Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The Big Day has arrived! Moonlit Encounters is now live!

This has been a  long time in the making, but we are proud to announce that MOONLIT ENCOUNTERS is finally released.  My story "Sun Woman meets Moon Man" is a cute contemporary romance.  I love Sam and Melanie :-)

Whoo hoo!

Here are the details: 

Title and author:  Moonlit Encounters by Various Authors (Jennifer Brassel, Kitty Bucholtz, Shannon Curtis, Coleen Kwan, Maggie Mitchell (me), Shannon Peters, Paula Roe and Deborah Tait)
Publication date: 20 Dec 2012
Publisher: TWC Press
Format: eBook (all formats)
Words: 97,444 

A diverse collection of short romantic fiction from eight different authors, from different genres, for all readers.
A Victorian woman must chose between family loyalty and a chance at love...
With a little help from a sexy neighbour, a nurse must find strength in vulnerability...
A medieval warrior struggles with his duty when a healer captivates him...
Convincing a cynical workaholic to take time to smell the roses is more challenging than this talented empath could imagine...
A curious voyeur discovers getting involved can be dangerous...
Her family's happiness is at risk unless this widow puts her trust in a stranger...
An independent ranger learns that wolves come in all guises, and secrets can be deadly...
Jilted in a foreign country, a woman struggles with trust and a second chance at happiness...

Here are our links: 




Go check it out!  For a limited time it's only 99 cents!  A bargain for such a long book!

Friday, November 2, 2012

I'm excited! Are you?

Just a quick note to let you know the sekrit writing project story will be released soon!

My story is a contemporary romance featuring a girl who's given up on men, and her hot neighbour who wants to change her mind. When they are locked on the roof for the night she has to face her fear of heights as well as relationships, but her neighbour knows just how to distract her.

The anthology features eight stories by eight authors (including yours truly) and will be published by TWC.  If you head over to Facebook and like our page, that would be fantastic! Don't forget to add the page to your interests list as well - that way you can see our posts!

Here's the link:

Don't you just love the logo?

Watch this space! I'll post a teaser very soon :-)

Monday, September 24, 2012

Versatile BLOGGER awards

Mohadoha nominated me for the Versatile Blogger award. How cool is that?

To accept, I state seven random facts about myself and tag fifteen other bloggers. A great way to get to know more about me and for you to meet other bloggers I’m a big fan of.

Here goes:

1. I was once a contestant on "It's Academic", which is a quiz show for schools. My team won through two rounds, but we lost the final, darn it!
2. Even though reading has always been my passion, when I was at school, English was my worst subject!
3. I've lived in 3 different states of Australia
4. I'm completely in love with the movie "Moonstruck"
5. When I was pregnant I had a craving for sauerkraut. (Ew...)
6. I can't roll my tongue (apparently it's genetic LOL)
7. But I can do the "Live long and prosper" Vulcan sign!

And the fifteen bloggers I'm nominating:

So what 7 things don't we know about you? Don't forget to check out everyone else's blogs!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

My week in writing...19 Aug 2012

Hi folks

I'm checking in to let you know how my week went, but also to keep myself on track. I'd love it if you're a writer and leave your progress in the comments, but if you don't want to do that, that's okay too.

It's been a tough week watching all my friends trot off to the Romance Writers of Australia conference on the beautiful Gold Coast.  My writers group buddies Paula Roe, Shannon Curtis and Keziah Hill sent me lots of tweets about what was happening, but it was so hard! I was missing out!   But I'm going to get to the next one for sure. It's in Fremantle in Western Australia next August and I've already put the dates in the diary. I'm planning my trip already :-)

And what would top off next year's conference for me? Why a few book sales for this version of me of course! So that's why I spent the weekend with a concerted effort to get the writing back on track.

I have a story finished that I'm doing some heavy duty editing on. It won an Honorable Mention a few years ago in the Stroke of Midnight contest with the RWA Passionate Ink group, but I haven't sold it yet. I decided it still needed some work and that's what I've been doing this weekend. I am about half way through and I hope to have it ready for a beta read by the end of this coming week. So fingers crossed for me that it happens :-) After that, a few more fine tunes and I'll be submitting it. Whoo hoo!

The other project I worked on this week was a story for my other persona. I added about 2k words so that's not so shabby. I hope to finish this one asap as my publisher would love it!

Did I tell you that I subbed a romantic suspense novel of mine?? Go ME!   Now the nail biting wait continues.  I've been good - no obsessive checking of emails :-) We'll see.

So that's how I went. How did you go?

Saturday, August 4, 2012

My weekend in writing...

Happy weekend folks. I hope you're getting to all those jobs you want to achieve this weekend. I know I'm doing pretty well myself so far, so fingers crossed the momentum continues.

Goals for this weekend:
1. Finish editing short story for TWC anthology - check!
2. Finish revising RS and submit to publisher - check!
3. Work on novella for my other persona - not yet but hopeful!

I suppose I should tell you a little bit about numbers 1 & 2 :-)

The short story is for an anthology with my writers group - we're forming a co-operative to publish our own work. There are 9 of us, and several are published already, so we're all helping out with content editing, line editing and formatting. It's almost ready to go so watch this space!  My story is a contemporary romance and it's set in Sydney. That's all I can tell you for now. You'll have to be patient :-)

The romantic suspense is a novel I wrote some time back, had it published briefly with a now defunct publisher, so I revised it and updated it and I've sent it off to a new publisher. Hopefully they'll like the partial and ask for the full - but geez Louise it's so long since I sent in a submission to a new publisher, I am so nervous!  I'm trying hard not to second guess what they will say, plus making sure I don't re read what I wrote because there's nothing I can do to change it now!  Talk about scary!

So that's my weekend in writing - how's yours going?

Sunday, July 29, 2012

CRAFT: Increase the Intensity


One sure fire way to keep the intensity of the romance balanced with the suspense is to have the characters together as often as possible. In some cases you will find them together all the way through the book. This forces the protagonists to grow together emotionally. They need to build a relationship of trust for each other while at the same time battling the bad guys.

The suspense plot itself can create a rollercoaster ride of emotions as events occur and the characters are placed in such danger or action that it makes our hearts pound in fear and worry. Will they survive? How do they get out of this seemingly impossible situation?

You can go about this a few ways. First you can keep your reader guessing as much as your characters. When something happens, they are as surprised as the characters involved. This works well in a number of situations.

Another way is to have the reader know the facts while the characters have no idea. The reader knows that a villain is watching and waiting for the heroine to arrive home late at night. The heroine has no idea and goes happily along,
following her normal routine while the readers are on the edge of their seats worried about the heroine and what is going to happen to her. They might even shout at her to run while she still has the chance. 

This emotional involvement of the reader enhances their enjoyment, and when the main characters eventually get together there is more satisfaction due to this higher degree of caring for the welfare of the characters.

After a suspenseful event, there is an affirmation of life as the characters and the readers rejoice in another escape from danger.

So now you have some ideas to work with…

Creating romantic suspense can be a very rewarding experience. Getting the balance between the romance and the suspense is a simple process if you remember that there are no hard and fast rules. The characters have a need for each other that is enhanced by the danger of the suspense, and the thrill of being together through the experience. This is what makes for satisfying reading and is why we continue to come back for more.

Thank you for dropping by and reading my seven part series on Writing Romantic Suspense.  I'll be sharing more craft at a later date. In the mean time stick around and share my writing journey with me. I'd love to have you :-)

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

CRAFT: Make the conflict strong!

Writing romantic suspense: Part 6

Make the Conflict Strong

Robert McKee says that nothing moves forward in a story except through conflict. Not only is conflict a necessary part of the story, but both the internal and external conflict must be strong enough to last until the end of the story. Conflict adds excitement and suspense to a story. In romance fiction, there has to be valid reasons to keep the main characters from forming a lasting relationship until the end of the book. 

Internal conflict is a struggle that takes place in a character's mind. For example, a character may have to decide between right and wrong or between two solutions to a problem. Sometimes, a character must deal with his or her own mixed feelings or emotions.  It can be as simple as a need for independence or as complex as some deep-seated fear from childhood. 

In allowing the reader to have knowledge and understanding of this emotional baggage or internal conflict, you also give the characters room to evolve and grow. As the story progresses, the internal conflicts assume less importance as the characters learn to trust each other and gain in maturity. If done well, this process of character growth enhances the romance plot and can provide the resolution the reader is waiting for.

The external conflict is the circumstances that keeps the characters apart. In suspense, this is often the obstacle of the situation. For example a crazed killer may be stalking the heroine and she is in constant danger. The hero and heroine are working undercover thus preventing them from being together at least until the case is resolved.

Some common examples of conflict in an romantic suspense...

Internal Conflict (character against self)

The heroine has a deep fear of clowns, but finds herself hiding in a circus community. She needs to overcome this fear to help solve the mystery and save her life.

External Conflict (character against character/s, or character against nature, or character against circumstance)

Just when the hero and heroine begin to feel something for each other, the villain captures the hero and threatens his life. The heroine must outwit the enemy, even though she's never held a gun before in her life, and there is no one she can trust.


Write down an example of an internal and an external conflict?

You can use characters you have already created, or new characters

Saturday, July 14, 2012

CRAFT: Show attraction

Writing Romantic Suspense Part 5

So...let's recap...
We've thought about what sort of book we want to write.
We've started with some memorable characters.
We have a villain we love to hate.
An emotional connection has been established between the heroine and the hero.
What's the next important ingredient needed to balance that romance with the suspense?
Of course you can't have a romance unless you...

Show Attraction
Attraction for each other, often despite antagonism, is mandatory to any romance and the romantic suspense is no exception. This begins with a physical awareness between the heroine and the hero, that heart pounding, blush inducing chemical reaction that happens when you see someone who floats your boat. Think Brad Pitt or Gerard Butler. My pulse rises just picturing their faces in my head.

This is the reaction you need to show between your characters. Notice I said show…not tell. Where is the impact if you tell us that he thinks she’s hot, or she finds herself strangely attracted to him? You have to show why and you use the five senses to convey this. What does he/she look like? Does he or she have a distinctive scent? What perfume/aftershave can be smelt? How does their skin feel? What characteristics does his/her voice have? Do they have distinctive speech patterns? What do they taste when kissed?

You should keep the attraction thing going even when they are not together. They should be constantly thinking of each other and remember little things about their last encounter. He relives the feel of her silken skin. She sighs as she remembers the power of his kiss.

Never forget that you must continue that emotional connection I mentioned earlier, as well as increasing the physical attraction. Without the characters beginning to care for each other the attraction becomes meaningless. Her looks might strike a cord with him as he remembers a lost love. He makes her feel protected and safe in the midst of all the chaos. However it happens, it’s something that evolves as the characters spend more time together and are drawn further into the intrigue or suspense of the circumstances they find themselves in.


Write a paragraph showing how you can weave attraction into a scene while still showing the story

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

CRAFT: Estabilishing an emotional connection

Writing Romantic Suspense: Part 4

Establishing an emotional connection

Now you’ve got your characters sorted out they have to meet. To ensure the romance plot starts you have to produce an emotional connection between the two protagonists. I t could be something as simple as bumping into each other and apologizing, or it could be a case of annoyance or even anger that one of them is in the wrong place at the wrong time. Without planting this first emotional reaction between them early on in the story, it’s so much more difficult to establish a believable romance further down the track.

The suspense plot itself is often the reason for the first meeting and this can certainly be a brilliant opportunity for the hero and heroine to begin a relationship on some level.

Here is an excerpt from the brilliant Bronwyn Parry's latest release DEAD HEAT

About the book:

National Parks Ranger Jo Lockwood is often alone in the wilderness, and she likes it that way – until she discovers the body of a man, brutally murdered.

Detective Nick Matheson’s new posting to the north-west of New South Wales is supposed to be an uneventful return to normal duties and a normal life. He knows organised crime from the inside out and suspects that the victim in the camping ground is not an isolated murder.

Jo is committed to helping the investigation but she has seen the killer’s face and now she’s at risk. Nick’s determined to protect her but as the body count starts mounting, his past and present collide, threatening the people he cares about most.

Trapped in rugged country in scorching summer heat, pursued by hunters who can’t afford to fail, Nick and Jo will need to trust each other completely, and use all their skills and knowledge in order to survive.


The first meeting between the protaganists: Jo has found the body, and Nick has arrived at the scene and started his investigation:

     He couldn’t learn much more from the victim until after the crime-scene officers arrived, so he would have to start with the nearest thing he had to a witness.
     ‘The National Parks officer who found him – do you know her?’ he asked.
     ‘Jo? She’s a newcomer to Goodabri. Setting up things for the new park. She’s the quiet type, doesn’t socialise much. Seems to work hard enough though.’
     Nick had taken a detour through Goodabri on his way to Strathnairn on Sunday, scoping a fraction of the large region covered by the police command. The town was thirty kilometres off the main road and consisted of fifty or so scattered houses, a police cottage, a small primary school, a row of empty shop buildings in the main street and a run-down pub. Not a thriving community, and presumably reliant on the larger Strathnairn, seventy kilometres away.
     A woman who kept to herself in a small community . . . He mentally filed that piece of information. Jo Lockwood turned as he walked towards her across the grass, assessing him in the
same kind of way he instinctively assessed her during those few moments.
     She’s the quiet type . . . Her emotions tightly leashed behind her pale face and closed expression, she shook his hand with a firm grasp when he introduced himself, and the constable’s
description underwent a swift revision in Nick’s mind. Quiet perhaps, but from reserve, not shyness.
     The calloused hand briefly in his, her lean, fit frame and her lightly tanned skin confirmed the ‘seems to work hard’ part of Harrison’s description.

     Despite her control, the haunting determination in her hazel eyes held his attention. Shock, yes – she still fought to keep it from overwhelming her. But she knew she could. He’d seen that same determination in the eyes of too many colleagues over the years – people who’d seen incomprehensible death, and survived it.
     He guessed she’d be in her early thirties, but those eyes were older. No makeup, no artifice, nothing pretty in her face, only a stunning, stark beauty he found compelling.
     Her colleague stepped forward and extended his hand. ‘I’m Malcolm Stewart, senior ranger for the Strathnairn National Parks division. Do you really need to interview Jo now? She’s had a tough morning.’
     Before Nick could answer, Jo threw her boss a glance that mixed affection with slight exasperation. ‘I don’t need mollycoddling, Mal. The sooner we get this done, the sooner we can all get on with our jobs. I presume you’ll want this part of the park closed, at least for today, Detective?’
     ‘Yes. Perhaps you could liaise with the uniformed police, Mr Stewart, while I ask Ms Lockwood a few questions?’
     ‘It’s Doctor Lockwood,’ Stewart corrected him. ‘Doctor Joanna Lockwood. She has a PhD.’
     With a gentle hand on Stewart’s arm, Jo said, ‘It’s just a piece of paper, Mal. The title is irrelevant.’
     Irrelevant? Not in Nick’s estimation. He added intelligence and perseverance to his impressions of capability and control. For all the cool calmness of her manner, the late morning was already hot, and she’d been standing around waiting for a couple of hours. Nick dragged his gaze away from a trickle of sweat running down her neck and disappearing below her open collar.
     ‘Can we find somewhere in the shade to talk?’ he asked her.
     She nodded. ‘There’s a table down by the river. I don’t think we’d be disturbing any evidence there.’
     She slung a small backpack over her shoulder and led the way, skirting around the edge of the camping ground, along a thick line of trees and rough undergrowth that obscured the
river from view. He could hear it – water running over rocks –but only caught glimpses now and then. So he looked, instead, at the open area of the camping ground. He would go over it closely later, but for now he concentrated on getting the general layout, the context in which the crimes had occurred. Even from this distance, the damage was obvious.
     ‘They sure made a mess. I don’t suppose you collect names,
addresses or car registrations from visitors?’
     ‘Names and postcodes sometimes – when they fill in a form. But that’s hit and miss.’ She turned on to a path through a break in the trees, into a clearing beside the water’s edge. ‘However,
I can tell you that there were at least two vehicles here. And two dogs.’
     Hope sparked in him. ‘You saw them?’
     ‘No. I was only here yesterday morning, and it was after that. The tyre tracks are there, though, and dog tracks and faeces beside where they were parked.’ She rested her backpack on the
wooden picnic table and drew out a camera. ‘I have photos. I was compiling evidence for a long list of offences – criminal damage, bringing dogs and chainsaws into a National Park, lighting a campfire during a total fire ban – but I guess . . .’
     She sat down abruptly on the bench seat, her bitter, somewhat shaky laugh a small crack in her control. ‘Murder pretty much trumps all of those.’
     ‘It would. If the people who did the vandalism committed the murder.’ Avoiding a lump of bird shit on the seat, he sat opposite her, taking the camera she offered and flicking through the images while keeping half his attention on her. It was incongruous, sitting in such a cool, restful spot under the trees, the river winding its way over rocks less than ten metres away, when thirty metres behind him havoc had reigned in the night. She stared at the table, circling a knot in the timber with
her fingertip. Short, unpainted fingernails, he noticed. And tanned wrists and hands that, although small, were corded with lean muscle.
     After a few moments of silence, she looked up at him and said,
     ‘If it wasn’t them, then the timing would have had to be close.’
     ‘Why do you say that?’
     ‘When I arrived this morning, the dog faeces were still moist. Only a few hours old. And the . . .’ she steadied her voice and continued, ‘the victim – there was no sign of rigor. And few insects.’
     She had all his attention now. He considered her argument,and explored possible holes in it. ‘The dogs might belong to the murderer.’
     ‘The vehicle the dogs were tied up beside is the same onethat rammed down the information board. There’s a distinctive tyre track.’
     ‘You’re very observant.’
     ‘I’m a scientist.’

DEAD HEAT by Bronwyn Parry
Published in Australia and New Zealand in 2012
by Hachette Australia
(an imprint of Hachette Australia Pty Limited)
Level 17, 207 Kent Street, Sydney NSW 2000
10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
Copyright © Bronwyn Parry 2012

Buy the book:
 Nick and Joanna have made a definite emotional connection here. He sizes up both her intelligence, and her personality, while she tries to maintain her composure and not give away much of how finding a body has affected her. She is also keen to show him she's a professional and not a simpering female.

What do you see here? What emotional connection do you find?

BTW- It's a fantastic book and I highly recommend it!


Think about your own stories. In your mind, or in your notebook - or even here - describe (in a few lines) briefly your hero and heroines first meeting. What emotional connection have they made? What emotions are involved?

Saturday, July 7, 2012

CRAFT: Creating a villain you love to hate

Writing Romantic Suspense: Part 3

Creating a villain you love to hate

Unlike a straight romance, where the main focus is the heroine and the hero, in romantic suspense the antagonist takes on greater importance. The plot often revolves around what the villain has done or is planning to do. Without him/her/them, there is no suspense. That element of evil is what makes for a successful villainous character but we also have to understand his or her motivation for the character to meld with the story.

This pseudo-sympathetic villain is often the one we feel sorry for because we see how easily the human mind can be corrupted by circumstances. This is also the character that is so charismatic, they can make being evil appear seductive.

For example, think of the Phantom from Phantom of the Opera. Even though he was a villain and definitely up to no good, readers around the world relate to him because they understand his conflict and motivation. Another favourite example is Dracula. Who isn't seduced by his hypnotic eyes and the spell he casts on his victims? You can see similar character traits in some redeemed heroes who started out as villains. I know I love Kresley Cole's Lothaire and for many of her books he was a vicious villain.

The other type of villain is the one who has absolutely no discernible redeeming features. This character is pure evil and as such adds considerably to the chilling plot line. We want to toss him in jail and throw away the key.

We want him dead!

In the context of the story only of course. This increases the tension of the story and the danger to both main characters, immediately upping the stakes and intensifying the romantic elements.


Think about a villain who you loved to who made an impression...why do you feel this way?

It could be one who creeped you out, or one you felt sorry for...or you were appalled
by...enquiring minds want to know!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

CRAFT: Make your characters memorable

Writing Romantic Suspense Part 2

Steps to Balancing the Romance with the Suspense

So now you have an idea as to how much romance you want to include in the suspense plot. What next?

It’s really important that both plot lines run not only parallel, but are entwined or integrated. To make the romantic suspense real to the reader the story cannot possibly work with just the romance, or just the suspense plot. They are both symbiotic parts of the story and cannot exist without each other.

This is the tricky bit and unfortunately it’s where a number of writers come unstuck. The flames of the romance need to be fanned to different heights throughout the story, but what is the best way to do this?

1. Make your Characters Memorable

The first step is creating the characters that will work well in a both a romance and a suspense. The hero should be someone who is larger, or more handsome, or more conflicted, or more silver-tongued, or more MORE…than the average Joe. He doesn’t need to be some huge heroic superhero, but he does need to grab you from the first glimpse. He’s the guy who’s got an axe to grind, or has more success with women than most. He’s the one with the killer smile and the sexy body like none you’ve ever seen before. He’s the millionaire because he’s worked his butt off all his life, or the rebel who’s great at his job but never gets promoted because he has such a bad attitude. He could even be the biggest nerd, but has an IQ off the scale. You get the picture.

Your heroine needs to be strong enough to deal with the circumstances thrown at her in the story however, she also should be someone your readers can relate to. She is the woman they identify with. She looks like them, or how they want to look, she has a similar job, circumstances, personality traits, opportunities, or they want to be like her. They want to be her. The hero is the fantasy, but the heroine could be you!

If the reader gets involved emotionally with the character, then the story will involve them to the point that they won’t want to put it down.


Write a short character chart for both your hero and your heroine, say 5 or 6 lines on each, if that is all you can think of right now.

Although it's good to put in the physical traits, I want you to spend some time thinking what personality traits they have.

A good trick I use it to first visualize where they live...what sort of dwelling? House? Apartment? House boat? Hut?

Once you know where they live...close your eyes and put them there. What sort of furniture do they have? What books are on their shelves? Is the place tidy or messy? Are there photographs ? Who are they of? Is there music playing? What style?

What is their mood? Are they happy? Sad? Angry? Irritated? Hopeful? Lonely? Cynical?

What is their family like? Who are their friends? Where do they work?

I'm a visual learner so I find this method extremely useful in getting to know my
characters....I hope you do too...

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

CRAFT: Writing Romantic Suspense - Part 1


Firstly, just a little about myself. I have several books published under a different name, but since this genre and heat level is different I am working as Maggie Mitchell.

My new genre is contemporary romantic suspense (well, actually old, since this is what I started writing and was always my first love).

So to start off I thought I would talk about my thoughts on writing romantic suspense. I'll be posting a few posts on the same theme so I hope you find them useful.  I'd love to hear your thoughts too - do you agree with me? Do you have anything to add?

What is the attraction of the romantic suspense plot?

For me, it’s the heart stopping suspense, the thrill of the chase, and nonstop
action that heightens the emotion and intensifies the romance. Knowing that the characters not only have to solve the mystery and conquer the evil villain or villains, they also learn trust and in the process deal with the best and the worst in each other. This is one of the main attractions of the suspense story for me. Whatever the plot device, be it women in jeopardy, murder, stalkers,
terrorists, spy thrillers, how can the heroine and hero not fall for each other in these intense and emotional circumstances?

How much is the right mix of romance and suspense?

Authors such as Nora Roberts, Nina Bruhns, Iris Johansen, Cindy Gerard, Shannon McKenna, Suzanne Brockmann, Debra Webb, Julie Miller and Heather Graham continue to write huge best sellers. Then there are the Aussie Rom Suspense authors - Bronwyn Parry, Helene Young, Sandy Curtis, Shannon Curtis and many more. These authors and all those others who write romantic suspense have such diverse styles it’s difficult to even attempt to define the genre. The popularity of romantic suspense continues to grow, but for some writers this sub genre of romance fiction continues to be one of the most difficult to write successfully.

The problem lies in the balance between the romance and the suspense. How much of each is needed? Should there be two separate or one integrated plot? The short answer is that it all depends what type of story you want to write, and which publisher you are targeting. In the category market, some publishers ask for a 50/50 split of romance with suspense or a 60/40 split with more of an emphasis on the emotional growth of the characters. If your book doesn’t fit into these moulds they won’t publish it. This may sound unfair, but in category fiction it’s all about reader expectation. In most cases the reader is buying the series, not the author, so the guidelines need to be very clear.

Mainstream single title romantic suspense on the other hand varies from author to author. If you are writing a single title romantic suspense novel you have more flexibility with the balance of romance and suspense in your story. Shannon McKenna integrates powerful emotional and sexual relationships within her suspense plots, while for Tami Hoag the suspense or thriller plot is

the main focus. That doesn’t mean the romance is secondary. Character development and relationship building are integral parts of all romantic suspense novels and add to the suspense/thriller plot and the spine tingling tension that enhances the story.

Marketing of your book can play a part in your decision as well. Depending on your own particular blend of romance and suspense, you may well find your book placed on the crime shelves in the local bookshop as well as the romance section. This can increase sales exposure of your books. Many authors and publishers do this deliberately.

At the end of the day, you have to write the book you want to write. I believe that instinct plays a huge part in how you decide to distribute the suspense with the romantic or emotional plot line. Nora Roberts says you “just know” what is right for your story. I’m not sure that it comes as naturally as Ms. Roberts would have us think, but believing in your characters and your story goes a long way to making it the best darn story you can write.


• Think about what sort of book you want to write.
• Are you targeting a particular publisher?
• How much romance/suspense do you think your book requires?

Publisher submission guidelines:
Harlequin Guidelines (Intrigue and Suspense)
Carina Press
Entangled Publishing (Dead Sexy)
The Writers Marketplace 
Penguin Australia