Tag Archives: Writing contests

Just when I think it’s over…..

I don’t usually post full face pictures of myself on this page for a number of reasons, but the biggest one being I hate full face pictures of myself!!!

Cindy Crawford I am not.

I’m not even Helen Mirren and she’s in the same age group as me.

But when I received this award over the weekend, I also received a letter from FCRW that asked the winners to take a picture with the award and their winning book to post on the FCRW Facebook and Twitter pages. Since it was going to be so publicly displayed anyway, I figured, why not blog about it, too,  and post the picture.

So…

I am still rehabbing from my surgery, so you can see a tiny speck of the immobilizer covering my right hand as I hold the beautiful award. Yes, I’m in my nightgown, there’s nothing on my face except Retin A, I’m wearing my daytime glasses and my hair isn’t combed because I can’t do that yet ( due to dominant arm surgery!) But it would have taken too much time, effort, and energy – none of which I have, to look camera ready.

But..all that aside, this award truly touched my heart.

The past two months have been filled with self doubt, feelings of inadequacy, and  frustration over my writing career. After being dropped by two publishers and receiving some horrible reviews for my books, in addition to still not seeing my sales and readers increase, I’ve been struggling with the concept that writing for publication is something I’m not cut out for. There’s so much more involved than just writing stories of my heart. The time and cash spent on marketing, the query letters, the waiting to hear back, the time delays between book publications – it’s all starting to take a toll on my psyche.

The endless questions: have I peaked out? Is this all worth the time and expense? What am I killing myself for?

Dramatic? Yeah, maybe, but hey: this is me we’re talking about. Drama in my confirmation name.

And then this happens.

I think sometimes the universe, and/or God knows just what to do to make me realize my decisions and my life are worthwhile.

So…no more moping, overthinking, doubting, bitching or complaining.

Now if I could just brush my hair…..

Oh, and because the marketing aspect NEVER ends, here’s the book that won the award, available in ecopy, print and audio.

CHRISTMAS AND CANNOLIS

Amazon ///B&N // AppleBooks //GooglePlay// Kobo // AmazonUK

 

With Christmas season in full swing, baker Regina San Valentino is up to her elbows in cake batter and cookie dough. Between running her own business, filling her bursting holiday order book, and managing her crazy Italian family, she’s got no time to relax, no room for more custom cake orders, and no desire to find love. A failed marriage and a personal tragedy have convinced her she’s better off alone. Then a handsome stranger enters her bakery begging for help. Regina can’t find it in her heart to refuse him. Connor Gilhooly is in a bind. He needs a specialty cake for an upcoming fundraiser and puts himself and his company’s reputation in Regina’s capable hands. What he doesn’t plan on is falling for a woman with heartbreak in her eyes or dealing with a wise-guy father and a disapproving family. Can Regina lay her past to rest and trust the man who’s awoken her heart?

Until next time ~ Peg

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Filed under Author, author promotion, Contemporary Romance, Cooking, Family Saga, Food lover, Foodie, Life challenges, love, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women, WIld Rose Press AUthor

A little #Surprise this weekend…

I was laid up in bed all day yesterday because I pulled my left flank and hip muscles on Saturday at the gym. Adulting and life should come with a disclaimer that doing squats after the age of 55 is not a wise choice.

Anyhoo.

As I was working in bed 

I got an email that just about shot me off the mattress. Apparently, I am a FINALIST in the 2018 HOLT MEDALLION CONTEST in the Long Contemporary category for my book COOKING WITH KANDY.

YOWZA!

If you scroll down to the Long Contemporary category you’ll see my name. My real name. Apparently, I entered under my real one, not my pen one. Le Sigh….

Anyway – YAY!!! Cooking with Kandy won a bunch of awards before it was published and this is the first time I’ve entered it in anything since it’s been published, so this is uber-thrilling.

I’ll keep you updated once the winners are announced. All body parts are crossed for this one, peeps!

Looking for me? Here I am: Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// Book Me

and one last shameless plug: Check out my new AUDIOBOOK version of 3 WISHES, available now at Audible // Itunes // and Amazon.

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Filed under Author, Contemporary Romance, Cooking, Family Saga, Foodie, Kensington Publishers, Lyrical Author, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women, The Laine Women

My Cinderella Story; #MFRWAuthorBlogChallenge

I wasn’t relegated to sweeping, dusting, cooking, and being a house-maid, and I didn’t have a magical fairy godmother (just a wonderful editor-godmom), but my road to publication started with a contest and ended with a contract.

In the end of 2014 I entered the first romance writing contest of my life. I’d written my first romance novel and wanted to see if it had any chance of being published traditionally. I loved the book but I wasn’t sure anyone else would and I entered the contest, basically, for feedback. The contest called for the first three chapters, so that’s what I sent. And then, I simply forgot about it. I was still working full time, menopause was kicking my chubby tush, and I was uber busy in my personal life.

Four months after entering, I received an email from the contest chairperson telling me I’d won my division. Included in the email were my scores by the various judges and comments they’d made. Once the shock at winning wore off, I read all the comments and felt like I had a shot a getting published. A day later another email arrived from Rhonda Penders, the publisher of the Wild Rose Press. She was the final judge for my entry. She wrote that she’d liked what she’d read and asked if I had a completed manuscript. Boy, did I! Could I send it along to her? Boy, could I! So I did.

Two months after that I received another email from the editor Ms. Penders had assigned the book to, to be read. Condensed version here of the story : they were offering me a contract to publish.

When I scraped myself off the floor and stopped crying, I said YES. And that’s how my first book, SKATER’S WALTZ, came into the book reading world.

Three years later and I’ve had 11 books published and have just signed 2 contracts for 5 more in the next 2 years.

Story-book ending much? Yeah. Big-time!

Since this is a blog hop, hop on over to these other authors to get their  contest experiences.

 

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Filed under #Mfrwauthors, Author, Contemporary Romance, MacQuire Women, MFRWauthor, Romance, Romance Books, Skater's Waltz, Strong Women, The Wild Rose Press

The subjectivity of writing.

It never ceases to amaze me how SUBJECTIVE writing can be. Case in point: contest judging reports and scores.

I have entered my fair share of romance contests, basically because it is an easy way to get your work in front of industry people. And hey, if they like it, you may not only win, but get a call from a publisher. This is what happened to me and why my first romance novel will be coming up for sale soon. But more about that in a later blog.

Recently, I was a finalist in a major writing competition. Major. Which was thrilling enough. Now, I didn’t win, which is fine, but when I got my scores back it almost looked like two different entries were judged. One score was a solid A, the second barely a C.

Same piece of writing.

The comments on the score sheets were diametrically opposed as well, with one person telling me how they were engaged from the first paragraph, the second stating I spent too much time on backstory ( 1 Paragraph!) and my characters were wooden. Reader one told me the characters and dialogue were life-like. Reader two wrote that I needed to listen to how people spoke in real life to get a better feel for dialogue.

Crazy!

I wonder if this abject subjectivity is  one of the reasons so many novelists are self publishing these days. I’ve read some AMAZING self published books and wondered why in heck they weren’t represented by a major 5 house. I’ve also read some terrrrrrrrrible self pub’d books and known why they weren’t.

That subjectivity is mine, I realize that, but I cross genres in romance. I like to read Regency, Paranormal, Contemporary and Suspense. If the story is sound, the plot captivating and the characters relatable, it shouldn’t matter what the genre is, if the book is good.

So, back to the contest scores.

I’m done entering contests for now. I need to devote myself to the edits that are coming my way from my publisher and editor ( and don’t I love saying that!). But for all the writers who are still entering contests in the hopes of capturing a publisher’s or and editor’s eye – DON’T STOP. Even though subjectivity may abound, if the overall scores are consistent and the critiques worthwhile, this is a valuable way to get your work seen and to receive – usually – valid feedback.

I’m still wondering if my scores were mixed up. Oh well.

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Filed under Characters, Dialogue, Editors