Her Cinderella Secret

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Just got my fourth rejection on Her Cinderella Secret from The Wild Rose Press.

Here's the text of the rejection:
Dear Vicki,

Thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to consider your manuscript Her Cinderella Secret. While I really enjoyed the read, I'm sorry to say I can't offer you a contract with The Wild Rose Press at this time. I was impressed by your smooth, flowing, clever and original writing style; however, I felt that the story's plotline didn't meet the high standards you'd set with your writing and character development. To begin with, I was concerned about the fact the heroine has a physical relationship with the hero while she believes he's seeing another woman; this could make the heroine less likeable or relatable to the reader. On a larger scale, most of the conflicts between the hero and heroine seem to be based on mistaken identities and misunderstandings, rather than developing from actual interior, character-based conflicts. As a result, the hero and heroine's journey doesn't have as much at stake, and it comes off a bit too similar to stories we've seen many times before.

Again, I was impressed by your writing style, and I definitely think you have potential as an author. Thanks again for allowing me to read your work.

To be honest, I knew the inherent flaws in the conflict of my story. The best romances are based on character-driven conflicts, and mine didn't quite hit that mark. So even though I'm a little disappointed, I'm not too surprised.

So what's next? Well, I've decided to abandon trying to sell this story and make it available for free when I put a website together. Or, I might host it on fictionpress.com. It's not a waste; it was a huge learning experience, and I'm glad I wrote it.

Whew. What a week. But I'm back now...no more wedding to think about! HOORAY!

Just before the wedding, I received this rejection from Carina Press:

Dear Vicki,

Thank you for submitting HER CINDERELLA SECRET to Carina Press, and for your patience while the acquisitions team reviewed your full manuscript.

Unfortunately, after careful consideration of your manuscript, we have determined that it does not fit our needs.

Though we aren't able to accept this manuscript, it is always possible that future manuscripts may find a home with us, and we hope you'll consider us for future submissions. Additionally, please remember that publishing is quite subjective, and what doesn't work for one publisher may work for another so we wish you the best of luck in placing this manuscript elsewhere.

Thank you for your interest in working with Carina Press.

Angela James
Executive Editor, Carina Press
www.carinapress.com

Oh, well. Back to the old drawing board. I'll probably try to pitch it to some other publishing houses. Couldn't hurt, right?

Just keep swimming...

I got the news today, oh, boy....

Finished third in the TRW's Golden Opportunity contest in the Contemporary Series category. From first in scores to third in rank (of three).

Oh, well, there's always next year. It was good to know I even made the finals.

Here's what the category judge, Harlequin Superromance's Wanda Ottewell, had to say:

How would you rate this entry on a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the highest?
7

What was strong about this entry?
Really captures the heroine’s unique voice with the narrative. Her personality comes through well so the reader feels connected.

What could be improved?
A more unique, less typical meet between the hero and heroine would be good. While the collision between hero and heroine sparks physical awareness, as a device it gets used a lot.

I knew this about the setup when I set out to write the book, of course. But it is my first book, and after three years of rejigging, it actually rates as not half-bad, so on the scale of things, WIN!

Better luck next time!