I'm an expert at editing romance genre fiction and commercial fiction with romantic elements for publishers, self-publishing authors, and writers seeking to refine their manuscripts before submitting to agents or publishers. I offer a full range of editing services for YA, NA, and Adult romance, and I'm especially good at helping ensure American and British characters and settings sound authentic.
Am I the type of freelance editor you've been looking for? I hope so! But you wouldn't hand your child to a stranger for babysitting, so I don't expect you to trust me with your book baby until you get to know me a little and check out my credentials.
First and foremost, know that I love to read fiction. Love to. We're talking reading while cooking, while waiting to checkout in a store, and even under the covers when I should be sleeping. (So the reading light doesn't wake up hubby, you understand. Not because books scare me. Usually.) I love all genres, but I love them even more with a dash (or a dollop) of romance in the mix. So know that I'll enjoy reading your work, I respect your genre, and I have vast knowledge of your publishing market—qualities I believe are essential in the editor you hire.
I'm also a perfectionist with a penchant for logic and detail.
Put 'em together and what have you got? (You're welcome for the earworm.) A fulfilling career as a freelance editor of romantic fiction. I'm the wordsmith who enjoys reading blogs about semicolons and going to editing conferences where my colleagues and I think a lunchtime scavenger hunt around the city to find editing errors on public signs is a really good time (true story!). I'm the analytical reader who loves nothing more than to question everything about a plot and its characters so that good writing can become great. I'm the fan who thinks the romance community is full of some of the most supportive people on earth and who feels proud to be counted among them.
Whether I'm addressing an overreliance on suspension of disbelief, assessing character motivation, improving word choice and mechanics, or spotting an inconsistency in style, I love helping authors refine their stories. They paint a masterpiece and I help them frame it. It's a mutually rewarding partnership.
My sweet spots are romantic suspense and mystery, historical romance heavy on the historical aspect, dystopian, light fantasy and sci-fi, and adventure. I have an affinity for comedy, strong atmospheric settings around the world, spies, heists, military, married or divorced couples, and all things French and British. I'm not terribly interested in editing paranormal of the vampire, shifter, or witchcraft variety, but feel free to run anything past me. I don't edit strictly erotica stories; however, erotic sexy times that support the story and character development are most definitely okay! I prefer to edit m/f couples in the primary hero/heroine roles.
I'm a travel addict. I grew up on the Central Coast of California, and my very own love story with a military man has meant I've been traveling the world for more than a decade so far. I spent a few years in Colorado as a flight attendant, and then it was on to England, where I did loads of traveling around Europe and began my editing career freelancing for British publisher Choc Lit. My latest adventure began in 2013 with a move to Hawaii.
All that traveling means my acquired global idioms are not only entertaining to friends and family, but they give me a terrific editing advantage. I can help help authors tweak Britishisms and Americanisms and ensure characters and settings sound authentic. I also regularly edit to both American and British spelling and style guides. (Please note that I don't work in an ESL assistance capacity, only with native English writers or writers who are fully competent with English as their second language.)
When it's time to share your book baby with the world, I'll be celebrating right along with you. I enjoy praising my authors on social media and featuring them on the home page of my website.
I conduct my business in a friendly and fairly causal manner while maintaining professional integrity at all times by upholding the standards of the associations where I am a professional member: Society for Editors and Proofreaders Code of Practice, the Editorial Freelancers Association Code of Fair Practice, and the Romance Writers of America Code of Ethics for Industry Professionals.
I look forward to helping you make your manuscript shine!
In January 2014, I established Romance Refined so that I could expand the scope of my clientele to include working directly with self-publishing authors and authors wanting to refine their manuscripts before submitting to agents or publishers. I feel passionate about forming relationships with authors and helping them launch successful careers. I'm proud to have many repeat clients.
Of the 20 published books I've edited since establishing Romance Refined, I'm proud to say that every single title has a ranking of 4.0 or higher on Amazon, with 17 of those titles ranking 4.5 stars or higher.
Many of the books I’ve worked on have earned awards and bestseller status, such as DIRTY ENGLISH by NYT, USA Today, and WSJ bestselling author Ilsa-Madden Mills. DIRTY ENGLISH ranked #8 in the Wall Street Journal, ranked #1 in many of Amazon’s highly competitive categories like Contemporary Romance, earned Ilsa Madden-Mills the #1 Amazon Author Rank, and currently has more than 800 Amazon reviews with a rating average of 4.4
I also do occasional freelance substantive editing for Icasm Press, and I continue to be available for work with small and large presses.
In December 2012, I became the primary editor for award-winning British publisher Choc Lit. I was responsible for the majority of their 2013 paperback list and some of their spring 2014 paperback list, which included substantive, line, and copy editing each title in a three-stage editing process. Although the work was freelance, Choc Lit had no in-house editor, so my role for the company was comprehensive; I executed project management duties, reviewed final proofs, and I was the main point of contact with the authors throughout the editing and production process.
In 2012 I was British publisher Choc Lit's sole freelance production editor and proofreader, during which time I also copyedited for their e-only Choc Lit Lite imprint and a short story anthology.
Sassy, snarky witch Anastasia Gregor does not work with vampires. Unfortunately, she forgot to tell her boss that. Now she's up to her neck (pun intended) in the night walkers as she attempts to help one family fix their love lives...and meets the enigmatic (and slightly cheesy) Lucas, quite possibly the sexiest man alive...well, sort of. And then things get a bit weird...er.
Haunted by her best friend's disappearance, always practical Rowan Quaide lives a life of cold logic. As an intelligence analyst, her world is ruled by who has the best strategy and Ro's reasoned control makes her Queen. A Chance encounter with a man from her past stretches the bounds of reason and throws her into a game of dark deception and danger. With the past creeping from her nightmares ... read more
If you won a fairy-tale wedding in a luxury hotel, you’d be delighted – right? But what if you didn’t have anyone to marry? Cat Aston did have a fiancé, but now it looks like her Prince Charming has done a runner. Adam Lawley was left devastated when his girlfriend turned down his heartfelt proposal. He’s made a vow never to fall in love again. So – when Cat and Adam meet, they shouldn’t even ... read more
Be careful what you wish for… Holly Grey only joined the women's group to keep her friend out of trouble – and now she’s knee-deep in hassle, in the form of apocalyptic weather, armed men, midwifery…and a sarcastic Welsh journalist. Kai has been drawn to darkest Yorkshire by his desire to find out who he really is. What he hadn’t bargained on was getting caught up in amateur magic and dealing ... read more
Have you ever ignored a sense of unease? Helena Standish knows that a good marriage would enhance her father’s social status but she’s wise enough not to accept any handsome fool. The wealthy and enigmatic Oliver Faraday is considered an ideal match, so why does Helena have faint misgivings? Nicholas Carstairs has little patience with frivolous pleasure-seekers or an upper class that closes ra... read more
How Much Would You Sacrifice for Love?With nothing but a strong back and a barrel full of ambition, August Wolff finds wealth beyond measure in the frozen goldfields of the Klondike. Success, however, comes at an unbearably high price. Now Gus walks alone, and all the money in the world can't buy him what he needs.In the late 1800's, when women are most often seen and not heard, Amelia Starlin... read more
A startling discovery at the age of fourteen left San Francisco artist Jenna Bergstrom estranged from her family; unforeseen tragedy only sharpened her loneliness. But now her ailing grandfather needs her expertise to re-open the family's once-famous artists' retreat in western Marin County, California. The problem? She'll have to face architect Brit Maguire, the ex-love of her life.Seven year... read more
Can honour and action banish the shadows of old sins?Emily Micklen has no option after the death of her loving fiancé, Jack, but to marry the scarred, taciturn, soldier who represents her only escape from destitution.Major Angus McCartney is tormented by the reproachful slate-grey eyes of two strikingly similar women: Jessamine, his dead mistress, and Emily, the unobtainable beauty who is now ... read more
The past is never over … Jack Stewart thought he’d put the past behind him. On the surface, he has everything – success, money, a big house and he is never short of an attractive woman by his side, but a tragic road accident shatters his world. Raised as an Irish Traveller, Luke Kiernan hasn’t had it easy, and when he wakes in a Dublin hospital to find the man he’s hated since childhood at his... read more
Meet The Frenchman. His name is Louis Messette. He’s rich. He’s ruthless. And he’s in for a surprise when he meets American Fleur Smithers. The daughter of his family’s arch enemy — Marie the Mercenary, the sworn eradicator of crime in Toulon’s ports — is sexy as sin. And gullible as hell. College grad Fleur Smithers thinks moving to France to spend a year with her newly found biological mothe... read more
My best friend's brother grew up. Hot.I'm two semesters from finishing college and starting a fashion label with my best friend, Ava. Everything I've ever wanted is so close I can taste it. The planning, eating takeout, long days and longer nights, and saying 'no' to every distraction is about to pay off. Until he transfers in.Dylan Cameron is more than my best friend's younger brother. He's t... read more
Is it possible to find your soul mate on the other side of the world?Beth Johnson is an ambitious high school senior from suburban California with a secret passion for writing. David Somers is a charming young Englishman who wants nothing more than to play guitar in his up-and-coming rock band. Though worlds apart, when fate brings Beth and David together in London in the summer of 1979, spark... read more
From Wall Street Journal best-selling author Ilsa Madden-Mills comes a complete stand-alone novel. First love never sounded so hot and good. Ilsa never disappoints!" ~Shanora Williams, NYT Bestselling Author "Ilsa Madden-Mills slayed my heart in the best kind of way. Absolutely gut-wrenching." ~Crystal Spears, International Bestselling Author"Cuba is hot, delicious, and intoxicating...the perf... read more
Dirty English is a Wall Street Journal Bestseller (#8)From New York Times best-selling author Ilsa Madden-Mills comes a new stand alone romance.... A scarred fighter.A girl with rules.One night of unbridled passion. There are three things you need to know about Elizabeth Bennett: she’s smart as a whip, always in control, and lives by a set of carefully crafted rules. She’s learned the hard way... read more
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Fiction editor and proofreader with experience in mystery, science fiction, fantasy, paranormal, YA, thriller, romance, and more.
Former editor at Penguin Random House and Hachette Book Group. I specialize in all commercial fiction, especially crime fiction and romance.