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Calisa Rhose ~ Check out the 2nd annual IDA winners


I haven’t blogged on my own Ranch for a while so I wanted to do a special today. As a lot of you are now aware, the Oklahoma RWA chapter hosts the National Reader’s Choice Awards and just finished with our 22nd (?) year of this awesome contest where readers choose their favorite authors. Those lucky winners are awarded their prizes at RWA Nationals each summer. That contest is for print books only.

We thought ebooks were not getting the recognition they and those wonderful authors deserved, so we decided to do something about that. Last year OKRWA started a new contest called International Digital Award (IDA) and it was a rousing success. This year was also a great success but we need to get the word out to more epublished authors. I want to introduce you to this year’s winners and their books. Now you know I don’t usually host erotica on the Ranch, but I’m gonna for this event so I apologize up front to those who might be offended. But for the sake of being fair to all our winners, I will post ALL ebooks including that category.

So here we go with our FIRST PLACE WINNERS!

Contemporary Novel

Playing the Game by Stephanie Queen – Publisher: Self-Published


Contemporary Short

Those Violet Eyes by Vonnie Davis – Publisher: The Wild Rose Press


Erotic Novel

Sharing Hailey by Samantha Ann King – Publisher: Carina Press


 Erotic Short

Snow White and Her Seven Lovers by Jenna Ives – Publisher: Self-Published


Historical Novel

Angel’s Assassin by Laurel O’Donnell – Publisher:  O’Donnell Books (Self-Published)


Historical Short

Tumbleweed Letters by Vonnie Davis – Publisher: The Wild Rose Press


Inspirational Novel

A Light in the Window by Julie Lessman – Publisher: Ten Talents Press


Inspirational Short

First Place (TIE):

The Key to Charlotte by E.A. West – Publisher: White Rose Publishing (An Imprint of Pelican Books)


Operation Breathless by Marianne Evans – Publisher: White Rose Publishing (An Imprint of Pelican Books)


Paranormal Novel

First Place (TIE):

Rogues Pawn by Jeffe Kennedy – Publisher: Carina Press


Chain Reaction The Phenom League by T.C. Archer – Publisher: Broken Arm Publishing


Paranormal Short

Blood Moon by Silver James – Publisher: Silver James Books: Self-Published


Suspense Novel:

Death Offerings (The Northland Crime Chronicles Book 2) by Alicia Dean – Publisher: Self-Published


Suspense Short:

Skinbound (Tales of the Scrimshaw Doll) by Anna Kittrell – Publisher: The Wild Rose Press


Young Adult (Combined Novels and Shorts)

The Captive Heiress by Blair Bancroft – Publisher: Kone Enterprises (Self-Published)

Happy CONGRATULATIONS to all our winners! Please help celebrate by Liking, Tweeting and Facebooking this post to show these talented writers how happy we are for them.

If you’d like to be one of these lucky people next year I invite you to go to the IDA website and find out how. It’s really easy! I’ll make it easier by giving you the golden link: 😆 We at OKRWA look forward to *seeing* you at next year’s sign-up.

If you can’t enter the contest, have no fear! You are ever so welcome to sign-up and be one of our treasured judges! Here’s the golden link for judging: 😀

Most of all, THANK YOU for visiting this post and showing our winners some Ranch love!


Can pain make you smile?


Welcome Vonnie Davis! I’m thrilled to see you and have I got a cowboy for you! *winks at Vonnie*

Good morning, Calisa darlin’, I’m thrilled to be here. Thanks for inviting me on a day when you don’t normally have guests. See how sweet she is, ladies? I needed a place to blog and she said, “Come on over.”

*Blushes* OMG! When you called for a blog spot I was so worried you’s fill your dance card before seeing my email! I’m so delighted to have you visit my Ranch and share a new (possibly never-before-seen) excerpt. I read it and laughed. But it’s no laughing matter when it comes to your choice of topic for today’s post. Serious stuff– humor. So let’s grab an iced Mocha and danish, or whatever you fancy from the sideboard, and get down to the fun! 🙂

My novella, Those Violet Eyes, released on Wednesday. It’s part of the Honky Tonk series. One pivotal scene has to take place in the Lonesome Steer honky tonk. This was my first time writing for a series, but who could resist? I mean, cowboys! Stetsons…cowboys wearing Stetsons! Chaps…cowboys strutting around in chaps! Horses…cowboys riding horses! Okay, where’s my drool towel?

Oh…mine too. Wowza! 😆

I love to laugh. It’s a part of my intrinsic nature. So it’s no wonder I love writing humor. But what happens when my characters are not humorous people? What if their lives are full of pain? How can I make anything funny out of that?

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The characters in this story came fully fleshed. That’s never happened to me before. Usually I’m tweaking them for the first quarter of the book. Win was a returning vet from the war in Iraq. He lost part of a leg and most of his hearing when the Humvee he was riding in drove over an IED. He also lost three of his buddies and suffers from PTSD. He’s pretty much a mass of war debris at the beginning of the story. Then he meets Evie, a woman with nine-feet of attitude and magnetic violet eyes. She is a spitfire, ladies. Her life is no piece of cake, either. So how do I make my readers smile when my characters are dealing with some serious emotional issues? Yet I know the reader will need a few moments of levity when such heavy issues are involved.

To accomplish this, I often write about things that push the characters buttons, but I try (emphasis on the word “try”) to do so in a humorous manner. Take my heroine, Evie. She’s tired of men pushing her around. Because of a promise she made to her momma on her deathbed, she’s stuck taking care of her brother Dooley—a worthless ne’r-do-well, if ever there was one. So when she meets Win, the new cook at the honky tonk where she’s a waitress, sparks fly. You see, Win is a macho ex-Marine who has no problem telling it the way he sees it. With a few words, he can ruffle her feathers. And Evie never fails to strike back.

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“You working tomorrow night?”

She stilled, her hand on the door. “Yes.”

“Wear a longer skirt.”

Evie spun on her heels. “Excuse me?”

Win reached for another carrot, never sparing her a glance. “You give any consideration to how much you’ll be showing the customers when you bend over to serve them, or wipe off a table? Sure, you got a world-class ass, but do you want to show it off to every cowpoke that comes in here? Is that the kind of woman you are, Evie?”

Her eyes narrowed and her temper shot through the stratosphere. The nerve. Who the hell does this guy think he is? What right did he have to comment on her clothes? There wasn’t a damn thing wrong with her skirt. She’d worn it plenty of times to wait tables here, and no one ever said a word. What was he? Some Neanderthal who thought his maleness gave him power over women?

Evie marched to his side. “Which one?”

His knife never stopped its precise chopping. “Which one what?”

She was so pissed, she trembled. The man needed to be taught a lesson. “Which leg is your real leg?”

His blade stilled and his eyes swept to hers. Pain crept into his features, and she refused to acknowledge she noticed. She was a softy and knew it, but she also stood up for her rights.

“The left one.” His voice was deathly quiet.

Evie hauled off and kicked his left shin. “Keep your stupid remarks to yourself. I dress exactly the way I please.” She turned and hurried toward the door, her hands clenched in fists.


Back ramrod straight, she stopped and waited for the cussing he’d surely give her.

Instead, his deep voice caressed the back of her neck as he said, “Nice meeting you, too.”

Then damn if the man didn’t laugh.



Evie Caldwell hoards every penny for her escape from the servitude life created by a worthless brother and the endless work on a ranch that will never be hers. The last thing she wants is a muscled man with a macho Marine attitude complicating her life. But, oh, how that man can make her insides do a twitchy thing.

Wounded vet, Win Fairchild, returns to Texas to heal, find a piece of his soul and open a ranch for amputee children. Finding someone to love was not on his agenda. Nor was dealing with a wildcat, until she captures his heart with those violet eyes.

But now that he knows what he wants, can Win convince Evie to stay in Texas—and his bed?

Buy link is:

My blog is:

My website is

What a beautiful cover and what a great excerpt! Thanks for sharing with us Vonnie. I already have my copy of Those Violet Eyes- stalked Amazon for the moment it went on sale, I did! 😀 Now to find time to read it. I know if it’s anything close to as wonderfully written as Storm’s Interlude (Vonnie’s first release with The Wild Rose Press and if you don’t have it… here’s the link!) it is a masterpiece of words. 

Thanks again for a great post on how to add humor to pain, Vonnie. A wise and fun lesson.

Please let Vonnie know what you think of her methods for mixing two opposite emotions into one read. 🙂