Make It Golden – Winners Announced
Posted by Cynthia Justlin Oct 8 2012, 12:01 am
WOW! The quality of the entries this year has been AMAZING! You did not make it easy on us, and I think I speak for all of us when I say we loved having such awesome competition and diversity among entrants, even though it made picking the winners SO very tough.
Each and every entry, whether it was picked for the top ten or not, piqued our interest in some way and left us wanting more. You are ALL fabulously talented and we want to thank you for entering our third annual Make it Golden contest. This has become such a fun event for us, and we look forward to seeing many familiar names on the 2013 Golden Heart Roster when calls go out on March 26th, 2013!
Are you ready to see the winners?
After the jump, they’ll be announced in this order: THIRD, SECOND, FIRST.
- 3rd Place: This beautiful Ruby Slipper Ring Holder!
- 2nd Place: a 25-page critique (any genre) from RITA award winning author Darynda Jones!
- 1st Place: Their Golden Hear Entry Fee PAID by the Rubies!
[Note: sad to say, we had a last-minute disqualification because of a word-count overage. We apologize profusely for not catching it a bit earlier.]
Now, without further ado….*drum-roll please*…
Third Place Winner – LEA
Fog stole around the hem of Emily Starling’s prison uniform, brown serge stamped with broad arrows. Her eyes closed for a moment, gritty with exhaustion. Rows of moored ships stretched along the wharves, masts rising toward the dawn like a primeval forest. Her heart thumped faster as the open cart halted in front of a waiting vessel. She willed her trembling legs not to clatter the ankle chains. No black ferryboat of the underworld here—looked as sinister as a dependable workhorse.
A hatchet-faced guard dragged her to the worn cobblestones. “Ain’t you a fine bit o’ muslin?” He bent to unlock the shackles, tickling her calf with an insinuating stroke.
Emily’s stomach tightened, protesting the Newgate’s final meal, a breakfast of marrow soup. A wild urge to turn heel and flee seized her, but the body of the prisoner behind pressed close, preventing any such retreat. She pinched the inside of her elbow, vexed by the foolish impulse. She wasn’t made of such stuff, could barely muster enough energy for the next step, never mind an audacious escape. And if she did manage to escape…where could she go?
A familiar voice brayed, “Don’t go botherin’ with that wee bone bag, there’s more to satisfy right ’ere.” Bertie Spragg—Emily’s former Newgate cellmate—thrust her hips in an obscene gesture, her fleshy breasts colliding against her ample stomach.
Sailors whooped encouragement from the decks. Appraising gazes crawled spider-like over Emily’s body leaving a trail of gooseflesh in their wake.
Second Place Winner – JILLIAN LARK
Lady Selborne preferred to tuck truths away in her head where she wouldn’t misplace them like her appointment diary or her husband. The blackguard had disappeared after their hastily arranged marriage ceremony five years ago. It was the diary Marguerite wished to recover.
Before the arrival of Lady Buxton, who devoured bits of gossip like morsels of clotted cream.
“I beg your pardon, Your Ladyship.”
Marguerite nodded toward her butler.
“I did knock. If the matter were not of some urgency, I would not have interrupted.”
“Urgency?” Marguerite scrutinized the gnarled lines of Pearson’s face. Something was amiss in his expression.
“A gentleman wishes to see you, Your Ladyship,” Pearson said, setting the silver card tray on the tea table.
“I don’t recall scheduling anyone except Lady Buxton.” At least Marguerite hoped she hadn’t.
“Your Ladyship, the gentleman claims to be your husband, Lord Selborne.”
Edmund? Here? If the man was her husband, he was no gentleman. She stared at the name engraved on the card and blinked. It didn’t change.
“Please tell His Lordship to wait in the parlor,” Marguerite said, stunned the words fumbling in her mind managed to escape in an intelligible form.
“As you wish, Your Ladyship,” Pearson bowed and exited.
Marguerite wanted Edmund to wait. Wait and wonder and worry like she had for the past five years. However, she wanted him to wait elsewhere, not reclined on a settee in her parlor.
Elsewhere, like harpooned on an iceberg in the Arctic Ocean.
First Place Winner – EILEEN EMERSON
Surely, they were warming a seat in Hell just for her. But if she faced eternal damnation for her sins, lusting after the gloriously beautiful vicar would be the least of her offenses. Nevertheless, these covetous thoughts were wrong, and Olivia Petherton knew they must be stopped.
She picked at the hem of her black-edged handkerchief, praying silently for strength and just a modicum of common sense. By the end of the Collect, she felt composed enough to risk glancing at the man again.
Mr. Whitmore was still as blond as before, still as broad-shouldered, and his skin still glowed under the streaming, honey-hued morning light as if the hand of God Himself reached through the chancel window to anoint his golden hair.
That thought sent ice washing through her veins, dousing the spark that had heated her blood just a moment before.
This man is everything you are not, she thought, as warm as you are cold-hearted, as virtuous as you are corrupt, as unsoiled as you are tainted. You’ve sinned quite enough for one lifetime, and are not fit company for such a man.
And then, as it always did, another more rebellious impulse straightened her spine. If her sins had already secured her a hereafter among Lucifer’s minions, what further harm could she do to her eternal soul if she continued to ogle the vicar?
Look she would, and to hell with the consequences.
CONGRATULATIONS, winners! We will email you very soon with details on claiming your prize!
And thanks again to all our entrants for putting yourselves out there and making this contest such a success. Best of luck in the Golden Heart!