Chesapeak Romance Writer’s “Finish the Damn Book” Contest

I just realized I hadn’t told the Nights of Passion family about my local RWA chapter’s annual writing contest.  With the deadline fast approaching, I thought I’d give you all the info so hopefully you will “finish your damn book” and enter. :)

To honor the memory of our former member Judi McCoy, author of 14 romances and the popular “Dogwalker” romantic mystery series, and Rudy, her beloved Bichon frise, Chesapeake Romance Writers is once again holding our “Finish the Damn Book!” Contest. That was one of Judi’s favorite pieces of advice to all of us writers and we thought it an apropos title for this contest.

If you’ve finished a book, at least 40K in length, please consider submitting it to our contest.  A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Tidewater Bichon Frise Rescue organization in memory of Judi and Rudy.

Complete details on the contest are now available on our Chesapeake Romance Writers website or you can email me with any questions, but I’ll give you the highlights here.

The contest is open to both published and unpublished authors, although the work submitted must be unpublished AND remain unpublished or uncontracted until after the contest.  Should an entered work become contracted or published before the contest ends, the work will be withdrawn from consideration and the entry fee will not be refunded.

To enter you need to submit the first and last chapters of your unpublished 40K+ manuscript (no prologues or epilogues), plus a two-page synopsis of the entire work that will not be judged.  Total submission must not exceed 40 pages.

Electronic entries only.  You should submit two things: 1) the Contest Entry Form, available on the CRW website, and 2) the first and last chapters plus a two-page synopsis of the book in one single (1) Rich Text file.

Entrants will receive the First Round Judges’ Score Sheets with comments.  No comments will be made on the manuscripts themselves.  The three top scoring works in each category will advance to the Finals Round and will be ranked by the Category Finals Judge.

Deadline for Entry Fee and Submission:  Midnight, September 30, 2014

Finalist Judges are:

CONTEMPORARY:  Nicole Resciniti, agent with The Seymour Agency

PARANORMAL:  Amanda Barnett, editor with The Wild Rose Press

HISTORICAL:  Jordy Albert, agent with Booker Albert Literary Agency

MAINSTREAM:  Susan Brower, agent with Natasha Kern Agency

YA/NA:  Terrie Wolfe, agent with AKA Literary Agency

EROTIC:  Penny Barber, editor with Kensington publishing/Lyrical Imprint

Winners will be announced at our chapter  meeting on January 10, 2015.

Entry Fee:  $15.00 for RWA members, $25.00 for non-RWA members.  Payments can be made by clicking here.


First place Winners in each category will receive a Rudy Statuette and a check for $50.00.

I hope you will consider entering our 3rd annual “Finish the Damn Book!” Contest.



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When Love Survives and Remembering by Susan Hanniford Crowley

When Love Survives is the first book in my original series Vampires in Manhattan.  WhenLoveSurvives_LgWeb-version_smash2It’s interesting in that the principal vampire in it plays an important but secondary role.

My main characters are a young woman named Regina who is studying finance at a college and has just landed an internship in financial advising with a company in the World Trade Center.  Regina received an odd letter from her mom that tells her of her supernatural lineage, which is a complete surprise. She can’t call to find out what this means as she  is late for her internship.

Gregor is a financial advisor for a firm in the World Trade Center. He hates the office coffee and volunteers to make a coffee run and pick up some donuts as well.  He has a supernatural secret from the humans he works with.  He’s a shapeshifter.  It is part of their nature that they can spot their lifemate at first glance.  All he does is look out the window of the coffee shop.  He sees Regina and knows that’s her, his one love.  He also feels that if he doesn’t pull her into the shop, he will never see her again.

It’s September 11th.  Two unusual rescue workers fall in love while saving lives.

A lot of people love this story.  When I dreamt it, I didn’t want to write it.  Because, honestly, just thinking about it hurts.  Two of my family members had close calls.  One was there the week before.  The other one called in sick on Sept. 11th.  Other people were not that lucky.

Why did I write it?  The story called to me.  New York City has a very diverse community and in my story, the diversity extends into the supernatural.  People came together in ways that called to them to help any way they could.  It is a love story between two people who rescued others.  It’s also the love story between a city and its people and country.

The book is available in Kindle, Nook, Kobo and Smashwords.

This week I thought a lot about what happened on September 11th.  A lot of Americans did.  And because we always move forward, I worked on my new novel which is the next book in my second series, Arnhem Knights of New York.  I made surprising progress.  I believe I was inspired.

Susan Hanniford Crowley

Posted in Characters, dreams, Emotions, Susan Hanniford Crowley, vampire books, Vampire David Hilliard, vampires, What inspires you?, When Love Survives, Writer's Life | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

September Blues & All That Comes With It by Stacy Hoff

A few weeks ago my butt was in a beach chair. Sadly, that beach chair has been packed away. Saying goodbye to August was hard. For me, the eighth month brings more than summer, it brings freedom. Freedom from helping my kids with homework. Freedom from my “day job.” And yes, freedom to lounge in the sand, proudly unproductive.

Facing September is hard. I’m stuck contemplating whether I’m going to rake up the leaves around the house myself, or cough up the money to have someone else do it. Right now, hiring out is looking pretty good, if I’m to listen to the already screaming muscles in my legs and lower back. I’ve got closets to clean out. Roaring reader assignments to help with. Anxious kids to calm down. Long hours at work. Dark skies to greet me when I leave the office.

I need a new mindset. A seasonal attitude adjustment. This time, I’m going to make a pact with myself to enjoy the heck out of Fall. Focus on the beauty of colorful leaves and autumn skies. Crisp nights and fireplaces. Warm apple pies and hot cider. Most importantly, my kids learning new things, meeting new friends, taking on new challenges.

I think one of the reasons I like writing romance novels so much is that I can choose the season I vicariously need to be in. If cold weather has got me down, then no problem, I’m back in June, enjoying the sun through my characters. Let’s see if I can actually write a scene in the same season I’m actually in. Bring it on, September!

What season resonates strongly with you, and why?

Find me on social media:      Twitter: Web:

Pre-order for Desire in the Everglades available now.

Desire 1800 pic

Posted in problem-solving, stress, writing, journal, diary, resolve, worked, relax., romance, romance novels, Seasonal changes, Stacy Hoff | Tagged | Leave a comment

Remembering by Gerri Brousseau

9 11Today is the anniversary of the tragic 9/11 attack on the United States. At the time, I was living in California, 3000 miles from friends and family. Because PST is 3 hours later than EST, by the time I woke up at 6:30 a.m. the towers had both already fallen. When I flipped on my computer that morning I found pictures of the jets crashing into the towers. As usual, I was in a hurry and didn’t read the news article. I simply thought the pictures were some sensational promotion for a new movie and I paid no attention. I hurriedly checked my email and turning off my computer, went to get ready to go to work. On my way to work, I flipped on the radio station and the announcer was talking about the attack, but did not say where. The images of the Twin Towers long slipped from my mind. Yet, I started to get a little nervous at the frantic, sensationalistic voice of the announcer. Was this some broadcasting trick, like War of the Worlds had been?

At that time, I worked in a law office which was on the second floor in the Federal Court House so when I arrived at work I found the offices were closed and we were sent home. That was when I discovered what had happened and I was so devastated I was trembling.

I don’t remember driving home, but when I got there I rushed into my apartment and flipped on my TV. I stood there in the middle of my living room in total disbelief as I watched the twin towers fall one and then the next. I could not believe my eyes. I was originally from Connecticut. I had been to the towers, been in the buildings. No. No way were they gone. No way could they be destroyed. No way were all those innocent people killed. I refused to believe it could be true. It is difficult to tell you how this act of terror 3000 miles away made me feel. Shocked? Helpless? Insecure? And in deep need to talk to my son. Crying, I picked up the phone I called him. He was 19 at the time and he was in Connecticut. I was frantic to speak to him, to tell him that I loved him. To make sure he knew. To make sure he was alright. I desperately wanted to hug him, but he was 3000 miles away. All I wanted to do was feel closeness to my loved ones and to let them all know how I felt about them.

I could not believe anyone would have the nerve to attack the United States of America. Who was this lunatic Osama bin Laden? Then, finally the anger struck. I wanted to see bin Laden’s head on a platter. The grief struck next. I grieved for those who lost their lives in the towers that day, for those brave souls who tried to rescue others and failed. I cheered for those brave men and women who were able to rescue others … and for those who survived.

Then finally, the pride of being an American came home to roost in my heart. Yes, I am proud of our country, proud of the fortitude and courage of our people. I can’t help but remember that day and will never forget the impact it had on me and the mixed emotions it stirred in my soul. Where were you on that day? As the Alan Jackson song asks, where were you when the world stopped turning?

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Make Mistakes

Where there is a will there is a way. Everything happens for a reason. The only thing in life without resolution is death. These are just a few of the sayings I’ve come across in my life quest for knowledge and experience. For many of you writers out there, these sayings are probably words you heeded or asked for during those days of writer’s block, rejections, bad reviews or simply you just made a bad decision when it came to your work. I’m probably making the life of a writer sound awful and that is certainly not the case.

Writing is passion and for most of us, sharing stories is wonderful, even if our readers feel we missed the mark in some ways. It is good to get a plethora of thoughts as it helps us grow. Even still, just like anything else, we face lots of obstacles and it helps to have knowledge on how to cope and overcome. After all, writing can be a very solitary work and as such, it helps to know others understand your plight.

So where am I going with this? This week’s blog is simply a feel good pat on The back, telling you that it’s okay to make a mistake–in case you weren’t already aware. In fact, it is usually our mistakes that help us grow the most. So next time you are eager to beat yourself up over a mistake you feel you made or a less than stellar reception on your latest masterpiece, remember the sayings above and find the bright side. Happy writing this week!

Posted in Toni Kelly, Writer's Life, Writing, Writing Topics | Tagged | 1 Comment

Captured Box Set is Available Now for Preorder! by Mandy Rosko

Yay! I’m so stoked to be a part of this, and so happy I got invited and that everything went through :) and now I have links and pictures to show everyone too. Happiness.


Screenshot 2014-09-03 14.58.21


I love this cover so much :) I’m going to frame it and stick it up on my wall. I especially love the 3D cover that you can see on Amazon right now, because it has my name on the spine. I mean, this cover also has my name on the front, but the spine is just special for whatever reason :)

The set consists of paranormal and contemporary romances all surrounding a kidnapping theme, which is super awesome. I love kidnappings ;) Fictional ones, of course 0.o

I’m still learning about the things involved for me in this set, since I’m one of the authors with the least experience on this set and have so far had to do very little work aside from facebook and twitter posts. I’ll be sending out a newsletter soon, my first one, and even though the number of people I have on that list is small, I’m still pretty nervous for it.

I’ve been looking forward to this book going up so much that I even managed to forget that the Destiny game is coming out tonight at midnight, and that the new Outlander series is coming. That’s how excited I’ve been!

My book in this set is new, and so far hasn’t been published anywhere else. I commissioned a cover for it, and when that’s ready I’ll have to show that bad boy off too :)

Anyway, I’m looking for a couple of people to give this set an honest review, so if anyone’s interested in a free copy, email me at and let me know. I have a limited number of these since I’m fairly sure I can’t just hand them out like candy, although that would be cool, so hopefully I’ll get some takers soon :) I have these in PDF, Epub and Mobi, let me know!

Here’s the excerpts pasted below from Amazon:


CAPTURED is a steamy collection from today’s hottest authors featuring 9 sexy bad boys trying to capture your heart, every way they know how. New York Times and USA Today bestselling authors Opal Carew, Cathryn Fox, Eve Langlais, T. J. Michaels, Sharon Page, S.E. Smith, and Pepper Winters, along with Teresa Morgan and Mandy Rosko bring you nine tales of sensual seduction featuring alpha male heroes determined to have their way, and willing to do anything to get it, even if that means a little seductive persuasion… 

We’ve included a real mix of stories, from light & funny to dark & sinister, contemporary to paranormal. Seriously, for .99 you can’t go wrong!

DEBT OF HONOR by Opal Carew

Held captive by a domineering sheikh… and made to pay for a crime she did not commit

YOURS TO TAKE by Cathryn Fox

Revenge takes on a sexy twist when a powerhouse lawyer is stripped of her control by the handsome multi-millionaire she once took down in the courtroom.


Fall in love? Never! An alien assassin turned pirate has no use for an emotion he can’t sell, but that doesn’t stop him from falling for the human he captures.

JAGUAR’S RULE by T. J. Michaels

After an irresistible night of passion with Reya, Aaron James longs to hold her close forever. Little does he know that the tall, sleek beauty has a carnal secret–and he’s the one who needs protection.


The last thing Maxine Foss ever expected was to be handcuffed to a sexy, but crazy, guy who claims he’s an Arabian prince… and is determined to seduce her. Best. Abduction. Ever.

FAST AND MINE by Sharon Page

College student Claire gets lessons in seduction from sexy, hot street bike racer, Sawyer. But when she’s kidnapped by his psychotic sponsor to force him to race, can Sawyer save her and win her heart?

BURNS LIKE FIRE by Mandy Rosko

Jack Marilla is out for revenge for the deaths of his family, and the burn scars that cover his body. To get it, he has to hunt down the woman he used to love, the paranormal fire starter who set his house ablaze with him, and his family, locked inside of it. When he catches her, however, he faces his biggest challenge yet. To not believe her when she claims to be innocent, or fall for her seduction.

DEBT INHERITANCE by Pepper Winters

Jethro Hawk receives Nila as an inheritance present on his twenty-ninth birthday. Her life is his until she’s paid off a debt that’s centuries old. He can do what he likes with her–nothing is out of bounds–she has to obey. There are no rules. Only payments..


Things take a turn for the worse when Riley St. Claire is kidnapped by aliens and forced to choose a mate. The problem is, it would have been better, and safer, for the aliens if they had left Riley back on Earth.


Mandy Rosko

Connect with me online:


Twitter: @rizzorosko


Posted in contemporary romance, paranormal romance, Promotion, romance novels | Leave a comment

Autumn Dreams Weekly Paranormal-Scope

While I am not qualified in any way to read neither stars nor planets, I am intimately linked to the paranormal in the world in many ways. So are you.

The paranormal scope is for entertainment purposes only and is not meant to guide your life by.

The week for:

Leaves are falling.  Don’t let your hopes fall too.  Elves are partying because of the golden luck coming your way.

Gnomes are tidy.  Time to clear out the clutter in your life.

Mermaids are going out to sea for the big blow.  Don’t get caught in a storm.  Be prepared with all the necessities.

A vampire thinks you’re hot. Time to show off your stuff.

Dragons love to dig and deepen their caves and decorate.  Tis the season to have fun with decor.

Hobbits are baking fools.  Bring some of your efforts to work and share.

Leprechauns are checking out their gold and setting up a holiday budget to stick to.  Hint!

A faery seeks a new adventure.  Time to spread your wings and check out your opportunities.

Hell hounds have been sniffing around.  Throw out or give away anything you don’t need anymore.

An elf takes an interest in your efforts.  Time to make new friends and connections.

Whales love to play.  Plan a vacation for sheer relaxation!

Werewolves are itching for some excitement.  Plan some parties with friends.  You will have an unexpected surprise.

Susan Hanniford Crowley

Posted in Max Vander Meer, romance, Susan Hanniford Crowley, Vampire David Hilliard, Vampire King of New York, Vampire King of New York In Print, Vampire Maximillion Vander Meer, vampires, Weekly Paranormal-Scope | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment