From Slush Pile to Editor’s Desk: Build Urgency from the Beginning

A Writer's Path

by Manuela Williams

While you can’t predict exactly what an editor will or will not like, there are a couple things you can do to ensure that your story has a fighting chance when you submit it to a literary magazine (and won’t cause anyone to scream and/or tear their hair out in frustration).

This is PART 2 of a multi-post series. For PART 1, click here.

Build Urgency From The Beginning

Lack of urgency is the number one reason why I turn down stories. The prose might be beautiful, but I can’t be sold on that alone. Your story needs to open with a bang and keep me hooked from sentence one.

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“Elmer, The Pet Horse: A Beyond the Blue Barn Book” by Peter Fowkes

#FREE thru August 15th!


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“Elmer, The Pet Horse: A Beyond the Blue Barn Book

Genre: Children’s Book/Animals/Humor

Release Date: June 23, 2017

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Vibrant funny pictures, simple lessons, simply fun.

After the farm is sold, the scattered animals of the Blue Barn go on to live the next stage of their lives, wonderfully unaware of their expected place in society, these farm animals go on ridiculous adventures around the world held back by nothing.

Another tale of silly misadventures beyond the Blue Barn. April’s family buys Elmer the horse from the Blue Barn, but Elmer cannot accept the fact that he is not being treated like the rest of the family. If the dog and the cat can even live in the house, why is he stuck in the barn? After a series of attempts to break into the family’s home, eventually, Elmer finds his way into their hearts. Families take on many shapes and forms, and this horse is going to prove it.


Peter Fowkes has worked in TV Comedy for over twenty years, producing and directing for the likes of The Onion, Impractical Jokers and Ellen DeGeneres. Peter also has produced a bit of animation for network and cable programs. In this series of books, the Beyond the Blue Barn series, Peter has merged his unique illustrating style with his wry sense of humor creating books for children that eagerly aim to please the parents who are reading them to their children. Funny pictures, simple lessons, simply fun.

Peter was raised in New York, is a graduate of Fordham University and these days resides with his wife and two children in Los Angeles, CA.

“A Space Girl from Earth (The Kyroibi Trilogy Book 1)” by Christina McMullen

#FREE August 12th Only!


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“A Space Girl from Earth (The Kyroibi Trilogy Book 1)

Genre: Science Fiction & Fantasy/YA/Space Opera

Release Date: May 15, 2017

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Ellie Whitmore is no ordinary girl. Even if her parents weren’t internationally famous celebrities, her six-foot four-inch height and oddly spotted complexion would make her stand out in any crowd. But never would she have guessed she was an alien from far across the galaxy. Or that hidden within her genetic make up lies the Kyroibi: an ancient and powerful relic housing the forbidden knowledge of her people.

Knowledge some would sacrifice everything to possess.

Worse, it isn’t just the malevolent Emperor who wants the Kyroibi. Her own mother can’t resist the draw of ultimate power and the one person Ellie might be able to trust is an unrepentant assassin who may be responsible for her life’s upheaval. Now, she must travel to a distant planet and unlock the secrets to restoring peace and ending tyranny. But how can anyone expect her to save the galaxy when she can’t even pass organic chemistry?


Christina McMullen is a science fiction and fantasy author who dreams of flying cars and electric sheep. She currently resides in Texas with her wonderfully supportive husband and their dogs. When she isn’t writing, Christina enjoys travel, vegan cooking, modern and classical art, and of course, reading.

For updates and information on future releases, promos, and giveaways, please follow her on Facebook: http://facebook.com/mcmullenwrites or Twitter: http://twitter.com/mcmullenwrites.

“Catling’s Bane (The Rose Shield Book 1)” by D. Wallace Peach

#FREE 8/12-8/13!


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“Catling’s Bane (The Rose Shield Book 1)”

Genre: Science Fiction/Fantasy/First Contact

Release Date: March 12, 2017

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In the tiers of Ellegeance, the elite Influencers’ Guild holds the power to manipulate emotions. Love and fear, pain and pleasure, healing and death mark the extremes of their sway, but it’s the subtle blends that hook their victims’ hearts. They hide behind oaths of loyalty and rule the world.

A child born in the grim warrens beneath the city, Catling rues the rose birthmark encircling her eye. Yet, it grants her the ability to disrupt the influencers’ sway. Established methods of civil control disintegrate before her. She’s a weapon desired by those who reign and those who rebel.

To the Influencer’s Guild, she’s an aberration, a threat. They order her death and thus the betrayals begin. One woman protects and trains her, plotting to use her shield to further imperial goals. No longer a helpless child, Catling has other plans. As chaos shakes the foundations of order and rule, will she become the realm’s savior? Or its executioner?

The Rose Shield Tetralogy – a blend of science fiction and fantasy.

Welcome to a world of three moons, a sentient landscape, rivers of light, and tier cities that rise from the swamps like other world flowers. A planet of waterdragons, where humans are the aliens living among three-fingered natives with spotted skin. Where a half-blood converses with the fog and the goddess plans her final reckoning.

Follow Catling’s journey as she grows from childhood into the deadly force that shapes the future. She is the realm’s shield, an influencer, assassin, healer, mother, and avenger. And all she wants is to go home.

The books of The Rose Shield Tetralogy
Catling’s Bane
Oathbreakers’ Guild
Farlanders’ Law
Kari’s Reckoning


D. Wallace Peach started writing later in life after the kids were grown and a move left her with hours to fill. Years of working in business surrendered to a full-time indulgence in the imaginative world of books, and when she started writing, she was instantly hooked. Diana lives in a log cabin amongst the tall evergreens and emerald moss of Oregon’s Coastal Mountains with her husband, two dogs, and Pinky the Cat.

For book descriptions, excerpts, maps, and behind the scenes info, please visit http://dwallacepeachbooks.com.

For her blog on all things writing, please visit http://mythsofthemirror.com

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“Secret Shifters of Spokane Complete Series (Books 1 – 4)” by Selena Scott

99¢ for a #LimitedTime!


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“Secret Shifters of Spokane Complete Series (Books 1 – 4)

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Release Date: July 22, 2017

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FREE ON KINDLE UNLIMITED – On sale for a limited time, so don’t miss out

When passion ignites a fire that becomes too hot to ignore!

4 brothers who hold a deep family secret. Join them as they fight against all odds for their true mates. If you love bear shifters, sassy mates, and a little intrigue, you won’t want to put this series down!

Book 1 – Danil’s Mate
Book 2 – Emin’s Mate
Book 3 – Maxim’s Mate
Book 4 – Anton’s Mate

Danil’s Mate – Book 1
A curvy reporter who’s just arrived in town and an alpha bear shifter who holds a deep family secret. Can their attraction become something more and can she tame the animal within him?

Emin’s Mate – Book 2
Emin knows how to handle a seductress. But there’s something different about this sweet, innocent woman in the forest that has him confused as hell?

Maxim’s Mate – Book 3
When one night of passion becomes something more than either of them could ever have imagined. Now Maxim is playing for keeps!

Anton’s Mate – Book 4
In the exciting conclusion of this series can Anton protect his family but reveal his true feelings for AJ? What will this mean for the Shifters of Spokane?

This series contains strong sexual themes/language and is not intended for readers under the age of 18.


Selena Scott is an avid and devoted writer based on the beautiful west coast of Ireland. Selena loves nothing more than to let her thoughts run wild by putting pen to paper. Dragons, bears, curvy girls, alpha males and sexy storylines are what really gets Selena excited.

For her latest releases just sign up here. http://selena0.gr8.com/ or drop her an email at Selena@emeraldromance.com

Facebook: Selenascott@emeraldromance

5 FREE Anthologies for Charity – over 45 Books!

Ending Soon!


From Author Emma Nichols –

Some amazing authors have all worked together to make an anthology for a charity. Thing is, there were so many of them, they had to split it into FIVE books!

Right now, for a limited time, you can get all five for FREE!! Every single downloaded helps! And come on, reading for free AND helping a charity? It doesn’t get much better than that!

Check them out below and grab them all for free while you can! Ends Soon!

Best,
Emma


New Love cover“New Love”

Are you ready for some new love?

Seven of your favorite romance authors have come together for a charity anthology. If you like billionaires and witty heroines, or high school sweethearts and runaways, or southern stories with a love as big as Texas, then settle in for tales of finding home, overcoming the past, loyalty, broken promises, and even a surprise wedding. Even family obligations can’t hinder what’s simply meant to be.

Don’t miss this LIMITED EDITION boxed set created to benefit the March of Dimes. 

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Lucky in Love cover“Lucky in Love”

Are you ready to be lucky in love?

Ten of your favorite romance authors have come together. Enjoy second chance romances, sports romances, and rocker romances. Meet your new favorite bad boys and blue collar lovers. There may even be a surprise pregnancy or two.

Don’t miss out on a whole lot of happy endings in this LIMITED EDITION boxed set created to benefit the March of Dimes. 

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Haunted by Love cover

“Haunted by Love”

Are you ready to be haunted by love?

Ten of your favorite romance authors have come together for a charity anthology. With vampires, witches, wizards, shifters, shadow walkers, fallen angels, demons, and a wraith king, you’re sure to be enthralled. Be prepared for greed, lust, lies, and betrayal to culminate in coups and menages. After all, the fate of the world often depends on the actions of hot alphas.

Don’t miss this LIMITED EDITION boxed set created to benefit the March of Dimes.

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Forbidden Love cover

“Forbidden Love”

Thirteen of your favorite romance authors have come together for a charity anthology.

This set is about as naughty as a collection can get. They may look innocent, like the boy next door, or the brother’s best friend, they may be working like the blue collar guy making a house call, the undercover cop, the rock star, the bodyguard, or the stripper. Don’t be fooled. These stories are filled with romance,  suspense, and temptation. Oh, and no one seems to decline the opportunity for romps in public, with a stranger, a roommate, or the occasional affair.Learn how forbidden love makes for strange bedfellows in these modern fairy tales of love, lust, and deception.

Don’t miss this LIMITED EDITION boxed set created to benefit the March of

Dimes.

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Dangerous Love cover

“Dangerous Love”

Are you ready to flirt with some dangerous love?

Seven of your favorite romance authors have come together for a charity anthology. Prepare to dance with the dark side of love. This collection is full of suspense with crimes like stalking, kidnapping, and murder. Meet some men in blue and some bad boys too. If you have a taste for dystopian, enjoy interracial love, and get hot and bothered over sexy protectors such as private investigators, the FBI and CIA, then one-click right away.

Don’t miss this LIMITED EDITION boxed set created to benefit the March of Dimes. 

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“So, You Want to Be Canadian: All About the Most Fascinating People in the World and the Magical Place They Call Home” by Kerry Colburn, Rob Sorensen

$1.99 for a #LimitedTime!


So You Want to be Canadian

“So, You Want to Be Canadian: All About the Most Fascinating People in the World and the Magical Place They Call Home

Genre: Travel/Canada/Trivia

Release Date: January 20, 2012

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So, you want to be Canadian? Who doesn’t these days? Canucks are enjoying a major renaissance in attention, from their enlightened social policies to their wild and wooly pop culture. This playful, trivia-packed book is a long-overdue celebration of all things Canadian, from the mysteries of “eh?” to the difference between an Ogo Pogo and a Windingo to how to prepare moose stroganoff (mmm!). Featuring a dreamy list of Canadian hotties, a toe-tapping roundup of Canadian smash hit songs, a handy Canadian-American translator, and pointers on how to eat, dress, and apologize like a Canadian if you weren’t lucky enough to be born a Canuck, So, You Want to Be Canadian demonstrates once and for all why Canada is so cool (formerly just cold).


Kerry Colburn is the co-author of The Rebound Journal, My Fabulous Life and My Dysfunctional Life. She lives in San Francisco.

Rob Sorensen is originally from Edmonton, Alberta, but now lives in San Francisco, where he left his heart.