Monday, January 20, 2014

Paths to Publishing: Normandie Alleman || VENETIAN LOVE KNOTS

“The Writing Career that Almost Got Lost in the Mail” by Normandie Alleman

A few years ago I fell into writing erotic flash fiction for fun and had a few pieces published. But that only paid $10-20 and a few free books - not much income.

Impulsively, I decided the try my hand at something longer so I found an anthology call for a Valentine’s story with hot Italian men. I came up with a juicy little love triangle and went to writing.

The story had to be pared down significantly in order to meet the word count parameters, but I managed it and submitted the manuscript.

The anthology was set to be released around Valentine’s Day so when I hadn’t heard from the publisher by January, I sent them an email.

They responded saying they never received my submission.

Huh? What about that email I got saying that they received it? Apparently, that was a computer generated email. In reality, my story had been lost in cyberspace.

The stories for the anthology had already been selected, but the editor-in-chief was wonderful about it and told me I could submit my manuscript directly to her for a single title submission.

I intended to do so, adding the parts I’d had to cut, but by this time my personal life had taken a turn and writing had fallen way down on my priority list.

It wasn’t until the following year when Fifty Shades of Grey became so popular that I rewrote the manuscript and sent it in. This time I made sure an actual human had my submission.

The wait wasn’t supposed to be longer than four months so after six months of checking my inbox every day for six months I prepared to send a follow-up email.

As I did so, I conducted a search for the publisher’s name in my gmail hoping to find the appropriate email address to use. Imagine my SHOCK to find an unread email from that address pop up in the search results.

What? One of their editors had emailed me less than a month after I’d sent in my story saying she was interested in my manuscript.

Her email with the amazing news had been hiding in my spam folder for the past five months as I’d waited on pins and needles wondering if they liked it!

I freaked out and immediately sent her an email telling her what had happened. Everything worked out and my first novella “Venetian Love Knots” was published last February.

That opened to door to an exciting, fun, new career for me as an erotic romance author. I will always be grateful to Totally Bound for giving me my start and teaching me the ropes.

These days I comb my email folders, and I haven’t lost any other manuscripts or important emails lately. But please learn from my mistake and always check your spam folder!

Title: Venetian Love Knots
Publisher: Totally Bound
Date Published: February 2013
Genre: Erotic Romance – BDSM/MFM Menage
Length: 70 pages


Travelling to Venice to be the maid of honour in her best friend’s wedding sounds like a great vacation, and a romantic way to spend Valentine’s Day. But when Allison Fox discovers who the best man is, she is torn between duty and self-preservation.

It has taken Allison four years to put her tumultuous relationship with the rodeo cowboy behind her. A violent incident ripped them apart. Now Allison must find a way to face her past and find closure with her old flame. But will she be able to put the past behind her?

Cole is the Texas cowboy has never gotten over his love for Allison. But when he declares his love for her after all this time, is she strong enough to walk away from the intense passion they share?

For years Nico, a handsome Italian, was committed to nothing but his work. Nico never expected he would meet an American beauty who would awaken in him a desire to love again. Once he finds her, Nico vows to never let Allison go.

It will be a Valentine’s Day to remember, but who will win Allison’s heart?


Looking around, Allison was expecting to see another kindly Italian lady, like the sweet one she had met on the plane earlier. She did a stutter step when she saw the man holding the sign that had ‘Allison Fox’ scribbled on it.
Nothing could have prepared her for the tall, handsome man in his exquisite Italian suit, searching the crowd with those piercing dark eyes. She saw him first, but when their gazes met the rest of the world seemed to melt away. He was so handsome, she was drawn to him immediately. She couldn’t quite believe this Adonis with the chiselled good looks was the person who was supposed to be retrieving her.
“Hi, I’m Allison Fox,” she said shyly.
“Oh, so you are Allison then?” The big man grinned happily, giving her a once-over. Judging by his smile, he seemed to like what he saw.
“Yes,” She hesitated, thinking that she probably shouldn’t just go off with a stranger, even if he was a good-looking one…
“I am Nico,” he said. “Nico Vitallini. Alfonso’s cousin. They sent me to pick you up. You are to be Marcia’s maid of honour, in the wedding, no?”
“Yes, I am.” Allison smiled. It was hard not to smile at him. The way he looked at her made her feel as though she was the only person in the entire airport. Her heart beat faster than usual. Were those butterflies in her stomach? Or was she just hungry?
“Come this way and we will collect your luggage. Here, please allow me to carry that for you.” He took her heavy carry-on bag from her hand in one graceful movement. The bag had been weighing her down, yet Nico tossed it around effortlessly. Allison bit back a smile.
Available for purchase:

Author Bio:

A former psychologist, Normandie has always been fascinated by human behavior. She loves writing quirky characters that are all too human. Fiber arts, baking, and Pinterest are a few of her favorite pastimes. She lives on a farm with a passel of kids, an adorable husband, and a pet pig who’s crazy for Red Bull.

Follow her on:
Twitter: @NormandieA 

What is Normandie doing at the moment?

Normandie recently produced her first audiobook – Daddy Morebucks, and she’s currently working on more books in her Daddy’s Girl Series and a sexy pirate trilogy. She’s also dabbling with erotic Fairy Tales. Hopefully, next year she will have a chance to start the next “Love Knots” book. Stay tuned…


  1. Hi Normandie,
    What a wonderful story! I'm betting that you're pretty paranoid about checking your spam folder now. :D

    Thank you so much for taking part in my Path's to Publishing series. :)

  2. Hey, Normandie,

    After all the time I've known you, I've never heard that story. Thank heaven for search capabilities!

  3. Thanks for letting me share Melissa! Yes, I do check all my folders all the time now.

    Lisabet - I know, right? What if I'd never found her email? Thanks for stopping by, luv!

  4. Normandie, something similar happened to me through not, luckily, with a mss. I'd asked someone abroad for the name and author of a book they'd mentioned in conversation when I'd met them. I couldn't understand why they never answered my email and, yeah, some time later, found it in the spam file. From that day to this I go through Spam on a (usually) daily basis, checking and clearing. Great story and good luck with the book.

  5. Thanks Andrea. Some important things can get lost there. :)