Be part of the publishing process.  We need help deciding a cover direction for YA release STUPID FAST, a seriously funny debut by Geoff Herbach.  Tell us which one you like best here and you could win an advance copy of one of our most highly anticipated books for the spring.

Need help polishing your manuscript?  Joy Preble, author of DREAMING ANASTASIA, is taking part in a charity auction to raise money for the Family Violence Prevention Fund.  Bid on a critique for 10 pages of your work here. And scout out the rest of the listings for critiques from agent Nathan Bransford and Flux editor Brian Farrey, signed ARCs and loads of other great stuff.

It’s liiiive–oh, wait, wrong book.  The iDrakula app is up at iTunes–and it’s free.  Check it out and you can get the ebook for only $1.99.  Great deal and an adorable icon.

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Which Best Celler entry will be named Fan Favorite?  You decide!  Cast your vote now.

Borders is the primary sponsor of the 2010 RomCon, a conference aimed primarily at romance readers and scheduled to take place July 9-11 in Denver. 

Published authors may want to take note of their Reader’s Crown contest. The books will be judged by selected romance readers, and the winner receives special display space in Borders stores and coverage on Borders’ True Romance blog.  Then again, it also costs $75 to enter.  Worth it if you win, but at almost twice the cost of entering the Ritas, it’s hard to give a wholehearted endorsement.

Readers can get five free books and $10 off conference fees if they’d like to apply to be a judge.

Dorchester and TextNovel.com have announced the top vote-getters for America’s Next Best Celler contest. These entries are now semi-finalists in the contest to win a book contract.  Dorchester editors will choose 10 from the following list to be our finalists.  On Nov. 16th voting will open once again.  [Edited: Sorry, my mistake.]

Meantime, take a look and tell us your favorites.

1.    Manhunt

2.    Muse Struck

3.    Lancelot’s Lady

4.    Stay

5.    Death’s Angel

6.    Forever Freed

7.    Confessions of the World’s Oldest Shotgun Bride

8.    Fae Nights

9.    How to Lose a Demon in 10 Days

10. What She Was Missing

11. Courting Demons

12. Daughter of Fire

13. Vampire Vacation

14. Redeeming Characters

15. Enchanted Season

16. Death Waylaid: Passion of the Psychic

17. Primitive Nights

18. Tossing the Gloves: How to Love a Hockey Player

19. Highland Magic

20. The Hooded Man

21. Enchantment

Because of ongoing issues with the Dorchester message boards, we have postponed the query critique.  We’re going to relaunch it when we have brand new forums set up, so stay tuned.  And thanks for all your patience.

where-the-wind-blowsNot too long ago we noticed we had several books on our list of a similar style: sweeter, heartfelt Americana romances.  They have wonderfully in-depth characters and a lot of emotional pull.  And, don’t get me wrong, even though I say “sweeter,” we’re not skimping on the love scenes.  😉

 We wanted to showcase these books in a special way.  Hence a new Home in the Heartland banner, making its first appearance with Caroline Fyffe’s debut, WHERE THE WIND BLOWS. 

This is not a new line.  There is no set number of titles we’re looking for. 

Future books in the series include Lisa Cooke’s A MIDWIFE CRISIS, which is currently featured on my sidebar, and Sharla Rae’s debut, HOW TO TAME A TIMBERMAN, coming in May 2010. 

A quick way to get a feel for the books is to watch Caroline Fyffe’s video preview.  Invest the extra time to write your version of the last line of her book, and you could win a stay at a California dude ranch.  Check out her Under the Western Sky contest for further details.

Some points of interest from around the web:

More details on America’s Next Best Celler contest sponsored by Dorchester and TextNovel in a special interview at Romance University.  If you haven’t yet registered, definitely check it out.  There are already some fantastic entries garnering a lot of votes.

BooksOnBoard is offering all Rita-nominated books for 26% off.  Just use promo code RitaOnBoard before midnight on Friday to claim the discount.

i-shot-you-babeConcoct a drink based on Leslie Langtry’s Greatest Hits series, and win a set of signed books.  Why do I have a feeling there’s going to be a lot of Sapphire Bombay gin involved?  And is it happy hour yet?