Charles Du Bos - Quote

"The important thing is this: To be able at any moment to sacrifice what we are for what we could become." - Charles Du Bos

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Looking for a Contest? Enter Passionate Ink's First Annual Sexy Scribbles Contest

If you have the saucy chops to turn up the heat and sexual tension in three thousand words or less, then enter today! 

Passionate Ink’s 1st Annual

Give us their first meeting: their first kiss, or even their first time… We want to see your prowess at developing sexual tension in a scene of 3000 words or less. This contest is for published and unpublished authors. Published works must have a copyright year of 2015. Any works previously published must be significantly altered and published with a new copyright year of 2015. The excerpt submitted must be from a completed work of any length, (i.e., a short story, novella, or novel).

  • Contest Opens: October 15th 2015
  • Entry Deadline: December 15th 2015
  • Category Semi-Finalists announced: February 14, 2016
  • Category Finalists announced: March 17, 2016
  • Saucy Scribbler announced: April 17, 2016


  • Contemporary – Excerpts with erotic elements that focus on the developing romantic relationship in a contemporary setting. Includes series and single-title length romances. Can also include elements of romantic suspense/intrigue.
  • Historical – Excerpts with erotic elements that focus on the developing romantic relationship in a historical setting.
  • Futuristic/Sci-fi – Excerpts with erotic elements that focus on the developing romantic relationship in any setting in the future, an alternate world/reality, or another planet. Includes elements such as elves/faerie, sword & sorcery, aliens, etc.
  • Paranormal/Fantasy – Excerpts with erotic elements that focus on the developing romantic relationship in any setting that includes elements of time travel, angels, vampires, werewolves or other paranormal themes.
  • Suspense / Thriller / Mystery – Excerpts with erotic elements that focus on the developing romantic relationship in any setting that includes elements of suspense, mystery, or thriller elements.

Judging and Prizes

  • First round judging: Will be judged by readers, writers, reviewers, booksellers and librarians. The top three excerpts, or semi-finalists, in each category as determined by judging scores will move on to the final round of judging. The semi-finalists will receive a semi-finalist certificate and digital badge.
  • Final round judging: The three semi-finalists in each category will be judged by multi-published authors, agents, and editors. A finalist will be chosen based on the score sheets. The decisions of the judges are final. All finalists will receive a critique from the judge as well as a finalist certificate and digital badge. Each category finalist will also receive a $25.00 cash prize.
  • Special Guest Judge: The five winning entries will be passed on to our Special Guest Judge and one will be chosen as their personal favorite and receive the title of “Saucy Scribbler” along with a digital graphic.

Winners Announcements: All Sexy Scribbles Semi-Finalists, Finalists, and Saucy Scribblers will be listed on the Passionate Ink blog and newsletter. The Finalists and Saucy Scribbler will be listed in the Romance Writers Report. See the rubric judges will use to score submissions.

We are pleased to announce the following agents and publishing houses have agreed to participate as Finalist Judges: 
Bookends Literary Agency
Boroughs Publishing
Extasy Books
Totally Entwined Group
and more…



  • Contest is open to all works published or unpublished in the erotic romance sub-genre.
  • Entries may be published with a copyright date in 2015 or an unpublished work.

General Rules

  • It is the author’s responsibility to enter in the correct category. All clarifications as to category should be made prior to submission. Entries submitted in the wrong category, as determined by two or more judges, will be disqualified without refund. The judges’ decision is final.
  • One entry cannot be entered in multiple categories, but multiple works (up to three per category) are welcome if accompanied by the proper completed entry form and full entry fee.
  • There must be a minimum of ten entries or the category will be canceled. If the minimum number of entries is not attained, entrants will be notified. The entrant will be asked to provide a second choice of categories. If the entrant does not wish to place the entry in another category, the entry and associated fees will be returned.
  • The entry must come from a work that is completed and is in the erotic romance genre. The RWA definition for erotic romance is stories “in which strong, often explicit, sexual interaction is an inherent part of the love story, character growth and relationship development and could not be removed without damaging the storyline.” The story must also contain a Happily-Ever-After to be considered a romance. 
  • Failure to comply with the rules will result in disqualification.
  • Decisions of the Contest Coordinator are final.

Contest Entry Fees

  • Passionate Ink members: $15
  • RWA Members: $20
  • Others: $25

See the contest page for more information and entry guidelines:
Want to join Passionate Ink? Benefits of membership and more information here:

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Never fake emotion

When I was 16, I wrote what I thought was an the ultimate love story of my very short and uninspiring writing career. It was fraught with passion, love lost then regained all the while throwing in a few action scenes here and there. I just knew I had the next big thing in soap operadom.

It was complete crap. My then college aged sister who was 20 and wise beyond her years (she still is) said to me. "This is good. A great effort." But the look on her face and the timber of her voice told me otherwise. Something was wrong and I said to her, "But?..."

She said, "You should write what you know." Write what I know and know what I am writing. What the hell does a 16 year old know? I railed, bemoaned and basically fell into a bundle of heaving emotion as all teenagers - except my sister of course - are apt to do.

The main issue at hand is that I had no life experiences other than what existed in my small universe. I lived in a box and therefore the box gave me a limited view of the world. As for love, well we all have our first love and what teenager has not experienced angst when it comes to amour? I had that pretty much covered right?

Wrong. I attempted to write the emotions of an adult through a teenager's eyes. I used the world of soap operas to create my story thinking this is how love is supposed to be.

Over the past few years I have learned that you can fake a place but you can never fake emotion.

Readers need to connect with your characters on that deep emotional level that makes them feel as if they are one with the hero/heroine. Shared experiences brings the emotion to life creating a fully fleshed being.

It reminds me of a scene from 'Going My Way'. Bing Crosby plays  beloved father Mike O'Malley and in this bit he is supposed to be counseling a young runaway (Jean Heather). They end up singing at the piano of course and while the young girl who is eager and doesn't seem to be afraid of the world sings her song, Bing frowns the entire time. Now there is nothing wrong with her singing but it's the faked emotions behind it. She added facial expressions and hand cues to emphasize the words of the song to give them meaning.

Jean Heather and Bing Crosby - Going My Way
Bing turns to the young girl and simply says, "Do you know what the words of this song mean?" He plays the tune slowly and deliberately and sings with passion and reverence. The light goes on and the girl understands that her interpreted emotion was nothing but a fake. I've noticed that quite a few singers tend to do this as if giving emotion to the song by using signals.

It can be oft putting. And for me, I personally lose a connection to the song and subsequently the singer. Whether you're a writer of song, poetry, fiction or non fiction, put passion into everything you do and remember to keep it real. 

Your readers will thank you for it! 

Happy writing and reading!

Monday, October 5, 2015


Enter Celtic Hearts Romance Writers Chapter contest – The Golden Claddagh!

We have four categories for unpublished authors and published authors with unpublished manuscripts.
* Historical
* Fantasy-Futuristic-Paranormal
* Contemporary (New Adult themes allowed)
* Young Adult
Our contest due date is November 1st. Finalists will be notified by December 11th and winners notified by January 15th 2016
Entry fee: $10.00 CHRW members and $15.00 non-CHRWA members.

Manuscripts must be unpublished and un-contracted in any form, including self-publishing. The manuscript rights must belong to the author and be available to contract, should a final judge wish to offer publication.
The GC entry must be a full-length novel (more than 40K). Novellas or Short stories will not be accepted.
Manuscripts must be completed by the time results are returned. Entrant must retain all rights to the entry and not have granted any of them to a publisher or any other party by the contest entry deadline.
If your manuscript is accepted for publication during the time of our contest (dates will be specified) you must notify the contest coordinator; your submission(s) will be withdrawn from consideration and your entry fee(s) returned.
Please Note: 
  • Previously entered manuscripts may be entered again, but no previous winning manuscript shall be re-entered, even if revised.
  • You may submit multiple entries so long as you pay an entry fee and submit a completed entry form for each submission.
  • You may not enter the same manuscript in more than one category.
CHRW reserves the right to discard all electronic entries and return fees if a minimum number of three (3) entries are not received in any category.
Entrants will be contacted before the entries are returned and given the option to place their entry in another category if it is eligible. We may also refuse an entry that does not follow the rules stated here in the guidelines.
All Payments are Electronic through PayPal. The easy link is here:

Member Entry $10.00

Non-Member Entry $15.00

If you wish to go directly to PayPal, please use Paypal address:

All entries will be read and scored for the first round by three trained judges, and the lowest score dropped. The three entries with the highest total scores in each category will move to the final round. An editor/agent will judge the final round and select a winner from the finalists in each category.

Future, Fantasy & Paranormal: Romance novel where the main focus is on the romantic relationship, but the future, fantasy or paranormal elements are integral to the story (includes time-travel).
Contemporary: Includes, single title, New Adult, long and short romantic fiction with a contemporary setting primarily after 1945. The main focus is the romantic relationship between the hero and heroine.
Historical: Romance novel set primarily before 1945 — any location. Please specify your time period and setting in your entry.
Young Adult:  Romance novels in which young adult themes constitute an integral part of the plot. *Romance subplot not required*

Entry Composition: No Synopsis required! Your entry must have the following:
  1. An email “cover page” which includes the author’s real name, address, telephone number(s), e-mail address, submission title, category, manuscript word count and PayPal confirmation # should be submitted in text of the e-mail. Do not include the cover page in the same attachment as your manuscript.
  1. The beginning of your manuscript, including prologuecannot exceed thirty (30) pages. Standard manuscript format must be followed:
  • 1 inch margins
  • Double spaced in a standard font (Times or Courier) and size 12-point.
  • The TITLE of the manuscript, the category, and any subcategory should be placed on the top left hand side of the entry. The PAGE NUMBER should be on the top right side of the entry.
  • We will not accept entries that have colored, or designer fonts. DO NOT INCLUDE YOUR NAME ON THE MANUSCRIPT.
  1.    Manuscript must be in a .doc or .rtf file format.
Contemporary –
Young Adult –

Final Round Judges:



Young Adult/New Adult

The FIRST PLACE winners in each category will receive a $50 dollar cash prize and a commemorative pin. 
The SECOND and THIRD PLACE winners in each category will receive free workshops through Celtic Hearts Romance Writers.
For questions, please contact the contest chair, Lizzie Walker at: