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Monday, June 10 2013

The Ancient City Romance Authors Hearts of Excellence Reader's Choice contest deadline is fast approaching. If you had a romance novel published in 2012 be sure to visit the chapter website ( ) and find out how to enter. Award winning author, Elizabeth Sinclair, author of the Hawks Mountain series and more than 20 other novels talks about this prestigious award and how it helps both writers and readers.

One of the stated aims of Romance Writers of America is to assist romance writers in their goal of having careers.  One of the ways RWA does this is with contests and awards.  As a former officer in RWA and co-founder of the Ancient City Romance Authors chapter, can you share a little about how contests can help a published author?


Contests (particularly those judged by readers) are an excellent way to get an author's name and books out to readers who haven't discovered them yet.  They read for the contest and realize they like this author and then go out and buy their backlist as well as look for any upcoming releases. ACRA's contest is geared to publicize the winners in any way we can. We announce the winners in the Romance Writers of America monthly publication, the Romance Writers Report, thus giving the author more PR exposure.  In addition to the above, ACRA gives the author a winner's clip to put on their website.  This year we hope to include a list of the winners and runner-ups in our conference program so the attendees can take it home and hopefully purchase some of the books.

Tell us about the history of ACRA's Heart of Excellence Reader's Choice contest?


When the Heart of Excellence was first conceived, we wanted a contest that could reach out to readers and perhaps help our authors and those of entrants from other chapters make sales they would not have made without it and to recognize excellence in romantic fiction.  That's why we decided to make it a READER's Choice.  Our readers come from all walks of life and are everyday people. Readers are the ones who put down their money for our books and what better way to acquaint them with talented authors they've never read before than by placing a free book in their hands through a contest? The contest has run for four years and has successfully garnered new readers for many authors.

Last year your book, Hawk's Mountain took first place in the Short Contemporary category in the Heart of Excellence contest. Has that had any impact on the success of this new series?


After Hawks Mountain won a Heart of Excellence Award, I noticed a definite upsurge in sales of that book as well as its sequel, SUMMER ROSE.

How should a published author go about entering? Is it complicated and does ACRA accept e-book and self-pubbed entries?


This year, to make certain all romance books are included, the contest has been opened up to e-books and self-published books.  Entering is easy and fast.  Just go to and click on the Heart of Excellence tab in the toolbar.


Remember - the deadline for entry is June 15th - don't miss the chance to bring this lovely trophy home to your bookshelf.



Elizabeth Sinclair sold her first romance, JENNY'S CASTLE, in 1993 to Silhouette Intimate Moments. Since then, this multi-published author's 23 books have sold in ten foreign countries and been translated into seven foreign languages.

Her books have won The National Reader's Choice Award, The Romantic Times Reviewer's Choice Award, and Maggie Award of Excellence.  She has also won a Gold Medal Top Pick from the Romantic Times Book Club and a Holt Medallion Award of Merit.

She is a co-founder and member of the Ancient City Romance Authors of St. Augustine, FL, and has been a member of Romance Writers of America since 1989.  Elizabeth served as RWA's Region 3 Director and chaired the 2001 RWA Annual Conference in New Orleans.

She has presented numerous workshops on the craft of writing and authored the THE DREADED SYNOPSIS. Elizabeth has published a total of twenty-three romances with Silhouette, Harlequin, Kensington, Thorndike and Bell Bridge Books. Her upcoming releases from Bell Bridge Books are HELL BENT, a romantic suspense, and WINTER MAGIC, the fourth book in the HAWKS MOUNTAIN series. Previous Books in that series are: HAWKS MOUNTAIN, SUMMER ROSE and FOREVER FALL.



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