You’ll see a new picture on the sidebar. Mistress by Midnight finalled in the 2008 Golden Claddagh contest! And fellow Vixen Elyssa Papa’s Take a Chance on Me is also a finalist! I’m pretty excited. My pages will be read by an Avon editor and I’m hoping to get valuable feedback. I’m in the homestretch now, about 25,000 words to go to get to HEA-ven. For the first time in ages, I haven’t written the last part first. The whole book has been freakishly consecutive. In fact, I don’t really know how it’s going to end, because, as we’ve established, Pants R Us.

I have a few balls in the air. The evil uncle may not really be dead. A good guy may turn out to be bad, or at least a bungler. There are two children whom I do not wish to seriously imperil—as the mother of four, nothing is scarier to me than children-in-danger themes, even if my babies are grown up with babies of their own. Serious secrets need to be revealed, and since no therapists are handy in 1820, I need to have a reasonable resolution. All in all, I have written myself into a challenging corner.

(And then there are the sheep. To find out more, come back to read my next post on Wednesday, July 16.)
Contest: Who wants to write my ending for me? Here’s your chance.

Hero: Desmond Ryland, Marquess of Conover (AKA Con) (age 32)
Heroine: Laurette Vincent (age 29)
Con’s son: James (age 11)
Con’s and Laurette’s secret baby (yes!!!): Beatrix (age 11)
Evil, possibly undead uncle: Lord Ryland (if alive, 70s)
Good/bad guy/bungler: Jacob Carter, retired soldier/farm manager (40ish)
Setting: West Yorkshire dales. There are caves. Ruined outbuildings. Sheep (see above).
Time: Summer, 1820

Serious or silly entries only. Those participating in Finish This Mess (hereafter known as FTM) will automatically be entered into an MRMR contest with a fabulous, or at least free, prize package! Random winner selected and announced on 7/16. Enter early. Enter often. Tell your friends. Extra points for talking sheep.

And is it finaled or finalled? Spellcheck hates either one.