Friday, July 4

Tuesday, June 17

Golden Claddagh Contest FINALIST!

**Permission to Forward Granted and Appreciated**
Celtic Hearts RWA2014 Golden Claddagh Contest
is proud to announce our list of finalists:



HISTORICAL

Natalie Murphy with A Highlander’s Ransom
Brenda B. Taylor with A Highland Pearl
Susanna Craig with The Companion’s secret
Margaret Madigan with Nevada Bounty

YOUNG ADULT/NEW ADULT

R.L.Syme with The Acolyte
Michelle Edwards with Seducing Death
Ashley Kathy-Bisky with Between the Shadows


CONTEMPORARY

A.W. McQueen with The Devil's Lair
Alina K. Field with Breaking Down The Rules
Cecilia Dominic with The Perfect Man
Susan Burns with A Perfect Match

PARANORMAL

Alicia Anthony with Inheritance of Truth
Janet Walden-West with Damned if She Do
Janet Walden-West with Damned if She Don't
TJ Shaw with Divergent Bloodline


Winners will be announced at the CHRW Annual General Meeting at RWA National Convention in San Antonio, TX in July 23rd

You can follow the announcement on Twitter via the president’s twitter account:@beck_a_tron

Final Winners will be notified via e-mail – August 1st.

Congratulations to the Finalist and best wishes in the Final Round!

Rebecca Lynn, President
Alisa Walker, Vice President – Programs
2014 Golden Claddagh Co-Coordinators 

Ahhhh! I am so excited! My scores are amazing. I received 100%, 100%, and 96%! Since they drop the lowest score, I literally received 100%! How crazy is that? Now I just have to get my butt in the chair and finish the darn thing! *scurries off to work*

Thursday, June 5

Where Did May Go?

Wha...? How on earth is it already June?

Seriously. One minute I'm scrambling to get my May Releases post up for your viewing pleasure, and the next thing I know, it's June and I'm left wide-eyed and bewildered.

Well, since it is June and it's been over a month since I posted anything, and over two months since I posted anything personal, I decided it was time to pop on here and give you guys an update.

Writing

As far as my story goes, I'm still working my way through this draft. I should be done already, but I've been extremely busy with life and other writing endeavors. For one thing, my CP and I are critiquing each other's work again. I love it. Her comments are spot on, and I'm always excited to tackle revisions after receiving her critique. That being said, it has been difficult to write/flesh out this draft while revising and doing line edits on my earlier chapters! It has taken some adjustment, but I like a good challenge.



Right now, I just have to finish a rewrite on chapter 5 (it was fine as it was before, but she thought of a way to make it even better). Once that is done, my first 8 chapters will be ready for an agent! Overall, my revisions have gone well so far. I always fly through them. I wish I could write with that sort of speed, but alas, I'm a turtle.



In somewhat related news, I have recently accepted a position as a read/intern for Margaret Bail of Inklings Literary Agency. So far I've been assigned to read some of her requested manuscripts. I've quite enjoyed the task. Of course, I can't say much more for confidentiality reasons, but suffice it to say, I read your work. Muah hahahahaha!



Personal

With regards to my personal life, I don't really have much to say. We've been extremely busy with holidays, birthdays, graduations, illness etc... There were a few weeks where we didn't get to stop and take a breath once. This summer doesn't look to be any less busy, either.

In less than a week I leave for my trip to Calgary, AB. I haven't been home in two years, so this is going to be an emotional vacation for me (that might be putting it mildly). My mum (and possibly my dad), as well as my very pregnant cousin are going to be at the airport waiting for me, so I sense a big cry-fest coming on.


We have lots planned for while I'm there, so that'll be fun. I'm also hoping to write and revise during the day while everyone is at work.

Then once I arrive back home, I have a week to prepare for our first beach trip of the summer! I'm so excited.

My sandy toes at the Outer Banks last summer.
Bring on the sun, sand, and waves! I've already officially earned my first sunburn of the season (unintentionally, I assure you). Nevertheless, I'm hoping this means I won't burn as much in North Carolina this summer, especially since we're going mid-July! Luckily, our second beach trip isn't until the end of August. Phew.

Well, that covers the basics of what I've been up to! Hopefully I will have some good book news in a few weeks. I would like to be done and querying soon! Gah!

So what have you guys been up to? Any exciting news? Any trips planned this summer?

Thursday, May 1

May Releases

Wow, it has been a long time since I've done one of these (since February, if you can believe it!). Oops, that's my fault. I've been so busy writing and searching for jobs that I let my blog slip a little. I promise I'll be better in the future ;)

Anyway, so here are the books coming out this month that I'm excited to get my hands on:


Breakable by Tammara WebberMay 6th
Contemporary New Adult Romance


All Lined Up by Cora CarmackMay 13th
Contemporary New Adult Romance


Perilous Waters by Diana PazMay 15th
Young Adult Paranormal


Biggest Flirts by Jennifer EcholsMay 20th
Contemporary Young Adult


Whisper to Me by Christina LeeMay 20th
Contemporary New Adult Romance


Take Me On by Katie McGarryMay 27th
Contemporary Young Adult Romance


Tease by Sophie JordanMay 27th
Contemporary New Adult Romance


City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare—May 28th
Young Adult Urban Fantasy

Thursday, April 24

Golden Claddagh Contest is OPEN

2014 Contest
CONTEST IS OPEN!
Enter Celtic Hearts Romance Writers Chapter contest The Golden Claddagh!
We have four categories for unpublished authors and published authors with unpublished  manuscripts.
* Historical
* Fantasy-Futuristic-Paranormal
* Contemporary
* Young Adult/New Adult
Our contest due date is May 10th. Finalists will be notified by June 15th and winners notified by August 1st–Winners will be announced at the CHRW Annual General Meeting at RWA National Convention in San Antonio, TX in July 2014.
Eligibility
The competition is open to RWA members ONLY.
Manuscripts must be unpublished and un-contracted in any form, including self-publishing. The manuscript rights must belong to the author and be available to contract, should a final judge wish to offer publication.
The GC entry must be a full-length novel (more than 40K). Novellas or Short stories will not be accepted.
Manuscripts must be completed by the time results are returned. Entrant must retain all rights to the entry and not have granted any of them to a publisher or any other party by the contest entry deadline.
If your manuscript is accepted for publication during the time of our contest (dates will be specified) you must notify the contest coordinator; your submission(s) will be withdrawn from consideration and your entry fee(s) returned.
Please Note:
  • Previously entered manuscripts may be entered again, but no previous winning manuscript shall be re-entered, even if revised.
  • You may submit multiple entries so long as you pay an entry fee and submit a completed entry form for each submission.
  • You may not enter the same manuscript in more than one category. *Entry fee per entry: $10.00 CHRW members and $15.00 non-member CHRWA members.
CHRW reserves the right to discard all electronic entries and return fees if a minimum number of three (3) entries are not received in any category. Entrants will be contacted before the entries are returned and given the option to place their entry in another category if it is eligible. We may also refuse an entry that does not follow the rules stated here in the guidelines.
All Payments are Electronic through PayPal. The easy link is here:
If you wish to go directly to PayPal, please use Paypal address: treasurer@celtichearts.org
Entry fee: $10.00 CHRW members and $15.00 non-member CHRWA members.
All entries will be read and scored for the first round by two trained judges and one published author, and the lowest score dropped. The three entries with the highest total scores in each category will move to the final round. An editor/agent will judge the final round and select a winner from the finalists in each category.
Categories:
Future, Fantasy & Paranormal: Romance novel where the mains focus is on the romantic relationship, but the future, fantasy or paranormal elements are integral to the story (includes time-travel).
Contemporary: Includes, single title, long and short romantic fiction with a contemporary setting set after 1945. Main focus is the romantic relationship between the hero and heroine.
Historical: Romance novel set primarily before 1945 — any location. Please specify your time period and setting in your entry.
Young Adult/New Adult:  Romance novels in which young adult or new adult themes constitute an integral part of the plot. *Romance subplot not required*

Entries
Entry Composition: No Synopsis required! Your entry must have the following:
1.     An email “cover page” which includes the author’s real name, address, telephone number(s), e-mail address, submission title, category, manuscript word count and PayPal confirmation # should be submitted in text of the e-mail. Do not include the cover page in the same attachment as your manuscript.
2.     The beginning of your manuscript, including prologue, cannot exceed thirty (30) pages. Standard manuscript format must be followed:
  • 1 inch margins
  • Double spaced in a standard font and size 12-point.
  • The TITLE of the manuscript, the category, and any subcategory should be placed on the top left hand side of the entry. The PAGE NUMBER should be on the top right side of the entry.
  • We will not accept entries that have colored, or designer fonts. DO NOT INCLUDE YOUR NAME ON THE MANUSCRIPT.
3. Manuscript must be in a .doc or .rtf file format.
NOTE: Your entry must not exceed thirty (30) pages total.

SUBMIT ENTRIES TO:
Contemporary Category - contempcat@celtichearts.org
FFP Category - ffpcat@celtichearts.org
Historical Category - historicalcat@celtichearts.org
Young Adult/New Adult Category - yacat@celtichearts.org

Final Round Judges
FF&P
Angela James – Carina Press
Kerry Buckley – Carina Press
TBA
Historical
Laurie McLean – Forward Literary, Inc
Beth Miller – Writers House
Leis Pederson – Berkley Publishing
Contemporary
Julie Mianecki – Penguin Books
Alissa Davis – Carina Press
Elizabeth Bistrow – Penguin Books
Young Adult/New Adult
Nicole Fischer – Avon Press
TBA

Awards
The FIRST PLACE winners in each category will receive a $50 dollar cash prize and a commemorative pin.
The SECOND and THIRD PLACE winners in each category will receive free workshops through Celtic Hearts Romance Writers.
For questions please contact the contest chair, Alisa Walker at: contests@celtichearts.org

Sunday, April 20

The Real Origins of Easter


Easter: The word is derived from a Saxon goddess of Dawn and Spring known as Oestre or Eastre (Ostara in Germany). She was a fertility goddess and her sacred animal was the hare.

Also Known As: Alban Eiler, Eostre, Lady Day, Easter, and Festival of Trees.

Symbols: Rabbits, chicks, eggs, and equilateral cross.

Traditional Incenses: Violet, jasmine, rose, sage, and strawberry.

Sacred Foods: Fish, sweets, sweet breads, hot cross buns, and eggs.

History: First introduced to the Celtic world by the Saxons around 600 A.D., Easter was celebrated during the Vernal Equinox on March 21. Since then it has been overshadowed by the more popular Christian holiday, which celebrates the resurrection of Christ.

Customs: Collecting and decorating eggs, bird watching, egg hunts, and burying eggs in fields.

Easter Eggs: Eggs were a symbol of fertility in most ancient cultures, and the Celts were no different. During the spring festival to celebrate Ostara, they painted eggs to give as gifts. The chocolate eggs we now associate with Easter were introduced at a much later date.

The Legend of the Goddess Ostara and the Easter Bunny

“Feeling guilty about arriving late one spring, the goddess Ostara saved the life of a poor bird whose wings had been frozen by the snow. Filled with compassion for him since he could no longer fly, Ostara turned him into a snow hare and gave him the gift of being able to run with incredible speed so he could protect himself from hunters. In remembrance of his earlier form as a bird, she also gave him the ability to lay eggs (in all the colors of the rainbow). 

However, the hare later angered the goddess Ostara, and she cast him into the skies where he would remain as the constellation Lepus (the Hare), forever positioned under the feet of the constellation Orion (the Hunter). He was allowed to return to earth once a year, but only to give away his eggs to the children attending the Ostara festivals that were held each spring. Thus, the tradition of the Easter Bunny had begun" (Easter: History and Traditions).

Sources:
--Celtic Folklore Cooking by Joanne Asala
--Easter: History and Traditions:  
http://www.goddessgift.com/Pandora's_Box/Easter-history.htm

--The Pagan Origins of the Easter Bunny:  http://altreligion.net/?page_id=1789
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