Melissa Alvarez

Bestselling Author, Instructor, and Intuitive Coach

Haunted Bloggy Carnival is Here! Over $3700.00 In Prizes! International Too! October 27, 2008

Welcome to the Bitten by Books Haunted Bloggy Carnival Spooktacular event! The carnival starts at 8:00 am Central time October 27th ALL WEEK and ends on November 2nd at 11:59 pm Pacific time. Comments will be enabled at that time so you won’t be able to post until then. ;)

The winners will be contacted and announced sometime the week of the 3rd. You will have to give us some time to sort through all of the hundreds of entries. Thanks for your patience on this.

Hang on to your seats and keyboards because we have a line up of prize contributions like we have never seen before. Right now we have over $3700.00 in prizes up for grabs!! AND another $2317.00 in prizes at our sister site Weird Stuff In My Desk! Check those prizes out here: http://weirdstuffinmydesk.com/?p=176. If we don’t have enough prizes for your blood, remember to visit all of the other participating blogs at the main Bloggy Carnival page here.

Keep checking back here, because the list will GROW eerily larger as more companies join in on the Haunted Blog Carnival fun! If you would like to contribute a prize and promote your books or business, please email us through our CONTACT FORM.

Now I bet you are wondering just how you can win some of this spectacular loot! There are a TON of ways to win. Do to different states laws you MUST be 18 to enter. You do NOT have to have a blog to participate.

OH!! and if you like FREE STUFF, be sure to stop by our Freeibies Page!

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CONTEST INFO

Readers, here’s how to enter the contest. You can do ONE OR ALL of these things, and each one will give an additional entry and thus MORE chances to win. Check next to each contributors page to see if there are MORE ways you can get chances win.

1. Join the NEW Bitten By Books Community and start a page to talk about all things paranormal fiction! Meet authors, join in on upcoming contests an more! You can have your own blog where you can post about THIS contest (and that gets you an entry). You can start groups and chat in our forums as well as participate in live chat. Best of all it is FREE. Paranormal authors come and start fan page for yourself! Here’s the link! Sign up and join in the fun!
http://bittenbybooks.ning.com/
You get 10 additional entries for joining our community!

2. SUBSCRIBE to our newsletter here on the right hand side of the site. You MUST verify your subscription via the email the site will send you. Unverified subscribers will not be entered into the contest. This option is for new subscribers only.

3. Post this blog post in it’s entirety with a link to our contest on your blog, groups, forums or websites and you will be given FIVE additional entries to win for EACH place you post. You MUST post the links where you have shared the info in one response here in this thread. The more places you post the event, the more entries you get, so spread the word! NOTE: Don’t worry if your post doesn’t show up right away or you get an error message, the spam filter on the site will catch it if there are too many links. I will approve your posts so no need to worry, if this happens please don’t post your list multiple times. Check back later in the week to see if it is up.

4. Make a purchase between 10/27-11/2 from ANY or all of the retailers / book sellers participating on our page (see list below) and send us a copy of the receipt for your purchase to: racoo.smith @ gmail.com (no spaces) for an additional FIVE entries. You get entries for every purchase you make. Be SURE to put BBB Contest Entry in the subject line so it doesn’t get lost in our spam filter. NOT valid on past purchases.

5. Check every contributor’s prize listing below for a way to gain additional entries. This is an easy way to get more chances and really increase your chances to WIN!

6. Add us as your friend on Myspace: http://www.myspace.com/bittenbybooks

7. Add us as your friend on Facebook: http://www.new.facebook.com/profile.php?id=614064436

8. Follow us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/BittenbyBooks

Be sure to mention that you are friending us for this contest so we know to enter you! ;)

9. Stumble, Digg or share the post with any social networking sites. There is a button right at the end of this post that says “Share” that you can use. :)

10. Twitter the URL for this event throughout the week: http://bittenbybooks.com/?p=1526

11. Add Bitten by Books to your blog roll or links page: http://bittenbybooks.com if you leave our link up permanently you will always be entered into our contests automatically. Just be sure to stop by each contest we hold and leave the link to where it is.

12. Invite ALL of your friends! If your fiends come and post here and say you sent them, they get TWO entries and you get TWO entries! They have to tell us who you are so we know who to give the entries to. You can invite as many people as you want and get all the extra entries!

13. Read through the Bitten by Books blog and find your favorite review and come back here and post the LINK to it. One favorite review per contestant please.

Be sure you leave a valid email and your name AND COUNTRY when posting here so we can contact you if you are the winner. We will contact the winners and request your first/last name and a valid email which we will give to the retailer whose prize you have one. It is up to the individual retailers to award your prizes. If we do not hear back from winners within one week of contacting you, you prize will be forfeited and an alternate winner will be chosen. We reserve the right to delete any inappropriate or inflammatory remarks or comments. Bitten by Books is NOT liable for prizes that are not delivered, awarded or lost in the mail. It is the sole responsibility of each contributor to honor their prize obligation.

And last but certainly not least A BIG thank you to our fabulous contributors!!

Here is the list of AMAZING prizes you are trying to win!

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The GRAND PRIZE up for grabs this time around is a brand NEW Compaq iPAQ 3955 Color Pocket PC!!! Valued at $400.00!!

Been craving a way to read all of those awesome e-books out on the market? Well, enter to win this baby the week of October 27-31st, and your dreams may come true. This amazing prize has been contributed by the multi-talented author Ciana Stone. Visit her website today http://www.cianastone.com/ and be sure to sign up for her other contest. This site does contain adult content and you must be 18 to enter. Ciana is willing to ship this prize within the US and Internationally! *** For an additional contest entry go to Ciana’s site, find the book gallery. Pick a title you would like to read and then come back and post a LINK to that book’s page here. Only one book choice is necessary.

Hachette Book Group – 5 sets of the following TEN books (5 winners win all ten titles). Shipping to the US and Canada, NO P.O. Boxes please. Valued at $764.50
THE HERETIC’S DAUGHTER By Kathleen Kent
ISOLATION By Travis Thrasher
THE 13 BEST HORROR STORIES OF ALL TIME By Leslie Pockell
THE MONSTERS: Mary Shelley and the Curse of Frankenstein By Dorothy Hoobler , Thomas Hoobler
THE MYRTLES PLANTATION: The True Story of America’s Most Haunted House By Frances Kermeen
GHOSTLY ENCOUNTERS: True Stories of America’s Haunted Inns and Hotels By Frances Kermeen
THE TERROR By Dan Simmons
DRACULA By Bram Stoker
WHEN GHOSTS SPEAK: Understanding the World of Earthbound Spirits By Mary Ann Winkowski
THE HISTORIAN By Elizabeth Kostova
http://www.hachettebookgroupusa.com/
*** For an additional contest entry to win go to the Hachette Book Group site and pick any book you would like to read, then come back and post a LINK to that book here. Only one book choice is necessary.

Sue Durkin – An incredible prize package including a 1 hour intuitive consultation worth $80.00 and a copy of her book worth $14.95 to TWO winners. Valued at $189.90. Will ship the book internationally. I can do a long distance call 24/7 in the USA and Canada. International readings will have to be in email or messaging, unless they wish to call her.
http://rebootyourlife.suesunshine.com/
“I do intuitive readings/consultations and I am the author of Life is Like Making Chocolate Chip Cookies.”
*** For an additional contest entry go Sue’s site, find the services page. Pick a service you would like to have and then come back and post a LINK to that page here and tell us which service package you wish you could have. Only one choice is necessary.

Marr Williams – $130.00 credit towards a blog customization. International customers welcome.
http://www.13pumpkins.com/
“Web and graphic design company that specializes in small business blogs and web sites.”
*** For an additional contest entry go Marr’s site, find the portfolio page. Pick your favorite design and then come back and post a LINK to that page here. Only one choice is necessary.

Melissa Alvarez – $100.00 gift certificate good for a reading at her website. for any reading or service that I offer. It can be used in any combination – ten single questions or one general reading and a yes/no question etc.
http://blog.melissaa.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/2pespy.jpga-psychic-haven/
*** For an additional contest entry go Melissa’s site, find the store page. Pick a service you would like to have and then come back and post a LINK to that page here AND tell us which service you wish you could have. Only one choice is necessary.

Aspen Mountain Press – $100.00 in gift certificates to their online site. 4 winners will be drawn each will win a $25.00 gift certificate.
http://www.aspenmountainpress.com/
“Adventure, Mystery, Passion”
*** For an additional contest entry to win go to the Aspen Mountain Press site and pick any book you would like to read, then come back and post a LINK to that book here. Only one book choice is necessary.

Mundania Press – 4 $25 gift certificates for the Mundania Press site. Four winners.
http://www.mundania.com/
“Science fiction, fantasy, and horror from talented authors.”
*** For an additional contest entry to win go to the Mundania Press site and pick any book you would like to read, then come back here and post a LINK to that book. Only one book choice is necessary.

Bitten by Books Review Staff – 2 electronic copies of the epic story “Nothing But Red”. This is not a paranormal story, but it is a book with a collection of stories that impacts women worldwide. The review team of BBB would like to spread the word about this important work and encourage each of you to purchase your own print or e-book copy of “Nothing But Red” in support of woman and ultimately humankind. About the book:
“In April 2007, a group of men pulled seventeen-year-old Du’a Khalil Aswad into a mob. They proceeded to stone and beat her to death, a supposed “honor” killing for allegedly falling in love with a man of a different faith. Several camera phones recorded the entire incident from the front row, and videos later surfaced online. One month later, popular filmmaker Joss Whedon expressed his despair and outrage at the misogyny in all cultures on a fan-run blog. “Because it’s no longer enough to be a decent person,” he wrote. “It’s no longer enough to shake our heads and make concerned grimaces at the news. True enlightened activism is the only thing that can save humanity from itself. I’ve always had a bent towards apocalyptic fiction, and I’m beginning to understand why. I look and I see the earth in flames. Her face was nothing but red.” The arts anthology Nothing But Red was conceived as a way to raise both awareness of the issues he spoke of, as well as money for the charity Equality Now.” Buy the book here: http://stores.lulu.com/nothingbutred
If you purchase a copy of this book and send us the reciept, you will get TWENTY additional entries!

Lyda’s Pen – Contributing Three Prizes -1 Sterling Silver Necklace Heart – Valued at $20.00, 1 Sterling Silver Pair of Earrings with Matching Necklace Valued at $40.00 and a prize package including 1 Sterling Silver Necklace, Rectangle Turquoise Stone with Christine Feehan’s Book “Deadly Game” valued at $27.99. US shipping only
http://lydaspen.wordpress.com/
“Lyda’s Poison Pen, where the Pen is mightier than the sanity.”
*** For an additional contest entry to win go to Lyda’s Blog and pick your favorite post, then come back and post a LINK to that post here. Only one choice is necessary.

Bauble Bath – One Holiday Gift basket valued at $75.00 with 3 scrubs (Candy Cane, Sugar Plum, Gingerbread). We three Kings bauble set (3 scented with Frankincense and Myrh). Holiday Candy Bauble set ( 8 mini baubles in a variety of “candy” fragrances ), Snowmen and Penguin bath melts. 2 soaps in cinnamon and Honey almond and 3 Lip Balms. Shipping to the US and Canada.
http://baublebath.com/
“Thick Creamy scrubs as well as bath bombs in indulgent fragrances.”
*** For an additional contest entry to win go to the Bauble Bath site and pick any product you would like to own, then come back here and post a LINK to that product. Only one choice is necessary.

Minnette Meador – Autographed copies of four books! Including: Starsight Volume I, Starsight Volume II (epic fantasy), The Centurion & The Queen, and The Edge of Honor (historical romance – available December 2008). Valued at $75.00. US shipping only.
http://www.minnettemeador.com/
“My worlds…real or imagined…”
*** For an additional contest entry to win go to Minette’s site and pick any book you would like to read, then come back here and post a LINK to that book. Only one book choice is necessary.

Brenna Lyons – Brenna is offering PDF copies of every e-book release she has in 2009 to one winner (approx $50 value) and one signed print book of choice to a second winner (approx $15 value). Shipping to US and Canada only.
http://www.brennalyons.com/
“Brenna writes milieu-heavy dark fantasy, science fiction and horror books, straight genre through erotic romance; all winners of Brenna’s materials should be age 18 or over.”
*** For an additional contest entry to win go to Brenna’s site and pick any book you would like to read, then come back here and post a LINK to that book. Only one book choice is necessary.

M.J. Rose – Two sets of the Reincarnationist Series by bestselling author M.J. Rose, including a copy of THE REINCARNATIONIST (paperback edition) and THE MEMORIST (hardback edition). Two winners. Valued over $60.00. US shipping only.
http://mjrose.com/content/index.asp
“Gripping… Rose once again skillfully blends past and present with a new set of absorbing characters in a fascinating historical locale.” –Library Journal, starred review.
*** For an additional contest entry to win go to M.J.’s site find the book page and pick any book you would like to read, then come back here and post a LINK to the page and the book title. Only one book choice is necessary.

Dahlia Rose – A tote bag with an autographed copy of each of her books. Paradise Found, Velvet Leather and Roses, When Angels Falls, Sensual Bites and The Collettes Trilogy. Valued at $55.00. US shipping only.
http://www.thedecadenceofdahlia.com
“Bestselling Author of Contemporary Erotica”
*** For an additional contest entry to win go to the Dahlia’s site and find her book page, then pick any book you would like to read, then come back here and post a LINK to that book. Only one book choice is necessary.

Bad Girlz Bath Co. – A $50.00 gift certificate to their online store. US shipping only.
http://badgirlzbath.com/
“We’re the Passionate bath & body company. Check us out. We’re NOT your mothers bath & body shop, We’re Lot’s more Fun!!”
*** For an additional contest entry to win go to the Bad Girlz Bath site and pick any product you would like to own, then come back here and post a LINK to that product. Only one choice is necessary.

Kettlepot Soap – A $50.00 gift certificate to their online store. Shipping to US and Canada.
http://www.kettlepotsoap.com/
“There’s something magical about Kettlepot Soap! Natural, handcrafted products for skin care.”
*** For an additional contest entry to win go to the Kettle Pot Soap site and pick any product you would like to own, then come back here and post a LINK to that product. Only one choice is necessary.

Amanda Young – Gift Basket, including autographed copies of Missing in Action, Temperature’s Rising and other goodies, valued at $50.00. US shipping only
http://www.amandayoung.org/**Adult Content**
“Romance Without Inhibition”
*** For an additional contest entry to win go to the Amanda’s site and pick any book you would like to read, then come back here and post a LINK to that book. Only one book choice is necessary.

The Pen & Muse – 1 Apple IPod 1GB shuffle (winners choice in color).
http://thepenmuse.blogspot.com/
“The Pen & Muse blog is dedicated to writers who enjoy reading about a variety of things from new technology, book reviews, author interviews, and writing tips.”
*** For an additional contest entry to win go to the Pen & Muse Blog and pick your favorite post, then come back and post a LINK to that post here. Only one choice is necessary.

Katie Bug aka Domestic Diva – $20.00 Amazon.com Gift Card
http://katiebugdomesticdiva.blogspot.com/
“My own site where I post anything that pops into my head.”
*** For an additional contest entry to win go to Katie Bug’s Blog and pick your favorite post, then come back and post a LINK to that post here. Only one choice is necessary.

Eternal Press – 3 Halloween e-books. Three winners will be drawn each will win a choice of one of their Halloween titles. Valued at $17.85.
http://www.eternalpress.ca/
“Eternal Press offers quality ebooks at an affordable price. We’re not just a publisher; we’re family.”
*** For an additional contest entry to win go to the Eternal Press site and pick any book you would like to read, then come back and post a LINK to that book here. Only one book choice is necessary.

Ann Tracy Marr – $15.00 Amazon.com Gift Card
http://www.anntracymarr.com/
“Romance with a splash of magic”
*** For an additional contest entry to win go to Ann’s site and pick any book you would like to read, then come back here and post the name of that book. Only one book choice is necessary.

Sidhe Na Daire – 1 eBook copy of Yesterday’s Dreams, 1 Autographed set of Yesterday’s Dreams and Tomorrow’s Memories and 1 eBook copy of Tomorrow’s Memories. Three prizes, three winners will be drawn. Valued at $44.00. US shipping only.
http://www.sidhenadaire.com/promoTM.htm
Celebrate the Launch of Danielle Ackley-McPhail’s Long-Awaited novel Tomorrow’s Memories, the sequel to Yesterday’s Dreams. Also, see webpage for details on how you could win a replica Scottish Claymore.
*** For an additional contest entry to win go to the Sidhe Na Daire site, find the book page and pick any book you would like to read, then come back here and post a LINK to that book. Only one book choice is necessary.

Judith Rochelle – $25.00 Amazon.com Gift Card
http://www.judithrochelle.com/
“At my web site you’ll find sizzling romantic suspense”
*** For an additional contest entry to win go to Judith’s site find the book page and pick any book you would like to read, then come back here and post a LINK to that book. Only one book choice is necessary.

Desiree Holt – $25.00 gift certificate to Total-e-bound
http://www.desireeholt.com/**Adult Content**
“Visit Desiree and check out her hot erotic romance”
*** For an additional contest entry to win go to Desiree’s site find the book page and pick any book you would like to read, then come back here and post a LINK to that book. Only one book choice is necessary.

Diane McEntire – A prize package including a $20.00 Walmart Gift Card, t-shirt, cap, pen and other goodies. Valued at $30.00. Worldwide shipping.
http://www.dmcentire.com/ **Adult Content**
“Paranormal, Western, Action/Suspense, and Historial Romance”
*** For an additional contest entry to win go to Diane’s site find the book page and pick any book you would like to read, then come back here and post a LINK to that book. Only one book choice is necessary.

Karen Wiesner – One autographed trade paperback of WOODCUTTER’S GRIM SERIES (romantic horror). Valued at $20.00. Shipping to US and Canada
http://www.karenwiesner.com/
“The world of award-winning author Karen Wiesner”
*** For an additional contest entry to win go to Karen’s site find the book page and pick any book you would like to read, then come back here and post a LINK to that book. Only one book choice is necessary.

Selena Illyria – 2 e-book copies of Tartan Interlude, two winners. Valued at $7.00.
http://www.selenaillyria.com/**Adult Content**
“Werewolf Iain is in love with Katherine, a human. Katherine doesn’t think that anyone can fall in love in three months. Mating is one thing, love is another altogether.”

*** For an additional contest entry to win go to Selena’s site find the book page and pick any book you would like to read, then come back here and post a LINK to that book. Only one book choice is necessary.

Carol North – A prize package including a $10 Amazon.com Gift Card and two e-book short stories “Fear Not” and “As the Seed Sown”. Valued at $15.00
http://carolnorth.com/
“Romance Author”
*** For an additional contest entry to win go to Carol’s site find the book page and pick any book you would like to read, then come back here and post a LINK to that book. Only one book choice is necessary.

Gracie C. McKeever – (5) e-books (PDF) to five different winners (1 book each winner). Their choice between these five Siren Publishing titles: 1) Between Darkness and Daylight; 2) Eternal Designs; 3) In Plain Sight; 4) Nine Inches of Snow and the Ebony Princess; or 5) The Wolf in the Mansion. Valued at $24.00.
http://www.graciecmckeever.com/
“Cross-Genre Erotic Romance…on the edge”
*** For an additional contest entry to win go to Gracie’s site find the book page and pick any book you would like to read, then come back here and post a LINK to that book. Only one book choice is necessary.

Casey Daniels – Complete set of her Pepper Martin series including:Don of the Dead, The Chick and the Dead, and Tombs of Endearment as well as a bookmark for the upcoming book, Night of the Loving Dead. Valued at $21.00. Worldwide shipping.
http://www.caseydaniels.com/
“The Pepper Martin books feature Pepper, a cemetery tour guide, who solves mysteries for the ghosts in her cemetery.”
*** For an additional contest entry to win go to Casey’s site find the book page and pick any book you would like to read, then come back here and post a LINK to that book. Only one book choice is necessary.

Frank Say – 3 autographed copies of his book Nine Lives. Three winners. Shipping worldwide. Valued at $47.85
http://www.franksay.com/
“Announcing the release of debut novel, Nine Lives.”

Liquid Silver Books – 4 E-Books. 4 winners can chose one book from their entire eBook library and in their preferred format. Valued at $30.00.
http://www.liquidsilverbooks.com/ **Adult Content**
“Liquid Silver Books is an Erotic Romance eBook publisher, selling classy, distinctive, and HOT Erotic Romance.”
*** For an additional contest entry to win go to the Liquid Silver site and pick any book you would like to read, then come back and post a LINK to that book here. Only one book choice is necessary.

Resa Nelson – Two autographed copies of The Dragonslayer’s Sword, two winners. Valued at $29.90. Worldwide shipping.
http://resanelson.com/
“The Dragonslayer’s Sword is a new fantasy novel about a female blacksmith who lives in a world of dragons, shapeshifters, and ghosts.”

*** For an additional contest entry to win go to Resa’s site find the book page and pick any book you would like to read, then come back here and post a LINK to that book. Only one book choice is necessary.

Molly Harper – A prize package including a $25 Borders gift certificate, plus an early copy of her debut novel Nice Girls Don’t Have Fangs as soon as it becomes available. Valued at $32.99. Worldwide shipping.
http://singleundeadfemale.blogspot.com/
*** For an additional contest entry to win go to Molly’s Blog and pick your favorite post, then come back and post a LINK to that post here. Only one choice is necessary.

Sally Painter – $25.00 Amazon.com Gift Card
http://sallypainter.com/ **Adult Content**
“Paranormal Erotic Romance Author of hot, sexy gargoyles, vampires, futuristic, and fantasy heroes.”
*** For an additional contest entry to win go to Sally’s site find the book page and pick any book you would like to read, then come back here and post a LINK to that book. Only one book choice is necessary.

Mayra Calvani – 3 books, 3 winners one book each. Prizes are The Slippery Art of Book Reviewing, nonfiction, ebook. Dark Lullaby, supernatural thriller, ebook. Embraced by the Shadows, romantic horror/vampire, ebook, value $15.00
http://www.mayracalvani.com/
“Multigenre author and book reviewer.”
*** For an additional contest entry to win go to Mayra’s site find the book page and pick any book you would like to read, then come back here and post a LINK to the book page and the title of the book you would like to read. Only one book choice is necessary.

Marilu Mann – A prize package including the November 7, 2008 release Changing Hearts (Lusting Wild 2) download and set of recipe cards. Valued at $7.99. US shipping only.
http://www.greatmta.com/
The 2nd book in the Lusting Wild series, Changing Hearts is a sensual paranormal romance guaranteed to spice up your life.”
*** For an additional contest entry to win go to Marilu’s site find the book page and pick any book you would like to read, then come back here and post a LINK to that book. Only one book choice is necessary.

Marta Acosta – A prize package including autographed copies of Happy Hour at Casa Dracula and Midnight Brunch
http://martaacosta.com/
*** For an additional contest entry to win go to Marta’s site find the book page and pick any book you would like to read, then come back here and post a LINK to that book. Only one book choice is necessary.

Savannah Chase – A prize package including a handmade bookmark, a goodie bag filled with author promo items and a bath set. Valued at $20.00. Worldwide shipping
http://www.savannahchase.com/
“Satisfy Your Desire…Indulge The Temptation”
*** For an additional contest entry to win go to Savannah’s site find the book page and pick any book you would like to read, then come back here and post a LINK to that book. Only one book choice is necessary.

Shelley Munro – $15.00 Amazon.com Gift Card
http://www.shelleymunro.com/**Adult Content**
“Adventure into romance with Shelley Munro–I write paranormal and contemporary erotic romance, set in New Zealand.”
*** For an additional contest entry to win go to Shelley’s site find the book page and pick any book you would like to read, then come back here and post a LINK to that book. Only one book choice is necessary.

The Wild Rose Press – $10.00 gift certificate to their website
http://www.thewildrosepress.com/
“Publisher of Romance and Erotic Romance”
*** For an additional contest entry to win go to the Wild Rose Press site and pick any book you would like to read, then come back and post a LINK to that book here. Only one book choice is necessary.

The Wilder Roses – Erotic romance website of The Wild Rose Press – $10.00 gift certificate to their website
http://www.thewilderroses.com/ **Adult Content**
“Publisher of Romance and Erotic Romance”
*** For an additional contest entry to win go to the Wilder Roses Press site and pick any book you would like to read, then come back and post a LINK to that book here. Only one book choice is necessary.

Christine Norris -Prize package with swag PLUS an autographed copy of Return to Zandria. Valued at $25.00. US shipping only
http://www.christine-norris.com/
“YA Fantasy Author”
*** For an additional contest entry to win go to Christine’s site find the book page and pick any book you would like to read, then come back here and post a LINK to that book. Only one book choice is necessary.

Raine Delight – A prize package including a copy of Fairy Kisses (Out Nov. 7th) and a promotional envelope full of goodies. Valued at $5.00. Worldwide shipping.
http://authorrainedelight.com/ **Adult Content**
“Scorching hot romance amid the pages……”
*** For an additional contest entry to win go to Raine’s site find the book page and pick any book you would like to read, then come back here and post a LINK to that book. Only one book choice is necessary.

Beth Trissel – 3 prizes, 3 winners. One digital download of her book “Somewhere My Love”. Valued at $18.00
http://www.bethtrissel.com/
“Romance charged with danger from ages past!”
*** For an additional contest entry to win go to Beth’s site find her books and pick any book you would like to read, then come back here and post a LINK to that book. Only one book choice is necessary.

Spa Secrets – $30.00 gift certificate to their website.
http://spasecrets.net/
“Spa Secrets offers an amazing collection of luxurious bath and body, skincare, and aromatherapy products for your home spa needs.”

*** For an additional contest entry to win go to the Spa Secret’s site and pick any product you would like to own, then come back here and post a LINK to that product. Only one choice is necessary.

Michele Bardsley – $25.00 Amazon.com Gift Card
http://www.michelebardsley.com/
“National bestseller Michele Bardsley is the author of WAIT TILL YOUR VAMPIRE GETS HOME, the fourth novel in her popular Broken Heart, Oklahoma vampire series.”
*** For an additional contest entry to win go to Michele’s site find the book page and pick any book you would like to read, then come back here and post a LINK to that book. Only one book choice is necessary.

Ericka Scott – $10.00 Amazon.com Gift Card
http://www.erickascott.com/
“Author of Seductive Suspense”
*** For an additional contest entry to win go to Ericka’s site find the book page and pick any book you would like to read, then come back here and post a LINK to that book. Only one book choice is necessary.

Lori Johnson – A prize package including a $15.00 Amazon.com Gift Card and 1 autographed copy of People of the Bear (available now) or Heart of the Bear (when released). Valued at $30.00. US shipping only.
http://www.lori-johnson.com/
“Find fantasy, romance and adventure in my Bearwalker Trilogy”
*** For an additional contest entry to win go to Lori’s site find the Bear Facts page and pick any fact, then come back here and post a LINK to the page and your fact. Only one choice is necessary.

Murdoch Hughes – Two books, two winners, one book each. One autographed copy of The Seattle Barista Killer and one copy of Death Mask Of The Jaguar. Valued at $23.90. Worldwide shipping.
http://www.werewolfdetective.blogspot.com/
“IMurdoch Hughes is the award-winning author of the Rick Sage Mystery Series and the Harley Wolf Mystery Series, which both feature paranormal elements; “Death Mask of the Jaguar” features a Mayan Jaguar Spirit, and the protagonist of the “Seattle Barista Killer” is a vegan werewolf detective.”
*** For an additional contest entry to win go to Murdoch’s Blog and pick your favorite post, then come back and post a LINK to that post here. Only one choice is necessary.

Adelle Laudan – 1- $10 gift certificate Wild Child Publishing and 1- $10 gift certificate Freyas Bower Publishing. Two winners.
http://adellelaudan.com/
“Changing the image of bikers…one book at a time.”
*** For an additional contest entry to win go to Adelle’s site find her books and pick any book you would like to read, then come back here and post a LINK to that book. Only one book choice is necessary.

Jeri Smith-Ready – Autographed copies of the full ASPECT OF CROW trilogy: Eyes Of Crow, Voice Of Crow, and The Reawakened. Valued at $44.85. US Shipping only
http://www.jerismithready.com/
“Author of romantic and urban fantasy, including the popular vampire novel WICKED GAME and the ASPECT OF CROW animal magic trilogy.”
*** For an additional contest entry to win go to Jeri’s site find the book page and pick any book you would like to read, then come back here and post a LINK to that book. Only one book choice is necessary.

Dana Marie Bell – A $25.00 gift certificate to Books On Board
http://www.danamariebell.com/
“Dance with an alpha in the pale moonlight…”
*** For an additional contest entry to win go to Dana’s site find the book page and pick any book you would like to read, then come back here and post a LINK to that book. Only one book choice is necessary.

Ann Cory2 each $10.00 Amazon.com Gift Cards, two winners.
http://www.anncory.com/ **Adult Content**
“Erotic romance author.”
*** For an additional contest entry to win go to Ann’s site find the book page and pick any book you would like to read, then come back here and post a LINK to that book. Only one book choice is necessary.

Gracen Miller – One copy of her e-book, The Devil’s Den, to five different winners. Valued at $35.00.
http://www.gracenmiller.com/
“Author of The Devil’s Den, a dark paranormal e-book”
*** For an additional contest entry to win go to Gracen’s site find the book page and pick any book you would like to read, then come back here and post a LINK to that book. Only one book choice is necessary.

Sapphire Phelan – 1 eBook. Winner can choose one of the following titles: Wedded Magic, Crimson Promise, or Beast Magic. Valued at $5.00
http://fantasticdreams.50megs.com/
“Go beyond the usual, instead take the unusual that stretches the boundaries and find romance with Sapphire Phelan’s aliens, werewolves, vampires, fairies, and other supernatural/otherworldly heroes and heroines.”
*** For an additional contest entry to win go to Sapphire’s site find the book page and pick any book you would like to read, then come back here and post a LINK to that book. Only one book choice is necessary.

Miriam Newman – A prize package including two e-books: Confessions of the Cleaning Lady – a four-cup Coffee Time Romance contemporary fantasy romance and The King’s Daughter – winner of five blue ribbons from Romance Junkies, a historical fantasy whose sequel, Heart of the Earth, will be available in December, 2008, and a coupon for Heart of the Earth to be issued and honored upon the release date of the book. Valued at $19.50.
http://www.miriamnewman.com/
*** For an additional contest entry to win go to Miriam’s site find the book page and pick any book you would like to read, then come back here and post a LINK to that book. Only one book choice is necessary.

Sloan McBride – A prize package including an electronic copy of “The Fury”, Book One in Time Walker Series, an autographed copy of her debut novel, “Highland Stone”, and a $25.00 eBay gift certificate. Valued at $35.00. Worldwide shipping.
http://www.sloanmcbride.com/index.html
“Paranormal Romance Author”
*** For an additional contest entry to win go to Sloan’s site find the book page and pick any book you would like to read, then come back here and post a LINK to that book. Only one book choice is necessary.

Cinsearae Santiago – An electronic copy of her book The Abraxas Series. Valued at $10.00
http://www.bloodtouch.com/
“Gothic/Horror & Paranormal Romance Author, jewelry designer and Gothic still-photographer.”
*** For an additional contest entry to win go to Cinsearae’s site find the store page and pick your favorite piece of jewelry, then come back here and post a LINK to that page and tell us which piece it is. Only one choice is necessary.

Designing-Diva Boutique – A $25.00 gift certificate for their online store. Worldwide shipping
http://www.designing-diva.com/
“Artisan handcrafted silver and fused glass jewelry and home decor adornments for mortal goddesses everywhere!”
*** For an additional contest entry to win go to the Designing Diva’s site and pick any product you would like to own, then come back here and post a LINK to that product. Only one choice is necessary.

Michelle Gagnon – Spend Halloween in the BONEYARD with Michelle Gagnon: Win a prize package including a $25.00 Amazon.com Gift Card and a signed first edition of the IMBA Bestselling thriller Boneyard. Valued at $31.99. Worldwide shipping.
http://www.michellegagnon.com/
*** For an additional contest entry to win go to Michelle’s site find the book page and pick any book you would like to read, then come back here and post a LINK to that book. Only one book choice is necessary.

Pink Petal Books – A $10.00 gift certificate to their online store
http://www.pinkpetalbooks.com/
“Pink Petal Books publishes romance, because we believe that love is a beautiful thing.”
*** For an additional contest entry to win go to the Pink Petal Books site and pick any book you would like to read, then come back and post a LINK to that book here. Only one book choice is necessary.

Jupiter Gardens – A $10.00 gift certificate to their online store
http://www.jupitergardens.com/
“Nurture your inner worlds with products and services from Jupiter Gardens, LLC.”
*** For an additional contest entry to win go to the Jupiter Gardens site and pick any product you would like to own, then come back here and post a LINK to that product. Only one choice is necessary.

Jennifer Turner – An autographed copy of Eternal Seduction and a 10 pc. Halloween Gift Box from Godiva. Valued at $32.00. US shipping only
http://www.darknesswithinnovels.com/home.html
“Dark Paranormal Romance Author”
*** For an additional contest entry to win go to Jennifer’s site find the book page and find the name of her 3rd book. Then come back here and post a LINK to that page and the book name. Only one book choice is necessary.

C.A.Milson – 5 e-books of his novel, The Chosen. 5 winners. Valued at $30.00
http://authorcamilson.blogspot.com/
*** For an additional contest entry to win go to Chris’ Blog and pick your favorite post, then come back and post a LINK to that post here. Only one choice is necessary.

Joey W. Hill – A prize package including a signed copy of her new release, A Mermaid’s Kiss and Set of David Delamare Mermaid Art Greeting Cards (The Grand Aquaria set) – Valued $35.00. Worldwide shipping.
http://www.storywitch.com/
“Surrender to a romance – Free excerpts from all of my books on website…”
*** For an additional contest entry to win go to Joey’s site find the book page and pick any book you would like to read, then come back here and post a LINK to that book. Only one book choice is necessary.

Christiane France – 2 x $5 gift certificates for downloads of any of her e-books from Amber Quill Press. Two winners.
http://www.chrisgrover.ca/**Adult Content**
“I write adult erotic romance – contemporary, historical, paranormal, time travel, hetero, gay, and m/m/f.”
*** For an additional contest entry to win go to Christiane’s site find the book pages and pick any book you would like to read, then come back here and post a LINK to that book. Only one book choice is necessary.

Kelsey Lewis – A Prize package including a $20 Amazon.com Gift Card and an e-book copy of her book Reunion. Valued at $24.00.
http://www.kelsey-lewis.com/**Adult Content**
“Shamelessly erotic romance”
*** For an additional contest entry to win go to Kelsy’s site find the stories page and pick any book you would like to read, then come back here and post a LINK to that book. Only one book choice is necessary.

John B. Rosenman – An autographed, trade paperback copy of my science-fiction adventure novel, Speaker of the Shakk. Valued at $12.95. Worldwide shipping.
http://www.johnrosenman.com/
*** For an additional contest entry to win go to John’s site find the coming soon pages and pick any book you would like to read, then come back here and post a LINK to that book. Only one book choice is necessary.

Manic Trout – A $25.00 gift certificate to their online store. Worldwide shipping.
http://www.manictrout.com/
Manic Trout has a wide array of baubles and bracelets that will add a funky finesse to your next outfit.”
*** For an additional contest entry to win go to the Manic Trout site and pick any product you would like to own, then come back here and post a LINK to that product. Only one choice is necessary.

Erin O’Riordan – Three signed copies of The Erotica Anthology, three winners. Valued at $15.00 each. Worldwide shipping
http://www.aeess.com/ **Adult Content**
“AEESS is the home of quality erotica and more by Erin O’Riordan.”
*** For an additional contest entry to win go to Erin’s site and pick any book you would like to read, then come back here and post a LINK to that book. Only one book choice is necessary.

Mary Eason – A Print Copy of her latest release entitled: The Things You Think You Want. Valued at $14.00. US shipping only.
http://www.maryeason.bravehost.com/
“Carrie Sinclair thought she knew exactly what she wanted from life until she came face-to-face with the bluest eyes in Texas.”
*** For an additional contest entry to win go to Mary’s site find the booklist page and pick any book you would like to read, then come back here and post a LINK to that book. Only one book choice is necessary.

Ashley Ladd – A prize package including her electronic books”Wishcraft” and “Blessed Be” which are both Halloween romances. Valued at $10.00.
http://www.ashleyladd.blogspot.com/
“I write erotic romance and have several books published and available for sale.”
*** For an additional contest entry to win go to Ashley’s Blog and pick your favorite post, then come back and post a LINK to that post here. Only one choice is necessary.

Amira Press – Two $10.00 gift certificates to the Amira Press store. Two winners
http://www.amirapress.com/ **Adult Content**
“Publisher of Romance and Erotic Romance”
*** For an additional contest entry to win go to the Amira Press site and pick any book you would like to read, then come back and post a LINK to that book here. Only one book choice is necessary.

Source Books Casablanca – 2 copies of Warrior: The Cat Star Chronicles by Cheryl Brooks and 3 copies of Hex Appeal by Linda Wisdom. 5 winners. Valued at $34.95. US Shipping only.
http://www.sourcebookscasablanca.com/
“Sourcebooks, the largest woman-owned publishing house in the United States, is a twenty-year-old innovator in the publishing industry. Sourcebooks has been the #1 non-fiction romance publisher since 1997 with its Sourcebooks Casablanca imprint.”
*** For an additional contest entry to win go to the Sourcebooks site and pick any book you would like to read, then come back and post a LINK to that book here. Only one book choice is necessary.

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Article: Valentine’s Day – The Holiday Of Love September 6, 2008

Valentine’s Day – The Holiday Of Love
by Melissa Alvarez

How did Valentine’s Day begin?

Valentine’s Day… ah… a time to spend with the ones you love. We celebrate Valentine’s Day by giving flowers, chocolates or other gifts to each other in the spirit of showing our love for one another. But how did this Holiday of Love actually begin? I thought I’d give you a brief history of Valentine’s Day in celebration of the holiday.

Although there are several different opinions as to the actual origin of the holiday, Legend says that St. Valentine, a Catholic bishop in 5th Century Rome served as a priest at the temple during the reign of the Emperor Claudius. The Emperor decided that men who were married made terrible soldiers and banned marriage from his realm. But Valentine secretly performed the marriage ceremonies of those who asked him to marry them. When Claudius found out he tried to convert Valentine to paganism but Valentine, turning the tables, tried to convert Claudius to the church. Claudius in turn had Valentine imprisoned and then beheaded. While Valentine was in prison he fell in love with the jailer’s blind daughter. His love for her and his enormous faith enabled him to heal her blindness before he died. As a farewell gesture Valentine left the girl a farewell note signing it “From Your Valentine”. The first Valentine card grew from his simple gesture of love.

In 496 A.D. Pope Gelasius chose February 14th to honor St. Valentine in order to do away with an 800-year tradition of a pagan celebration in mid-February that commemorated young men’s rite of passage to the god Lupercus. During the celebration these young me would choose the name of a teenage girl from a box and she would be his sexual partner for the remainder of the year. Pope Gelasius didn’t like this part of the tradition and ordered a change. He allowed both women and men to draw names from the box, the names of Saints. During the remainder of the year both men and women were to emulate the ways of the saint that they drew. Needless to say the men weren’t too happy with this rule, nor the women for that matter. Pope Galasius wanted to choose a suitable saint of love to take the place of the pagan god Lupercus. He chose St. Valentine.

So carry on the tradition of St. Valentine and profess your love through a note, card or gift. And while you’re purchasing those items don’t forget to pick up a novel by one of your favorite authors.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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Article: St. Patrick’s Day

St. Patrick’s Day
Ireland and Romance Fiction
by Melissa Alvarez

There is something about Ireland that draws writers of romance to use the country as settings in their books. And there are a lot of romance readers out there who love books set in Ireland. Being of Irish descent I couldn’t let St. Paddy’s Day pass us by without at least giving a brief history of the day for all those readers and writers who love Ireland.

St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated all over the world on March 17 in honor of St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland.

St. Patrick’s real name is thought to have been Maewyn Succat and he had Gaelic orgins. He migrated to Britain and upon his baptism was given the name Patricus (Patrick). At the age of sixteen Patrick was captured by pirates and was enslaved for six years. He escaped the pirates and went to France. It was in France that Patrick became a priest. But Ireland was his home and eventually Patrick returned to his native land. He preached the word of Christ, established a number of churches, colleges, and schools around the country. His influence on Ireland made him a national hero in the eyes of the people and also the hero of different legends. He worked in Ireland as a missionary for 40 years and was ordained as the Bishop of Ireland in 431 AD.

According to one legend, St. Patrick drove the snakes from the Ireland, but it’s thought to be a metaphorical way of saying that St. Patrick drove the pagan forces from the country. Another legend says that St. Patrick used the Shamrock to preach the concept of the Christian Trinity to the people of Ireland. Each leaf represented God, The Holy Spirit and the Son of Christ (Jesus).

But what about a four leaf clover? Legend has it that four leaf clovers hold the luck of the Irish and if you find one that good luck will be yours. Or, according to another legend, if you wish to see the “Little People” just look while you’re holding a four leaf clover. Either way, may the luck of the Irish be with you all on this St. Patrick’s Day!

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Article: Showing versus Telling

Showing versus Telling
Bringing Your Writing To Life
by Melissa Alvarez

Show don’t tell – that’s easy to say but what exactly does it mean?

When you show your reader the characters and action in your novel, they are drawn into another world and will keep turning the pages until THE END. If you tell the reader the story then expect them to lay the book down and pick up one that will show them the story. There is a place for telling within your novel but if you tell all the time the characters will not come to life.

Exactly how do you show and not tell? Let me show you through an example:

Telling

Sally climbed the steps and rescued the gray cat.

All right that was telling. I told you that Sally climbed the steps and saved the cat. But now I’m going to show you…

Showing

Sally sat back on her haunches and pushed her hat back on her head. Where was that meowing sound coming from? She tugged off her gardening gloves and tossed them on the ground then walked toward the house in search of the troubled cat. She followed the cries to the top of the steps where she found a tiny gray cat trapped between the screen door and the wooden one. “You poor thing!” Sally said to the anxious animal as she opened the door. The cat scurried down the steps and through the yard while Sally watched with a smile.

See the difference? In the example of telling we know Sally saved the cat from the top of the stairs but that’s all. When we show instead of tell we know much more. Sally is a caring person who tends flowers in her yard and will search out a distressed animal that needs help. She doesn’t need thanks but is happy that the animal is free. We also know that the cat is scared because it is described as anxious and it bolts down the steps and across the yard as soon as it is let out.

When you can show your reader the action they will finish your book with a sense of satisfaction and you will have gained a loyal fan.

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Article: Romantic Suspense

Romantic Suspense
Riveted To The Edge Of Your Seat
by Melissa Alvarez

If you are an author who writes romantic suspense then you probably love reading the genre. You’ve gotten a feel of the mix of romance, suspense, and intrigue that mesh together throughout the novel. But what comes first? The romance or the suspense?

That’s almost like asking what comes first – the chicken or the egg? An author who writes romantic suspense may begin with a suspenseful story and add a romance that develops and is fulfilled at the end. Or they may begin with a romance and add the suspense. It works both ways and an author must find her true voice.

In romantic suspense novels your first few pages must grab the reader (editor too) and pull them into the drama of the story. You want them to keep turning the pages until the last one. Romantic suspense doesn’t necessarily have to be a mystery with a puzzle to solve but it does have to keep the reader on the edge of his seat to see if the villain is caught before he causes harm to the characters or if he gets away.

When writing a romantic suspense novel you want to open strong without giving too much background information while building and maintaining the suspense. Keep your sentences short, the tension high and the action moving. The climax of the romantic suspense should be an intense page-turner. The reader should be reading fast, breathing fast, clenching the book or ebook reader, and so involved in the story that nothing distracts them. Right after the climax you should quickly tie up all loose ends, close the conflict, and then resolve the romantic relationship between the heroine and hero.

When writing romantic suspense make sure to do your research. If you’re writing about a crime scene make sure you know how the police really work around a crime scene. You may not include all the details in your manuscript but you should know them. Remember, the person reading your book may actually be a detective so be brilliant in your rendering of the career and of the characters. Make them strong, intelligent and sure of themselves. Today’s heroines are strong, independent thinkers – not a wimpy mouse that hides behind the hero. Romance fiction is read to discover how the heroine overcomes the trials and tribulations she encounters while falling in love with the hero.

If you write romantic suspense you should always know where you are going with the story from the first word. Pace the story so the tension and the relationship builds until the climax, which resolves the storyline, and then resolve the romance. Make your villain a match for your hero and heroine, an equal enemy.

Need help with plotting, motivation, or general ideas while writing your romantic suspense? Visit your local library and read, read, read!! Read as many romantic suspense books as you can to get a feel of how other romantic suspense authors weave their stories. Then sit down and write in a style all your own.

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Article: Reader To Reader

Reader To Reader
What Do You Like In A Romance Fiction Novel?
by Melissa Alvarez

I sat down to write this article and had a hard time thinking of a subject. What did I want to discuss today? About a zillion things went through my mind and I couldn’t decide. Don’t you just hate it when that happens?

And then I wondered… what is it about a romance novel that makes me, the reader, like it?. What grabs me and pulls me into the world that the author has so painstakingly created for me to enjoy?

For me – it’s gotta be those first words on the page. I want to be grabbed by those words and yanked into the story so hard that I can feel myself falling into the world created by the author. As a reader I have to be caught in the story right from the beginning or I have a hard time getting into the book. Granted there have been times that I’ve struggled through a difficult prologue or first chapter and the story gets better as we go on but honestly, I don’t enjoy a book as much if I’m not hooked at the beginning. I want to spin out of control with the author’s words and stay that way until the last page. Am I asking too much? LOL Nah… there are a lot of writers who I thoroughly enjoy reading because of their skill in this area.

But what keeps me reading? The characters. That hero had better be a hero – larger than life and with biceps to spare!! But really – I want to see the qualities that would endear a real man to me – something that I can connect with. Let me feel his sensitive side and struggle with his inner turmoil. I want to know why he loves the heroine and watch him as he struggles with his emotions until he finally faces himself, then her.

What about the heroine? Strong, bold, sassy and a woman who isn’t taking anything off her man! A woman who can equal him if she needs to but can also be feminine and seductive. I want to see the heroine give the hero a hard time and make him struggle to prove he deserves her love.

And then there is the love – that’s what it’s all about. I want to see the love between the hero and the heroine from that first inkling of desire to the happily ever after. Give me everything in between too – the inner struggles, the conflicts, the “oh geez did I do that?” Let me see the couple as vulnerable, with faults that lead them away from each other and strengths that bring them back together.

Give me some mystery, suspense, sexual tension, awesome characters and I’m good to go. I’ll keep reading until the book is done. So how about you? What gets you involved in a good romance fiction novel?

 

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Article: The Query Letter

The Query Letter
An Editor’s First Impression
Sample Query Letter
by Melissa Alvarez

Ah, the dreaded query letter. But, tell me why is it so dreaded?

Maybe it’s because you have put body and soul (and probably a few sleepless nights) into your manuscript and are now ready to put your baby in front of an editor.

Basically – it’s just nerve wracking to say the least and that’s the bottom line. But there is a simple and efficient way to market your masterpiece and yourself. So let’s keep it simple and look at the elements of a good query letter.

Let’s start with your contact information. Don’t forget to include both your telephone number and e-mail address. It’s a simple mistake to make but one that could prove to be very costly. I prefer to use a nicely designed letterhead because it gives me a little more room in the body of my letter.

Next you want to put the name and complete address of the Editor including the line/series to which you are submitting your work. Putting the name of the line/series is very important because some editors may handle more than one line.

Now, address the Editor. Never, ever put Dear Editor. This is very impersonal and an editor isn’t just someone who accepts manuscripts but a person with a life, hopes and dreams. Personalize your greeting with Dear Ms. (insert the editor’s last name). Always make sure you do your homework and find out the name of the person who handles your targeted line and send it to them.

Then begin the body of your query letter. Start with a short concise account of your work. State the number of words and the line you are targeting. Some authors include a hook in the opening paragraph to draw the Editor into the letter.

Next comes the main section of your query. Here you want to include a little about your characters and the plot of your novel.

Follow with something about yourself. Brag but don’t sound boastful. There’s a thin line between the two. You want the editor to know you are a professional and serious about your writing. Presenting your self as the greatest thing since sliced bread isn’t what an editor wants to read. Nor does he/she want to read how great Aunt Lorraine and Uncle Bob said your book was – they want to know what kind of publishing experience you may or may not have and your motivation behind your book. Sometimes publishers ask you to submit marketing plans – just remember that if you say it in your query you better be willing to follow though if you’re signed.

Finally, thank the Editor and ask if they would like to see a partial or full manuscript. Tell them you included a SASE (self addressed stamped envelope) for their convenience.

When you submit to a publishing company first impressions are the most important. You want to appear professional, organized, neat, and above all, educated about your topic. Below is a sample query letter that is short and to the point. In the busy world of an editor or publisher you want your query letter to stand out instead of being tossed in the slush pile.

Your Name Home Address Home Phone number and Email Address

Today’s Date

Editor’s Name, Assistant Editor, Line you’re targeting, Editor’s Address, City State Zip

Dear Ms. Last Name of Editor,

Trapped with her worst enemy! Will Abby Johnson survive Randy Bale’s overtures? Island Adventures is a completed 80,000 word contemporary romance set on an uncharted island in the South Pacific. This story is targeted for the New Age Dimensions’ Enamor line.
Pilot Randy Bale fell in love with Abby Johnson the moment she walked into his high school English class. But she never gave him the time of day regardless of how much he teased and flirted with her. Ten years later, Abby chartered his single engine plane but a malfunction has them stranded on an uncharted island. Now Abby, determined to ignore Randy until help arrived, found herself drawn to his irresistible good looks and protective nature.

My writing credits include monthly contributions to local magazines and online ezines. I have been writing for the last three years and have also published one novel, The Great Storm. My favorite genre of fiction is romance and I have been an avid reader for the last twenty years. I am a member of Romance Writers of America, my local RWA chapter and several writers’ groups.
If you are interested, I could send you either the complete manuscript or the first three chapters of Island Adventures. I have enclosed a synopsis for your review and a SASE for your reply. Thanks very much for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,

Your name

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Article: Popularity of Romance Fiction

Popularity of Romance Fiction
What draws readers to this genre?
by Melissa Alvarez

Romance Fiction novels make up over fifty percent of all books sold. Over 50 million women in the United States alone read Romance Fiction. Granted most of the readers of Romance Fiction are women but lots of men read romance fiction too. Men also write romance fiction usually under pen names. Why is this genre of fiction so popular and why does it hold such wide appeal?

Romance Fiction is finally getting the recognition that it deserves. Within the publishing industry general fiction seems to be shrinking while other publishers are adding new lines. 

When Romance Fiction first appeared in the publishing industry in the early 1970’s, there were swashbuckling hero’s and princess heroines. These type of romance novels were considered “Bodice Rippers” and usually featured bare-chested men and voluptuous women on the cover. But in the last ten to fifteen years the “Contemporary” romance has taken the place of the “Bodice Ripper”. The covers now feature pictures that depict scenes from the novel and when heroine is featured her neckline has risen substantially. Unfortunately, the stigma associated with the “Bodice Ripper” romance will probably haunt authors for a long time still.

There have been many sub-genres that have risen out of the traditional romance. Now you can read modern day romances about doctors, investigators, and women in these roles. We can now read about things happening in our world today within the pages of a romance. The hero’s are still dashing but the heroines have developed into strong independent women who don’t necessarily need the hero in their lives. The heroine choose him because of his effect on her senses and her mind. We can now read stories of romantic suspense, the paranormal, chick lit, and the genre has branched out to now include heroes and heroines of ethnic backgrounds.

But does all of this really account for the huge popularity of Romance Fiction. No. In my humble opinion those who read romance fiction want to be drawn into a world where they can escape the pressures of their daily life and experience the growth of a relationship. In some ways Romance Fiction is still a sort of fairy tale with a happy ending. It’s just that the fairy tale has jumped into the twenty first century.

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Article: Manuscript Writing and Revisions

Manuscript Writing and Revisions
Four Steps To A Great Manuscript
by Melissa Alvarez

 

Step 1: Write the book

Sit down and write. When writing your first draft you want to get as much of your manuscript down from beginning to end. Run with your thoughts, your scenes, and your characters. There will be time to fine tune later. Remember that by the time you finish your final draft you will trim approximately ten percent off of this first draft so write as much as you need to get the story down on paper or on your hard drive.

Step 2: The First Revision

Before you start editing put your manuscript aside and leave it alone for a while. How long should this be? It can be ten minutes to ten days depending upon your time frame, if you’re under a deadline or if you just need the time away from the work. This gives the manuscript time to “cool off” in your mind. When you read it again it will be easier to notice errors. It will either come through loud and clear or you’ll find areas that need work. If you don’t take this time you might miss something important just because you’re deeply involved in the manuscript at that moment.

There are some things you need to check during the second draft of your manuscript. First make sure that your readers meet and get to know your main characters early. If your reader identifies with a likeable character they will keep reading. Show their habits, feelings, what they look like, how they talk. Give the reader a clear three dimensional picture of your characters.

You also want to make sure your story is moving at a relatively quick pace. If it’s to slow the reader will get bored but if it’s to fast they will come away from the book feeling like they missed something. Don’t rush into the ending but don’t take a millennium to get there either. Keep a good strong steady pace and your reader will stay with you and feel satisfied when they finish the book.

Does the story make sense? Are all of your scenes in order? Does the story start in the right place? Is there something at stake for the characters to keep your reader involved? Was it all worth it in the end? Does the beginning grab your attention and pull you in? If it doesn’t – rewrite it. A reader will place a book back on the shelf if that opening sentence doesn’t make them want to know what happens next.

Step 3: Do it again – Revision #2

Now it’s time to trim the fat. Make every word count. Cut adjectives, adverbs, and qualifiers. Eliminate any words that aren’t needed. Use specific nouns and verbs because they do the work within the sentence structure.

Have you stuck with the point of view you established on page one throughout the book? Read your novel out loud. You’ll notice errors and places where your dialogue may not be tight or where your character does something out of character.

The conversation should set the tone of the work instead of you having to add qualifying tags. If the dialogue is written right you can eliminate the “he said, she said” in the dialogue. Just make sure the reader knows who is talking.

Step 4: The Final Draft

Get out the polish and make this baby shine! Print your manuscript out and sit down in the corner of your couch on a day when you can read it from beginning to end undisturbed. Make notes on the page. This isn’t the time for a huge revision but the time to add finishing touches that make the work come to life.

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Article: Literary Agents – What do they do? Do you really need one?

Literary Agents

What Do They Do? Do You Really Need One?

by Melissa Alvarez

You’ve finished your manuscript and are ready to submit your romance fiction novel to a publisher. Do you need a literary agent or should you submit the work to a publisher on your own?

The first question you should answer is if you have finished the manuscript. If this is your first novel you should have finished a complete work before you submit to anyone. Neither an agent nor a publisher will take a chance on a first time novelist who hasn’t finished a book. If this is your scenario, sit down and finish the thing before you go any further.

If you have finished that work, make sure it shines before you present it to a publisher or agent. Don’t submit sloppy work or any materials that are less than crisp, clean and professional. Have it critiqued to make sure you have kept your story going, that it has a beginning, middle and end. Even if you have finished the work your writing ability must shine through in the finished manuscript.

What do you need to know about a literary agent? First they typically earn most of their income from book manuscripts. The percentage they receive is between ten and fifteen percent of all domestic sales of your work. Their job is to sell your book to a publisher, to represent you and your work. But before a literary agent will do this you must prove to them that your work is salable and that lies within the pages of your novel.

But do you REALLY need a literary agent? It depends upon the publishing house that you targeted. Harlequin Silhouette is the largest publisher of category romance that works with both agented and unagented authors. Their contract is standard and there’s not much an agent can negotiate. If you’ve targeted Harlequin Silhouette then you don’t necessarily need an agent. Many unagented writers have made a career writing for this publishing house.

Some of the other publishing houses will only work with agented writers. Why? All large publishing houses (Harlequin Silhouette included) receive hundreds of thousands of manuscripts in any given year. Some publishers only want to deal with authors who have proven themselves to an agent first. If an agent has accepted your work, then the publisher knows it’s gone through at least one screening and that the agent feels the work is salable. Otherwise, the agent wouldn’t have taken it on.

What should you do? First read the publishers guidelines to see if they accept unagented authors. Next look at your work. Is it a 55,000-word category romance that you could sell to a publishing house that accepts unagented authors? Or is it a 150,000 word single title that would fit better at a publishing house that handles lengthy single title works or mainstream romance fiction? Your answer to these questions will let you know if you should search for an agent or give it a try yourself. It’s all in the publisher’s guidelines. Make sure you read them.

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Article: Where Do Writer’s Get Such Great Ideas?

 Where Do Writer’s Get Such Great Ideas?  

by Melissa Alvarez

Have you ever read a book and then wondered how the author came up with such a riveting, entertaining story? A writer gets ideas from many different places. Let’s discuss a few.

What If – The first question an author will usually ask him/her self before beginning a novel is “what if”. What if an astronaut got caught in a black hole and was transported to another galaxy and met the love of his life? What if a woman moved back to her hometown after a devastating marriage to find that her one true love still lived there and was single? The ‘what if’ can provide the plot of your novel, your characters and their actions. Fear is also part of the ‘what if’ thought – what if the rope breaks while I’m rock climbing. What if those people walking behind me are dangerous? What if I miss my bus and am late for my interview? Think of the things that scare you or worry you – now through your characters in the midst of that scene and run with it.

Fairy Tales – How many different ways has Cinderella been redone? I can count a few. Oh, and Pinocchio…that’s another good one. Or how about Snow White? In every fairy tale there is a story spark that can be spun to work in relation to a modern day romance.

Romance Themes – Pick a theme and go with it – how about amnesia? Man finds woman washed up on the beach, half dead, and provides for her while she recovers. But she can’t remember a thing about herself and one day a limousine shows up at the hero’s door to take her away. He refuses to let he go because he’s fallen in love with her but the limo driver knocks him out and kidnaps the woman. The hero searches for the heroine until he rescues her from the villains. See how easy that is?

You must be asking yourself – how can I come up with a great idea for a book? Try this. Sit down and write a list of what ifs. That will give you a story spark. Now think of places you’ve lived or visited or would like to visit. There’s your setting. Now, places you’ve worked – could they be the hero or heroines job? Your fears could get your hero or heroine into some real trouble and their bravery, courage, trust in each other and other values can get them out of trouble.

Just remember the first thing a writer always does is ask “What if?” and then they run with the idea. If you get stuck in the middle of your novel add in another one and smile as the words come to you.

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Article: Critique Partners

Critique Partners

by Melissa Alvarez

If you’re like most writers just starting out in the world of writing you’ve wanted opinions on your work. But where do you go?

As a writer you’re going to want to know specifics – did the storyline flow or were there parts that didn’t make sense? Are the characters interesting and did the reader care about what happened to them? Did the plot keep the reader turning pages? So where do you go to get these answers?

Family and Friends

This is a good place to start but you may not get the feedback that you desire. Believe me when I tell you that family and friends will ALWAYS love your work because it is your work. If you get an objective critique from a friend or family member you should consider yourself very lucky. Most of the time you will hear how great the book is but not the details that you may want if you can get them to take time from their busy schedules to even read the manuscript. So where do you go from here?

Critique Partners or Critique Groups

In my humble opinion you will get more in depth feedback if you seek out a critique partner or a small critique group. I personally prefer working with two or three individuals as critique partners on an individual basis.

When you work with another writer you get the benefit of their writing knowledge and they will point out things like sentence structure, story elements etc. I feel that a good critique partner is an asset for any writer.

What will a good critique partner do?

If you are doing a critique for someone there are certain things you should keep in mind. These are things you will want done for you as well.

First the person doing the critique should always remember that the purpose is to help another writer improve their skills. All writers are at different skill levels but we can all help one another. Our critique should be given in a positive manner and with reasons for our comments. Always try to begin and end on a positive note and if you find parts of the manuscript that you love then tell the writer! There’s nothing better than finding out something worked! Of course there will be negative aspects that arise but still try to deal with them in a positive manner so the writer learns from the critique. Don’t just say “You shouldn’t have done so and so.” Tell the writer why you think they shouldn’t have done it.

Ok – you’re the person getting critiqued. Remember the person critiquing your work knows this is your baby. There comments are being made in order to help you grow as a writer. Please try not to take the comments personally. A critique is not an attack against you (and honestly, if the critique is like that you need a new partner) but are suggestions for writing improvement. If you get angry because of the critique – don’t send a vicious response back to the person who did your critique. Take some time to review it and decide if the suggestion really will work. And know too that it’s a suggestion – you don’t have to do what the person said if you disagree with it. This is your manuscript and it has to feel right for you.

And lastly, I think it’s a good idea to create a list of questions that you would like answered along with your critique. Then you have your specific issues with the manuscript addressed and you’ll get a good honest opinion. For example if you’re worried about how your characters come across then ask “Do my characters seem like real people that you are interested in or do they lack development?” If both parties approach the critique process with a positive, learning, attitude then it will be a good experience for all involved.

 

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Article: Category Romance Fiction

 Category Romance Fiction

by Melissa Alvarez  

 What is “Category Romance Fiction”? Within the genre of Romance Fiction there are categories of novels and within these categories are themes. In this article we will discuss the twelve major categories of romance fiction but remember new categories are emerging all the time, some last and others have short lives.

I want to suggest that you always do your research with the publisher that you are targeting before submitting. Find out the categories they currently want to expand.

Contemporary – This category usually is about modern women with modern outlooks. The heroine is strong and liberated, independent women who know who they are and what they want. The short contemporary usually focuses on the developing relationship between the hero and heroine where the long contemporary includes subplots that involve other characters. 

Historical – A historical romance occurs before the year 1940. When writing a historical romance you must research, research and research! Readers will notice it if the elements of your story do not mesh with the time period in which your novel is set. The primary element of historical novels is the compelling romance. The story usually focuses on the heroine and how her life changes because of her love for one man. 

Inspirational – These characters face challenges of faith and love in life. The central element in an Inspirational Romance is Faith. The characters learn lessons about the power of faith and trust. This category promotes strong family values and high moral standards. 

Traditional – The hero and heroine are modern people with conventional values. Their relationship is conventional and the plot revolves closely around the hero and heroine and is usually written from the heroine’s point of view. 

Paranormal – Magic, witches, ghosts, and warlocks make up a paranormal romance. The Paranormal Romance is very similar to a contemporary romance but contains the element of the supernatural. Fans of paranormal romances are a loyal bunch and a few publishers have lines dedicated to this category of romance fiction. 

Intrigue – Nail biting, edge of your seat thrillers. Well, almost. A heroine of an intrigue is involved in a mystery and falls in love while solving it. These novels are also called romantic suspense and include women in jeopardy. Whether it’s a murder mystery, psychological thriller, kidnappings or a stalking, the heroine and hero fall in love while avoiding danger.

Ethnic – A new line of romance fiction has finally emerged in the publishing industry that features heroes and heroines of non-Caucasian ethnic origins. These novels focus on multicultural relationships. 

Erotic – Pure sensual pleasure. These novels of romance fiction focus on the sexual relationship between the hero and heroine and the consummation of the relationship. 

Science Fiction, Fantasy, Futuristic, and Time travel – This category blends romance into each of the topics listed. They are very similar to category romances and are usually included in a publisher’s contemporary line. There are several publishers who only print these types of novels. 

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And the winners are… March 24, 2008

Thank you to everyone who participated in the Cerridwen Press Authors Spring Fling! The list of winners and their prizes are:

Grand Prize – Congratulations Jean P!
She wins an eBook reader with the following titles:
Jenyfer Matthews All the Way Home
Mary Ann Chulick Game Time
Teri Thackston Deadly Climb
Sam Cheever Tween Heaven and Hell
Liz Jasper Underdead
Catherine Berlin Return To Me
Dorothy McFalls Lady Iona’s Rebellion

First Prize: Congratulations to Shannon!
She wins the following titles:

Charlene Leatherman Prophecy of Vithan
Janet Miller aka Cricket Starr Tasting Nightwalker Wine
Jean C. Gordon My Lady Viking
Judith Atkins Anna’s secret
Karen McCullough Beneath a Christmas Moon
Karen McCullough Shadow of a Doubt
Lise Fuller Intimate Deceptions

Second Prize: Congratulations to Cathy McDonald!
She wins the following titles:

Eilis Flynn Introducing Sonika
Marianne Stephens Street of Dreams
Micqui Miller Morning Star
N. D. Hansen-Hill Gilded Folly
Amy Corwin Smuggled Rose

Third Prize: Congratulations to Debby!
She wins the following titles:

Sharon Horton My Shadow, My Love
Melissa Alvarez / Ariana Dupre Talgorian Prophecy
Terry Odell Starting Over
Vicky Burkholder Danger Xy-One–Book One of the Hunter for Hire Series

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Romance Book Junction – Come join! March 10, 2008

Visit Romance Book Junction

This is a very cool new network! Come on over and join us!

Smiles,

Melissa/Ariana

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The New Covey Trailer Awards February 25, 2008

I was just notified that Talgorian Prophecy is in the February New Covey Trailer Awards (I thought it was going into March) so if you like it from viewing it here – then take a look at the rest and cast your vote for the best video. There are some really good ones up this month. Here’s the link: http://thenewcoveytrailerawards.blogspot.com/

Smiles,

Melissa

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