Last Day To Vote!

Goodness. Another two weeks has passed and that means voting in the American Title writing competition closes midnight EST tonight.

8 entries remain and we’re all vying for the coveted publishing contract with Dorchester Publishing, but come Monday morning 2 more entries will be cut. I’ll let you know as soon as I can how RISING SIN fared.

Vote now!If you want to cast your vote for RISING SIN use the voting button or visit Romantic Times.

Thanks again to everyone for your support! It’s greatly appreciated.

And in the meantime, a question…

What are one (or two) books that stand in your mind as the ones that shaped your reading habits and/or your life? You can share why if you want to. I’ll tell you mine in the comments.

Minus a Million With The Windchill

As much as I’d like to, I’m not going to whine about the weather. Not even a smidge. Although (let’s be honest) I really, really want to. After all, what’s the point of living somewhere cold if you can’t have bragging rights? But still. I’m standing strong and I won’t!

Let’s just remember SPRING, glorious SPRING is coming. We know it. We’ve just got to buck up and get on with things while we wait. And let’s not forget, things could be worse. After all, this time last year I was splitting logs and then lying on a cement floor in my nightgown to feed our WOOD guzzling furnace which had a malfunctioning damper so that we had only two heat settings consisting of…

A. Cold breeze aka put your parka on OR 
B. Stifling hot breeze aka move the curtains away from the vent so they don’t ignite and open the windows – NOW! 

You can surmise that choice B defeated the entire purpose of heating the house and was a vicious circle in which to be entrenched. Choice A wasn’t much fun, either.

So where was I? Oh, yes. Not whining about the weather. In fact, I’m not whining about anything. Today was a perfectly lovely day (not counting American Title induced stress – sorry I can’t tell you how RISING SIN made out until…uh, checking my calendar…oh jeez, December 18!) Gosh that’s a long time away. Or at least it was until I realized moments ago that November is almost over. Lordy Pete. What happened to November?).

Ignoring the fact that the month of November has slipped from my fingers and Back to the topic at hand (the lovely day, remember?) I wrote, did some assignments for an online class I’m taking with Margie Lawson (in which I received some very gratifying praise), played with my children and spoke with both my mom and my sister and several good friends.

Life is good and though Thanksgiving is over for both Canadians and Americans alike, I’m thankful. My gratitude to you for helping make it so!

The Esquimalt Look Out – A Novel Approach

A novel approach – public decides winner

Melissa Atkinson
November 20, 2006

A news snippet on human trafficking sparked the idea for Meretta Pater’s first novel, a romantic suspense story set in Japan.

For two years, in-between caring for her three children and maintaining her home in 4 Wing Cold Lake, she tapped away on her keyboard until her heroine’s story was complete.

The 365-page novel follows E.R. nurse Taren Gildman to Tokyo and into the Japanese Mafia in search of her kidnapped sister. When the Mafia discover she’s learned too much about their nefarious business dealings, they put a hit on her. The romantic twist comes with Zach Bodine, an ex-US Ranger searching for an American Senator’s daughter. He insinuates himself into her search, hoping to access vital information.

“Why romantic suspense? The romance part because love is universal and gives us all hope in a world that sometimes is very bleak. Suspense because while I like my own life to be calm and calibrated, I do crave a bit of edginess and excitement, so I get that living vicariously through my characters,” she says.

Her husband, Cpl Clint Pater, dreamed up the title: Rising Sin.

“It’s a play on the rising sun on the Japanese flag and comments on the nature of sex-slavery and human trafficking that is too common in the world,” says the 34-year-old author.

Instead of knocking on the doors of publishers, she submitted her work online to the third American Title competition, with the first prize a coveted publishing contract. Within a few weeks, she was chosen as one of 10 finalists out of 250 submissions.

The contest is held in a series of five rounds, with the public voting on each round. The two writers with the least votes are knocked out. Pater has survived round one, Best First Line, and is now hoping to score votes on best hero and heroine description. She’s looking to the military community to keep her dream of getting published alive.

“Having been chosen from 250 entries tells me that I’m doing something right with my words, and that sometime soon my book will be sitting in a bookstore. As well, I’m one of two Canadians in the contest, so I’m looking for a little home country support to keep that U.S./Canada rivalry going. It would be nice that if Canada can’t have the Stanley cup, at least we can have the American Title,” she says.

If she wins she’ll have to keep it tight-lipped. The winner and runner-up are sworn to secrecy until the Romantic Times convention in Houston, Texas, next May, where the winner’s cover is revealed. If she doesn’t win, she’ll keep on cheering for the other writers.

“The 10 of us have already formed a writing loop to keep in touch with one another and offer support. It’s a great camaraderie. And of course, I’ll keep writing. Someday my books will be sitting on the shelves. I hope sooner rather than later, but definitely someday.”

To vote for Meretta Pater in round two, between Nov. 13 and 26 go to or send an email to with Rising Sin in the subject line.

And Then There Were 8

Monday, November 13th, 2006

Vote now for Rising SinSo it can now be officially announced…

RISING SIN has made it to the next round of American Title and voting has once again commenced. You have until November 26th to vote.

See the button up top? It’s linked to the Romantic Times site just for you! Please use it!

And don’t forget to tell EVERYONE you know to vote! Email is a wonderful tool, people. Let’s use it! ;)

Despite the happy news, there is also sad news. Cathy Pegau and Sally Stotter have not advanced. HOWEVER their work was great enough to be chosen for the finals in the first place and they are winners too, so please join me as I raise a toast in their honor!

May they hold contracts in their hands soon!


Ballot boxIn an hour and a half the email will arrive in my inbox and each of the American Title finalists will know who has been cut and who has not.

What a pandora’s box of emotion and we haven’t even gotten the email yet!

If I’m cut, it’s not the end of my writing world, but I will be saddened. There has been a lot of effort expended here and not just by me! I want that to count for something. And dang it, I want that contract.

If I go on, I’ll be elated, but at the same time, sadness for those who didn’t will be present, as well. And then there’ll be the guilt. And gosh, I do guilt well.

Regardless of whether I go on or if my American Title journey ends here, the contest continues! November 13-26 is the next voting round and on the stage will the best Hero and Heroine.

I’m sorry I can’t tell you today if Rising Sin will be on the next ballot, but you can bet that if it is, I’ll be inundating your inboxes again in a few weeks.

Thanks everyone!

One Last Nudge – American Title III

Friday, October 27th, 2006

American TitleRound one voting for the American Title 3 competition closes midnight EST on Sunday.

Have you voted? I hope so!

It’s come to my attention that some of you are having difficulty voting from the Romantic Times website, so I encourage you to send an email directly to with RISING SIN in the subject line if that is the case.

Have you spread the news and asked others to vote? I hope so?

Are you guys the best support team around? I KNOW so!

The Business of Being Busy

Sunday, October 22nd, 2006

Vote now for Rising SinBusy, busy days are swirling around our part of the country right now and my “to do” list keeps growing. Exponentially it seems.

Besides all of the American Title contesthappenings going on, I’ve yet to pull out the potatoes from the garden (yes, I know, I KNOW!) and my TBR (to be read) pile is growing (thanks for reminding me, Toni!), there are a lot of Girl Guide commitments taking place with cookie sales and enrolment ceremonies and catalogue deliveries (I mostly ran my daughter’s designated route yesterday, so managed to kill two tasks at once) and I could keep on going, and going, but everyone is busy right?

Isn’t that what makes it all good? Or maybe not for some of you. Do you like to be busy or are you so busy that you prefer to be idle? What have you got on the go right now?

Deep Breath In

Deep Breath Out.

SO. American Title 3 starts tomorrow at Romantic Times. You can vote there (and read the work) or you can vote by email …

I’m a little nervous, but I’m bearing up under the strain. Just in case you are not entirely sure what’s happening tomorrow these are the details…

At approximately 11AM EST Romantic Times will post the ten finalist’s biographies, pictures and first lines. THE JUDGES will have commented ala Simon, Paula and Randy style.

You then click on the voting link. Put RISING SIN in the subject line if that’s your choice…I’m not above begging at this point, so please do! Now press Send.

Tell all your friends about the contest. Tell all your family. Tell everyone. This is a wonderful thing to have happen and I’m delighted to share the experience with you all and delighted that you’ve come to support me. Thanks!

NOW a random sampling from the judge’s comments in the very first American Title contest…you can see how their approach differs.

FLAVIA KNIGHTSBRIDGE: Your previous entries really shone, but this one makes the story seem cliched.
HILARY ROSS: The mix-up that has the hero and heroine rooming together doesn’t seem credible, at least as presented. And the heroine’s “tick-list” that the hero helps her with seems a rather bizarre contrivance.
LESLIE KAZANJIAN: Kate and Nick sound adorable, the plot wackily wonderful. I fully expect these two to make major waves with their reluctant shipboard romance–and to tug on our heartstrings along the way. This story promises satisfying character development along with a fun plot–always a winner in my book.

I’m not sure what the judges will have to say about my entry, but I’m bracing for the worst and anticipating the best. That way I’ve got both spectrums covered.

Friends and Family

Thursday, October 19th, 2006

Boys laughing

Can I just take this opportunity to say how glad I am to have friends and family like you?

The efforts that you are all making on my behalf are tremendous and I appreciate them so much.

And to those of you who are popping up out of the woodwork (hi Terrina!), don’t be afraid to drop me a line in the comments box. I’d love to hear from you!

Honestly, you have no clue what your support for the contest means to me. It warms my heart and brings tears to my eyes.

You guys are the best.