Monday, January 12, 2009

First Contest of the Year!

I'm very excited to announce our first contest and first guest judge of the year. We are celebrating the release of Stand-In Groom by Kaye Dacus. The book was my "Sunday treat" yesterday, and treat it was. I found myself sighing with pleasure many times throughout the book - it was touching, tender, and sweet, but had enough conflict and drama to keep me turning those pages. About 3/4 of the way through I realized I was almost finished with the book, and I actually felt sad. I wasn't ready to leave Anne and George - and the rich, warm setting of their story - behind.

I became acquainted with Kaye in 2005 at the ACFW conference, and have followed her path to publication over on her blog. She works hard, keeps an inspiring positive attitude, and encourages countless of other writers along the way. I'm excited for her, proud of her and her beautiful, excellent book, and highly recommend you read, enjoy, and learn from her any way you can.

About Stand-In Groom:

When wedding planner Anne Hawthorne meets George Laurence, she thinks she’s found the man of her dreams. But when he turns out to be a client, her “dream” quickly turns into a nightmare. Will Anne risk her heart and career on this engaging Englishman? George came to Louisiana to plan his employer’s wedding and pose as the groom. But how can he feign affection for a supposed fiancĂ©e when he’s so achingly attracted to the wedding planner? And what will happen when Anne discovers his role has been Stand-In Groom only? Will she ever trust George again? Can God help these two find a happy ending?

Now for the contest:

Submit to me by e-mail a humorous wedding scene (rehearsal/wedding/reception) where someone from the bride's or groom's romantic past shows up. Scene can be 1000-1500 words, and must be submitted by Friday, midnight. (January 16th.) Block-style paragraphs are preferred, but not required.

Entries will be posted as they arrive, and a winner will be announced over the weekend. The winner will receive an autographed copy of Stand-In Groom.

More about our judge:

Kaye Dacus is an author and editor who has been writing fiction for more than twenty years. A former Vice President of American Christian Fiction Writers, Kaye enjoys being an active ACFW member and the fellowship and community of hundreds of other writers from across the country and around the world that she finds there. She currently serves as President of Middle Tennessee Christian Writers, which she co-founded in 2003 with three other writers. Each month, she teaches a two-hour workshop on an aspect of the craft of writing at the MTCW monthly meeting. But her greatest joy comes from mentoring new writers through her blog, Write Place Write Time, and seeing them experience those “aha” moments when a tricky concept becomes clear.

Kaye was born in Louisiana but has lived in several different areas of the country including Alaska, New Mexico, and Northern Virginia. Since 1996, she has called Nashville, Tennessee, home.

In May 2004, Kaye graduated from Trevecca Nazarene University with a Bachelor of Arts in English with a concentration on Professional Writing, as a part-time student while working full-time. After graduating, she immediately enrolled in graduate school. In June 2006, she received her Master of Arts in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University. Her thesis novel, Happy Endings Inc., is now her first published novel, re-titled Stand-In Groom.

Professionally, Kaye has worked in the newspaper and book publishing industries for the past fifteen years. She currently works as a freelance editor and copywriter for several publishing houses.

Romance novels were amongst the first books she ever read, so it was natural when she started writing as a young teen, that would be what she penned. Stand-In Groom, in addition to being her master’s thesis, was her fourth complete manuscript. But she has hundreds of files on her computer of snippets and starts and synopses of story ideas dating back to the mid-1980s.

Kaye is a member of Woodmont Baptist Church in Nashville, where she sings in the choir. She’s a Jane Austen fanatic and loves watching and discussing British costume-drama movies with friends. When time permits, she’ll usually be found traveling to visit family in Arkansas or Louisiana. Her grandmother and parents are her biggest supporters and where she draws her strength and encouragement to stick with it even when the road gets rough. She has one sister (and brother-in-law), five nephews, and a thirteen-year-old niece, who is also a writer.

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