Monday, May 18, 2015

Introducing Some Killer Voices

Hello, Cate Nolan here.

In my non-writing life I'm known as Mary Curry, but I’m trying to get used to life as my writing alter ego, so my posts here will be done as Cate. 

This time last year I was under a major deadline crunch, racing toward the finish line to complete a manuscript for Love Inspired Suspense’s Killer Voices competition.

Not only did I make the deadline (Phew!!!  *wipes brow*), but a little more than a month later, Emily Rodmell called to buy my book. Christmas in Hiding by Cate Nolan (me :) ) will be out in October of this year.

You can be sure I’ll have a lot more to say about that as my release date draws closer, but today I’d like to turn the spotlight on some friends. You see, I wasn’t the only sale. Five other lovely ladies sold with me at that time and two others have gone on to sell since.

I thought it might be fun for my debut Craftie Ladies post to introduce you to my Killer Voice sisters.

April saw the launch of three authors - Michelle Karl, DanaR. Lynn and Tammy Johnson. Their books are still available online. 


I asked if they had anything they would like to say about their releases or the year since their first sales.

 Michelle responded:

This debut novel, from first draft to finished book, has taught me that persistence is key. Whether you’re having a good day or bad, whether the revisions are tough or a breeze, you must persist and keep moving forward in order to succeed. Talk about a rollercoaster journey!

Dana had this to share:
I sometimes have to pinch myself to believe all that has happened in the past year. I'm constantly amazed at how God has worked in my life. One of the best things about this whole process has been the relationships I have developed with other authors.

Tammy offered:
It's hard to believe it's been almost a year since the call that made my dreams of becoming a published author come true! I'm so appreciative of Harlequin and all that the editors do to help new authors and the way they encourage and actively look for new authors. Seeing my book on the shelf last month was amazing and every time I hear from someone who's read Royal Rescue it makes my day! I am working on a second book and can't wait to be able to share it with everyone.  

Mary Ellen Porter was up next with her May release and in June Lynn Huggins Blackburn's debut hits the shelves.


Lynn commented:

"There have been so many "I can't believe this is happening" moments...the day the contract arrived, the day the advance arrived, the day the books arrived. But I think the one I'm most anxious for is the day I walk into a store and see Covert Justice on a shelf. I think that may be the moment I finally believe I'm not dreaming."

I’m not allowed to share my cover yet, but you’ll see it here as soon as I can! The release of Christmas in Hiding was postponed until autumn because of the holiday theme. Even though I can't show you the cover, I can quote the blurb that is up on Amazon.

After her ex-boyfriend's murder, Callie Martin has no choice but to trade her quiet life as a kindergarten teacher for the witness protection program. It's US Marshal Jackson Walker's job to keep Callie safe, but the men who would do her harm just keep getting closer and closer. Either someone on the inside is betraying Callie, or she's lying to Jackson about her involvement. So he decides to go off the grid, spiriting her away to the remote Vermont countryside at Christmas. Jackson wants to trust her, but with danger dogging their every move, he'll have to use all his energy to keep her alive.

 Since the initial five sales, Meghan Carver and Jenna Night also sold to LIS.

Over the years I have been so impressed by all the great opportunities the Harlequin editors offer to new authors through these contests. Just last Friday, 30 writers found out they’ve moved on to the next round of #Blurb2Book. I’m so excited for them and happy to offer them encouragement! Hopefully we'll be seeing lots more great Love Inspired books in all three lines with their names on them!

All of this got me to thinking - 
If you're an author, how did you land your first contract with Harlequin?
If you're a reader (or an author and a reader) what kind of books do you like best? Is there a particular theme? Do you like suspense, historical, contemporary? I'd really love to hear from you.


Ooops - the date says Monday because I'm posting from the East Coast.


  1. Congratulations, Mary! And thanks for introducing us to many of the new LIS authors.

    I received my first contract the traditional way--in response to an agent's submission.

  2. Congrats, Mary/Cate!

    I sold following a contest win where the LIH editor was the final round judge. I agree that Love Inspired offers so many amazing opportunities to debut authors.

  3. Congratulations on your first sale, Mary/Cate! I hope you're busy writing the second, because the first sounds amazing and I can't wait to read it.

    I haven't sold yet, but Blurb to Book just may be my opportunity. If not, I'll keep plodding along, submitting the old fashioned way. I'm trying to stick to my timeline and make this deadline with more of a cushion than the last one!

    I am writing a contemporary, but my critique partners (including Dana R. Lynn, your fellow Killer Voice. Hi Dana! And hi, Christina!) write historical and suspense. I've always loved suspense and have tried my hand at it, but Christina's writing made me love historical. I will read just about any kind of romance as long as it gives me those timeless feelings and an HEA.

  4. LOL, I sold straight to an editor and got a letter in the mail telling me I sold - no first phone call story.

    Great to meet all the new LIS writers. LIS is soaring. You ladies rock.

  5. Good morning, Sandra. I wish I had the gorgeous scenery you shared yesterday. And congrats on your great review for RT.

  6. Christine, I remember sitting with you at several RWA luncheons and being in awe of your success. I'm so happy to be with you at LI now. Thanks for visiting today to meet the new Killer Voices.
    As you can imagine, I'm a huge fan of writing contests.

  7. Pamela, a letter probably would have been better. I don't know if you heard my call story, but I was napping when Emily called and I missed her call. In my defense, it was a hot, humid July day. So embarrassing.

  8. Thank you for your kind words, Ms. ZeyZey. Good news is I'm almost done revising my second book.

    I'm cheering you on and I hope this is your time. #Blurb2book is such an amazing opportunity.

  9. Congratulations! I hope it's the first of many, many sales!

  10. Congrats to all of you!! I'm sure it's been very exciting!

  11. I'm so happy for all of you Killer Voices authors. I had such fun watching Twitter for the sale announcements. I squealed for each of you.

    I sold my first LIH via my agent's submission--after performing a round of pre-contract revisions. There were more revisions post-contract, too. Since I prefer editing to drafting, that was fine with me. Plus my editor, Emily Rodmell, really knows her stuff and helped me make the story much stronger.

  12. Hi Barb and Missy, thanks for your kind welcome.

    Keli, I totally agree about Emily's knack for knowing what works. I'm always have to make her revision suggestions.

  13. I can't wait to read it, Mary! Your plot sounds great!!! Congratulations. :-)


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