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Round Two of the 2013 Petit Fours and Hot Tamales Recipe for Success Write-Off with Top Agent, Melissa Jeglinski

Welcome to the second week of the 2013 Petit Fours and Hot Tamales Recipe for Success Write-Off Contest.  We are open for entries today and each of the next two Wednesdays.  Please read the complete rules by clicking the Contest TAB at the top of the page under the banner.  Again, please read all the rules on the link above.

WHAT CAN YOU WIN Grand prize is a critique from agent Melissa Jeglinski of The Knight Agency of the first 20 pages of your manuscript and a two page synopsis.  Four runners-up will receive a PFHT cookbook.


A graduate of Clarion University of Pennsylvania, where she majored in English with a writing concentration, Melissa began her career as an editor with Harlequin Enterprises. Looking to work with a variety of authors and genres, she joined The Knight Agency in 2008.  With over two decades experience in the publishing industry, Melissa has fostered her clients to National prominence including a recent Newbery Honor. She is a member of RWA and AAR. Melissa is currently seeking projects in the following areas:  Romance (contemporary, category, historical, inspirational) Young Adult, Middle Grade, Women’s Fiction and Mystery. Keep up with Melissa at The Knight Agency or Follow Her on Twitter.

HOW TO ENTER In the comments box below this post, put your entry of the first paragraph or up to 100 words of your story.  The first 100 entries posted AT or AFTER midnight, March 13, 2013, Eastern Standard Time, will be accepted.  We will close this week’s round to entries after the first 100 entries or by 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday.

Please note: You are not required to post 100 words.  You may post less.  Instead of just saying the first paragraph, we give you the 100 word option because you may have started with dialogue   However, use word count or count each and every word by hand.  Entries over 100 words will be automatically disqualified.

GENRES? Entries may be in any genre except for erotic or science fiction.  For purposes of explanation, we will consider erotic as any work that exceeds the “heat” level of the average Harlequin Blaze.

WHO CAN ENTER Entrants must be unagented at the time of submission and not have published a work of full-length fiction (over 40,000 words) within the last 36 calendar months.

FIRST ROUND WINNERS From this first round of entries, we will choose 10 semifinalists whose names will be posted on Monday, March 18, 2013 by 8:00 PM EST in the comments section  below today’s post.   Winners will need to email us with contact information within 24 hours of their name being posted as a semifinalist.  Remember, if you are not chosen from today’s entries, you may reenter the same work or an entirely different one NEXT WEDNESDAY!

And as a disclaimer, remember: By posting an entry, entrants agree to hold all members of PFHT, Melissa Jeglinski, and The Knight Agency harmless, including for any comments or criticisms including those posted on the blog by guests or others. Winning is not a guarantee of representation.

If you have a question that is not answered by reading the rules at , please feel free to post it in the comments section, BUT enter anyway AFTER YOU HAVE READ THE RULES.  If there is a problem, we’ll remove your entry.  We don’t want you to miss the entry window, so we’d rather have a wrong entry we must remove than for you to not enter.

WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?  ENTER IN THE COMMENT BOX BELOW. List the genre, please (will not be considered as part of the word count).  (Please note, if you have never posted a comment with us before, yours will be awaiting moderation.  Don’t panic, it will still have an accurate time on it for your place in the contest.)


Marilyn Baron - March 13, 2013 - 12:20 am

I can’t wait to see this week’s entries.

Piper Huguley - March 13, 2013 - 6:17 am

Hello! This is from my inspriational historical romance:

Good thing people didn’t expect fighters to control their sweat, in or out of the ring.
Except one.
Her chirping, teasing voice came unbidden to his mind. “You sweat like a souie pig stuck in a still.”
“Not souie, Delie, sow.”
“I can’t keep all the farm animals straight.”
“You were raised on a farm.”
“That doesn’t mean I have to know the animals’ names, Champion. Sheesh.”
The memory of Cordelia Bledsoe warmed as Champ waited his fate in the freezing office. She was the last good in his life. And he had been fool enough to let her go.

Thanks! Piper

Chris Bailey - March 13, 2013 - 8:00 am


I would have given Mom a good-bye hug, but StepThad’s arm rested across her shoulder. Like the two of them were glued together. Double hug or nothing.

I waved.

“Have fun this week.” Mom’s smile was fixed on me, but I knew. She was really focused on StepThad.

My giant duffel bag and I stood next to the camp check-in tent. My sister, Zoe, tossed me my backpack. “We have to go. I can’t be late. Remember the rules.”

“Don’t tell Grace what to do,” Mom said.

“I’m helping her.”

“She’s helping me,” I echoed.

Debbie Kaufman - March 13, 2013 - 9:18 am

Chris, love that “StepThad.”
Piper, sounds like Champion misses Delia.

Julie Hinz - March 13, 2013 - 10:53 am

This is such a fun contest idea!

Historical Romance

Harriet Graves had never been happier than the moment when Daniel Fitzalan, the Marquess of Emery, proposed to her over the top of his racing papers.

This was the moment she had waited for since she was twelve years old and had first met Emery. Only, when she imagined it, he was looking passionately into her eyes – not at the latest horse-racing news – and they were in a secluded garden – not taking tea in her brother’s drawing room in Mayfair surrounded by their families.

Nonetheless, Harriet was over the moon.

Laura - March 13, 2013 - 1:34 pm

Contemporary Romance
“I don’t like silence. It means you are going to say no.”
Violet set her phone down on down on the edge of the easel, sliding her finger across the screen. The small studio instantly filled with Aunt Mable’s voice.
Violet picked up a pencil, sketching the white void full of stars.
She stopped, waiting for more incentives to fly out of the phone.
“You are a coward, Violet Davis. That man loves you, and you’re just going to do nothing about it?”
Violet dropped her pencil, she could hide behind her work, but apparently not Aunt Mable.

Terry Oparka - March 13, 2013 - 3:06 pm

Lisa’s feet scrunched the gravel that surrounded each campsite. Her flip-flops seemed like the right thing to wear to check out the beach, but now the pebbles skittered over her toes, chipping her 50-dollar pedicure.
She was sure that Nathan parked the camper in number 33.
But it was empty.
She smelled wood smoke and pine needles as she walked toward the rangers’ station.
Children in Mackinaw City t-shirts chased each other around the tiny building while a man with a hairy back filled out forms. A woman with a frizzy perm got in line behind her.

Keith Reimert - March 13, 2013 - 3:18 pm

Hello, the following s an excerpt from my Inspirational Suspense story. Thanks!
A metallic scream split the air as the plane plummeted back to earth. Its death cry filled the cabin with an ear-piercing shriek from the engine trying, but failing, to create thrust. The panic-stricken pilots over the controls.
“It won’t respond,” the pilot screamed, “I can’t get the nose up!”
Danny sat riveted to his cabin seat, his fingers gouging holes into its leather arms. He turned to the window to see the ground rocketing towards him realizing his final moments were upon him.
“Oh God,” another passenger shouted in a wailing prayer.

Meda White - March 13, 2013 - 6:32 pm

Genre: Contemporary (Category Series)

Camilla Don Francisco reviewed the form before she went to retrieve her next client from the lounge– another doctor. Hopefully, this one wouldn’t suggest they play doctor in lieu of the therapeutic massage he’d scheduled. Working on the Love Boat, as the crew referred to it, had high points and low points, none of which involved wave height.

Philisha Stephens - March 13, 2013 - 7:04 pm

Quickly locking the doors, Rachael props her back against the wall and slowly slides downward to a sitting position.
“What was I thinking,” she mumbles to herself. “He could have killed us all.”
It’s midnight, the kids are in bed sound asleep and her husband has just stormed out of the house in a fit of rage. She sits there in shock hoping that the marriage is finally over but is afraid that he will come back to argue more. Rachael knew that telling him she didn’t love him was a stupid move.

Alexandra Haughton - March 13, 2013 - 9:32 pm

Contemporary Romance:

“It’s a fortune cookie, not a congressional mandate.”

“It’s a fortune cookie that said ‘you will find love in travel,’” Diana countered, foot swinging with the beat pumping out of the tinny speakers in their favorite dive. “That’s the kind of thing you can’t ignore.”

“But what does it mean? I travel to the supermarket. I travel to my mailbox. I trav—”

“That’s not what it means and you know it.”

“Fine. Poof! I’m in Paris. And I fall in love with it.” Laura sipped her cocktail. Laughed. “Heck, I’m probably over halfway in love with Paris already.”

Mary Ann Clarke Scott - March 13, 2013 - 10:36 pm

Contemporary Women’s Fiction
Life doesn’t always give you what you expect.
Clearly, a seduction is in progress, and it’s making me green. As green as the North Sea that brought the Vikings to England. As green as the Atlantic that brought me to England from my home in Canada. Although we flew. Marc-Antoine and I.
Marc-Antoine’s black denim-clad knee presses into her long, lean bare thigh with enough pressure to indent her firm flesh. Her hand punctuates her passionate words by patting and smacking and, occasionally, resting for annoyingly long periods on his thigh.

Patricia McGovern - March 13, 2013 - 11:50 pm

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Zach Malloy bolted upright, heart slamming, sweat beading his forehead. A nightmare, reliving the moment Mark died. Only it wasn’t a dream. It was a living hell.
But, the nightmare hadn’t wakened him. From beneath his bedroom window came the scraping of metal; someone working the lock. Other than Zach, only his parents had a key to the house, and they’d never walk in at one A.M.
Pain stabbed through Zach’s leg as he eased out of bed. He reached toward the nightstand, then yanked back. They’d taken his gun, of course.

Laura Russell - March 14, 2013 - 2:58 am

Contemporary romance

“What are you doing here?” Allison sputtered.
“I work here,” Wylls smiled, “It’s nice to see you again.”
“You work here?” She repeated, unable to get anything else to come out. She was remembering that ride in the taxi.
“I’m with Life Care Industries. You were in Investment Management so our paths didn’t cross. But I did see you around the building.”
“Around the building?” Allison shook her head. She didn’t think one of the managing partners would notice a trainee. She would have noticed him if she’d seen him.
“Well, I keep tabs on our new hires.”

Debbie Kaufman - March 18, 2013 - 8:43 pm

Sorry for the posting delay folks. We hunkered down here for quite some time as tornados past to the bare south of us! All’s well, so here, without any particular order are round two’s semifinalists!

1. Patricia McGovern
2. Keith Reimert
3. Alexandra Haughton
4. C.K Crouch
5. Julie Hinz

Congrats and please look for an email from me no later than tomorrow morning.

Chris Bailey - March 19, 2013 - 8:03 am

Congratulations and best wishes to all the semifinalists so far! Debbie, thanks for coordinating this contest. It’s a wonderful learning opportunity and a great service to the writing community. Y’all (and I mean all y’all Petit Fours and Hot Tamales) have generous hearts. Thank you again for sharing.

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