Monthly Archives: November 2010
You want to win Free books for a year?
* Twelve First Round winners – three winners every week in December ’til Christmas — will receive one free Changeling book of their choice.
* Six Finalists will receive two free Changeling books of their choice every week for the month of January.
Four Changeling winners will receive Free Books For A Year!
* Two First Prize winners will receive two free Changeling books of their choice every month for a year.
* Two Grand Prize winners will receive two free Changeling books of their choice every week for a year!
The best part — there are no codes and no entry forms — every $2.99 Sugarplum E-book purchased counts as a chance to win.
This year’s Sugarplum lineup:
Sugarplum: Canine Christmas by B.J. McCall
Birthday gifts come in all sorts of packages and Joy Kingston’s is a major surprise.
Sugarplum: Bitsy’s Christmas Demon by Cynthia Sax
Sex with a Christmas fairy tops this powerful demon’s wish list.
Sugarplum: Christmas Magic by Anne Kane
Tali hopes the Christmas Magic of the Sugarplum Ball is strong enough to get Jax into her bed.
Sugarplum: Mutts by Sarah Black
When puppies appear outside his door, everything Matt believed about Christmas changes…
Sugarplum: Just Wink by Bryl R. Tyne
“What haven’t I made clear? Desire. Ecstasy. Satisfaction. In that order!”
Sugarplum: Christmas in the Zone by Isabella Jordan
Two guys, two gals, and an aphrodisiac under the tree…
Sugarplum: Kitchen Witch by Dawn Montgomery
Sex, magic, and cookies… what a treat!
Sugarplum: Make the Yuletide Gay by Lena Austin
Beware the cowboy bearing gifts, who may make Dr. Gary Lord’s Yuletide much gayer than he’d planned.
What’s a great way to spend a night with your mate? Indulge and make his body your very own buffet.
Sugarplum: Blitzened by Elizabeth Jewell
Can a carton of eggnog and a bottle of rum kindle a dose of Christmas spirit between Nick and Ian?
Sugarplum: The Demon’s Christmas Present by Leona Grey
Even demons deserve a Christmas present…
Sugarplum: Yuletide Spirit by Jessica Coulter Smith
The last gift Jenna expected on Christmas was two lovers who make her explore her sexuality.
Sugarplum: Bound for Christmas by S. Michael
Jenny’s got the perfect present for her husband: a pretty boy toy, wrapped up with Christmas ribbon.
And now the fine print — only we made it bigger.
* First Round winners and Finalists are eligible to win more than one prize
* Winners will be chosen from purchasers of books in the Changeling Press Sugarplum Series; each Sugarplum e-book purchase made in the month of December 2010 before the final prizes are announced counts as an entry.
* Prizes are available as Changeling Press E-books, to be downloaded from ChangelingPress.com only.
* Free book download links do not accumulate, and will expire if not used.
* Winners will be announced December 31st at the Changeling New Year’s Eve Party, held on our Changeling Press Readers’ Loop.
Hope ya’ll had a great Thanksgiving.
Mine was wonderful. Today, we’re just hanging out, playing games with the kids and eating plenty of yummy leftovers.
See ya next week.
Calla Dragos here.
Most of you mortals tend to enjoy your holidays, sometimes a bit overzealously. That’s all right. So do dragons.
You see, we’re very family oriented and very protective of what and who we consider ours.
The food isn’t a problem — a few cows and a bit of breathing fire. Dinner’s served. (We can’t cook turkey very efficiently. They’re too small.)
But the joys of this American Holiday can be shared by anyone.
Because essentially, it all breaks down to one thing.
Spending time with each other.
So, to all you mortals — Happy Thanksgiving from the Dragos Clan.
Until next time ~ Calla
Today I’m guest blogging at Daryn Cross’s blog about Dragons and Romance.
Stop by and say Hi!
Any or all of the above is good all year long. But the closer we get to Thanksgiving, the more there seems to be around.
I love pumpkin pie. Pumpkin cheesecake rocks. But above all, I’m a chocolate freak.
This year, as my family’s traditional Pie Lady, I decided to combine all three loves.
I’m making a Chocolate Pumpkin Cheesecake in addition to Pecan, Fruit, Pumpkin, and Chocolate Mousse. I found the recipe online, but like everything else I cook, I changed it up to make it my own.
1 Graham Cracker Pie Shell (Bought or homemade)
12 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin
2/3 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
4 eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 cup half-and-half or 3/4 cup light cream
1 Tub Cool Whip
Prep Time: 25 mins
Total Time: 1 1/2 hrs
1 Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2 In medium mixing bowl combine cream cheese, 1/4 cup sugar and 1 egg; beat on low speed until smooth.
3 Spread cream cheese mixture in the crust.
4 Sprinkle with the chopped chocolate.
5 In a bowl combine pumpkin, brown sugar and spice.
6 Stir in 4 eggs.
7 Gradually stir in half and half.
8 Slowly pour pumpkin mixture onto the chocolate layer.
9 Bake 60-65 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean.
10 Refrigerate to cool
11 Add layer of Cool Whip
12 Top with more chopped chocolate
I’ll let you know how it turns out, since this first one is for home
What happens when you enter a contest? Well, today, most are electronic which cuts down on shipping costs. Still, a good portion require mailing. Postage adds up.
Then, there are the contest fees themselves. Too many, and they can add up so fast it’ll make your head spin.
This is one reason I advise checking out contests carefully. Make sure you’re getting something, a lot of something, for your money. Get feedback from multiple judges. Final round feedback from agents/editors.
And if you’re rich, ignore me.
The second pitfall which commonly occurs with contest entrants is the readiness of the manuscript. There are people, contest groupies, who focus on their first three chapters. They’re polished, shiny and awesome.
Then the final round call comes and they need to send in the rest of the manuscript.
The rest isn’t polished because it took so much time to get those first chapters into shape, and the rest of the story didn’t seem quite as important.
Most contests require the entire story be complete before entering the first pages. But, there’s no requirement the whole thing must be polished.
So, if you’re going to enter your first pages, don’t forget to edit and polish the rest of the story. It’s important too.
Another, much less common, pitfall I’ve seen is with the feedback.
On occasion, you’ll get a judge who is flat out spiteful. Maybe they were having a bad day (or a bad year). Maybe their spouse just left them. The agent rejected them. Maybe they woke up on the wrong side of the bed.
This can happen with both the first round, and the final round judges. Agent and editors are not immune to having a bad day.
Again, this is not very common, but it’s something to keep in mind.
With writing being so subjective, maybe the judge doesn’t like your character because he/she reminds them of the high school bully.
Your character is awesome, but this judge is never going to like your story.
So you miss out on the final round, because of the judge’s issues.
Fair? No. But it can be reality.
Luckily, the odds of you getting one is rare. Two? Astronomical. But it is possible.
You’re stuck out the money, poor feedback, and no win.
Still, I think contests are one of the great ways for writers to improve. The feedback you get is honest because they don’t know you, and thoughtful because they care.
Judges are volunteers with nothing to gain by doing this. They just want to help others succeed.
And on that note, I recommend that even if you get the judge with PMS, send a polite thank you for their time and feedback. It’s just a nice thing to do.
So, you’ve decided to enter some contests. You’ve polished your first pages/chapters until they shine. You’ve found contests that give feedback, with at least 3 judges, and final round is with editors and agents.
So now, what can you expect?
The feedback from first round judges is normally pretty useful. Sure, sometimes you’ll get the judge who was having a crappy day and took it out on your pages, but overall, it’s usually a great experience.
You got a critique from experienced people.
Now, you advance to the next round.
Congrats, you’re a finalist. One of the few.
You’ll probably get feedback from the agent/editor judges, though it won’t be very expansive. It’s still usually enough to see what a professional thinks of your work, and the area’s you need to improve.
This is invaluable.
BUT, keep in mind, as with everything in this industry, it is also subjective opinion.
Now you get the call. You won!
The agent and editor both want a full.
Are you ready?
This leads me to the con’s about contests and traps to avoid.
See you next time.
I’m Blogging today at The Romance Studio Blue
Stop by and say Hi
Comment to enter to win a prize.
I always see questions about contests around the net. Are they worth it? Do you get anything out of them? What are the drawbacks?
So, I thought I’d share my experience from both sides of the fence (entrant and judge)
First, my suggestions:
-Why are you entering? To win? To get feedback? To get in front of an Agent/Editor?
Know your answers to these questions before picking the contests to enter.
If you’re entering just to win, remember, tastes are subjective. There can only be one winner.
From the judge’s perspective, I try to look at each entry as its own, without comparing it to anything else (published, my own stuff, or the other entrants). Since the contest coordinators send a checklist, with points for very specific categories, it’s pretty easy.
Still, I can only state my opinion on the categories. Some is technical, some is craft, and some is concept.
Are you entering to get feedback?
Most contests offer feedback. Most judges are a mix between published and unpublished writers. This isn’t a bad thing. Your feedback will be different things each judge specifically thought to point out. It’s almost like a mini critique (although some can be more expansive).
Keep in mind, as with any critique, it is subjective opinion.
Also, I would suggest only entering contests who give each entry at least 3 judges. That way, you get more feedback, and there’s a tie breaker. If all three say something, you probably want to look at it. If only one of the three mention something, it could be spot on, but it might fall in the ‘opinion’ area.
Are you entering to get in front of an agent/editor?
Most contests have agents and/or editors as final round judges. This is great.
But for two things.
1, you have to get to the finals.
2, I’ve found, as a writer, agents and editors judging a contest are sometimes more critical than if you just query them. They’re looking specifically for everything wrong, rather than with a query, they’re hoping to find enough right to offer for it.