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Friday, May 15, 2015


Some song titles evoke memories not only of the song, but also of the time…the era…the place. They call for stories all their own. At Prairie Rose Publications imprint Fire Star Press, evocative songs from days gone by inspired a new line of novella-length stories: A Song to Remember. Each book in the series will be what we call a “duet,” because each will contain two romantic tales. The two stories in each volume will be set in the same decade.

Theme: The music of life and love
Length: 15,000 to 25,000 words
Deadline: November 1, 2015
Heat: sweet to spicy (no erotica, please)

Someone to Watch Over Me: 1940s—Paranormal
When you think of the song "Someone To Watch Over Me," you probably think of the comfort of a safe haven in the arms of your true love. But what if the “someone” was not what he or she appeared to be? What if he were a ghost from the past, or a figment of the future? What if she were an alien from another world or a shapeshifter? This novella duet lends itself to all kinds of intrigue. Stories should be set in the 1940s. We’re not looking for graphic horror or sex—just an “aha” moment and the inevitable decision: What will your hero or heroine do when they discover exactly who—or what—watches over them?

If I Loved You: 1950s—Misunderstood love
If I Loved You will contain two stories of misunderstood love set in the 1950s. This could be anything from a series of events that are misunderstood by one partner or the other to one big misunderstanding that could cloud the issue of a relationship forever. A man sees his intended bride kiss another man on the cheek and gaze into his eyes and calls off the wedding, only to discover later the man is her brother. A woman learns her boyfriend’s tumultuous break up with her happens because he’s found out some devastating news: He’s suffering from an illness that will take all his energy to battle, and he doesn’t want to burden her. The possibilities are endless.

This Magic Moment: 1960s—A revealing moment changes everything
This Magic Moment will contain two stories set in the 1960s, one of the most turbulent times in American history. "Free love," rock-and-roll, and the civil rights movement changed society daily. In these stories, a revelation changes everything. Maybe a civil rights worker must decide between his passion for his job and his passion for his woman. A Woodstock musician realizes the love he feels for his girlfriend is stronger than the music he makes with his band when he sees her leaving the festival. A preacher’s daughter becomes pregnant and her boyfriend, whom her parents despise, shows them what love truly is when he learns he’s going to be a dad. These are just a few examples of the kind of thing we’re looking for in This Magic Moment. What “magic moment” will drive your story?

Wonderful Tonight: 1970s—Can true love happen in just one night?
Eric Clapton's “Wonderful Tonight” tells the story of what happens to a couple in one single night. That’s what we’re looking for in this novella duet, set in the 1970s, with a twist. In the song, the couple has been together a while, but in these two stories, we are looking for tales about couples who may be barely acquainted, or maybe just met. An incident throws them into a situation where they find love. We’re not talking about just lust, but also a mutual caring that blossoms into the fragile beginnings of love between two people. These stories should be no hotter than spicy, given these parameters. We’re eager to see what kind of wonderful—or maybe not so wonderful—night brings your characters to the brink of true love.

I'm On Fire: 1980s—Unlikely love blossoms
Bruce Springsteen’s hit "I’m On Fire" is the inspiration for this duet of 1980s-set stories about love between two people who are a highly unlikely match. Remember Pretty Woman? Trading Places? The real-life romance of Prince Edward and Wallis Simpson? If you have a story about an interracial couple, a librarian and a party guy, a rock star and a schoolteacher, a wealthy heiress and her chauffeur—any unlikely pair for the decade—we’d love to see it. Make the story sizzle: This duet will be spicy to hot, but no erotica, please. What would make your hero or heroine say "I’m on Fire"?

Wicked Game: 1990s—Circumstances aren’t always what they seem
Chris Isaak’s haunting hit “Wicked Game” makes us wonder about the things people will do for desire. The two stories in this volume will feature characters who do something they wouldn't ever have done ordinarily…but are driven to do for the love or desire of another person. Maybe the “wicked games” people play trap two people in a web of deceit. Perhaps a faulty news report threatens to destroy one or both lives, or maybe friends, family, or life itself conspire against the couple to keep them apart by playing one against the other. Could be the hero sets out to destroy the heroine for some reason, only to realize the object of his hatred is not the monster he thought she was.It’s up to you to determine the reasoning and rules for love’s "Wicked Game."

If you have a novella-length story idea for one or more of the “duet” books, e-mail editor Cheryl Pierson at and let let her know your interest so she can plan accordingly and “pair up” potential stories. Please put DUETS INQUIRY in the subject line. Both published and un-published storytellers are encouraged to submit.

The line will debut in 2016.

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