This week I’m continuing my recaps of publisher spotlights from the Romance Writers of America annual conference in New York City with a look at Pocket and Gallery Books.

The Spotlight on Pocket and Gallery Books featured videos, podcasts snippets, games and giveaways. Editorial Director Lauren McKenna, Executive Editor Adam Wilson, Executive Editor Miki Nuding and Editor Abby Ziedel presented the workshop.  Pocket and Gallery are divisions of Simon and Schuster.

Adam Wilson spoke about Gallery Books. Gallery publishes a number of best-selling authors. He spoke about these authors and their upcoming books. Gallery publishes a lot of pop-culture and celebrity non-fiction, but they also do a lot of romance, both historical and contemporary.

Lauren McKenna talked about Pocket Star, Pocket Gallery’s digital first division. They publish four to five titles a month. Each book has its own publicist and marketing plan. They do originals and reprints. They publish romance, erotica, urban fantasy, new adult and some mystery and thrillers.

Abby Ziedel talked about XOXO After Dark, Pocket’s romance website.  This includes a showroom for Pocket Star. The website encourages reader engagement with free reads and excerpts, contests, and author blogs. They also do a weekly podcast in which the editors talk romance, pop culture and anything that captures their attention. Sometimes they interview authors.

Miki Nuding talked about Pocket Books, which celebrated its 90th anniversary last year. Pocket publishes all different genres of romance. She, like the other editors, reviewed a list of Pocket authors and their new releases.

The editors spoke briefly about their wish lists.

Abby doesn’t like kids in books, but she loves dogs, cats and horses. She would love to see a story about a virus in a submarine.

Lauren loves “hot, dark, screwed-up heroes” in any genre. She likes paranormal, though it’s a hard sell these days. She loves contemporary romance.

Miki loves a really good, emotional story – especially if you can make her laugh.

Adam also loves humor. He would like to see more stories out of geek culture.

Pocket Gallery accepts agented submissions only.


My free online read, Black Canyon Betrayal, continues this week with Chapter Two. You can read all the chapters posted to date at any time here. Black Canyon Betrayal is part of my Ranger Brigade miniseries for Harlequin Intrigue. bookbanner


Lee and Low Books is sponsoring a New Visions Award for middle grade and young adult writers of color. First prize is $1000 and a publishing contract with Tu Books, Lee and Low’s YA and MG imprint. There is no fee to enter. Manuscripts should be appropriate for children 8 to 12 or young adults 12 to 18. The work may be in any fiction genre, but the editors are particularly interested in science fiction and fantasy. Each author may submit up to two entries. For detailed how-tos and more about Lee and Low Books, go here. The deadline for entries is October 31, 2015.


Anderbo.com is sponsoring the RRofihe Trophy short story contest. Submit your previously unpublished short story of between 3,500 and 5,000 words by the deadline of October 15, 2015 for a chance at the $500 prize and the Rrofihe Trophy. There is no fee to enter the contest, which will be judged by multi-published short story author Rick Rofihe. For all the details go here. .


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. 

“You don’t start out writing good stuff. You start out writing crap and thinking it’s good stuff, and then gradually you get better at it. That’s why I say one of the most valuable traits is persistence.”

Octavia Butler


The podcast Selected Shorts is sponsoring the Stella Kupferberg Memorial Short Story Prize for 2015. Submit your short story of 750 words or less on any theme by March 15, 2015. There is a $25 fee to enter. I usually don’t include contests that charge fees in this blog, but since this is a fundraiser for Public Radio (and since Selected Shorts is one of my favorite podcasts) I’m making an exception here. The winner receives $1000, publication of their story on ElectricLiterature.com, a 10-week Gotham Writer’s course of their choice, and a performance of their story to be recorded and broadcast nationally on Public Radio. Find all the information you need to enter here. 


Chicago-area writers may enter the Chicago Reader’s competition for inclusion in their 15th annual fiction reader. Submit your short story (preferred length, up to 3,000 words) in any genre. Use the online form and submit by November 15. The Chicago Reader pays for the stories it publishes and there is no submission fee. Find all the details here. 


The Wyoming Arts Council is sponsoring a contest for women writers who live in Wyoming. Submit your poetry, prose, or screenplay by November 17, 2014 for a chance at the $1,000 first prize in the Frank Nelson Doubleday Memorial Writing Award. Submit up to 10 pages of poetry, 25 pages of prose or 25 pages of a screenplay.The first place winner will also receive money to attend the Casper College Literary Conference to read her work. Find all the details here.


Darkhouse Books is putting together an anthology of historical mystery and crime stories. Editor Andrew MacRae is seeking stories from 2500 to 7500 words set in a time period “more than a few decades prior to the present.” The deadline for submissions is December 31, 2014. Get the details here. 


Look for the new mass market paper edition of The Mountain Between Us on sale at a WalMart near you. With a new cover and a special low price, this is a great way to dive into my popular Eureka, Colorado series. (Think Northern Exposure in the Rocky Mountains.


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

“It is by sitting down to write every morning that one becomes a writer.”  Gerald Brenan


Minotaur Books and Mystery Writers of America are sponsoring a First Crime Novel Competition. Authors who have never had a novel published may enter their crime novel of at least 60,000 words. The story must center around murder or another serious crime. The winner receives a $10,000 advance against royalties and publication by Minotaur Books. The deadline to enter is December 17, 2012. Get all the details here.


Minotaur and Malice Domestic are partnering to sponsor the Best First Traditional Mystery Novel competition. Enter your best traditional mystery of at least 60,000 words. For this contest, Minotaur defines a traditional mystery as a story that revolves around a murder or other serious crime. The crime is an extraordinary event in the lives of the characters. The victim and the suspects know each other and the characters in the story are ordinary people the reader would be interested in knowing. The number of suspects is limited and each has a credible motive and reasonable opportunity to have committed the crime. The detective may be amateur or professional, but isn’t “hard-boiled.” The story doesn’t feature graphic violence. The dealine to enter is October 17, 2012 . First prize is publication by Minotaur and a $10,000 advance. Find the details here.


Time for another new cover reveal. Great Caesar’s Ghost is a poignant, ghostly romance set at at turn-of-the-century hot springs resort.

A traveling showman like Caesar Hawkins isn’t about to let his own death come between him and his son Jed’s happiness. Unfortunately, the famous cure-all elixer he left behind can’t ease the incurable malady of the young man’s lonely heart. Jed needs something more potent than tonic. Something a little sweeter…
Nixie Dengler knows the toll a rambling man can take on a vulnerable woman’s heart. So what does she see in another rambler like Jed? Actually, it’s what she doesn’t see that’s drawing them together. Can a matchmaking spirit unite two earthly souls in love?
Expanded Horizons is an online speculative fiction magazine that seeks to publish stories featuring “under-represented peoples.” They’re looking for stories by and about characters you don’t see as often in speculative fiction — native peoples, disabled persons, gay, lesbian, bisexual, asexual and transgendered persons, minorities and any “different” people. They accept stories up to 6,000 words and pay $30. They have detailed and specific writer’s guidelines here.
MsLexia is an online ezine “for women who write.” The editors are currently looking for short stories on the theme of “The Affair.” “short stories (up to 2,200 words each) on the bliss, buffetting or sheer banality of a love affair.” Deadline for entries is September 17, 2012. There’s no fee to enter, and MsLexia will pay for any entries it decides to publish. Find all the details here.
MsLexia is also sponsoring a Children’s Novel Competition. Submit your novel of 30,000 words or more. First prize is 5000 British pounds. The deadline to enter is September 10, 2012. Find all the details for this competition here.
As always, feel free to share the information in this blog. All I ask is that you give me credit as the sourse, and include a link to the blog. Thank you. Cindi Myers

The Woman Who Loved Jesse James is on sale now! Find the print copy here and the Kindle copy here. Other ebook versions will be showing up for sale in the next few days. I would really appreciate it if you would stop by the links and hit the “Like” button, and maybe click on a few tags. This helps move the book up in the Amazon search engine and is a quick, painless way to support an author. (Of course, I love it if you bought the book too!)


Harlequin Books has purchased Barbour Publishing’s Heartsong Presents line of inspirational romance. Heartsong produced four books a month, sold first to bookclub subscribers, then repackaged and distributed to retail outlets. Harlequin already publishes the Love Inspired line of inspirational romances. No word yet on whether Harlequin will be making any changes to the Heartsong program.


Adam’s Media, a long-time publisher of nonfiction books — everything from gift books and humor to cookbooks and calendars — has plans to launch an e-book only romance fiction line. Editor Jennifer Lawler is looking for contemporary and historical romance, paranormal romance, erotic romance and romantic suspense manuscripts, 60,000 to 80,000 words. Send your pitch letter (no attachments) to jennifer@jenniferlawler.com.


I’m blogging at http://www.bellbridgebooksblog.com/?p=1614 — all about Jesse James. Stop by and add your comments.


Musa Publishing hosts a quarterly Young Adult Writing Contest for writers ages 11-21. First prize is publication by Musa Books.  Each contest has a theme. The theme for the first quarter 2012 is Fantasy and the deadline for entries is March 1, 2012. Submit your short story, 1,500 to 7,500 words. There is no fee to enter. Find out all the details here.


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


“Writing every day is a way of keeping the engine running, and then something good may come out of it.”  T.S. Eliot

Happy New Year to you all. Do you have any writing resolutions for the New Year? I have several projects I hope to tackle in the New Year. I’m busy clearing my desk this week so I can start fresh in 2010. Do any of you have resolutions you’d like to share?


InnerVision Books is an epublishing company founded this summer by veteran romance author Donna Hill and her business partner, Pittershawn Palmer. InnerVision is open to submissions of novels featuring African-American and multi-cultural characters. From their website: “Our vision for our fiction both literary and contemporary fiction is to create a new genre which we call “Reality Fiction.” These stories encompass cross-cultural topics such as societal, familial, religious, political concepts, no matter the genre.  Main character: one must be African American the other must be of a different ethnic group.  Characters must be taken out of their comfort zones, i.e., an African America who finds themselves involved with an Amish character… how the two lifestyles clash but evolve making them evolve as well.  (ex. “Witness” featuring Harrison Ford), i.e., and African American character who finds themselves forced to confront someone with HIV when their mindset has been pure homophobic ex., “Philadelphia.”  An African American who has moved from their day to day setting to live in another country or community.”  Novels should be at least 225 pages, novellas 100 pages. They also publish erotica. See their writer’s guidelines for all the details.


Her Christmas Wish (Harlequin American Romance Series) is still available in stores and online. And coming next week, you’ll be able to buy copies of my two new books, The Father for Her Son (Harlequin Superromance) and Baby, It’s Cold Outside: Blame It on the Blizzard\Deep Freeze\Melting Point  In January, I’ll be doing a blog tour to promote my books. I’ll post schedule updates here. Please stop by and say hello when you can.


The Bristol Short Story Competition welcomes entries from the UK and throughout the world. Entry fee is 7 pounds (about $11 at current currency rates). Prizes will be awarded: 

Ist- £500 plus £150 Waterstone’s gift card

2nd- £350 plus £100 Waterstone’s gift card

3rd- £ 200 plus £100 Waterstone’s gift card

The other 17 writers who feature on the shortlist will be presented with a cheque for £50.

All 20 shortlisted stories will be published in Volume 3 of the Bristol Short Story Prize Anthology.

Stories may be in any genre, no longer than 300 words. You may submit via email. The dealine to enter is March 31. See their guidelines for all the details.