2017 Linda Howard Award of Excellence

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ATTENTION ALL ROMANCE WRITERS!
Polish up those unpublished /non-contracted manuscripts and get ready to enter…
Southern Magic’s 2017 Linda Howard Award of Excellence writing contest!

LindaHoward

The Linda Howard Award of Excellence, sponsored by RWA chapter Southern Magic, was conceived in honor of best-selling author Linda Howard to award excellence in unpublished romance fiction and their authors. The contest is judged by trained, PRO and published authors. Finalists are judged by top editors and agents looking to contract romance fiction authors.

All you need is the first 5,000 words of your unpublished, non-contracted ROMANCE manuscript (any sub-genre). It will be read and scored by three trained judges.
Finalists (three highest scoring entries of each category) will be judged by some of the industry’s top agents and acquiring editors.

Open: NOW!!!!!! Deadline: May 31, 2017

Categories
Contemporary Romance: Manuscripts that are set from 1950 to the present that focus primarily on the romantic relationship. Word count: 70,000-110,000 words
Final Judge – Michelle Grajkowski, agent, 3 Seas Literary Agency

Historical Romance: Romance novels set in any historical time period prior to 1950. Word count: 40,000 to 110,000 words
Final Judge – Barbara Rosenberg, agent, The Rosenberg Group

*Inspirational Romance:* Romance novels in which religious or spiritual beliefs are an inherent part of the love story. Word count: 40,000 to 110,000 words
Final Judge – Elizabeth Mazer, editor, Harlequin

*LGBTQ Romance:* Romance novels in which a member(s) of the LGBTQ community is central to and an integral part of the plot. Word count: 50,000-100,000
Final Judge- Rachel Haimowitz, editor, Riptide Publishing

Paranormal/Futuristic/Fantasy Romance: Romance novels in which the future, a fantasy world, or paranormal elements are an integral part of the plot. Word count: 70,000 to 110,000 words
Final Judge – Victoria Lea, agent, Aponte Literary Agency

*Romantic Suspense:* Romance novels in which suspense, mystery, or thriller elements constitute an integral part of the plot. Word count: 70,000-100,000 words
Final Judge- Cheryl Yeko, editor, Soul Mate Publishing

Romantic Sensual and Sizzling: Romance-based novels that include a high (often explicit) element of sexual tension or sexual play.These novels may contain elements of other romance subgenres, such as paranormal, historical, etc. Word count: 40,000 to 110,000 words
Final Judge- Ric Savage, editor & CEO, Black Velvet Seductions Publishing

The Write Magic: All Southern Magic members who either final in their category or earn a score of 90 or higher will be automatically entered into The Write Magic category final round.
Final Judge- Patricia Nelson, agent, Marsal Lyon Literary Agency

Young Adult/ *New Adult* Romance: Manuscripts in which young adult life is an integral part of the plot. Word count: 50,000-110,000 words
Final Judge – Kristy Hunter, agent, The Knight Agency

Fee: $25 USD for first manuscript
$20 each additional entry

For more information go to: http://southernmagic.org/lindahowardcontest.html

To enter, go to: https://www.rwa.org/e/in/m=1&req=Edit&eid=643

For questions, comments, or concerns, please contact the Linda Howard Contest Coordinator at lhcontest@southernmagic.org

Good Luck!

Tempting Jo, Kindle Unlimited & Giveaways!

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Are you a Kindle Unlimited Member?
Tempting Jo is now available for FREE on KU!

And even better, it’s part of the KU Challenge & Giveaway 4/1-4/30!!
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Over 120 authors have come together to offer an awesome giveaway in an effort to find new readers!
Come meet your new favorite author. Read for FREE with KU. Even better, we’ve pooled our funds to offer an awesome giveaway! Enter to win a Kindle and Amazon Gift Cards just for reading and telling us what you liked.

Not a Kindle Unlimited Member? You can enjoy a 30 day trial membership!
Join here: http://madmimi.com/signups/260653/join

Cover Reveal & Excerpt: FOX by S.M. Lumetta

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What’s a little sex between friends?

Sophie Fordham never thought much about motherhood until her body forced her to. With the onset of early menopause, she knows if she wants to have a baby, it’s now or never. So what’s a single, financially-strapped girl to do? Go with what you know, of course.

Fox Monkhouse has been Sophie’s gorgeous best friend since preschool. This sun-kissed surfer boy has no shortage of ladies, but she’s hoping he’ll put that aside to help her out. As there’s never been anything romantic between the two, things get awkward when she asks him to put a bun in her oven—especially since it has to be done the old-fashioned, no-pants dance way.

When Fox agrees to do the deed, Sophie is overjoyed. But she soon realizes that this chance at a baby could cost her everything. Keeping sex and emotions separate is clearly not in her wheelhouse especially when her best friend is involved. If their relationship can’t evolve into something new, their unusual arrangement could destroy the friendship of a lifetime.

EXCERPT

THE ASK

“Nurse Foxy, I don’t have a lot of time, and there are some medical options involved which are not really financially viable.” I blow past his incredulousness so I don’t lose steam and chicken out. “So, I’m looking to have a baby while I have a reasonable window. Of course, I insist you to take a day or three to think about this, but… I want you to be the father.”

He should have seen this coming before now, but the statuesque reaction—the ultimate deer in headlights—makes it clear that hints have gone straight over his head. He doesn’t move or breathe for long enough that I wonder if he’s been spontaneously paralyzed. I stand, walk over, and wave a hand in front of his face. Thankfully, he blinks.

“Do… um.” He stops and starts. “Me?”

I feel my cheeks heat. “Yes.”

“Why?”

I slump over with an exasperated sigh. “Honestly?”

“No, please lie.”

“Asshole.”

“Now you see the reason for my question,” he snarks as life finally creeps back into his posture.

I feel so much more exposed, regardless of the details I’m about to explain. “Well, because you’re my best guy friend. You’re good looking, smart—”

“Uhh… I’m hot.” He leans forward to somehow emphasize his point. Well, he isn’t wearing a shirt, so…

“You’re a dick.”

“Who’s hot.”

I love that the supposed insult doesn’t slow him down. “Fine,” I concede, “you’re hot.”

“Thank you.” He looks satisfied, so of course I roll my eyes. “I’ll ignore that.”

“ANYWAY.”

“Proceed.”

RELEASING April 17,  2017!!!!

Add to your TBR list: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32939411-fox

Pre-order on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/fox/id1220596765?ls=1&mt=11

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Cain Raisers, Street Teams, Book Reviews and Giveaways

Love reading & reviewing? Like finding new authors?

Wanna join a review team/street team?

We have 35 authors of varying genres who would love to find new readers! Why join a team? (Or lots of teams?) There are so many perks…like FREE books, advanced notice of sales, giveaways, and new releases. Let’s not forget the swag and signed books so many authors give to their team as a reward for the support.

Give it a try!

Join some teams

and be entered to win

$350 in Amazon Gift Cards!

Participating Authors:

A.M. Myers | Amelie Stephens | Amy L Gale | Andie M. Long | Anne Stone | Annie Anderson | Brandy Ayers | Cassandra Carr | Christa Simpson | Eme Strife | JA Culican | Janna Raynes | Jeanne St. James | Jennifer Locklear | Joanna Mazurkiewicz | Josie Kerr| K E Osborn | K.N. Lee | Kelly Collins | Kennedy Morgan | Lexi C. Foss | Mary Crawford | Nancee Cain | Nikki Lynn Barrett | R.K. Close | Rebecca Norinne | Sammi Starlight | Sarah Darlington | Shaan Ranae | Sheila Kell | Shelique Lize | Sydney Aaliyah Michelle | Terra Kelly | Tracey Pedersen | Zane Morrow

Enter to win!

Enter to win here:
http://lovekissedbookbargains.com/join-a-team/

Author Spotlight: F. Stone

I’m so excited to be a part of Forbidden’s book launch celebration.

Better Wear Your Flak Jacket!

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FORBIDDEN eBOOK IS FREE! THAT’S RIGHT… FREE!

February 14th to 18th at AMAZON

book-cover-three-dimensional-finalSynopsis:

Year 2047, City of Samarra, capital of the Republic of Islamic Provinces & Territories

Fifteen American travelers have vanished. Surrendering to Mayor Aamir’s demands, Captain Sharif becomes the reluctant keeper of his city’s bloody secret – and the witness, Eliza MacKay. The devout Muslim is horrified to discover that if he exposes the cover-up, his family will suffer dire consequences.

The CIA has the lying Sharif in their cross hairs. Sharif’s only hope is to prove his country’s government is free of guilt. Secretly, he hunts forensic evidence. Cryptic messages, backstabbing informants, and corruption threaten Sharif’s resolve to see justice served. When he discovers the shocking truth, he and MacKay become the targets of a ruthless killer.

Sharif is tortured by his attraction to the impetuous Eliza MacKay. In spite of her struggle with PTSD, he’s drawn to her vivacious personality. Islam forbids the intimacy he craves. In desperation to save Eliza, Sharif plots an act most forbidden and fatal.

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a Rafflecopter giveaway

Enter your name in Feather Stone’s rafflecopter for a chance to win:

GRAND PRIZE: AMAZON coupon valued at $100 USD,

Second prize: Amazon coupon $50,

PLUS five ten dollar amazon coupons.

ΩΩΩ

Below is one of my favorite romance scenes from F. Stone’s book, Forbidden.

Chapter 30

Buzz adjusted his speed and configured the Phoenix to climb. The mountain loomed another one hundred fifty miles in the distance. Snow in the higher elevations glistened in the sun among the jagged peaks.

“Better have a seat, Sharif. Going to get rough. Buckle up your friend, too.” Buzz turned to check on Miss MacKay. “Shit, what is she doing?”

She stood at the tail section in the aisle, wobbling with the aircraft’s movement on the wind currents. Her bare back faced the men. She appeared to be looking for something in her backpack.

Sharif lunged to stand behind her back, blocking the pilot’s view of the semi-naked woman.

“What are you doing?” he growled. “This is not permitted.”

“I spilled hot coffee on my shirt. It burned like crazy. Just give me two minutes to change into a clean shirt.” Eliza shrugged him off. “Turn around.”

“You’re indecent.” Sharif knew he should tear his eyes away, and turn around. The shape of her back, the soft shoulders, and her curves reminded him of the undulating terrain of the Sahara. The waistband of her pants rested low on her hips. Fighting his body’s traitorous desires, Sharif growled, “Get into the bathroom.”

“Too damn small.” Eliza snatched a black lace camisole from her backpack and held it against her chest. “Go back to Buzz. I’ll be properly dressed in two minutes.” The plane lurched to the right. Eliza lost her balance and placed her feet farther apart.

Sharif grabbed her around the waist and pulled her back snug against his chest. He whispered into her ear. “Eliza, when are you going to stop tormenting me?” He half-hoped she didn’t hear his confession above the roar of the twin engines.

“Do you want me to shut off who I am?”

He felt her body tense as if preparing to fight him off, then melt into his wall of muscle and bone.

The intimacy threw him into panic. In the span of one breath, he felt the old inclination to shun the pleasure, even to feel repulsed by the bliss. Allah forbids. But his drive to be honorable refused to allow the lie. He could no longer deny that Eliza, the impetuous and insane woman who had the audacity to expose his humanity, had become very dear to him.

“No, never,” he said, placing a brief kiss on the corner of her mouth. Though he met her just seven weeks ago, he knew her as if they had spent a lifetime together. He knew the cadence of her voice, the swing of her stride, and the nuances of her moods. He marveled at the light that shimmered in her hair and lived in her eyes. He knew the capricious scent of her body, and could spy on her thoughts through the tilt of her head and curve of her mouth. He found it mystifying at the depth to which he understood this woman, like no other. Wanted her, like no other.

The warmth of her body spread like a warm breeze into his. Numbed by isolation and practiced sacrifice, fragments of his passion flared out of control. Hashim Sharif moaned. He couldn’t tell where his body ended and hers began. The dim light of the aircraft cabin sighed over her shoulders. If not for the lace camisole concealing her most alluring charms, his lust would have ruled his actions.

Over the years, the words “I love you” had become mute, lost under the weight of perceived duty and disconnection with his emotions. He was Captain Sharif, the noble Muslim warrior. He was not Hashim Sharif, the good man, worthy of Eliza MacKay.

Soft and warm, her hands covered his. Sharif shivered with need – to declare to man and Allah, Eliza was his. A violent shake of the aircraft shattered his lustful intentions. Sharif straightened, and wrestled his inner cop back into control. Love was for people not running for their lives.

She buttoned up a fresh shirt, turned to face him and flipped up her hair under the police cap. “There, no harm done.”

He lifted his cap and slapped it back down. “Around my family, we’ll have to maintain physical distance. No unnecessary conversation.”

“You’re the boss.” She smiled and patted his chest. “Anything you want, it shall be done.”

For the next hour Sharif and Eliza rested, fitfully sleeping, half relieved to be away from the terror in Samarra, and yet anxious about finding a resolution to the Sharif family’s safety. Sharif bolted upright in his seat when Buzz shook him awake.

“There’s trouble in Rumi, Sharif,” Buzz hollered. “Captain Khattab and his men are setup to meet you on the tarmac.”

*********************************************************************

WOW! I don’t know about you all, but I’m fanning myself! More about the multi-talented F. Stone!–Nancee

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Romance Under Fire

Author Feather Stone / F. Stone / Judy Weir

On our cattle ranch, when an animal was in distress or injured, I was put in charge of nursing it back to health. Never mind that I was just a kid and hated the sight of blood, but I had to muster up the courage to apply home remedies. My survival rate was pretty good. It seemed like a foregone conclusion that I would progress to nursing – humans. After one year into nurses training, I bolted. Bed pans and chronic diseases pushed me in different direction; a career of dealing with drug addicts, murder, suicide, fatalities, and biker gangs. In 1983 I graduated with honors as a paramedic and worked in the City of Edmonton’s Emergency Services.

For the next twenty years, I came face to face with scenes most people would rather not think about. I loved it. Having experienced life in the most deadly and gut wrenching events, and work alongside the police service, I gained the fodder for creating intense novels.

My first novel, The Guardian’s Wildchild, was published by Omnific Publishing in 2011. The setting is on a naval ship, under the command of a surely man who is under suspicion of treason. When a battered woman is brought to his ship for execution, he has no idea that she is about to turn his disciplined life into chaos – and that she is no ordinary woman. The Guardian’s Wildchild has a rating of 4.1 at Amazon.

The Guardian's Wildchild cover_450x679Social Media Links: Stop by and say hello at:

Romance Under Fire Blog

Facebook: FSauthor

Twitter: Featherwrites

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Valentine’s Day Extra: Q & A

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I decided to have some fun with today’s blog. So I had my Street Team, Cain Raisers pose some questions for the characters in Saving Evangeline and Tempting Jo.  Questions were censored to not give away the books. They’re impatient to answer, so here we go!

QUESTIONS FOR REMI

Luc: Why does he get to go first?

Remi: I’m her favorite.

Rafe: *looks bored*

Nancee: I pulled names out of a hat. No one is a favorite. Let’s get started.

Remi, you use an in-your-face approach with Evie. Were you ever afraid it was too much?

Remi: Nope. She needed it. I had to snap her out of her depression so she could see how beautiful life is. I mean, you all have it pretty great down here. Fast cars, cigarettes, carnival rides–

Luc: Fast women, don’t forget the fast women…

All three angels nod and grin. Jo and Evie glare at Luc.

*thunder booms* All three angels shift uncomfortably.

Evangeline: Great, I hope my hair doesn’t frizz if it rains. And let me just add, Remi can be a real ass at times.

Rafe and Luc laugh.

Remi: Hold on Crazy Girl, let me finish. Plus, I had to shake her up. I mean, when I met her, that girl was a hot, stinkin’ mess. Literally. She stunk.

Evangeline: And you think your cigarettes smell good?

Remi, did you ever consider sticking around, maybe turning human?

Remi: Uh, well, yeah, being human might be fun. Except old man farts and nose hair. Not my style.

*Evangeline punches him on the arm*

QUESTIONS FOR EVANGELINE

Evangeline, what attracted you to Remi?

Evangeline: You’re joking, right? Look at him. He’s gorgeous. And that priest collar kinda makes him look even sexier. *winks*

Jo: *whispers* Rafe’s handsomer.

Luc: *rolls eyes* Puh-lease.

Evangeline: And he’s a pretty great listener. Even when he can be annoying as hell.

Luc: There’s nothing annoying about hell. Warm weather, hedonism, great place. You should visit sometime.

QUESTIONS FOR JO

Jo, did you really feel a connection with Luc?

Jo: He really isn’t that bad.

Rafe and Remi: Yes, he is!

*sound of ruffling feathers*

Luc: I take offense to that remark, Jolene.

Jo, what is your favorite word of the week?

Jo: malapropism

Luc grins and Rafe kisses her.

QUESTIONS FOR RAFE

Rafe, would you ever tell your kids about your past?

Jo: What past? What did you do? *narrows eyes* Do I need to open up a can of whoop-ass on someone?

Luc: Yep, him. *smirks and points at Rafe*

Rafe: I don’t think parents need to reveal everything to their children. We’re all entitled to some secrets. *glares at Luc*

Jo: What secrets, Rafe?!

Rafe whispers in Jo’s ear. Jo blushes.

Jo: Next question.

Rafe, did you truly worry you’d lose Jo?

Rafe: Of course, not.

*thunder rumbles*

Luc: Liar. When is it my turn for questions? I’m bored with Mr. Goody-Two-Shoes.

QUESTIONS FOR LUC

Luc, what is one TRUTH about yourself that people would find hard to believe?

Luc: *imitates Jack Nicholson* and quotes, ‘You can’t handle the truth!’ (from A Few Good Men)

Rafe: You wouldn’t know the truth if it bit you in the ass.

Remi: Okay, Cowboy

Luc *high fives* Remi.

Luc, did you develop true affection for Jo?

Luc: I refuse to answer on the grounds that anything I say, can and will be, used against me.

Jo winks, nods and grins.

Rafe snarls.

Remi and Evangeline snicker.

Luc, do you have any regrets?

Everyone turns their attention toward Luc.

Luc: Next question, please.

Nancee taps her foot, waiting. Luc glares.

Luc: Oh, all right. Once, there was this attractive redhead…

Nancee interrupts.

Luc, what are your base thoughts about females?

Luc: Why do I get all the hard questions? I love women. I think they’re beautiful and fun to fu– *thunder booms*

Remi, Rafe and Luc, do you ever go through spiritual crises?

Rafe: Of course. We all have fears, low points, anger, doubts. Without doubt, there isn’t true faith. They aren’t mutually exclusive. As a matter of fact, they go hand in hand. How could we, as angels, understand the human condition without experiencing it?

Remi: What he said.

Luc: Much as I hate agreeing with him, ditto.

Follow Nancee here:

Website: www.nanceecain.com/

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Twelve Days of Christmas Giveaway!

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How much do you love signed paperbacks from your favorite romance authors?

Yeah. We thought so.

You’ve heard of the Twelve Days of Christmas? We’re offering Twelve Days of Giveaways.

Enter to win one of twelve prize packs.

Each prize pack will contain SIX signed books.

If you’re already a collector, you’ll be in heaven. If you’ve never owned a signed paperback before, you’ll start your collection with a bang.

Either way, entry is simple.

One simple entry will subscribe you to 70 Romance Author Newsletters.

Unsubscribe any time, but please don’t label us as spam.

Better still, stick around and get to know us!!!!

ENTER TO WIN!
http://lovekissedbookbargains.com/signed-paperback-giveaway/

Participating Authors:

AJ Norris | Alyson Reynolds | Amie Stuart | Amy L Gale | Anna B. Madrise | Annie Anderson | Bethany Lopez | Bethany Shaw | Brinda Berry | Brittney Coon | Candace Clark | Candace Knoebel | Christa Cervone | Christi Barth | DD Lorenzo | Debra Parmley | Diana Quincy | Eileen Cruz Coleman | Elianne Adams | Eva Winters | G.L. Tomas | India Millar | J.M. Adele | Ja’Nese Dixon | Jamie Farrell | JB Schroeder | Jenn Windrow | Jennifer Locklear | Jennifer Ryder | Joanna Shupe | Joanne Dannon | Josie Bordeaux | Kelly Collins | Kelly Moore | Kimi Flores/K.A. Hunter | L A Cotton | L Chapman | Leigh Anderson | Lisa Ladew | Lisa Shelby | Liz Durano | M.M. Chabot | Margo Bond Collins | Mary Abshire | Mary Hughes | Mayra Statham | Michele Mannon | Michelle Irwin | MJ Summers | Monica Corwin | Nancee Cain | Nikki Lynn Barrett | Rissa Blakely | S.M. Schmitz | Shaniel Watson | Sheila Kell | Shelique Lize | Skye Jordan | Sybil Bartel | Sydney Aaliyah Michelle | Tania Cooper | Terra Kelly | Theresa Troutman | Tracey Pedersen | Tracy Ellen | Victoria Pinder | Wendy Knight

Enter to win!
Enter here: http://lovekissedbookbargains.com/signed-paperback-giveaway/

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