Category Archives: Contests

Beach Reads Blog Hop: What are you reading this summer? #Giveaway #InquiringMinds #Kindle



Welcome one and all to my little corner of Roane Publishing’s Beach Reads Blog Hop. Glad you have you with me.

Blog Hops are a great way to get to know knew authors, score some sweet prizes, and in the case of my blog, share your summer read for this year.

That’s right, in order to score a chance to win my giveaway, you’ve got to comment below with what you will be reading this summer. What book has you psyched to hit the beach?

For me, I am looking forward to digging into the ARC copies I managed to score at BEA this year. Tops on the list — THE SWEET SPOT by Stephanie Evanovich (who I loved meeting at BEA, coincidentally).

What page turner can you not wait to tear into this year? Share your pick and you could win one of two prizes…

My grand prize…

Murphy_CoverA signed PRINT copy of FOR THE LOVE OF MURPHY anthology, which includes my story, A Slippery Slope.

I’m also offering a 2nd place prize of one eBook of choice from my backlist. You can find a listing of my titles in the blog’s sidebar on the left side of the page. The eCopy can be in ePUB, MOBI, or PDF.

So make sure you tell me what book you’re looking forward to reading this summer. Make sure your answer is unique. Copied and pasted entries will be disqualified.

Couldn’t be more simple, right?

Oh!! Almost forgot… Be sure to leave me your email address, so I can get in touch with you should you be chosen as the randomly selected winner of either of the prizes I’m offering for the hop.

The blog hop host, Roane Publishing is offering up a Kindle Paperwhite as a grand prize, so make sure you swing by there and enter that giveaway once you’ve left your reading suggestion in the comments below.

Here’s a link to the giveaway to make it easy for you. 🙂

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

While you’re there entering the giveaway, make sure you hit up the Link list below and visit all of the other sites participating in the hop. There are a slew of amazing prizes to be had.

Click here to view the Linky Tools list…

The hop ends July 18th, so be sure to get your entries in before then.

Best of luck in all the giveaways!!!


Mistletoe Madness Blog Hop Winners! #CalloftheSea #Giveaway

HolidayGiveaway2012_thumb copy

I’m just stopping in this chilly Saturday evening to announce the winners of my little part of the Mistletoe Madness Bog Hop, which ended last night at Midnight EST. First off, I want to thank everyone who entered and followed on Facebook and Twitter. I really appreciate all the comments and making so many great new “friends”.

Now — to the fun part. Here are the randomly selected winners:

Grand Prize – A signed print copy of CALL OF THE SEA

Judy Peterson


Runners Up – A signed CALL OF THE SEA Bookmark

Sherry Johnson

Kimberly Holgate

Huge congratulations to all three winners. I will be in touch with you by email to get your mailing addresses so I can send out the prizes.

Once again, a big thank you to everyone who stopped by during the Hop, who commented, followed and entered.

Happy Holidays!!

Lazy Days of Summer Giveaway Hop: And the winner is…

The entries have been sorted and the results randomized for the Lazy Days of Summer Giveaway Hop, and the winner is:



I am on vacation this week, but when I return on Tuesday, I will get the signed bookmark in the mail, but look for an email from me before then so I can get the mailing particulars and find out what sort of eBook copy you want.

Thanks to all who entered and special thanks to I am a Reader not a Writer and Colorimetry for co-sponsoring this blog hop.

Baker’s Dozen Auction Results and Other Nonsense

Everything happens for a reason. Now, more than ever, I truly believe that to be the case.

As many of you know, I was selected as a finalist in this year’s Miss Snark’s Baker’s Dozen Agent Auction for my novel The Call of the Sea (currently querying).

I was over the moon excited about making the final 25 for the adult fiction category and couldn’t wait to see how the whole thing worked. (Well, I know how it was supposed to work – agents read your logline and first 250 words and decide if they want to read more).

As the day of the auction approached, I started to think about what the whole thing could potentially mean to my budding writing career. I could land an agent. This is serious stuff. The more I considered that, the more bothered I became.  The agent I had spent a solid year stalking on twitter and Facebook, the one I had decided before I even sent out my first short for possible publication would be the perfect agent for me, wasn’t participating in the auction. I began wondering how I could go forward with this auction and not even query the one agent I really wanted to rep me. An agent that reps all the types of writing I do – fantasy, romance, some erotica, and even YA (in case Call of the Sea would make a stronger YA story than adult romance). Too perfect — how do I just ignore that?

Well, I’m not one for patience or for snubbing my nose at potential destiny,  so I decided not to sit back and wait, but rather query this “perfect” agent prior to the auction and at least give her the option of first refusal. If she said no, I still had the auction.

That query earned me a request for a partial (the first 30 pages of my manuscript) from said dream agent. The high I hit when I read that request — I can’t even describe it.

The morning after I got that amazing email, the auction took place. The result of that?

Nobody wanted to read more. My entry sat on the blog for 24 hours and not a single bid. At the time, I was quite devastated and even a bit embarrassed. To think my work, writing I thought was quite good, didn’t even get a nibble is quite a blow to a writer’s already rather fragile ego (at leat this ones). What did my dream agent see that these 16 agents didn’t?

This is where the old monster, self-doubt, creeps in. I began to second guess myself and my story. Had my dram agent only asked for the partial because I had stalked her for a year — like a sympathy request? Did the minor tweaks I made to the logline and query blurb between the auction submissions and the time I queries the agent made that much of a difference?

It took me a bit of time, but I did manage to convince myself that any agent worth a salt wouldn’t waste their time requesting something they didn’t have a genuine interest in. That despite stalking and flattery, they still have a career at stake, and who would risk their reputation by repping  something that sucked.  I could be wrong, I guess.

Either way, I got a partial request from my first choice agent on my first ever query letter — that is something I will never forget! I don’t care how or why it happened, but I believe it all does for a good reason.  Sometimes it’s better to not to look to deep into the whys behind some life’s events.

It will be a while before I hear back from the requesting agent, most likely a month or so. I am hoping for the best, but no matter which way things go, I am sure it will be because that is what was meant to happen.

That isnt going to stop me from dreaming big, though.


Nanowrimo Check-in and Some Updates

So, as many of you know, either by participating yourselves, or through listening to the rest of us cheer and stress as the word counts dictate, we are in the throes of the annual Nanowrimo writing event. What do they call it — oh yeah– a month of literary abandon.

Since I have been so lax in my blog postings and updates while I have been trying to submerge myself in the current WIP in the hopes of having it complete before the end of this month, I thought I would dedicate a blog post to the progress and maybe toss out a few personal updates as well.

Nano progress in going fairly well. It is always hard to find the time to pump out at least 1500 words after a 10 hour day, but I have been able to stay close enough to my goals that I have been able to make up most of my lost time over the weekends with a more concentrated “marathon” session. To that end, my boyfriend Pete and my two daughters have been FANTASTIC about being supportive and quiet, especially on the weekends.  Pete and Casey even take turns telling me to get my ass back to the laptop to “get writing!” Man, I love that.

I’ve scheduled with my job to take some state mandated days off next week, so I will be home working on finishing Thanksgiving week. If all goes well, and with the wonderful support of critiquers that are staying with me and going over the chapters as I pump them out, I should be able to make my goals and get the work finished, leaving me a week to get the final edits done and maybe even get a copy to a few beta readers before December rolls around.

One can only do their best 🙂 And that is the plan.

On to my good news.

I was informed that my novel, The Call of the Sea has been selected as one of 25 finalist in the Miss Snark Baker’s Dozen Agent auction. I am over the moon about that, as you can imagine. They accepted 100 entries (don’t think they got quite that many applications, but close) and mine was chosen as a finalist, meaning that about 15 literary agents will be checking out my logline and first 250 words and potentially requesting chapters, partials, etc.

While my top pick agent (shout out here to Ms. Sara Meigbow of Nelson Literary — my dream agent) is not participating in the contest, some of my other top five agencies are.  Plus, I will be hopefully sending Sara a query letter on the story as well (come December), just because I can’t let go of the idea that she is “supposed” to be my agent.

It has been one heck of a year and I expect 2012 to be even better 🙂

Winning Blogiversary Contest Entries


Three Weeks
Tomorrow is my anniversary.

Five years.

With Louie.

Bastard’s gonna get it.

Bastard’s had it coming to him for three whole weeks.

Thankfully, I’m a woman of patience. I can bide my time.

Until tomorrow.

# # #

Louie rolls over with a grunt, flinging the duvet aside so he’s not the only one to experience the biting morning chill.

The pretence of drowsiness comes easy as I watch him through lowered lashes. All women have it mastered. There’s only so long the headache excuse works for, after all.

“You iron my shirt, Belinda?” He doesn’t look at me.

Happy Anniversary, Darl’, I mouth. “It’s on the wicker chair.” Where I’ve placed it every day for the past eighteen-hundred days, moron.

“Humph.” The firm flesh of his butt tautens and relaxes with each step across the room.

I’ve always loved that arse. Shame it’ll never cross the room again after today.

Maybe I should hack it off. Keep the best bit about him as a souvenir.

I snort at the idea, not realising I’ve done it out loud until he turns and frowns at me.

“What’s so funny?”

My smile is lazy, but I doubt it reaches my eyes. “Nothing, babe.”

He stares at me a moment longer and goes back to his task of spiffy dressing.

On goes his tie, snapped around his neck like a dominatrix’s whip. I could think of a few good uses for that myself—none of them sensual. I successfully suppress my next burst of amusement.

Today will be good.

# # #

Until three weeks ago, my daily routine never altered. Out of bed, once Louie’s departed. Make the house look spanking. Head out to the shops to buy dinner—fresh, just as Louie likes it. The afternoons are my own—those I spend in the park with a book.

It’s amazing what one can learn from books.

Even more amazing is the people one can meet in parks.

# # #

I glance at the clock.


Almost time.

My body is tremulous with anticipation, the promise of a new beginning feeding me like a drug.

# # #

The supermarket heaves with lower-classed bums too lazy to get out of bed at a reasonable hour. I should be irritated by them—would be if not for my inner excitement and the potential mass of witnesses. The trolley wheels squeak at the aisle corners, and I almost collide with a stroller as I work out my mobile.


Ten minutes until Louie takes his lunch-break.

# # #

Ham on wholemeal sub, with horrid bitter-tasting lettuce, has been his favourite for as long as I’ve known him. He used to let me make his sandwiches … until he decided I didn’t do them right.

‘Not enough lettuce, Bel,’ he said. ‘Damn, woman, it isn’t that difficult to judge.’

So I relinquished the task of preparing his lunch to him.

I was happy about that.


Until he went and forgot his fruit three weeks ago.

‘Got to have fruit, Bel. It’s what keeps a man regular.’ He always puffs out his chest when he says it. Proud of his looks, is Louie.

I grabbed a banana that day, and walked to his office, figured I’d make my regular visit to the park on my way back.

Everything would have been sweet and good, if …, actually, everything would have been catastrophic if I hadn’t heard the sexual grunts before I reached for the door to his office.

To be sure, I peeped through the gap in the drawn blinds.

The view inside hit me with nausea-induced dizziness.

Him … on his desk … with another woman.

Not his secretary, as one might expect. A client.

As sad as it sounds, I’m relieved about that.

As mad as it sounds, I still want to cut her throat.

# # #

My thumb against the key illuminates my mobile.


My lips curve up.

Three weeks is a long time—for rage to boil, for ideas to fester, for plans to be made.

Three minutes seems longer when I’m waiting for revenge.

I know he won’t be late. Louie’s never late for his lunch-break. I know, because for the last twenty days I’ve gone back, to be sure I didn’t make a mistake, to remind myself why I have every freakin’ right to be this goddamned pissed.

I steady my breathing, which in turns regulates my pulse, and the alarm I set on my phone sends vibrations tingling through my forearm.

Closing my eyes, I picture his teeth wrapping around his sandwich. Imagine the work of his chewing jaw. Mentally urge him to make that first swallow.

How can the wife get the blame when everyone who knows us knows Louie makes his own sandwiches? She can’t, right?

Replacing the bitter lettuce in the salad bag had been easy.

Finding something to replace it with had been easy, too.

It truly is amazing the kind of people one can meet in the park.

Take another bite, Louie.

In my mind, he’s almost finished. He’s taking the last bite. Then his ‘guest’ will arrive. I give them five minutes.

Five minutes to hit the desktop—it never takes them more than two.

Five minutes for the toxicity to work its charms—just like the nice old granny assured me.

Five minutes to wipe the smug smile off my face, move my rear around the aisles again, and look like a normal person.

Then I hit dial.

I know he won’t answer. He wouldn’t, anyway, not whilst he’s busy—but he certainly won’t answer today.

Paralysis is the first symptom—paralysis from the brain down.

The dial tone hums a mantra of patience in my ear. Eight rings later, the answering machine picks up.

I listen to his voice one last time. Listen to his false cheer, and the charm that’s never really existed beneath the façade. Listen to the offer to leave a message.

At the beep, I smile. “Hey, Louie. Happy anniversary, darl’.”

2nd Place:

Lloyd’s wife straightened his bow tie. “I can’t believe it’s been forty years,” Sarah said with a smile.

“I know.” Lloyd chuckled and thought of the day he started in the mail room of Keltronics. “Seems like only last year I accidentally delivered Henry Boyd’s dismissal slip to him instead of his boss. Never lived that one down.” He took a comb from the dresser and slid it through his short, graying hair.

Sarah smoothed hands down the skirt of her old blue gown. “Do you really think it’s okay for Randall to come? They’ll be serving spirits.”

Snickering, Lloyd drew up behind her and kissed her bare shoulder. “Our son is twenty-five, not exactly a boy anymore.” The realization made his heart lurch. “This will be one of few opportunities he’ll have to taste liquor, with the short supply.”

She nodded. “I suppose you’re right.”

Lloyd reached into his pocket and withdrew a chain with a small stone on the end. He looped it around her neck. “This will be a night to remember. I thought you should have something to remember it by.”

Quick blinks allowed only a single tear to escape Sarah’s eyes as she whirled and embraced him. “I love you, Lloyd Camby.”

“And I, you, Mrs. Camby.” He kissed her temple and took her hand. “Now come, we can’t be late.”


Lloyd held Sarah close as they walked along Kensington Street, one of the few that remained passable after the war left only a few pockets of surviving humanity. The devastation had happened before Lloyd came into the world, during the time of his grandparents.

Resources grew scarce, so vehicles had been abandoned many years before. Houses near Keltronics, the only source of employment left, were coveted.

Lloyd gazed up at the hazy, green sky. He didn’t know what lay beyond the invisible dome Keltronics had erected to keep their city safe from radiation and whatever mutations might still exist beyond the border, but it didn’t matter. His only concern existed for the woman on his arm, and the fine young man they’d produced.

Sarah pointed to the tall building that housed Keltronics. “They put up a banner for you.”

A digital sign stretched across the top of the doors: Happy 40th Anniversary, Lloyd.” It scrolled, flashed and disappeared before starting the cycle over again.

He gave Sarah a squeeze. “How did time slip away so fast?”

She set her head on his shoulder as they carried on. “They’ve been good years, haven’t they?”

Lloyd stopped her at the foot of the stairs and swung her to face him. “Yes, every one.” He pressed his lips to hers, his arms holding her body close. Before emotion could overtake him, he ascended the steps with her in tow.

Floodlights splashed light up the stone, giving it a cheerful presence. Keltronics generated enough electricity to run the whole world had it still been intact, a project Lloyd had improved upon with his Engineering training at the local university.

Once through the doors, the chatting of hundreds of attendees greeted them. Another sign restated the anniversary message. Age had never bothered Lloyd, but watching the reminder blink at him settled tightness through his chest.

“Dad!” Randall bounded up to Lloyd and gave him a few pats on the back. “Happy anniversary.”

Lloyd forgot all but the dark brown eyes of his son, a reflection of his own. “You look fine in that suit. Doesn’t he, Sarah?”

“Oh yes.” She straightened his collar. “Very fine.”

Randall pulled at the thread-bare material.

The owner of Keltronics, Mr. Valentine, spoke over a microphone at the front. “Since our guest of honor has arrived, let us begin the festivities.”

Sarah slipped her fingers into Lloyd’s as they walked to the front. Each step tightened a noose around his throat.

Blink-blink: forty.

Blink-blink: forty.

He’d worked forty years, and turned fifty-five that day. How had his son become a grown man? When had the fine wrinkles at the corners of Sarah’s eyes appeared?

“Let’s make a toast before the ceremony.” Mr. Valentine thrust up a glass of red wine, while a young girl handed similar glasses into Lloyd and Sarah. “Here’s to Lloyd, without whom we never would have stabilized the power grid.”

“Here, here!” The crowd shouted.

Lloyd turned to Sarah, clinked his glass against hers and committed her copper eyes to memory. “I must go now, love.”

Her smile cracked and tears leaked from her eyes. “I know you asked me to be strong, but I can’t.”

“You know the rules. Any man who produces a child will make way for another’s child to take his place, as Ben did for Randall. Accept a new husband with my blessing, so Randall can take over our home.”

“But why?” Her sob burst out. “Why must it be this way?”

“With our limited resources, the human race will be lucky to survive another generation. I’ll do what I must to ensure a future for our son.”

Sobbing, she nodded and stepped back into their son’s arms.

Although Randall’s chin quivered, he steadied himself. “Dad….”

“Don’t let her watch, son.”

Mr. Valentine appeared beside Lloyd and gestured to a doorway. “This way, Lloyd.”

Lloyd held his composure by sheer will as he entered the theatre where his co-workers had begun taking their seats.

“Kneel center stage.” Mr. Valentine indicated a padded area.

Lloyd complied as he watched Randall and Sarah sit down in the front row.

Mr. Valentine fitted a metal collar around Lloyd’s neck, where needles would soon spear his flesh and inject the killing agent.

A hush fell over the crowd, all teary eyes on him. Lloyd gazed at his family, his heart aching. Do it for them. A new sense of calm settled over his soul. He smiled at Sarah, and she nodded encouragement.

A priest appeared to his right. “We are gathered this day to witness the passing of Lloyd Camby.”

Mr. Valentine squeezed Lloyd’s shoulder. “It’s time.”

And the Winner Is: Blogiversary Contest Results

After careful consideration while staring at a camp fire this weekend, I have chosen a winner of the Blogiversary contest I announced a little over a month ago. Before I announce the winner, I would like to thank everyone who entered. I really enjoyed all of the stories that were submitted. I am hoping to be able to offer more of these sorts of events and writing exercises in the future.

The winner receives a signed copy of Cutlass and Musket: Tales of Piratical Skullduggery and their story will be posted along with the 2nd place entry on the blog tomorrow morning. (I was just going to post them here with the announcement, but the stories deserve their own headline and word of mouth advertising.)

Without further ado, here are the results:

WINNER: Three Weeks by J.A. Belfield

2nd Place: Blink by Jocelyn Adams
Honorable Mention: The Anniversary by R.C Kinkead

Congratulations, Julie. Looks like I will be sending another package across the pond.

Thanks again to everyone for making my first blog contest a success!!

Blogiversary Contest Update

I have started to read through the entries for the contest and the first thing I have to say is WOW, you guys are a dark bunch 😛

I should have all the entries read by tonight. I will post the results and winning entries with my Monday Morning check-in.  Good luck and thank you to those that entered. Your support of my blog and the contest are appreciated.

Happy Blogiversary Contest

So, rather than the usual Monday morning check-in (for those of you following that, it is pretty much the same as it was last week), I thought I would announce the small contest I have put together to celebrate the anniversary of my blog. This will be a writing contest (shocked right?).
The details are listed below.

LENGTH: FLASH (less than 1k words)
THEME: Anniversaries
DEADLINE FOR ENTRY: May 26, 2011 (Midnight EST)
PRIZE: 1st place will receive a FREE print copy of Cutlass and Musket: Tales of Piratical Skullduggery (signed by one of the featured authors — that being me)

First and second place entries will be “published” on this blog and will have their story advertised by me on my website, and twitter (so hopefully it should get some readers) All rights remain with the author and they are free to submit or post elsewhere at their discretion.

Entries can be mailed to rebecca(at)rebeccahartwriting(dot)com

Looking forward to reading some interesting entries.

Poetry Anyone?

I got this notification in one of my email newsletters. While I am not a poet, I thought since there is no fee to enter, some of you out there may be interested in this one. Cash Prize!


10th annual free contest. Fifteen cash prizes totaling $3,600.
Top prize $1,500. Submit one humor poem by April 1 deadline.
No entry fee. Winning entries published online. Final judge:
Jendi Reiter. Sponsored by Winning Writers, proud to be one
of the “101 Best Websites for Writers” (Writer’s Digest, 2005- 2010).
Guidelines and online submission at