Romance, Historical, Contemporary, Paranormal, Young Adult, Book reviews, industry news, and commentary from a reader's point of view

Blog Regular Wins Writing Contest

2308.jpg

Gather.com has announced the winners of its First Chapters Romance Writing Competition (a contest sponsored by Simon & Schuster, Borders and Gather.com) and we are thrilled that the winner of the grand prize is a Dear Author regular. Meredith McGuire, a 28-year-old PhD University of Chicago student also known on Dear Author’s comment threads as “Emma,” has 1.jpgwon a publishing contract from Simon and Schuster and a $5000 advance.

Meredith’s historical romance, currently titled The Shadow’s Kiss, set in India during the Mutiny of 1857 and in England in 1860, and featuring an English heroine and a part-English, part-Indian hero, will be published by Pocket Books in the spring of 2008.

The runner-up in the contest, Starr Toth, a 56-year-old Michigan horse farmer, has also been awarded a publishing contract from Simon and Schuster, along with a $3500 advance. Starr’s contemporary romance, currently titled Trust Me will be published by Pocket Books in the fall of 2008.

Congratulations to both Starr and Meredith!

Janine Ballard loves well-paced, character-driven books. Examples include novels by Shana Abe, Loretta Chase, Patricia Gaffney, Cecilia Grant, Judith Ivory, Carolyn Jewel, Laura Kinsale, Julie Anne Long, Alison Richardson, Nalini Singh and Pam Rosenthal. Janine also writes fiction. Her critique partners are Sherry Thomas, Meredith Duran and Bettie Sharpe. Her erotic short story, "Kiss of Life", appears in the Berkley anthology AGONY/ECSTASY under the pen name Lily Daniels. You can email Janine at janineballard at gmail dot com. or find her on Twitter @janine_ballard.

29 Comments

  1. Janine
    Oct 30, 2007 @ 10:03:55

    Meredith is a good friend of mine, so I’m very excited for her.

    We’ve had more than one Emma posting here lately, so I hope that hasn’t been too confusing.

    ReplyReply

  2. Ann Aguirre
    Oct 30, 2007 @ 10:31:27

    I had a look at Meredith’s chapters, and they look very promising. Historicals that aren’t set in the UK are about all I’m interested in, these days. Congrats to both ladies!

    ReplyReply

  3. Charlene Teglia
    Oct 30, 2007 @ 10:55:25

    How terrific! Congrats to Meredith, and I will be looking forward to reading this one.

    ReplyReply

  4. Michelle
    Oct 30, 2007 @ 11:20:11

    Wonderful news and big congratulations to the winners.

    ReplyReply

  5. Meredith
    Oct 30, 2007 @ 11:21:17

    Thanks for the lovely comments! I have to say, it’s a pretty big thrill to see my face and name on Dear Author. That, more than anything, starts to make it feel real.

    ReplyReply

  6. Keishon
    Oct 30, 2007 @ 11:25:29

    Meredith's historical romance, currently titled The Shadow's Kiss, set in India during the Mutiny of 1857 and in England in 1860, and featuring an English heroine and a part-English, part-Indian hero, will be published by Pocket Books in the spring of 2008.

    Sounds good. Really good so I’ll have some high expectations as I do enjoy historical fiction and romances with an authentic feel to them. Janine, you’ll need to remind us when this book comes out. I’m sure you’ll be doing a review. Congrats Meridith and good luck.

    ReplyReply

  7. Sarah McCarty
    Oct 30, 2007 @ 11:28:22

    Congrats Meredith! *Tossing Confetti* I hope you’re celebrating hard!

    ReplyReply

  8. Bron
    Oct 30, 2007 @ 11:28:23

    Great news, and huge congratulations to Meredith and Starr.

    I read Meredith’s chapters, and I kept wishing there was more as I really enjoyed them. They keep coming back to my mind, too, which is unusual, so they definitely made and impact, and I’m looking forward to reading the published book!

    ReplyReply

  9. December Quinn/Stacia Kane
    Oct 30, 2007 @ 11:43:28

    Congratulations, Meredith!

    ReplyReply

  10. TeddyPig
    Oct 30, 2007 @ 12:05:50

    Congrats Meredith!

    Dang, talented and pretty.

    ReplyReply

  11. Angela James
    Oct 30, 2007 @ 12:09:37

    Oh, how very cool. Congratulations, Meredith/Emma!

    ReplyReply

  12. Julie
    Oct 30, 2007 @ 12:14:12

    Excellent! congratulations to you both!

    ReplyReply

  13. Jayne
    Oct 30, 2007 @ 12:15:20

    I look forward to reading both of them. Congratulations ladies.

    ReplyReply

  14. Shiloh Walker
    Oct 30, 2007 @ 12:32:58

    Well, how cool is that… congrats to both ladies!

    ReplyReply

  15. vanessa jaye
    Oct 30, 2007 @ 14:13:52

    Congratulations Meredith/Emma!

    ReplyReply

  16. Robin
    Oct 30, 2007 @ 14:15:55

    Brava, Meredith! I really look forward to reading the entire book and am so thrilled that some truly unusual historicals are on the horizon for the next year, yours included.

    ReplyReply

  17. Nalini Singh
    Oct 30, 2007 @ 14:23:13

    Congratulations, Meredith!

    ReplyReply

  18. Jaci Burton
    Oct 30, 2007 @ 14:29:19

    Oh how cool! Congrats Meredith/Emma and to Starr, too! :-)

    ReplyReply

  19. Marg
    Oct 30, 2007 @ 14:36:47

    Congratulations! The Shadow’s Kiss sounds like something that I would love to read.

    ReplyReply

  20. Carrie Lofty
    Oct 30, 2007 @ 17:05:27

    Congratulations, Meredith! We’d love to have you as a guest blogger over at Unusual Historicals, if you want to stop by and talk about your half-Indian hero. Love love love that something different won!

    ReplyReply

  21. Angela
    Oct 30, 2007 @ 17:09:53

    Yeah! I kept voting for Meredith because I love the setting.

    ReplyReply

  22. Rebecca Goings
    Oct 30, 2007 @ 18:59:41

    Congratulations, Meredith and Starr. I think it’s so awesome how S&S decided to publish the both of you. May this be the beginning of a long and lustrous career.

    I *love* unusual historicals, so I’ll definately be on the look out for this one. Congrats again. :)

    ~~Becka

    ReplyReply

  23. Ann Bruce
    Oct 30, 2007 @ 19:09:58

    Congrats! Here’s a to quitting the day job!

    ReplyReply

  24. Laura Florand
    Oct 30, 2007 @ 19:12:04

    That is fantastic! Congratulations!

    ReplyReply

  25. Shannon
    Oct 30, 2007 @ 20:38:17

    Congratulations!!!

    ReplyReply

  26. Meredith
    Oct 30, 2007 @ 21:56:15

    Congrats Meredith! *Tossing Confetti* I hope you're celebrating hard!

    Admission: my celebration was rather tame. I had a glass of wine with friends, then bought the new Anne Stuart and gave myself permission to do nothing but lie on the couch and read until I’d finished the book. Such are the perils of getting awesome news on a weeknight. ;)

    Congratulations, Meredith! We'd love to have you as a guest blogger over at Unusual Historicals, if you want to stop by and talk about your half-Indian hero.

    Thank you for the invite! I know that blog and I’d love to contribute. (I looked around your blog and I’m not sure how to contact you.)

    ReplyReply

  27. Janine
    Oct 31, 2007 @ 10:15:46

    Sounds good. Really good so I'll have some high expectations as I do enjoy historical fiction and romances with an authentic feel to them. Janine, you'll need to remind us when this book comes out. I'm sure you'll be doing a review. Congrats Meridith and good luck.

    Yes, it’s very likely that we’ll be doing a review here when the book comes out, since I can’t imagine not reading the book. However, if it’s me who reviews it, there will almost certainly also be a review from one of the other reviewers, since I am a friend of Meredith’s.

    Sherry Thomas is also a friend of mine and we’ll probably do the same thing when her book Private Arrangements comes out. I love her book so I want to share my enthusiasm with the world, but I’m conscious of the fact that as her friend, I may not be 100% unbiased. Though I know Jane also loves that book and she didn’t know Sherry from Adam when she read it. But regardless, if I review it, so will somebody else.

    ReplyReply

  28. Idetrorce
    Dec 15, 2007 @ 07:04:41

    very interesting, but I don’t agree with you
    Idetrorce

    ReplyReply

  29. janine
    Jan 11, 2008 @ 08:02:49

    Ideotroce, I was away when you posted your comment, but I do want to respond. What is it you don’t agree with?

    ReplyReply

Leave a Reply

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.

%d bloggers like this: