Under the Mistletoe

It’s not quite time for all the tinsel and holly of Christmas, but my new novella, Clear as a Bell is one of the stories contained within the Christmas box  set, Love Under the Mistletoe. Comprising six sexy contemporary romance stories, it has been a joint effort by members of the Melbourne Romance Writers’ Guild.

For those who might like an early Christmas present, the entire box set is available for pre-order for the total cost of $0.99 US. By reckoning, that equals 16.5 cents per story. I’m really looking forward to reading the other stories, because if my fellow authors had as much fun as I did in the writing process, there will be come great entertainment there.

My story,Clear as a Bell, is set in a major city. It could be a city anywhere, but background  information that has supported the development of the manuscript is a combination of both Adelaide (my home state) and Melbourne, where I am currently living. Cathedral bells ring at strategic points through the story. I live just a stone’s throw from St Patrick’s Cathedral in Melbourne, and the bells punctuate my life as do the bells in the story.

If you park at night at Windy Point in the hills above Adelaide, you will see the lights of the city just as you do on the bottom of the cover. Now you know what I was thinking when I wrote that part of the story.

The cover for Clear as a Bell

Other than that, it is a story which could be located in any city, although the cold at that time of year anchors it in the northern hemisphere.

To grab a pre-Christmas bargain, You can get the pre-order on Amazon, or your favourite eBook retailer.

Last night, I attended the Scarlet Stiletto Awards night organised by the Sisters in Crime. I had submitted a short story to the annual competition, and to my surprise, it was shortlisted. This was a last-minute entry, as I had joined the organisation just a few weeks before the closing date.

Scarlet Stiletto Award for my short story.

I was thrilled last night to receive a special commendation for my story. Guess who will be submitting again next year?

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A Gem of a Story

Don’t you feel great when your creative output has been steady? It’s a fabulous feeling when you reach another milestone.

I have just put the final full stop on this year’s entry in the RWA Little Gems competition. Each year, a different gemstone is selected as the theme around which the story is composed. I can’t give you any detail about my story, in case one of the judges happens to view this post. All entries are assessed anonymously.

Two years ago, my sunstone entry in the Little Gems competition, In the Cards was shortlisted and subsequently printed in that year’s anthology. It was a pleasant surprise as it was the first time I had entered a competition. The judges’ comments are really valuable to an emerging writer.

The following year, the required stone was onyx. That required a bit of creative contemplation, but the story “Capture the Moment” was polished and submitted. Sadly, it didn’t score highly enough, but I took on board the judges’ comments and re-worked a couple of areas. I’m happy with the end result.

This year the stone is Jade. It presented many options and I so enjoyed working on the evolving sApple Green Jade Gemtory. With my research, I learnt more about the stone as well. You will be familiar with the green colour in varying shades, but did you know it also found in lavender, red, orange, yellow, brown, white, black and grey? Of those, an apple green is the most traditional and expensive stone.

It is used extensively ornamentally, but there are also talismans and items of jewellery. It is also known to attract love and bring good luck. Perhaps I should have worn some jade instead of writing about it.

The thing I like about writing is it gets steadily better. My daily word count improves, my writing becomes tighter and more concise, and I’m better at self-editing. What I haven’t overcome is my gut-wrenching nervousness when I know someone is reading my work. It’s that old imposter syndrome that surfaces sometimes.

Aside from that, I really hope that you do read some of it. All reviews and feedback welcome. If you would like to receive a free copy of “Capture the Moment”, fill in the contact form below and I’ll email you the story. It’s only 3000 words so it won’t clog up your inbox.

Capture the Moment CoverWhen Ellie took the house-sitting contract including caring for Princess Leila, she had no idea it would lead to an assault in the middle of the night – nor that she would be the perpetrator. Would Luke Jefferson press charges?

The Window of Opportunity

Writing as Dorothy Shorne, I have just had a short story selected for publication in an anthology produced by Stringybark Stories.  The Anthology, just released in ebook form and shortly in print form is called ‘A Gentleman and a Scholar’ and my contribution was ‘The Window of Opportunity’.

Stringybark fosters the writing and publishing of short stories in Australia and their anthologies have featured a mix of well-known and emerging authors. It’s  great that this avenue exists in Australia for our writers. The current anthology and previous books are available online from their bookshop and are in print and eBook format.

There was not a hint of romance in this tale. I enjoy writing in a variety of Genres. Time to polish my entry for their next competition. Thanks to the Melbourne Social Writers Group for suggesting participating in this last competition.