Finalist in the Emerald City Opener Contest

ECO FinalistI was preparing my last paper draft of my second book for “storage,” when I got “the email.” It finaled in the Seattle RWA’s  contest, the Emerald City Opener. It’s a contest that looks at the first 7 pages – the opener.

Fighting Fear

An Ancient Curse… A Lost Vermeer… A Ruthless Murderer…

Johannes Vermeer
Johannes Vermeer

Fighting Fear is the second story in my Nederlander Series.

Desperate to prove she can work with her brothers in the fight against international art crime, Kat follows the trail of a lost Vermeer, only to discover her former lover is trying to steal it. Entangled in a web of intrigue, she discovers the painting is cursed and a ruthless murderer is closing in.

This story kind of wrote itself. The strong and sassy heroine led the way through the plot, leaving me to follow her trail with the odd comma and question mark. The settings are wonderful. She starts in the quaint picturesque city of Delft, the home of Vermeer, and then weaves through the medieval center of Amsterdam, and ends up racing through the countryside, on a somewhat stolen motorcycle, to end up in an old castle. I had a lot of fun following her around.

My Reaction

I started with  a stunned, “huh. Me? Is this email really for me?” Then I mentally slapped myself. “Yes, idiot, It’s in your inbox.”  Then I squealed. I’d like to say I yelled, but it really came out more like an unladylike squeal. Then I set about telling everyone – at least twice. Yes, I am very happy, and extremely grateful (to everyone helping me on my writing path, and to the contest organizers and judges).

The Conference

The final results will be announced at the Emerald City Conference in October. I’m planning on going. As a finalist I get to pitch to the agent who will have judged my submission.

And to top it all off, the cherry on the double fudge sundae: they have a gala PJ party involving pajamas and bling.em conference

A group of writers from our local chapter will be going, as well as members from a couple of the on-line groups I belong to (KOD and GUPS). So exciting.

I’ve never spent time in the Seattle area, so I’m looking forward to exploring Pike’s market, the bookstores I’ve heard so much about. I plan to try out the seafood and knock back my share of coffee.


PJ and I celebrated with a small container of vanilla gelato. Perfect!

How do you celebrate in the summer?

Author: Jo-Ann Carson

About Jo-Ann Carson Where magic happens … Reports of Jo-Ann Carson’s death on a Gulf Island are greatly exaggerated or, at the very least, premature. The eclectic crew of ghosts that haunt her head spill onto the page in two series: The Gambling Ghosts and The Ghost & Abby Mysteries. A Viking with existential issues, a broken hearted Highlander, a Casanova man-witch and a Pirate with a secret are just a few of the males her strong heroines encounter in tales of fantasy, adventure and romance. A firm believer in the magic of our everyday lives, Jo-Ann loves watching sunrises, walking beaches near her home in the Pacific Northwest and reading by the fire. You can visit her on social media: Website * Blog * Twitter * Facebook

22 thoughts on “Finalist in the Emerald City Opener Contest”

    1. Thanks Joanne
      Yes, I’ve been happy dancing all over my house. And on-line I found out that they have a Mystery Book store in Seattle. The trip will be great fun. Thanks for stopping by and giving me your support.


    1. Thanks Jerrie
      I agree the contest road is bumpy, but it sure feels good when your work gets recognized. My favorite so far is the Daphne because our KOD group give such good feedback. I hope you’re still planning on guest blogging here Friday. Let me know if it still works out for you.


    1. Thanks Deanie
      That’s exactly how I feel: honored.
      Everything seems kind of special this summer. I have family visiting, sailing adventures with friends… I’m feeling pretty lucky.


  1. A lovely surprise! Writing feedback is the best. Emerald City will be stellar. Lots of opportunities for learning new writing strategies and tips. It will be fun to cheer you on!


  2. Congrats, Jo-Ann. So happy for you. I was a bit surprised by your comment you hadn’t spent much time in Seattle. Isn’t it pretty close to you–like across a body of water–a sound or something? Oh, wait, I’m thinking of when we stayed in a B & B just outside of Port Angeles. People were coming and going across the Strait to Victoria. Seattle is like 2 hours from there. I’m a bit map challenged. LOL Anyway, I’m super thrilled for you. Seems to me you’re piling up a fair number of contest finals. Keep working. You’re almost there!


    1. Hi Marsha
      Sorry I’m slow responding. I’m staying in a cabin off the grid and coming up for wifi only a couple times a day. Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting.
      I went to Seattle for a couple hour visit in my twenties (I remember buying cotton and perfume and loving the prices and selection), and driven through it many times, but I haven’t taken the time to explore it. I’m really looking forward to that. To get there I’ll take a ferry to the mainland (2 hours to Vancouver) and drive south (another 4 hours at least). On our return trip we’re thinking of taking the Port Angeles ferry to Victoria and drive up the island. It will be a beautiful circle route.
      Gotta love the RWA. I mentioned on the KOD loop that my husband is coming with me to check out marine stores and Lori-Lynn the pres of the Evergreen RWA asked if I wanted a list of stores. I said yes, and we now have a detailed list of stores to explore on-line before we get there, and then in person. I love our writing organization. So many connections.
      Great chatting


  3. International art crime and a cursed painting?! Sign me up for this book! Can’t wait to buy it one day soon, Jo-Ann! Oh, but first I get to look forward to celebrating with you (and cheering you) on at the Emerald City Conference!!


    1. Jacqui
      Thanks for all your excitement and all your encouragement. I’m really looking forward to Seattle.
      Best Wishes


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