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I’m handing the Ranch reins over today to friend and sister Wild Rose Press author Andrea Downing to share a little about RNC convention, founded by the awesome cover model, Jimmy Thomas, in Las Vegas and two of her awesome books. Let’s settle in and hear what she has to tell us!
It’s all yours, Andi!
I never wanted to go to Vegas. Not only was it NOT on my ‘places I’d like to visit’ list but it was actually at the very top of my ‘places I never want to get caught dead in’ list. Okay, so if someone offered me a free ticket to meet Tim McGraw backstage and sit in the front row of his show in Vegas I might’ve accepted. Or possibly a front row seat to the Professional Rodeo or Bull Riders’ Finals. But Vegas as in Las Vegas—no! My last trip to Nevada was to go to a working cattle ranch 70 miles from the nearest town and 40 miles up a dirt road. That’s me. Not Vegas. Sin City sits like a scar on the desert landscape, mountains draped in the background against an endless blue sky. It is a concrete mass of high rise hotels, multi-story parking lots and neon, like a misplaced scapulae on the back of Nevada. So, what finally got me there? My historical western romance, Loveland, was nominated for Best American Historical at the RONE Awards, to be given out by InD’Tale Magazine at the Romance Novel Convention. And as my daughter pointed out, if I won, I’d be sorry not to be there.
I made contact with two fellow authors, Babette James and Rolynn Anderson, and I was off. Unfortunately for them, I knew ahead my neuroses about Sin City were going to drive them nuts, but then, it was only 4 nights and they’d survive. But would I? Even before you leave the airport, one-armed bandits are aiming to take your money. The long haul to baggage claim (purposefully designed to scoot you past this slot machine line-up?) meant I made the first of numerous phone calls to Babette to keep her informed of my progress. Whether or not she cared, I never discovered, but eventually we met for dinner and a much-needed bottle of wine.
The hotel was a world in itself. Two thousand four hundred rooms means there are a lot of people around, a lot of shops, and a helluva lot of gambling. Okay, so I’m from New York but I never choose hotels with more than about 100 rooms, and this place had endless noise, lights and…a shark tank? Yup, right in the middle of the hotel was the pool area with a shark tank, along with a water slide so you could…Well, you get the picture. And outside? Outside was Fremont St. with a continuing light show, strippers and more noise and flashing lights.
So, was this convention in Vegas worth attending? Well, let me say straight away that LOVELAND did not win the RONE but then, I sort of knew that beforehand. I had read the winning book and thought it was wonderful, so I certainly didn’t mind, and the honor of being a finalist kept me happy. Of the sessions I attended, I took copious notes in one, a fair amount of notes in another, sat through a third and walked out of a fourth, while a fifth just left me speechless. I enjoyed meeting T.J. MacKay, Editor of InD’Tale Magazine, and her staff. I had some really great meals in restaurants I just managed to somehow find in the melee, along with Babette and Rolynn. I sold a couple of books at the Book Fair on the Saturday, and had a fun time out on Fremont St. with the girls. But best of all was just being with fellow authors, getting to know the faces behind the emails, meeting with people who know exactly what you go through each and every day. Thanks, ladies, you’re the best!
And, oh yes!! I got home in one piece, fifteen dollars richer.
That’s sounds like an awesome experience, Andi! Where can readers find you now that you’re back home?
WEBSITE AND BLOG: www.andreadowning.com
And now about those books?
When Lady Alexandra Calthorpe returns to the Loveland, Colorado, ranch owned by her father, the Duke, she has little idea of how the experience will alter her future. Headstrong and willful, Alex tries to overcome a disastrous marriage in England and be free of the strictures of Victorian society –and become independent of men. That is, until Jesse Makepeace saunters back into her life…
Hot-tempered and hot-blooded cowpuncher Jesse Makepeace can’t seem to accept that the child he once knew is now the ravishing yet determined woman before him. Fighting rustlers proves a whole lot easier than fighting Alex when he’s got to keep more than his temper under control.
Arguments abound as Alex pursues her career as an artist and Jesse faces the prejudice of the English social order. The question is, will Loveland live up to its name?
LAWLESS LOVE: (Available NOW on KDP-full release Sept. 4)
Lacey Everhart has carved out a tough existence in the wilds of 1880s Wyoming, working hard to build a secure life for herself and her younger brother, Luke. She will stop at nothing to protect what’s hers and keep them safe. Even if it means keeping a secret that could destroy their lives.
Marshal Dylan J. Kane is a man who considers everything as black and white, right or wrong. He’s never seen life any other way until he sets eyes on Lacey. Suddenly the straight and narrow that he’s followed has a few twists and turns. Loving Lacey offers the home life for which he hankers…but can he really love a woman who seems to be plain lawless?
Thanks for sharing, Andi! How fun to get to meet other WRP authors! And it looks like you all had a great time.
Welcome one and all! Grab a beverage of choice, something sweet and sinful. No-no, not the men. What’s the matter with you? You know the hands-on rules… The guest gets first pick! ;) Take a comfy seat for another, or a first, spin in the Round Pen.
I’m thrilled to welcome my wonderfully talented guest today, Charlotte Copper who is here to share her new book, Silver Blade with us!
Please show Charlotte some real Ranch love!
Before I get to the nosy 5-3-4 part of this interview, tell us a bit about you.
This was probably the hardest question because I was trying to think of something other than my standard “from Canada, second marriage, one daughter, two step-daughters” and then I realized there is something very important about me that I haven’t really mentioned…I’m a breast cancer survivor. I was diagnosed in 2001 at the same time I was going through a divorce. I’ve got a clean bill of health now, but having cancer changes you. I find myself thinking more often “life is too short not to (fill in blank)” Since then I’ve gotten remarried, have three tattoos (celebrating one, five & ten years cancer free), and have the wonderful honor of having Silver Blade published.
That is definitely something mention-worthy, Charlotte! Huge celebratory congratulations on beating the demon all women fear will come breathing down on us! Thank you for sharing that and I love the idea of your tats. Very cool idea.
Okay, I’ll begin with five questions, then follow with three more, and end with four final ones.
My writing area at the moment is a corner of the couch in my living room though I do have a room I can go to. What does your writing space look like?
I have an office in my house since I work from home, but because I spend all day in there at my “real” job, I tend to find myself sitting on my bed with my laptop when I’m writing. In the winter, I let the cats in to snuggle and keep me warm. In the summer, they’re locked out of my bedroom.
LOL I have one cat I started locking out of the bedroom when I had my hysterectomy in 2000, the year after I got her.
For a lot of writers it’s a life-altering event coming up with titles and character names. Others it comes as naturally as breathing. Which is it for you?
I hate to rub it in, but both come naturally. For names, I keep a list of names in my notebook, and I often pair my H&H as soon as the names come to me. For titles, I like to have a color + word, like my name, Charlotte + Copper.
They both come naturally to me also. :)
What advice would you offer aspiring and new writers?
Although creativity should be allowed to flow, there really is a lot of structure around writing a book, and if you don’t know the basics then take some courses before you start. I don’t mean you need a 4 year degree in English, but some basic courses in writing can help a lot.
The constant shift of the industry makes me often scratch my head and ask ‘what next?’ So, what do you think it takes to be a successful author at the moment?
I think acceptance of non-print books is needed by both writers and readers. I think the e-movement is great for a lot of authors because if you get the right momentum (blog tours, reviews, etc), you can hook new readers versus trying to get prominent shelf space in a book store. For me as a novella-length writer, e-readers are a blessing but I’m still amazed at the number of friends and family that only read paper.
Who would you like to meet in the publishing industry- dead or alive- and why?
I wish my fellow Roses (Wild Rose Press authors) lived closer. I’d love to do regular lunches with them to learn and share.
So would I! I’m making a bucket list for when I win the lottery. This just became #6 LOL
It’s time for 3 in 1! I’ll ask the questions and you answer them in one word. :lol:
Favorite animal? Giraffe (but don’t tell my cats!)
Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter? Summer
Favorite food? Tie: Coke & chocolate
Well done! :)
Okay, Flash four. Ready?
What are you working on now?
I’m struggling with whether I re-work a recent story I received back from my editor, or put it aside and focus on another project. (I’ve wasted a lot of time “struggling”, and haven’t moved forward on either side for awhile.)
I think a lot of us have been where you are. I know I have! :D
What are you sharing today?
I’m keeping it simple, and this is the cover blurb from my recent release Silver Blade. It is a paranormal-romance, e-novella.
Oscar McAvoy hunts demons. Chosen to rid the world of evil, he nevertheless condemns himself as a murderer. When saved by the beautiful Angela Knight, he judges himself undeserving of love.
Angela Knight is on the way back from her brother’s funeral when she stops to help a fallen motorcycle rider. Her body responds to the handsome stranger, a man whose scars and tough exterior suggest a rough and dangerous life. When she can’t stop thinking about him, Angela must decide if she is willing to give the sexy, mysterious stranger a chance.
Love chooses us; we do not choose who we will love or who will love us.
Where can we find you and your books?
Amazon (US): http://amzn.to/10EnetM
Amazon (UK): http://amzn.to/13aL6oH
Wild Rose Press: http://bit.ly/14E2JUg
Where will you be next?
Angela & Oz are going to be answering some of their own questions in August. Angela will be visiting Babette James (www.babettejames.com/posts) on August 2nd. And Oz is being interviewed by Wild Women Authors (http://wildwomenauthorsx2.blogspot.ca) on August 12th. Come check him out…I mean, check out what he has to say.
I’m biased because Silver Blade is a novella, but I’ve been reading a lot of these shorter (less than 100 page) books lately. I think the novella offers a perfect escape that you can download onto your e-reader and read over lunch or on the bus to work. I’d like to end by asking what other readers think about the increased availability of the shorter book/novella? Are they worth it?
I’ll be giving away a pdf copy of Silver Blade to two readers randomly selected from all of those who leave a comment for me on the blogs I visit during my tour. (Visitors can have multiple entries if they comment at more than one blog. Dates & sites for my tour can be found on my website.)
Thank you again, Calisa, for allowing me to visit.
Thank you so much for playing along Charlotte! Wishing you much luck with your book and writing. I hope you’ll come visit again one day.
It’s not Tuesday, but my Tuesday guest asked for today while on tour promoting her first Wild Rose Press book. Who am I to turn down a favorite guest? So with nothing more from me, here’s Juli D. Revezzo sharing Passion’s Sacred Dance!
By Juli D. Revezzo
Like many writers I have been a storyteller from a young age. Everything had a dash of fantasy here, a little bit of rhyme and music there, but in all forms, there was always a story in my mind—and in my house, the Hobbit, the Classics, modern day romance it was all there, even storytelling songwriters.
In the intervening years a burning love for the Arthurian tales always existed. When I think of a hero, those are the men (and women) I think of. So it seemed second nature when I sat down to write Passion’s Sacred Dance, my debut paranormal romance novel for The Wild Rose Press, that I might take my cue from the stories I’ve loved forever. These are stories that have stayed with us from the moment they were spoken by traveling minstrels in the fire-lit halls of the Middle Ages. Yes, love works into it too. If we didn’t love what we do, as writers, do you think we’d stay up ‘til all hours, agonizing about finding just the right word?
The lifelong love of these heroic tales and honorable warriors and maidens fair soon turned to an interest in the Celtic myths and Legends. I blame that for the beginnings of what became Passion’s Sacred Dance. The story of a battle between the Tuatha dé Danann and their old enemy Balor of the Evil Eye tied up in knots in my mind with the current Urban Fantasies and paranormal romances I was reading at the time, and out walked a woman in a business suit, with a sword-wielding knight in jeans behind her. “Do we have a story for you!”
What could I do but what I’ve always done, and write it down? Would you like to know how the story turned out? Here’s a little taste.
Battling mounting debt, Stacy Macken is determined not to lose her historic art gallery. When Aaron Fielding appears and offers to help, she fights to keep the attraction sizzling between them from clouding her judgment. He may be her savior in disguise–but can she trust him?
Aaron intrigues her with tales of the Tuatha dé Danann, sworn warriors who protect humanity from the monsters seeking their destruction. If Aaron can prove what he claims, she would give up anything to help–even the gallery he claims is sacred ground. But with her property set to stage the next epic battle, she needs answers. An old family diary will confirm the ancient legend is true, if only they can find it in time.
If the battle is lost, the enemy will take control of Earth for the next five hundred years. Stacy and Aaron’s budding love might only complicate things.
Passion’s Sacred Dance can also be purchased for Kindle from Amazon and coming soon to other venues. I hope you’ll check it out and enjoy the story I had to tell!
About Juli D. Revezzo:
Juli D. Revezzo has long been in love with writing, a love built by devouring everything from the Arthurian legends, to the works of Michael Moorcock, and the classics and has a soft spot for classic the “Goths” of the 19th century. Her short fiction has been published in Dark Things II: Cat Crimes, The Scribing Ibis, Eternal Haunted Summer, Twisted Dreams Magazine and Luna Station Quarterly. She also has an article and book review or two out there. But her heart lies in the storytelling. She is a member of Independent Authors Network and Magic Appreciation Tour. Passion’s Sacred Dance is her first romance novel.
You can find out more about her at her homepage: http://julidrevezzo.com/
Like her on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/JD-Revezzo/233193150037011
Follow her on Author’s Den http://www.authorsden.com/visit/author.asp?AuthorID=167318
On Good Reads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5782712.Juli_D_Revezzo
On twitter: @julidrevezzo
Thanks, Calisa for letting me come talk about my new book and the tales I love!
Thanks for sharing this awesome book with us today, Juli! That truly is a cover to be proud of and the story sounds exciting.
I’m turning the Ranch over to sister Wild Rose Press author, Linda Joyce today. Find your seat with drink of choice and let’s see what she’s brought to the table, besides a beautiful book cover!
Welcome, Linda. The round pen is all yours.
Title: Bayou Born
Author: Linda Joyce
Genre: Contemporary Romance, sensual
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Cover Artist: Kim Mendoza http://coverartist.blogspot.com/
Release Date: February 2013
What do You Love about Book Covers? By Linda Joyce
I love the feeling I get when I connect to the image on a book cover. Different feelings lead me to different adventures in reading. Is the cover soothing, inviting, dark, or hot?
I’ve always been a visual person. It’s how I learn. For example, when I was in college, many of my friends would record class sessions and replay them when studying. Me? I might have recorded a particular class on a topic that I found daunting, however, how I learned class material was to take notes. Sometimes, I even rewrote them because I retain pictures in my mind of the notes on a page.
I paint when I have trouble connecting with my writing. It opens the door to a part of my brain in a magical way.
And that’s how I remember books–by their covers. It’s especially helpful when I enjoy reading books by authors with a long list of credits to their name.
I think Kim Mendoza did a fabulous job with the cover for Bayou Born. I love the colors. Love the trees draped with Spanish moss. She represented the South in a lovely way.
Branna Lind’s self-esteem rests at the bottom of the Mississippi River. She canceled her “wedding of the decade,” though she isn’t saying why. She wants life on her own terms, no ready-made job in the family business, no safety net of close-knit kin, and no more betrayal.
College professor James Newbern prizes his bachelorhood. Experience has taught him beautiful women are high-maintenance trouble and Branna fits that type. He is happy to avoid her until the college vice president assigns him to mentor the newest hire—Branna.
Branna is on her way to a new life, but will the scars of the past send her running from love? If she doesn’t, will she convince James that she truly is his “type”?
The book is available through Amazon.
So, now tell me, what do you love about book covers?
I love the new feel of a cover. It’s like getting a present and I end up staring at mine for hours. Thanks for coming to hang out and chat about a great topic, Linda. Kim certainly did a fab job with your cover. :)
Friday Fanfare Welcomes:
R. E. Mullins with It’s a Wonderful Undead Life
How did the writer’s journey begin for you?
“First, Calisa, let me thank you for having me today.”
You’re welcome. It’s my pleasure, R.E.!
“I always thought about writing and as a kid I wrote scripts for my favorite TV shows but Hollywood never came knocking. My mother also would always bring up a story I wrote in grade school about UFO’s. Later I suppose a lack of time and confidence kept me from fulfilling the dream. Life happened, I forgot about it and then as the children grew up and I went through a tough divorce – I discovered solace in writing. You can really escape from the world inside your characters. My first draft was filled with a lot of anger and some vindictiveness against the ex. It got it worked out of my system (thank god) so I edited most of that stuff out.”
*R. E. pauses wondering if she answered the question or just went off on a rant.* “Ah, for a more formal bio, I was born and raised in Joplin, MO. Nothing exciting there – oh wait – one claim to fame (besides tornadoes) there was a big shoot out with Bonnie and Clyde. I’ve also lived in Tulsa, OK, Mt. Clemens, MI, and Springfield, MO. Right now I’m living in Colorado Springs, CO and experiencing mountains. I must admit it’s been a real change for me. I’m not use to having this much snow in April and miss daffodils. Heck it’s so dry out here – I almost miss Missouri’s humidity. But then I go out to walk the dog, see the mountains, and every time I catch my breath in awe. I’ll always have a soft spot for the Ozarks, though, and that’s why I set my fictional town of Amber Heights there.”
My oldest daughter moved to Denver last summer and so far she loves it in CO, as well. But she’s tired of the snow, too.
Tell us three things about you-the writer-readers wouldn’t typically know.
*R.E. grins a little sheepishly.*
1. I actually wrote the book off and on between 2004 and 2006. I didn’t get up the confidence to submit until 2008. It was accepted by the Wild Rose Press with the proviso I rewrite it from 1st POV into 3rd POV. I was overwhelmed by the challenge, lacked the confidence and sat on the manuscript for years. I more or less forgot about it and then I found it again, recontacting the editor in 2012. Unbelievably, she remembered me and my book but insisted on the same rewrite. So I slapped myself silly, cracked my knuckles, and got busy. My lovely editor, Amanda Barnett of Wild Rose Press, held my hand, calmed my fears, and kicked me in the pants until it came out 12/12/12. Pretty auspicious release date don’t you think?
Crazy date. LOL But good on you doing the work!
2. I freaking love basketball. I fell in love watching the sport last year and still none of my family or friends can believe it.
3. I honestly believe I’m a fairly quirkless person. Oops, the voices in my head don’t seem to agree and are now laughing.
It all began when…
“It all began when I needed to start over. After the divorce I received a catalog from the local community college. I was in the position of needing to return to the workforce after 20 years as a homemaker. So I paged through the catalog and the phlebotomy course started first. I applied with the idea if I wasn’t accepted; I would apply for the pharmacy tech. class. Fate stepped in and I was accepted into the phlebotomy course. For ten years I drew blood samples in different medical labs. Let me tell you it was an eye opener for my little sheltered self. I loved 99% of my co-workers and patients. Such characters! Crude jokes and vampire humor were rampant and patients seemed to think they were hysterical. Since most were so good hearted, I didn’t really mind laughing at the same tired joke every single visit.
Okay, here I have to admit to memorializing some of my patients in my book. I blended some of the more memorable together into a couple of minor characters. In fact many of my friends and family might find bits and pieces of themselves scattered inside the pages. If the character was too recognizable my, er, victims was apprised.”
Where did you get the premise for this book?
“That was easy. Since I was working with blood it seemed only natural to write a book about vampires. The title popped into my head during a shift. (Won’t the supervisors be glad to learn that!) There are references to the classic, It’s a Wonderful Life, but the plot line diverges significantly. After all it’s about two rival vampire factions and how my heroine gets caught up in the strife.
What stands out about this story that made writing it different for you?
*Tries to keep the whine out of her voice, she doesn’t totally succeed.*
“It was really hard to learn how to write from the third person. Plus I didn’t want to go into the hero’s head. What do I know about how the male species thinks? But I gave it a shot. I’d be zipping along pretty good and then my brain would flip back to ‘I did’ and ‘I said’ and suddenly I’d realize I’d have to redo chapters at a time. It was very laborious at times.”
Were there any difficult challenges or special subject matter you came across while writing this book?”
“I did a surprising (well, I was surprised but I really liked it) amount of research for this book and the one I’m working on. I kept the medical terminology correct which one reviewer specifically mentioned liking and another absolutely hated. I happen to like it. I researched languages, old maps, blood volume, hypothermia, blood diseases, and many vampire myths. I studied the difference between sanguine (blood drinkers) and psychic vampires. I went back to genetics because I wanted humans and vampires to spring from one gene pool and share a collective memory. For their origin myth, I thought about the great flood. As you know similar flood stories appear in every culture. That was the feel I wanted so I combined religion with mythology. I explained how vampires started as human until mixing it up with a vengeful god. The hard part was not putting in everything I found interesting.”
What about this book would make us want to read it more than others of similar taste?
“That’s a hard one, Calisa. Why can’t everyone just read all of them? Well they say to write what you like so I don’t write dark, evil, tortured, vampires that wander around wanting to die – at least my main characters won’t be. Think not vampire regular but more vampire lite.
I want them to have the same strengths and weaknesses as humans but with a few physical bonuses they’ve picked up through evolution. Just because they are vampire and have or will live longer, they aren’t exempt from the same failings and attitudes that plague us all. My reasoning? Not all 90 year old people become wise, mature, or polished through the years. Some are just old. Why should vampires be any different? Do you know what I mean?
So in the book when the vampire sister, who is a doctor, is ready to let the heroine die – it’s because she isn’t perfect. It doesn’t matter how old she is. At the moment, she’s thinking like a sister and what would benefit her and her family. She isn’t thinking like a healer. My characters won’t always think and do the right thing. When they willfully misunderstand they can act like jerks. They argue, have the same family dynamics as the rest of us…you get the picture. Since they live a couple of millennium, they tend to mature even more slowly and, just like us, some never mature at all. (No comments needed from the peanut gallery)”
What do you want readers to take away from this book?
“That’s easy. I want them to have a couple of laughs and escape for awhile. That’s what I look for in a read. To escape into another world through reading is my form of Calgon. With vampires there are no hard and fast rules. Unlike reality their world is whatever we want to make it. I like my vampires to have a sense of humor and to be very much like us. I consider them the modern vampires.”
Tell us about the finished book. Is there anything special we might not know after reading it?
“This is the first book in a series. Currently, I’m almost finished with the second book. In Vampire in the Scrying Glass it takes the family further. It deals with the heroine’s friend and the hero’s younger brother. She is a witch who must regain her magic. Only then can she protect herself and attempt to defeat a demon threatening both humans and vampires. Things come out, characters are delved into more deeply, more flaws appear and love is found. I think it’s more exciting.”
It’s a Wonderful Undead Life blurb:
It’s been a rough couple of years for Cailey Kantor. Now she’s not only facing her first Christmas season alone she’s also received some bad financial news. In desperation, she prays for an angel to come fix her problems. Instead, a sadistic, sociopathic vampire named Vincent who is working for the evil Toltecs confronts her. Trying to start a war between the two rivaling factions of vampires, he bites Cailey then forces her to drink blood stolen from the Nosferatu Gabriel Blautsauger.
Now dying she must protect Gabe and his family by allowing him to finish her transformation. Just when she is adjusting to life as a vampire, the Toltecs return and again she becomes the bait to destroy the Blautsauger family.
Trying to protect those she loves, Cailey is faces with lies, abduction and betrayal yet somewhere along the lines she manages to fall in love.
Cailey’s scrub top was gone, exposing her lacy bra,
and she was in the process of stepping out of the
drawstring pants. She glanced up, her gaze a bit wild.
“Hurry. Hurry. I think I might explode from all this
energy inside me. I feel like a popcorn maker and all
the kernels are popping at once. So much pressure in
here.” She dropped a hand to the juncture of her thighs
and pressed it against her.
“Cailey?” Gabe’s tone was an octave higher than
normal. When she straightened up, clad only in her
underwear, he gulped for air. “What are you doing?”
“Getting ready, of course.” Holding her wadded up
pants in front of her, she frowned at him. “I thought you
said you knew what you were doing.”
“I thought I did…” His voice trailed off, his gaze
locked on Cailey’s tight body. How had he missed just
how beautiful she was? Hidden beneath the baggy
scrubs was a living miracle. He took in the slight swell
of flesh above the lucky bra cupping her breasts, and
his fingers itched to run down the indentation of her
She dropped the pants to the floor. “Come on.
Come on, Gabe the Babe. I know all about when you
were at university and all the female vamps used to
chase you around and gloat if they made time with
“Ahem.” Gabe realized he had his sister to thank
for this new conundrum. More than a bit leery, he
asked, “What else did Metta tell you?”
“That we’re both kind of like virgins.”
“I beg your pardon?”
Where can readers find you and your books?
Is there anything else you want to share or add?
“Well, CaIisa, when asked to describe my book I called it a sitcom. It is meant to entertain, with a few laughs, maybe a groan, a little gross out, and to end with a kiss. They are not in the vein (yes that was deliberate) of the traditional dark, tortured vampire – again think more of a diet vampire. And that’s the way I like it uh-huh, uh-huh.
Thanks again, Calisa. I had a great time chatting with you today.”
I have to say this sounds like a fun book, R.E.! Congrats and happy sales! I’m sure it will be a benefit to every paranormal reader out there that you got off your duff and cracked down on yourself. :)
Today I’m debuting yet another new feature on The Ranch. I’m calling this one Wednesday Wrap-up. Why, you might ask. Well this feature is strictly open to editors and publishers to ‘wrap-up’ all your questions, to put rumors to rest, simplify guidelines, tell you exactly what an editor wants, or whatever they might bring to the table. It will allow these professionals to get word out on changes they might be going through, their own inner-workings, or maybe tips on how to better your writing. Once a month I’m going to try to have someone on the ‘inside’ who can answer YOUR questions. Who knows? Sometime in the future I might even host a blog pitch for readers to have the rare opportunity to interact with and get your writing in front of an editor without the slush pile headache!
So for the first edition of Wednesday Wrap-up I’m thrilled to introduce you to a great writer, a friend, sister OKRWA member and (one of) my own publisher’s excellent Suspense editor. Please show Ally some Ranch love!
Thank you for having me, Calisa. Hi! I’m Ally Robertson and I am extremely pleased to talk about our fantastic publisher, The Wild Rose Press, Inc. I am a Suspense editor for the Crimson line, and I started with TWRP when they opened their doors. We are now entering our seventh year of business, and the business continues to grow. I am thrilled and proud to be a part of the company. They truly treat authors and editors with the utmost warmth, respect, and encouragement.
We call our company a garden, and it’s fitting, because we love to help ‘grow’ writers. I don’t know much about actual gardening. (I tend to kill plant life). But I think I can compare it to the care and nurturing a gardener gives plants, helping them put down roots and eventually blossom. Our editors try to look past some of the rough edges for the beauty underneath. We don’t reject a manuscript just because a submission isn’t perfect. We have to see something in your story, in your writing, but if we do, we try to work with you and help you polish it until it’s ready for a contract offer.
I know that some authors are hesitant to sign with a relatively small e-publisher, but I have found many, many advantages to doing so. Especially with a company like TWRP. (I am an author there as well as an editor). With TWRP, you have a presence on the web that you don’t have as a self-published author. (Obviously, you have your own author presence, but not a company ‘store’ where readers can find your books) You have a wonderful marketing team, beautiful covers, editing, and a whole staff of people working for you. (As an SP, you have to pay for all of those things, sometimes, pay a LOT) Also, literally anyone in the world can self-publish. There is something about an editor wanting your work, a publisher wanting to be your publisher, that gives an author a sense of accomplishment, a sense of pride in having reached a goal. (I have self-published some of my titles, but only the ones that did not fit TWRP criteria). A publisher ‘having your back’ lends credibility to your work. There is nothing wrong with self-publishing, but having a publisher behind you elevates your status as an established author.
TWRP is always looking at how they can gain exposure for their authors. This year, for example, they are working even harder to get titles into audio, they have contracted an International Agent who helps sell the catalog to publishers overseas interested in translating the work into another language. Such a contract was already signed with the country of Greece. They have produced a television ad (can be found on the website), the books were used as props on a movie set (the movie RED), and one of our recent promo steps was to offer authors an opportunity to have their stories come out on Kindle Select 90 days before the official release date.
Now, for some exciting TWRP news. The timing for this blog post couldn’t be more perfect. The Wild Rose Press is making some changes in 2013.
We are now open to submissions in a few genres that are not romance. Up to this point, we have been a ‘romance only’ publisher, but we are now opening up to the following:
In the past, I have had to reject some worthy manuscripts that I really enjoyed because the romance wasn’t strong enough. Now, I get to work with a wider variety of genres, and I couldn’t be happier.
Please feel free to ask any questions about TWRP or editing or writing in general. I would be delighted to answer to the best of my ability. You can find us here:
Again, Calisa, thank you so much for inviting me to your blog!
Thank you, Ally! I can see I’ll have to have you back again.
Okay folks, pull out those cheat sheets and ask your questions!
Wow. Just wow! I have scrimshaw doll authors coming out of the newly polished wood work around The Ranch. Today I am please to introduce the author of the seventh book contracted by The Wild Rose Press for the doll series, my friend and fellow OKRWA member, the awesome Tamrie Foxtail! :) I critiqued this one and I can tell you, personally, it is a GREAT story. I love this one, The Bone Bride. I love them all, of course. But this one just sounds creepy, doesn’t it? But the real creepy thing is, it released ON Halloween! And it’s got its own secret too. Ah, no, no. You’ll have to read it to learn that one! LOL
Remember Anna from last week? These two ladies are best friends! Work together and everything. How cool, right? I thought it might be fun to get to know Tamrie a bit, too, so I asked her a few questions…and afterward we’ll move on to the good stuff about the book. ;)
Let’s get to it then!
#1 Which comes first for you—plot or characters?
My characters and plot tend to make their appearance together. I’ll suddenly imagine a scene or situation, complete with characters, and spend the next few months trying to figure out who they are and what’s going on with them. Right now I’m trying to figure out what the story is behind a burned out church with bats in the bell tower.
#2 What did you enjoy most about writing your latest work?
I just finished writing a story called The Scrimshaw Rose. The main character is on the kidney transplant list. My husband is a kidney recipient so writing this story took me back to a time when we didn’t know if he would live or die. Although there are a lot of dark memories from that time there are also some incredible ones. In a situation like that, you learn to reevaluate everything you thought was important. Writing The Scrimshaw Rose reminded me of how easily our lives can change-for better or worse.
I’ll bet it does. I hope your husband it well these days. This story sounds like a wonderful addition to the Scrimshaw series!
#3 What emotional reaction are you going for when your readers read your work?
I’m well aware that one of the reasons we like to read is the chance to live vicariously through the characters. Keeping that in mind, I want my readers to look over their shoulder, half-expecting to see the villain standing behind them. I want them to bite their nails wondering if a certain character is going to make it out alive. Most of all, I want them to fall in love with my characters.
I know you accomplished that last one with The Bone Bride! And you have a very believable villain in it too. J
#4 Do your characters reveal themselves before or during your draft and how?
My characters reveal themselves to me in bits and pieces. I don’t start writing until I think I have a grip on the main character and their story. Despite that, I tend to get about halfway through a story before my characters decide they don’t like the rest of my outline and start changing things on me.
#5 Can you talk about what you are working on now?
Right now I’m working on a seven part series that involves a set of crystals which are both heavenly and demonic. The storyline involves a battle between good and evil, with each story hosting a different paranormal creature.
I’m currently working on the rough draft of what was meant to be the third book. I was about a fourth of the way through it when I realized it was actually the first story in the series. See what I mean about my characters changing things on me.
Ooh, that series sounds chilling and interesting, Tamrie! I know exactly what you mean about those characters! LOL I can’t wait to see how those stories turn out. :)
Okay, it’s time for a little fun. :)
# 1 Boxers or briefs on your man and why?
I love a man in boxers. I like the ones that reach mid-thigh. I think it’s because they’re loose. Makes you wonder what’s underneath.
HAHA Great answer! :lol:
#2 Dog, cat, or neither?
I’m more of a cat person. I have a beautiful cat named L’Heary. She has Siamese markings, bobcat ears, and a short tail. She’s the sweetest little thing, very loving. There’s just one problem. She only has one brain cell. It just pings around in her pretty little head.
Aw, the poor thing. Good thing she has you to love her. :)
Daira Gleeson lost her heart and her virginity to Rory Trent when they were in high school. Twenty years later—reeling from her mother’s suicide and the death of her cheating fiancé—Daira is alone except for her younger sister. She finds herself in possession of a cursed scrimshaw doll; a doll someone is willing to kill to possess.
Rory has returned to Oklahoma after twenty years in the Marine Corps, ready to pick up where they left off.
Her love for Rory is still there, growing stronger by the day. Can she trust him with her heart this time? If he leaves her again, will he pay with his life?
Unable to sell, destroy or get rid of the doll without triggering the curse, Daira must find a way to break the curse in time to save Rory and her sister, and reclaim the love she thought she’d lost.
Daira jumped when her front door opened. Rory stood there for a moment, then stepped inside and closed the door behind him.
“You should keep your door locked.”
“You’re supposed to wait for someone to open it.” Her words lacked the scorn she had intended.
He crossed the room, then took her shoulders in his hands and kneaded them gently. “You sounded frightened on the phone.”
“I’m fine. I told you, it was just a mouse.”
He looked at Lemon, sitting on the arm of the couch, washing a white paw. The corner of Rory’s mouth twitched. “The cat mustn’t be doing its job.”
He studied her with those sexy brown eyes. Tiny flecks of gold and green encircled the pupil. His fingers flexed, settling on her shoulders more firmly.
Why couldn’t she look away?
He leaned closer. She pressed her hands against his chest and turned her head to the side. His kiss landed on her cheek. His lips moved to her ear, taking a little nip. She drew in a deep breath as her nipples responded.
“High school was a long time ago,” he said, amusement threaded through his voice. “When are you going to give me another chance?”
She turned to look at him. His nose was an inch from hers. She struggled to keep her eyes from crossing. “You think I don’t want you to kiss me because you dumped me twenty years ago?”
“You mean there’s another reason?”
“Yes! You’re little more than a stranger, now. I don’t go around kissing strange men.”
His smile deepened. He leaned closer, the tip of his tongue tracing the shell of her ear. She shivered.
“I’m not a stranger, sweetheart.” His hands slid down her arms and moved to her waist. “I’m the man who took your virginity in the backseat of my car.”
* * * *
I lived on both the Pacific West Coast and the Gulf Coast before following my husband to Oklahoma. I attended Florida State University when I lived in Tallahassee. I’ve been blessed with a mother who taught me to love reading and a husband who’s a real life romance hero. I find it difficult to sleep if there are not books close enough to touch.
Alrighty then. Whew! What a book, yeah? And don’t you love the cover? TWRP has the most talented artists! Ok, so who’s gonna get your copy to learn the big secret of this creepy whale bone doll? I have my copy. :P
PS. The tenth book was contracted this week! For more information about the series and the full list of Scrimshaw Doll books, check the doll website http://talesofthescrimshawdoll.wordpress.com/ Join in the conversations as our doll talks about her life through the ages.