Thursday, April 21, 2011

Guest blogger Dream about the Love Inspired Historical pitch session

Camy here, and I'm happy to host my friend Dream, who is guest blogging today about the Love Inspired Historical pitch session! The picture above is me and Dream in this awesome British High Tea restaurant in Denver, Colorado.

And now, here's Dream!


Good morning, friends in Seekerville! I'm so excited to be joining you today, especially because I'm offering some of you a chance to finally escape Unpubbed Island! Well, okay, I can't personally make any offers, but I do have a wonderful opportunity to share with you.

For those of you who don't know me, I'm Dream, and I'm one of the hosts on Harlequin.com. I mainly work on the Love Inspired area, and I spend a lot of time chatting with authors and would-be authors as well as our readers. In fact, some of your Seekers (waves at Camy and Cheryl) hung out with me there long before they were published. It's been fun watching my friends on this incredible journey.

Which leads me to the great opportunity. Love Inspired Historical is having an online pitch session via Harlequin. Over the past several years, Harlequin has been committed to changing the unpubbed status of our members to published! We've had close to 60 of our online pitchers go on to sell the book they pitched in our chat room. What makes this newest opportunity unique is that this is the first time Love Inspired Historical has ever offered an online pitch.

Here are the basics:

If you have a completed manuscript targeted at Love Inspired Historical, you can enter the editor pitch challenge.

Out of all the entries received, senior editor Tina James will choose her five favorite, and those five entrants will be selected to join us in a special online chat where those entrants will each spend time talking with Tina about their books.

If you think you've got what it takes, you can find the full details on Harlequin.com here: http://community.eharlequin.com/forums/write-stuff/editor-pitch-challenge-steeple-hill-love-inspired-historical
I also encourage you to join our community, where we have a lot of great folks who love Love Inspired books. You can find our community here: http://community.eharlequin.com/forums/steeple-hill


Some specific tips:
1. DO make your log line and synopsis compelling. Be sure to hit on the key elements in the story, including your characters' goals, motivations, conflict, and of course, the romance!
2. DON'T leave the ending a surprise. Make sure it's clear how the story ends.
3. DO take the time to make your entry shine and have others read it before you hit send.
4. DON'T send an entry that's not targeted for Love Inspired Historical. Check the guidelines to be sure.
5. DO try!! You never know, this could be your big break!

I'll be here all day to answer your questions about the online pitch process, as well as anything else you might want to know about our community. The only caveat I'm going to issue here is that I'm not an editor. I work from home (mostly in my jammies), so I have no access to anything in our editorial department. I can't answer anything specifically about your stories or ideas.

Thanks for coming! I've got a basket of Love Inspired Historicals to give away, and we'll draw a winner from everyone who comments. Winner announced in the Weekend Edition.

You can also find us on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/LoveInspiredBooks), Twitter (LoveInspiredBks), as well as on Shoutlife, MySpace, and Goodreads.

--Dream

Camy here: Thanks so much for guest blogging with us, Dream!

Camy Tang writes romance with a kick of wasabi. Out now is her romantic suspense, Formula for Danger. She runs the Story Sensei critique service, is a staff worker for her church youth group, and leads one of the worship teams for Sunday service. On her blog, she ponders frivolous things like knitting, running, dogs, and Asiana. Visit her website to sign up for her quarterly newsletter.

73 comments :

  1. That looks like the Brown Palace.

    What fun!!

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  2. Hi Dream:

    I’ve seen your name many times on eHarlequin. It's almost like I know you. : )

    I have a series I'd like to see Love Inspired Historical create that may be a first for the industry. Perhaps you can talk this suggestion up with the editors when you get a chance.

    The series takes a location and each book takes place 100 years after the last book. You could start in Rome in 44 BC with the assignation of Caesar and have the next book 100 years later on up to the future. What a history lesson this would be.

    This series would include many popular historical periods. I think a special award should go to readers who read all 21 books!

    Vince

    vmres (at) swbell (dot) net

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  3. Hi Dream,
    I have seen your name so much that for me too it is synonymous with the community! :)

    I was just thinking if I a finished manuscript, then I would be able to participate in the next pitch. So I guess here is my motivation to finish! Thanks for the clear instructions too.

    justin (_) autumn at msn dot com.

    Thanks!!

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  4. Hi Dream:

    I've talked to you on the eharlequin forum, so feel like kind of know you.

    I never did get the picture to load that you edited for me. The software continued to complain that the size didn't fit. I finally just gave up.

    There will be plenty of coffee ready at 4 a.m.

    Helen

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  5. Hi Dream good to see you here I love the live chats but unfortunately will miss this months cos I will be at the Good Friday church service then I have to visit mum after.
    I love all you do for the LI ranges. (you do way to good a job cos when I read about the new books I then want to buy them.)
    I have to say its nice to see a photo of you. Im not a writer but love this idea I hope there will be some books set in places outside the states (ie Australia)Would love to enter the draw for this prize (of course I did finally order about 6 or more from the LI ranges this week including 3 from the seekers)
    ausjenny at gmail dot com

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  6. Yay! Dream has come to Seekerville!!

    I visit eharlequin's forums often and can attest to the great work Dream does! I always hope to see more familiar faces there :) And the online chats are fun too!

    Good luck to everyone who pitches!

    And Vince, neat idea!

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  7. Welcome to Seekerville, Dream -- it's great to see you here! And, WOW, talk about a dream come true with this LIH online pitch opportunity -- I'm tempted to go for it myself except I worry about word count! :)

    And I LOVE your name!! I do believe you are the first person I've ever met called "Dream," and I was wondering if it is a nickname or a last name or your given name?

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  8. Tina--Yup, that's the Brown Palace! I love the High Tea there!

    Vince--Why don't you write it and pitch it?

    Jaimn--You should totally finish that manuscript and pitch!

    You can do it!

    Helen--Isn't Dream totally nice? She's always doing her best to help people on the forum boards.

    Jenny, I'll miss you at the chat tonight! :(

    Eva Maria!!!!! Congratulations again on selling to Love Inspired Historical!!!!!

    Camy

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  9. Julie I think it's a nickname but I'll let Dream answer that!

    Camy

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  10. Thanks Camy I do enjoy the chats and I thought it was last week (cos its on our friday and I was here for it) I should be able to make it next month.

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  11. Hi Dream,

    Wow, what an opportunity! I won't be able to take part (my mss don't quite fit in the LIH guidelines) but I think it's great that Harlequin is offering this chance to writers.

    Good luck to anyone who pitches!

    What a week it's been in Seekerville!

    --Kirsten
    kanavyhist[at]aol[dot]com

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  12. Hi Dream,

    I think Harlequin runs the best contests for writers!

    Thanks for guesting here today.

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  13. I love all the Love Inspired books! Haven't read one that I don't like. The authors and Love Inspired seem to work so good together.
    Happy Easter!

    plhouston(at)bellsouth(dot)net

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  14. Good morning, Dream! Glad to see you back in Seekerville!

    I love the opportunities Love Inspired offers their readers, authors and aspiring authors. They really go out of their way to make everyone welcome.

    And you're there for every moment of it!! Just thinking about your schedule makes me tired, LOL!

    Coffee!!! I've brought a great Jamacian blend that's guaranteed to snap you awake. And croissants filled with fruit or cream. You're choice!

    Thanks for joining us, Dream!

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  15. As a reader, I have to say how thrilled I was when LI added historicals and even more thrilled when they increased the number each month.

    I was not a historical fan originally but now find myself really looking forward to these blasts from the past.

    I have been especially intrigued by writers I know from contemporaries who write historicals. Definitely a different sort of challenge.

    Peace, Julie

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  16. Thanks for the info, Dream! And thanks for all you do on eHarlequin.

    I hope lots of writers in our Seekerville community take advantage of this great opportunity. Good luck to all those who submit!

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  17. Patsy, so glad you like Love Inspired books! That makes all of us who write for LI, LIS and LIH happy!

    I love the books, too!

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  18. Ooooh! What a wonderful opportunity! I wonder if I can get my manuscript done in time? It's something to shoot for!

    It was great to "meet" you, Dream! Thanks for stopping by!

    And of course, enter me in the drawing!

    jandrex(at)juno(dot)com

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  19. Hi Dream:) What a great opportunity! I'm going to have to check out your forum:) Thanks for the clear instructions on submitting:)

    hope to see you again on Seekerville!

    lornafaith at gmail dot com

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  20. Welcome to Seekerville, Dream! Thanks for all you do for Harlequin authors and readers!

    What an awesome opportunity LIH Is offering writers!! I love writing for Love Inspired Historical. The stories are compelling, the covers and marketing is fantastic and Tina James is a lovely person and an excellent editor.

    I brought hard-boiled eggs this morning. Dyed in pastel shades, a touch of Easter. Just peel and eat. Salt and pepper are on the table.

    Janet

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  21. I know I shouldn't talk with my mouth full, but Janet's pastel eggs looked so yummy. I'm on a protein kick lately to build more muscle. Which is probably why it's so ironic that I brought some cinnamon rolls to the table. I'm only eating the virtual kind, lol!

    Welcome,Dream. I hope all the unpubbed historical writers out there take advantage of this pitch opportunity. You just never know how that manuscript might sell. I got mine in front of an LI editor through the Brenda Novak auction for diabetes and it sold! So go pitch, folks. You just might sell :)

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  22. Oh, and when is that next LI chat, Dream? I bet a lot of the Seekerville readers would have fun there.

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  23. What a great opportunity for those targeting LI Historicals! Good luck, everyone! Remember, nothing ventured, nothing gained!

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  24. Hi Everyone!

    Thanks so much for coming! I'm just popping in real quick while my kids' breakfast cooks and I'll be back a little later.

    Tina, it WAS at the Brown Palace. Camy and I go to tea everyplace we go together. It's a fun tradition.

    Re: Dream... when I first signed online, I used my email address, which was dreamen1, and it got shortened to Dream.

    Love Inspired Chat... is actually TONIGHT!!! I hope some of you will join us. 8-10pm Eastern. I'll grab a link for you later.

    Okay, timer went off. Don't want to burn my mini quiches.

    *Brings in tray of steaming mini quiches* Enjoy!

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  25. Long years ago, my dh and I honeymooned at the Brown Palace. You get treated like royalty there!

    Good luck to everyone pitching to LIH! :)

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  26. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the cool things Harlequin does to offer opportunities to new authors.

    Seriously???

    No one else on the planet comes close.

    Thanks for the info, Danica! Nice to have you on board!

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  27. Vince, I love your idea... It's like James Michener meets Category Romance...

    And it's got some great merit for a continuity.

    Keep hawking it, Dude! Speaking of hawks, Harlequin Toronto has peregrine falcons NESTING on their building.

    http://bit.ly/fdWXQd

    And note the ROCHESTER connection: The male bird originated HERE and is NESTING THERE.

    AND I'm a Harlequin author.

    Coincidence? I think not! Viva la Romance!

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  28. I never knew about the pitch boards, how very interesting!

    While I do love to read romance, I don't write it, but this sounds like it would be a great exercise in knowing how to present a pitch. Thanks for the info!

    caseymh18(@)gmail.com

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  29. Best wishes to everyone who enters!
    Thank you Dream for such a great post. My inspirational historical, Chasing the Lion, does not fit within the LIH guidelines so I'll be watching the fun and rooting for others tonight.
    I have tremendous respect for authors of historical fiction.
    For one, there's just SOOOO many words you don't get to use, (Depending on the Time Period), like cannon, lazer, phone, and the one I miss most, fireworks.

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  30. This is an amazing, amazing opportunity. And you know what, No Guts, no glory. No Risk, no reward.


    If you don't try you have decreased your odds of winning by 100 percent.

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  31. Hello, Dream! I wish I had something ready to go that fit the LIH guidelines, but alas... good luck to those of you who enter!

    NANCY, it is interesting the words that weren't used in specific time eras, and the words that were used that aren't anymore. Every generation (and culture—think British lingo vs. American, or Southern phrases vs. Northern jargon) has its own lingo, from the beginning of time, and onward.

    -Whitney

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  32. I'd love to give it a try but my manuscript is not quite finished. Maybe if I pull a couple all nighters :)

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  33. I love Harlequin and think I've learned the most about fiction writing from them. (They have great tutorials.) Janet Dean is right and she writes GREAT LIH fiction!

    Do you know, Dream, if they will be doing this again any time soon? I'm unsure if mine is ready for this time (full manuscript) but what if I could have it ready by the end of the month (May?) It may be that I'm just not ready for this round. But I love it that there is this great opportunity.

    Historical romance is my all-time favorite genre to read and I'm a LIH reader/fan.

    crystal.mrsinewaATgmailDOTcom

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  34. Good morning, Dream,
    What a fantastic opportunity.

    I have a question. What about a published author who is not published in historical, but wants to target LIH? Can they enter?

    Thanks, Sandy

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  35. Do it Jamie! Do it.

    We'll keep you company. Email the Seeker contact address if you need someone to talk to over java at one am.

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  36. DREAM! What a fabulous opportunity! Thanks for visiting Seekerville.

    Can't wait to see who will represent "us" in the chat room! :)

    (My work is in a different genre - middle grade adventure but May and I will be rooting for Seekers and Friends!!!)

    Camy, so glad you had Dream here today. I enjoyed seeing your knitting posted the other day. You are so multi-talented!!!

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  37. Dream, great to see you in Seekerville.

    I have pitched one of my WIPs to LIH before, but it was a long time ago. Things have changed in that WIP, so it would definitely be a fresh pitch once it's ready. However, it may no longer be a fit with the changes.

    Would love to be entered.
    wmussell(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  38. I love Harlequin, when I want a romance fix they are the 1st I search. Great post! I would read every single one of those books lol 1 after the other :D

    leanne_gag@hotmail.com

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  39. The Love Inspired Historical books are great books to read when I have a couple extra hrs to escape.

    csdsksds[at]gmail[dot]com

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  40. Hi Camy and Dream!

    I'm going to try to be at the chat tonight. I love that the LI editors do so much to find talented authors. Dream, you do a wonderful job on the boards, thanks for all your hard work.

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  41. Welcome, Dream! I'm a huge LI fan, especially with the historicals.

    This is a great opportuity. I tend to stay with the wallflowers and watch everyone else try, but I think it's because I write a little too close to the edge.

    Off to check out the guidelines.

    reneelynnscott [at] gmail dot com

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  42. What fun this is, and what a class act Harlequin is. Although I'm just now dipping my toes in inspirational romance waters, I learned right away to depend on Love Inspired (for quality research, of course--the pleasure's secondary. Yeah, right.) and on those at Seekerville, too.

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  43. What an awesome opportunity for Historical writers! Go, Girls!

    Thanks for stopping in, Dream! I'm not a historical writer, yet, but maybe someday. :D I wish I could subscribe to all the LI lines, but I had to choose, so for now I'm reading LI.

    I'd love to be entered into the drawing!

    ~Linnette

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  44. Loves 2 Read Romance - LauraApril 21, 2011 at 1:23 PM

    Hi everyone! Thanks for coming and sharing with us Dream!! I love the idea Vince it would be very interesting.

    Good Luck to everyone who submits to the LIH pitch in the upcoming weeks and Congrats again to Eva Maria on her sale to LIH.

    Hopefully I will make it to the chat tonight but we have family coming in so I have no idea where I'll be.

    Have a Blessed Easter everyone!!

    fantum2004ATsbcglobalDOTnet

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  45. It's great that Harlequin offers this opportunity. Best wishes to all you historical writers! Hope to see some books from the 1920s to 1960s, assuming HQ allows for that time period.

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  46. Gosh, Dream, you've got me wishing I had an historical to pitch!
    Thanks for all you at eHarlequin do to promote writers and books!

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  47. I am so excited to have found this website yesterday! I look forward to it every day now!

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  48. Thanks again Camy and Laura!

    And again good luck to everyone who enters! Don't think about it, just do it :)

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  49. Welcome, Dream!! Thanks for sharing this opportunity with our readers!

    Cute photo, too. Wish I could have had high tea with you ladies!

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  50. Vince, they could call it The Book of the Century series. :)

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  51. By the way, Vince, if they chose that name, I'd have to have a try at writing one so I could say I wrote The Book of the Century. [grin]

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  52. ACK!!! I just wrote a long post thanking everyone individually and it got eaten. So I'm going to just do a general post and I hope you'll all forgive me. In the middle of my post, my "O" key broke (again), so typing is really hard.

    First, thanks so much for everyone who reads- even if you're not a writer, we still appreciate you. LOTS! Without you, we wouldn't be worrying about finding writers.

    Writers, I hope you do keep working! Even if you can't pitch, I do hope you'll submit!

    As far as future pitches, it is COMPLETELY dependent on how this one goes. So let's wow the editors with this first attempt so they want to do more.

    For published authors, as long as you're not published by Harlequin, you can still pitch. If you are published by another Harlequin line, you need to go through your editor.

    Okay, I'm going to give my poor "o" key a break for a while.

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  53. Interesting post!! I, too, love all the LI books....noticing more at local "W" today!!! Please enter me for the freebies!
    Thanks!!!

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  54. What a great opportunity! I would love to enter, but I'm not sure if I'm ready yet! I'm such a newbie at all of this, I'm still trying to figure out just what I need to do to enter and I would have to finish self-editing my first draft! *heart just skipped a beat* We'll see!
    I'd love to be entered into the drawing! : ) As always!
    Stacey
    travelingstacey(at)bellsouth(dot)net

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  55. Hi Dream,

    This is an amazing opportunity and I would love to get the chance to speak with an editor.

    This is a dream come true. I have a Native American manuscript I would love to talk about

    Thanks Dream

    Melinda

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  56. Thanks for this information, Dream! Sounds like a great opportunity for historical writers. ~ Easter blessings, Patti Jo :)

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  57. I saw this mentioned and realized I didn't know what a log line was... and found the articles on Harlequin... and then had to join! What a great site! I remember the pod casts from SYTYCW were just awesome! I can't wait to submit!

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  58. Jenny, I'll see you next month at the chat!

    Kirsten--Yes, it HAS been a great week on Seekerville!

    Rose I think so too! :)

    Patsy I love the Love Inspired books too! I was a book club member for years before I even became a writer.

    Audra, I agree, Love Inspired really does make people feel welcome, whether a reader or writer!

    Julie, I was just as thrilled when I first heard about the new Love Inspired Historical line! And the covers have been gorgeous!

    I ditto what Debby said—I hope lots of the Seekerville readers will take advantage of this pitch session!

    Jan—I hope you do get your manuscript done in time!!!

    Lorna, the forums are totally fun! I haven't had time to be on as often as I like because of writing deadlines and other projects, but it's a great community!

    Janet—LOL I love hard boiled eggs! In pastel colors! Alas, my cholesterol does not. :(

    Camy

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  59. Debbie, I totally didn't know you sold because of the Brenda Novak auction! Oh my gosh that's fantastic!

    Melanie is totally right—nothing ventured, nothing gained!!!!

    Stephanie—Ooooh, I'd love to stay at the Brown Palace sometime! That must be awesome!

    Nice description, Ruthy—James Michener meets category romance. That's awesome!

    Casey, I think this will also be really cool for readers to see what storylines Tina picks for the online chat!

    Nancy—but think of all the cool words you can use, like corset, bustle, Austrian lace, Viennese waltz ... :)

    Whitney, true, each culture has its own lingo, too!

    Jamie, all nighters ROCK! Especially when you can write The End after the last one. :)

    Camy

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  60. Crystal, I hope LIH does this again, too, like every year! Get your manuscript ready!

    Sandy, Go for it! I was published in contemporary romance before I sold to Love Inspired Suspense.

    Aw, thanks KC! I promise it wasn't as complicated as it looked!

    Walt, why not try pitching it again if it's changed a lot? Go for it!

    Leanne, I love Harlequin, too! They really do romance well, plus I like the shorter book lengths.

    runner10, I agree! I always use books to escape a little. I can return to real life feeling refreshed.

    Rhonda, I hope to see you tonight!!!

    Renee, why not try it? You never know. Plus edgy isn't necessarily a bad thing, and what might be edgy to you or someone else might not be edgy to an editor.

    Liz, yeah, I'm with you—quality research. Wink wink.

    Camy

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  61. Linnette, so are you targeting LI?

    Loves 2 Read Romance/Laura—I hope to see you tonight at the chat!

    Patricia, I would also love to see books from the 1920s! I think they accept books up to WW2.

    Mary, isn't Dream awesome? Of course, I'm biased. :)

    Anonymous, we're so glad you're liking our blog! We love it, too!

    Missy, one day we'll have high tea together! Maybe RWA?

    Jackie, I love that the LIs are all at Walmart! It's so exciting to see my fellow Seekers' books there!

    travelingstacey—Go for it! You never know until you try!!!!!

    Melinda, that sounds fascinating! Good luck!


    Patti Jo, this is totally a great opportunity! I love that Love Inspired is doing this!

    Virginia, good luck!!!!!!

    Camy

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  62. I have to say like Patty I haven't read a book from any of the ranges I haven't liked. Just wish I could read faster to read some of my tbr list.
    (and not to 1am in the morning like last night)

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  63. I so wish I was writing historicals!! I love this Love Inspired line - such interesting stories with lots of diversity.

    What a great opportunity for new writers! Hopefully some Seekerville friends will take advantage.

    Is it just me or do I sense a new energy and wealth of opportunities in the publishing industry? Exciting times to be sure!

    Thanks for keeping us updated on all these good things!!

    Cheers,
    Sue
    sbmason at sympatico dot ca

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  64. Sounds like a great opportunity for writers. Thanks Dream for telling us about it.

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  65. Oh, and please enter me for the contest!
    crazi.swans at gmail dot com

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  66. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  67. So glad you all came today, and had a good time!! I'm getting ready for the chat, and I realized the link was one of the things from my disappeared post!

    It is:
    http://chat.eharlequin.com/flashchat.php#

    We're chatting from 8-10pm Eastern, and everyone is invited! Just enter the name you want to be called by as your user name, and no password is needed!

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  68. Thanks for the encouragement, Camy! I fell in love with Asian-American characters when I read "In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson" with my students in Thailand (American kids living in Thailand). I also fell in love with Asian people when I lived there! I definitely want to read one of your books soon! Blessings, Stacey

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  69. Wow, it's not easy skimming to see if your question has already been answered with so many great remarks and comments. :) Good thing I could scan for "Dream" and see what you said.

    Thanks for adding the part for published authors with another house. That was what I wanted to ask. I have a series Tina said she might be interested in, but I haven't had time to get it to her yet. Been under deadline and having a baby. :) But perhaps I can pitch it here and see. Either way, I'm going to get it to Tina.

    Oh, and please enter me in the drawing. Love LIH books.

    tiff [at] amberstockton [dot] com.

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  70. Camy, I've been going through an edit. It may be too long for LIH now.

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  71. Thanks Camy! I wish I could, believe me... but Regency is still at least a millennium ahead of my setting LOL.

    I do have some fun words I've learned, like "garum", the Ancient Roman Equivalent of Tabasco Sauce. It was made by leaving fish entrails in a brine solution for six weeks.
    Maybe I should bring that to seekerville breakfast one morning HAHA :-p

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  72. Hi All:

    Thanks for all your comments on my historical series idea. (I’ve been at an all day mandatory seminar for real estate instructors today.)

    I think Harlequin has all the authors they need to do this right now. They might have to tap into the HH authors for the LIH line but I’d like to see some of them do LIH.

    It would also be possible to follow one family through 21 centuries. They could move to new locations so they would be where some of the most interesting things happened in their time period. They would have to be in Regency England for the 1810 period. There would also have to be a Viking or two.

    I’m sure all the authors are there right now. I know I’d read it. eHarlequin could have an Honor Roll website with the names of all the fans who have read all the books in the series.

    Missy, you’ve got it. I’d like to see you do 33 AD.

    Vince

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  73. Jenny, I'm the same way, I wish I could read faster!

    Susan, I agree--exciting times!

    Faye, it is a great opportunity! Thanks to Love Inspired editors for doing this!

    Stacey, how neat you lived in Thailand! I totally want to visit there someday, maybe for a short term missions trip. I hope you enjoy my books!

    Tiff, how neat would it be if you could pitch it!

    Walt, aw, too bad. :(

    Nancy--OMG! Now that's wild!

    Camy

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