From June 22 to June 28, you can win my horror story eBook, Haunted Honeymoon, by sharing where you went on your honeymoon or a place you think is perfect for a honeymoon. I will choose a winner randomly from all answers on Saturday, June 29. Please comment with your replies on this blog.
Francesco and Gina are not your typical engaged couple. They met in a cemetery and spent their dates watching horror movies. But when Francesco suggests they honeymoon in a haunted house in Venice, Gina is shocked when she learns the place may actually be Francesco’s childhood home where his parents were murdered.
This giveaway isn’t affiliated with WordPress, Facebook, or Twitter. Good luck!
For the month of June, I’ll be giving away a free eBook each week. From June 10 to June 14, you can win my short thriller, Bullet in the Back, by letting me know the title of the last thriller or exciting mystery you read. I will choose a winner randomly from all answers on Friday, June 14. You can comment with your replies on this blog or, for more chances, also comment on the pinned post on my Facebook author page: https://www.facebook.com/debbie.delouise.author/ and on the pinned post on my twitter profile: https://twitter.com/Deblibrarian.
When Susan Drummond accompanies her husband, Ray, to his cabin where he goes to get away from it all and write, her friends and father become concerned that she isn’t answering her cell phone. They all decide to check in on her and find no trace of her or Ray except a newly dug grave.
Keep your eye out for the other two book contests being offered in June.
For the month of June, I’ll be giving away a free eBook each week. From June 3 to June 7, you can win my short mystery, Dying for a Vacation, by letting me know where you are going on vacation this summer or where you’d like to go. I will choose a winner randomly on Friday, June 7. You can comment with your replies on this blog or, for more chances, also comment on the pinned post on my Facebook author page: https://www.facebook.com/debbie.delouise.author/ and on the pinned post on my twitter profile: https://twitter.com/Deblibrarian.
Awaiting his eminent retirement, Detective Donald Jackson plans a much-needed vacation. Before he leaves, he needs to finish writing instructions for his catsitter. More importantly, he has to wrap up a case at the Flower Hill Public Library involving the murder of librarian Phyllis Frost who was poisoned during her coffee break. Returning to the library for another round of suspect questioning, Jackson is not sure he will be able to solve the crime. He only hopes it doesn’t delay his trip.
Here are the other books I’m offering the rest of June. Keep an eye out for the question you need to answer to enter the drawing for them.
My spring calendar is bursting with writing activity.
In April, I’ll be attending Long Island’s Local Author Fair with fellow members of LIAG (Long Island Author’s Group) and other local writing associations. This event will take place on Saturday, April 6, at the Tilles Center on the LIU/C.W. Post Campus. Admission is free, and it runs from 3 to 8 pm. There’ll be over fifty authors participating, keynote speaker, Steve Israel, panels, and book signings. I’m looking forward to a great day meeting and chatting with authors and readers. If you’re in the Long Island area, I hope you can make it.
In May, I’ll be traveling to St. Louis, Missouri for the 25th anniversary conference of the Cat Writer’s Association. I recently received a Certificate of Excellence in their annual contest for my cozy mystery, Love on the Rocks, and will be up for a special award at their banquet. I’ll also be signing books at a fundraiser for the Humane Society on Friday night, May 17. This event is open to the public and will take place at the Drury Plaza Hotel at the Arch.
Also in May, my new mystery, Sea Scope, will also be released, but it’s on pre-sale now.
Sarah Collins needs an escape. Mourning her brother’s death and the impending breakup of her marriage, she accepts an invitation to return to her childhood home in South Carolina, where her family operated an inn.
She hasn’t been back to Sea Scope for twenty years; not since she and her brother Glen discovered a body by the nearby lighthouse. She never understood why her parents left Sea Scope so suddenly, or the reasons behind her father’s suicide.
After Sarah returns to the inn, she faces long-buried memories, text messages and strange clues. Something is not right in Sea Scope.
Reunited with people from her past, she tries to figure out what’s going on in her childhood home. As the past and present collide, she must face truths about her family, and what happened that summer day by the lighthouse. But will she survive to tell the tale?
I may be dating myself with that Tom Jones song title as a subject, but I wanted to post some updates for those of you who don’t subscribe to my newsletter (and I hope some of you will consider doing that to keep up with my books and to enter my monthly contests).
Speaking of contests, I’m running a special end of summer one that started on August 1st and will end on September 15th when I choose a winner for an autographed paperback copy of my next Cobble Cove mystery and a $5 Amazon gift card. The winner will also have his or her name listed in the book along with the name they choose for the new female kitten who will be introduced in that book. To enter, email me the name and description for a female kitten. She can be one of your own cats or just one you make up. You should email the entry to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line: Name That Kitten Contest. The winner will be announced in my newsletter and on this blog, but you must be a subscriber to my newsletter to participate. To subscribe, complete the pop-up form on my website at https://debbiedelouise.com or email me your request to subscribe.
In writing news, my short New Adult Romance, Saving Snow White, will be released on Tuesday, August 22nd. It will be available for only 99 cents on Amazon.com as an eBook. Below is an excerpt from that book:
As I pulled into the driveway, I saw a young girl
sitting on her front step next door. She was holding
something white on her lap. I learned that our neighbors
had moved when I came home for the holidays, but I hadn’t
yet met the new people who’d bought their house. I decided
it might be nice to go over and introduce myself.
I walked to the fence that separated our yards and
called over. “Hi, there. You must be my new neighbor.”
The girl, who looked to be about seven or eight,
came over to the fence carrying what I now realized was a
“Hello. My name is Jenny, and this is Snow White.
She moved with us from New Jersey when Dad got a job in
“What a pretty cat.” I remembered Tinkerbell and
sadness washed over me.
“Thanks. Can you come over and pet her? You can
meet my mom, too. She’s friends with Mrs. Palmer already.
Are you her daughter?”
“Yes. I’ve been away at school. I’m studying to be a
The girl’s big brown eyes lit up. “That’s what I want
to be. I love animals.”
I took her up on her invitation and went around the
fence to meet her at the gate. She handed me the big white
ball of fur, and the cat purred as I stroked its head.
“You’ll make a great vet.” The girl smiled showing
two missing baby teeth.
“I hope so. This summer, I’m getting some
experience by assisting Dr. Carter at the animal hospital.”
For Long Island folks or those who may be in the area on Friday, August 18, I will be appearing at the Hicksville Library for an author talk at 1:30 pm. No registration is necessary
On August 18, my publisher, Solstice Publishing, is also holding a big pre-Eclipse Party. My fellow authors and I will be participating with Q & A’s, giveaways, freebies, and some other fun activities. I will be posting further details and the link to join in closer to the date.
If you’re an author, even an unpublished one, you may have submitted your work to a writing contest. There are many different kinds of competitions with various fees, prizes, and awards. How can you choose ones that you have a good chance of winning and that will further your career as a writer? There’s no easy answer to this question. It’s a matter of what you are willing to spend, what type of writing you do, and what you hope to achieve by winning. Like submitting your work to a publisher or agent, winning a writing contest usually involves the right mix of talent and luck.
Why do authors enter writing contests? Are they worth the time and expense? Shouldn’t published authors concentrate their efforts on writing and submitting to publishers and publications instead? There are many benefits to entering contests even if you don’t win. Some provide feedback and constructive criticism to entrants. Others consider non-winning entries for future publication. Learning how to follow contest rules and gear your writing toward a specific topic or audience is also a good experience for an author.
What type of contests are there, and how do you find them? There are many types of writing competitions. Some are sponsored by popular writing magazines. Writer’s Digestoffers a large number of contests including those for short stories, popular fiction, self-published books, non-fiction, and poetry. The Writer Magazine hosts a monthly contest on a specific writing theme. Both these magazines also include lists of other competitions in their print and online versions. For their own contests, they charge a small entry fee and offer publication in an issue as a prize. Writer’s Digest also awards prize money to the top winners of their annual competition along with a feature article on the author and a free ticket and travel expenses to attend their annual writing conference in New York City. The deadline for this year’s contest is May 5. While magazine contests are highly competitive, the promotion and recognition winners receive make entering worthwhile for new as well as established authors. I have submitted to both these contests and have not yet won (my current submission, an Essay for the June issue of The Writer, is still under review ). Another good source of listings for contests, grants, and awards is Poets & Writersa magazine that you can subscribe to online and receive as a print subscription.
Organizations also host writing contests. These are usually announced in their membership newsletter and/or on their website. Costs vary depending on the prizes offered. While competition is still tough, entries are restricted to members. A group I belong to, the Cat Writer’s Association, sponsors a contest each year of non-fiction and fiction writing as well as media related to cats. The entries are judged by professional members and are limited to those published the previous year. Last year, I won the special Glamour Puss award from the Hartz Corporation for my article, Brush Your Cat For Bonding, Beauty, and Better Health in Catster Magazine. I received a monetary award along with a beautiful engraved glass plaque that I treasure. This year, I’d hoped to win the MUSE medallion, the highest award the association awards to the finest writing. Although my three entries did not score high enough to be eligible for this coveted prize, it has motivated me to strive to improve my work to one day meet this goal.
For those who are self-published or write for small publishers, there are many Indie Awards up for grabs. I recently came across a list of the best ones according to the Non-Fiction Author’s Association. Here is their list with links to the contests:
Social media writing contests also abound. I’ve participated in Twitter’s Pit2pub hosted by author Kristin D. Van Risseghem. By participating in this event, I found my first and current publisher. The first 250 pages of my unpublished novel, Sea Scope, was among the 50 entries also recently selected in a lottery for Miss Snarks’ First Victim contest where a secret literary agent will critique all entries after fellow contestants comment on them. During Other Twitter writing competitions include PitMad and Pitch Wars. Information and dates for each contest can be found on various blogs, the most popular one written by Brenda Drake.
Publishers also hold their own contests for their authors. My publisher, Solstice Publishing, is currently hosting a cover contest. My mystery, Between a Rock and a Hard Place, is one of the entries. Voting takes place here, and those who vote are eligible to win prizes donated by authors.
If you know of any other writing contests I haven’t included in this post, please list it below. I wish you luck on your winning entries.
I also have some good news to share with those who have read or would like to read my Cobble Cove Mystery series. Following A Stone’s Throw and Between a Rock and a Hard Place, I have completed the first draft of a third book that I hope to call Written in Stone. I will be sure to include more news about this new mystery and some excerpts as it gets closer to a release date. The best way to keep updated about all my author news is through my twice monthly newsletter which you can subscribe to at https://debbiedelouise.com by filling out the pop-up form. I also feature a monthly prize contest for my subscribers.
As a holiday present to those of you who have not yet read my second mystery or would like to give it as a gift to someone, Between a Rock and a Hard Place, will be free on Amazon.com on Tuesday, December 20 and Wednesday, December 21. I also have a Christmas story for only 99 cents that features the Cobble Cove characters. Celebrating Christmas with my Characters.
The final piece of news is that I have just created a Facebook group that will be hosted by one of the Cobble Cove characters each month. The host will answer questions about their role in the mysteries and anything people would like to ask about the books excluding spoilers. The host will also offer a contest or giveaway and may post some interesting trivia about themselves and/or the series. The current host until January is Alicia, the main character. Even while she is host, readers are welcome to post questions to any of the characters. For more information, to post a question, and to join the group, please visit the Cobble Cove Character Chat at https://www.facebook.com/groups/748912598599469/.
The Cobble Cove characters and I wish you and your families a very happy and healthy holiday.