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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.
Favorite animal? Giraffe (but don’t tell my cats!)
Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter? Summer
Favorite food? Tie: Coke & chocolate
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!
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!
#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.
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.
Welcome back! I’m happy to see you if this is your first visit to The Ranch. I hope you like my home on the net and return soon.
A quick commercial break, before we get to the guest of the week, to announce the winner of Anna Kittrell’s scrimshaw doll book, SKINBOUND from Friday’s special post. Congratulations Christine Warner!!! I’ll contact you soon!!!
It’s been a busy month so far. Nano, work, getting ready for the holidays… The list of activities keep growing. But here on The Ranch we’re still going at a steady clip-clop and to start this week off, I have the fabulous and fun Vonnie Davis chatting about, of all things, James Bond and Mona Lisa. Grab your snack and drink and let’s settle in for a guaranteed smile.
My older grandsons, who are in their early twenties, have tales to tell of all-night James Bond Marathons at grandmas. Pizzas, cookies, popcorn, and soda. Oh, we do know how to party-down. Tim always wants to pick and chose the order in which we view the movies. Josh, with his ADD and need for routine, insists we watch them in order. I’m just grateful he no longer insists on sitting on grandma’s lap covered with one particular afghan. We watch these movies amid a chorus of “here it comes” just before an explosion or car chase. Yup, we pretty much know the action scenes by heart.
In my recently released MONA LISA’S ROOM, Alyson my heroine loves James Bond, too. Gee, imagine that! In fact, she sometimes refers to the hero, who still lives at home with his mother, as James-momma’s-boy-Bond.
I’m always keeping an eye out for the release date of the next Bond flick, so imagine my shock and utter delight when the date was announced: November 9th. The same day as my book release. How cool is that? Serendipity, don’t you think?
You won’t believe this email. I’m sitting in a French safe house, eating caviar and drinking champagne with a handsome government agent, Niko Reynard. He’s wearing nothing but silk pajama bottoms and mega doses of sex appeal. I’m in big trouble, little sister. He’s kissed me several times and given me a foot massage that nearly caused spontaneous combustion. I’m feeling strangely virginal compared to the sexual prowess this thirty-year-old man exudes.
When I came to Paris for a bit of adventure, I never imagined I’d foil a bombing attempt, karate-kick two men, and run from terrorists while wearing a new pair of stilettos. I’ve met a German musician, a gay poet from Australia, and the most delightful older French woman.
Don’t worry. I’m safe–the jury’s still out on yummy Niko, though. The more champagne I drink, the less reserved I feel. What an unforgettable fortieth birthday!
“What is it?” Alyson peered up and down the street.
“Don’t look. Smile at me. Talk and act normal.” He wrapped his arm around her waist and nudged her up the street.
“But…” Did he see someone? Did he see Dembri?
“I’m going to kiss you so I have an excuse to look behind us.”
“Oh no. No, I don’t think so. Look, I’ve put up with your constant touching, but I’ll not be kissed on a public street.”
“Don’t be self-conscious. In Paris, we kiss in public. It’s the Parisian way.”
“For heaven’s sake! Make it quick then.” She shook her arms to relax them because she was anything but relaxed. She was about to be kissed for the first time in years. Did she remember how? Stop being silly. Kissing is simple. Two pair of lips touch. Kiss done. With her head tilted back, she whispered, “Okay, I’m ready.”
A smile tugged at the corners of Niko’s lips. He encircled her in his arms and stepped in so their thighs touched. Her stomach fluttered. Her breathing hitched. He lowered his head. “Hang on, Aly.” With his dark brown eyes open, he placed his lips on hers and pulled her body against his. She kept her eyes open, too, figuring it would lessen the kiss’ effects.
Niko kissed her, gentle sips at first, soft and sensual. Someone made a moaning noise, and she feared it might have been her. My God what a pair of lips! Her toes curled in her new Pradas. Her hands curled around the lapels of his jacket.She wrapped her hands around the lapels of his jacket. Then his lips locked on hers and with his tongue invading her mouth, he turned her to look over her shoulder, all the while wreaking havoc on her system.
This was the first time she’d been in a man’s arms in years. The first time she had tongue from a guy since college and said guy was more interested in looking behind her for some hoodlum than in the kiss. Just her damn luck.
When Niko ended the mind-blowing kiss, he pulled her closer, if that were possible, and whispered in her ear. “We’re being followed. Hold my hand and run.”
Run? Melting came to mind, but running? How could she run when he kissed her until the bones in her legs turned to jelly? Plus, she was wearing new high heels, for heaven’s sake. His arms squeezed her for an instant. “Now.”
He grabbed her hand, and they took off. They dodged throngs of pedestrians and at one point, Niko hurtled over a poodle, its protective owner shouting in French outrage, calling him a fool. “Fou! Fou! Mon chien, mon chien!”
Alyson had done her fair share of running, especially after her break up with Chaz, the stranger she was married to all those years. Running was a stress reliever; so were the StairMaster and martial arts. Still, those activities were done in sneakers or barefooted, not high heels. Stilettos, no less. Oh, and the thong. Let’s not forget the damn thong chafing her in places she didn’t want to think about. She’d kill Gwen when she got home.
“You put me in three-inch heels and expect me to run fast? You bossy Frenchman with a foot fetish.” She stumbled, and he caught her.
“Typical woman. Kiss her once and she figures she has the right to bitch at you.” Niko’s head turned, evidently scanning the area as they ran.
She tried jerking her arm free of his ironclad grasp. “So help me, God, if that terrorist doesn’t kill you, I will.”
He pulled her around two uniformed nannies pushing toddlers in strollers. “Promises. Promises.”
“Yeah, well look how nice my hips sway now, nutso, running in these damned heels.”
Niko quickly glanced up and down the wide tree-lined street and evidently seeing a slight break in traffic, ordered, “To the other side. Now.” They bolted across the four-lane boulevard and its well-manicured median. Two motorbikes rumbled past, nearly hitting them. Horns blared as several Renaults and Smart Cars barreled down the street. Niko shoved her out of the way and she fell, her hands and knees scraping on the asphalt. Brakes screeched and there was a dull thud behind her. She glanced back over her shoulder just as Niko rolled across the hood of a silver car. He never broke stride. “Run, dammit!”
She struggled to get up, her heel caught in the hem of her skirt. Niko set her on her feet again. A delivery truck swerved toward them as if to run them down. In a blur of movement, Niko drew his weapon. He dove and rolled clear of the truck’s path, shooting the driver between the eyes. Glass shattered. Passersby screamed. The truck jumped the curb, striking a tree. Sounds of metal crunching and a tree branch cracking obliterated, for a few horrible seconds, the pedestrians’ reactions.
Still on the move, Niko barked orders at the observers. A man nodded and reached for his cell phone. “Quick. In here. While we’re hidden by the truck.” Niko wrapped his hand around her arm and tugged.
Alyson trembled, the back of her hand covering her mouth and her eyes glued to the man slumped over the steering wheel of the truck not five feet away. Blood flowed from his forehead. Her stomach twisted. She was going to be sick. Niko’s grip on her arm tightened. “Move it, Aly. We’re still being followed.”
THE WILD ROSE PRESS (digital) — http://bit.ly/MonaLisaDigital
THE WILD ROSE PRESS (paperback) — http://bit.ly/MonaLisasRoom
AMAZON — http://amzn.to/QQZGyD
FIND ME ONLINE AT http://www.vonniedavis.com
BLOGGING AT http://www.vintagevonnie.blogspot.com
Book Trailer: http://bit.ly/MonaTrailer
And people wonder why I don’t wear thongs! LOL
What? I’m KIDDING! But I’m not joking when I say I never get enough of your humor, Vonnie! In writing and speech, you just know how to start my day with a smile. Thanks for sharing this excerpt and your newest release!
Thank you all for visiting us and I hope you like her book enough to pick up a copy. After all, Christmas is coming.
I’m so happy to have fellow TWRP author, friend and fellow OKRWA member, Anna Kittrell on The Ranch today!
We are also sister Scrimshaw Doll authors. Her new book, Skinbound comes years after Home and though her actual book follows others after mine, it also connects directly to Home in a small way.
I dragged Anna here to torture I mean ask some questions to let you get to know her some.
- Anna, please list your absolute necessities in order to write at your best.
- I need plenty of teeny-tiny spiral notepads, on which I write scene ideas continuously. I crumple up each page and throw it away as I weave notes into my story. I love that part. It gives me a feeling of accomplishment.
- A quiet surrounding is essential when I’m in a creative mindset. When working on scenes and dialogue, I physically isolate myself from the rest of my household or plug into white noise to minimalize distractions. Other writing activities such as character sketches or light outlining, I can manage on the sofa with other family members around.
- I rise early and workout with exercise DVDs. Jennifer Galardi is my favorite instructor. Sweating first thing in the morning gets my blood and creativity pumping.
- A few moments of quiet time, reflection, and thanking God for the day ahead gives me fresh focus and strength for what the day brings.
- A printed calendar for my characters! As I learned the hard way, character timelines have a habit of twisting, turning, and tying themselves in knots. Pretty soon you find yourself burying folks who aren’t even dead yet. LOL. Lesson learned. Now I always print out at least a three month calendar to write the activities of my characters on. The sad part is, that while my characters’ calendars are filled to bursting with interesting and exciting events…my own is markedly blank.
Your process sounds interesting, Anna. I wish I had the motivation to work out any time. LOL
- Which comes first for you—plot or characters?
Normally, the idea for a plotline surfaces right along with visions of my main characters.
- What aspect of writing comes easy to you? What is difficult?
The positive feedback I’ve received from readers and contest judges, hopefully means I write believable characters. Creating relatable people with extraordinary circumstances, then placing them in realistic settings is my passion.
Harder for me is executing an action I know little about—no matter how simple. For example, in Skinbound, my hero, Cabin, borrows a boat from his friend Richard. To get the vessel into the lake, the truck hauling the boat trailer had to be backed to the dock, then the boat had to be unhitched and guided into the water. Seemed easy enough. An hour and a half of research and two You Tube videos later, and Cabin and Richard finally had the boat in the water. To avoid making frivolous errors, I research even the most elementary tasks before writing them into my story. A little time invested now saves much embarrassment later. Keeps me from putting the trailer before the boat, so to speak.
LOL Great idea. I do that with certain things too. Of course, when I research it is usually hours before I get back to write what I was researching for… :/
- What is your writing routine?
In the summer months I rise early, enjoy the exercise and quiet time I mentioned earlier, shower, dress, then sit down to write. I write three or four hours at a time, have a short break, then write another three or four hours. Unfortunately, my writer’s dream-life comes to a screeching halt in August, when I return to work in the public school system. For the ten months that follow, my writing routine is hit or miss, catch it when I can, lunch hours, after work and weekends. I do, however, love the middle school secretary job I’ve performed for twelve years, and plan to keep my feet planted firmly under that desk until I can rest them fulltime beneath my own.
- What inspires you?
Strangely, I don’t know what inspires me until the ‘spark’ happens. Epiphanies strike from all-but-forgotten events in my childhood, idle conversation I’ve overheard in department stores, comments I’ve read on Facebook, my most embarrassing moments, and polite small talk. Many times I am inspired by the simple question, “What if?”
Some fun questions:
- Who or what would you walk over hot coals, climb a mountain, or swim an ocean to get to and why?
My husband, Tim. We have been together since I was fifteen years old, and I think the two of us have already done everything on your list. We’ve grown up together, and managed to keep from growing apart. I can’t imagine life without him, and I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t want to live in the world if he wasn’t in it. He also gave me my two, astonishing, practically grown children, Evan and Brandilyn.
A true love story. And you celebrated your anniversary recently. Congrats again.
- Favorite television shows?
The SyFy network’s series ‘Face Off,’ in which contestants are judged by their ability to apply special effects makeup is my favorite show—I follow it faithfully. I also love to watch ‘Chopped’ on the Food Network. Personally, the only makeup I apply is the kind I slather on my face each morning, and I rarely cook anything more exotic than fried chicken. But there is something deeply gratifying about watching people do the things they are truly passionate about. No matter what that something is.
We talked about Face Off being your fave show. I’m not a foodie, so I just don’t ‘get’ shows that are food centered…though I love hell’s Kitchen! Weird. I think it’s mostly Gordon Ramsey that draws me in there. J
- Salty, sweet, or both?
Salty. I’m a Ruffles with French onion dip, queso and tortilla chip kind of gal.
Me too on certain days. Love PayDay candy bar. Now share a little about you.
Anna Kittrell has written stories for as long as she can remember. She still has most of her tattered creations—leftovers she was unable to sell on the playground for a dime—written in childish handwriting on notebook paper, bound with too many staples. Her love of storytelling has grown throughout the years, and she is thrilled her tales are now worth more than ten cents.
Growing up in small town Oklahoma, Anna spent many a summer day on the lakeshores she often writes about. Today, she works as a middle school secretary in her beloved hometown, where she resides with her high school sweetheart-turned-husband, Tim, and their two practically grown children, Evan and Brandilyn. She still loves visiting those muddy red lakeshores of her childhood, when she’s not too busy writing about them instead.
Twitter user name: @KittrellAnna
Facebook author page:
An ancient scrimshaw doll—does its gypsy magic protect or destroy?
As a child, Darcy Vaughan cowered beneath the malice of her twin sister, Scarlett. Now, Scarlett is back and Darcy hopes to establish the sisterly bond she’s always longed for. Instead, Scarlett tries to destroy Darcy’s life—and her new relationship with the town doctor.
Dr. Cabin Creighton returned to his hometown near Lake Chickasha, Oklahoma to take over his father’s practice. One look at Darcy, and Cabin wants nothing more than to love her forever. But a guilty heart and memories of his deceased wife are holding him back.
When someone from Scarlett’s past reappears, bad things start to happen. Darcy and Cabin struggle to keep their love alive, but as danger draws closer, Darcy finds herself once more at her sister’s mercy, with nothing but the yellowed bones of an ancient doll to protect her.
“Really? This is how you treat your sister? Your twin?” Scarlett pushed past Darcy, into the living room.
“You promised to check on me. I had a coughing spasm and very well could have died in that house all by myself.” She shook a cigarette from her pack, looked around the room, then slid it back in.
“May I intervene?” Cabin asked, his piercing gaze aimed at Scarlett. “You’re perfectly fine. I would have sent you to the hospital if I’d thought otherwise. As for the coughing spasm…you can blame those cigarettes for that.”
“Thank you, Dr. Drew. I’ll check into Celebrity Rehab right away.” She cackled, her breath reeking of alcohol. She turned to Darcy, snatching the doll from her hand. “Where did you get this?” she demanded. “How many crap-filled dumpsters did you have to dive into before you found the ridiculous thing? They should’ve buried these dried up bones right along with that crotchety old bat’s.” She pumped the doll’s legs in a suggestive motion and laughed, holding it from reach as Darcy grabbed for it.
Cabin circled Scarlett’s wrists with one hand, twisting the doll free with the other, and handed it to Darcy.
“My, you are a strong one.” Scarlett batted her lashes over bloodshot eyes. “I can certainly see why my sister…my twin sister…has such a bad case of Cabin fever.” She turned on her stilettoed heel and staggered through the doorway, onto the porch. “I hope you can remedy that, doctor.” She laughed as Cabin shut the door.
Thanks for this great excerpt and lovely cover share, Anna. I’m so proud to have you on my Ranch with Skinbound. And- listen up people!- Anna has graciously offered up a copy of her book to one lucky duck who comments! Show Anna the Ranch love for your chance win! I’ll announce the winner Sunday.
It’s summer time and what goes great with heat? How about cool and quick food? I have the lovely and talented Rebecca J. Clark with me on the Ranch and she brought the food!
With food we also get a great book and some delish recipes to try at home. Yes folks- things are so safe here on the Ranch that I’m telling you to “Try this at home!”
Let’s get to it, shall we?
The heroine in my newest release, Deliver the Moon, grows her own vegetables so she can have a freshly-picked salad whenever she wants. Just thinking of yummy, fresh veggies gets my mouth watering.
If you are a veggie connoisseur, here are two recipes you might want to try.
SPICY STRING BEANS
(from my sister Laurie’s collection)
12 oz green beans (I like the really skinny variety)
½ c sliced onions
1 clove minced garlic
1 t. crushed red pepper flakes
5 whole dried red chilies
1 t. soy sauce
2 T. oyster sauce
1-2 t. sugar
6 T. chicken broth
1 T. toasted sesame seeds (optional)
Sauté beans and onions in olive oil until surface is blistered. Drain on paper towel. Heat 1 t. olive oil, add garlic, red pepper flakes, whole chilies and stir until garlic is golden.
Add soy sauce, oyster sauce and sugar. Stir quickly. Add chicken broth. Boil for a few seconds and adjust seasonings to taste.
Add beans and sauté until beans are heated through and coated with the sauce. Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds if desired. Serves 4.
WILTED GREENS & BACON SALAD
(from my grandmother’s recipe file)
3 bacon slices, cut up
2 c. salad greens (I like a mixture of leaf letter and spinach)
¼ c. chopped onions
Cook the cut up bacon. Drain & wipe out pan. In same pan heat together:
the cooked bacon
¼ c vinegar
1 T Water
1 t sugar
½ t salt
pinch of pepper
Combine greens and onions. Pour hot bacon mixture over greens. Toss and serve immediately. Serves 2-3.
Yummm! Thank you Becky. I have to try these- and your book, Deliver the Moon! Share that with us now.
Author: Rebecca J. Clark
Genre/length: Contemporary romance/novel
Release date: June 22
Once upon a time, he promised her the moon. It’s time to deliver.
Louisa D’Angelo used to believe in happily ever after—until the tragic death of her son and the demise of her marriage. Now, five years later, with her life back in order, she has a great career and a wonderful man in her life. So what if the passion and excitement isn’t there? In her book, passion and excitement only lead to heartbreak. Then, her ex-husband shows up and upsets her tidy little world.
Gabe D’Angelo never believed in happily ever after—until he met Louisa who taught him how to love and be loved. But their happiness was short-lived. Guilt and grief forced Gabe to walk away. Now, though he’s pulled his life together and should be happy, he realizes something’s missing. After seeing her from afar at a family wedding, he knows what it is. It’s Louisa.
The problem is convincing her she’s still in love with him.
Available at The Wild Rose Press: http://www.thewildrosepress.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=191&products_id=4897
See? Told ya. Great book, great author! Thanks for coming Rebecca.
I have a friend-fan. Keep in mind I have seen/spoken to this friend from my long-ago childhood maybe three times in the last year, six in the previous 5 yrs, and none in the 20+ before moving back to Oklahoma in 2008. Maybe…and that is combined see+speak. She’s a long haul trucker and gone a lot too. My daughter is dating her son, how ironic, because neither of us knew for weeks after the kids met and began dating. I discovered it quite by accident.
Anyway, I knew she’d bought Home months ago but hadn’t heard if she read it (never speak, remember?) So imagine my delight when I got this email today:
OMG! I read the book Home. I loved it. I’m going to tell everyone I know to look for your ebook. I love those kind of stories. You did a wonderful job. Please keep them coming and I will keep reading until my phone goes dead. ~LTJ~
I just want to say to those readers/writers out there who may read this and shake your nay-saying heads… I did not pay or ask her to read Home or say this. It was a private email, not meant for anyone else to see and, as far as I know, it’s not posted to Amazon in any attempt to generate sales. I ‘told’ her I was posting it here because it’s an awesome and honest review– and it’s my blog so I’ll do what I want. She didn’t say this as a friend, but as a reader.
And to her I say, Thank you my friend! I’ll have another book for you next spring!
If you would like to read Home, my short novella from The Wild Rose Press (on sale for $1.99 on Amazon now), and decide for yourself if it’s something you’ll like (I think you will) there’s a buy link embedded in the cover art in the sidebar at the top. Right click on the cover to open in a new tab/window if you aren’t ready to leave the Ranch just yet, or haven’t had a chance to look around, but would like to check out my book. Or you can click on The Wild Rose Press link here.
Thanks for stopping by and don’t forget, I’ll be here over the weekend with another 6 Sentence Sunday.
Today and tomorrow I have a special guest visiting on the Ranch. One of the first wonderful writers I met after moving back to Oklahoma was a lady who actually had recently moved to Kansas but kept her membership with the Outlaws of OKRWA. She was helpful to my learning my way around a mini conference we do here; OKRWA Summer Heat Mini Conference. We have an agent and an editor come in from a publisher/agency and take pitches. (Anyone can attend for a low fee and have a chance to get your work in front of an acquiring member of a known literary agency or publisher. The last two we had editors from Harlequin and agents from The Irene Goodman Literary Agency and The Knight Agency.)
This writer was such a help and so very friendly, and has since moved back to Oklahoma. And then I got one of her books at our Christmas party—and became an instant fan! So naturally when she reached out for Beta readers for a new Self-Published series she started last year, my hands went up high. Then I began to wonder about ‘the writer’ and when she wanted to promote her series I took my chance and asked about her writing career.
Here in virtual person is my friend, Alicia Dean. Let’s give her a huge Ranch welcome!
Alicia, the Round Pen is yours to do as you please. Tell us about you and your writing.
It was great meeting you, too, Calisa. And I’m so thrilled that your story was the first published in the Tales of the Scrimshaw Doll Series. Thank you for having me as your guest here at the Ranch. I have three grown children–two girls and a boy–and I live in Edmond, Oklahoma. I have a ton of wonderful friends and loving, supportive family members. I’m so very blessed.
I’ve wanted to write since I was a child, and I’ve dabbled in it all my life. I actively began pursuing publication in 2001 and my first novel, a romantic suspense called Nothing to Fear, was published in 2007 by The Wild Rose Press. I now have five published novels (in June, it will be six) and four short stories (in August it will be five <g>. I have a short story coming out with TWRP August 8th that’s part of the Tales of the Scrimshaw Doll series)
I write both paranormal and suspense, but I wanted to write a suspense series with recurring main characters. I didn’t want my heroine to be in law enforcement, so I tried to think of an occupation that might put her in contact with nefarious characters, so crime writer came to mind. Then, randomly, the idea popped into my head…what if a killer put names of his intended victims in the obit column before he killed them. Death Notice was born, the sequel followed, and I have a few more sequels in mind. However, before I can get to Book 3, I have a novella and another manuscript to write.
What a great book with an enticing cover! How and where can we stalk…er, find you?
Facebook: Alicia Dean
Alicia Dean writes paranormal and romantic suspense and is the author of five published novels, two novellas, and a handful of short stories. She has three grown children and lives in Edmond, Oklahoma. Alicia loves nothing more than crafting spine-chilling, edge-of-your-seat suspense.
Say hey to Alicia and come on back tomorrow for part two of the Northland Chronicles: Death Offerings! Leave a comment today and/or tomorrow for a chance to win an Amazon or B&N gift card from Alicia!
OMG(osh)!!! I am tickled pink (or maybe that should be blue today) to have a sister Rose and fellow Okie- and a wonderful friend- with me on the Ranch today! Amie Louellen is the author of another book I will be reading soon, Brodie’s Bride. She brought her new book today and will share some unknown facts about the story. Settle in with a coffee and éclair and let’s learn in fun. There’s wine or vodka and li’l Smokies for later. (and beer for Tina)
Twelve Things You May Not Know About Love Potion Me, Baby
1—Suzanne Rose was named after Axel Rose, lead singer of Guns and Roses.
2—Suzanne’s original name was Dolly.
3—Suzanne’s aunt, Petie Rose, was NOT named after the baseball player.
4—Love Potion Me, Baby was originally written for a sweet line—no sex.
5—The dog was not planned. He ran across the chaos scene, and I had to add him.
6—The original title was Love Potion No. 10.
7—Melvin Greely wasn’t hard of hearing in the first draft.
8—Love Potion Me, Baby went through 5 title changes.
9—I hoped the editors would want to change the title. And that they would give me suggestions!
10—Love Potion Me, Baby was the third book I wrote, but the second one I published.
11—Brice Van Sant was named after the Van Zants of Lynyrd Skynyrd.
12—I still haven’t learned to spell pharmaceuticals. Thank you, spell check!
Suzanne Rose never intended for Brice Van Sant to drink a cup of her homemade herbal shampoo. And she certainly didn’t expect an impromptu marriage proposal from the hunky CEO.
After an incredible wedding night, Brice wakes unable to remember his bride’s name or why he proposed.
Too late they realize the bright blue shampoo is responsible. Almost like…a love potion!
Brice doesn’t believe in love. But as chief executive of the area’s largest pharmaceutical company, he needs that formula. He strong-arms Suzanne into reproducing it for him, demanding that she pretend they are happily married until it’s recovered.
As Suzanne struggles to remember the shampoo’s ingredients and forget their perfect wedding night, she finds herself falling for her husband. Can she convince Brice that love is a chance worth taking before she loses her heart to him forever?
She smiled, and Brice felt the warmth go straight through him. She had a home-town, girl-next-door look that somehow made a man forget things he was better off remembering. Like the promises Brice had made to himself when his father left. Like the fact that if he made love to Suzanne again it would be disastrous for everyone involved.
Let her go, his internal voice commanded.
Brice’s legs started to move, his feet taking step after step until he reached her side.
“I had fun,” she replied.
Tell her goodnight. And walk away.
“You’re a natural,” he said instead. “You should play more often.”
“Maybe I will.”
He could see questions in her eyes, questions he didn’t want to answer.
Without permission from his brain, his hand reached up and loosened the towel covering her hair. Damp, copper-colored curls, sprang free from their confinement and bounced across his fingers. “Maybe you will,” he repeated.
Turn away. And whatever you do, don’t kiss her.
“Tell me to stop,” Brice demanded in a husky whisper as his head lowered closer and closer toward her luscious mouth. “Tell me.”
“I can’t,” she said and raised her lips to meet his.
Brice could no more prevent the kiss than he could re-route the sun. The caress was destiny or fate or serendipity. Kismet. It was out of his control. Never before had anything taken such complete command of his mind and body. Nothing except for a cup of blue shampoo and its redheaded maker who haunted his every waking moment.
Amie loves nothing more than a good book. Except for her family…and maybe homemade tacos…and shoes. But reading and writing are definitely high on the list.
Fun and contemporary, whimsical and sexy Amie’s novels are true love stories with a guaranteed happy ending.
Born and bred in Mississippi, Amie is a transplanted Southern Belle who now lives in Oklahoma with her deputy husband, their genius son, a spoiled cat, and one very hyper beagle.
When she’s not creating quirky characters and happy endings, she’s chauffeuring her prodigy to little league baseball games, guitar lessons, and boy scout meetings. She also loves gardening, cross stitching, and generally anything that can get her out of housework.
Amie is a member of RWA and an award winning author. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
www.amielouellen.com website & blog
Oh my. I can’t wait to get this book! Thanks for sharing, Amie!
The floor is now open for questions and comments so let’s show her a great Ranch response!
Oooh! I’m a horrible rancher! Bad- I tell ya. Someone get the rope! I offer profuse apologies to my sister Rose, Babette James! We were SUPPOSED to feature her debut release, Clear As Day by the Wild Rose Press on April 24th and I completely forgot to schedule her!!! Maybe I had a good reason for becoming totally Old Timers afflicted (my granddaughter lives with hubby and me and she fell at her Daddy’s Saturday the 21st and seriously broke her arm) but that’s still not an excuse. So I’m sucking the sour lemon of shame (because rose apples are just too gross), and apologizing to Babette and featuring her beautiful book now.
And Clear As Day really does have a lovely cover. Welcome Babette! Thank you for not boycotting the ranch for my blank-mindedness and sharing your book today.
Thank you, Calisa, for letting me visit and share a little about my debut novel, Clear As Day, a sweetly scorching contemporary romance from The Wild Rose Press.
Clear As Day is about two friends with benefits facing the fears and uncertainties of their changing relationship. I loved writing Clear As Day, it’s been a story of my heart in many ways, so seeing this story published is a dream come true.
When I was young, my family took camping trips every summer to Lake Havasu or Lake Mohave and I loved those scenic desert places. Later, when I was in college, remembering those trips, I wrote a short story, written from Kay’s first person point of view, as an exercise featuring that setting of the summer heat and cool waters of Lake Mohave, and the little story was born that would eventually grow into Clear As Day.
I never quite found a place for that short version, but in January of 2010, I took the story out once more, thinking to expand it into a small novella for a publisher’s call. I had fun with the story, adding in bits of my family’s trips to the river, other camping and fishing experiences, and my own enjoyment of watercolors, music, photography, and the desert. The resulting novella, now in Kay’s third person viewpoint, was rejected, but I received the nicest letter from the editor who took the time to briefly explain what she liked about the story and what she believed would improve the story. I took her comments and ran with them. The biggest change and challenge was adding in Nate’s viewpoint, and once I did that, the story just blossomed into the novel length it is now. Their simple friends-with-benefits relationship proved not so simple and from there grew the beginnings of their conflict, love story, and their tight-knit group of friends. I enjoyed exploring how Kay was the one resistant to commitment and how sweet and certain Nate was in his love for her.
There were more bumps and rejections in the road to publication, but I kept working to improve the story, and I didn’t give up, despite the doubts the rejections caused. The day I received that email from The Wild Rose Press saying they wanted Clear As Day was amazing. Now, with the 4 ½ star review from Romantic Times and being able to hold my book in my hands, I am so glad I never gave up on my story. I hope you enjoy Nate and Kay’s journey to love as much as I have.
What’s a girl to do when her summer lover wants forever?
Haunted by dark memories of her parents’ volatile marriage, artist Kay Browning keeps her heart locked behind a free-spirit facade and contents herself with the comfortable affair she has every summer with easygoing photographer Nate Quinn.
The only trouble with her plan? This summer Nate’s come to Lake Mohave to claim the lover he can’t let go. He’s done with the endless traveling and settling for temporary homes and temporary loves. Kay’s always been more than just a vacation fling, and now he must convince this woman, who sees love as a course to certain heartbreak, to take that leap of faith and learn how safe love with the right man can be.
She trailed her fingers over his collection of pebbles on the table, polished by sand, wind and water. Be happy. Be happy. How could she feel so happy and terrified at the same time? You’d think one would cancel out the other.
She would be happy. They would talk. She would sort out her mind.
Don’t worry, be happy.
She slipped on her leather sandals and picked up her sunhat, sunglasses and beach bag. “All set.”
As Kay and Olivia arrived at Spider Camp, Nate was talking and taking casual shots of Dave sitting on his boat. Dave waved. Nate stopped talking the moment she came into sight, his attention fixed on her in a way that rushed heat through her and kicked a happy tumble in her heart.
He waved. “Hey, babe!” He raked his gaze over her. “Stop right there.” He raised his camera and made swift adjustments. “Okay, move.” Rapid shutter clicks followed his order. “Oh, yeah. Beautiful. Slower. Perfect.”
He met her halfway and kissed her hot and hard. “I was about to track you down. You look great.”
“And you look happy.”
“Life is good.” He gave her another quick kiss. “I took some awesome shots today.”
Be happy. Kay smiled. She just needed to practice. Starting now. “Want a beer then to celebrate?”
“Sounds great.” Nate slid an arm around her waist and whispered in her ear, “Damn, I love this suit on you. Why does it always make me want to peel you out of it?” He caressed his hand down over her bottom, holding her close. He softly nipped her earlobe. “Between this one and that yellow-dot one, I am one happy man.”
Desire twisted and heated through her. Wanting him was so easy. That, at least, she never doubted.
“Let’s go swimming, so I can play. Hmm?” he murmured, with more little nips. “Please?”
Go on, practice being happy. Go swimming. Play. Relax. Enjoy. Love.
What was so hard about all that?
Kay tugged the knot of her pareu free and tucked the wrap into his hand. “Okay.” She pulled away from him and strolled off, slipping off her shirt and tossing it, her sunglasses and hat on a chair as she passed, kicking off her sandals as she reached the damp sand.
Running feet pounded up behind her, and Nate scooped her up in his strong arms. He charged laughing with her into the water and threw them both in, the cool shocking splash against her sun-heated skin driving a giggling shriek from her.
Laughter and friendly catcalls rang behind them from their friends.
Nate tugged her to her feet, his body hard and warm against hers. He shook the water from his hair. A big smile, alive with affection and delight, lighted his face. Mischief danced in his eyes. “Come on, follow me.” He swam with lazy strokes toward the moored boats and flipped around, floating on his back, waiting. When she followed, he kicked farther on, putting Lloyd’s and Dave’s boats between him and the shore. She caught up with him. The water here was breast deep.
He snagged her wrist and drew her close.
Bio: Babette James writes contemporary and fantasy romance and loves reading nail-biting tales with a satisfying happily ever after. When not dreaming up stories, she enjoys playing with new bread recipes and dabbling with paints. A teacher, she loves encouraging new readers and writers as they discover their growing abilities. Her class cheers when it’s time for their spelling test! She lives in New Jersey with her wonderfully patient husband and three extremely spoiled cats.
Babette loves hearing from readers and you can find her at:
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/BabetteJamesAuthor
You can find Clear As Day at:
Come fall in love at the river.
Thank you for forgiving me, Babette, and for sharing the wonderful excerpt! Awesome! Congratulations on your release and I wish you many, many happy sales, my friend.
I’m so sorry to have missed you today! If you really want to see me, I’m at Karen Michelle Nutt‘s blog today. I’m talking about how Home, my novella from the Wild Rose Press came to be. I am also sharing a link so you can get more information on the Tales of the Scrimshaw Doll series. I hope to see you there!
I’m in a rambling mood this morning, trying to transfer the mood to my WIP. Not happening so far, but the muse is tugging at me. You may know, or remember me blogging, about my cowboy story I began last September. It was prompted by an ALL CALL from Wild Rose Press for novellas to go into a new series, Honky Tonk Hearts–the first two of these releases this month! I read the word cowboy and my ears perked up, my muse’s ears perked. Why? Because at that time it had been more than a year since I’d been able to enjoy the smooth sex appeal and charm of a cowboy!
My last was Healing Whispers, Tanner Royal. How many remember him and Tobi Star? I got a request for the partial by an editor at Harlequin SE… What happened with that, you ask? Absolutely nothing. After nearly two years I’m still waiting to hear back on that submission. :( Email? Oh, I have…twice. No response is forthcoming so far, not even nearly a year after my second email. Try again? Maybe, or maybe I’ll just submit HW elsewhere. I like the sound of that. True, it wouldn’t be Harlequin, but does that really matter as long as a quality publisher prints my book? I don’t think so.
What does this peek into the dismal past have to do with my ramblings today? I’ll tell ya.
I was trying to sleep last night and as it happens, too often, my characters came to stretch out beside me. Pillow hogs, I tell ya’ll! So there we lay, Nick on my left, Haley on the right…she insisted to lie next to my hubby, not that I blame her. I’m trying to sleep, they want to gab. Typical.
Hero doesn’t think he’s cut out to be a sheriff and heroine doesn’t like how they meet up again after eight years. WTH???
He has to be in law enforcement and there’s already a built in Marshal in the series. That leaves the position of sheriff in Jasper, Tx open for Nick James. He finally concedes. Now he’s agreeing with Haley that how they meet for the first time needs to be more…monumental…memorable. And I agree. Damnit.
So rather than writing their new meeting, I’m writing this blog post. I have a very good reason for this though. It’s helping me. Yep. Blogging is helping me be creative and productive. See, I don’t have a clue how these two should meet now and I’m hoping I’ll have an epiphany as I blog about it.
Nope. Nothing coming to me so far. I am hoping to get this story finished by April’s end. Maybe ya’ll would like to chime in?
How would you like to see a hero and heroine, high school sweethearts, meet again after years apart, and a split that was less than mutual? Keep in mind that, though not a comedy writer, I do try to add a certain amount of light, tasteful humor in my books, so pretty much any scenario, even the outrageous, will be considered! And Haley is something of a sasspot.
I won’t be sitting here waiting for inspiration, or the winning entry, to strike. I’ll be moving forward from where I left off.
I’ll announce the winner at the end of April and post the new beginning, along with the winner’s name, in the “Excerpts” section of my website (hover your cursor over The Corral tab) sometime in the future, once I incorporate it into the book. I’m thinking *when* BTTWWW is published I’ll give a free copy to the winner of this blog!
So leave your suggestions in the comments, tell your friends&family/facebook/tweet/email the contest to help spread the word from now to April 30th and let’s have some fun!
I’m back for more Six Sentence Sunday! Go the the main site linked in the logo title for more great sixes.
I skipped more of the flowery perfume lines from last week but this takes up right where we left off with Poppy and Sam. You can catch that post here before we move on. G’head. I’ll wait.
Back so soon? Great. Here’s the new six from HOME from The Wild Rose Press. I hope you like it. Personally, I love her attitude.
Now she stood, hands propped on skinny hips, tapping one black-and-white saddle shoe-clad foot impatiently. “Well?”
Before Sam could think what to say, she shook her head full of springy black curls and knelt to gather vegetables, toothpaste, and toothbrush, along with several other items, in her small hands. “Get me a fresh bag, would ya, honey?”
Finally coming to the realization Poppy wasn’t going away, Sam accepted the new brown paper bag the cashier mutely offered. His eyes avoided the people watching him—the man from the local newspaper office, and Mrs. Deever with her two youngsters.
There you have it. It just gets better from here but I’ll have to let you read the story since it’s a novella and too much… You get the idea. Thanks for coming by the ranch today!