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2014 Blog Year in Review and Calisa Rhose’s 2nd annual COMMENT TO WIN! contest #MFRWAuthor #contest #justcomment

Osiyo~ Cherokee for “Hello”

Another year has passed. Really?! Where did it go, I ask you? I’m sitting here wondering where in the world it went. That old adage Time Flies is so true for me this year! 😆

Some of you may remember I posted a contest last year, that you can review here:

Basically the contest rules stated that I will award gifts for the most commented on post in 2014 and the five top commenters on posts for the year, all winners determined according to the following WordPress annual report. Unexpectedly, it was my own Writing Plan For 2014-15 post the first week of January (here: ) that got the most comments this year…and I can give myself anything, any time–so it won’t count in the contest. LOL Because of this, I will gift the most commented on guest post author instead. 😀

Read on to see who WP monkeys and I have chosen for the winners’ circle in 2014!

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 4,900 times in 2014. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 4 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

The most comments on a blog award goes to my guest and her post on January 23. This post follows several of my own with higher numbers, but which also don’t count. You can view her great post here:



†With 19 total comments, JM Stewart’s talent for being an exemplary guest and an awesome comment responder is what made her my 2014 guest post winner.



The five super supporters for over all comments, chosen by WP monkeys this year are:



†1. Mae Clair – Rockin’ it with 23 comments






†2. Gemma Brocato – 15






†3. Alicia Dean – 13






†4. Jessi Gage – 12






†5. Cd Brennan – 10


Congratulations to all six of my winners!!! Here’s your rose wreath!

If you ladies will email me from here with your snail mail addresses I’ll get your prizes out to you by the end of February.

I have to admit the low numbers on all posts and lack of guest or personal posts is my fault this year.  Many of you know I was forced to take three months off from anything writing related, which affected my blog, as well, unfortunately. I had also said I would post reminders throughout the year, which I failed to remember myself to do. 😦 My apologies for slipping.

This all just goes to prove a point though. We all know we can’t control how many views or comments any given post will get, or we’d top the charts each and every time we blogged. Right? Or can we?

We have to blog (whether personally or by inviting guests) to keep our names out there constantly. We have to visit other blogs as guests or commenters to keep our names/faces in those bloggers’ and commenters views so they will in turn visit our blog, and therefore, hopefully, comment. We HAVE to respond to commenters on our own/guests posts and interact with all who take even a nano second to say ‘hi’ to us, or our guests. If we don’t have time for visitors and other bloggers, how can we expect that same turn around for ourselves?

I guess, in a way, this year was a good, if unplanned, experiment. I involuntarily dropped my own activity on my and others’ blogs when I suffered a short burnout this summer, and look how the numbers dropped from last year. Take special notice of the “Attractions in 2013” and “Who Were They” sections comment numbers (the winners) compared to this year (the winners above).

So I want to thank these six for sticking by me the most during the low times and the high ones. Two of my winners were also on last year’s list! Congrats to Mae and Alicia aka Ally Robertson for your awesome support! I love and appreciate you all!!!!!! 😀

And now- we begin again for 2015! Who will be my winners next year? All you have to do is comment your fingers off all through the year so WordPress’s helper monkeys will notice you! Start with a comment today, this week, this year on this post! On past posts too, on any or ALL posts!!!!!!!!

JUST COMMENT TO WIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Good luck to everyone who chooses to play the 2015 Comment Contest! 🙂

close horse rock

Click image to visit the Timberlake Rose Rock Museum where I get my rocks. While there you can learn more about the rocks and the husband-wife sculptors who create these beauties. Beware- the store link doesn’t work, but I will go by and let the owners know as soon as I can.

I expect to keep up better myself this year and to actually post reminders at least quarterly throughout 2015. Later, maybe midyear, I’ll post a picture of the goodies I’ll offer this year’s winners’. They will include, among other items, my author-brand Oklahoma Rose Rock like this one (r) from my personal collection. They stand no more than two inches tall and are positively gorgeous!

**How did I do with my writing goals in 2014? What will I do different this next year? Look for my new “2015 Writing Goals” post coming soon!

Dodadagohvi~ Cherokee for “Until we meet again”


†Frame of Roses image around winners’ pics courtesy of Teeratas at

Calisa Rhose presents ~ The Wolf and The Highlander by Jessi Gage #MFRWorg #highlander


I’m so excited to have my friend, a sister Lyrical Press writer, with me today! She’s got a new self-published highlander book available now. And for the record- I love Riggs! >grin<

To tell us about Highlander Wishes, Bk 2: The Wolf and the Highlander, please show a big Ranch welcome to Jessi Gage.

Thanks for having me again, Calisa! So far 2014 has been a crazy rollercoaster of editing, formatting, self-publishing, and promoting. I seriously could not be having more fun. I wasn’t sure I would enjoy all the stuff that goes along with self-publishing, but I DO! It’s so much fun!

This month, I’m celebrating the release of second book in my Highland Wishes series, THE WOLF AND THE HIGHLANDER, which features a bearded virgin who lives in a secluded cabin and never goes anywhere without his trusty axe. Did I mention I got his name from a popular action movie? Despite Mel Gibson kind of going off his rocker in recent years, you’ve got to admit he makes one heck of an action flick. So I named my hero after his character in Lethal Weapon: Riggs.

To send this one off with a bang, I’m holding a giveaway that will run for the entire month. Up for grabs are several e-copies of the book and some Amazon gift cards. Click GIVEAWAY to enter!

JessiGage_TheWolfAndTheHighlanderHere’s the blurb:

Anya’s been a bad girl. A vindictive plot against one of her clansmen backfired, resulting in her grave injury. Now scarred and crippled, her selfish ambition has turned into bitter self-loathing. She finds nothing lovely about herself, and doesn’t expect anyone else to either. But when a magical wishing box sends her to another dimension, she becomes the most valuable prize imaginable.

While hunting a rare marbled boar, Riggs, a trapper in Marann’s western forest, hears a strange cry. Distracted from the hunt, he loses the sow but finds instead something more valuable than a whole cart packed with marbled boar skins. A woman. She is delicate, her teeth are small and flat, and her skin is curiously hairless. She is not wolfkind. Maybe she is the miracle his people have been hoping for.

Riggs must bring Anya to King Magnus, because breeding rights belong first and foremost to His Majesty, who needs an heir. But the female calls to a primal part of him. He longs to keep her in secret and take her as his mate. But if he gives in to the temptation, he could single handedly bring about the end of civilization.

Buy links

Amazon | All Romance Ebooks | Goodreads

More retailers coming soon!

Website | Blog | Facebook Fan Page | Twitter | Goodreads | Newsletter Sign-up

JessiGageJessi lives with her husband and children in the Seattle area. She’s a passionate reader of all genres of romance, especially anything involving the paranormal. Ghosts, demons, vampires, witches, weres, faeries…you name it, she’ll read it. As for writing, she’s sticking to Highlanders and contemporaries with a paranormal twist (for now). The last time she imagined a world without romance novels, her husband found her crouched in the corner, rocking.

What a great sounding book, Jessi. I think you have a little something for commenters, don’t you?

Yes. If you had to name a romance hero after a movie character, which character would you choose? Leave a comment to earn an extra point in the giveaway mentioned above!

Thanks again for having me, Calisa!

Thank you for bringing The Wolf and the Highlander to share with us!


Calisa Rhose presents ~ Reckless by Jessi Gage #TuesdayRoundUp #bluecollarmen


Welcome to Tuesday Round Up 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.

JessiGageI’m thrilled to welcome my wonderfully talented guest today, Jessi Gage, who is sharing her book, Reckless with us!

Please show ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­Jessi some real Ranch love!

Thank you for having me today, Calisa! It’s always fun stopping by the Ranch.

Before I get to the nosy 5-3-4 part of this interview, tell us a bit about you.

I’ll go ahead and take first pick of the men. Since the theme of today’s post will be blue-collar construction workers, are there any men in the coral sporting hard hats? Come on, boys, raise your hands…

LOL, in my dreams, right?

Actually, since I’m married to a construction man…there are always a couple hanging around for flavor choice. 😉

I’m a Seattle gal, transplanted from the northeast by way of Florida. How my husband and I arrived up here in the northwest is a long story, but it has mostly to do with higher education and a mutual love of Kurt Kobain.

Would you believe I’d never heard of Kurt until he died? Sad, I know.

So about your writing?

I’ve been writing about 6 years. After publishing with a small press, I’m now venturing into the world of self publishing and loving every minute.

I can’t wait to share my new release, Reckless, with you all today. It’s my second indie title and kicks off a series about blue-collar heroes who are rough around the edges but tender where it counts.

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 in my living room, now upgraded from the couch to my new-to-me green recliner. What does your writing space look like?

I’m a couch girl too. You can almost always find me on the middle cushion or our red corduroy IKEA Ektorp with my laptop either on my lap with a nifty fan-desk or on the couch beside me. I’m usually in jammies or leggings with a hoodie. And I always, ALWAYS have strawberry Chap Stick in my pocket.

I keep my laptop on an air desk, too, and I usually have a tube of vanilla lip balm somewhere within reach. 🙂 We couch girls have to stick together.

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?

My critique partners call me the title whisperer, LOL. I love thinking of title names, series names, and character names.

I do too, but some are questionable. Lol What advice would you offer aspiring and new writers?

Keep writing!

I’ve seen some authors get so caught up in revising an agent-rejected book over and over again, trying to make it something an agent will fall in love with. This means they’re not writing new stuff, not learning, not improving.

The best way to improve as an author is to write. Write a lot. Brainstorm, draft, polish, repeat.

Get lots of stories under your belt. Then, when you get that coveted acceptance, you’ve got a backlist you can polish up and publish while you’re writing new stuff.

Good advice, Jessi. 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?

Persistence. You’ve got to love writing. You’ve got to eat, drink, breathe writing, and not just writing, but all the peripheral stuff that goes into transforming a completed story into a published work.

You’ve got to have a marketable author brand as well. My brand is time-travel romance and blue-collar contemporaries. Both are sub genres that are doing well right now. In that, I’m lucky. I happened across a readership eager for what comes naturally for me to write. Fairy tales are also popular right now, as are sports romances. Vampires have fallen out of favor a bit.

One of my favorite chapters in the Bible is Ecclesiastes 3, which begins “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.” (I like that one, too. Cat Stevens wrote a song around this verse that I love.) If what you write isn’t popular right now, don’t worry, it will be. Because you’re going to make it popular. Develop your niche, cultivate a starter audience, and carve out a corner of the market for yourself. Who knows? Maybe your dream sharing spynx or transgender motorcycle club member will be the next sparkly vampire.

Who would you like to meet in the publishing industry- dead or alive- and why?

My favorite author at the moment is Evangeline Anderson. I love her ability to develop a series and keep the conflict wire-tight through an entire book. She has an amazing sci-fi series called Brides of the Kindred that I am totally hooked on. I would love to just hang out with her, throw back some cocktails, and talk writing and sexy alien men.

It’s time for 3 in 1! I’ll ask the questions and you answer them in one word. 😆

Favorite animal? Horse

Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter? Fall

Favorite food? Pizza

Well done! 🙂

Okay, final four. Ready? What are you working on now?

2014 will be a year packed with self-publishing activities. I have five releases planned for the year, including two re-released backlist titles (Reckless is one of these). There will be lots of logistics and marketing in my future, which to a geek like me sounds like a TON of FUN!

On the writing front, I’m setting a modest goal of completing a novella in my Highland Wishes series (Constance and Wilhelm’s story’ they’re a couple that makes an appearance in Wishing for a Highlander) and writing another full-length Highland Wishes novel.

What are you sharing today?

RecklessReckless gets a new cover and a re-release! Here’s the blurb:

Sometimes it takes a miracle to find forgiveness.

Divorced construction worker Derek has anger management issues. Acting rashly on the freeway, he causes an accident. His truck escapes unscathed, but he can’t say the same for his conscience. Visions of the wreck haunt his dreams, but they’re always followed by the sweet caresses and soothing words of a beautiful woman who calls to everything male in him.

Cami assumes she is dead. With no memory of her past, all she knows is endless fog and the occasional visit to a darkened bedroom where she comforts a man battling nightmares. When she wakes in a hospital bed and regains her memory, she assumes the ruggedly-handsome Derek was no more than a figment of her concussed mind.

As Cami recovers, she learns that Derek is not only real but also the driver charged with causing her accident. She should be furious with him, but their inexplicable nights together showed her a tender side beneath his rough exterior. Will she let one reckless mistake drive them apart, or will forgiveness have the right of way?

Where can we find you and your books?

Website | Blog | Facebook Fan Page | Twitter | Goodreads

Get Reckless Amazon and more listed on Jessi’s website.

Where can followers find you next?

Ooh, I get followers? How cool! I promise there will be no Kool-Aid. But I will bring cupcakes…

Follow me on Twitter and FB, and you’ll get all my appearance news. And sign up for my newsletter for notice of my new releases.

I love cupcakes and heroes with a bad-boy streak. I would like to give a free ecopy of Reckless to a commenter who tells me their favorite snack or dessert and romance hero. Double points (counts as 2 entries) if you can name a snack or dessert that can also describe a romance hero.

Thank you so much for playing along Jessi! Wishing you much luck with your book and writing. I hope you’ll come visit again one day.

Thank you so much for hosting me today, Calisa! I had a blast answering your questions, and I can’t wait to read comments and give away an ebook!


Calisa Rhose welcomes Jessi Gage to the Round Pen

Jessi Gage’s Highlander ~ Calisa Rhose


Today I’m excited to introduce you to sister Lyrical Press author, Jessi Gage! Grab your mocha and a sweet treat and gather ’round.

It’s all yours, Jessi. 🙂

Thank you for having me, today, Calisa. It’s an honor to be a guest at The Ranch.

I’m so excited to share my new release, WISHING FOR A HIGHLANDER, with your readers. It’s out now with Lyrical Press, Inc. I’m a huge fan of time-travel romance and anything with a kilt in it, so really, it was just a matter of time before I wrote my own. And now that I have, I’m worried I might have stumbled upon an addiction. I can’t stop thinking of ideas for sending unsuspecting Scots and modern day women hurtling through time at my whim.

The idea for WISHING FOR A HIGHLANDER started with a kernel of a scene. I imagined a pregnant heroine working late at a museum and opening a package containing an artifact that likes to bring soul mates together. I made the artifact a wishing box and decided it should send the heroine back in time by 500 years into the brawny arms of a Highland warrior.

Of course, he has issues and she has issues, and you’ll have to pick up the book to see what those are ;). But the box knew what it was doing when it send them crashing into each other’s lives, and a happily ever after is guaranteed.

I adore h/h with issues! Lol

Here’s the blurb:

While examining Andrew Carnegie’s lucky rosewood box, single-and-pregnant museum worker Melanie makes a tongue in cheek wish on the artifact–for a Highland warrior to help her forget about her cheating ex. Suddenly transported to the middle of a clan skirmish in sixteenth-century Scotland, she realizes she should have been a tad more specific.

Darcy, laird in waiting, should be the most eligible bachelor in Ackergill, but a cruel prank played on him in his teenage years has led him to believe he is too large under his kilt to ever join with a woman. He has committed himself to a life of bachelorhood, running his deceased father’s windmills and keeping up the family manor house…alone.

Darcy’s uncle, Laird Steafan welcomes the strangely dressed woman into his clan, immediately marrying her to Darcy in hopes of an heir. But when Steafan learns of her magic box and brands her a witch, Darcy must do what any good husband would–protect his wife, even if it means forsaking his clan.

WARNING: A pregnant museum worker, a sixteenth-century Scot, and a meddlesome wishing box.

wishingforahighlanderHere’s an excerpt:

Size might have its advantages when it came to fighting, but those few boons fell far short of making up for the problems it caused. Being the biggest and the strongest had gotten him into far more trouble than it had gotten him out of. Swallowing his regret for how careless he’d been with her, he sought to determine whom she belonged to, whom, saints forbid, he might owe.

“Whose wife are ye, then? Not a Gunn’s or I wouldna have had to rescue you from one.”

“I’m not married,” the lass said. “And thank you for the rescuing, by the way. I can’t believe I dropped the dirk. Stupid.” She shook her head.

His heart warmed at her thanks. He didn’t hear many kind words from the lasses and would take what he could get, even from a dishonored woman who had caught a bairn out wedlock. Oddly, he didn’t think poorly of her. Whether it was her worried brow, her guileless, soft mouth, or her vulnerable size, he had not the heart to condemn her.

He didn’t even mind so much that she found him distasteful for his size, although talking with her now, she didn’t seem overly upset to be in his arms. He endeavored to keep her talking, keep her distracted from her disgust.

“Ye never answered my first question,” he said. “Who are you? And where are ye from if ye’re no’ English?”

“Ugh. I don’t know. Is there an answer that won’t get me burned at the stake or locked up in a ward for the hopelessly insane?”

Like most things out of her mouth, that had been a peculiar answer. “Ye could try the truth,” he offered, slowing his pace since he heard Archie’s voice not far off.

“No,” she said flatly. “I couldn’t. At least not the whole truth. How about we just go with my name, Melanie, and with the honest fact that I’m a long way from home and I have no idea how to get back.” Her green eyes pierced his. “I’m afraid you might be stuck with me, Darcy Keith.”

Buy the Book presents ~ Laura DeLuca's Destiny


Jessi Gage headshotJessi lives with her husband and children in the Seattle area. In addition to writing paranormal romance, she’s a wife, a mom, an audiologist, a church-goer, a Ford driver, a PC user, and a coffee snob. Her guiding tenet in her writing is that good triumphs over evil, but not before evil gives good one heck of a run for its money. The last time she imagined a world without romance novels, her husband found her crouched in the corner, rocking.

If anyone would like more information about WISHING FOR A HIGHLANDER or my other works, they are more than welcome to swing by my blog or website.

This week, I’m giving away 2 ecopies of WISHING FOR A HIGHLANDER. To enter the drawing, commenters here at The Ranch should (1) leave their email address and (2) answer the following question: If you could go back in time for one week of what-happens-in-the-past-stays-in-the-past fantasy, where & when would you go?

My answer: I’d go back to Aberdeen, WA in 1991 just before Nirvana broke out with their big hit “Smells Like Teen Spirit” and flirt my butt off with Kurt Cobain.

Aw- love those accents! My answer- I would have to go back to when cowboys and Indians roamed the west. Where? Probably Texas to get me a big ol’ cowboy. Everything’s bigger there, right? 😉

For more chances at a free ecopy of WISHING FOR A HIGHLANDER ranchers can swing by my blog and comment over there. I’ll do the drawing on Friday 1/11/13 at midnight and notify the winners by email on Saturday 1/12/13.

Thanks again for having me, Calisa! Happy trails!


Lyrical (50% off for the month of January)


Barnes & Noble

Thanks for joining me today, Jessi. Good luck with your career !