Mary Wine, Mentor Extraodinaire

Saturday, October 16, 2010

My mentor for the Writing with the Stars contest is the extraordinary Mary Wine.

During Round One (Best First Paragraph and Last Line) - in her gentle but tenacious way - Mary urged me tighten up my writing and axed the passive verbs which took some of the oomph out of the entry. Her insight about certain descriptions and word choices editors don't want to see in a romance novel proved invaluable.  

Mary has also been wonderfully forthcoming in sharing her hands-on knowledge of how the publishing industry works. She generously answers all of the many questions I pepper her with. Not only is her unique insight  fascinating to hear, but it will no doubt help me on my road to publication.

As soon as I found out Mary was my mentor, I ran out and brought her book, To Conquer a Highlander, which takes place in 1437 Scotland. I loved it!

The story involves Laird Torin McLeren, who hopes to prevent war by kidnapping his enemy's daughter, Shannon. Of course, they fall in love and the historical tidbits sprinkled throughout make this a compelling read.

I'm anxious to read the next book in the series, Highland Hellcat, which focuses on Laird Connor Lindsey. Seeking a strong political alliance, Connor arranges to marry Diedre but when he discovers that she isn’t pure, he steals her sister, Brina, even though she is promised to the church.

Here's another teachable moment from Mary. I did not know third daughters in late 1430s Scotland were always promised to the church. These daughters knew their fate since childhood and were treated with extra care because of it. That makes the set up to Highland Hellcat all the more intriguing!

You can check out Mary's mentoring skills by reading the first paragraph and last line of  my historical Regency romance, Seducing Charlotte, by clicking HERE.

If you'd like to read more, I hope you'll consider VOTING for my entry in the Writing with the Stars contest. I promise it's very quick and easy. You can click in, vote and be done in under a minute.

If you enjoy the first paragraph, here's the FIRST CHAPTER.


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