Thursday, January 31, 2008

A Word About Submitting Manuscripts

I've been helping with the Amber Heatwave Contest this year and thought I'd share some observations with y'all about what works and doesn't work--in my very own humble opinion, of course--in erotic romance.

1. First and foremost, it's a *romance*. So, for me, that dictates a happy-ever-after ending. Not one where the heroine or hero die at the end. Or where the heroine or hero are already in a relationship and then "cheat" on their partner with the hero or heroine.

2. Misspelled words or misplaced words ("way" instead of "weigh" or "dissect" instead of "bisect") show a sloppiness and lack of self-editing. Not the way to impress a judge.

And let me insert right here--it is *not* your editor's job to fix your grammar, punctuation and spelling errors. You want your editor to be able to concentrate on making your story more vibrant, not waste her time doing line edits. If you don't know basic grammar rules, buy a Strunk and White or take a class at your local community college. The cleaner your manuscript is, the easier job your editor has and, believe me, you want to make your editor's job easy. She'll love you for it!

3. Missing punctuation. Now, I'll admit that I'm a comma whore--I tend to use more commas than necessary, but I do manage to delete most of them in my last read-through before I send my manuscript in to an editor. But when I don't see a period at the end of a sentence...? Not good.

4. Please make sense. If I get to the end of the story scratching my head and going "WTF?!?", it's not a good thing.

5. Use common sense. Don't have a character do something that might be "hot" in a sexual sense of the word but is completely illegal in the, well, legal sense of the word.

6. No head hopping. Nora Roberts is the Queen and she can get away with it, as can other established authors. But jumping from the hero's point of view to the heroine's in succeeding paragraphs, and even having a paragraph in a secondary character's point of view is just distracting. I'm not saying you *can't* use secondary character's point of view, just not in something that's short (less than 50k).

I hope this is helpful.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

4 Blue Ribbons from Romance Junkies: "...Danger is hidden in every page and you find yourself on pins and needles waiting to see what will happen next. Sherrill Quinn is a talented author who has written a captivating story that will leave readers eagerly looking for more of her work."

Demon of Her Dreams - available at Ellora's Cave

Monday, January 28, 2008

Man Meat Monday

I'm finally starting to feel a little better--ready to see some action...

Thursday, January 24, 2008


Release Date: February 13, 2008
ISBN: 9781419915604
Publisher: Ellora's Cave

Rahziya Sanura, princess of Gar, and Callum Hefeydd, prince of Apth--two people in love but separated by feuding kingdoms. Their one hope for unification--both for themselves and their countries--is the legendary Jewel of Apthgar, a 6-inch long amethyst said to have come from the great god Apthgar's sword. Sent by their respective fathers to retrieve the gem, they locate it but only after they defeat the dragon guarding it. Will the Jewel provide the means for them to be together, or will it drive them apart?

WARNING: The following excerpt is ADULT rated--not child or work safe!

Princess Rahziya Sanura, heir to the Garan throne, stood as witness to the latest marriage ceremony between two noble houses and tightened her lips at the unfairness of it all. Why could a duke of Gar and a countess of Apth get married, yet her father continued to forbid her to have anything to do with Prince Callum?

She smoothed her elegant gown over her hips and glanced over the heads of the bride and groom to the Apthian delegation. Her gaze met Callum Hefeydd's and, as always, her pulse zoomed at the look of banked desire in those gray-green eyes. If it weren't for her father's--and, admittedly, Callum's parents as well--continued resistance to a reunification of the kingdoms, this could be her and Callum declaring their love publicly.

"With the vows spoken and approval given by these witnesses, there is but one more stage to complete." The magi took the hands of the nude bride and groom and joined them, keeping his on top of them. His solemn gaze went first to the couple, then to the assembled guests. "One of the joys of being a magi to the people is the task of conducting unification ceremonies such as these. To be used by the great god Apthgar to bless these young people's union is both a privilege and an honor."

Knowing what was coming, Rahziya swallowed and tried to calm her breathing. She always became so aroused at these ceremonies, and with Callum standing just on the other side of the small circle, this particular union would be unbearable to witness.

The magi unfastened a few of the loops holding his robe together, then shrugged the purple and blue garment off his shoulders. The clothing pooled around his feet, leaving him as naked as the bride and groom. At his nod, the couple knelt at his feet. First the bride kissed the magi's penis, then the groom. Accepting a cup from a nearby neophyte, the magi drank the contents. Immediately his cock began to engorge, becoming erect in a matter of a few seconds.

"I humbly offer myself in the place of our god, sanctifying this union and offering myself in place of the Jewel of Apthgar." The magi took a step back. The bride and groom stretched out on a large pad at his feet.

The dark-haired groom pressed a soft, lingering kiss against his bride's lips then trailed his mouth down her neck to her breasts. He began suckling her, moving from one rigid tip to the other, and stroked one hand between her thighs.

The woman moaned and bent her legs, her knees falling apart to open herself more fully. She brought her hands up to the man's head and clasped him to her breast.

As the groom began thrusting his fingers into the bride's pussy, his thumb rotating against her swollen clit, Rahziya drew in a sharp breath. She clenched her thighs together to try to stem her own rising arousal. She took her gaze off the couple and looked up to find Callum's heated stare on her.

His face was impassive but for the banked fire in his eyes. From her peripheral vision she could see the bride and groom repositioning themselves, the groom going to his back with the bride straddling him, taking his hard length into her sheath.

Rahziya couldn't break her gaze away from Callum. The gasping cries and moans of the wedding couple only heightened her own frustrated desire for the enemy prince. The man she loved.

The man she could never have.

Jewel of Apthgar - available February 13, 2008 at Ellora's Cave

Monday, January 21, 2008

Man Meat Monday

I'm not feeling that great today, so I think I'm gonna grab this guy and just head back to bed...

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Deliciously Naughty Release

What’s a witch to do when her coven has been cursed with a celibacy spell?

Break it. By any means necessary.

Aleeza dips into grey magic to scratch the itch that’s been driving her crazy. She never dreams deviating from the ‘white magic only’ policy of her coven will land her in the middle of a serial murder investigation…or in the arms of two magnetic men.

Ferrin and Dorand plan to find their woman’s murderer and make them pay—with their lives. But when a spell to communicate with her spirit awakens a forbidden lust, their quest to catch a killer becomes even deadlier.

A legacy of demonic evil two thousand years in the making is about to rise. One misstep and innocent passion becomes tainted desire, and three true lovers…a demon’s triad.

Read an excerpt or buy.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Computer Woes

Two weeks ago as I was answering emails, my home laptop shut itself off. After I pushed the power button about a dozen times (all with the same result) and tried plugging the power cord into different outlets (and cussing like a drunken sailor), I got on my older computer and looked up the number to Hewlett Packard. I talked to "Kevin" who sounded like Apoo on The Simpsons. Anyway, 45 minutes later he determined that the problem must be with my AC adapter, which when plugged in didn't become warm as it should. So he took my mailing address and transferred me to someone else. Who took my mailing address. But two days later I had a new AC adapter. Yay!

Of course, it was an AC adapter that didn't fix the problem. So I get back on the phone, talk to someone else in India about the problem, and 2 days later receive a package to box up and send my laptop to HP for them to fix whatever internal problem there is.

Yesterday when I got home from work there was a note from the Fedex guy that he tried to deliver a package. I'm hoping it's my laptop (and that it's fixed!). I'm planning on leaving work early today and hopefully will be home in time to accept delivery today. If it goes like it did before, he tries the first day at 1:00 (which happened yesterday), then the next day at 2:30. If I don't make it today, hopefully the third attempt at delivery will happen tomorrow, when I'll be home all day.

Keep your fingers crossed. I miss my laptop.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Stroke of Midnight Contest

Passionate Ink's Third Annual Stroke of Midnight Contest

Deadline: 2/4/08


Remember The Stroke of Midnight is a contest for unpublished erotic manuscripts. BOTH PUBLISHED AND UNPUBLISHED AUTHORS MAY ENTER. However, if published, this must be a new genre for the author (For example, if the author has published in paranormal erotic romance, she can enter in one of the other categories) **

Five Sizzling Finalists in Five Categories:

Contemporary - novels with erotic elements that focus on the developing romantic relationship in a contemporary setting. Includes series and single-title length romances. Can also include elements of romantic suspense/intrigue.

Historical - novels with erotic elements that focus on the developing romantic relationship in a historical setting.

Futuristic/Fantasy/ Sci-fi - novels with erotic elements that focus on the developing romantic relationship in any setting in the future, an alternate world/reality, or another planet. Includes elements such as elves/faerie, sword and sorcery, aliens, etc.

Paranormal/Time Travel - novels with erotic elements that focus on the developing romantic relationship in any setting that includes elements of time travel, angels, vampires, werewolves or other paranormal themes.

Novellas - novellas of 25,000 words or less with erotic elements that focus on the developing romantic relationship in any setting.

  1. All novels entered must be at least 25,000 words in length. Novellas are considered 10,000 to 25,000 words.
  2. All categories are open to alternative lifestyle entries–and any entry that reflects an erotic romance between two or more people, straight, gay, bi, or any romantic combination.

Judging and Prizes:

Preliminary- round judging will be completed by three qualified judges - Passionate Ink and other RWA members experienced in critiquing and/or published authors familiar with our genre. All scores will be added and averaged to determine the entrant's ranking. Every attempt will be made to provide entrants with detailed score sheets and judges' comments from this preliminary round. Top five entries in each category will move to final round.

The top five finalists in each category will be ranked by the following industry professionals:

Contemporary: Kate Seaver, Berkley
Historical: Hilary Sares, Kensington Aphrodisia
Futuristic/Fantasy/ Sci-fi: Angela James, Samhain Publishing
Paranormal/Time Travel: Roberta Brown, Brown Literary Agency
Novella: Raelene Gorlinsky, Ellora's Cave

First place winners in each category will receive a free one year membership in Passionate Ink ($25 value), a certificate, and an award graphic for their website. (Writing teams will split the membership.) All other finalists will receive certificates and and a finalist graphic for their website. All entries will be returned after finalists are determined and statistical information is complete. Winners will be announced at the Passionate Ink gathering at the Romance Writers' of America National Conference in Dallas. Results will be listed on the Passionate Ink website and in the chapter's newsletter.

The decisions of judges are final.

Rules for Entry


Contest is open to all authors with unpublished, uncontracted full-length erotic romance manuscripts (at least 10,000 words) in the category they wish to enter.

Entry Deadline and Mailing:
Deadline for entry is February 4, 2008. All materials must be received by then.

Three easy steps to enter!
# 1 - Email all information from the entry form (click here) to som3@passionateink. org with the title "SOM Entry". All entries will be confirmed.
# 2 - Attach your entry to your email in PDF or a Word 2003 compatible format.
# 3 - Send your entry fee, either via Paypal to or by check to

Passionate Ink
Stroke of Midnight Contest
c/o Crystal Jordan
PO Box 249
406 E. Broadway
Salt Lake City, UT 84111

1. Entry form and payment must be received by the Contest Coordinator by February 4, 2008. Any entries received without corresponding entry form and fee by the deadline will be disqualified.
2. Submit entries (or questions) via email to It is the author's responsibility to enter the manuscript in the correct category. All clarifications as to category should be made prior to submission.
3. Entrants may enter as many categories as they wish with DIFFERENT submissions, but cannot enter the same manuscript in two categories. Each entry must be accompanied by the appropriate entry fee and a separate signed Contestant's Agreement and Entry form.
4. There is a minimum requirement of 10 entries per category. If a category does not receive a sufficient number of submissions to make the category viable, the category will be canceled. The entrant will be asked to provide a second choice of categories. If the entrant does not wish to place the entry in another category, the entry and associated fees will be returned.

Entry Fees:

Passionate Ink members: $15
Others: $25

Email payments via Paypal to: Treasurer@passionat

or mail payments to:

Passionate Ink
Stroke of Midnight Contest
c/o Crystal Jordan
PO Box 249
406 E. Broadway
Salt Lake City, UT 84111

Make checks payable to: Passionate Ink

  1. Entry fees must be received prior to the entry deadline.
  2. Include your name in the subject line and the titles of your entry(ies) in the Paypal comments box.

Entry Format:

1. All entries must be electronic in PDF or a Word 2003 compatible format.
2. Send a maximum of the first 35 pages of your manuscript, 20 pages for novella entries.
3. Entries must be in proper manuscript format: One sided, double-spaced with one inch margins all around, size 12 font (like Times New
Roman or Courier) is recommended.
4. On the first page only, title and category on top left; page number on top right. Subsequent pages should include only title and page number.
5. Name of author should not appear anywhere on manuscript; the entry will be disqualified if name is on submission.
6. A synopsis of up to 5 single-spaced pages (which will not be judged) must also be included. No cover page is necessary.

Email questions to Janice at som3@passionateink. org.

Entry if via email - Entry form to be copied into your email can be found at Stroke of Midnight Entry Form

**If you have any problems or questions, email som3@passionateink. org

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Man Meat Monday...A Day Late

I was so excited about the great review I got for It Takes A Thief Or Two, I had to post it yesterday. So, today I'll leave you with some manly manflesh to ogle. And what better to ogle than hard-working men? *G*

And one more:


Monday, January 14, 2008

First Review for IT TAKES A THIEF OR TWO

5 Stars!

From Just Erotic Romance Reviews:

"Sherrill Quinn has written a very sexy and appealing ménage a trois fantasy with two incredible men and a woman who thinks she is less than average, that is until these two brothers show her how much she matters to them... The sex between these three is very fulfilling and just plain hot. I found myself wishing I was in Jessie's shoes as these two men want to give her their love and a promise of a future... I wished the story didn't have to end. It Takes a Thief or Two is short, fast and sweet and will definitely leave you with a smile and a laugh or two. Ms. Quinn has proved once again she is one author not to be missed." (Kate Garrabrant)

It Takes A Thief Or Two - available at Amber Heat! (Don't forget--there's still a 25% off sale running at Amber Heat.)

Saturday, January 12, 2008

I Have Another Best Seller!

Amber Heat has just released their Top Ten Sellers' list for the fourth quarter of 2007, and I've made the list again! Thank you all for your support!!

Here's the breakdown over past quarters:

4th Quarter 2007: It Takes A Thief Or Two, #5 (was #1 for December!)
3rd Quarter 2007: Claiming Hannah, #2
2nd Quarter 2007: Dragonfire, #10
1st Quarter 2007: Dragonfire, #4
3rd Quarter 2006: The Claiming, #2
2nd Quarter 2006: The Claiming, #2

I will add that It Takes A Thief Or Two made the Top Ten list after only 3 weeks of sales. Wahoo!!

To read excerpts or buy these books, go here.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Life Before Computers

Ain't it the truth?!?

Thursday, January 10, 2008

DRAGONFIRE - Nominee for Best Shapeshifter Book

Dragonfire has been nominated for the Best Shape Shifter Book of 2007 at Love Romances Cafe. I'm so excited! Head over here (scroll down until you see "Best Shape Shifter Book 2007") to vote (you have to be a member of the group).


Tuesday, January 08, 2008

I'm A Featured Author

Check it out at The Raven Blog. Leave a comment for a chance to win a free download of Seasons of Seduction Volume 1, which includes my story Choosing Madison.

Hope to see you over there!

Monday, January 07, 2008

Man Meat Monday

For your viewing pleasure:

This guy has an EIGHT-pack. Count 'em. Two-four-six-eight.


Saturday, January 05, 2008

Amber Heat Contest

I pulled this directly from my publisher's website:





After the success of our four previous Amber Heat Wave™ Contests, Amber Heat (our erotica imprint) and Amber Allure (our GLBT imprint) has decided to repeat the process again, welcoming you to send us the hottest, steamiest, most sizzling fiction you can create! Think you have what it takes to win a publishing contract with us? Then submit your short Erotic Romance story (see below for content guidelines and word count) to AQP's Amber Heat or Amber Allure imprints during the first two weeks of January 2008! Apart from this annual contest, Amber Heat and Amber Allure (and its parent company Amber Quill Press) remain closed to all "outside" manuscript submissions throughout each year; therefore, this will be your single opportunity in 2008 to show us your writing skills and possibly become a part of the Amber Quill Press family of authors. Winning entries will be published in electronic format in June 2008 to coincide with our 5th annual Amber Heat Wave™ celebration.


To enter this contest, please carefully read and adhere to the following criteria, and also note, the rules and guidelines have changed since last year...

Dates Of Entry: January 1st through January 15th 2008.

Entry Fee: None!

Author Eligibility: Both published and non-published authors may submit. (Authors already under contract with Amber Quill Press or its imprints need not enter.)

Genre: Erotic Romance—all sub-genres are eligible...Hetero (Amber Heat) or GLBT (Amber Allure), Contemporary, Paranormal, Fantasy or Dark Fantasy (ie. Vampire, Werewolf, etc.), Historical (including Western), Science Fiction/Futuristic, Suspense/Thriller, Ménage, BDSM, Interracial, etc. (Basically, any category, genre, or sub-genre you see listed on the left-hand menu (visit the website) is eligible.)

Sexual Content: First, please view our Heat Level Info. Stories that fall into any of our three Heat Levels are eligible, although the hotter, the better. Please note: Certainly, we want stories that sizzle with sexual tension and contain explosive love scenes, yet we also want stories with strong and engaging plotlines and characters, stories that could stand on their own even without the sexual content. In other words, a story containing one-dimension characters or a flimsy plot wrapped around an endless string of meaningless sexual encounters will not impress us. Moreover, we are not looking to publish pure erotica or stories containing hard-core BDSM, pedophilia, incest, bestiality (with the exception of Shapeshifter/Fantasy stories), bodily functions, etc. Each story must focus around a romance, whether Straight or GLBT. Even if the manuscript includes ménage or group sex situations, the romance between the main M/F or GLBT couple must be front and center throughout the story. We are also not opposed to stories that do not include a "Happily Ever After" ending, as long as it's warranted, although the majority of the work we publish does indeed have an HEA ending. For a clearer understanding of the types of stories we publish, we suggest you sample several of our erotica titles.

Word Count: Stories should be between 11,000 and 18,000 words (our "Extended Amber Kiss" length).

Judging Criteria: Each story entered will be judged on the following...

Plotline and Overall Story
Story Pacing
POV (Point Of View) Focus
Genre Appropriateness
Writing Mechanics (Grammar, Punctuation, Sentence Structure, Etc.)
Originality of Writing Style

Final Note: Authors may enter as many stories as they wish, as long as they are not contracted and not under consideration with any other publisher, nor have they been previously published. Authors must have all rights to each story submitted. Sorry, there are no exceptions.

Submission Procedure: Manuscripts must be saved in either DOC (MS Word Document) or RTF (Rich Text Format) and emailed as an attachment to us at only between the dates specified above. All other formats will be rejected, as well as manuscripts sent outside of the two-week time period. Again, sorry, there are no exceptions. Stories must be saved in a single file, and all stories where each chapter is sent in its own file will immediately be disqualified. In the "Subject" line of your email, please type THE FULL TITLE of the attached manuscript and its appropriate SUB-GENRE (example: Historical Erotica, Fantasy Erotica, etc.). In the body of the email, please list your NAME, PEN NAME (if applicable), full SNAIL-MAIL ADDRESS, and your EMAIL ADDRESS. Additionally, if sending more than one entry for consideration, please send each in a separate email.

What Not To Do: Please do not send us the first chapter(s) of a full-length novel and claim it's a self-contained short story in order to skirt the word count requirements and get your foot in the door—lying to us is hardly a good first impression and the contest entry will be rejected immediately. Additionally, please do not send us several paragraphs and ask for a critique—we will look only at manuscripts that are complete and that fall within the word count requirements. Finally, do not send us a manuscript that has absolutely no formatting—although we are not sticklers for specific fonts, font sizes, or line spacing, we absolutely insist on basic paragraphs. Our contest judges will not read a manuscript made up of one long paragraph, therefore, unformatted manuscripts will also be promptly rejected.

Prize: Winning manuscripts will receive our standard two-year contract for our Amber Heat (Hetero Erotica) or Amber Allure (GLBT) imprints. Each manuscript will be properly edited and copyedited by our staff according to our in-house style guidelines, then published in June 2008 to coincide with our 5th annual Amber Heat Wave™ celebration.

Winners will be announced on March 1st, 2008 and listed on our websites and authors of the winning manuscripts will be notified by private email!

Should you have any questions or need clarification regarding any contest details, please email

Friday, January 04, 2008

New Release From Sierra Dafoe

One of my Deliciously Naughty friends, Sierra Dafoe, has a new release out today:

This is a hotsa-motsa historical--read an exerpt or buy.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

New Deliciously Naughty Contest

The Deliciously Naughty Valentine Contest!

For this contest, we're giving away a bundle of five e-books to one lucky reader!

Cimmerian League: Revelations by Kelly Maher
It Takes a Thief or Two by Sherrill Quinn
Love Fool by Anna J. Evans
Blood Will Tell by December Quinn
Absolute Power by Sierra Dafoe

How do you enter? It's easy! Visit the authors' websites to answer the questions below! Then send your answers to before Feb. 14th to be entered into the drawing! Winners will be announced during our February chat.

Visit the Deliciously Naughty Writers' website for more details.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

New Year Resolutions

I should call these goals, not resolutions, because history has taught me that I suck at meeting resolutions but when I set my mind to it, I excel at achieving goals.

So, let's first look back over what I accomplished in 2007:

  • Wrote (conservative estimate) almost 500,000 words (not including blogs, blog stories or monthly short stories in my newsletters), most of which sold.
  • Sold 10 novellas, eight of which were published in 2007, the remaining two scheduled for early 2008.
  • Obtained an agent and have a full-length paranormal romance with her.
  • Was the President of my local RWA chapter.
  • Took on three freelance writing projects utilizing my Human Resources background.

Whew! No wonder I'm tired. :)

Now, looking ahead to 2008, here are my GOALS (mostly writing related, but some personal in there, too):
  • Plot and write the sequel to Beyond the Beast (80,000 words).
  • Plot and write Books III and IV of the Sassy Devils series (65,000 words).
  • Plot and write Staking a Claim (sequel to Claiming Hannah - 25,000 words).
  • Plot and write the sequel to Dragonfire (25,000 words).
  • Plot and write my take on the story of Little Red Riding Hood (50,000 words).
  • Save money to attend the RWA National Conference in San Francisco in July.
  • Continue to do freelance HR work.
  • Readjust my viewpoint on diet and exercise--get fit and lose weight!

Busy, busy year ahead.