Lisa Whitefern

Lisa Whitefern writes The HOTTEST Paranormal Romance/ Market News for Writers of Fiction. What are editors and agents looking for?

Interview with author of Contemporary Romance and Erotic BD/SM Romance

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Today I’m interviewing Natasha Moore. Her book, Her Royal Masquerade is a contemporary romance and was released on October 21, 2013.

Describe the genre of this particular title. Is it the only genre you write in? Her Royal Masquerade is a contemporary romance, a contemporary royal romance if you want to get a little more specific. I’m having a lot of fun writing this series, but it is not the only genre I write in. I’ve written the odd futuristic or fantasy or paranormal, but I mostly write contemporary and I always write romance.

1. How did you come up with the title of your book or series? Her Royal Masquerade is book #1 in the Her Royal Romance series. The series name is pretty self-explanatory. Book #1’s title comes from the opening premise – the heroine masquerades as her princess cousin when she attends the ball where she meets the prince.

Book #2 Her Royal Bodyguard was released on New Year’s Day and again is self-explanatory, it’s the story of a princess protected by a sexy bodyguard.

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2. When did you start writing toward publication? I’ve been writing forever, but first got serious about it in the early 90s. I had several complete manuscripts requested by Harlequin, but eventually they were rejected. I took a break from writing for about 6 years when my kids were teenagers and were in every activity imaginable, on top of a full-time job, the writing just wasn’t happening. In 2002, I started focusing on my writing again and signed my first contract in 2006.

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3. Do you have any rejection stories to share? Too many to count, was my first thought. LOL I’ve been writing and submitting for a long time and those first few rejections were completely heartbreaking (although I know how lucky I was to have a full requested from my first query ever!) Don’t get me wrong, they still hurt after 20 years, but I’ve developed a thicker skin and I rarely cry, but usually still indulge in wine and chocolate. And then re-think my plan for the book.

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4. Will you share some encouraging words for authors still struggling for that first contract? Don’t give up. I know it’s cliché, but you need to hear it over and over again. There are plenty of people who want to write who WILL give up, so if you really want this, and you don’t give up, you’ll be ahead of the game. Also, be open-minded about genres and markets. You know all those rejections I mentioned. Most of them I was able to tweak to target other publishers. And they sold.

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5. Who or what inspires you? Other writers. Other books. Some because I didn’t like them at all and strive to be better than that. Some because of how utterly awesome they are and I strive to be half as good.
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1. Can you share two/three fun facts about yourself? I used to sing in a women’s barbershop chorus and even in a couple barbershop quartets.
In another life, I’d have loved to sing & dance on the stage. Instead, I have to enjoy from the audience.
I love to visit new places but hate to travel. I wish Scotty could just “beam” me wherever I want to go.
See Me Natasha Moore278_PIkin4,BottomRight,-64,22_AA300_SH20_OU01_

2. What’s next for you?
I will be releasing books #2 & 3 in Her Royal Romance. Book # 2 Her Royal Bodyguard will be released early in 2014. Her Royal Mistake, book #3, will be out later in the year.
I will have two releases from Samhain Publishing in 2014. Playing for Real will be out in Feb and The Cottage Next Door in Sept.

BOOK BLURB
Time is running out for Prince Vittorio. His father’s health is failing and he must find a royal bride. Fast. He’s never forgotten his glimpse of a beautiful Scandinavian princess and lures her to his Mediterranean country with an invitation to his father’s birthday ball. He’d planned to propose a marriage agreement as cold as her icy reputation, but then he discovers she’s as colorful and warm as a summer sunset. The heat between them flares red-hot and when she allows him to seduce her, Vittorio sees his future unfolding just as he had planned. But what he doesn’t know is that the woman in his bed is not a princess at all.
The last thing schoolteacher Mia Holmberg expects when she masquerades as her royal cousin is to be swept off her feet by a charming prince. The incredible night in Vittorio’s arms is like a fairy tale come true, but she’d never want the life of a real princess, with all its pomp and politics. Knowing they can never have a future together, she slips out of his bed and back to reality, where she belongs.

But Vittorio discovers the deception and kidnaps Mia back to his palace, demanding she be his mistress until the real princess appears. Despite her attempts to stay aloof, Mia soon learns there’s more to the prince than arrogance and attitude, but now she’s in danger of falling in love with a man she can never have.
Excerpt

Mia’s skin tingled as Vittorio continued to play with her hair and softly brushed her face with his once again. They were barely moving, not doing much more than swaying in each other’s arms to the rhythm of the music. His breath was warm along her cheek. He murmured a few words she didn’t recognize. Soft words with a silky, sensual feel to them, just like the lips that were now teasing along her jaw line.

Her breath caught when his lips found hers. He drew them lightly across hers, not a real kiss, but the hint of one, the promise of more, if only they weren’t in the middle of a crowd. Mia shifted in his arms, moving her body against his. She found his hard erection and her body softened, moistened.
What was she doing?

“Hot,” she gasped, stumbling out of his embrace. “So hot. I’m sorry. I need some air.”
“Of course.” Vittorio wrapped his arm around her waist and the couples on the dance floor stopped and parted for them. He led her to a French door in a bank of floor-to-ceiling windows that opened onto a softly lit patio.

Mia rushed over to the waist high railing constructed of rough-hewn stone like the rest of the palace. Darkness had fallen while she’d been inside. Lights from the towns around them sparkled below. Stars in the inky sky twinkled above. Once again she had the feeling of stepping into a fairy tale.

The air was warm, even outside, with barely a breeze to lift the moisture from her skin. She took a few decidedly un-princesslike gulps of air, trying to calm the edgy arousal that burned within her.
“Are you alright?” Vittorio asked. He stepped up to her and the heat from his body didn’t help her at all. “Do you need to sit down? Something cold to drink?”

“I’ll be okay. Just give me a minute. I guess I’m just not used to the climate here.” She was so hot. She began to tug down one of the opera-length gloves. Would it be a serious breach of conduct if she whipped them off and threw them over the railing?

“Allow me,” he said, his voice suddenly a little deeper, a little slower than it had been a moment before. He took her hand in his, stretched out her arm in front of him. He ran his free hand up, starting at the palm of the hand resting in his. Slowly, so slowly, he moved his hand up her arm. There might as well not have been the fabric of the glove between them, she felt his touch so strongly. When his fingers reached the top of the glove, he didn’t immediately begin to remove it. Instead, he teased the bare skin of her upper arm with his fingers. “So soft,” he whispered, holding her gaze. He swept his hand up to her bare shoulders and cupped her neck, skimming his thumb along her collar bone, just above the diamonds Birgitte had trusted her with. “This beautiful necklace is not half as lovely as you,” he murmured.

She couldn’t speak, could only offer a shaky smile in response. He was holding her hand, her throat. Could he feel her trembling beneath his touch?

“But you are hot. It is our weather, no doubt. I can help you with this problem, I think.” Vittorio began to slowly peel the glove from her arm, dragging his fingers along her skin as he did. He focused all his attention on her arm, as if it were the most important thing to him at the moment.
What would it be like to have that single-minded attention focused on her while making love? Even as Vittorio stripped off her glove, her body heated further with the image of his long, powerful frame moving over her, entering her.

Mia imagined he would take command of her body, ensuring that he pleasured her with all the skill he surely possessed. She couldn’t help but wonder if he would look as amazing out of the expensively tailored clothing as he did at this moment. Of course, he would. Everything about Vittorio was first class. He would fit right in with Birgitte. Mia wasn’t close to being in the same league.
Vittorio began to strip off the second glove, giving it every bit as much attention as he had given to the first one. His fingers strummed along her arm as he tugged at the satin. Her newly bared arm hung at her side, her fingers closed into a fist so she didn’t reach out and tangle them in his thick hair.

“Don’t you have breezes in Mezzano?” she asked, her voice rough with desire. She hoped he would think it was the heat that affected her so. He still held one of her hands in his. She lifted the other hand to wave in front of her face, trying to stir the muggy air.
“Ah, my poor cara. It is still and humid this evening. Be assured we have our share of wind and rain.” The second glove was off now and Vittorio released her hand. How ridiculous it was to feel bereft at the loss of his touch. He folded the gloves and tucked them into the pocket of his jacket.
Mia lifted her heavy hair off her neck to try to cool off for a moment. Maybe she should have worn it up. “I know I should enjoy the warm weather. Right now in Stagatland I would have to be bundled up in a coat and scarf and boots to stand outside.”

Vittorio swept his gaze over her. “And it would truly be a shame to cover the amazing view I have at this moment.”

She let her hair fall down her back. “I suspect you have had a lot of practice with those charming lines,” Mia said, letting the amusement show in her voice. Still, she soaked up the compliment, let the pleasure flow over her like a warm spring rain.

He took her hand, lifted it to his lips. This time the kiss to the back of her bare hand sent fireworks bursting through her system. “It’s only the truth, Birgitte.”
Hearing her cousin’s name fall from Vittorio’s lips was like a handful of snow smacking her in the face. Of course. She had to remember she wasn’t Mia Holmberg tonight. She’d almost forgotten she was playing a part. Still, she lifted a skeptical brow at his words, they were so foreign to those she usually heard.

“You will find that I always speak the truth,” he said. “I despise lies and deception. I have heard and seen too many of them during my years in the palace. Too many people say one thing to my face and another behind my back. I speak only the truth when I say that I am so glad you accepted our invitation to my father’s birthday celebration and that I find you incredibly attractive. I would never lie to you.”

Mia shuddered at his words. She couldn’t let him discover her deception. He would never understand.

MORE ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Natasha Moore fell in love with the written word as soon as she could read. As she grew up, she discovered romance and now enjoys the chance to add some extra heat to her stories. She writes sexy contemporary and erotic romance because she believes that stories of love and hope are important, and that there’s nothing better than a happy ending. She lives in New York State with her real life hero who is happy to tell everyone that he’s her inspiration.
How can my readers buy your book?
Her Royal Masquerade :
Amazon
B&N
Apple
Kobo

You can find more information about Natasha Moore and my book, Her Royal Masquerade by visiting my website, http://natashamoore.com or my blog at http://fierceromance.blogspot.com.
Twitter https://twitter.com/natashamoore
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/natashamooreauthor
Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/natasha_moore
Amazon Author Page http://www.amazon.com/Natasha-Moore/e/B004HX3QEI/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1387570208&sr=1-2-ent
Pinterest http://www.pinterest.com/natashamoore144/

Thanks! Natasha
Thank you!
Lisa xxx

If you have any questions for Natasha please post in the comments.

#menage #HOT #eroticromance #BDSM #Paranormal Buy here – http://www.amazon.com/Wicked-Wonderland-Lisa-Whitefern-ebook/dp/B009H6WAXI/ref=sr_1_sc_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1385634902&sr=1-1-spell&keywords=LisaWhitefern … … 4th for Best Paranormal Romance in Passionate Plume award
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or http://store.samhainpublishing.com/lisa-whitefern-pa-1737.html

Some Important Websites for Fiction Writers.

To make this blog a little more helpful and comprehensive, I thought I should include some links to other sites that are really helpful for writers.

Here is Fiction Factor- A great free online magazine for writers. http://www.fictionfactor.com/

Here is an amazing blog about how authors can and should use social media for promotion. http://warriorwriters.wordpress.com/about/

Brenda Hiatt

The site Brenda Hiatt’s Show Me the Money is the only one of its kind that I know of, that attempts to give information about income from romance writing. It is somewhat out of date though, so I would say the money is maybe slightly better than the site indicates, for some successful publishers.
I have heard that it is the median that is the more accurate representation of what you can expect. Her information is only as accurate as the information sent to her, so it’s up to authors to keep her informed of sales data.

http://brendahiatt.com/show-me-the-money/

Emily Veinglory talks about erotic romance publishers here. She attempts to give at least a vague indication of the money that might be made. Again she only has a very small sample. She can’t be expected to be that accurate, and she relies on authors to send her information regarding sales. So please send info on your novels to Emily Veinglory.
http://www.eroticromancepublishers.com/
Father of Dragons

Writer Unboxed- Another great blog about the craft and business of fiction

http://writerunboxed.com/

Here is a good short explanation about who the Big Five (formally six) are.  http://www.criticalpages.com/tag/the-big-six-publishers/

And a blog by David Gaughran about a sad, dark, underside to the publishing world. http://davidgaughran.wordpress.com/2013/05/04/the-author-exploitation-business/

Here is another very important blog worth reading along these lines.

http://blog.emilysuess.com/author-solutions-inc-employee-cries-scam/

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November 11th-18th I was interviewed at http://fierceromance.blogspot.co.nz/ where I’m giving away a copy of the novella Waking the Witch.

#menage #HOT #eroticromance #BDSM #Paranormal Buy here – http://www.amazon.com/Wicked-Wonderland-Lisa-Whitefern-ebook/dp/B009H6WAXI/ref=sr_1_sc_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1385634902&sr=1-1-spell&keywords=LisaWhitefern … … 4th for Best Paranormal Romance in Passionate Plume award

or http://store.samhainpublishing.com/lisa-whitefern-pa-1737.html

Books by Lisa (click links to purchase)

Wicked Wonderland is available in every e-book format now.
Print release date November 5th 2013

Paranormal Contemporary Erotic Menage Romance

Wicked Wonderland a Paranormal Erotic Romance from Samhain Publishing

It’s a lovely night for a sleigh ride— until something evil takes the reins.

When Nick and Kris, the half-fae sons of human mothers, aren’t using Santa’s sleigh in the off-season to make deliveries for their booming sex toy business, they’re setting off sensual fireworks in the bedroom.Yet they dream of a feminine third to complete their lives. There’s only one woman they can picture filling that role: Lilly, the girl they both dated in college.Lilly thought earning extra money stripping was a good plan, until she’s left battered, bruised, and stuffed in a back-alley trash can. Her rescuers turn out to be the dark, brooding dom and the golden-haired sub whose faces—and shockingly entwined bodies—are still the stuff of her most searing fantasies.While she’s more than willing to take them up on their offer of one perfect night of magic, she questions whether anyone can break into Nick and Kris’s powerful bond. But there’s someone who’s been waiting for this moment all Lilly’s life. An evil psychopath who holds the secrets of her past—unless Nick and Kris can unravel them in time to save her from a fate worse than death.


Product Warnings

Explicit ménage a trois, hot m/f/m scenes, hot male/male scenes, a ruthless stalker who torments the heroine, sex toys, sex on roof tops, spankings, BDSM, Dark Fae, birdmen, orphans, strippers, centaurs, a violent battle between good and evil creatures on board a ship, true love, and sex in Santa’s sleigh.

Paranormal Historical Erotic Romance – set during the Salem Witch Trials .

From inside the stunning opal necklace, a haunting voice whispered, “Make love to him, Faith. Do it now!”Faith Abbot is a good Puritan woman, but the magic inside an opal necklace begins to torment her with lustful thoughts.For years her heart and body have craved handsome James Parris, a man twelve years her junior, a man she thinks should be courting women his own age. But now the magic of a ghost trapped in a jewel breaks down all her inhibitions.When she and James surrender to the fierce erotic tension that pulses between them, her heart fills with joy.But who is the angry female ghost dwelling within the necklace, wanting revenge?I also have short stories published in a number of anthologies Two of these anthologies can be seen on my Amazon author page. http://www.amazon.com/Lisa-Whitefern/e/B008HVH8ZE/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1

The Seven Secrets of the Fastest Selling Paperback of all time. And a little more market news.

Breaking News for me! lol My novel Wicked Wonderland is up for Best Paranormal Romance in the Passionate Plume awards this year. http://www.passionateink.org/contests
Available for sale here! http://store.samhainpublishing.com/wicked-wonderland-p-7081.html

Maybe you’ve already read too many blogs about why 50 shades is so popular, but here is my perspective
There are several reasons for FSOG’s massive market appeal.

1. Billionaire/ Glamor ( long history of appeal in romance)
which combines with
2. Twilight connection after huge success of Twilight. (Readers get to see Bella and Edward have detailed sex and even better it’s light BD/SM sex!)
3. YA (young adult/ chick lit type) writing style that is easy and fun to read.
4.Sweet virgin gets corrupted and loves it. (long history of appeal as a romance trope)
5. Pretty Woman updated — Ana gets a LOT of cool shit, but it’s not just fashion and cars, there’s modern techno gadgets in there!
6 Dark, dangerous, tormented man meets Cinderella (huge history as a best selling theme in romance.)
7. A mystery….why is Christian 50 shades of fucked up?

And some market news…..
Harlequin Digital First is looking for Dystopian, and Alternate History novels of 70 thousand words or more and these could potentially go to print.
Stories should be inspired by the phrase “What If?”

What if the course of history had turned out differently? What if the world as we know it came to an end? What if humanity faced an apocalypse—and lived? This line is not intended for young adults. Romance or romantic elements are welcome, but not necessary. Books and films fitting this category might include: 1984, Brave New World, The Day of the Triffids, The Handmaid’s Tale, The Road, I Am Legend, V for Vendetta, The Book of Eli, The Walking Dead, Fringe.

As these stories should be rich with detail and these worlds highly developed, submissions should be a minimum of 70,000 words.

How to Submit:

Please submit only completed, fully polished manuscripts along with a query/cover letter and synopsis. In the subject line of your query, please type the manuscript title, your name and the genre of the manuscript. Queries must include the following and will not be reviewed if any piece is missing:

In the body of the email: a brief, introductory query letter including genre, word count and a short description of the book, as well as pertinent information about the author, including both legal name and pen name, full mailing address, and any writing credits.
As an attachment: the full manuscript saved as an RTF, DOC or DOCX file, with file name TITLE_MANUSCRIPT where you substitute your book’s title in place of TITLE.
As a second attachment: A 2–5 page synopsis of the book, detailing character development, plot and conflict/story resolution. Attach as an RTF, DOC or DOCX file with file name TITLE_SYNOPSIS where you substitute your book’s title in place of TITLE.

Please be sure to put the following information on the first page of all files: manuscript name, author pen name/legal name, email address, full mailing address, phone number, genre and word count.

Submissions should be sent to Submit_HDigital@Harlequin.com.

http://www.harlequin.com/articlepage.html?articleId=1734&chapter=0

Harlequin Digital First are also looking for Erotic Vacation Romance, contemporary erotic stories taking place while characters are on vacation.
Harlequin Erotic Vacation

Can one vacation change your life? Harlequin Erotic Vacation is all about exploring what can happen when you go on holiday and leave your inhibitions behind. Whether the hero or the heroine is travelling to an exotic resort for singles or going on an exciting adventure trek or completing a dream trip to Europe, the possibilities for romance are boundless. We’d love to see erotic romances where the hero and/or heroine are reaching outside of their comfort zone, and encountering love in exotic or faraway locations in the process. Characters can be tourists or ex-pats, guides or tour operators or resort staff. Stories can be novella length but must end happily—not necessarily with a proposal, but definitely with a promise that the relationship will continue beyond the holiday.

Word count: 15,000-50,000 words.

Sensuality level: Very high—these are definitely erotic romances. Sexual chemistry should play a large part in the development of the romance.

Films: Romancing the Stone, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Under the Tuscan Sun, Before Sunrise.

Do you like menage romance with a very high heat level? My paranormal MMF BD/SM menage is full of magic and published by the great publisher Samhain. You can buy it here http://store.samhainpublishing.com/wicked-wonderland-p-7081.html Or on Amazon here http://www.amazon.com/Wicked-Wonderland-ebook/dp/B009H6WAXI/ref=tmm_kin_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1370743507&sr=1-3 http://store.samhainpublishing.com/wicked-wonderland-p-7081.html

Mary’s Menage Whispers Blog has moved. To read reviews of a wide range of menage novels please click below.

http://marymenage.wordpress.com/2013/05/20/marys-menage-whispers-blog-moved-welcome-to-my-new-blog-2/

More calls for fantasy fiction. These places take unsolicited manuscripts

 
The Romance Reviews

Who are some good publishers looking for fantasy, sci fi and speculative fiction right now?

Baen Fiction

http://www.baen.com/submit.asp

Why do I have reason to believe Baen might be a good place to submit? Mainly because of some of the high quality authors that have books with Baen such as

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Preferred length: 100,000 – 130,000 words Generally they are uncomfortable with manuscripts under 100,000 words, but if your novel is really wonderful send it along regardless of length.

Due to receiving too much spam Baen now has an online submission form.

Tor—- Tor has a huge name. The problem with TOR is they will only let you submit novel submissions via snail mail which is not something I can see myself doing from New Zealand. However there is no doubt it would be amazing to have a book accepted by TOR and they do accept unagented submissions as long as you send by snail mail.

TOR I suggest  including an online submission form for your novels like so many other publishers are doing now, or you risk possibly missing out on some great manuscripts from places like Australia and New Zealand because the postage costs are prohibitive for people in these countries and others.

TOR is also interested in short fiction! And they DO allow you to submit short stories under 12,000 words via email. Don’t query, just send your story.  http://www.tor.com/page/submissions-guidelines

JournalStone Publishing

I can’t say I know much about this publisher but it does at least make explicit in it’s terms that it is not a subsidy or vanity publisher and puts no costs on the authors and it has a nice professional looking site.

I must say I’m a little more wary since the recent contract drama hit the internet regarding a certain press. With all the competition for good manuscripts out there I suggest to publishers that they put royalty rates and terms up front on their submission guidelines to attract savvy authors.

JournalStone Publishing is looking for fantasy, science fiction and horror

http://journalstone.com/journalstone-publishing/

Do you write fantasy romance or fantasy erotic romance? You might consider http://www.resplendencepublishing.com/7.html

They are looking for all kinds of romance including fantasy romance and fantasy erotic romance but word on the street is very erotic titles such as menage sell best here. They have hit the best seller list at All Romance Ebooks with some of their titles.

 

Omnific Publishing

http://omnificpublishing.com/index.php?main_page=page&id=2

Omnific publishing will consider fantasy with romantic elements althought they would prefer fantasy romance with a strong romance plot. Omnific has had at least one book hit the NYT best seller list.

Link to my erotic paranormal menage romance novel about half-fae  Wicked Wonderland :-)

The Magic of Animated Christmas Movies

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Today is Wicked Wonderland’s release day. It is now officially for sale. http://store.samhainpublishing.com/wicked-wonderland-p-7081.html

It is available for kindle from the Samhain website if you have a kindle.

You can buy it for Nook here Wicked Wonderland

The Magic of Animated Christmas Movies

If you were a child of the ‘70s, you’ll remember a time when there were no DVDs to watch at home, so if there was something special on TV, it was more exciting than it would ever be in this day and age.

How excited my little sister and I were by all those animated Christmas movies full of magic and wonder, that only came on TV on Christmas Eve.

I guess those stories are really ingrained in my psyche, because my first ever published story was one of those Christmas tales, and it appeared in the children’s pages in our city newspaper when I was 10 years old.

When I conceived of my erotic novel Wicked Wonderland, I also wanted to capture that magic. I wanted to capture it in an erotic romance.  The three goals I had for Wicked Wonderland were to write a magical paranormal Christmas story, an emotional romance between 3 people in a ménage, and an erotic story hot enough to jingle sleigh bells and curl your mistletoe!

For those of you wanting only market news  info from my blogs (shut up about your new release and your childhood, Lisa and give us the market goss!) I introduce to you  Riptide Publishing.

Riptide Publishing is a boutique purveyor of some of LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, genderqueer)  fiction, romance, and erotica . Created by experienced M/M authors who were hungry for more favorable contracts, editing, marketing support, and royalty rates, Riptide Publishing seeks to fill a critical niche in the LGBTQ market: quality books, pristinely packaged, that will satisfy readers’ desires for rich, plotty, well-edited stories for which the author is fairly paid.

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Although Riptide is an invitation only publisher for general submissions they give authors the opportunity to submit to Open Calls so you can get your foot in the door. Once you have a story accepted to one of their open calls you become an in house author. Their royalty rates are very good and they have some very fine authors  so Lisa Whitefern recommends this press.

To buy Wicked Wonderland click here. http://store.samhainpublishing.com/wicked-wonderland-p-7081.html

Specific Calls for Submissions in erotic romance and erotica this week.

This week I’m focusing on Calls for Submissions from well established publishers (mostly digital first). All the publishers I mention currently have a good reputation overall from authors to the best of my knowledge. (As usual all book covers are for illustrative purposes only and don’t indicate the book is published by the publisher mentioned. I often use Samhain covers.)

Loose ID

Loose ID is a digital first publisher with a reputation up there with Ellora’s Cave, Carina, Liquid Silver, Total Ebound and Samhain.  Loose ID unlike some of these publishers appears to focus ONLY on Erotic Romance and does not put all novels into print.

Call for Submissions from Loose ID

I Do…Unless I Don’t

Concept: Weddings and June go together. But does the couple? In this submissions call there has to be a wedding prominently involved in the story and some doubt whether the couple who is planning to marry will actually get married or if they will get married the way they planned. Whether they do or don’t is up to you but there must be a romance, lots of erotic heat and a HEA or HFN. Someone is going to end up with the right guy or girl at the end…and maybe even a wedding.

The bridesmaid might finally become the bride, the groom may run off with his best man, the couple who called it off years ago may change their mind again, the wedding planner may have to entirely switch the theme from over the top to an intimate wedding, the rehearsal dinner might poison the guests, the gold digger bride might end up a suspect in her fiance’s
murder at the eve of the wedding…it’s up to you.

Loose ID would like a complete manuscript in by Feb. 15. Novellas (20,001 words) and up are acceptable.  If you are not previously published with Loose ID then submit to  looseid.submissions @ loose-id.com and add I DO SUB CALL in the heading. (Those who already have a Loose ID editor submit to your editor of course.) Loose Id is particularly interested in I/R, LGBT (something with an unusual setting or scenario would be nice) or stories with a setting that really adds to the romance.

Dreamspinner Press

Dreamspinner Press is a respected publisher of gay male romance in all genres and of all heat levels.

Call for Submissions from Dreamspinner Press

Timeless Dreams

Dreamspinner Press presents Timeless Dreams: stories of M/M romance in historical settings. While reaction to same-sex relationships throughout time and across cultures has not always been positive, these stories celebrate M/M love in a manner that may address, minimize, or ignore historical stigma. You can visit the rough and tumble Old West, travel the ancient kingdoms of desert sheikhs, see the black and red lacquer of the Far East, or dance in dramatic Regency England. No matter where or when, in the romantic worlds of Timeless Dreams, Dreamspinner gay heroes always live happily ever after.

Novels and novellas that fit this description may be submitted to submissions@dreamspinnerpress.com. Follow the general submission guidelines. Please include “Timeless Dreams” in the subject line of your e-mail. There is no deadline for Timeless Dreams Call for Submissions.

Total Ebound

Total-E-Bound Publishing is another royalty paying, full-service ePublisher  with a long term good reputation based in the UK.
Total Ebound Calls for Submissions

Whip It Up – BDSM Anthology

  • 10K to 15K word count per short story.
  • 9½ weeks or more please! Can you write a lush, rich and savoury D/s story of subs and Doms with an appetite for whips and cream, paddles and puddings, canes and cakes? We’re looking for some mouth-watering, tasty short stories to add to our culinary collection of dominating Doms and their subs.
  • We’d like to see M/F or MFM/multiple partners stories
  • Heat Rating: Burning/Melting (see our book rating info)

The Submission deadline is 1st March 2013 for release in September 2013
Submit the full story plus synopsis.
When submitting, please enter “Whip It Up Submission” in the email subject line.

Wanton Witches (Halloween 2013)

    • Give us some ‘wicked’ witches and ‘charming’ warlocks with plenty of sexy sparks, blissful brooms and wonderous wands! Conjure us some Halloween wicca stories – white witches, dark witches, earth witches and more. Divine rods are a must! Enchanting?
  • Send  M/F or ménage stories, 15 – 20,000 words please.
  • Submission deadline is 1st April 2013 for release in October 2013.
  • Submit the full story plus synopsis.

When submitting, please enter “Wanton Witches Submission” in the email subject line.

Elloras Cave Ellora’s Cave needs no introduction and though rumors abound that they aren’t the queen any more they are still among the best.

NEW Line launched January 2012:  EC for Men

Stories written specifically for heterosexual male readers.

EC is accepting submissions for EC for Men

~ 7,000 to 30,000 words

~ May contain relationships, but should focus more on the sex than the romance; Romantica is fine, Exotika is also encouraged

~ Realistic wording and dialogue for male characters (not the language women WISH men spoke); this extends to the male narrative

~ Written from male POV preferred

~ Should be aimed at male sexual fantasies (what men think of when they get off)
~ More of what men want or need from women: sex, love, acceptance, admiration, dirty talk; less of what they don’t need (judgment, drama, expectation of anticipating woman’s needs)

Call For Submissions

Cleis Press (print and digital erotica publisher)

Slave Girls: Erotic Stories of Submission
Editor: D. L. King
Publisher: Cleis Press
Deadline: January 15, 2013
Payment: $50 plus 2 copies of the anthology

D. L. King is looking for Master/Slave erotica that will turn her into a mass of quivering flesh.

DL King warns she is  a dominant woman.  It will take real work to make her go all gooey from stories of female submission, but you can do it.  She knows you can do it because she’s read fem sub stories that have really turned her on.

Stories should be between 2,000 and 3,500 words, double-spaced, 12 pt Times New Roman. Please indent the first line of each paragraph one-half inch and do not include extra lines between paragraphs.

Send your story as a .doc (NOT a .docx. You can assure this by saving your story as a Word 97-2003 document.) attachment and include the title, pseudonym (if applicable) and your legal name and mailing address to slaveantho@gmail.com. The subject line should read: Submission: TITLE. Please include a professional bio of 50 words or less. Direct any questions to the same address. Original stories only. (If you are absolutely unable to send a .doc attachment, she will accept an rtf- but she won’t be happy about it.)

Read about D.L. King at:
www.dlkingerotica.com

That’s it for my blog on Calls for Submissions this week.

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Click if you wish to buy Wicked Wonderland my erotic  menage novel about bisexual  half-fae who fly around the world in Santa’s sleigh delivering sex toys while being pursued by an evil force bent on their destruction.  :-)

Agents and Editors Wish Lists

Click if you wish to buy Wicked Wonderland my erotic  menage novel about bisexual  half-fae who fly around the world in Santa’s sleigh delivering sex toys while being pursued by an evil force bent on their destruction.  :-)

Today I’m posting some agents and editors wish lists that I’ve hunted up, but please realize, just because your idea isn’t on an agent or editor’s wish list certainly doesn’t mean the agent or editor might not LOVE to have it.  Agents say they are constantly surprised by what they fall in love with. That being said, reading editors and agents wish lists is pure fun.

They are fun because they give us an idea of the kind of topics that people in the publishing industry think might sell. They also might give any of us ideas for a future book!

Kate Schafer Testerman with KT Literary is looking for
brilliant, funny, original middle grade and young adult fiction.
Both literary and commercial; witty women’s fiction. Quirky is good.

Alicia Condon ekensington‘s Editorial Director  is looking for 60,000-word contemporary romance with Alpha heroes or small town settings and high concept single title contemporary romance. She will also look at paranormal and fantasy romance, romantic suspense, historical romance, young adult paranormal romance of 80,000 – 100,000 words).(Click on her name for guidelines and contact email.) Do not send full manuscript.

Lucia Macro is crying out for contemporary romances of approximately 50-60,000 words. for Avon Impulse both funny novels and intense and dramatic ones. She’d love military men, cowboys, billionaires and other tropes.

Rochelle French of Entangled’s Dead Sexy Romantic Suspense catagory romance line wants to see:

  • A caper with quirky characters and a strong romance
  • A cozy romantic mystery that starts with a bang
  • A small town romantic thriller
  • A category length romantic suspense with a strong winter holiday theme for next winter.
  • Traditional tropes (best friends to lovers, reunion romance, marriage of convenience, intimate strangers), while exploring the depths of the human condition as the suspense and romance build.
  • Plotlines outside the usual realm of category romance, such as amateur sleuth, hard-boiled detective, cozy mystery, medical/science, contemporary gothics, super-sensual thrillers—as long as the story has a strong, committed DEAD SEXY romance

Submissions for the Dead Sexy editors can be sent directly to deadsexy-submissions (at) entangledpublishing (dot) com ATTN: Rochelle. Check out the Dead Sexy submission guidelines for specific instructions!

Two Editors Wish Lists and Emotional Punch why you need it in your romance novel

Oh my goodness my  novel Wicked Wonderland has somehow hit Samhain Publishing’s Paranormal Romance Best Seller list when it hasn’t even come out yet. (It is available for pre-order.) And it’s number 2 for Holiday Themed Romance! (These lists appear to be updated twice daily.)

Wicked Wonderland is discounted for pre-order and you can buy it here.

Today I’ll give you a little market news and then share a workshop I gave on Emotional Punch.  Next week my blog will be on agents and editors wish lists so stay tuned.

Ruth Homrighaus of Entangled’s  Indulgence line wants to see:

  • More funny books with strong tropes. She’d really like  a hilarious Vegas marriage of convenience.
  • Cowboys, cowboys, cowboys
  • Forbidden love of any sort!
  • A good falling-for-the-nanny book, contemporary or historical.
  • Road trip stories–U.S., abroad, contemporary or historical–you name it!
  • Historical submissions of all sorts, with bonus points for British empire (nineteenth-century Australia would be cool) or early-twentieth-century U.S. (think flappers, WWI or WWII, the Fifties).
  • Stories of love unrequited (and misdirected)

Submissions for Ruth can be sent directly to ruth (at) entangledpublishing (dot) com. Check out Indulgence submission guidelines for specific instructions!

Tracy Montoya of Entangled Publishing’s Dead Sexy line wants to see:

Fast-paced, sigh-worthy books for Dead Sexy. Anything that starts with a bang (literal or figurative) and keeps her up at night until the end qualifies! She’s also wishing for:

  • Dark, gritty stories.
  • Stories with lots of realistic forensic and/or legal detail.
  • Spies and other types of international intrigue/puzzles.
  • Reunion romances (I’m a sucker for a love-gone-wrong-gone-right-again story!)
  • Multicultural characters (and no, the Mexican drug lord with gold teeth does not count).
  • Historical suspense—the darker the better. Gail Ranstrom is a particular favorite.
  • Kick@$$ (in their own way) heroines—always.

Submissions for the Dead Sexy editors can be sent directly to deadsexy-submissions (at) entangledpublishing (dot) com ATTN: Tracy. Check out  Dead Sexy submission guidelines for specific instructions!

Why does Lisa Whitefern  think Entangled might be a good market? They have best sellers in the Romance category on Amazon.com They are getting a good name for themselves out there. I have heard the odd complaint about editors quitting suddenly, but other authors there report being very happy.

Emotional Punch and why you need it in your Romance Novel

One of the most common comments from editors rejecting romance manuscripts is “this story needs more emotional punch.” But what does this really mean?

Emotional Punch in a story is created by the emotional involvement, empathy and absorption the reader feels when caught up with the in your story. It is emotional rapport she feels with the characters and the steadily growing pace of the story and the emotional development that gives the story its page turning quality.

Romance author Barbara Hannay comments that sufficient emotional punch gives your story the “wham” that sets it apart from other stories.

In order to achieve emotional punch a writer must first give us characters we care about.  Characters need to grab at the readers emotions and make her care. To do this you need characters who come alive on the page.

Easier said then done right?

How do we create characters like that? Characters who stir a reader’s emotions?

Award winning Australian romance writer Valerie Parv suggests that at every separate stage of your story you ask yourself what the viewpoint character feels about what is happening. Both Valerie Prav in her book Heart and Craft and Stephen King in his book On Writing advise writers not to back off or skim the surface when writing but to dig deep.

Dig deep inside yourself for the deeper emotional truths that might be involved in any situation you are writing about.

Dig inside yourself for the emotions you would feel in the same situation then drag them out onto the page trough bodily sensations.

In order to make readers care about your characters you must know them as people.

Four ways to make a reader care more about you characters include having each of your characters have a “backstory wound” , a personal yearning, strengths and weaknesses and having clarity of theme.

A major back-story event that that bears directly upon the psychological story of your protagonist is referred to by professional book editor Elizabeth Lyon as “a back-story wound”

A back-story wound is a traumatic event in the character’s past that leaves its mark on the character.

In my novel Wicked Wonderland contracted by Samhain the heroine was found as a newborn baby in New York City dumpster so she has a bit of a chip on her shoulder about that.

She also has a relentless anonymous stalker who leaves her a lot of insulting messages referring to the circumstances of her birth.

In traditional fairytales Red Riding Hood is stalked by the ultimate predatory male while Cinderella grows up in the ultimate dysfunctional family. These characters go through hard times before they reach their goals and that tugs on our heart strings.

We can compare Cinderella’s miserable home situation with Harry Potter’s. Harry’s miserable downtrodden role in his own muggle family certainly attracted my attention and pulled on my emotions. Like many people I like to root for the underdog and Cinderella and Harry Potter are both timeless stories because their underdog status coupled with their quiet strength and ultimate determination to make something of themselves attracts our attention and involves our emotions.

My story Wicked Wonderland is in part a retelling of the fairy tale Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer. My heroine’s mother is a gambling addict at risk of losing her home and at the beginning of Wicked Wonderland, my heroine Lillian Rudolph has taken a job as a stripper to help her mother pay the mortgage and keep her home.

However she’s really a classical musician so like Rudolph in the song she stands out like a sore thumb among the other strippers as someone very different. They decide because she is different she must be the unknown thief who has been stealing tips from their locker rooms and beat her up.

She is saved by two fae males who take her for a magical erotic ride in Santa’s sleigh.

So Wicked Wonderland is also an underdog story that pulls at our emotions by keying in to those universal emotions felt by anyone who has ever felt like an outsider, or been bullied and dreamed of being suddenly rescued through the approval of someone powerful. In Harry Potter that someone powerful is Dumbledore, in Cinderella it’s her Fairy God mother, in Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer it’s Santa Claus himself and in my story Wicked Wonderland it’s two extremely sexy half fae/half human men who fall in love with my heroine.

In all these stories the protagonist is an underdog going through very hard times before triumphing and finding their happy endings and this packs a powerful emotional punch.

Many beginning writers choose conflicts that are too light.  But to get emotional depth you need to crank up the emotional difficulties your hero and heroine have.

If when the two half fae whisked my heroine away in the sleigh there were no emotional difficulties between them and they lived happily ever after that would not be enough story and would not provide enough emotional punch.

But in fact my heroine knows both of these men from her past when they were posing as full mortals getting an education at the same university she went to. So this is a reunion story with many layered issues between the three protagonists as well as some very dark magical villains who have strong motivations for destroying their happiness.

To intensify emotional punch you must steadily increase the emotional problems of your protagonists in a story.

Think about your current heroine and hero. Are they troubled by internal doubts? Do they face self image problems? Do they have reasons for feeling they don’t deserve unconditional love?

My story is a ménage so we have two heroes. The back-story wound for the more Alpha of my heroes is that when he was a tiny boy his mother often left him to go on adventure holidays. She was an adrenaline junkie who died in a sky diving accident when he was seven. So he has some bitterness and abandonment issues.  My other hero has a scar on his thigh and the reasons for this are left a mystery that I hope has some emotional punch on reveal.

In order to achieve emotional punch you need to drop you guard when writing about your character’s backstory wounds or any other emotional event in your novel. Before you can share the characters emotions you really need to be in touch with your own most intense emotions and feelings. Analyze your own most painful memories.

Australian romance writer Valerie Prav even suggests that if you are a writer who has never visited a professional counselor, that you do so now in order to have a deeper understanding of your own emotions so that you can understand your hero, heroines and even your villain’s emotions in more depth.

New York agent Donald Maass gives similar advice when he comments that “Novels that change lives do so because their authors are willing to draw upon their deepest selves without flinching. These authors hold nothing back making their novels the deepest possible expression of their own experience and beliefs.”

To ensure your story is emotion based you need to look at the role each scene or chapter is playing in the development of the romance.

The emotional structure of a romance might go through the following steps

Step 1—The heroine and hero either have a first meeting in which they feel strong attraction for each other coupled with the warning signs of conflict or the hero and heroine are reunited and back-story revealing emotional conflict from their past is carefully woven in.

Step 2—-The hero and heroine begin to feel  admiration for each other but this is complicated by conflict.  Or in the case of a reunion story – memories of the past rear their heads which  increases emotional tension. In a mainstream romance sexual tension will be on the page, but they will not be making love yet because of the conflict. In contrast, in an erotic or very sexy romance the hero and heroine may move quickly to sexual intimacy, but they will both probably be trying to keep their emotions under wraps. The heroine may tell herself that she is capable of having casual sex like a man without emotion as she shies away from what is really true love.

Step 3

Hero and heroine meet several more times and one or both of them fight their desires and/or their feelings for each other because of both internal and external conflicts.

Step 4

They are thrown together repeatedly by the plot, but conflict grows between them. In a sweeter romance they may fight their sexual desire for each other, in a sexy romance they fight their emotions and feelings.

Step 5

In a sweeter romance this may be the stage where the couple finally make love and lovemaking is later regretted when the conflict seems stronger than before. In a sensual, spicey or erotic romance this maybe a point when the conflict grows and becomes so great that they do not make love for awhile, as all focus is now on the conflict. The Grey moment may occur. This is the moment when the couple confront some important issue that seems like the main crisis but they pass through this crisis and it is not as black and devastating as The Black Moment coming up.

Step 6 The hero may declare his love but the heroine suspects his motives.

Step 7 The Black Moment.  Your story should have a heart wrenching black moment. How do you go about creating that?

A  few tips on creating a heart wrenching black moment from Donald Maas include making one of your protagonists face his or her greatest fear. Working out what your protagonist would never sacrifice and forcing him or her to sacrifice it, and making your protagonist do something the reader would think they would never do. Using one of these moments can lend tremendous emotional power to your black moment.

Step 8 Because of the black moment a future together seems impossible. Decisions are made in an attempt to solve the conflict.

Step 9 The decisions made prove to be the right one. All loose ends are tied up and the couple are free at last to make a commitment to each other.

Throughout your novel you may want to concentrate on one consistent emotional theme. Make sure the emotions your character feels are consistent. They may go on a roller coaster ride of emotions but you still need a dominant theme for you book to be a coherent read. You need to decide on the main emotion you want your readers to feel in each scene and also the main emotion you want your reader to feel reading your book. There should be an emotional theme to your story overall.

Readers read romance for the emotional journey. The more complicated your plot is the more you run the risk of losing the emotional theme running through the book so you must always remember to come back to that theme. Your heroine and hero relationship must be central to everything and more important than other details.

Kate Walker comments that in a romance you have to concentrate on a central relationship and because of this of you need to make sure that what you are describing is a very special, deep, and heartfelt sort of emotion. My own novel Wicked Wonderland is a ménage but it is an erotic romance and so I took care to make sure that I portrayed a once in a lifetime love of the sort every romance should be. In the fantasy world I created the fae live in ménage relationships with their fated mates. The three protagonists in my novel are half human and half fae and so they are unsure if a fated threesome even exists for them.

The romance relationship in your novel should have real depth and real value. The romance should be so much more than a crush.  They need to be someone of real value to one another, someone you would want to spend your life with. Someone without whom the other protagonist or in the case of a ménage protagonists would feel hollow and empty if they didn’t have them in their lives. The relationship needs to be the ultimate in true love.

Kate Walker suggests asking yourself 12 questions about emotional punch

  1. Have I allowed time for my characters to explore their feelings between plot events?
  2.  Have I made sure that the plot doesn’t get in the way of the characters emotions.
  3.  Have I shown emotions through dialogue body language, the choices my characters make?
  4. Have I hinted at a subtext- thoughts and feelings below the surface?
  5. Have I allowed my characters to react with emotions true to their personalities?
  6. Have I used specific details to create a picture so vivid that my reader reacts emotionally?
  7. Have I created a conflict worth being divided over?
  8. Have I put my characters into the most dramatic situations possible?
  9. Have I raised the stakes to force my characters to make tough decisions
  10. Have I used dynamic verbs and adjectives?
  11. Have I used the environment to reflect, contrast with or illuminate my character’s emotions?
  12. Do I feel emotion when I read the most dramatic scenes in my book?

Think back over books you’ve read in the past –the ones you’ve enjoyed most and the ones that made your heart beat faster or made your eyes sting with tears. What emotions did they awaken in you? What is it about the story that appealed to you the most? What did you remember the most? It was probably an emotional moment.

For example in Wuthering Heights Heathcliffe’s outrage  at the way he’d been treated as an outcast. The passion and desperation between him and Cathy when Cathy is torn apart by misery because she didn’t follow her heart.

Personally I also feel emotional punch listening to the lyrics of Eminem’s songs. And considering how well they sell I think a lot of other people must feel that emotional punch too. Eminem’s fury at having been abandoned by his deadbeat Dad, and his angst about being brought up by a poor drug addicted mother. His anger about being bullied as a child and very poor as a young adult. His passionate love for his daughter and his fury at his exwife.

Nora Robert’s stories often pack a powerful emotional punch. For example in Nora Robert’s book Birthright thirty year old Callie Dunbrook finds out that she she was kidnapped from her stroller when she was only three months old.

In Public Secrets Emma McAvoy gets whisked out of poverty and into the glamour of rock-music at the age of 3, But when her baby half brother is tragically kidnapped, Emma’s new world changes again, and she must live with the guilt and the uneasy sense that she knows more than she remembers.

Think about novels, songs, and movies that really made you feel. This should help you concentrate on putting emotional punch into your own stories.

 

Then give your characters’ wounds, make your black moments really big ones, and be utterly ruthless to your characters then pull them out of that black hole with a happy ending that arises realistically from the choices your characters made.  That is what emotional punch is all about.

Who’s looking for YA? (Agents and Editors looking for Young Adult Fiction)

A strange fact of the current publishing market is that teenagers on the whole are considered reluctant to embrace ebooks. Much more reluctant than adults. A number of digital first publishers that tried having a line for teenagers have closed that line and no longer accept young adult fiction. Samhain stopped accepting Young Adult Fiction. The Wild Rose Press closed their “Climbing Rose” young adult line. Harlequin’s Digital first imprint Carina takes almost every kind of romance BUT Young Adult Romance.

(These bookcovers are for illustrative purposes only and do not indicate that the authors are clients of the aforementioned agents.)

So I’ll start with a couple of agents and then look at which digital first lines ARE still open to Young Adult Fiction.

Francis Collin accepts queries for YA. This agency prefers Young Adult Fiction, literary fiction, memoir, narrative nonfiction, and travel narratives. They accept email queries as long as there are no attachments. http://www.francescollin.com/

Why would Lisa Whitefern recommend Book Ends Literary Agency? This is another agency with a solid reputation and I  met one of their agents (Jessica Faust)  at a Romance Writers of New Zealand conference and she was extremely professional in every way.

Kim Lionetti has extensive experience in editing as she was formerly  Senior Editor at  Berkley Publishing for eight years before joining bookends

In Digital First Publishing the up and coming digital first publisher Entangled is looking for Young Adult Fiction.

Entangled appears to have a growing reputation among authors interested in digital first publishing. Some of their adult contemporary novels are best sellers on Amazon. While I must be honest and say I have heard some complaints from authors about Entangled (editors quitting suddenly and leaving them in the lurch) many  other authors are  happy and Entangled seems to have developed a surprisingly good reputation in a small amount of time

Entangled Teen is described as a high-concept, engaging line of books geared to the Young Adult audience. Thanks to a more traditional editorial calendar of twelve to eighteen months between acquisition and publication, Entangled Teen will be distributed by Publisher’s Group West, one of the largest print distributors in the world. Emphasis is placed on shelving Entangled Teen titles in brick and mortar stores in an effort to maximize visibility and availability to the target audience.

Royalty rates for Entangled Teen are 20% of cover for digital, and 9% of cover for print.

Entangled Teen is seeking

  • Upper YA (16-21 year old protags) that will appeal to crossover audiences
  • Younger YA/MG (13-15 year old protags) that will appeal to crossover audiences
  • YA novels should be 50k to 100k words in length.

Harlequin Digital First

NEW! Digital First Series from Harlequin

I’ve said before that I am quite unsure  how these new Digital First lines created by the BIG publishers will do in terms of sales but one hopes the Harlequin name might sell ebook Teen Romance to teenage girls.

As far as Young Adult Fiction goes Harlequin is most interested in your Teen Romance but may also take on other good quality fiction geared at Young Adults.

For Harlequin Teen print imprint most people still need an agent.

Harlequin Escape —– Harlequin’s really getting into that Digital First Market

If you’re an Australian or a New Zealander or perhaps even in a country nearby us you might be interested in Harlequin Escape especially if you have a teen romance set in Australia or another country around this part of the globe.

They don’t appear to have a strong focus on YA, but I believe if you sent them a great YA New Zealand or Australian romance they’d be keen since they take all heat levels of romance including sweet, and are really really keen to acquire Australian set romances in particular.

The fact remains that the majority of the top digital first publishers are still rejecting YA however a February Publishers’ Weekly article denies teens are still reluctant to embrace YA so perhaps we will see a change in this soon.
I also found this nice site for writers who love YA.YAtopia

 

 

To read the blurb and an excerpt from my sexy paranormal menage Samhain Publishing click here  http://store.samhainpublishing.com/wicked-wonderland-p-7081.html

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