issue includes one short story, 2,000 to 4,500 words. From their guidelines: “stories should deal with the teen experience (issues of identity, friendship, family, coming-of-age, etc.) and should be geared primarily toward an audience of teen readers. With that in mind, gratuitous profanity, sex and drug use are best avoided. We’re open to all genres of literary fiction” They are open to submissions now through the end of April. Submit your story for readers 13 and older. They pay $500 per story. Find the guidelines here.

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Ellora’s Cave is searching for novellas for some upcoming anthology collections. Ellora’s Cave is a digital publisher known for “romantic” – erotic romance. They’re interested in the following themed submissions:

Screamers – erotic horror, 10,000 words + . Deadline, March 1, 2015 for publication in October 2015.

Women With Whips – FemDomme, 10,000 words +. Deadline August 1, 2105 for publication in March 2016.

Windswept Women – Erotic Gothic Romance, 18,000 words +. Deadline December 1, 2105 for publication in July 2016.

Find more details here.

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Romance Writers of America is assembling its second anthology to showcase work by RWA member. If you are a member, you may submit your romance short story, 5,000 to 7,000 words by March 12, 2015. The stories may be in any romance sub-genre, as long as they follow the theme of second chances. Sylvia Day will edit the collection, which will be released in the Spring of 2016. All proceeds benefit RWA programs. For more information go here.

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Rocky Mountain Getaway, a novella in my Eureka series, will be released May 26, but is available for pre-order now. This story features seven original recipes from the Last Dollar Cafe. Don’t miss it!

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Bouchercon, the annual convention for mystery writers and fans, is assembling an anthology of mystery short stories, “Murder Under the Oaks.” The only stipulation is that the story must contain a crime, not necessarily murder. Award-winning author Art Taylor will edit the collection. Stories should be between 3,500 and 5,500 words and should be made as blind submissions (instructions are in the guidelines). The deadline for submissions is March 1, 2015. Profits from this anthology benefit Wake County, North Carolina libraries. Get the details here.

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Fictionvale is a quarterly publication devoted to genre fiction. Most issues feature two genres of fiction, though some are open to all genres. Currently, the editors are open to submissions for the September 2015 issue, which will be devoted to Horror and Humor. Submit your story of up to 5,000 words by March 15, 2015. (Changed from the original March 1 – see the home page for details.) Payment is 2 cents a word. Get the guidelines here.

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As always, feel free to share the information in this blog with others — repost, reprint, retweet. Please credit me as the source of the information and include a link to this blog. Find out more about me on my websites here and here, or on Facebook, or follow me on Twitter@CMyersTex. Thanks!  Cindi

Writing is an exploration; you start from nothing and learn as you go.” E.L. Doctorow

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We Need Diverse Books is sponsoring a short story contest for middle grade stories. The winner will be published in an anthology “Stories For All of Us”, from Crown Books For Young Readers in January 2017. In addition to publication in the anthology, alongside writers such as Matt de la Pena and Grace Lin, the winner of the contest will receive $1000. Stories may be up to 5,000 words long, suitable for readers ages 8 to 12,  The story should be written by a writer from a diverse background ” including but not limited to, LGBTQIA, people of color, gender diversity, people with disabilities, and ethnic, cultural, and religious minorities currently marginalized in North America.”  Your story should include diverse characters, and must relate to the prompt “Once I began to read, I began to exist.” There is no fee to enter the contest. Entries must be received between April 27 and May 8, 2015. For all the details, go to the story page here. 

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The HerStories Project is seeking essays for a new feature, HerStories Voices. if you are a woman writer, you may submit your personal essay of up to 2000 words about an experience or moment that was transformative or that made you realize something important. Payment is $40 per essay. For more details, go here. 

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My first new historical romance in several years, written under my pseudonym Cynthia Sterling, is now available at your favorite ebook seller. Purchase Loving the Outlaw at Amazon, Barnes and Noble or your favorite ebook retailer.

LovingTheOutlawOTHERSITES

Spinster seamstress Laura Brown has a secret. Once the spoiled, privileged daughter of a banker, her life was destroyed by scandal when she fell in love with an outlaw. Disgraced in the aftermath of her lover’s arrest, she ran away and started life over in the small town of New Spring, Texas, where she’s slowly regained the peace and respectability she craved.

But her former lover Cole Randall is out of prison now and has tracked her to New Spring. Unnerved by her lingering attraction to Cole, Laura resists his attentions. But when a bullet meant for her strikes Cole, Laura finds herself back under his spell. Will loving the outlaw destroy Laura again, or will it restore her to the only life worth living?

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Mystery/Crime writers who live in Connecticutt, Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts or Rhode Island may be interested in submitting to Level Best Book’s 2015 Short Story Anthology. The editors are interested in crime stories by writers from these states, ” mystery, thriller, suspense, caper, and horror. (No torture/killing of children or animals.)” Stories may be up to 5,000 words and may not have been previously published. The deadline for submissions is April 30, 2015. Payment is $25. For more details go here.
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 Canadian publisher Morning Rain is actively searching for romantic short stories between 5,000 and 10,000 words, for a Valentine’s Day anthology, to be published February 13, 2015. The deadline for submissions is January 26, 2015. The stories should be romantic and passionate, but no erotica, please. They only accept submissions from Canadian writers. For more information, go here.
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As always, feel free to share the information in this newsletter with others– reprint, repost, retweet. Please give me credit as the source, and include a link to this blog. Thank you!  Cindi

“It took me fifteen years to discover I had no talent for writing, but I couldn’t give it up because by that time I was too famous.” ~Robert Benchley

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Ravenous Romance is open to romance novel submissions of 50,000 to 60,000 words and short stories of 2500 to 5000 words. The editors are interested in erotic romance with a happily-ever-after or happy-for-now ending. They publish all sub-genres of erotic romance, including contemporary, paranormal, lesbian and menage. They look for compelling plots, interesting characters and hot sex. Ravenous is a digital -first publisher; some titles also go into print. They pay royalties. For more details, visit them here. 

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Siren-Bookstrand is a romance e-publisher that has been in business since 2006. They publish in both digital and print formats. They publish a variety of sub-genres under fourteen imprints, including contemporary mainstream romance, erotic romance, BDSM, menage, lesbian and gay romance. Word count: 20,000 words and up. They pay 40% royalties on a quarterly basis. Get all the details here.

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Publisher Supposed Crimes, LLC is assembling a new anthology, Young Love, Old Hearts, featuring LGBT May/December relationships. All sub-genres are welcome. Submit your 2500 to 8000 word story by the deadline of February 28, 2015. Payment is $40 per story. Find the details here.

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The Stoneslide Corrective is a new online literary ezine seeking submissions of short stories and flash fiction. The editors welcome stories in any genre. ” The important factor for us is that the work use story, characters, emotions, and other fundamental elements of storytelling to think, to ask questions, to move the mind forward.” You can read examples of stories they like on their site. Short stories may be up to 7,500 words. Flash fiction should be 1,000 and under. Payment is $250 for short stories and $100 for flash fiction. Read the submission guidelines here.

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While you’re at the Stoneslide Corrective site, be sure to check out their Rejection Generator. As they put it ” We at The Stoneslide Corrective have generously developed an online Rejection Generator, through which you can send yourself some of the nastiest, dream-crushing rejection letters imaginable. After that, real rejection will be no more stinging than a glass of lemonade.”

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ALong,SweetRideOTHERSITESI’ve recently re-released my previously published historical romances as ebooks, under my pen name, Cynthia Sterling. Check out A Long, Sweet Ride. A cowboy and a trick rider find love in a Wild West Show.

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As always, feel free to share the information in this blog with others. Please give me credit as the source, and include a link to this blog. To find out more about me and my books, visit my websites here and here. Or find me on Facebook.

 

 

 

 

 

“For your born writer, nothing is so healing as the realization that he has come upon the right word.”
—Catherine Drinker Bowen

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Happy Thanksgiving to all my US Readers. I hope you have a peacful, rewarding holiday. This is a slow time of year for market news, but I do have a few items to share:

 

For writers of horror fiction, Blumhouse Books is a new imprint of Doubleday books, set to publish dark fiction and horror from both new and established writers. They plan to launch in the summer of 2015 with an anthology, The Blumhouse Book of Nightmares: The Haunted City. Right now they’re sponsoring a short story contest — the winner will be published in the anthology. Submit your urban horror story of less than 2,000 words by December 1, 2014. Six finalists will be posted online for the public to vote on, with the winner announced in early January. Get all the details here.

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Month9Books, a published of speculative fiction for teens and tweens, is accepting unagented submissions for its Month9 and Tantrum imprints. Month9 focuses on YA fiction,while Tantrum publishes for middle grade readers. The editors are interested in ” fantasy, sci-fi, horror, paranormal, steampunk, dystopian, etc.” Submit your query via Facebook. Find all the details here. 

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I’ve reissued all of my historical romances in new ebook editions, under my pseudonym, Cynthia ToLoveALadyOTHERSITESSterling. If you enjoy historical western romance, check out my titles on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and other e-tailers. One title you might start with is To Love A Lady, the first in my Titled Texans trilogy, about three British brothers who establish a cattle ranch on the Texas plains, and the women who love them. Combining humor, emotion and rich historical detail, these books have long been fan favorites. To Love a Lady is only 99 cents, or you can purchase all three titles in a boxed set for $5.99. I also have a number of other Cynthia Sterling titles available, so check them out. And thanks!

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Do you have a romantic, post-apocolyptic story? Good Mourning Media is assembling a collection of post-apocolyptic romantic short stories for an upcoming anthology “No Place For Us.” Submit your story of up to 15,000 words by the deadline of January 31, 2015. Payment is $30 per story. Get the details here. 

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“Love in the Time of Coffee” is another anthology looking for romance short stories. Send your romantic story of 2,000 to 4,000 words that involves coffee — a coffee shop, brewing coffee, a coffee plantation — whereever you imagination takes you, to Frisky Feminist Press. Stories may have erotic elements, but it’s not required, and the editors want romance, not erotica. The deadline is December 1, 2014. Payment is $25 plus royalties from the anthology. Find out how to submit here.

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As always, feel free to share the items in this newsletter with others — reprint, repost, reblog. All I ask is that you credit me as the source, and include a link to this blog. If you want to know more about me, check out my websites here and here, or find me on FacebookT. Thanks!

 

If there’s a book you really want to read but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.” ~Toni Morrison

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Writers of traditional myteries may be eligible for the  William F. Deeck-Malice Domestic Grants Program for Unpublished Writers, awarded by Malice Domestic each year. Two grants will be awarded. Each grant consists of $1,500, to be used to offset the cost of attending a writers conference or workshop in the coming year. The winners will also receive conference registration and two nights lodging for the Malice Domestic convention. Unpublished writers must submit the first three chapters and a brief synopsis of a mystery manuscript, along with an application, a resume and a letter of reference. There is no cost to enter. The original deadline for entries (and the date still listed on the Malice Domestic site) is November 15, but the deadline has been extended to December 15. Get all the details here.

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The First Line publishes fiction created using first lines posted by the editors each quarter. Submit your story utilizing the designated first line and your story could be published in an upcoming issue of the quarterly fiction magazine. Stories should be 300 to 5,000 words, and payment is $25 to $50. The First Line is open to stories in all genres, but each story must begin with that quarter’s first line. They’ve posted the following first lines for 2015:

Spring:
Fairy tales hardly ever come true for quiet girls.
Due date: February 1, 2015

Summer:
Laura liked to think she was honest with herself; it was everyone else she lied to.
Due date: May 1, 2015

Fall:
The old neighborhood was nearly unrecognizable.
Due date: August 1, 2015

Winter:
George pressed the call button and said, “Mrs. Whitfield, you have a visitor.”
Due date: November 1, 2015

Find all the submission details here. 

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Sci-Fi Romance Quarterly is seeking story submissions for its next issue. Stories must include both science fiction and romance elements and must have an upbeat, romantic ending. Send your story of  2,000 to 7,000 words by the deadline of December 1, 2014. Payment is 2 cents a word. Find the details here.

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Riptide Publishing, a publisher of LBGTQ fiction, romance and erotica, is now open to unagented as well as agented submissions. Manuscripts should be from 15,000 to 115,000 words and must be complete. In addition to general fiction and romance, the editors have issued special calls for the following themes:

Shifters and Weres – 50,000 to 110,000 paranormal romance stories, any heat level. Deadline Jan 1, 2015

Lesbian romance — any sub-genre, 50,000 to 110,000 words. Deadline March 1, 2015

Shades of the Rainbow — stories featuring trans, bi, queer, etc — any orientation other than gay and lesbian, 25,000 to         110,000 words, Deadline March 1, 2015.

Sweet romance — stories featuring all types of characters, but no sex. Teen-appropriate, though characters don’t have to be teens themselves. 25,000 to 110,000 words, Deadline March 1, 2015

*punk — send your steampunk, diesel punk, cyber punk, etc story of 25,000 to 115,000 words. These should be romances with a HEA or HFN (happy for now) ending. Deadline March 1, 2015

Get all the details about these special calls here. 

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For a limited time, the ebook edition of The Mountain Between Us is on sale for only $2.99. Enjoy the holidays in the tiny mountain town of Eureka, Colorado, as the residents ban together to celebrate in style. This book was a finalist for the Colorado Book Award this year. Buy the book at Amazon here, for Nook here, and check your favorite ebook retailer.

Mountainbetweencoversmall

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As always, feel free to share this information with others. All I ask is that you credit me as the source and provide a link to this blog. If you want to know more about me and my books, check out my websites here or here and like me on Facebook here. 

 

 

 

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