Archive | June 2014

One Of The Biggest Mistakes Authors Make

One of the biggest and most common mistakes new authors make is rushing their submissions. For this reason, I have decided to focus today’s post on the importance of making sure your manuscript is ready before submitting it.

Authors often spend months or even years writing their stories and once they type the final line they want to submit their work. This is completely understandable; they have lived a breathed their story and they know it’s finished; now they want to see the fruits of their labor recognized. Sadly authors nearly guarantee that their work will be rejected when they rush to submit. This is because publishing houses want polished manuscripts. Things like bad grammar, wrong spellings, typo’s, and repetition will get a manuscript rejected. There is no such thing as a small issue and this is why authors need to take the time necessary to clean and polish their completed works.

One step that all authors should take is to enlist beta readers for their projects. I have seen and know authors who do this by simply putting a post on FaceBook asking if anyone is willing to read their work. It is best if the post lists what exactly the author is looking for. For example: when would the author like the critiqued manuscript returned by? What types of issues does the author want the reader to actively look for? And how would the author like comments and changes to be left (track changes)? It is also important to list the genre and word count for potential beta readers.

Critique groups are another great tool for new and seasoned authors alike. Critique groups allow others to read your work and supply you with their thoughts and guidance among other things. I have heard positive things about, but there are many options including FaceBook groups for authors to join. Every author must choose what options are right for themselves and their stories.

The important thing is not how you go about enlisting helpers to beta read or critique your manuscript, but that you do enlist them. In the end, you will have greatly improved your odds of getting an acceptance letter.


Happy Release Day to Two Great Authors and Their Books!

Today is Breathless Press release day and there are two great titles to choose from. Kelly Ryan’s Taking Pleasure Where You Can, and Wanda Kay Fittro’s Beyond the Horizon. You will find cover art and blurbs bellow. Both of these titles are available at and will be available on Amazon, Are, smash words, Bookstrand, and B&N. Here is a link for Breathless Press:



Katie and Josh, both desperately seeking redemption from their past, discover passion in each other’s arms. With danger just around the corner, will love survive? When Katie Sullivan makes the hasty decision to run away from an abusive relationship, she has no clue what is ahead of her. She only knows it has to be better than her life up until now. Her boyfriend is a powerful drug dealer who will stop at nothing to get her back. She knows too much. Car trouble leaves her stranded in the middle of Kansas, with little money, and a growing fear of failure.

Widower Josh Warner works and lives on an elderly couples’ farm. He juggles the responsibilities of raising his young son and his passion for the rodeo. Unable to let go of his deceased wife’s memory and on the rebound from a misguided affair, he has no desire for another relationship. But, when Katie appears out of nowhere, everything changes.

Against all reason, Katie and Josh find themselves drawn to each other. If the past catches up to them, their newfound passion, and their lives could be in jeopardy. Can their love win against the evil headed their way?


“You know, it’s a nice night for this time of year. Would you like to sit on the front porch for a while? I can meet you out there after I get Chad settled in.”

“I don’t know…”

“Hate to waste a nice night, especially with winter just around the corner, but suit yourself.”

Katie sat alone for a few minutes after he left. What the heck. Why shouldn’t I enjoy an evening on the porch? She went upstairs to get her sweater. Whether Josh showed up or not didn’t matter. She could use the fresh air. Surely it’s worth putting up with him for a little while if he does join her.

In her room, she attempted to check her phone for messages, then remembered it hadn’t worked since she dropped it on the floor. Just as well. Katie felt her neck and shoulders relax a little. At least she wouldn’t have the constant worry of what message Rick would leave next. She really didn’t want to hear his threats or how close he was to finding her. All she wanted was some peace and quiet. Maybe a nice evening on the front porch would be just the ticket.

When she stepped out, Josh stood on the top step looking at the stars. “I love a crisp fall night. It’s like you can see clear across the universe. Look how close the Milky Way seems.” He reached out his hand as if to touch it.

Katie sat on the wooden swing. The rusty chain squeaked as she moved back and forth.

“Do you know a lot about the stars?”

Josh stepped up, leaned on the porch rail, and faced her. He crossed his long legs, placing his hands on each side. A feeling of ease flowed from him.

“A little. Lisa and I used to stargaze at night on the balcony of our apartment. She bought me a book for one of my birthdays that showed all the names and positions of the constellations. I still don’t know where she got it. There aren’t any bookstores for miles around.” He shook his head and turned back around toward the yard.

Katie fell silent. There really wasn’t anything to say. She knew the pain of his loss must run deep.

“The tree frogs and the crickets are really strumming their tunes tonight.” Josh broke the awkward silence between them.

Katie stopped the movement of the swing to listen. “That’s a sound you don’t hear in the city. You don’t see a night sky like this either.”

“I can’t imagine living somewhere without the sights and sounds of nature around. It gives rhythm to a person’s life, you know?”

Katie didn’t know quite how to answer that. His words were so profound and heartfelt it startled her. Maybe there is more to him than rodeos and wheat fields.

“It is beautiful out here,” Katie pulled her sweater around her shoulders tighter. “If I was staying much longer though, I would need a heavier coat. That’s something I didn’t bring with me.”

Josh turned back around to face her. “Looks like you packed in a hurry.”

“Yeah, I wasn’t thinking very far ahead I guess.” Uncomfortable with the turn of the conversation, she changed the subject. “Chad seems to be a really good kid. And smart. He whizzed through his math homework in no time. You should be really proud.”

“I am.”

A shiver ran through her as a crisp breeze blew onto the porch. Josh sat on the swing, took off his jacket, and placed it around her shoulders. He let his arm rest behind her. Katie resisted the urge to protest. His arm felt comfortable and safe…like it belonged there.

Buy Link:

kelly ryan


John never thought that he would be the same after Pearl Harbor, then he set eyes on Imee and everything changed.

Ever since Pearl Harbor, John had become a shell of a man, unable to move on from the trauma. When his captain forces him to take shore leave, a night out with the guys and one woman were about to change everything.


Joe seemed to know everyone, and everyone seemed keen to be near him. It made it much easier for the quiet-by-nature and still healing John to slowly make some friends. Once the drinks started flowing, he even began to loosen up a bit. He missed hanging out with guys, telling stories, joking around, and laughing. His captain had been right; this was what he needed and what his friends who had passed on would want. He was beginning to feel alive again, and it felt good. Then he caught sight of her.

Buy Link:

Open Call

From Lyrical Press Content & Acquisition Editor Amanda Siemen (That’s me)

I’m interested in adding to my talented roster of authors, and am actively seeking all manners of romance and erotic romance with a keen interest in historical romances and fresh new ideas. If your story explores unchartered territory or is set between 1700 and 1948 I would love to read it. I would also love to read your contemporary and paranormal master pieces. You may submit your manuscripts directly to me at bypassing the Lyrical Press slush pile. My inbox awaits your 30-90k word romance or erotic romance manuscripts. This is an ongoing call.

What to send:

Legal Name Pen Name Address Phone Genre Word Count 1/2 to 1 page query 2 to 3 page synopsis First 3 chapters or full.


My name is Amanda, and I am an editor at Lyrical Press. I am also a best selling historical romance author. I use this blog for several things. You will find calls for both Lyrical Press posted here, as well as book reviews, helpful advice for authors, new releases, contests, and other fun tidbits relevant to editing, writing, and getting published. If this is relevant to you, and I hope that it is, I invite you to follow my blog.
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