Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Contest Notice!

Gonna Be a Hot Summer
Submissions Contest

Champagne Book Group is seeking talented authors and their stories for
Carnal Passions, our erotic imprint. Carnal Passions accepts erotic romance
in all its variations (BDSM, Alternate Lifestyle, Gay/Lesbian and any and
all combinations thereof).

To find this new talent and terrific stories, Champagne Book Group is
having a submissions contest for both published and unpublished authors.

Entries must be complete works, ranging in word count between 15,000-70,000
words and fit into one of the following subgenre categories:

· Science Fiction Romance
· Fantasy
· Paranormal or Urban Fantasy
· Contemporary
· Historical Romance
· M/M and F/F Romance
· BDSM and Ménage
· Mystery/Thriller/Suspense
Please see for a list of subject matters we will not accept.

Overall High Score: $100 advance and digital publishing contract (advance
payable as $50 upon finalized contract and $50 upon publication).

Top-Scoring Contestant in each category will receive an acquiring
editor’s critique of synopsis and the first 25 pages of the manuscript and
will be considered for a contract offer if the manuscript fits our current

Entries will be accepted from July 2, 2012 through July 22, 2012, and
must be emailed to Please include
Contest and book title in the email subject line (Contest_Booktitle).
Attach full manuscript and 2-3 page synopsis in RTF format (Booktitle_MS
and Booktitle_SYN as file names--your book title replaces “Booktitle”).

No entry fee is required. Judges reserve the right to Decline to Judge any
entry if it does not fit our lines, the level of writing is not acceptable
or the contest guidelines are not followed.

Entries will be judged on the following criteria: Hook, Pacing/Plot,
Characterization, Dialogue, Mechanics, and Author Voice.

While entering does not guarantee a contract, any manuscript, even if it is
not selected as a winner, may be offered a contract solely at Champagne
Book Group’s discretion.

Winners will be announced on August 13, 2012 via our blog and direct emails
to winners.

Follow the contest on Twitter! #summerheat

· File type: .rtf or .doc, or .docx only
· New Times Roman 12pt black font
· Double spaced
· No footers or headers
· Margins: 1" all
· Page-breaks between chapters

Please include a title page listing the following information:
· Legal name
· Pen name
· Email address
· Contact phone
· Working title (include series name and details if applicable)
· Word count
· Genre/category

*Contest submissions not adhering to the above guidelines or not
something Champagne Book Group/Carnal Passions publishes will be deleted

Monday, June 25, 2012

Review of Fatal Fortune

Every now and then I'll offer a review of a book that catches my eye. This week it's Elizabeth Delisi's Fatal Fortune.  Liz will be my guest in the next couple of weeks.

     Lottie (Madame Carlotta) Baldwin’s flamboyant ways ruffle the feathers of the small town in which she is a decided outsider. She speaks her mind, claims psychic powers, and lives in a house designed for a witch. Worse, she reads the Tarot. Accurately. None of which endears her to the stolid citizens of Cheyenne, ND, and least of all to Sheriff McCarthy, who rejects and resents everything she stands for. 
      This creates a problem for McCarthy’s Chief Deputy, Harlan Erickson, because he is madly in love with Lottie. Unlike his boss, he trusts her intuitive senses and has often relied on them in difficult cases. But now Harlan and Lottie must join forces to investigate a murder and rescue a kidnapped child.
     Elizabeth Delisi creates a cunning story of deceit, resentment, jealousy and greed in Fatal Fortune. Through it all she weaves a thread of the Tarot. Whether or not you accept the validity of the cards, you will be engrossed in the plot and in Lottie’s interpretation of the patterns she lays out. The cards serve as both meditation and foreshadow, but it is up to Lottie to pursue the clues they provide. With or without Harlan’s cooperation, she puts herself in danger to solve the mystery and prevent further mayhem.
     Fatal Fortune is an engrossing read, replete with the intricate web of small-town connections and an understanding of what drives people to extreme actions. I can’t wait to read the rest of the series.
      For more information or to buy/download:

Friday, June 15, 2012


     When I was a kid, I was lucky enough to live near a river. Not just any river--a tidal one. We were far enough upstream to be considered inland, but twice a day faintly salty water swept in and out of the swamp between our house and the water. The river, the swamp, and the upland woods were my playgrounds, sources of mystery, avenues to other worlds unknown to my parents.
      I'm still lucky enough to live near a river, though the water I hear in my sleep at night, bubbling over rocks and tree roots, is more mountain stream than tidal river. Different, but still a place of dreams. The small pond downhill from my home is yet another world of mystery, full of frogs, turtles, herons, and--who knows?--maybe aliens. A source of inspiration circling me back to my childhood.
     The other bit of luck I had when I was growing up was to live in a family that loved words. My parents read to me, bought me books (I memorized My Picture Dictionary  long before I learned to read), played word games in the car. I don't know how many sets of Scrabble we wore out. We made up words and sang silly songs we created. Once I learned to read properly, you could find me either nose-down in a book or knee-deep in water. Sometimes both.
     So here I am, many decades and hundreds of miles from the Raritan River. After earning a degree in French (new words in a delicious foreign language!), I grew up to be a songwriter, author and editor, and rivers are an essential part of my life. Water and words. Either can take me away to incredible places. With both, there is no place I can't go.
     Welcome to Scriveners River!

Here's a word game we used to play. It's non-competitive and can go on as long as you want.
The first person offers a three letter word: OWL
The next person can do one of several things:
  1. Change a letter: AWL
  2. Move  a letter: LOW
  3. Add a letter: OWLS
  4. Drop a letter: OW
Each player has the same options in each turn. Keep going until you run out of alternatives, come to the end of your journey, or fall asleep.
What kind of word games did you play?