The 2012 Silken Sands Self-Published Star Contest Finalists – Short Story

 This week the Sizzlers at Southern Sizzle Romance are pleased to host the finalists of the 2012 Silken Sands Self-Published Star Contest. Visiting today are the Short Story finalists – Nancy Lee Badger and Cara Michaels. Read their short excerpts, click on the book covers to read more, then hit that Buy Button.    


DRAGON IN THE MIST by Nancy Lee Badger


Her heart ripped apart as she stamped her feet. Her dragon strength surged and the earth beneath her feet shook. Birds took to the skies and screeched, as they flew away across the loch. Stacked timber near the dock gave way beneath the tremors, and fell into the water. A boat in dry-dock slipped off its scaffolds and crashed on its side. Screams echoed from the inn and the two American females ran into the street.


     Nessía closed her eyes and took several deep, cleansing breaths. Collecting herself, she urged the trembling to stop. When it did, she strode toward the pub.



     She forced her feet to keep moving away from the inn, but two strong arms circled her shoulders. Rory turned her until she faced him. She refused to glance up. He cupped her chin, forced her head up, and she gazed into eyes filled with concern. And…love?

Silly dragon. Ye are a powerful, earthquake- causing creature. Forget him. Nessía found it hard to believe her own thoughts, especially when his mouth crushed hers in a brutal, yet passionate kiss.

     “My God. Are you okay?”

     “I am quite well, sir.”

     “So formal? When the earthquake shook my backpack and notebooks to my bedroom floor, all I thought of was making sure you were safe.”


Visit Nancyat


Commander Gemma Bryant left Earth knowing full well the man selected to be her mate couldn’t stand the sight of her…

Chosen to lead Gaea’s Ark, humanity’s first deep space settlement ship, Gemma is awakened from 19K years in stasis to find her mission gone horribly wrong. They’re off course and missing crew, and for the remaining Chosen, the world they’ve landed on is far from uninhabited.

Supplies are short and cabin fever is growing. As if she doesn’t have enough to manage, a humanoid species is unexpectedly claiming her crew’s attention. They’re unbelievably fast and beautiful, but are they friend or enemy?

Gaea’s Chosen: Ten men and ten women traveling 20 light years across the galaxy to settle a new world. The chance of disaster far outweighs the chance of success.

* * * * *

It was him—the meta—as big as life and impossibly beautiful. He circled the chamber in a slight crouch that made his full height impossible to gauge. I spun to keep him in view. I doubted he could see me through the treated glass, but when he stopped I laid my hand against that cool barrier separating us. For a moment I swore his eyes tracked my movement and disappointment stabbed through me when he didn’t return the gesture. Then his eyes locked on my face—maybe he could see me—and he stood, drawing my eyes up. And up.

Oh, my God. I swallowed around the boulder in my throat as he leaned closer. A completely irrational self-consciousness had me running a less-than-steady hand over my hair. The corner of his mouth tipped up. A smile?

I didn’t move, I barely breathed. Both actions distracted me from memorizing his face. His eyes, green with a catlike iridescence, sparked in the ambient light. He sat down, his side against the glass. Looking out over the ship, he patted the spot next to him. Whether meant or not, I took the gesture as an invitation and slid down, imagining that I could feel the warmth of him pressed against me.

 Visit Cara at

The Sizzlers at Southern Sizzle Romance ( were pleased to host the finalists in the 2012 Silken Sands Self-Published Star Contest. Contest winners will be announced at the Silken Sands Conference, March 16-18, 2012, at the Hampton Inn on Pensacola Beach, FL.    

 The conference will feature Barbara Vey from Publishers Weekly as the Kickoff Speaker and author Beverly Kendall as Keynote Speaker. Activities include three days of workshops and panels, a costume ball, banquet and pitch sessions with well known, acquiring editors and agents. Editors/agents include: Amanda Bergeron, Associate Editor at Harper Collins/Avon; Angela James, Executive Editor for Carina Press; Holly Blanck, Associate Editor at St. Martin’s Press; Grace Bradley, Editor at Ellora’s Cave; Lucienne Diver, Literary Agent at The Knight Agency; Jenny Bent, Literary Agent at The Bent Agency; and Sandy Sullivan, Executive Editor, Secret Cravings Publishing.

Conference registration remains open and Friday or Saturday-only registration is available. For more info:                          Rita Bay for the Sizzlers


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