Interview with Lily George. Handling Rejection by Nephele Tempest

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» Nalini Singh's SHIELD OF WINTER debuted at #16 on the New York Times e-book fiction list, #23 on the combined fiction list, and #45 on USA Today's bestseller list. It also made Amazon's list of best romances for the year.

» TKA clients Cindy Miles, Lauren Hawkeye, Cathryn Fox, and Ava Conway were spotlighted in a USA Today Happy Ever After article highlighting New Adult summer reads.

» A PLUNDER OF SOULS by D.B. Jackson received a fantastic review in Huffington Post.

» Robin Owens’ GHOST SEER and Deidre Knight's Parallel series are now on Audible.

In this issue

Christian romance author Lily George never dreamed that anyone would actually want to read her writing until she came up with the plot for her first inspirational Regency romance, CAPTAIN OF HER HEART.

That book was handpicked by Love Inspired senior editor Melissa Endlich as the overall winner of the MARA Fiction from the Heartland contest, one of the few times an inspirational romance novel has swept past the secular romances in every category.

Lily George's characters are commoners—hardworking, plain-spoken individuals who often face insurmountable obstacles in their pursuit of love and their quest for faith.


TKA: Your first novel, CAPTAIN OF HER HEART, won the MARA Fiction from the Heartland contest, which led to a deal with Love Inspired Historical. Did you enter the contest with publication in mind, or did the result come as a surprise?

Lily: The result was a total surprise; in fact, I was certain they'd called the wrong person. I was entering contests as a way to earn wider feedback on my writing, as suggested by a few critique partners. The feedback I received was so widely varied that I wasn't sure if I was the worst writer on earth, or doing all right. The MARA contest was the last contest I'd intended to enter as the feedback I kept receiving from other contests was so inconsistent that it was kind of messing with my head.

TKA: Melissa Jeglinski has been your agent for over two years. How did the relationship come about and what do you like most about working with her?

Lily: I found Melissa when I was in between contracts and looking for an agent who would be a powerful advocate on my behalf. I knew I needed someone who'd be willing to go to bat for me, and Melissa came highly recommended by other writers. I was so happy and relieved when she became my agent.

TKA: Your latest novel, A RUMORED ENGAGEMENT, is a Christian story about a woman who gets engaged to one man to avoid marrying another. At what point did you decide to write Christian historical romance and what do you find most rewarding about it?

Lily: I did try writing secular historical romance, but I wasn't a good fit for it. I was stumbling around trying to find my voice, and one day I took a drive to clear my head. I stopped at a thrift store and as I was browsing, this insistent voice in my head kept saying, "The answer's here. TURN AROUND." I did, and I was standing in front of a shelf full of Grace Livingston Hill books. She was a prominent inspy [inspirational] author back in the 1920s and 1930s, and I actually read her books when I was a girl. My sister and I absolutely devoured everything she'd written during long, hot summers. Then I realized that I, too, could write inspy romance. So I changed to inspy and it was like putting on an old pair of blue jeans--just comfortable and right.

TKA: Unlike most romances with rich and gorgeous heroes, yours often have disabilities and serious flaws which make them much more believable. What advice could you offer writers in creating true-to-life characters?

Lily: I try to write what I know. I have flaws; everyone I know has flaws. I grew up in a family of disabled people. So for me, writing what I know is writing about overcoming flaws, or triumphing over adversity. When creating a character I don't ask what I will write next as much as what would my character do next. I try to put myself in their boots or slippers and walk around.

TKA: What is the biggest joy your career has brought you so far and what's your top goal for the future?

Lily: I appreciate it when readers reach out to me and tell me that my books entertained them, or made them feel better as they were going through a difficult time. All I can hope to do is to continue telling stories that keep people entertained or maybe bring them some small comfort in a dark time.

Follow Lily on Twitter
Like Lily on Facebook
Visit Lily's Official Site



» Alexandria Gilbert:


» Leigh Duncan:

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» Jordan Dane's BLOOD SCORE, to Steve Feldberg at Audible, by Elaine Spencer.

» Chris Marie Green's VAMPIRE BABYLON series, to Steve Feldberg at Audible, by Elaine Spencer.

» Ann Marie Walker and Amy Roger's debut REMIND ME, to Leis Pederson at Intermix, in a three-book deal by Pamela Harty.

» Ella Frank's BLIND OBSESSION, VEILED INNOCENCE, and TRY: Temptation Series Book One, to Steve Feldberg at Audible, by Deidre Knight.

» Cindy Miles's STUPID GIRL, to Steve Feldberg at Audible, by Deidre Knight.

    » Shirley Jump's SWEET AND SAVORY series, to Steve Feldberg of Audible, by Deidre Knight.

» Roxanne St. Claire's BAREFOOT BAY BRIDES trilogy and the BILLIONAIRES OF BAREFOOT BAY trilogy, to Steve Feldberg of Audible, by Deidre Knight, .

Sales Roundup is a selective sampling of TKA's deals for the past month. For more info on our recent sales, visit



» Nalini Singh's SHIELD OF WINTER debuted at #16 on the New York Times e-book fiction list, #23 on the combined fiction list, and #45 on USA Today's bestseller list. The novel also made Amazon's list of best romances for the year.

» TKA clients Cindy Miles, Lauren Hawkeye, Cathryn Fox, and Ava Conway were spotlighted in a USA Today Happy Ever After article highlighting New Adult summer reads.


Kylie Griffin is the author of ALLEGIANCE SWORN, the third novel in the Light Blade series.

Kylie's Tip: Procrastination, the bane of all writers…

How many of you have ever done the housework, checked your emails, paid the bills, rearranged your workspace, surfed the ‘net, read a chapter or two of a book, found some obscure task to finish, or just plain wasted time doing “stuff” instead of sitting down and writing?

Come on, hands up, let’s have a little honesty. Hmm, there are a few raised. Mine included.

Why has my enthusiasm/motivation/drive gone on holiday? Well, maybe you have “time on your hands” or you’re between books. Could it be you’ve burnt yourself out? Is your mind sorting the jigsaw pieces of your next WIP before your muse kicks in and demands to be at the keyboard?

If it’s “too much time” or that “between books” phase, it’s handy to identify what writing process works for you and stick to it. Set a “work time,” do it, then enjoy the rest of the day (or night, depending on your schedule) as a break away from writing. But don’t feel guilty over not working ALL day on writing—wastes too much energy and it’s counterproductive.

If you’re burnt out, you need to divorce yourself from writing entirely and give yourself time to recharge. Whatever else you love doing, go do it—reading, marathon movie sittings, retail therapy, a workshop project, a hobby… doing this is like the boost you take when your body is low on vitamins.

If you’re working out ideas for your next WIP … well, I have a great quote by Eugene Ionesco on my wall. It reads, “For a writer, life consists of either writing or thinking about writing.”

Sometimes the mind just needs time to think, plan, analyze, organize, plot, interview & sequence whatever you’re working on. Learn to let yourself think, daydream, and visualize ... whatever it takes to make your process work.

Recognize what triggers your procrastination. It’ll help you diagnose the “treatment” you need to administer. Just remember, self-discipline—the strict mistress of all authors—underpins any “cure.”

Do you have the passion and drive to let her work for you?

Procrastination won’t have hold over you for long if she does.


For more information about Kylie and ALLEGIANCE SWORN be sure to visit


How to Deal with Rejections

by Nephele Tempest

I am neck-deep in submissions these days, which means I’m writing a lot of rejection letters. This is the reality of my job. Even if every single manuscript that crosses my path is fabulous—beautifully written, a compelling story, fresh material—I can’t say yes to everyone. It’s a numbers game; I’m just one person, and there are many talented writers out there, and far too few hours in the day for me to take on every marketable manuscript that captures my imagination.

I hate to say no. This is another truth of my job. I love making people happy. There’s not much better than calling a writer and offering representation, unless it’s calling a client with an offer from an editor. But again, it’s a numbers game. I say no far more frequently than I say yes, and it can make me a little sad.

Some days people make it easier. There’s the occasional rude or ridiculously presumptuous submission, those writers who don’t bother to do any research before sending their material and either don’t follow submissions guidelines or query a genre I don’t represent (or both). But mostly writers are earnest and hardworking and wear their hearts on their sleeves, and I understand that no matter how much I try to impress upon them that I’m not rejecting them, it will still feel like I am just a little bit.

I get rejected, too. Agents hear "no" from editors all the time. We take out our clients’ projects, sing their praises, play matchmaker with editors, and hope for the best. But each editor has only so much room on their calendar for new projects, and so often they tell us no. And while the manuscripts are not mine in the sense that I did not write them, they are still in my hands, given over to me for safekeeping and matchmaking by their proud authors—my godchildren, if not my actual children.

But there is always another opportunity around the bend. Rejection is not a closed door, merely a redirection. As an agent I constantly reassess the market—what editors are looking for, the types of material I’m looking to represent, what my clients are interested in writing. Writers need to take stock in the same way, and not allow themselves to be bogged down by rejection. If your dream agent does not take on this manuscript, they may take your next—or suggest ways of making this one better. Another agent might love the project that this agent turned down. If the genre you’re writing isn’t selling right now, try something else on for size. I’m not saying write solely to the market, but maintain flexibility and allow yourself to experiment. You might surprise yourself and create a new opportunity all at the same time.

Writers write. They don’t pigeon-hole themselves, and they don’t let a few rejections prevent them from pursuing their dreams. Keep writing, keep learning, keep improving, keep dreaming. And in the meantime, count rejections as badges of honor. The only people who never get rejected are the ones who never dare to try.


Question: What are you looking for now and not getting? Is there anything you're getting too much of?

DEIDRE KNIGHT: I would love to see smart women’s fiction of all stripes—contemporary, historical. Big and high concept, with great writing. My favorite book last year was ME BEFORE YOU by JoJo Moyes, and that would be a great example of the kind of book I wish I’d found to agent.

PAMELA HARTY: I am hoping to add a few new clients to my list and I continue to be on the lookout for new talent. I am particularly interested in contemporary romance, both super-sexy and sweet, as well as women’s fiction. I would love to find a really good romantic suspense as well. As for nonfiction, I would love to see parenting proposals, health and diet, as well as relationship and motivational material and pop culture.

NEPHELE TEMPEST: I'd love to see more fun, sexy contemporary romance submissions, as well as romantic suspense—but nothing with serial killers, please. I'm also still on a bad-boy kick—especially in historical romance. Think pirates, highwaymen, rogues… All those questionable heroes in need of a good woman in their lives. I'd love to see some more lighthearted women's fiction. And for young adult and middle grade, something contemporary and really character-driven. 

MELISSA JEGLINSKI: I’d love to see more contemporary romance projects; especially one with an Amish setting or something a little “out of the box.”  I’m also not seeing enough romantic suspense projects; would love to see ones where the hero or heroine isn’t in law enforcement. I’m getting a lot of Young Adult romance where the love story is just too simple; I’m looking for that extra element that will set the story apart. 


Originally released as part of THE BODYGUARD anthology, fall under the spell of Gena Showalter's paranormal romantic suspense novella "Temptation in Shadows." Every day he puts his life on the line, what will happen when it's his heart in jeopardy?

Tall, lean, muscular—and definitely rough around the edges—Sean Walker is not your typical nightclub bodyguard. He’s a controller of shadows, able to wield darkness at will. But when a mysterious woman at the club turns out to have powers greater than his own, he has no choice but seduction…

Now exclusive as a standalone e-title, read the sexy story that captivate readers from New York Times bestselling author Gena Showalter.

Charity Effington learned two valuable lessons from her first betrothal:

1) When one loses the attention of an earl, one gains the attention of every gossip in London.

2) Despite the lingering scandal, she’s not prepared to marry for anything less than love.

After an exhausting Season, Bath’s first annual music festival offers Charity the perfect escape. Between her newly formed trio and her music-loving grandmother, Charity is free to play the pianoforte to her heart’s content. That is, until their insufferably rude, though undeniably handsome, neighbor tells her to keep the “infernal racket” to a minimum.

Hugh Danby, Baron Cadgwith, may think he’s put an end to the noise, but he has no idea what he’s begun. Though the waters of Bath provide relief from the suffering of his war injuries, he finds his new neighbor bothersome, vexing, and…inexplicably enchanting. Before long, Hugh suspects that even if his body heals, it’s his heart that might end up broken.

Assassin. Soldier. Arrow. That is who Vasic is, who he will always be. His soul drenched in blood, his conscience heavy with the weight of all he’s done, he exists in the shadows, far from the hope his people can almost touch—if only they do not first drown in the murderous insanity of a lethal contagion. To stop the wave of death, Vasic must complete the simplest and most difficult mission of his life.

For if the Psy race is to survive, the empaths must wake…

Having rebuilt her life after medical “treatment” that violated her mind and sought to suffocate her abilities, Ivy should have run from the black-clad Arrow with eyes of winter frost. But Ivy Jane has never done what she should. Now, she’ll fight for her people, and for this Arrow who stands as her living shield, yet believes he is beyond redemption. But as the world turns to screaming crimson, even Ivy’s fierce will may not be enough to save Vasic from the cold darkness…


Ella Mayhew's always appreciated the beautiful view of Seneca Lake from the spa window of her family's hotel. But the view improves dramatically when a hot stranger runs across the grounds—shirtless. He's the first man to kickstart her hormones in the three years since she lost her parents, and she doesn't even know his name.

Graydon Locke's on his umpteenth undercover assignment. The routine's always the same: assess a business, recommend it for closure, then roll out before anyone discovers his decisions impact hundreds of lives. He's always believed nothing good comes out of small towns. Why would this one be different? Then he makes two classic rookie mistakes—falling for the sweet, sexy girl who owns the very business he's on the verge of axing. And letting the town's residents get involved in both his life, and his relationship with Ella

.Ella's the best thing to ever happen to Gray, but he's lied to her from the start. If he pulls the plug on Mayhew Manor, the entire town may crumble. Ella couldn't save her parents, but it's up to her to save their hotel. Even if that means turning her back on true love.

Shields up, sugar—things in Plum Orchard are about to get real.

Marybell Lyman is notorious for two things: 

Her look. The wicked hairstyle, multiple piercings and practiced sneer that say: "Stay back—I bite." 
Her voice. The syrupy lilt that's her bread and butter at Call Girls, the prim little town's flourishing phone-sex company. 

Hunky handyman Taggart Hawthorn is mesmerized by the contradiction: such sweet tones inside such a spiky shell! He wants to know more about mysterious Marybell, to hear more of her sexy talk—all for himself. 

But Tag's attentions, delicious as they are, have Marybell panicked. She's been hiding a long time. She's finally got a home, a job and friends she adores. She won't have it all snatched away by another stupid mistake—like falling in love. So when Marybell's past comes calling, she and the Call Girls will prove no one handles scandals like a Southern girl!


When her real groom is kidnapped, Tanya Chesterfield convinces bodyguard and all-time crush Cooper Payne to marry her in order to fulfill the terms of her inheritance and secure a possible ransom. But when there are no demands for money, only attempts made on Tanya's life, Cooper's protective instincts go into overdrive. Nearly losing her makes Cooper realize he never stopped loving her, and their pretense as husband and wife resurrects the passion between them. Cooper has vowed to honor and cherish her, and he is determined to find the truth—even if it means in the end he must let Tanya go.


Arthurian legend mixes with modern-day witchcraft in this haunting romance by the author of Legacy, which Publishers Weekly said “should please the legions of paranormal fans looking for a sophisticated supernatural thriller.”

Mischief abounds at the Ainsworth School, and evil is lurking. What’s more, Katy has won Peter’s heart and is nowclaiming her place in the magical world. Though half the students at her boarding school come from witching lines, the use of magic is expressly forbidden at Ainsworth, so as to keep the witching world hidden from the blue-blooded preppies, aka Muffies, who also walk the halls.

But the Muffies have at least a notion of magic, because Katy catches them staging a made-up ritual—and then fall seriously ill. When Katy is blamed, she becomes desperate to clear her name and finds herself battling all odds to harness her growing magical powers in order to save the Muffies and dispel the Darkness once more.

When her widowed father dumps sixteen-year-old Katy Jessevar in a boarding school in Whitfield, Massachusetts, she has no idea that fate has just opened the door to both her future and her past. Nearly everyone in Whitfield is a witch, as is Katy herself, although she has struggled all her life to hide her unusual talents.

Stuck at a boarding school where her fellow students seem to despise her, Katy soon discovers that Whitfield is the place where her mother committed suicide under mysterious circumstances when Katy was just a small child. With dark forces converging on Whitfield, it’s up to Katy to unravel her family’s many secrets to save the boy she loves—and the town itself—from destruction.

You loved Nicholas Sparks' Noah Calhoun. You lusted after Jamie McGuire's Travis Maddox. You'll be dreaming about Jack Eversea...

An orphaned, small-town, southern girl, held hostage by responsibility and self-doubt.
A Hollywood A-list mega-star, on the run from his latest scandal and with everything to lose.
A chance encounter that leads to an unlikely arrangement and epic love affair that will change them both forever.

As powerful as the pounding surf, as intoxicating as the sea breeze, this is one love affair you won't be able to forget about...


When Hollywood movie star Jack Eversea stumbled into sleepy Butler Cove, he had no idea he would encounter the only 'real' thing that's ever happened to him—only to let her slip through his fingers...

Small-town girl Keri Ann Butler's life changed the night she met Jack Eversea. But suddenly he was gone, and she had to pick up the pieces and start again.

Now Jack is back, with one thing on his mind. Winning back the girl who stole his heart. Whatever it takes. But is it too late?

Passionate. Devastating. Explosive. Unforgettable. FOREVER, JACK, will take your breath away.

Grace Flaherty had given up hope of ever seeing her husband again. After all, it'd been over a year since he went missing in combat. So when he strides through the door of her bakery in downtown Christmas one sunny afternoon, she can hardly believe her eyes. But her happily-ever-after is going to take some effort - because Jack has no memory of his family.

All Jack Flaherty remembers about Christmas is that he couldn't wait to leave town. Now he's a local hero with a wife and son he doesn't know. Even as he struggles to rekindle the romance with his wife, he knows in his heart what he wants: a second chance at love.

When she first moved to Japan, American Katie Green had no idea she would get caught in a battle between the Japanese mafia and the supernatural forces that have governed Japan for most of its history. Despite the danger, Katie is determined to stay put. She's started to build a life in the city of Shizuoka, and she can't imagine leaving behind her friends, her aunt and especially Tomohiro, the guy she's fallen in love with.  

But the decision to stay is not as simple as she thought. She's flunking out of Japanese school and committing cultural faux pas wherever she goes. Tomohiro is also struggling—as a Kami, his connection to the ancient gods of Japan and his power to bring drawings to life have begun to spiral out of control. 

When Tomo decides to stop drawing, the ink finds other ways to seep into his life—blackouts, threatening messages and the appearance of unexplained sketches. Unsure how to help Tomo, Katie turns to an unexpected source for help—Jun, her former friend and a Kami with an agenda of his own. But is Jun really the ally he claims to be? In order to save themselves, Katie and Tomohiro must unravel the truth about Tomo's dark ancestry, as well as Katie's, and confront one of the darkest gods in Japanese legend.


Lucy Trenton's ability to sense majick is one of her most dangerous secrets. But only one.

A blackmailer knows the other.

Suddenly, Lucy is caught in a treasonous plot to destroy the crown, and she's trapped in the tentacles of a desperate, destructive majick. Her only hope is ship captain Marten Thorpe, who-by every account-cannot be trusted. With time running out, Lucy must find a way to win a dangerous game or lose everything she holds dear.


A woman in labor. A man on a mission. The Mansfield Brothers series continues…  

All Brianna Coleman remembers of the near-fatal accident is the hero who saved her. Not her name or the father of the baby she delivers hours later. Until news of a coup in a foreign nation triggers a memory. Her baby's father is the missing member of a royal family…and her son the next target.  

After saving them, Hunter Mansfield won't abandon them. But can he defend them against international assassins who pursue the newborn? He'll do anything—pay the ultimate price if necessary—for one chance to protect the woman he loves and her little prince.



Copyright © 2014 The Knight Agency, All rights reserved.


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