Wednesday, 1 October 2014


It's closing day for the SYTYCW14 competition and I promised I would put up my top picks of what I've read so far. Most of these were read in the first few days so don't include later entries. And when it all comes down to's a matter of personal taste.

Bear in mind I have read less than 100 chapters so I could be missing dozens of fabulous entries. I have also read less of imprints I don't usually read so there will be big holes in my choices.

My top picks consist of entries that have three things.

1. I like the story

2. I think the writing is of a high standard

3. The story is something I believe might appeal to the editors.

Please note: ..I...I...I...It's all subjective. (see graphic above)

So how did I do? 50% of my top ten made it into the Top 25 plus 2 of my recommended reads. I hadn't read 11 of the top 25 chapters. So of the 14 Top 25 chapters I had read, I picked 7. Additionally, one of my top picks was requested but withdrew due to time constraints. Just realised another of my top ten had to withdraw so I suppose if you don't count them it was 40% but if you do it's 60%.

Final List of Top 25 Picks

Leah MaserWanting the Detective
Tanya M. BurnstadRemembrance
Alison FrenchHer Italian Man
Amanda CinelliResisting the Sicilian Playboy
Traci DouglassAbout That Night…
Chase EwingLove for Sale
R. Lynn DewittSophie’s Hart
T.R. McClureA Perfect Match
Katherine DaneAgent of Desire
Autumn ShelleyFire and Iron
Carolyn HectorMistletoe Mischief
Ison HillImpulse
Karin BaineBelfast Belle
Amy JaneLearning To Love Again
Shelley IñónWhen the Bus Stopped
Thérèse MarieA Foundation of Love
Jeannie HallViolation of Innocence
Analiesa AdamsIn Desperate Search of Peace
Katie MeyerParadise Found
Sam(antha) BurnsSaving Greene Farm
Janet Lee NyeMan Maid
Laura BrownPerfect Together
Narelle BuxtonChanging Her Baby Plan
Darby KarchutStone’s Heart
Megan B ZehringThe Prodigal

Top 25 Picks So Far with Imprints

Paradise Found - Katie Meyer - (Special Edition) 
Belfast Belle - Karin Baine - (Medical)
Man Maid - Jan L Nye -  (Superrromance)
Perfect Together - Laura Brown -(Superromance)
About That Night - Traci Douglass - (Blaze)
Sophie's Hart - Gina DeWitt - (Heartwarming)
Mistletoe Mischief - Carolyn Hector - (Kimani)
Resisting the Sicilian Playboy - Amanda Cinelli - (Presents)
Violation of Innocence - Jeannie Hall - (Suspense)
Agent of Desire - Katherine Dane - (Historical)
Wanting The Detective - Leah Maser - (Intrigue) 
Faking It - Taryn Leigh Taylor - (Blaze) Withdrawn
Fire And Iron - Autumn Shelley - (Historical)
Twist of Fate - Susanah Loccarno - (American) Withdrawn
The Prodigal - Megan B Zehring - (Love Inspired)
Stone's Heart - Darby Karchut - (Love Inspired)
In Desperate Search of Peace - Analiesa Adams (Romantic Suspense)
Her Italian Man - Alison French - (Presents)
Saving Greene Farm - Samantha Burns - (Special Edition)
Impulse - Ison Hill - (Kimani)
Remembrance - Tanya M Burnstad - (Intrigue)
When the Bus Stopped - Shelly Inon - (Romance)
A Foundation of Love - Thérèse Marie - (Romance)
Changing Her Baby Plan - Narelle Buxton - (Superromance)
Love for Sale - Chase Ewing - (Desire)
A Perfect Match - T R McClure - (Heartwarming)
Learning to Love Again - Amy Jane - (Medical)


In no particular order - My top picks so far.


At His Disposal - Danielle Doolittle

Savage Pride - Maggie Jones - Requested

The Rinaldo Heir - Dora Bramden

Resisting the Sicilian Playboy - Amanda Cinelli - SYTYCW Top 25


Faking It - Taryn Leigh Taylor - SYTYCW Top 25 - Withdrawn



Man Maid - Janet Lee Nye - SYTYCW Top 25

Special Edition

But wait...there's more.

I'm putting a list of recommended reads here without links. These are ones I would have liked to put in my tops but felt they needed a little something extra.


Proof of Love
Kate Francis

Playboy Sheikh, Forbidden Heir - Requested through slush
Emily Keeler

His Gilded Trap
Calida Ally

Paying the Sheikh's Price
Sue Child

Traitor in the Sheikh's Bed
Ros Clarke

And this is my hero...Pascal...who belongs in this section in my opinion.


Strip for Me
Jem Lowe
Discreet Pleasures
Megan Ryder

Over Easy
Casey Wyatt

Homegrown Rockstar
Heather Hopkins

At Her Service
Mia Sosa


Beauty & the Recluse
Ellie Gray

Falling Deep
Tasha Taylor
Just because I love this.


Love for Sale - SYTYCW Top 25
Chase Ewing


Emergency:Two Blue Lines
Catherine Coles

Special Edition

How Not to be a Tabloid Cover Story
CA Speakman

Wake Me Up Inside
Gina Hagedorn


Hunted by the Past
Jayne Evans

Love Inspired

Love Thy Enemy
Erica D Hearns


The Cowgirl's Lost Love
Sophia Sasson


Fire and Iron - SYTYCW Top 25
Autumn Shelley


Love at First Flight
Maria Michaels

And just a couple of ones that I'm not sure if they are quite right for the line but they made me a good way.


Seducing the Senator
Elle Marlow


Birthday Disaster
TN Payne


  1. Wow! Thanks, Fiona, for including my chapter in your list of favourites. There are some fantastic submissions in this competition. Good luck to everyone.

  2. Thanks Fiona. The best present an author can receive is an honest opinion. xoxo

  3. :'( I so wanted to e on this list since you appear to be psychic! :P

    Oh well. Can't win 'em all I guess!

    Good luck with SYTYCW, Fi!

    Leah M.

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. Hi Leah, plenty of people I didn't pick got through last year. I'm not G*d though I like to pretend to be omniscient.

    3. ;) LoL! I know, silly. I'm just teasing.

      I wasn't lying, though, when I said I would have loved to have been on your list--who wouldn't with your powers of prediction?

      This is my first full manuscript--if I get a request for a full from this I will be ecstatic!

      Take care, sweet lady!

  4. Thank you for including me on your list of top 10!! I'm honored.

  5. Wow-thank you for listing me on the Recommended Reads list! Just making it onto your picks is a huge honor!

    I've missed some of those Top Ten so I need to scurry over and check them out.

  6. Thank you for picking my chapter as one of your favorites, Fi! I'm always so worried readers won't get my writing so this means a lot to me.

  7. Fiona, thank you so much for the mention! Also, thank you for the huge support you've offered everyone in the community thus far. You truly are a gem. Best of luck, although you certainly don't need it since yours is an absolute delight to read. Kate Francis

  8. Thank you so much for the honorable mention! I feel honored to be in such company!

  9. You absolutely made my day. If only you could see my big cheesy smile. I've been on pins and needles and your opinion really mattered me. There are so many talented writers, I feel quite blessed to be included in the group. Thank you Fiona. Good luck everyone.