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

Welcome to the final day of the 2013 Petit Fours and Hot Tamales Recipe for Success Write-Off Contest.  This is the last Wednesday for entries until our next contest in 2014.  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 27, 2013, Eastern Standard Time, will be accepted.  We will close this week’s round to entries after the first 100 entries or by Friday, March 29, 2013 at 6:00 p.m., EST. (PLEASE NOTE DEADLINE TIME CHANGE FROM PREVIOUS WEEKS)

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, science fiction, or as otherwise noted.  For purposes of explanation, we will consider erotic as any work that exceeds the “heat” level of the average Harlequin Blaze. PLEASE NOTE: NO POETRY, CHILDREN’S PICTURE BOOKS, OR SCREENPLAYS.

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.

FINAL ROUND WINNERS From this last round of entries, we will choose 10 more semifinalists whose names will be posted on Saturday, March 30, 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.

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 (not 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.)

Have fun!  Enter, and pass the word!

Marilyn Baron - March 27, 2013 - 6:27 am

The entries have been very impressive this year.

Melissa Robbins - March 27, 2013 - 9:30 am

Here goes nothing.


“Oi Yank.”

No need for clarification. I, Wren Buchanan, was the ‘Yank.’ A moniker given to me once I arrived in England last fall, despite being half English and knowing that a torch isn’t a flaming stick or loo isn’t the name of a person. However, I couldn’t escape the American accent.

I abandoned my logbook and peered over the top of the wireless that was out of place in the fancy manor house requisitioned for the war effort.

BabyBeachBlues - March 27, 2013 - 10:44 am

Young Adult Fantasy

Caroline had five minutes before she fell into hell. Bright lights of yellow cabs streaked by, pushing her closer to that pit of despair. For Caroline, that pit was the bodyguards tailing her. She stepped closer into the crush of people waiting on Amsterdam Avenue.
Something tugged her backpack-hard. She looked down. Bright eyes gazed up at her through a mess of red curls.
A squeal of delight bubbled up from the little girl’s toes all the way to the end of her ringlets.
Today, hell would be brought to Caroline Trent by a seven year old girl.

Rebekah Ward - March 27, 2013 - 3:47 pm

Contemporary romance
Audrey Harris closed her eyes and recalled the day she had received the P.I.’s initial report. She had sat at her desk mesmerized by the words on the paper. Even now just recalling that day produced jolts of prickly sensations to the back of her neck. Additional reports after the first had detailed parts of the last twenty plus years of Jillian Russell’s life. There were gaps of time missing, but all in all Audrey was glad to know that she was successful and probably content, especially since fate had played so harshly with the poor girl’s life.

Susan Carlisle - March 27, 2013 - 6:13 pm

These sound great. Well done.

Laura Russell - March 27, 2013 - 11:56 pm

Hi, Debbie Kaufman has convinced me it’s worth trying again, so here is beginning of “Escaping Her Past,” my contemporary romance.

The wooden door banged open abruptly. A man, half-a-foot taller than she, stomped out, snarling back over his shoulder. “Thanks for nothing. One hundred fifty years of family loyalty to Bitterman Bank and you can smile and say no to me.” She stepped back but he bumped right into her, turning quickly when her 18-month-old son began to cry. He reached out to steady her. “Forgive me, ma’am.” His voice was warm, but his hands were cold. That cold sent a shiver up her arms as she observed his soft chambray shirt and ridiculously long eyelashes.

Marilyn Baron - March 28, 2013 - 5:40 am

I’m so glad you did.

Debbie Kaufman - March 28, 2013 - 7:40 am

Don’t forget folks, entries are open till this Friday at 6pm.

Frances Fowlkes - March 28, 2013 - 8:21 am

Like Laura, Deb convinced me to enter again. :)
The number ten had a soothing quality, ten being, after all, the most perfect number, the basis not only of the entire decimal system, but also, according to Pythagoras, the whole of human knowledge. Simply counting to the number brought a sense of clarity and calm to Daphne Farrington’s nerves. And given that her brother was about to make the biggest mistake of his thirty-five years, counting to the numeral seemed the most effective way to collect all the serenity she could muster.

Abbie Roads - March 28, 2013 - 5:59 pm

Paranormal Romantic Suspense

Lathan Montgomery stood outside the auditorium doors trying to quell the plague of grasshoppers gnawing his gut. His throat opened; he felt like puking. How was he going to manage being in an audience full of people, full of their smells, full of their memories?
He hated how nothing in his life was normal. He hated the fucked up sequence of genetic code that enlarged the olfactory regions of his brain. He hated that he smelled everything. And he especially hated the ability to smell people’s memories. Memories that could overwhelm him and annihilate his reality.

Heather - March 29, 2013 - 12:29 pm

Urban Fantasy

“I said I wanted a lair with a view of the Atlanta skyline,” David Phillips said. “This is a swampy golf course. Do I need to find a better real estate agent, Miss Adams?” His tone implied he didn’t think a blonde in a tight turtleneck and leather jacket could find the first vowel in the alphabet, let alone a property worthy of his villainy.

All new outlaws were the same. They expected underground bunkers at bargain prices. Not going to happen. Not in this economy. He’d learn. That is, if I didn’t shove his face into a concrete wall.

Heather - March 29, 2013 - 12:32 pm

Romantic Suspense (political plot)

Evan preferred to hide in the spotlight. Openness offered the perfect camouflage. People rarely scrutinized events unfolding in front of their eyes. Visibility inspired reliability. A late afternoon meeting was less likely to raise eyebrows than a private caucus at a more discreet hour.

Evan’s attention darted around his pub. His lair. His domain. They were alone.

Senator Walter Ramsey’s hand trembled as he lifted the glass, but his firm tone and volume carried an undeniable air of pride. “Never tempt your ambition. You won’t ever recover from even the slightest slip, or hope to satisfy the hunger you awakened.”

Debbie Kaufman - March 30, 2013 - 8:22 am

Well folks, in case you haven’t guessed, this post advertised that we’d take 10 more semifinalists, and I have 8 entries. Yep, do the math, LOL!

Congrats to Heather, Abbie Roads, Francis Fowlkes, Laura Russell, Rebekah Ward, BabyBeachBlues, and Melissa Robbins.

Ladies, your instruction email will be sent by 9am today, Saturday, EST.

Laura Russell - April 1, 2013 - 2:48 am

Hi Debbie,
I did not receive instructions. Could you let me know how to submit my pp?


Debbie Kaufman - April 1, 2013 - 7:13 am

Laura, check your email spam filter. I just resent. If you don’t see it, email me directly with other contact information dlkaufmanATbellsouthDOTnet

Debbie Kaufman - April 1, 2013 - 5:14 pm

Okay everybody, the announcement is coming, but delayed. I apologize but I am recording scores on wifi at the children’s hospital where we have unfortunately had to make an emergency visit. I promise winners tonight or no later than the morning. Sorry for the delay.

Debbie Kaufman - April 2, 2013 - 10:10 am


1. Louisa Cornell, The Price of a Gentleman
2. Abbie Roads, Dangerous Dreams
3. Julie Hinz, Betting on Her Heart
4. Francis Fowlkes, The Duke’s Obsession
5. Chris Bailey, One Hundred Frogs, Even

Honorable Mention:
Heather Leonard, Counter Friction

So, my top five should already have an email from me. Check your spam filters if you do not. My email is dlkaufmanATbellsouthDOTnet if you have not already received your final instructions.
Because of my late announcement due to a family member’s emergency surgery (all is better :)), the deadline for returning your pages is Thursday, April 4th, NOON EST (New York time), no exceptions.

[…] (NOTE: If you are looking for the names of our writing contest finalists, read the comment section HERE:) […]

BabyBeachBlues - April 2, 2013 - 3:20 pm

I am glad all is well, I hope there is a lot of resting and a speedy recovery! Congratulations to all of the finalists!

LouisaCornell - April 2, 2013 - 8:14 pm

Got my e-mail from you, Deb! I’ll be sending you my pages tomorrow evening.

SO thrilled and honored to be a finalist! Thank you so much! Good luck to all of the finalists and thank you Petit Fours and Hot Tamales for this opportunity!

Laura Russell - April 2, 2013 - 8:22 pm

Glad to hear “all is better,” and congrats to the finalists.

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