The international publishing house launched its first ever writing contest at the Festival of Romance in the UK last October in the hope of finding a writer and book that embodied the spirit of erotic romance.
Gillian Colbert, a mother from Michigan, USA whose Black Door Press blog offers ‘kinky writing and random thoughts’, beat many established and unpublished authors with her novel Awakening.
Her novel follows the story of 35-year-old Claire, who joins a local book club for romance readers in order to get over the breakdown of her 10-year relationship, and meets book shop owner Evan, a dominant man who has never recovered from the sudden death of his submissive wife. It will be published by Xcite Books in December 2012.
Judge and Xcite Editor Elizabeth Coldwell said, ‘I’m delighted to welcome Gillian as one of Xcite’s authors. Awakening was one of many entries which explored BDSM and relationships involving male domination and female submission but it stood out not only because of the quality of writing, but because it was by far the most romantic entry.
‘I was gripped by the conflicted attraction of the hero and heroine, and found myself longing to know what happens as the story progresses. I’m sure it will be a perfect addition to Xcite’s range of books.’
On winning the publishing contract, Gillian admitted she only entered because she wanted the opportunity to write for Xcite.
She said, ‘This was the first contest I’ve ever entered and to win is just amazing. I’m so excited .The reason I entered the contest was specifically for the opportunity to work with Xcite.’
Kate Allan, organiser of the Festival of Romance, said she was delighted to work with Xcite Books and bring the competition to the attention of aspiring writers.
‘The competition was very strong and we are looking forward to launching the winning book with Xcite at the Festival of Romance in Bedford later this year.’