My loyal reader(s) may recall a while back I asked you to vote for our friend, Gerri Russell, who has been entered into a contest held by Romantic Times and Dorchester Publishing. If she wins the contest, she will get her book published after many years, with a publicity boost from RT Book Club.
The contest works like a television reality show... after each round, one or more contestants are voted off. The voters are the readers of the Romantic Times and its website, but I've been helping out by urging all our friends to vote, too. This round's criterion is the best story summary. If you want to vote, it's not tough; all you need to do is to send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with "THE WARRIOR TRAINER" in the subject line. (One vote per person please). Voting ends February 5, 2006. Results will be posted online on February 20, 2006. The winner will be announced during the Awards Luncheon on May 19, 2006, at the RT Booklovers Convention in Daytona Beach, FL. Your email address will be kept confidential.
Now, if you'd like to do that armed with knowledge, here's the facts (which you can also find here):
THE WARRIOR TRAINER
Ian MacKinnon has always tried to prove his worth to his clan and yearns for the chance to become their champion. He seizes the opportunity to show his merit when a renegade group of Englishmen marches through Scotland demolishing clans in its wake as they search for the Stone of Destiny. Ian vows to defend his clan from this new terror, but in order to succeed he must learn to fight in the ways of the ancients from the legendary Warrior Trainer. That he needs help in order to win, he accepts. That he must accept that help from a female who is physically more adept than he, he finds bruising to his ego.
Scotia of Glencarron, the Warrior Trainer, a devoted swordswoman descended from a line of women warriors, must guard herself both day and night against those who would challenge her title and discover the Stone of Destiny, the secret artifact her family has kept safe for generations. Trained only to be a warrior, Scotia is unprepared for the attack Ian makes upon her mentally and emotionally. How's a woman supposed to defend against something as nebulous as desire?
As Scotia and Ian train, both sparks and passions flare, but to act upon their feelings could cost Ian his place in his clan and jeopardize Scotia's role as the Warrior Trainer. Yet when the people and the land they love are threatened, they join together, risking everything for survival, desire... and love.
Flavia Knightsbridge -- Now we're into more creative territory. If we must keep with the movie theme, I'd say this has a little Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon vibe going on.
Leslie Kazanjian -- This novel promises a major role reversal: a woman warrior teaching a fiery Scotsman the fighting techniques of the ancients, pitting her physical prowess against his seductive skills amid a battle for the homeland they both love. I'm curious to see the outcome of this unusual love story -- this pair promises more sparks than the swords that will surely clash.
If you want to look at all the contestants, you can go here.
In addition to voting, if you're feeling really beneficent, let other folks know about Gerri and the contest. (Send them this whole page.) The more votes, the merrier!
Gerri has won several awards from the Romance Writers of America, but has yet to take that final step. If you can help her... great! And there's even a bonus. If you let Gerri know you voted for her, she'll toss your name in a hat and draw a winner. If yours is the name drawn, she promises Scottish treats (which I hope to heaven won't be haggis).
Thanks for your help! Next, maybe my spouse, or even me!