So, I've been keeping my eye on the New Voices site this morning to see the top ten announcement... And what a treasure of riches those top ten are.
But before I start waxing lyrical about the two fantastic chapters that Sally Williamson and I will be mentoring... And that I have to say I am excited out of my mind about!!
I'd like to say commiserations to those who entered and didn't place. It's always gutting investing all your hopes and dreams (not to mention your time and effort) in putting your stuff out there and not getting a mention - and given the stunning quality of some of the chapters that I read which didn't place I know just how high the standards were for this competition. Please don't feel discouraged, speaking as someone who has a fairly chequered history with competitions (ie, I never managed to win any either, folks!) in this case it really is the taking part that counts. You've got your stuff out there, you got some valueable feedback and hopefully some all-important pats on the back to help you keep going, and an editor has read it (and I suspect more than ten entries will have caught their eye). Maybe you didn't make the grade this time (and there will be all sorts of reasons for that quite apart from quality) but remember there's always a next time... And never loose sight of the fact that the end game here is to get published and keep getting published and simply entering a competition like this one is going to help you do that, no matter where you placed.
All right... So on to my entries, which once I saw them listed under Team Heidi I immediately ran off to read because I'd somehow managed to miss them both.
The Royal Marriage Rescue by Kara Jacobe is a heartbreakingly compelling tale of a couple in crisis. A couple who are deeply in love but are being emotionally torn apart by their inability to communicate their pain to one another. The hero Rafiq, a desert prince, is bound by duty, determined to remain strong through anything, leaving his wife Joselyn to cope alone when she needs him the most. Written in a richly evocative style with a stunningly original premise, this story takes a mega-glamorous fairytale setting and makes it rivettingly real. I can absolutely see why this entry caught the editors attention - and held it.
Thigh Noon by Kat Cantrell is a dazzlingly funny but also brilliantly conflict-driven tale of romance and revenge and thigh-shapers... Not necessarily in that order! Honestly this entry made me laugh out loud but at the same time managed to move me. No easy feat. And again the premise is fabulously fresh and original. Ambitious fledgling entrepeneur Alexia is the jilted ex-wife of suave, sexy and super sneaky CEO Jesse Hennessey. Jesse's put his name with hers on the patent of the Thigh Thing that she invented and now she wants it back - and absolutely nothing more to do with the ex who discarded her - but Jesse's going to make her jump through some serious emotional hoops to get what she wants! The dialogue in particular in this story is so smart, sassy, sexy and quick fire it's liable to give you whiplash... The hero oozes sex appeal and the heroine's someone I want to be!
I haven't had a chance to read the other mentor teams entries, but I'm sure I've got the cream of the crop. Woohoo!! Surely there cannot be any entries better than these two.
Cannot wait to read the second chapters!!