Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Making an Anthology #giveaway Summer Sizzle

Posted by Susan B James on 3:00:00 AM with 6 comments

My Chapter of the Romance Writers of America, Los Angeles Romance Writers (LARA) just released a short story collection called Summer Sizzle.
Personally, there are times when a short story fits my reading time. And romance collections suit my heart. 
LARA is going to sizzle up your summer by giving away a copy to one lucky reader. Summer Sizzle is available across all platforms, so you can let me know which eform you want.
I asked Beverly Diehl, the anthology coordinator some questions.
First why would a RWA chapter do an anthology?
Well, that ship had already sailed; LARA (Los Angeles Romance Authors) had already put out an anthology, Five Minute Love Stories. So the 2015 LARA Board of Directors decided that we would do not one more, but two, so that we could offer a boxed set of three, and each collection individually. Oooh. That sounds good.
That's the sales side; creating a revenue stream helps the chapter financially, promotes the chapter as a whole, the individual authors, and the romance genre in general.
More importantly, it creates a bridge for newbie and intermediate authors to have the challenge of writing stories "to order," dealing with edits, promotion, and a taste of the entire professional writing experience. And it gives them something they've written they can hand to Aunt Mildred. (If Aunt Mildred likes steamy romance, that is.)
 Samanthe Beck, Roz Lee, Charlene Sands and Lynne Marshall are best-selling authors, Why would a multi-published author participate in a project like this?
On the self-promotion side, because so many great professionally published authors from other genres are included, it offers the opportunity to pick up new fans from those of other authors. It offers a home for stories they might want to tell, that don't fit in the lines or series they're currently working on. It offers a chance to stretch their writing muscles; writing a short story is different from a novella from a novel from a series.

Finally, it's a great way to pay it forward, to a chapter that has offered support and encouragement for years, for many of them, in their journey to becoming or succeeding as professional writers. Lovely reason!

What did you learn as anthology coordinator?
I'm glad you asked (okay, you didn't ask, but I wanted to answer this.  Oh, please do. I should have asked.
1) Writers write procrastinate. Deadlines, reminders, and harassment encouragement are necessary to get stories in – and most of the ones in this collection came in at the last minute. We went from wondering if we were going to have to cancel the project, to having an abundance of wonderful stories.
2) There are a lot of moving parts to creating an anthology like this. We needed volunteers to check the anthology submission box, to handle sending the stories out to judges, to coordinate getting them back from judges. We needed people to help us find professional cover artists (John Phan designed ours, and I love it!), and professional editors (Mackenzie Walton, who did a tremendous job). The 2015-2016 LARA boards saw to it our professionals were paid, got our ISBN's purchased, and helped create a marketing plan for our newbie authors to learn how to promote this work. That is awesome!
Other members wrote blurbs for Amazon, did the interior design and uploading to the many sites where Summer Sizzle is available for purchase. And I know I am forgetting some of the many tasks here.
Basically, everyone in the chapter helped in some way. (Or else they moved too fast for me to snag 'em.)
So I won't list them all by name here, it's in the acknowledgments section. But Summer Sizzle, and the upcoming anthology, Holiday Ever After, are definitely "It Takes a Chapter" projects.
3) I am blessed to be a member of a chapter of RWA® with some amazingly talented authors who write delightful stories. Here's a sample of our log lines:

Get swept away in this summer, love-at-first-sight fantasy every single girl dreams of in Roz Lee's Summer League!

In Shelby Ellis' Under the Light of a Thousand Stars, when Keeley was sixteen she vowed to spend every summer of her life on the island, but that was #BeforeTannerBuchanan broke her heart. How will she find her way back?

Can a blindfolded Ravannah learn to follow her sexy ballroom dance instructor in Tonya Plank's Lead Me?

In Karen Ehrenberg's Snooze You Lose, love and sparks fly when kismet is given a push for two headstrong journalists and surf junkies.

In The Shore Thing by Charlene Sands.Evie Marigold is protecting her heart and her livelihood, but sexy surfer/entrepreneur Ian Sterling threatens to steal them both on the Pacific sands 

In Lynne Marshall's Something Borrowed, Something New, it's the wedding catering staff who are star-crossed lovers. Can these hard-working immigrants find a happily ever after despite coming from families who are traditional enemies?

Take one stranded actress with a secret, a small town veterinarian, and add a hideously ugly dog with worse manners. In Beverly Diehl's The Dog Days of Summer, can the sexy vet – and the dog – win Panick's heart before Hollywood calls her home? I am buying it for this logline.

One pretty witch trapped between Heaven and Hell, one ruthless demon after a soul, and one smitten angel willing to risk it all for love, in Ophelia Bell's Falling for Her.

In Samanthe Beck's Keeping Her Handyman, he’s giving his runaway bride a night so hot she'll beg for forever.

Spring's Summer by Kara Winters: As the summer nears its end, the goddess of Spring knows she will soon see her beloved husband Hades once more. But Hades has a few tricks up his sleeve for their reunion. 

Marla Murphy contributed two stories: Model Behavior Chad is a moonlighting paramedic modeling his hot body for a figure-drawing class. Caroline is a plus-size artist recovering from her ex-lover's fat insults. Can Chad mend her heart with his own vision of her enticing curves?

Finding Cowboy The friendly character actor, who never gets star billing, is charmed by a pretty young woman. When sparks ignite, will it be the chance for the sexy sidekick to finally get the girl?

See what I mean? And that's only some  of the twenty fabulous stories included in Summer Sizzle.

I'm happy to announce we're giving away a copy of Summer Sizzle to one lucky winner. And I will also be popping back in to answer any questions your blog readers may have about this project.

Susan, thank you so much for having me – and it's not sucking up to say how much I enjoyed Time and Forever, and am looking forward to your next book.
Thank you , Beverly. And it's not sucking up to say yours is the first story I'm going to read in Summer Sizzle. I love that logline.

Beverly Diehl writes romance, women's fiction, and gives a popular online workshop called The Business of Writing 101. Her memoir Sex, Drugs, Rock 'N Roll and a Tiara: How I Celebrated Life While Kicking Cancer's Ass will be released early in 2017. She will also be presenting two panels at CatalystCon West (Sparking communication in sexuality, activism & acceptance).  She lives in Los Angeles with her two cats, Motivation and Creativity.
Seriously? You named your cats Motivation and Creativity? You Rock! 
Okay friends, you can also leave a comment on your favorite pet name ever. 
Enter the Rafflecopter below. I'd like to point out Summer Sizzle is 2.99 on all platforms, so you could go ahead and buy it. (I did.) And give the copy you win to your Aunt Mildred. Happy reading.
a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Thanks for putting the anthology in your spotlight, Susan!

  2. Thanks for the nice write-up, Susan.

  3. This one caught my attention. Chad is a moonlighting paramedic modeling his hot body for a figure-drawing class.

    1. It's a really sweet and sexy story, with a "plus-size" heroine. One of my favorites.

  4. I love this idea. Not enough shorts out there


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