Thursday, January 31, 2008

Braggin' On Our Authors...

Love's Blessings by MG Braden is up for best Inspirational ebook at Ecataromance. This novel is available from By Grace.

A Taste of Summer by Nell Dixon and Jessica Raymond is up for best contemporary romance at Ecataromance. This novel is available from Moonlit Romance.

Congratulations to our authors. We're so proud of you!


Coming up for February: From Moonlit Romance, Temporary Intrigue by Judy Huston. From By Grace, Romance is in the Air, a short and sweet anthology starring 4 surprise authors!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Submitting to By Grace and Moonlit Romance

Kathy's Review Corner has reviewed By Grace's Winter Wonders anthology. Click on each authors' name to read their reviews!

Meg Allison
Cindy K. Green
Muncy Chapman
JoAnn Carter


Please note: while Moonlit Romance's submitting guidelines are posted here, Moonlit is currently closed to submissions. Submissions will be reopened late Spring, early Summer of 2008. We invite you to familiarize yourself with our guidelines, read our Tips for a Successful Submission, and be ready to wow our socks of when we reopen!

Moonlit Romance's Guidelines

We are looking for contemporary AND historical romantic fiction.
Sensuality levels should fall between PG and soft R for our regular lines.
There will be three divisions for length, ranging from 5,000 to 60,000 words.

Paranormal, and time travel will be welcomed under a yet to be named imprint.
Heterosexual, monogamous couples only please.

Also seeking hard R stories for our new Moonlit Madness line.

NO multiple submissions. This means submitting the same manuscript to multiple publishers.

Please visit our guidelines page for sensuality levels and word count.

By Grace's Guidelines

As of January 25, 2008

Novellas with a bridal theme for our annual Brides and Bouquets anthology.
Slightly paranormal novellas for our annual paranormal anthology.
Well written G-rated romance.

What we do not want:

Stories that anthropomorphize God, or His angels.
Foul language. If you are unsure, be safe, and do not use the word.
Heroes that do not respect women. This includes stories in which the hero is redeemed.
Graphic violence.
Incomplete manuscripts. We have been known to request a full from a partial in one week.
Divorce that is not for Biblical reasons.

Please visit our guidelines page for specific guidelines.

Tips for a Successful Submission

1. Please check our submissions guidelines and follow them. It is apparent very quickly that guidelines weren't checked or the author simply doesn't care enough to respect our guidelines.
By Grace Publishing Submission Guidelines
Moonlit Romance Submission Guidelines

2. Please be sure that you put which house you're subbing to in the subject line of your email, as submissions for both By Grace and Moonlit Romance go to the same inbox. The *perfect* subject line includes the House: "Query": "Title". An example of the *perfect* subject line: "Moonlit Romance: Query: Hunk-a Hunk-a Burnin' Love."

3. We publish romantic fiction. We are not interested in fan fiction, poetry, non-fiction or anything else that doesn't meet our guidelines.

4. Please no simultaneous submissions.

5. Familiarize yourself with By Grace Publishing and Moonlit Romance--- the types of novels we release, our authors, our readers' loops, our authors' blog, our MySpace site.
By Grace's Readers' Loop
Moonlit Romance's Readers' Loop
Unique Enterprises MySpace
By Grace Website
Moonlit Romance Website

6. A well-written, professional query letter goes a long way to ensuring an editor is interested enough to look at your chapters. In the same vein, to keep the editor reading your chapters, submit your best work. Take the time to run the spell check and the grammar check. Take the time to pay attention to the "little" details. Do your research if you're submitting an historical, and clearly state the year your novel is set in your query. These details can be the difference between a request or a rejection.

7. Please allow us time to read your submission before you email asking for the status of your submission or emailing to ask if we received your submission. We're sorry, it's not possible for us to acknowledge the receipt of every submission received. We're currently running a 3-6 month response time, some times a little longer, sometimes a little shorter.

We're looking forward to reading YOUR fantastic submission. Go ahead. Knock our socks off!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

By Grace Backlist Sptlight... *The Last Journey* by Linda Lattimer

The Last Journey by Linda Lattimer

Karen Walker is determined to fulfill her husband’s last request; one last western adventure. The only problem is Jason’s ashes are inside an urn and her children have a hard time accepting their mother carrying their dad’s ashes from Atlanta to the Grand Canyon. Daughter, Suzanne feels her mother has never accepted their dad’s death, acting as if nothing has happened. She feels unless her mom accepts that Jason is never returning none of them can go on with their lives. On the way out west, Karen meets someone that begins opening new doors for her and begins to thaw a heart that she only opened to Jason. Ben Carrey finds Karen breathtaking and feels she is the right woman that could change his life for good. When Karen learns about Ben’s deceit will she accept his apology or close the door to a new life the second time around?

The Last Journey
by Linda Lattimer

After the check-in was completed they headed toward their room. Ben’s stomach was in knots. He so wanted to express all his feelings to her, but what if she rejected him? Karen, I love you so very much it aches in my heart not to be able to hold you to my heart.

He reached for her hand when they approached the door to their room. “Don’t put the key in the door yet.”

“Oh, do you want to get the luggage before we check out the room?”

He pulled the band out of her ponytail, freeing her hair to fall slowly off her shoulders. His hands cupped her face as his lips touched hers in a warm kiss. He could still taste the aroma of their valley. The kiss sent little embers of fire throughout his body.

Karen felt electricity spark through her. “Ben...” The word fell off breathless when the kiss broke. The other kisses that he had bestowed on her had been nothing compared to this one. Time stood still as she continued to gaze into his eyes. This is wrong, Karen. She heard the voice loud and clear. I can’t shut my feelings out. Today has been so wonderful. I am in love with him.

Ben couldn’t interrupt her thoughts as she stood there, unable to move from that one spot. Now was the opportunity if he was ever going to get that one chance with her. This is wrong, Ben. The voice was strong as thunder. But I am in love with her. I want to marry her.

“Karen...I want to get the luggage later. All I want is to love you all night.”
Her eyes grew wider. She didn’t know how to react. Deep down, she wanted it as much as he did but...

“I don’t know if that is a good idea. I mean I haven’t even had a bath. And we aren’t married. That wouldn’t be right.”

He took hold of her hand, holding it close to his cheek. “I don’t need a piece of paper tonight that says I’m married to you. That can come later.”

“What...” Her hand fell to her side.

“Hush, don’t say a word. At this very moment, in my heart, I already feel married to you. I love you, Karen Walker. I’ve been in love with you for the past few days, but didn’t know how to tell you. I want to spend the rest of my life with you, not only you, but also the girls and the grandchildren. I’m in love with you and your whole family.”

She found herself speechless. Her heart fluttered. “I don’t know what to say.”

Purchase The Last Journey by Linda Lattimer.
Visit Linda online.

Monday, January 28, 2008

By Grace... Backlist Spotlight Author Linda Lattimer

I live in southern Georgia, a little town not far from Ft. Benning, Georgia. I have always loved reading and writing. I have had some poems and stories receive honorable mention and even had some smaller ones published. I enjoy writing, reading, traveling and visiting new places. The best park I love to visit is the Raymond Gary Park, in Oklahoma. The park is a place that offers lots of tranquil beauty. It is such a spectacular sight watching the sun set across the lake. I have a website, a site on Coffee Time Board where one can go and post comments and a Myspace that will take you to my places of interest:

Publishing Credits with By Grace Publishing include
The Last Journey

A story: The Return of the Unwelcomed in the From Darkness Anthology

2005 Brides and Bouquets has the story: Crystal Can Break

These titles can be purchased at By Grace

Friday, January 25, 2008

*Strikes Don't Matter* by Denise Patrick

Strikes Don't Matter by Denise Patrick
Available today from By Grace.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

*Strikes Don't Matter* by Denise Patrick... Excerpt

Gina Taylor left God behind after high school. A paralegal in a large, prestigious law firm in Salt Lake City, she's settled and content with her life. So – why does she have the feeling something is missing?

The last place Adam Wilson would choose to live is Utah. Packed off to an out-of-state college after turbulent high school years, he's established himself and is on track to achieve his dream of becoming a partner in the law firm he works for.

God, however, has other plans, and bringing Gina back into the fold with Adam's help will force them both to decide where their futures lie.

Strikes Don't Matter by Denise Patrick

Gina was still mulling over Kelly’s question the next morning as she sat at her desk, going through the past week’s emails. She was surprised at how little she’d actually missed for the volume in her inbox. She was about halfway through the list when the phone on her desk buzzed.

“Gina?” the main receptionist’s voice came over the speaker. “You need to get down here right away.”

Frowning, she got up from her chair. “I’ll be right there.”

Now what? She looked at her watch as she hurried down the hall toward the stairs. It was only mid-morning. She didn’t have any appointments today.

As she reached the spacious reception area fronted by glass doors, Tammy beamed at her from behind the solid oak desk.

“You’ve got some explaining to do.” Tammy grinned. “I thought you went to visit your brother last week.”

“I did. So?”

“Your brother did not send you those. If he did, I’m trading all of mine in.” As she spoke, Tammy waved her hand toward a counter behind her, on which sat an explosion of color. Blue, purple, white, tiny touches of yellow, and, of course green, burst from a crystal vase.

Gina blinked. For a moment, she was speechless as she took in the beautiful flowers. She looked back at Tammy. “Are you sure?”

“You’re the only Gina Taylor we have.”

Tammy picked up the vase and set it in front of Gina. “Open the card. Then you can tell me everything.”

She wasn’t sure what she expected when she opened the small card, but there wasn’t much there. She breathed a sigh of relief as she read the short note, which had likely been dictated by Adam over the phone.

“It’s from a friend of my brother’s, who I met while visiting. He was very nice and took me out while I was there.”

“I see.” Tammy’s dark eyes sparkled in the fluorescent light. “A doctor, like your brother?”

Gina shook her head. “No. An attorney. You’d think I’d stay away from them since I work around them all day.”

“One would think so,” Tammy agreed. The console on the desk buzzed and Tammy answered it. Gina took the opportunity to grab her flowers, wave at Tammy, and slip away. She was thankful she’d been able to leave without giving Tammy a name.

She breathed deeply of the light fragrance wafting from the vase and studied the profusion of lavender, freesia, white and purple asters, blue forget-me-nots, and white irises. She wondered if Adam had selected the flowers specifically, or just picked out a bouquet he thought she’d like.

As she reached her desk, she set it down where she could look at it, and turned to her computer.

Check your email.

The note had been succinct, with Adam’s name at the bottom. Opening her mailbox again, she scrolled to the bottom. She’d forgotten she’d given Adam her email address on their Wednesday night date, along with her home phone number. He’d done the same, giving her his cell, home, and private work numbers.

The message seemed impersonal until she reached the end. In it he merely said he hoped she’d had a smooth flight home and found her friend and goddaughter well. She smiled. She’d have to write him back and tell him about Alyssa’s upset stomach, but she would not tell him Kelly’s diagnosis. He gave her an update on his grandfather’s ankle, and said his grandmother sent her regards. At the bottom, however, the message continued: I hope the flowers brighten your day and lighten your mood when somber thoughts threaten. Flowers have a language all their own, so you’ll have to go here to find the message in yours. It was followed by a Web site.

She was deciding whether to wait until her break to check out the site or do it immediately, when the phone on her desk rang, making the decision for her. It was one of the attorneys working on the case she’d been helping with before her vacation. With a sigh and last look at the flowers, she pulled the file and hurried down to the attorney’s office.

The remainder of the day rushed by. Playing catch-up was hectic, but it allowed her to concentrate on work and not wonder what Adam was doing. It wasn’t until the end of the day that she was able to get back to her computer to check out the Web site he’d sent her. Once she finished reading the site, she was grateful she hadn’t gotten to it earlier. Tears clouded her vision as she stared at the flowers, turning them into a watery blur. When they overflowed and tracked down her cheeks, she grabbed a tissue to mop them up.

She glanced at her watch, then gathered her purse and keys. One last look at her flowers and she was headed out the door. Kelly was expecting her to drop by on her way home. She sniffed and wiped her eyes again, then sighed. Kelly would take one look at her and know she’d been crying again. What would she tell her this time?
Kelly was putting the finishing touches on a salad for dinner when Gina arrived. Alyssa and a friend were outside in the backyard, playing in the sprinklers.
“It was pink and said “Princess” on it. Of course I had to buy it,” she told Kelly as she handed her a small t-shirt.

Kelly held up the bright pink shirt and laughed. The front did, indeed, say “Princess” on it, with a tiara set on the “P” at a jaunty angle. The back, however, elaborated with the statement, “My Father is the King of Kings.”

“I’m assuming the stomach bug of yesterday is history?” she asked, as she seated herself at the counter.

“Yep. But, I have to tell you she was quite indignant when I suggested she was in love. She doesn’t like any of the boys in her class.”

“And you breathed a sigh of relief, right?”

“Me? No, not really. But Jason did. I’m afraid she’s doomed to life as an old maid. No one will ever be good enough for Jason’s baby.”

“He sounds like my Dad.”

Kelly put the bowl of salad in the fridge and pulled out two cans of soda. Putting one down before Gina, she asked, “So Adam isn’t likely to make the cut?”

Gina took a sip of her soda. The carbonation tickled her throat going down. “I don't know.” Reaching into her purse, she handed Kelly the index card she’d stuffed in it before leaving work.

“What’s this? Lavender. Iris. Aster. Freesia. Forget-me-not.”

“That’s the contents of the vase of flowers sitting on my desk at work. Adam sent them.”

“And this other list? Devotion. Faith. Love. Trust. Friendship. Gentleness. Sounds like the fruits of the spirit out of Galatians.”

Gina took another drink, then sighed. “The card that came with the flowers told me to check my email. When I did, the message sent me to a Web site to look up the meaning of the flowers he’d sent.”

Kelly’s eyes widened. “Oh my God, girl! Why aren’t you on your way back to Tucson?”

Gina’s smile was tinged with sadness. “I don’t know.”

Visit Denise Online.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

From Denise Patrick's Desk...

I love Contemporary Christian Music. My favorite radio station is K-LOVE ( In Adopting Alyssa, Kelly listened to a Christian radio station and sang along with the songs (something I do a lot of, too). So, it's no surprise that a song inspired Gina's story. That song is "What Sin?" by Morgan Cryar. It tells the story of a person who asks for forgiveness, but can't believe that forgiveness has been given, so he prays again and God's answer is: "What sin?" It reminds me that once God forgives, the sin is gone.

Strikes Don't Matter is the story of Gina's journey back to God following a childhood incident she feels God couldn't have possibly have forgiven her for. Adam is strong and purposeful in his faith, but becoming involved with Gina tests his resolve because she lives in the one place he does not want to live.

Visit Denise Online.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Denise Patrick's By Grace Backlist

Adopting Alyssa
by Denise Patrick

When a tragic accident on the interstate leaves an orphaned 4-year-old in her charge, social worker Helen Carstairs is certain she's found the perfect couple to adopt her. Jason and Kelly Moore are a young couple in her congregation with a strong, steady faith.

The only thing that would make life more perfect for Kelly would be a baby of her own, not an enchanting four-year-old with adorable green eyes and the brightest smile this side of heaven. God seems to have other ideas and soon Kelly finds herself wondering how she got along without the little bundle of energy.

So, what are the odds that the bearer of so much joy would also be the catalyst that uncovers a secret Kelly thought long buried in her past? A secret which could undermine her faith and destroy her marriage, all in one fell swoop. But, as her world threatens to crumble around her, Kelly discovers the miracle of second chances and realizes God doesn't play the odds.

2008 EPPIE Finalist
2008 CAPA Nominee
5 Angels and a Recommended Read - Fallen Angel Reviews
5 Hearts - The Romance Studio
5 Cups - Coffee Time Romance

Visit Denise Online.

Purchase Adopting Alyssa at By Grace!

Monday, January 21, 2008

By Grace Release Week... Denise Patrick

Reading is as natural as breathing to Denise Patrick. So, it wasn't hard to move from reading to writing once bitten by the "I can create my own stories" bug. Unfortunately, it took many years before she actually sat down to write. Instead she trod the normal path of college, marriage, family, career.

Although her first love is historical romances, when a friend asked her to write that first Inspirational, she quickly realized that it didn't have to be the "preachy" book she usually associated with Inspirationals. Instead, she tries to portray people of faith going about their daily lives, but with 'bumps in the road' that test their faith.

Denise lives in Salt Lake City with her husband of almost 24 years, and two math and science wizards who did not inherit their talents from her. She works full-time, leads the Youth at her church, sits on too many church committees and task forces, is the Newsletter editor for her RWA chapter, and loves to craft, sew, and machine embroider.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Dangerous to Know by Nell Dixon

Jerome Mayer is tall, dark and dangerous to know. Normally, Gemma would run a mile but with a freshly broken heart maybe it's time for this good girl to take a walk on the wild side. However the danger to them both turns out to be more than just emotional when someone objects to their attempts to uncover a corrupt land deal.

Dangerous to Know
by Nell Dixon

Nathalie’s words about her elder brother, Jerome, resonated in Gemma’s mind.
"Strawberries taste better when they’re dipped in chocolate." Jerome suggested and dangled one near her mouth.

Gemma licked her lips, a gesture that was purely automatic. It felt very warm inside Nathalie’s sitting room and she struggled to draw enough air into her lungs.

Why had she decided the best way to get over being dumped yet again was to boost her confidence by flirting with Jerome? The corners of his deep blue eyes crinkled and she knew he found her naïve attempts at flirtation amusing.

Gemma leaned forward and took the fruit from his fingers with her teeth. She chewed and swallowed as Jerome’s pupils darkened in the soft light from a nearby lamp.

"You’re right. The chocolate makes all the difference." Even to her own ears her voice sounded husky.

He smiled, and her heart skipped a beat. "Well, there’s more chocolate if you want some." His fingertips were coated in melted chocolate from the fountain that stood in the centre of the platter of fresh fruit.

His words held the unmistakable note of challenge. Gemma sucked in air. This was not a good idea. She was in too deep. She tried not to stare at his fingers or imagine the taste of his skin. Phew, she felt hot…

© Nell Dixon 2007

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

From Nell Dixon's Desk...

It was fun revisiting characters from The Cinderella Substitute and Be My Hero. Polly, the cute little girl from Be My Hero, makes a guest appearance and we catch up with Nate and Jenni as well as seeing how Evan and Nathalie are doing. Gemma, the heroine in Dangerous to Know appears in Be My Hero as Nathalie’s assistant. Her romance with the older bad boy of the Mayer family is quite a ride.

I had to do a lot of research for the book as it’s set in the UK’s Lake District and although it’s pure fiction I had to make sure that all the facts about protected land were accurate. I also visited quite a few wildlife parks which gave me a great excuse to see one of my favorite animals - otters.

Visit Nell Dixon Online.
Purchase Nell's books at Moonlit Romance.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Nell Dixon's Backlist

The Cinderella Substitute

In the two years since the tragic car crash that killed his fiancée, Nathanial (Nate) Mayer has successfully avoided another relationship. His family and especially his twin sister Nathalie are worried.

Jennifer (Jenni) Blake is Nate’s personal assistant. Hired after the accident, she has had her own problems to deal with, including the deaths of her adoptive parents and the debts incurred by their nursing care. But those difficulties pale into insignificance when Jenni finally traces her birth mother...

Be My Hero

Nathalie Mayer is thirty-four. On the surface she is an attractive, happy, single, successful woman running her own bridal business. Despite her line of work and her obvious delight in other people’s weddings, including that of her twin brother, Nate. Nathalie has always declared that a settled relationship is not for her. There has only ever been one man whom Nathalie felt she could love.

Evan Davies is back in town after a six year absence. Last time he was here, he and Nathalie had tentatively begun to take their friendship to a different level. Now he’s home again and has the reason for his sudden departure from six years ago with him - his daughter, Polly.

Fall in Love

September Song by Nell Dixon

Erin came to New Bay on her year out from college, keen to experience the lifestyle of a vibrant seaside town famous for its surf and its surfers. Attractive and fun-loving, Erin doesn’t expect to be left with a very expensive spare ticket to the hottest concert in town.
Her boss Kelly’s solution is to recruit Dan to take the ticket off Erin’s hands and to escort her to the concert. Ex-champion surfer Dan soon accepts the offer. But why would Erin want to go on an enforced date with the geekiest looking guy in New Bay? And why doesn’t Dan surf?

A Taste of Summer

Making Waves by Nell Dixon

Cassidy Jones needs a holiday and her friend, Tammy’s cottage in New Bay sounds perfect. The beach could heal the bruises from losing her job and her fiancé.
Josh Parker is also looking forward to a much needed break after eighteen months of non-stop work. His friend Tammy’s cottage would be just right for some time alone. Or would it...

Purchase these wonderful novels and anthologies at Moonlit Romance!

Monday, January 14, 2008

The Spotlight is on Moonlit Romance Releasing Author ~ Nell Dixon!

I’m Nell, and I was born and continue to live in a small area of the UK known as the Black Country. Happily married to the same man for over twenty years, we have three beautiful daughters, a tank of tropical fish and a cactus called Spike. During the day I work full-time as a health visitor in my local community.

In my spare time I enjoy travelling with my family in our touring caravan and exploring the countryside. I have a passion for cathedral architecture and historic buildings. I also enjoy walking, gardening and art.

Ever since I can remember I’ve loved stories and books, both reading and writing them. My first poem was published by a local paper when I was thirteen, since then I’ve had several poems published and was first runner up a few years ago in a national short story competition. I’ve also had several articles published in professional journals.

Writing romance remains my first love and I write the kinds of stories that I love to read. My publishers to date include: Little Black Dress, Samhain, Moonlit Romance, By Grace, D C Thompson, and Linford Romance. I am also proud to say I won The RNA’s Romance Prize 2007 with my book Marrying Max.

Visit my website at to read excerpts from all my books

Friday, January 11, 2008

University Day: Writing Tips


Congratulations to the January *Name that Title* Contest Winner: KRISTY!
The hints were: 1. The setting of this particular novel is Northern California.2. It is published by Moonlit Romance.3. The original title was *Meddling Mamas*.4. The author is Laura Hamby.5. Includes a scene in which one of the heroine's best friends explains the facts of life as she puts condiments on a hot dog. KRISTY'S correct response was It's All Greek to Me. Congratulations, Kristy! Please email Laura at ueauthorsblog @ with your choice of title from her backlist and your format choice. Put *Title Contest Winner* in the subject line. You can check out Laura's backlist HERE.


We write a wide-range of novels for By Grace and Moonlit Romance---from inspirational, tender/sweet at By Grace to racier titles for Moonlit Romance, and today, the UE authors share their tips.

Nell Dixon

1. Always write from the heart.
2. Tender/sweet romance is the most powerful writing because the reader is immersed in the emotions of the heroine and hero. The writers role is to take them there.
3. Never be frightened of writing emotions.

Denise Patrick

Tips for writing Inspirational Romance

1. Understand your characters' faith or lack of faith
2. Don't try to create "over the top" crises; the smallest things often create the largest obstacles
3. Know your Bible and how to apply its teachings to your characters' lives

Meg Allison

Writing Tender/Sweet stories:

1. While writing your story, think of your audience. I usually think about how I’d feel if one of my young teenage daughters were going to read what I’ve written. Would you be comfortable letting a 12 or 13-year-old read it? If not, back to the drawing board.
2. The hero and heroine of tender/sweet stories can and should be physically attracted to one another. What’s love without a little chemistry? Just avoid detailed descriptions of that attraction.
3. In tender/sweet romances, the gentle emotions should take precedence over more lustful ones. It’s very easy to show your characters falling in love with small glances, little sighs, soft whispers, etc.

Cindy Green

For writing sweet/tender

1. Create endearing characters who can carry a story. Make them lively, interesting, and believable.
2. Make it an emotional tale that hits your reader right to the heart.
3. There should be physical attraction and sexual tension in the story without needing to go beyond and written in such a way that what you leave out isn’t even missed.

JoAnn Carter

By Grace Inspie.

Write for an audience of one… God.
Spend time in prayer, asking God to show you what He’d desire you to write.
Show your characters relationship with God rather than telling your reader.

Dayne Gearner

For Moonlit:

There's no nice way to say it, but the most important part of writing is to 1) apply the butt to the chair. There's a point when you just have to dive in and start. 2) Research and 3) preparation are very important, but the day comes when you have to just "jump off the cliff" and do it. Start writing.

Judy Huston

1. Always be aware of how your characters are feeling: their emotions will drive your story.
2. Remember that as well as being tender, romance is also a lot of fun.
3. Care about your characters, warts and all – and don’t be afraid to give them just a few of those warts!

Laura Hamby

I write for both By Grace and Moonlit Romance, but it looks like there's going to be plenty of tips on writing inspies and tenders, so I'll pitch for Moonlit.

1. Don't write sex for the sake of sex. Focus on the emotions of the moment to make it a satisfactory scene to read. I'd hazard a guess that most of us are familar enough with the mechanics, so it's not necessary to incorporate a detailed description of what went where.
2. There's more to a plot than the nookie. The characters need to be real, likeable people worth rooting for--- show them falling in love, dealing with their baggage, functioning as actual, living, breathing people do.
3. Show, don't tell. Action is tangible, draws the reader in and makes it hard to put your book down.

Sherry (Shara) Jones

I write for both By Grace and Moonlit Romance, but for this University Day lesson, I’ll focus on writing tips for the Tender/Sweet line.

1. The first tip is Emotion, Emotion, Emotion. Just when you think you’ve added enough emotion, add just a little bit more.
2. When writing for the Tender/Sweet line, the writer is limited in the use of physical body actions (watch those wandering hands, tongues, etc.). The writer MUST rely on strong dialogue and. …emotion!
3. Keep your characters real. People don’t come equipped with a halo. They have faults and foibles, so let your characters be real as well.

Josh Lockwood

1. Do your research. For a historical, nothing is more important than this. If your historical facts are not correct, you can fully expect someone to call you on it.
2. Flood the senses. In creating a setting, try to make the reader to experience it with all five senses.
3. Use correct dialogue. Trying to speak in the update, fad, cool lingo of today just doesn’t get it done for a historical.

Gina Hartoog


* To be creditable, your story should be true-to-life – the plot shouldn’t be too outrageous or hard to believe.
* Remember the five senses. They are one of the strongest tools you have to craft your story and create human emotion and conflict.
* Avoid flowery language but rather use strong verbs. Your reader must be able to relate to
your heroin/hero and care about what happens to her or him.

Judy Jarvie

Taking The Leap was a ‘Moonlit Madness’ release. My tip for writing sensual stories in a ‘hotter’ level of story is write with passion but within your own comfort zone, not as if your Granny/Mother/Aunty Audrey is reading or listening. That doesn’t mean to say go crazy, just find what level you’re happiest at. My book was short=listed for a UK award – the judges praised its ‘plausible love scene’. I figured that meant I’d done it well, without being obtrusive or gratuitous. Write what makes YOU tick!

MG Braden

Tips for writing an inspirational romance:

1. Write from your heart.
2. Try not to be preachy, you are not giving a sermon but rather showing a romantic relationship that is tested or held together by faith.
3. Let your faith guide you.

Jessica Raymond

Be realistic. Don’t have characters doing things that would make no sense in the real world. This applies even if you’re writing paranormal or fantasy romance – stay within the bounds of the *faintly* believable!

Atmosphere is everything, especially with paranormal. Picking up on the finer details (e.g. the colour of the approaching storm clouds, or the steady ominous drip of a tap down the hallway) will add more layer into your story than you might expect.

Put yourself in your character’s shoes. Feel what they can feel, hear what they can hear. If you were lying in bed in a large, empty, supposedly-haunted house, what sort of prickles would run across your skin if you heard a floorboard creak outside your door?

Margaret Callaghan

In order to make the dialogue as realistic and lively as possible, I try to psych myself into the role of the heroine, so that her reactions would be my reactions if placed in such a situation. This also helps bring out the emotion. Basically, I need to believe in the characters I have created in
order to make the book come to life.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Ski Slopes, Snow Starting to Fall...

The challenge set forth to our authors for today's post: a writing prompt. The instructions: Writing prompts should be no more than 4-5 paragraphs (you'll find we count funny sometimes); use the following setting, the POV is up to you; keep the sensuality levels within our guidelines; on a ski slope, just as the snow is starting to fall.

Nell Dixon

On a ski slope, just as snow is beginning to fall,
And stars are twinkling bright.
Two lovers are meeting outside the Inn
Beneath a yellow street light.

The gentle glow reveals on their faces
A love so tender and true
A world that’s made oh so special
By a love that’s shared just by two.

Dayne Gearner

On a sky slope, just as the snow was beginning to fall, Jill surveyed the world from a high peak. She placed her sunglasses on her nose, and pushed off, aiming for a gentle ride down, rather than a speedy race.

At the bottom, Gary was waiting for her. "Nice run," he said.

She smiled at his patience. He reached out an arm, and she leaned into his embrace. After so many years alone, it was so nice to have someone who accepted her, unconditionally, with all of her quirks.

"How about some hot chocolate?" he asked. Jill nodded and kicked off her skis, as they headed to the lodge.

Meg Allison

Charlene gazed up at the slate grey clouds as the fat, fluffy snowflakes fell on her head and shoulders. They coated the ski slope with a fine white powder any skier would kill for…any skier but her. At the moment, all Charli wanted was a cup of cocoa and a blazing fire.

"Hey, you in there?"

She turned to see the object of her discontent staring at her. How did he sneek up like that? His heavy brows knit together beneath the brim of his ski hat as they stood in silence. It was the same hat she had made for him last Christmas. The same hat she’d love to shove down his ungrateful throat.

"I’m here," she murmured before turning her back to him and the painful mix of memories his presence set lose. "But not for long." Charli dug her poles into the snow and pushed off, ignoring the sound of his voice as the whistling wind filled her ears.

Cindy Green

It was sunset now. A light snow was beginning to fall but I was determined to make it down the slope. I’d chickened out last time but I was resolved to see it through tonight. At the moment there were only a few skiers enjoying the hill. It was the perfect time to finally succeed at this skiing thing. I had to do this. How could I face Erik tomorrow if I didn’t? Admit I was a chicken?


Bending my knees, I tried to work myself up into sending myself down the side of a cliff. This was crazy! Why would someone want to do something like this to themselves? I had just about convinced myself to turn around when I heard my name called out.


I shifted my skis to the side, trying to see who it was but I was pretty sure I knew.
"Erik…" Before I could stop myself I began to slide down the hill sideways. My heart was beating hard in my chest and despite the cold weather beads of sweat covered my face. I screamed and began to imagine my life as a paraplegic.

The poles in my hands were useless as they flailed hither and yon and did nothing to stop my descent. And then all of a sudden my floundering stature gained support. Erik was next to me. By some act of God, he was able to straighten me so that I was facing forward.

I tried to remember what I’d learned at ski school about poles and angles of the skis. Then Erik’s voice purred in my ear. "Just relax. You’re doing just fine." And he was right. I was fine. I was skiing!

Laura Hamby

The clouds let loose their load, slowly at first, but with growing intensity as skiers made their last run down the slopes. Oh, to be one of the holiday-makers, rather than one of the ski resort employees. Trish poured out the final cup of coffee and fixed the lid over the top.

"Here you go, sir. You shouldn’t linger too long. This storm’s going to shut the mountain down for the rest of the afternoon."

"What about you?" He asked, waving a gloved hand around the now deserted café.

"I’ll be fine. Cozy, in fact. Thank you for your concern." Lord love him, he had dimples. And, he’d been flirting with her every day now for a week. She wished it were permissible to get to know him better, but the resort had strict rules about consorting with the clientele.

The wind howled through the trees that flanked the slope. Trish glanced out the window, wishing she hadn’t. White-out conditions. The radio crackled, and the owner’s voice demanded to know if she knew the whereabouts of one Michael Casey. Her customer nodded ruefully at her.

"Word has it we’re good and stuck," Trish told him, like he hadn’t heard the exchange for himself.

"Good. I’ve been wanting to get stuck with you."

Shara Jones

The crisp, cold air ruffled the trim on her parka hood, which made the fur undulate in a wild ripple, much the way her stomach felt just about now. A few flecks of snow caused her to blink as it obscured her view and made her blood race faster and her cold knees shake harder. On a ski slope, just as the snow is beginning to fall was not the best place for a new skier to panic. Especially not with Derrick Payton at her side.

Famous, as much for his world-class romances as his world class skiing, a former high school sweetheart like her needed all the calm she could muster. Especially when he continued to look at her with enough warmth in his expression to melt the polar ice caps.

“I’m not one of your little ‘snow flakes’ as the press calls your groupies, Derrick, so don’t look at me like that. Just get me down off this mountain in one piece and I’ll be happy.” Kara hated the tremble she heard in her voice, put there by the strength of feelings for Derrick that hadn’t dimmed for her over the years.

“Well, I won’t be happy, Kara. You aren’t a single insignificant ‘snow flake’ to me. You’re an entire blizzard. I’ve been bidding my time until you were ready to understand that. So, do you?”

Kara’s heart thumped in her chest until she thought she might cause an avalanche. The sparkle that lit her eyes had nothing to do with the crystal carpet of snow around them and everything to do with the ring he slid onto her finger. “I do and I will.”

Gina Hartoog

"Don’t look now," Terri Roland said to her friend. "But I think Michael is in the lift behind us."
Jessica Bailey stiffened, "That’s about the last person I want to see right now."

Terri took Jessica’s gloved hand and gave it a squeeze.

"I’ll be here. You won’t have to face him alone."

The lift started its steep upward ascent to the top slope on Mount Keagan and Jessica stole a look behind her. Terri was right. It was Michael - and his new girlfriend.

"I need this trip to clear my head," Jessica said, wiping a snowflake from the tip of her nose. "I can’t face him right now. I’m not yet ready."

The lift pulled to a stop at the top of the ridge and the girls got off. Jessica had been looking forward to the trip for weeks. She needed time away from home, time away from everything that reminded her of Michael and their wedding that had been planned for the spring.

The two friends moved off to the top of the slope and Jessica again stole a look Michael’s way. His lift had slowed at the drop-off point and he jumped down and walked around to help his girlfriend. As he lifted her off the car, she bent forward and kissed him.

Jessica looked away and fresh tears stung her lids. Terri saw the exchange and curled her fingers around Jessica’s hand.

"Let’s hit that slope," she said. "Then we can go to the lodge for hot chocolate and marshmallows. It’s freezing out here and there’s a storm on the way."

Jessica nodded. Anything to get away from the pain Michael Shelton had branded on her heart, forever.

Josh Lockwood

They’d said it would be a milk run. One strafing pass to suppress anti-aircraft fire, put the bombs on the Jerry gun emplacements, and beat it back to Foggia. No sweat.

Only that’s not the way it was.

He’d taken hits in both engines before he ever lined up on his first pass. The cockpit had filled with smoke and flame immediately, and there was no doubt in his mind he would have to bail out.

He’d banked away to the northeast and watched the blurry mountains of northern Italy flick past beneath his wing as he forced the canopy open. The wind literally ripped him from the cockpit when he pushed himself erect in the pilot’s seat, and he didn’t bother counting to ten.
He came down on an unused ski slope just as the snow was beginning to fall, wrapped the white chute around his shoulders for as much camouflage as he could get, and stared in dismay at the little village below him. There were Jerries down there, he was sure of that, and they’d be hunting him within minutes. If he moved he’d leave tracks, yet he had to get down off this slope.

Maybe if he stayed in the trees ...

Linda Lattimer

Alex made sure the skis were secure. Why was he doing this? Because you love Claire, and you promised her a ski trip.

He wiped his brow.

"The snow is beginning to fall again," Claire said smiling. "Fresh snow. Are you ready, love?"

Not really. "Sure am."

"You appear a bit nervous."

"No, really this is my wedding gift to you. I told you if I got on the ski slope, I would definitely ski with you. Shall we?" Before I really lose the nerve.

"Last one down is a rotten egg," Claire said.

Judy Jarvie

The drifts of perfect snow began to thicken and Robbie was still fiddling with the zipper on his ski jacket pocket.

"C’mon Rob. We’d better catch that chairlift if we want to get right up there with the others," Serena urged.

"Serena wait!" His lashes were clogged with flakes and she could see the frustrated lines etched around his brows. "Oh dash. Some romantic proposal! I wanted this to be special, romantic…on the slopes at dusk. But the ring’s in my pocket and the zipper’s snagged. I’ve come all the way to Switzerland to propose, waited for this moment and stuffed it up…"

She put down her skis. Then pushed her face to his, wiped away the flakes and pressed her lips home. "I do. It is perfect – complete with frosting. Just kiss me."

Susan Atwood

Why was it that ski runs always looked so benign from the bottom? A gentle fall of white, groomed snow flanked on either side by dark green fir trees and dotted with skiers in colorful togs gracefully swishing along. The snow had just begun to fall, creating a magical, postcard-perfect picture.

Yeah, right.

I stood at the top of the nearly vertical run and took a deep breath of warm, wet-wool-laced air in an attempt to dispel the jittery feeling in my stomach. I adjusted my goggles against the blowing snow, uncovering one ear. Gloves off, goggles off, adjust hat, goggles on, gloves on. Okay. I can do this. I just have to wait until no one is around.

The lift disgorged a group of teenagers with boards who wasted no time in hurling themselves down the run. Now it was my turn. I pointed the tips of my skis downhill and talked myself through the first few turns. Gaining confidence, I gathered some speed and got into a rhythm: open skis, shift weight, close skis. Over a small rise, maintaining speed and confidence, I hit a patch of ice. My skis took opposite directions and, as I overbalanced, confidence and I tumbled and slid into a snowboarder who’d been standing at the edge of the run, holding his board in one hand.

We came down with an "ooof" in a tangle of arms, poles, skis and legs. He reached out, pulled my goggles up and looked down at me with the bluest eyes I’d ever seen. The corners crinkled before the grin reached his mouth. "Fancy running into you here."

Margaret Callaghan

Picking herself up and brushing the light dusting of snow from her goggles, Janice caught sight of Sophie whizzing past and stifled a sigh. She shouldn’t have come. Skiing! Why, she barely knew one end of a ski from another, and boy did it show.
‘You’ll be fine,’ her sister had airily reassured. ‘Everyone has to start somewhere. Why, give it a few days on the nursery slopes, and you’ll be up to scratch in no time. Trust me.’

Famous last words, Janice decided, digging in her poles and propelling herself downwards, her three minute run almost ending in disaster as she slithered to a halt and promptly overbalanced.

‘Trust you to end up in plaster,’ Sophie scorned when Janice arrived back at their hotel, her arm neatly cradled in a sling.

‘Every cloud has a silver lining,’ Janice countered brightly. Because if she hadn’t tumbled and broken her wrist, she wouldn’t have met that hunk of a paramedic who was taking her out to dinner later.

Jessica Raymond

"Okay, kids, make sure you all stay together. If you get a little separated just remember that everybody in our group has a green flag tied to one of their ski poles."

Anthea watched the children gingerly start to scoot across the fresh powder. It was the first day of the school ski trip and she was the only one who wasn’t excited about getting out on to the slopes. A sigh billowed out from above her scarf, misting the fresh air with its warmth.

"Penny for them?" Jane, who taught French, slid expertly up to Anthea and prodded her gently with her elbow.

"I’m fine. Really I am," she insisted, when Jane raised an eyebrow. Anthea looked up as a few snowflakes began to drift down from the heavens. "Okay. You’re right. I’m not fine. It’s… it’s Matt. We broke up just before I boarded the flight to come here."

Jane frowned. "Really? But isn’t that Matt over there, getting off the ski lift and boarding towards us as we speak?"

Judy Huston

As the first few snowflakes floated gently onto her face, Halina pulled the snow-lined hood of the heavy jacket over her head. Perspiration was already dripping a steady path down the bridge of her nose. She just knew she was going to collapse from heat exhaustion. She also knew she looked like a total idiot, kitted out in ski gear from top to toe under the scorching summer sky.

People were staring from cars as they passed. There were also a couple of interested onlookers peering through the window of the house opposite where that rather gorgeous looking doctor had just opened his surgery.

"Hurry up!" She glared at her nephew who, having taken forever to position her against the white wall of the house, was now perched on the front fence, camera at the ready. "Or better still, wait until you grow up and can afford an air-conditioned studio."

"Can’t." Michael squinted at the image. "This assignment’s due tomorrow. Come on, Hal, you’re on a ski slope in Switzerland, it’s starting to snow - keep the snow coming, Andy."

From a branch of the tree above Andrea obediently leaned out to scatter more cut up pieces of paper from an ice cream carton. She leaned too far, falling with a piercing shriek.

MG Braden

On a ski slope, just as the snow is beginning to fall a man stands beside a pine tree, head bowed in prayer. Opening his eyes, he looked up at the sky. Would he never forget the accident? It had been four years, and still the loss of his son in a snowboarding accident seemed fresh as yesterday. Dan came to the sight of the accident every year, to say a prayer, even though he knew that Danny was in a better place.

"Dan," the voice whispered beside him.

He turned, startled, as he hadn’t even heard Janice come up beside him. Putting an arm around her, he pulled her close, burying his nose in her hair.

"Let’s go home," she said and placed a single white rose near the tree, just as she did every year.
Dan took her hand and they walked away in silence.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

UE E-Mag Free Short Online Read: *New Years' Resolutions* by Laura Hamby

New Years' Resolutions
by Laura Hamby

Elayna Rudyard stretched, rubbed her eyes and opened them slowly. The warmth of the sun beat in through the window. Oh, she loved winter in Southern California. Sure beat the frozen far north of Minnesota where nothing thawed until summer. Nothing could entice her to return to Norway, Minnesota.

She didn’t even own a coat any more.

She intended to keep it that way.

The phone rang. "‘Lo?"

"Lanie? You answered! Mom’s in the hospital." A sob punctuated the sentence, followed by a deep breath. Elayna’s sister continued. "Gary phoned the airline. There’s a ticket waiting for you at the counter. Keith Garrett offered to meet your plane and drive you to the hospital."

Elayna waited a moment, uncertain if Kellie had more to say. There were more important things to worry about right now than her ride. Trust her sister to send the man responsible for Elayna’s flight from Norway in the first place.

"Send him with a coat. What’s the prognosis?"

Kellie drew another shaky breath. "The doctors are still conferring. I’ll call you as soon as I know. Are you leaving right now?"

"Right after I pack, shower and dress. Half an hour."

Guilt ate at Elayna as she tossed necessities into a carry-on bag. Would it really have hurt her to have gone home for Christmas? What a way to ring in the New Year, racing home to be at her ailing mother’s bedside.

An hour later, she walked barefooted through the metal detector, after the indignity of a troll-like security guard pawing through her bag. She called her sister from the gate, and left a message.
Keith Garrett stuck out in the crowd. Blond, blue-eyed, standing at six feet, six inches, his Nordic heritage couldn’t be denied. Just as she couldn’t deny from the way her heart lurched that he still had the same effect on her. Instead of feeling like the confident, successful woman she knew herself to be, Elayna flashed back to being a gauche, insecure high school girl.

She rushed to his side. "How’s Mom?"

"She broke her leg."


"And what?"

"I flew across the width of the country, thinking my mother hung onto life by a thread, and it’s a broken leg? Did Kellie know this when she called?"

Keith’s eyes twinkled at her. "I’d imagine so. You know Kellie’s a drama queen. Puts all others to shame."

"I’m going to kill her with my cold, bare hands," Elayna vowed. "I should turn around and get back on the next plane flying to L.A."

"If you leave now, you won’t get to strangle Kellie. Plus, your mother would love to see you. I bet she’d stop pestering you to visit if you stayed for the New Year."

"It’s New Year’s Eve today."

"Short visit. You won’t turn completely back into an icicle. Speaking of which, Kellie sent this along. Why didn’t you bring a coat?"

"Don’t have much need for this kind of Eskimo wear in sunny California."

"No, guess not. Might help thaw that inner Ice Princess of yours." Keith took her carry-on and headed for the parking garage, leaving Elayna to follow or lose him in the crowd. After that last comment she was tempted, if not for one thing. He had her bag.

"Ice Princess? That’s rich. You should hire yourself out as an automatic ice cube maker."

"May be, darlin’, but I recall a time when you possessed enough heat to thaw me into a puddle at your feet if you’d wanted to. Get in the truck."
"It’s snowing." She glared out the window, still angry at having been tricked home. Annoyed at Keith’s high-handedness.

"Does that frequently during winter."

"I’ve only been gone for two years. I know a blizzard when I see one. We’ll never make it home."

"You’re right. Good thing I got the last motel room off the interstate on my way to the airport."

"One room?"

"One. Lucky to get it, too."

"Hope you won’t freeze in your truck."

Keith laughed. "Darlin’, I have no intention of spending the blizzard in my truck while you’re toasty warm in my room. Be nice and I’ll let you inside."

Elayna snorted. "Good ol’ status quo Keith."

"Look who’s talking, girl. Still got ice around your heart."

Ouch. Direct hit. She blinked tears back, averting her face lest Keith noticed he’d hit his target. Sure, they’d ignited the sheets together. But that hadn’t stopped him from reminding her how cold-hearted he found her. The reason she’d fled. Her heart couldn’t take any more of his bitterness. She’d been unable to soothe the scars his mother had inflicted.

"Maybe the heat in L.A. thawed you a bit. Those real or crocodile tears?" Keith pulled his truck into a parking space, leaving the engine idling while he tugged Elayna around. "I’ll be."

"We’d better go inside while we can still see the motel." She pulled away from him. The lobby would be warm. They wouldn’t begrudge her space in the storm. She grabbed her bag from under the seat and jumped out, not waiting to see if Keith followed.

It wouldn’t matter to him where she spent the storm. The couch facing the TV would do very well. Ice cubes, after all, didn’t have feelings. Or hearts. Or the ability to love.

"What do you think you’re doing?" Keith stopped before her, glaring down at her as she settled herself for a long stay.

"You said the room is yours. As you can see, I’m not the only one camping—"

"Darlin’, it’s a wonder to me you’ve managed to get this far in life unscathed for all the use your brain gets."

Elayna gasped when Keith tossed her bag over his shoulder and grabbed her by the hand, yanking her to her feet. "You can’t do that."

"I just did. Hush now, girl. You’re making a scene when there are much better things you could be doing with your time."

"Such as?"

Keith’s expression changed from irritated to mischievously sensual. "Like remembering what fun being snowed in can be, with the right person."

"I don’t see any such critter here." Elayna glanced around, exaggerating her efforts. Keith’s low laugh informed her he wasn’t falling for her shenanigans. She made the mistake of looking at him. Bad Elayna. She’d seen that look in his eyes two years ago— like he loved her.

Then he’d broken her heart.

"Don’t run away from me again, Elayna. I can’t take another rejection. There are worse ways to bring in the New Year." His voice cracked emotionally.

Heaven above knew that something was missing from her new life in L.A. He stood beside her now, watching her with an intensity that should’ve scared her—had scared her in the past—but didn’t now.

"Let’s ring in 2008, shall we?"

Keith answered her with a toe-curling kiss.

~The End~
Copyright 2008 by Laura Hamby

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Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Moonlit Romance Backlist Spotlight: *Learning to Live* by Meg Allison

Learning to Live

Katie Marie Morrison hides behind a flirtatious mask as she serves burgers and peach cobbler at Pops’ Diner. Her bright smile and sarcastic wit hide the devastating knowledge she was just a one-night-stand for the one man she ever loved.
Jeff McAlester, her only lover, returns home for good. But timing is everything and it’s Katie who’s now ready to leave. Despite their rekindled love, she doesn’t want to stay. Can Jeff help Katie learn to live a little and take a second chance on love?


"Hello, Katie?"

She caught her breath and felt her stomach tighten and twist like a pretzel.

"Yes, this is Katie." Play dumb, don’t let on how it matters, or that you’ve dreamt of that voice for years on end.

"It’s Jeff," he told her, then hesitated a beat too long. "I hope it’s not too late to call."

Of course it wasn’t, he should know that. Despite being a Glen Meadow native, Night Owl Katie had always been at her best this time of day. Jeff knew that, once.

"No, but it’s been a long day and I had to work a double and—"

"Katie?" His rich voice caressed her name the way no one else’s ever had and brought her rambling to a screeching halt.


"I need to see you. I need to talk to you about … things."

She stared at the wall, the pictures hanging there blurred as her gaze went out of focus. Her body felt heavy and numb as she lost her connection to everything but the sound of his voice.
"What … things?"

She heard his weary sigh, could almost feel the weight of it on the phone line. "The past, us. Things."

Katie blinked, her thoughts in a blur. What on earth was he talking about?

"What do you want from me, Jeff? It’s been fifteen years."

Silence. For a moment she thought maybe he hung up on her. It might be for the best.

"Please, Katie? I know I don’t deserve anything from you, but all I want is to talk."

"There’s nothing to say."

"Yes, there is. I’ve got a lot to say. All I need is a few minutes of your time."

If she had learned anything from her granny, it was to be fair and to let the other guy have his say. She couldn’t quite get around that bit of her grandmother’s spirit. The lesson had been so ingrained in her that she just couldn’t tell Jeff to go take a flying leap.

Katie sighed. "Okay, if you really need to do this, I suppose the least I can do is listen. But Jeff, the past is the past. I think it’s best if we just move on."

"I agree, Katie. I agree one hundred percent." She frowned at the eager note in his voice. Maybe he wasn’t interested in rekindling their short romance after all. The idea bruised her ego just a bit. But it would be for the best, wouldn’t it? Of course it would. She needed a romance right now like she needed those dozen cats.

(c) 2006

This Blue Plate Special: Pops' Girls novel is available in the 2006 catalog at Moonlit Romance. While you're there, check out the other Pops' Girls titles: Learning to Trust by Laura Hamby, Lessons in Love by Shara Jones, and Pops' Diner (an anthology) by Laura Hamby, Shara Jones and Meg Allison. And don't forget to visit the Pops' Diner website.

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Purchase Learning to Live

Monday, January 7, 2008

Moonlit Romance in the Spotlight: *Learning to Live* by Meg Allison


Backlist Spotlight: Moonlit Romance

In our backlist spotlight today: Learning to Live by Meg Allison. Learning to Live is part of Moonlit's Blue Plate Special: Pops' Girls series, which also includes novels by Shara Jones and Laura Hamby.

As an only child, Meg Allison spent her childhood creating worlds and characters to populate them. It’s amazing how sheer boredom can spark the imagination. Writing those stories down became a necessity when her own identity began to vanish in the daily shuffle of life with five children, a husband, and several assorted pets all clamoring for attention.

An avid reader of romantic fiction, Meg spends her ‘spare’ time writing romance novels and short stories for her publishers when she’s not home schooling, driving the children around town or throwing some attention at her husband. Writing is the best therapy for stress… except when there’s a deadline. Meg is a graduate of the University of Charleston with a bachelor’s degree in Mass Communications. In a former life she worked as a reporter for a large newspaper in Charleston, WV.

Meg's Website
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Moonlit's Backlist Spotlight continues tomorrow, with an excerpt from Learning to Live by Meg Allison.

The "Hello Contest"

We started off our brand new blog with an invitation to post a simple "hello" for a chance to win an e-book of your choice from either Moonlit Romance or By Grace. The winner of the "Hello Contest" is JENNIE! Congratulations, Jennie. Peruse our websites at your leisure, then email your choice to: ueauthorsblog at yahoo dot com.


Feel the need for something great to read? Your TBR pile becoming worryingly short? Visit us and wander through our electronic bookshelves. By Grace and Moonlit Romance... so many choices!

Friday, January 4, 2008

Unique Enterprises University Day: What We Publish

University Day... Take an author, aspiring and pubbed, to school day. And no, you don't have to leave your house. We don't care if you come in your jammies, if your hair is sticking out in eleventy forty-seven directions or if you have dragon breath. University Day is an opportunity for us to take a look at what we've learned along the way, help and encourage each other, and maybe, just maybe, learn something new.

What We Publish

We publish quality romantic fiction: By Grace-- inspirational, sweet/tender, chick lit, light paranormal, romantic comedy. By Grace publishes 2 themed anthologies: June's Brides and Bouquets and a spooky anthology in September. Brides and Bouquets centers around the wedding traditions, while the spooky anthology is a light paranormal. Traditionally, we publish 3 novellas in each anthology. There are two available "slots" in each at this time. Moonlit Romance publishes racier titles, from PG to R ratings. Moonlit Madness is our "hard R" imprint, but please note: we DO NOT publish erotica.

By Grace Publishing

By Grace Publishing is a small electronic and print on demand publisher. We specialize in G Rated Romance of all kinds. Some of our titles are inspirational, many others are sweet romances. Keep your eye out for romantic suspense, light paranormal, and romantic comedy in addition to our wonderful Christian centered titles.

By Grace's Guidelines

Directly from our website:

Thank you for your interest in our company. If you are a writer with the desire to publish your Christian or tender romance, we would be happy to look at your work. We are also accepting Chick-lit, however we prefer Christian Chick-lit. Secular, but "chaste" Chick-Lit will also be acceptable.

We are a royalty paying publisher. Regrettably, we cannot pay an advance, but we do pay 50% of the net earnings to our authors.

We will provide you with cover art, and promotions. You will be expected to help promote your work.

Our Current Needs As of May 1, 2007

We are swamped with submissions and unfortunately must close our submission door! **Note: we will be re-opening for submissions in the near future.

What we do not want:

Stories that anthropomorphize God, or His angels.
Foul language. If you are unsure, be safe, and do not use the word.
Heroes that do not respect women. This includes stories in which the hero is redeemed.
Graphic violence.
Incomplete manuscripts. We have been known to request a full from a partial in one week.
Divorce that is not for Biblical reasons.

Moonlit Romance's Guidelines

Directly from our website:

All books will be published in ebook format, and print on demand. We are currently accepting submissions of manuscripts, however, please give us at least three months. We are often deluged by submissions. Our guidelines are simple.

We are looking for contemporary AND historical romantic fiction.

Sensuality levels should fall between PG and soft R for our regular lines.

There will be three divisions for length, ranging from 5,000 to 60,000 words.

Paranormal, and time travel will be welcomed under a yet to be named imprint.

Heterosexual, monogamous couples only please.

Also seeking hard R stories for our new Moonlit Madness line.

NO multiple submissions. This means submitting the same manuscript to multiple publishers.

Sensuality LevelsWe define our sensuality levels as PG, soft R, and hard R.

PG contains sexual situations, but no actual sex is described. We pan away from the scene to return later.

Soft R stops the scene just before the act of lovemaking, or moves from the physical aspects to the mental/emotional.

Hard R describes the sexual act, but the focus is still emotional. There must be an emotional attachment before sex can occur, and language must never be crude. We do not publish "erotica."

What We Are Currently Looking For: At this time, both Moonlit Romance and By Grace are looking for a winter themed novel for December, 2008. WINTER, not holiday-themed, please. By Grace is looking for bridal themed novellas for Brides and Bouquets 2008, and two light paranormals for the annual spooky anthology.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

January *Name That Title!* Contest

One of our new features: the *Name That Title* (or author) Contest. It's simple. There are 5 hints for you to use to guess the title (or the author!). You email your guess to laurahambyeditor at yahoo dot com (put January Name That Title Contest in the subject line). Next Thursday, all those who sent the correct answer will be eligible for a drawing to win an e-book from the author's backlist (the author who provided the clues.) .


1. The setting of this particular novel is Northern California.

2. It is published by Moonlit Romance.

3. The original title was *Meddling Mamas*.

4. The author is Laura Hamby.

5. Includes a scene in which one of the heroine's best friends explains the facts of life as she puts condiments on a hot dog.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

We're Here... Officially!

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Dear Readers,

Welcome to our new and improved blog! Unique Enterprises is a romance ebook publisher with two sides to enjoy. By Grace Publishing offers G rated and Christian romance titles. Moonlit Romance carries our racier titles. Drop by our websites to get a feel for what we have for you.

We have reader loops! Come join the fun: By Grace Readers' Loop and Moonlit Romance Readers' Loop.

Think you know Unique Enterprises, or want to know more about us? Do this crossword
by looking at both the Moonlit Romance and By Grace Publishing websites. You may need to use the searchboxes to find your answers.

We welcome aspiring authors to check our submission guidelines, which can be found on our websites.

We'd like to congratulate our authors who have titles nominated for awards: Lyndell King, Deborah Kinnard and Laura Hamby all have their Brides and Bouquets 2007 novellas up for Best Short Story of 2007 at The Long and Short of It Reviews. Polling is open now. Denise Patrick's Adopting Alyssa is an EPPIE finalist and a CAPA nominee; The Spirit of Christmas by Cindy Green is also up for a CAPA; and Love's Blessings by MG Braden is also up for a CAPA. Congratulations to all our authors! We're so proud of you.

Last, but certainly not least, to kick off this new blog and ring in a merry and peaceful New Year, post a "Hello" comment between now and Friday, and you'll be entered to win a free e-book. The winner will be announced on Monday, January 7th.