Contest: HELP! I need an opening scene!


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!


About Calisa Rhose

I'm a mother of three daughters and wife to a wonderful man of 35+ years. I'm also an avid seamstress, polymer clay artisan and die-hard crafter, always coming up with things to make with, and for, my six granddaughters and two grandsons. Check out my craft site when you have a moment. I'm also a small online business owner of Okie fLips on Etsy and Poshmark (eBay/Merkari coming soon), and I'm a published author of sensual romance. I write about stubborn men and women who don't take no for an answer, and there's always that golden HEA. Cowboys and first responders are my favorite contemporary heroes to write about. My light paranormal heroes are strong men ready to protect their women--not that they need protecting, since they are capable of caring for themselves.

Posted on 04/11/2012, in AHA moments, awards, Blogs, Contests, Goals, inspirations, my writing, progress, The Wild Rose Press and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 11 Comments.

  1. Okay… I love them all! But shoot. None of these will work for an opening. Here’s why:
    I didn’t give you enough lead up so you’d know specific and critical details.
    In order, I’ll explain why.
    1. He pulls her over to ticket– This might work except that she’d recently been in a vehicular crash so she wouldn’t break any laws out of paranoia. I know, a cop doesn’t need a viable reason to pull someone over, but those usually make me think of a jerk cop trying to make a quota, not a good ole boy country Sheriff. Stigmas are hard to write into a h/h. I just did that in Home– Thanks for the great idea, though, Sandra!

    2. Hot pink Beetle, mud slinging– still cracks me up every time I read it. But- she had flown home and rented a car. Plus shifting would be hard on her injured let to drive so far– Thanks for loaning Kaley your pink conbeetable!

    3. Mechanical bull ride fail– I have got to find a way to use this! However, again, she was hurt in the wreck so still recovering, she wouldn’t be on the bull. Also, she sort of has fallen, or been pushed, from the community’s good graces due to a plot conflict I won’t reveal here so she wouldn’t want to draw that much attention to herself yet. :)– I still love this!

    4. Truth or dare– Since she’s not the town’s favorite person right off, she doesn’t have gfs to play with yet– But I love this idea!

    Since I don’t have a winner but you are the only four- plus one by private email- I’m reserving a copy of BTTWWW for each of you! Thank all of you for trying to help and making my dilemma so pleasant!
    Now to finish and send it to Stacy so it can get published!!! 😀


  2. janninegallant

    Haley is at the Lonesome Steer Honky Tonk with a group of girlfriends. They’ve had a few too many cocktails and are playing truth or dare. Haley takes the dare – to pick a cowboy from the bar, walk up, and kiss him. She goes for the one on the end with the terrific set of shoulders. Gathering her courage, she taps those tempting shoulders. He spins. Her eyes widen with recognition. With a “what the hell” shrug, she plants one on him anyway.

    Hmm, POV issues with the widening eyes, but you get the idea. I’m a few days late, but I couldn’t resist…


    • Not late at all, Jannine! It runs to the end of April! I love this! Even if I don’t make it an opening scene, I may have to use it somewhere! LOL This and Loretta’s tack between the thighs crack me up! Thanks!


  3. lorettawheeler

    You know, I’m not sure if I’m posting this in the correct spot or not. It’s for the opening of a story by Calisa. So…I’m posting away. I’m sure SOMEONE will yank me to the RIGHT spot if I’m wandering the wrong hall!:) Lo

    Tobi’s at a dance hall where they have a mechanical bull. She’s gotten good at this, so she decides to go give it a whirl (literally:). Someone accidentally hits the gears to full tilt and after a couple of mad lunges the kick-ass bull flings her off .(Much to her chagrin) She lands on the floor, on her butt, arms splayed behind her, bracing her in a reclining position, legs wide open. The shock keeps her that way for a moment, making every cowboy in the place pause…along with the sheriff, who can’t quit staring. When she regains her senses, and realizes who he is, she’s incensed. When Tanner comes onto the floor, never taking his eyes off her crotch, she can’t wait to let him have it.
    But, the sheriff isn’t really looking at her crotch, he’s looking at something small between her legs. It’s a tack, point up…offering the option of a new “piercing” in a very tender spot.


    • Lo! A tack? Ouch and LMAO! Let the piercing begin! 🙂 Now, you are in the right place with this outrageous response. I’m afraid you need more coffee still. I love these characters and Tanner is a hell of a cowboy, but these two are from my other story I mentioned. So sorry I confused you! I know- too many names for you this early. So I’ll replace Tobi with Haley and Tanner with Nick for you. 🙂


      • lorettawheeler

        Well, bless your heart, sugar! (WG) I swear, too many men…too little…ahem, you know the rest:) Thanks so much for adding the correct names to these two wild hearted dudes and dudettes. A rose by any other name, is still a….wait, I’ve changed genre’s along with names now. Do whatever it takes, gal…I’ll wave my hat and send a big Texas yee-haw along with some cyber chocolates your way:) Lo


        • Did you do that on purpose? A Rose by any other name? Because this book is for Wild ROSE Press! Of which I am one of many talented ROSES in that lovely garden! Just look how clever you are after a few men, *ahem*, and some strong coffee! 🙂


  4. Taking 2 years to respond is typical for Harlequin according to my agent. I’d sooner have my book published a tad sooner.

    Now, in keeping with the car theme of HOME, your heroine left town in her VW Beetle Convertible she and Nick once painted her fav color: hot pink. Eight years later she roars back into Nick’s life in the same pink Beetle, no longer so hot, with a few rust spots and a drooping back fender–and the car shows wear, too. Nick, good-hearted soul that he is, has stopped along the muddy road to change Widow Perkins flat tire on her sixty-six Chevolet. After beating an errant, bastard of a lug nut into submission, a pink VW Beetle convertible flies by slinging mud over his face. Damn, it could ONLY be one person…


  5. I say you use his law enforcement position and her sass to start. Example: He pulls her over on the road to give her a ticket she doesn’t feel she deserves. She gives him so much attitude, he threatens to arrest her. They each feel lucky to have escaped a lifetime with the other, but in reality, the old flame has begun to reignite.

    BTW- Harlequin rejected the story that I’ll be releasing through TWRP in August. They said that it’s not enough for a hero to be brave, handsome and trustworthy, he should also be extremely wealthy. Maybe that has something to do with it…just saying.

    Good luck. I’ll look forward to seeing what happens.

    Sandra Dailey


    • That’s a great idea, Sandy! And yay for your sale. I think HQN sets the bar too high a lot of times. Good luck! Thanks for your suggestion. 🙂


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