Raz Steel Lindsey
Beauty and The Best: TOP 20 FINALIST out of 2,676 entries in the FIRST CHAPTERS contest and
Top 6 FINALIST in the American Title III contest.
The American Title Contest is a contest run
Times BOOKreviews Magazine and Dorchester
Publishing, similar to television's
American Idol. The finalists are chosen by the
staff and compete over 5 rounds, comprised of
Best Opening Line, Best Story Summary, Best
Hero/Heroine, Best Dialogue Scene and Best
Romantic Scene. The entries are published on
RT's website and in the monthly additions of
the magazine. The public then votes online
each month and the two contestants with the
lowest scores are eliminated. The author who
gets the highest number of votes has his/her
I was in the third installment of this
contest with my manuscript, Beauty and The
Best. We had the honor of being the only
round of American Title contest to count a man as
one of the finalists. Raz
Steel made it all the way to the Top
4--but in the end it didn't matter that he
didn't win; Dorchester bought one of his
To date, five of our ten finalists have
gone on to get publishing contracts and we're
keeping our fingers crossed for the rest!
Below are my submissions for this contest and
you can see the judges' comments in my Press
The winner of American Title III was Jenny
Gardiner for her story, Sleeping
With Ward Cleaver.
and The Best
Jolie Gardener's new boss,
reclusive widowed landscape artist,
Todd Best, who hadn't produced
anything since the death of his wife
two years ago, was a pretty
interesting guy. He a) showed up
buck naked on her first day on the
job, b) asked her to pose for him -
in the nude! and c) discovered she
was an aspiring romance novelist who
found the tragedy of his lost love
inspiring, thereby throwing her out
of his house, his life...and his
heart. What's a girl to do? Fall in
love, of course!
foster child Jolie Gardener is
searching for happily-ever-after. Oh,
not for her. For her manuscript. She
believes "ever afters" only
happen between the pages of a book.
Problem is, she has no idea how to
write a happy ending.
personal chef to Todd Best, famous
landscape artist whose paintings and
legendary love story are synonymous,
she's found her true-life hero. Too
bad he's so freaky about his privacy
he's vowed never to exhibit again, let
alone star in her romance novel.
her apartment burns, Todd offers a
room in his home in exchange for her
culinary expertise at a charity
picnic. Jolie ropes Todd into some
cookin' in the kitchen and
temperatures soar, melting Jolie's
heart, as does Todd's penchant for
organizing events for homeless
merchant gives Todd a book on
portraiture, relaxing the stranglehold
on his muse. Paintings flow onto
canvasses, all of them of Jolie. Her
zest for life has rekindled his with a
rainbow of color.
when his words surface in Jolie's
manuscript, Todd sees only red and
Jolie learns what she's always feared
is true: Nothing lasts forever.
can it? With the help of an
anthropomorphic kitty (who,
coincidentally, isn't around when the
merchant is), Todd realizes they've
each found their muse in the other.
Maybe life is for the living.
an art show benefit for local
shelters, Todd reveals his feelings
for her in the paintings she inspired.
Some things can last forever. The Best
Gardener, personal chef by day, aspiring
romance writer by night, likes to talk and
does it a lot. She has to because if she
stops, all the pain, disillusionment, and
abandonment of her AWOL mother,
question-mark father and foster-care
childhood may rise up like a chocolate
on steroids, sweeping away the fragile
infrastructure of her life. But she's
fine. Really. She is.
so she thinks.
Best isn't fine. He knows it. And doesn't
care. After his wife died - the woman who
believed in him no matter what, even when
he was a struggling artist - he's put
painting aside, moved from their home and
lost himself in the minutiae of daily
life. Alone. Private. The way he likes it.
The last thing he needs is some chatty
cook seeping into the perfectly bland
canvas of his life.
so he thinks.
There's a naked man in my