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"Seekerville" - 5 new articles

  1. When Your Plans Are Waylaid
  2. Wind, Waves, and Writing
  3. What's in a Name? How to choose a title for your book
  4. The Weekend Edition
  5. July Contest Update
  6. More Recent Articles
  7. Search Seekerville
  8. Prior Mailing Archive

When Your Plans Are Waylaid

Proverbs 16:9
In their hearts humans plan their course, 
but the LORD establishes their steps. 

Have you ever had your plans waylaid? My life has felt that way for a long time. I had to “retire” early from being a psychologist after 25 years because of Rheumatoid Arthritis. But God has a plan for each of us, and He has shown that to me in my writing career.

In the past four years I’ve been dealing with the inability to walk properly, without intense pain, because of Achilles tendon problems. I had surgery a year ago, which failed to correct the issue so in March 2015, I had a PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma) procedure that was giving me great results. I was walking more, I was coming out of my orthopedic boot, and going to events I’d not been able to attend. Just prior to that PRP procedure, I’d completed the second book in The Christy Lumber Camp Series and was in prayer about how to promote the upcoming release, The Lumberjacks’ Ball. I wanted to be obedient to God.

The Lord knows all human plans; he knows that they are futile.

I “knew” what I needed to do as far as marketing, but I kept feeling like God was holding me back, and I wanted to obey. So I needed to trust Him rather than jumping on the promotion treadmill. As the co-leader of the Tidewater North Christian Fiction Group, I was also trying to set up our Spring meeting, with a special guest photographer--but that whole plan was NOT coming together at all, either!!  I was frustrated.

But God knew what was coming.

Then came the beauty of Easter, rejoicing in the resurrected Christ, and what a delight to also celebrate my son’s birthday, too. Although my new book released, I’d been obedient to Christ and no immediate promotion had been set up. But I wanted to do so and prayed about one event for the following week. After Easter brunch, I ended up violently ill and in bed much of that week, so it was a blessing that I’d planned no promotion. Yet the book was being promoted—by others God had touched to do so.

One week later, we had finally canceled the writers’ meeting. I could make no sense of why this meeting, planned for months, wasn’t coming together. Nor did I understand why I shouldn’t set up blog visits and all the other promotion I’d normally do. 

God brought me through.

I was admitted to the hospital after being in incredible pain and on the date of our planned meeting, I had emergency open gall bladder surgery.  It was now the second week of my new book’s release, and here I was bedridden in a hospital. Those who have a book release know that promotion in the first 30 days is critical if you want to make the Amazon Hot New Releases list and more! But following a surgery that left me with a foot-long scar, I was still in excruciating pain and unable to do a thing, certain this whole debacle was a ploy of the enemy to thwart the release of this book. As Christian authors attempting to draw others to Christ, we often feel like a moving target, and this particular target—moi—felt like someone filleted me like a fish and gutted my plans. Why God? 

Psalms 46:10 
Be still and know that I am God. 

This particular verse is one I love. And repeatedly God told me to be still and spend time with Him. Once home, I remained in bed for the next several weeks, unable to do much of anything. Although I knew God’s hand was with me throughout the healing process, I started to wonder. But Lord, I’m supposed to promote my book—is this operation why You said not to schedule anything? 

And then I heard in my heart, “Rest. You don’t need to DO anything.” 

Really, Lord??? Look out the window. My blinds were pulled and the sun lit up my lilac tree, which had NEVER bloomed before, illuminating three heavenly blossoms. I know God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit have everything in the universe under control and they do care about me—but those fragrant lilacs reminded me how every good gift comes from the Lord. And my book was His to do with as He would. 

“Just be in the moment,” God whispered to my soul.

That was another gift He gave to me.  Instead of being caught up in promoting my new release, I got to spend time just in the moment and to enjoy time with Him, resting. We need to do that, to just soak in the glory of His presence!

And God promoted my book.

To my shock, the Lumberjacks’ Ball ended up on the Hot New Releases list, hitting the #1 spot — again affirming that God is in control of all things. Without efforts on my part, God mobilized others to promote my book for me, dear friends such as my Pagels’ Pals Facebook group and my precious cohorts on my blog, a blog whose theme is about overcoming with God’s help! 

He just needs us to get out of the way! And to trust Him.

During my recovery, one of the songs that really resonated with me was Steal My Show by TobyMac, which emphasizes that anything we make or do belongs to God, so why not give it to Him—your writing, your promotion, your talent. Before my book released, that was my prayer—that this work was for God and it was a gift to Him for Him to do with as He willed. And He did! 

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;

Lest you think I’m encouraging authors to not promote their books, that isn’t what I have intended. Be obedient to God, for He does plan to bless you. So just do what He tells you to do and don’t do what He says NOT to do.  And trust that He’s got it all under control. Because He does.

Have you ever had your plans waylaid only to find that God had a reason?

A paperback copy of The Lumberjacks’ Ball and an MP3 download of Steal My Show by TobyMac.  Leave a comment to enter.  

Carrie Fancett Pagels, Ph.D., Tagline, “Hearts Overcoming Through Time,” is the author of The Lumberjacks’ Ball (April, 215) an Amazon Christian Historical Romance bestseller. The Fruitcake Challenge (September, 2014) was a Family Fiction finalist for Book of the Year and a Selah Award finalist. Lilacs for Juliana releases in 2015 and is the third novella in The Christy Lumber Camp Series. Saving the Marquise’s Granddaughter (White Rose), releases in 2015. Her short story, “Snowed In,” appears in Guidepost Books’ A Christmas Cup of Cheer (2013). She’s the Amazon best-selling and top-rated author of Return to Shirley Plantation: A Civil War Romance (2013). Her Historical Category winner, “The Quilting Contest,” is published in Family Fiction’s The Story 2014 anthology (Salem Publishing). Carrie received Honorable Mention for the 2014 Maggie Awards for Excellence. Administrates two popular group blogs: and  Former psychologist (25 years), married mother of two.


Wind, Waves, and Writing

with guest Kristen Ethridge. 

Hey there, Seekerville! I always love stopping by here. Where else can you get a great cup of coffee and a nice muffin straight out of the oven while you catch up with some of the nicest people in and around the book world? I’m so excited that Tina invited me back and I’m looking forward to hanging out today.

Before we get started…is there any zucchini bread? If you haven’t heard, I’m expecting Ethridge 3.0 early next year and zucchini bread is kinda my thing right now. I blame Candace Calvert—she’s been posting a lot about her bumper harvest of zucchini on Facebook lately, and well…you know how cravings go!
One of the most common adages about creative pursuits is that “life imitates art.” And with the writing I’m doing now, that is SO very true. When it came time for me to go back to Port Provident and catch up with the characters, I knew I wanted to test the citizens of Port Provident and put them in situations that would push them in both their relationships and their faith.

Because Port Provident is loosely based on my former home of Galveston, Texas, there was no question about what was brewing for the residents. 

A hurricane was on the horizon.

Hurricane Hope is headed for Provident Island, and I know hurricanes pretty well because I lived in Galveston in 2008, when Hurricane Ike rolled ashore.

Hurricane Hope is basically the fictional version of Hurricane Ike. I took my memories of before and after the hurricane (I wasn’t actually on the island for the hurricane itself—I had a six-month-old and we evacuated the day before) and layered them with experiences of my friends and other Galvestonians to create what I hoped was a very realistic look at going through a major natural disaster.

Second Chance Sweethearts, my July Love Inspired release that follows the hurricane and brings together former high school sweethearts Gloria Garcia Rodriguez and Rigo Vasquez, got four stars from RT and I think the line in the review that made me smile the most was “the scary reality and power of the hurricane is made clear in Ethridge’s writing.” Ha! Mission accomplished!

And what goes better with an actual storm than a stormy reunion? It was a lot of fun to make Gloria and Rigo’s relationship mirror the hurricane. There was a lot of sound and fury as they were forced to rely on each other during a very uncertain time, and then as the water rolled away, they struggled with the realities of rebuilding—in this case, not just the town, but their relationship.

One of the things I knew while I was writing was that Gloria and Rigo’s story was not the end of Port Provident’s story. And one of the realities of the recovery process was that a lot happened in a very short time to us as we lived it. I wanted that for my readers, to share in the experience of walking through a storm and challenges and triumphs associated with the recovery and rebuilding that happens after the wind and the waves recede.

So be looking for the following books in the series in the months to come. I’m inviting my readers to become honorary citizens of Port Provident and to get to know the characters and to walk with them as they grow and experience the rebuilding—not just of their lives, homes and businesses, but of their faith and relationships as well.

But probably the project I’m most excited about bringing out is Storm Surge, my first non-fiction book. Releasing on September 13, the seventh anniversary of Hurricane Ike’s landfall in Galveston, Storm Surge is a memoir that contains short Bible-based lessons based on the life lessons I learned from a hurricane. I wanted to write Storm Surge because I knew that not everyone would go through a hurricane, but everyone goes through storms in their lives, and I knew that the lessons I learned could help others rise above the winds that rock us all. 

So I guess you could say that I’m definitely one of those people for whom art comes from life—and I’ve never been more excited about a writing project. I would love to invite you to click the “follow” button over on my Amazon page so you will receive notifications when the next books in the series go live—there will be a pre-order in early July, so I hope that you won’t miss out!

What about you? How have you been inspired to create something based on life experiences? Do you volunteer with a group that helps cancer patients because you’re a survivor? Did you adopt a child because you went on a mission trip and fell in love with the people of the country and wanted to make a greater difference? Did you choose your career because of the impact of a person or event in your life?

 I can’t wait to hear how experiences have encouraged you to do more and create more! 
I’ve got a couple of giveaways today for two random commenters… I’m giving away a Kindle copy of Firefly Summer, Kathleen Y’Barbo’s new release. Kathleen has told me this is the book of her heart, and the character of Bonnie Sue in the book is based on her own mother. See, life and art can intersect anywhere!

I’m also giving away a Kindle copy of Isaac’s Storm, the definitive book on the Great Storm of 1900, the deadliest storm in American history and the second most financially-devastating hurricane in American history. The 1900 Storm hit Galveston, Texas 108 years and six days before Hurricane Ike came ashore. I’ve read this book and was caught up in the turn-of-the-century resilience shown as the citizens of Galveston survived and rebuilt the island with incredible determination.

This is me in September 2008—wearing my “I Don’t Like Ike” shirt—posing with one of the more unique finds from our home after the Hurricane—a 1981 can of Pepsi that had been left inside of the area behind our fireplace. We found it when we tore out all the drywall as part of the rebuilding process.

The writing bug bit Kristen Ethridge around the time she first held a pencil. A 2012 Romance Writers of America Golden Heart Award Finalist, Kristen was discovered by Harlequin through their 2012 So You Think You Can Write contest.

She writes contemporary inspirational romance for Harlequin's Love Inspired line, as well as sweet contemporary romance. Her favorite stories are filled with love, laughter, and happily ever after--and her favorite happily ever after is the story of God's love. Although she has fun creating characters, Kristen's favorite people are her family. She lives in Texas with her husband, children and a self-important poodle. Visit her online at

Nurse-midwife Gloria Rodriguez prides herself on her independence—but right now she needs help. There's a hurricane approaching and she has one very pregnant patient on her hands. With so many people already evacuated, the only one Gloria can turn to is Rigo Vasquez, chief of the beach patrol in Port Provident. The man she holds responsible for the death of her husband. Rigo needs to make amends for his past mistakes, and Gloria's desperate phone call opens the door to make things right with his first love. Rigo is honor-bound to keep her and her patient safe, but once the storm passes, will Gloria still need him?

What's in a Name? How to choose a title for your book

Barbara White Daille
By Barbara White Daille

What's in a Name?

Hey, everyone! It’s a pleasure to drop in and visit again.  As always, I’m looking forward to a fun and lively chat—and some delicious goodies, of course! I’ve brought along homemade chocolate-chip and blueberry muffins, so let’s fire up the coffeemaker, heat up the teakettle, and settle in.

Today we’re talking about titles.

Coming up with the right title for your book is an important process. If you’ve ever picked up—and even purchased—a book based on the title alone, you’ll know how true that is. Finding the right title, the one that speaks to you and to readers, that gets the gist of the story across, and that conveys something extra about your book, can be both challenging and fun.

These are just some of the many things to think about when naming your story.

Who is your audience?

If you’re writing to share your stories with others, then obviously, you need to catch the interest of an audience. To attract new readers or to hold the interest of your current readers, you’ll want your title to feature keywords that grab their attention.

For example, I’ve been a lifelong mystery reader, and even in grade school, I was drawn to any book that included adventure, mystery, secret, or clue in the title. Anyone remember the Bobbsey Twins, Nancy Drew, and the Hardy Boys? What mystery lover could resist a title such as The Bobbsey Twins at Mystery Mansion, The Clue of the Broken Locket, or The Secret of the Old Mill?   

As an adult, I love to read mysteries and romantic suspense and still search library and bookstore shelves—and websites—for titles containing those mystery-related words.

Many of my own books have rancheror cowboy or sheriff in the title because my publisher knows those are heroes our readers love.

What’s your book about?
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This can encompass many things, including:

1. Your subject matter. The type of book you write—whether contemporary or historical fiction or nonfiction—will determine how you tell your story and how much background material and research you weave through it. But writers of any type of book can touch on similar topics:  small-town life, the settlers of the American West, life-threatening illness, blended families.

2. Your theme. What is the book about—that is, what is its underlying message? Forgiveness? Revenge? Reclaiming your faith? The power of love? Belonging?

Finding the right words or phrases to convey these themes will help you catch readers who love the topics as easily as those childhood mystery titles reeled me in.

How can you make the most of your title?

1. Play off the tone of the book. Of course, there are exceptions to every rule, but usually, the tone of a gentle, heartwarming romance will be very different from that of a thriller. A romantic comedy won’t read like cutting-edge science fiction. Whatever the tone of your story, you can use the appropriate words to match.

2. Use your setting. In the books I’d read as a child, an adventure usually involved a mystery. But it can also be connected to travel and exploration, two topics some readers love. Again, this works for fiction or nonfiction. Instead of the generic adventure, use descriptive words that indicate the setting of your story…that tell your reader exactly where the adventure will take place. A spaceship. An antiques emporium. A cathedral. The Adirondacks. Davey’s Diner. Wyoming.

Click to Buy
3. Make the title do double- or triple-duty. Here are some examples using my own titles.
A Rancher’s Pride is a perfect fit for its story. This title does triple-duty, as my hero is a very proud man whose pride took a beating after his ex-wife abandoned him. Since then he has let that pride get in the way of accepting help from his many friends. Finally, as the book opens, he learns he’s a daddy, and as he grows to love his little girl, she becomes his pride and joy.
In Family Matters, my heroine is the one person in her family who can always be counted on to come to their rescue over anything involving…well…family matters. In this story, she has a choice to make between her immediate goal and her family’s needs. She makes a great personal sacrifice because, to her, family matters.
The title of my current book, A Rancher of Her Own, also does double-duty. Jane’s cousin, who recently found the man of dreams, makes a reference to Jane finding (you’ve guessed it) a rancher of her own. The irony is, city-slicker Jane is determinedly single and happy to remain so. The last thing she wants is a man of her own—especiallyone as contrary as solitary rancher Pete.
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I hope all this will have given you some ideas to help you create titles for your own books.

Now, let’s see the results of a good title in action. This involves a little homework on your part…and a giveaway from me!

Tell us the title of a book that would catch your eye and share why it would make you pick it up for a closer look. (Please choose a book other than your own. ;) )
Three winners will receive their choice of an autographed print copy of A Rancher’s Pride or Family Matters.  One of the villagers here at Seekerville will draw and announce the winners’ names.

And now, Seekers, let the chatting begin!


Barbara White Daille lives with her husband in the sunny Southwest. Though they love the warm winters and the lizards in their front yard, they haven’t gotten used to the scorpions in the bathroom.
Barbara’s new series, The Hitching Post Hotel, features a matchmaking grandpa determined to see his three granddaughters wed. The series began in April 2015 with The Cowboy’s Little Surprise and continues with A Rancher of Her Own in July and The Lawman’s Christmas Proposal in December.
You can find more info about Barbara and her books at the following locations:

A Rancher of Her Own
Ranch manager Pete Brannigan has no interest in playing tour guide to a city slicker like Jane Garland. But spending a few days with the headstrong photographer is a small price to pay for everything her grandfather has given the single dad. Though Pete's drawn to Jane's sharp wit and striking beauty, he won't hurt his young children by falling for another woman who puts her career before family. 
Jane's seen the world through her camera…and used it to shield her emotions. With Pete, she can finally let her guard down. If only he could do the same. Despite their powerful bond, Pete still can't trust Jane with his kids or his heart. But if he keeps pushing her away, he may ruin any chance their relationship has to develop.


The Weekend Edition

The Weekend Edition comes to you from the shores of Unpublished Island, where we're dipping our feet in the water and trying to stay cool. We're also trying to keep up our writing schedule while we soak up the rays.

If you didn't win a beach read box yesterday, there's one more left. Just comment today and if you are a writer tell us about the most unlikely places you had to write on deadline during the fun days of summer. In a car, on a boat, at the beach, or from the bleachers of a ball game perhaps? Winner announced in the next Weekend Edition.

We Have Winners

 Giveaway rules can be found here. Please drop us a line to claim your giveaway at All prizes not claimed in 8 weeks go back into the prize vault. We wish we could contact all our winners individually, but we'd rather write books! And P.S. - if we forget to send  your prize DO let us know after 8 weeks per our rules. 

 Sandra Leesmith talked about "Using Unique Real Life Experiences in Your WIP"  on Tuesday. She had some interesting, almost unbelievable, experiences to share.  Meghan Carver is the winner of the Writer Box and Jan Christiansen is the winner of the Kindle. Happy Birthday and hooray for de-cluttering.   

Wednesday  Glynna Kaye joined us for "July Is Your New January," a midyear look at getting back on track with your 2015 writing goals. Winners of Glynna Kaye’s October release, “Rekindling the Widower’s Heart,” are Sarah Claucherty, Tracey Hagwood and “Cat Mom” Patti Jo!

Thursday Cara Lynn James was our hostess with her post "In the Beginning..."
Winner of a $15 Starbucks gift card is Cindy W.

Friday was Time for the July Contest Update! Did you stop by to meet Diva Deb Harkness? Winners of a box of beach reads are BonTon and Natalie Monk.

Next Week in Seekerville

Monday: Today Barbara White Daille will be stopping in to ask "What's in a Name?" She has advice on finding the right title, the one that speaks to you and to readers, that gets the gist of the story across. Three winners will receive their choice of an autographed print copy of Barbara' s books  A Rancher’s Pride  or  Family Matters.

Tuesday: Love Inspired author Kristen Ethridge is your hostess today and she'll be talking about how life experiences influence writing (or...the story behind the story), with her post, "Wind, Waves, and Writing." Oooh, and has she got some fantastic giveaways for our Villagers!

Wednesday: "When Your Plans Are Waylaid …" Have you ever made plans and not only are they altered but go kaput?  Award-winning author and psychologist Carrie Fancett Pagels shares her thoughts and experiences as a Christian author who learned all too well that when it comes to our writing careers,  “Man may make designs for his way, but the Lord is the guide of his steps” — Proverbs 16:9.

Thursday: Join Audra Harders as she peeks into the scary land that is - Social Media! She'll share what's "book learned" and you can share real life tips on how to navigate these ever-changing waters.

Friday: We present The Best of the Archives! 

Saturday:  Seekerville is closed for the Fourth of July. Happy Holidays.

Sunday: The Weekend Edition will be posted today!

Seeker Sightings

 Check out the New Release Newsletter by A Girl and Her eBooks featuring Rough Road Home. Audra would be all kinds of happy if you'd shared the news!!

 Stop by the Sweet South Blog today for Tina Radcliffe's post, "Top Five Tips from the Pro’s: How to Create Memorable Characters."  A print copy of Safe in the Fireman's Arms is up for grabs!

FREE right now in all ebook formats.


Book #1 of the Trouble in Texas Series

Click Here to buy on Kindle

Click here to buy on NOOK

Swept away when her wagon train attempts a difficult river crossing, Ruthy MacNeil isn't terribly upset at being separated from the family who raised her. 

All they've ever done is work her to the bone. 

Alive but disoriented, she's rescued by Luke unfortunately, there are more chances to die in her immediate future.

For those of you who don't know Yankee Belle Cafe, you are missing a yummy treat. The cafe has added a new chef, Cate Nolan aka Mary Curry.

 Stop by and visit, Ruth Logan Herne (The Yank), Missy Tippens (The Belle), Mindy Obenhaus (The Texan), Jan Drexler (The Mid-Westerner), Virginia Carmichael Munoz (The Fresh Pioneer) and Cate Nolan/Mary Curry (The Healthy Writer). 

Circa 2005!

A trip down memory lane for you. What Seekers were Golden Heart Finalists and Winners? 

Cara Lynn James (2009) 
Missy Tippens (2006)
Myra Johnson (2005 WON!)
Tina Radcliffe (finaled 2005, 2007)
Janet Dean (2005)
Julie Lessman (2005)
Pam Hillman (2001, Double finalist 2004 and she WON!, 2011)

 And here are the archives of all the RWA GH winners.

Random News & Information

Thanks to our Villagers & Seekers who contribute links!

Here's a HEA to start your weekend. Check out this wedding proposal video

That's it! Have a great weekend!

*Elaine Manders..what's your news??

July Contest Update

The July Contest Update is a salute to the crazy, busy days of summer.

 Today we're giving away a box of beach reads to one reader and one writer.
Just tell about the TBR pile you'll be taking to the beach, or the pool or the hot tub! Winners announced in the Weekend Edition!

Published Author Contests

Don't forget that the Carol Award finalists are announced Monday, June 29th from 2015 ICRS, Orlando Florida!

WisRWA Write Touch Readers' Award Contest. Deadline June 30th. All entries must be electronic.

International Digital Awards. Deadline June 30th. 

Unpublished Author Contests

A big shout out to the Seeker Villagers who are 2015 Genesis finalists, including Jackie Layton, Courtney Ballinger, Jeanne Takenaka, Preslaysa Williams (double finalist) and Megan Besing!

Pages From the Heart. Deadline June 30th. Entry consists of the first 25 pages. Open to published authors.

Published Division:
Long Contemporary: Cat Cline, Sourcebooks
Short Contemporary: Elle Keck, HarperCollins
Historical: Katherine Pelz, Berkley Publishing Group
Novella: Lauren Plude, Grand Central Publishing/Hachette Group
Paranormal/Fantasy/Futuristic/Time Travel: Deborah Gilbert, Soul Mate Publishing
Romantic Suspense/Mystery: Esi Sogah, Kensington Books
Young Adult: Alice Jerman, Harper Teen
Unpublished Division:
Long Contemporary: Patricia Nelson, Marsal Lyon Literary Agency
Short Contemporary: Mercedes Fernandez, Kensington Books
Historical: Alexandra Sehulster, St. Martin’s Press
Novella: Susan Grimshaw, Penguin-Random House
Paranormal/Fantasy/Futuristic/Time Travel: Kristine Swartz, Berkley Publishing 
Romantic Suspense/Mystery: Patience Bloom, Harlequin
Young Adult: Michelle Grajkowski, 3 Seas Literary Agency

Golden Opportunity Contest  Deadline July 1.  First 55 pages including synopsis. 

TWO editor judges (one traditional and one ePub when possible) for all category finalists. Cash prizes even!

Contemporary Romance – (T) Latoya Smith, Samhain Publishing, and (E) Heather Howland, Entangled Publishing 

Erotic Romance – (T) Allison Janice, Berkley Publishing Group, and (E) Michele Paulin, Resplendence Publishing

 Historical Romance – (T) Laura Fazio, NAL at Penguin Group, and (E) Erin Molta, Entangled Publishing 

Inspirational Romance – (T) Shana Asaro, Harlequin Love Inspired, and (E) Becky Philpott, HarperCollins Christian Publishing 

 Paranormal Romance – (T) Kristine Swartz, Berkley Publishing Group, and (E) Angela James, Carina Press, Harlequin

 Romantic Suspense Romance – (T) Patience Bloom, Harlequin Books, and (E) Deb Nemeth, Carina Press 

Young Adult Romance – (T) Lauren Smulski, Harlequin, and (E) StephanieTaylor, Astraea Press; Best of the Best – Katherine Pelz, Berkley Publishing Group.

Put Your Heart in a Book. Deadline July 1. Cash prizes! Entry consists of: synopsis and first chapter/prologue (30 pages max).

Categories and Final Judges: (One agent, editor, and multipublished author for each category.) 

Historical – Agent Liza Dawson, Liza Dawson Associates, Editor Esi Sogah, Kensington Books, and Author Julia Quinn 

 Romantic Suspense – Agent Eric Ruben, The Ruben Agency, Editor Patience Bloom, Harlequin, and Author: TBA 

 Contemporary Series – Agent Jill Marsal, Marsal Lyons Agency, Editor Gabrielle Keck, Avon Books, and Author TBA 

Contemporary Single Title – Agent Stephany Evans, FinePrint Literary Management, Editor Susan Litman, Harlequin, and Author TBA 

Paranormal – Agent Michelle Johnson, Inklings Literary Agency, Editor Renee Rocco, Lyrical Press/Kensington Books, and Author Kerrelyn Sparks 

Young Adult – Agent Michelle Grajkowski, 3 Seas Literary Agency, Editor Rachel Burkot, Harlequin, and Author Beth Ciotta.

Ignite the Flame. Opens June 1, 2015. Deadline July 15, 2015. First 15 pages and a 500 word synopsis.  A good "get your feet wet opportunity!"

Contemporary Romance:
ELANA COHEN, Editor, Simon & Schuster
PAIGE CHRISTIAN, Editor, Lyrical Press/Kensington Publishing Corp

Historical Romance:
ANDREA SOMBERG, Literary Agent, Harvey Klinger, Inc.
NICOLE D’ARIENZO, Managing Editor, Historicals, The Wild Rose Press

Paranormal/Fantasy/Futuristic/Time Travel Romance:
CORI DEYOE, Literary Agent, 3 Seas Literary Agency
CHRIS KEESLAR, Editor, Boroughs Publishing Group

Young Adult/New Adult Romance:
JIM McCARTHY, Literary Agent, Dystel & Goderich Literary Management
DANIELLE URBAN, Editor, PulsePub, Propel Line*

Erotic Romance:
ALLISON JANICE, Assistant Editor, Berkley

Romantic Suspense:
RACHEL BROOKS, Literary Agent, L. Perkins Agency
MEGHA PAREKH, Associate Editor, Grand Central Publishing

The Rebecca. Deadline July 30. EXTENDED. First 5,000 words. 

Contemporary Romance
Final Judge:                         Sara Megibow, KT Literary

Historical Romance
Final Judge:                         Chelsey Emmelhainz, Harper-Collins

Paranormal/Speculative Fiction/Urban Fantasy Romance
Final Judge:                         Connor Goldsmith, Fuse Literary

New Adult Romance
Final Judge:                         Peter Senftleben, Kensington Books

Young Adult
Final Judge:                         Kat Brzozowski, St. Martins

Golden Palm. Deadline August 15. Check out the first round judges!! Wow! First 25 pages. Open to Published and Unpublished writers.

Contemporary Category:

Editor: Karen Reid, Harlequin

Editor: Allison Caroll, Harlequin

Editor: Victoria Curran, Harlequin

Editor: Rebecca Lucash, Avon Impulse

Historical Category:

Editor:  Marla Daniels, Pocket Books

Editor: Nicole Fischer, Avon Impulse

Editor: Chelsey Emmelhainz, Avon Impulse

Editor: Elle Keck, Avon Impulse

Young Adult/New Adult Category:

Editor: Piya Campana, Harlequin

Editor: Deirdre Mccluskey, Harlequin

Editor: Elana Cohen, Pocket Books (New Adult)

Agent:  Amanda Leuck, Spencerhill Associates (Tentative)

Paranormal Category:

Agent: Laurie McLean, Fuse Literary

Agent: Nalini Akolekar, Spencerhill Associates

Agent: Laura Zats, Red Sofa Literary

Other Writer Stuff

The Golden Donut Short Story Contest. "The Writers' Police Academy has officially opened the 2015 version of its wildly popular and extremely fun Golden Donut Short Story Contest! So it's time to let this year's contest photo inspire a perfect entry. The primary rule is your story must be EXACTLY 200 words. The submission deadline is: Midnight June 30, 2015 (the precise point in time between 11:59 pm 6-30 and 12:01 am July 1, 2015).Good luck and have fun. The contest is open to all writers--regardless of whether they're attending this year's Writers' Police Academy. So be sure to tell your author friends about the contest.

Here's the Chicken Soup 2015 Line Up! 

We'd like to introduce the July Contest Diva: Deb Harkness!~

Since I've only entered one “real” contest in my writing life, I'm not sure I qualify as a DIVA, but the Seekers have decreed it, so who am I to argue? (I've discovered they're pretty wise about all things writerly).

In February 2014, the search for Killer Voices posted on the Harlequin boards. I saw it, but didn't think I could do it. Then, I signed up for SPEEDBO and actually wrote daily (even though a few times it was only 200 words). The deadline for Stage 1 of Killer Voices fell at the halfway mark of SPEEDBO. I took another look at the call for Killer Voice entries and thought I had a cool idea. Why not try? 

Much to my amazement, I not only made the top seventy-five, I also got past Stage 2 (synopsis), Stage 3 (first three chapters), and all the way to Stage 4 (full manuscript). Each step of the way, I panicked a little bit more because as of day one of the contest, the only part of the manuscript written had been my first page. This meant I needed to write 55 – 60K words in less than three months.

So NOT a recommended process. I tend to write short in the first place. I thrive on flash fiction and short stories, probably because of my animation background (creating shorts). I managed to fit writing in whenever I had a spare few minutes, and even took about three of days off before the final deadline to write all day. My biggest support came from Anita Mae Draper *waving to Anita*, a God-sent friend I met in Harlequin's Writing Challenge Thread and the person who introduced me to Seekerville. She's also an uber talented writer that I could trust to tell me when I got off track in my story. Another huge help was Debra Marvin, an Inky (writer from the Inkwell Inspirations blog). Between these two ladies and the help found here at Seekerville, I was able to hone my manuscript more than I thought possible. I truly believe that without Anita, Debra, and Seekerville, I would not have made it to Stage 4.

Typing THE END put me on cloud nine confidence-wise. I think I walked on air for a couple of days after hitting send on my entry because of the accomplishment. I had done something I'd always wanted to do, but had never actually done. I finished writing a book. Repeat: I finished writing a book. Coincidence that this happened the same year I participated in SPEEDBO?  I think not.

So what happened with my entry? I received great feedback from my assigned editor, Shana Asaro. Wow, do editors know their stuff. I could tell from her notes just where I lost her in my story (invaluable). She pointed out a lot of good things for me to work on and, despite my drivel, she actually encouraged me to revise my story and send it again. She believed in my story idea that much. GOLDEN!

 Entering a contest was the second best thing I've done to grow in my writing process (finding Seekerville was the first best thing).

That's it! Stay cool! 


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