Happy thoughts on a dreary Monday

Things have been a blur since I returned from the NJ Romance Writers conference a couple weeks ago, which was hands down, the best one to date! Of course, that may have to do with my getting involved with the conference and co-chairing the published authors contest. It’s also due to the many wonderful friends I’ve met. This year, not only did I get the pleasure of handing out several awards to fabulously talented published authors, but I also got to cheer on three of my blog partners who were finalists in the unpublished writers contest. These fabulous ladies, Michele Mannon, Joanna Shupe, and Jenna Blue are talented ladies. Remember their names, because I expect to see their names in print soon!

I returned from the conference to learn my second story, Love’s Second Chance, won first place in the Indiana Golden Opportunity Contest with a request to see the full manuscript by the judging editor! Needless to say I’m completely thrilled. This is LSC’s second win in a contest this year.

Over the next few months, I’ll be sharing some of my memories from the NJRW conference, but in the meantime, here are a few pictures.

The Violet Femmes: Jenna Blue, Maria K. Alexander, Joanna Shupe, Michele Mannon, Jaye Marie Rome

Michele Mannon & Maria K. Alexander

Maria K. Alexander & Joanna Shupe

Maria K. Alexander & Diana Quincy

For everyone on the east coast who’s dealing with Hurricane Sandy, please be safe!!!

Hugs,

Maria

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Fall Into A New Season…And Love

Although there are still several days  left of summer, it’s starting to feel like fall. The air is brisk in the evening and early morning. I find myself reaching for that extra blanket when I wake up in the morning, after having left my windows open. I love the change in seasons and Fall is one of my favorites. There’s something about the changing color of the leaves that makes me feel good. I look forward to picking apples and pumpkins with my kids and going to fall festivals. How about you?

With Fall comes NJ Romance Writer’s annual Put Your Heart In A Book Conference. It’s two days of workshops, pitching, networking, and good times. For a second year, I’ve co-chaired NJRW’s Golden Leaf contest for published authors. I’ll get the pleasure of sharing the stage with my co-chairs and category coordinators and announcing the finalists and winners. You have until 9/30 to register for the conference if you haven’t done so.

In other news, I’m thrilled to announce that Love’s Second Chance finaled in the Indiana Golden Opportunity Contest. I won’t  find out my results until the end of October, but keeping my fingers (and toes) crossed.

As you hopefully know, I blog monthly with The Violet Femmes. Our blog stemmed from a wine tasting held in my room at last year’s NJRW conference. The idea of a blog started and within a few weeks, we were up and running. As we near our one-year anniversary, we’ll have some exciting announcements, including a new contest. Stay tuned for more.

In the meantime, I’m blogging this week with the Femmes on preparing for a conference. Stop by http://thevioletfemmes.com and comment.

Maria

Contest Win!!

I’m thrilled to announce my second manuscript, Love’s Second Chance, won FIRST PLACE for Single Title Contemporary in the Write Stuff contest. I was thrilled to attend the conference and get the news in person. Many thanks the Connecticut Chapter for running the contest and for my fabulous critique partners, Joanna Shupe, Jenna Blue, Michele Mannon, and Jaye Marie Rome for their encouragement and never-ending support.

I’m blogging about my win and the conference on The Violet Femmes blog this week at http://thevioletfemmes.wordpress.com. Check it out and comment and chance to win 2 books from authors at the conference.

I’ll leave you today with the opening paragraph from Love’s Second Chance.

Kate DiFrancesco knocked back a shot of Sambuca and tossed another into her cappuccino. She hated being the last to know—especially when it concerned her family. Lately, it seemed as though they didn’t tell her anything. She might have moved from Northeast Philadelphia to New York City, but she was still a member of this goddamn family. She closed her eyes and swallowed the fiery liquor, fighting to contain the anger flowing through her veins over the bomb her family had just dropped.

Snippet from “Love’s Second Chance”

Good morning! It’s a rainy and dreary Monday in NJ today, so I thought I’d attempt to brighten your day by posting a snippet of my second manuscript, Love’s Second Chance. This book finaled in the Write Stuff Contest, and while this snippet isn’t part of the entry, I think it shows some fun sexual tension between my hero and heroine. Hope you enjoy!

Also, I’m blogging this week with The Violet Femmes on Writing Contests. Stop by http://thevioletfemmes.wordpress.com and comment for a chance to win a $20 Barnes & Noble Gift Card.


Excerpt from “Love’s Second Chance”

Before Edward could follow her father into the main restaurant area, Kate put a hand on his forearm.

“Are you sure you’re okay with this?”

“With helping you?”

“Yes. I don’t want you to read more into it than it is. I haven’t changed my mind about getting involved with you.”

He studied her face before lingering on her lips. Kate felt her nipples contract. He took a step closer to her and leaned down. For a moment she thought he was going to kiss her, and dammit if she didn’t want him to.

“I believe you’ve made your position crystal clear, luv. I can’t force you to feel an attraction you obviously don’t.” His gaze moved down to her breasts, which, despite her sweater, surely displayed her aroused state. With a crooked grin and a wink, he stepped aside and left her alone in the entranceway.

Kate blew out the breath she’d been holding. Damn if this wasn’t going to be a challenge.

Contest Finalist!

I may not have won the Mega Million, but I got some news that made me feel pretty darn happy. Last Friday afternoon, after finishing a round frustrating conference calls for the day job, my iPhone dinged with a new email. I checked it and was surprised and beyond thrilled to learn my second book, Love’s Second Chance, is a finalist in the Write Stuff Contest, held by the Connecticut Chapter of RWA.

It took me about three times reading the email before the reality really sunk in. Wow! I FINALED!! My FIRST final. YIPEE!! I told my husband and then proceeded to tell my critique partners, family, and friends. I was so excited, my heart pounded and my hands shook.

I’ll find out if my entry won at their conference on May 12th. I signed up for the conference the next day, which I was contemplating attended regardless of the final. And a couple of my CPs are coming with me, which will be a blast. Look out Connecticut, the Femmes are coming!