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Romantic Transgressions Anthology - Volume 1

by Anthology Works LLC


Yes, this project has been placed on temporary hold, however, we anticipate finalizing the 16 stories we shall include in this volume for publication during this period of temporary suspension. Once finalized all included contributing writers shall be duly notified.

Inquiries concerning additional details not included below about this project need to be emailed to our Romantic Transgressions Project Director, Dave Meisburger, at:




Cover Design by Stan Tumilowicz


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This book volume will contain ONLY 16 original stories that best fit the Romantic Transgressions title theme of the book, each consisting of AT LEAST 10,000 words for which the contributing writer for THIS anthology project will be accorded 6% of the net profit book royalties and, once again, it will require ZERO monetary investment from the writer . . .
One additional challenge is to write not just ONE short story, but to plan out a SERIES of short stories as this will be just Volume 1, and if you write a story capable of becoming a SERIES, that could solidify your inclusion in Volume 2 . . . just a thought. The remainder here is miscellaneous topical information, so peruse it if you're interested, or not, your choice . . .
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One person's random thought was to have a romantic encounter between a human and their ex-lover-turned-zombie . . . I had to shake my head at that one, but I guess that would certainly qualify as a type of "transgression" . . . anyway, to help you determine which direction you'd like to pursue, here's some Romance category sub-genre information . . .
Contemporary Romance . . . Contemporary romances are set after World War 2 and  are often what people think of when they refer to the standard romance story. Contemporary romance stories—the largest sub-genre—are set in the time when they are written, and usually reflect the mores of that time. Heroines in contemporary romances prior to 1970 usually quit working when they marry or have children—while heroines after 1970 usually have, and keep, a career. As contemporary romance stories have grown to contain more complex plotting and more realistic characters, the line between this sub-genre and the genre of women's fiction has blurred. Most contemporary romance stories contain elements that date them and older ones are often reclassified as being Historical Romances. (Now, on top of all that, you get to add character "transgressions")
Romantic Suspense . . . Romantic suspense stories involve an intrigue or mystery for the protagonists to solve. Typically, the heroine is the victim of a crime or attempted crime, and works with a hero, who tends to be in a field where he would serve as a protector, such as a police officer, FBI agent, bodyguard, or similar. By the end of the story, the mystery is resolved and the interaction between the hero and heroine has evolved into a solid relationship. These stories primarily take place in contemporary times, but can also include historical time frames. Like all romances, romantic suspense stories must place the development of a relationship between the protagonists at the heart of the story. Their relationship must impact each decision they make and increase the tension of the suspense as it propel the story. In turn, the events of suspense must also directly affect the relationship and move the story forward. Romantic suspense stories tend to have more "clean" language, without the emotionally intimate descriptions often used in more traditional romances. primarily because the mystery is the crucial aspect of the plot, these stories are more plot-driven instead of character-driven. (Plus, on top of all that you get to add character "transgressions")
Paranormal Romance . . . Paranormal romance blends the real with the fantastic or science fictional. The fantastical elements may be woven into an alternate version of our own world in an urban fantasy involving vampires, demons, and/or werewolves, or they may be more "normal" manifestations of the paranormal—humans with psychic abilities, witches, or ghosts. Time travel, futuristic, and extraterrestrial romances also fall beneath the paranormal umbrella. These stories often blend elements of other various sub-genres—including suspense, mystery, or chick lit—with their fantastical themes. A few paranormal stories are set solely in the past and are structured much like any historical romance novel. Others are set in the future, sometimes on different worlds. Still others have a time-travel element with either the hero or the heroine traveling into the past or the future. Many paranormal romances rely on the blend of contemporary American life with the existence of supernatural or magically empowered beings, human or otherwise; sometimes the larger culture is aware of the magical entity in its midst, sometimes it's not. Some paranormal romances focus less on the specifics of their alternative worlds than do traditional science fiction or fantasy stories, keeping the attention strongly on the underlying romance. Others develop the alternate reality meticulously, combining well-planned magical systems and inhuman cultures with contemporary reality. (On top of that you get to add character "transgressions")
Science Fiction Romance . . . Similar to Paranormal, but are set on other worlds and include no paranormal elements. (On top of that you get to add character "transgressions")
Fantasy Romance . . . also known as Romantic fantasy, this is a sub-genre of fantasy fiction, describing a fantasy story using many of the elements and conventions of the romance genre. Romantic fantasy stories/novels have been published in both fantasy and romance genres, with some publishers distinguishing between "fantasy romance" being more like a contemporary fantasy novel with romantic elements, and "romantic fantasy" with more emphasis on the romance elements of the story. (On top of that you get to add character "transgressions")
Time Travel Romances . . . Time-travel romances are a version of the classic "fish out of water" story. In most, the heroine is from the present day and travels into the past to meet the hero. In a smaller subset of these novels, the hero, who lives in the past, travels forward into his future to meet the heroine. A successful time-travel romance must have the characters react logically to their experience and should investigate some of the differences, both physical and mental, between the world the character normally inhabits and the one where they landed. Some writers end their stories with the protagonists trapped in different time periods and unable to be together, much to the displeasure of many readers of the genre. (On top of that you get to add character "transgressions")
Inspirational Romance . . . Inspirational romance, as the market exists today, combines explicitly Christian themes with the development of a romantic relationship. These novels typically do NOT include gratuitous violence or swearing, and the central courtship is chaste. Sex, if it is present at all, occurs after marriage and is NOT explicitly detailed. Many novels in this genre also focus on the hero or heroine's faith, turning the love story into a triangle: the man and the woman and also their relationship with God. When people read inspirational romance stories, they observe subtle details and see the novel more realistically, changing how they perceive the world. Themes such as forgiveness, honesty, and fidelity are common. (Due to the expected nature of this particular sub-genre theme it may be difficult for the reader to accept character "transgressions")
Multicultural Romance . . . Multicultural romance typically features a hero and/or heroine who is African American, although some multicultural lines also include Asian or Hispanic heroes or heroines or interracial relationships. (Some readers may already view this particular genre as being a "transgression" simply because of their personal religion or beliefs, so you'd have to add another form of "transgression" to this particular theme)
Provocative Romance . . . Provocative Romance typically falls just short of being classified as being Erotic, as descriptions of character's intimate relationships/couplings are more implied than explicit . . . think 50 Shades of Grey. (Again, some topical plot lines in this genre have built-in character transgressions so your task would be to add in a form of transgression that's unexpected. However, you're cautioned to be careful, as should intimate descriptions become explicit, that may disqualify your story from being included in this particular anthology)
Erotic Romance . . . This type of romance genre will NOT be included in this particular anthology!
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Enter the twist of "transgressions" . . . now all genre and sub-genre types receive a form of facelift. Gone are the sappy standard story lines and perhaps even the happy endings. So let's review individual meanings for the word "transgressions" and what types you may choose to utilize in your story writing:
Goes against a law . . . perhaps you could choose to write about breaking age boundaries . . . one old, one young . . . or a hooker and john . . . or . . .
Goes against a rule . . . your tale could be about two people from within the same workplace . . . sexual harassment is such a popular news topic these days . . .
Goes against a code of conduct . . . or perhaps a counselor/therapist and the person they counsel/treat . . . lots of plot twists here . . .
Something that's an offense . . . perhaps an offense to humanity issue . . . such as a race issue based in a country where racial integration is still illegal . . .
Or even offensive . . . now, here there's a whole world of opportunity to explore . . . what's "normal" for some, can be considered kinky to others, yet be highly offensive to many . . . again, think 50 Shades . . .
A crime . . . think of criminal issues of a sexual nature . . . lol . . . thinking, thinking, thinking . . .
A sin . . . now you're flinging wide open the door of religious issues and how sexual conduct of ANY type can equate to being sinful . . .
A wrong . . . is doing something "wrong" a "transgression" and, if so, then there's your subject matter, which ones are, versus which ones aren't  . . .
Wrongdoing . . . similar in scope, but perhaps of an even more serious nature than a simple "wrong" . . .
Misdemeanor . . . ahhhhh, now we're back in the legal realm, but something that's not a felony, something considered a tad more sedate in nature . . . but then does it equate to being a true "transgression" . . .
Impropriety . . . oh my, one of my favorites . . . it's wrong in some instances, but right in others . . . or is it???
Infraction . . . what was broken, a rule, a law, a code, a policy . . . you get to choose . . .
Misdeed . . . the word makes it sound like such a gentle thing . . . 'twasn't but a slight misdeed . . . but maybe it isn't, or wasn't, this could be taken many different ways . . .
Lawbreaking . . . was it blatant, unintentional, chosen to be ignored, and in each type of instance, why . . . or even better yet, who really cares, besides to those representing and enforcing the law that is . . .
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So, yes, Romantic Transgressions, will be the anthology book title and MUST be the underlying foundation for ALL of its included story plots. Therefore, will you choose to write one with an "open" plot, one that's instantly identifiable to the reader, or will you go with an interwoven plot, one that's perhaps several types all rolled up in one, or will you take the reader on a journey, leading them into one situation, turning sharply into what appears to be another, only for them to discover in the end that you've directed them into and through a hall of mirrors and nothing's been what it seems. In the end, are the ones conducting the transgressions heroic or jailed, caught or never found out, left alive or killed off . . . or . . . whatever. Feel free to be creative . . . lol . . . perhaps it "ends" by them getting elected President!
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Standard Plot Types:
  • Quest. Character oriented story, the protagonist searches for something and winds up changing him/herself.
  • Adventure. Plot oriented, this features a goal-oriented series of events, such as a voyage & return.
  • Pursuit. This is the typical Chase plot. Definitely action-oriented.
  • Rescue. Another easy to recognize action-oriented plot.
  • Escape. A variation on the Rescue is when the protagonist escapes on his/her own.
  • Revenge. Ahhh, character issues return in this one. Someone is wronged and vows to take revenge.
  • The Riddle. Love a good mystery? Then this is the plot for you.
  • Rivalry. Character oriented, this story follows two main characters, one on a downward track and one on an upward track and their interactions.
  • Underdog. Everyone in the USA seemingly roots for the underdog. This is the plot where the under-privileged (handicapped, poor, etc) triumphs despite overwhelming odds.
  • Temptation. Pandora’s Box extended to novel form.
  • Metamorphosis. You’ll recognize this plot form as a physical transformation of some kind. It’s Dracula, Beauty and the Beast, Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde.
  • Transformation. Similar to the previous, this plot features an inner change, instead of changing the character's outer form.
  • Maturation. Rite of passage or coming-of-age both refer to someone growing up morally, spiritually or emotionally. Often, it’s just a hint or a tiny change which alludes to larger changes to come.
  • Love. The classic Boy-meets-Girl plot.
  • Forbidden Love. Tales of forces that should keep characters apart, while still attracting, such as in Romeo & Juliet.
  • Sacrifice. From the Biblical tale of Jesus to the story of parents sacrificing for their children, this is a staple of literature.
  • Discovery. You know those secrets you’ve buried deep in your past? This story digs around, exposes secrets and watches them affect the characters.
  • Wretched Excess. When a character is in a downward spiral from alcohol, drugs, greed, etc, this is the plot form.
  • Ascension or Descension. A rise or fall from power puts a character into this plot form.
  • Comedy/Tragedy. A straight humorous or tragic tale.
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If you'd like to submit a 10,000 word story to be considered for this anthology project, then wonderful, please email us of your interest at . . .