Pelican Book Group announces the return of Easter Lilies

————Permission to forward————

Pelican Book Group announces the return of Easter Lilies. While Easter Lilies was originally run as a short story contest, the resurrected Easter Lilies will not be a contest, but conducted as an annual special release much like our Christmas Holiday Extravaganza. Each year, one Easter Lilies story will be released on each day of the Easter Triduum. (Yes, only three stories per year.) 
2013 Defining Scripture for Easter Lilies is: Solomon 2:2 “Like a lily among thorns is my darling among the maidens.”
Submission Guidelines:
Easter Lilies are historical or contemporary romances. In addition to adhering to the guidelines for the White Rose imprint, the following is also necessary: 

  • The defining Scripture for the year must be used as a basis for the story. (This scripture will change each year on October 1st) 

  • Stories should be between 15,000 and 25,000 words. 

  • Both the hero’s and heroine’s points of view may be incorporated, however, we’d like these stories to be “hero-driven”, so ideally, stories should focus on the hero’s love developing for his heroine. These stories may be historical or contemporary, but they must be set around the Easter holiday. 

  • Heroes and Heroines should be between the ages of 25 and 35. 

  • In addition to using the current year Easter Lilies scripture as the reference, some symbol of the Easter Lily must also be incorporated. Easter lilies have long been a symbol of purity, motherhood, the trumpet herald of the Angel Gabriel as he visited the Virgin Mary, of resurrection, and more. (Feel free to research and use different symbols. These are listed as example only). How you incorporate any of the symbols is up to you. Whether it’s an actual flower that the hero gives to the heroine (or vice-versa), or a piece of jewelry, or a spiritual experience. The use is up to you. Perhaps your hero is a Christian musician who plays the trumpet. Perhaps your heroine has lily earrings that have been passed through her family. Perhaps your hero had a “resurrection” of his faith through some experience past or present, or maybe your heroine is a mother. How you incorporate the Easter lily symbolism is up to you. It can be subtle or overt, but it has to be there.

Submissions for Easter Lilies are accepted August 1st through September 30th each year. Submissions for Easter Lilies that are received outside this time frame will be discarded without response.

These guidelines and submission information can be found at: http://pelicanbookgroup.com/ec/submission-guidelines/easter-lilies-submission-guidelines

Writing through Despair

2007. Not a good year.

We’d just moved to North Carolina from Florida. My husband spent long hours working at his new job, and as a writer who rarely left the house, I hadn’t developed a support system of friends yet. Lonely? You bet.

Uprooting our youngest son mid-year in 10th grade wasn’t ideal, so we arranged for him to stay and finish the school year. He spent the following summer in NC, but he missed his friends and decided to move back. Without telling us. Yeah. We were devastated.

That alone was tough, but on top of that, our oldest son, a Marine, faced another deployment. This time, though, suffering severe emotional and psychological trauma, he made a choice that altered his life forever.

My writing suffered. How could I create a romance when I stared down a deep black hole that threatened to swallow me whole? What about you? Are you drowning in despair? Here are some reminders that I needed:

Remember His promises. “Be strong and courageous…for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Deut 31:6 NIV) This is one of my favorites.

Realize you don’t control others. You can only control your actions and reactions. Let everything else go.

Recognize that you may need counseling. Although I might have been lonely, I wasn’t alone. God heard my cry, and He answered with a sweet husband who recognized that I needed help. My husband procured a Christian counselor for our family, and after a few sessions and much prayer, God broke the chains of despair.

Reminisce on God’s faithfulness. I’m no stranger to pain or suffering. As a child, I suffered third degree burns, which entailed numerous surgeries. I married as a teen, and when the marriage failed, I was left with trust issues and a precious 11-month-old to raise by myself (until I met my true soul mate six years later). God faithfully carried me through these tough times, so I trust Him to continue to do so.

Refocus and appreciate. Stop focusing inward. I began volunteering at a therapeutic horse ranch serving the special needs community. My issues seemed insignificant in comparison. And I learned to appreciate the perks of empty nesting. 🙂

Know God’s heart for you, and trust the road He has you on, even when you can’t see where it leads. 2007 was a tough year, but this is the journey God’s traveled with me since then: 

A healthy relationship with our now college-age son

Additions to our family 

My first writing contract and several more since then.

An encouraging, supportive group of writer friends


2013. It’s going to be a great year.

It’s a new day. A fresh slate for the year. 
Are you staring into the deep pit of despair?
Weeping may endure for a night, But joy comes in the morning. Ps 30:5b NKJV