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My First Sale by Beverley Kendall

Welcome to the My First Sale series. Each Monday, Dear Author posts the first sale letter of bestselling authors, debut authors, and authors in between. Beverley Kendall’s second release, A Taste of Desire, is in stores now.   You can visit Beverley at her website and learn more about her books.


I'm one of those writers who knew they wanted to write since they were very young. I can't even say it was when I was handed my first romance novel-‘it was before that. I was the young child who stapled sheets of papers together and drew and wrote my own stories.

When did I get serious about wanting to write? Hmm, that had to be when I was nineteen and in college. Since I cut my romance teeth on Harlequin romances, I started writing with Harlequin Presents in mind-‘to me, the pinnacle of romance books. I didn't have a critique partner-‘didn't even know what one was-‘wasn't a member of any writing organizations, it was just me and my typewriter (totally dating myself). I never finished the manuscript. Oh, I did send it off to Harlequin and they requested a partial, which they rejected with personalized notes on what I can do to make it better.

When I think back on that manuscript (which I still have), I literally cringe at my naivety. I didn't even have the thing read over by anyone else!!

Skipping forward many years, after I'd had my son and was looking down the road to the rest of my life, I remembered my dream of becoming a writer right about the time Avon Fanlit was gearing up. That contest set me on the course to writing my, not only first historical novel, but finishing my first manuscript.

A Taste of Desire by Beverley KendallI started sending it out in 2007 to every romance agent I could find. Everyone turned it down. So while I was writing book two in this trilogy (boy, wasn't I ambitious?), I decided why not send it out to editors who accepted queries. Hilary Sares from Kensington Publishing responded to my email query in about five minutes flat. She said she loved the query so send the full. I did, quickly, eagerly. While I was waiting, I continued to revise it. Revised so much so that I wanted to send this version to Hilary instead. After almost six months with no response from her, I did, spending another $20 on postage and sending it along with a new title to boot.

One week to the day I sent Hilary the revised manuscript, I received her rejection letter in the mail. I was bummed but not deterred. To me, that ship had sailed and there was no hope for A Lady Compromised (one of the many former titles of SINFUL SURRENDER). It was now officially dead and I could lay it to rest until I was famous and my editor would look at anything I gave her/him.

On September 4, 2008 I received a call from Hilary Sares. To say that I was shocked and stupefied would be a mild understatement. As she was talking to me, I just kept thinking, "She rejected my first book and I haven't even sent her the second one, so why is she calling me?' Well, she cleared it up by telling me she read the manuscript I sent her in February and wanted to contract it. February! OMG, she's talking about the revised manuscript I thought I'd wasted money mailing to her again. Talk about timing. If I'd received that rejection letter just a week or more earlier, I would never have sent it out.

I can't clearly remember what I said; it was a jumble of words, barely coherent I'm sure. Needless to say, I partied like it was 1999 (okay, so not literally) and exclaimed my joy to everyone I knew. I soon got an agent and penned the deal. A year or so later, SINFUL SURRENDER was released and seeing it on Wal-Mart's book shelf had to be the second best publishing experience of my life. That was almost exactly a year ago, and now my second novel and the second book in The Elusive Lords trilogy, A TASTE OF DESIRE, releases January 4, 2011.

Comment below and you'll be entered to win a $15 Amazon Gift Certificate and a copy of both SINFUL SURRENDER and A TASTE OF DESIRE!

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She self publishes NA and contemporaries (and publishes with Berkley and Montlake) and spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com


  1. Jackie Barbosa
    Jan 03, 2011 @ 11:22:45

    I think I remember this day just as vividly as Bev does, because right after she hung up the phone with Hillary, she called me to tell me what had happened. She was elated and absolutely gobsmacked, and I was equally elated for her :). It was one of those “did this really just happen” moments.

    I’m so excited that A TASTE OF DESIRE is hitting the shelves tomorrow. I feel like I’ve been waiting forever to hold a copy in my hot little hands.

  2. Katrina
    Jan 03, 2011 @ 11:22:45

    I love serendipitous stories! What a great first sale story. I’m inspired (as I slog through rewrites so I can send my query off to agents).

    Thanks for sharing!

  3. Kim
    Jan 03, 2011 @ 11:23:04

    Bev – Congratulations on the new release. I’ve already spotted the book at Borders and at my local supermarket (Wegmans). I hope to read it soon.

  4. Stephanie M. Lorée
    Jan 03, 2011 @ 11:39:38

    That’s an amazing success story! Congratulations on your second book. It looks like a wonderful trilogy. (And there is nothing wrong with ambitions, so long as they are grounded with reality and dedication!)

  5. Tweets that mention My First Sale by Beverley Kendall | Dear Author --
    Jan 03, 2011 @ 11:39:53

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Jackie Barbosa, Kathy Meis and others. Kathy Meis said: RT @KatrinaLatham: Love the serendipity of this story! RT @dearauthor: NewPost: My First Sale by Beverley Kendall […]

  6. Carolyn
    Jan 03, 2011 @ 11:40:20

    Fate, luck – call it what you will, it still takes talent. Congratulations!

  7. Jennifer Uribe
    Jan 03, 2011 @ 11:40:46

    Such a great first sale story! I can’t wait to read your books!

  8. The Season Blog
    Jan 03, 2011 @ 11:50:54

    […] Dear Author – First Sale – Giving away a $15 Amazon GC and both A TASTE OF DESIRE and SINFUL […]

  9. Kendall Grace
    Jan 03, 2011 @ 11:55:22

    This is such a great first-sale story! Beverley is an auto-buy for me and I can’t wait to read “A Taste of Desire”.

  10. Rebecca
    Jan 03, 2011 @ 11:59:41

    Very Inspiring! Thank you for sharing

  11. Darcy Burke
    Jan 03, 2011 @ 12:17:40

    I did not know that story, Bev! What a great testament to perseverance and believing in yourself. Congrats on your newest release!!

  12. Erin L
    Jan 03, 2011 @ 12:19:59

    I would love to read your books. What a great story. If I dont win off to the book store I go.

  13. Jennifer L
    Jan 03, 2011 @ 12:24:48

    I love your first-sale story! Congrats on your new release!!!

  14. Stephanie M
    Jan 03, 2011 @ 12:27:38

    Congrats on the new release.

  15. Shae
    Jan 03, 2011 @ 12:41:41

    Wow. That is quite the story! I can’t imagine how I would react, but I assure you I wouldn’t be any more coherent! Congrats on your new book release tomorrow too. :)


  16. Brian
    Jan 03, 2011 @ 12:45:58

    Great story Beverley.

  17. runner10
    Jan 03, 2011 @ 12:45:59

    What a great story!! Congrats!!

  18. Robin K
    Jan 03, 2011 @ 12:56:36

    Congratulations! I wish you tons more success!

  19. Hannah
    Jan 03, 2011 @ 12:56:56

    Congrats on the new release–I’m looking forward to reading it!

  20. CrystalGB
    Jan 03, 2011 @ 12:58:13

    Hi Beverly. I love your first sale story. Congrats on the upcoming release of A Taste of Desire. Sounds great.

  21. ka
    Jan 03, 2011 @ 12:58:44

    Thanks, DA, for sharing Beverley’s story. She also gives back to the romannce community!

  22. Delilah Hunt
    Jan 03, 2011 @ 13:01:29

    Wow. I love first sale stories where at first it seems as if all hope is lost, then bam! There you have it a sale. Congrats on the new release. Wishing you much success.

  23. Susan Laura
    Jan 03, 2011 @ 13:09:29

    Congratulations! I am looking forward to reading your newest book. And I love your websites, too!

  24. Donna Cummings
    Jan 03, 2011 @ 13:11:26

    That is such a great story! I love how things work out the way they’re supposed to, even when we think otherwise. :) Congrats to you on your new release.

  25. Desere
    Jan 03, 2011 @ 13:18:12

    Hello Beverly

    This was a stunning first sale story , your work is stunning ! I adore your books and your websites are always so full of wonderful information !

    Congratz on your new release and thank you for sharing your first sale story with us !

    All the best

  26. Debbie Holbrook
    Jan 03, 2011 @ 13:34:49

    Ejoyed your blog. Just purchased the first book Sinful Surrender to read. Can tell that I am going to love it! Looking forward to getting A Taste of Desire.

  27. donnas
    Jan 03, 2011 @ 13:36:04

    Great story. Congrats! Heres to many many more.

  28. ms bookjunkie
    Jan 03, 2011 @ 14:04:37

    As they say, timing is everything. Great first sale story!

  29. jcp
    Jan 03, 2011 @ 14:09:44


  30. E.D. Walker
    Jan 03, 2011 @ 14:10:48

    Congrats on the release! :)

  31. Danielle Gorman
    Jan 03, 2011 @ 14:20:01

    Congrats on the release Beverley. I am loving this series and I am so glad that I saw Sinful Surrender at Walmart last year and picked it up. I really enjoyed A Taste of Desire and can’t wait to see what happens with Alex. Thanks for the giveaway.

  32. Mariska
    Jan 03, 2011 @ 14:34:52

    Congrats on your new release, Bev! I can’t wait to read A Taste of Desire :)

  33. cCarol L
    Jan 03, 2011 @ 15:04:26

  34. cyclops8
    Jan 03, 2011 @ 15:11:53

    Congrats on all your success and the new release, Beverley.

  35. chey
    Jan 03, 2011 @ 15:22:19

    Congrats on your new release!

  36. Jen X
    Jan 03, 2011 @ 15:45:30

    What a great first sale story. Congratulations!

  37. Shannon
    Jan 03, 2011 @ 15:48:07

    Congratulations! =)

  38. Kwana
    Jan 03, 2011 @ 16:00:33

    This was fun and inspiring. Thanks!

  39. Renda
    Jan 03, 2011 @ 16:15:04

    Timing is everything.

  40. JenM
    Jan 03, 2011 @ 16:24:00

    Score another one for following an impulse, even if it isn’t the logical thing to do. That’s a great story. Best wishes on the new release.

  41. donna ann
    Jan 03, 2011 @ 16:28:41

    congrats on the newest release. just shows you shouldn’t completely give up on what you believe yourself capable of :)

  42. Pam Keener
    Jan 03, 2011 @ 17:54:51

    That is an incredible story! Talk about timing & money well spent. Good luck on your newest release A Taste of Desire.
    Love & Hugs,

  43. Sandra Lynne
    Jan 03, 2011 @ 18:12:30

    Hi Bev,

    What a wonderful and happy story this is! Good thing you kept trying! I loved SINFUL SURRENDER and I’m looking forward to reading A TASTE OF DESIRE!

  44. Kristi
    Jan 03, 2011 @ 18:23:45

    What a great story! I haven’t read these two books yet and they sound simply awesome. Congrats though on your first sale and new book out next week!

  45. Jamie M
    Jan 03, 2011 @ 18:34:28

    What a great story! It just shows that you have to keep doing what you love! I’m so happy that A Taste of Desire is here! I can’t wait to read it.

  46. Aislinn Macnamara
    Jan 03, 2011 @ 18:58:32

    Congratulations on the release, Beverley. I loved your debut, and I’m looking forward to the new release.

  47. cheryl c.
    Jan 03, 2011 @ 19:11:12

    I really enjoy first sale stories! Congrats on your success with the first book, Beverley. I wish you lots of continuing success with the new release.

    BTW, I absolutely love your website and blog. :-)

  48. BRN
    Jan 03, 2011 @ 19:14:22

    Congratulations on your newest book. I’d love to read it.

  49. sue brandes
    Jan 03, 2011 @ 19:28:23

    Hi Bev. Love your first sale story. Congrats. Followed you over here.

  50. Rosie Nguy
    Jan 03, 2011 @ 20:22:57

    Wow Bev…that is quite an amazing story. It just goes to show that you should never give up because you never know what revised version/work the publishers will love and buy. Writers who are passionate like you should just keep doing what they love until they get their work out there to the masses.

  51. catslady
    Jan 03, 2011 @ 21:05:25

    Perserverance – I don’t think there would be many success stories without it! I really enjoyed Sinful Surrender and I know Tast of Desire is going to be a winner too!

  52. catslady
    Jan 03, 2011 @ 21:06:22

    Oh so sorry – TASTE

  53. Carly M.
    Jan 03, 2011 @ 21:27:36

    Whoa! It’s so encouraging when hard work pays off — and for it to do so when least expected is even better. Congrats!

  54. Little Lamb Lost
    Jan 03, 2011 @ 22:06:52

    Beverly, what a fabulous story. Congratulations of the new release.

  55. Nadia Lee
    Jan 03, 2011 @ 22:15:37

    That’s an awesome story. Congratulations!

  56. LilMissMolly
    Jan 03, 2011 @ 22:45:37

    Congrats on your new release. It sounds wonderful! I love The Season Blog too!

  57. Bev
    Jan 03, 2011 @ 22:46:10

    Thanks so much, everyone!!! I really appreciate your warm wishes. Believe me, I consider myself very fortunate. Just so happy the stars aligned like they did.


  58. Linda Henderson
    Jan 03, 2011 @ 23:40:41

    Congratulations on your new release. I can’t even imagine how thrilling it is to have a book published. Great cover.

  59. librarypat
    Jan 04, 2011 @ 00:41:09

    It is hard to think the time delay between submitting books and getting a call back would be so long. To have to wait so long to find that someone else loves your “baby” as much as you do has to be difficult. It is too bad a whole year has passed between release dates of your books. As a reader, it doesn’t seem that long. I enjoyed SINFUL SURRENDER and from what I have read of the excerpts am sure I’ll enjoy this one too.

    Beast of luck with the release of A TASTE OF DESIRE.

    librarypat AT comcast DOT net

  60. Maureen
    Jan 04, 2011 @ 05:46:23

    Congratulations on your new release! I am always amazed by the many authors who don’t give up on their dreams.

  61. snethet
    Jan 04, 2011 @ 06:30:18

    That’s a great story. Congrats and best of luck.

  62. Jodi
    Jan 04, 2011 @ 08:50:12

    Very inspiring! Congratulations and best of luck.

  63. PinkStuff28
    Jan 04, 2011 @ 09:17:28

    Congrats on your release !

  64. LSUReader
    Jan 04, 2011 @ 10:43:49

    Great story. Congratulations on your success; best wishes for much, much more.

  65. D.L.
    Jan 04, 2011 @ 12:17:38

    Congrats! I can’t wait to dive in and read it!

  66. Amy Holbrook
    Jan 04, 2011 @ 13:08:24

    Congrats on your new book!

  67. Bev
    Jan 04, 2011 @ 16:49:43

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