Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Special Guest - Anita Higman

Today's special guest is Anita Higman and her book, Love Finds You in Humble, TX.
Award-winning author, Anita Higman, has twenty-four books published (several coauthored) for adults and children, and she has been honored as a Barnes & Noble “Author of the Month” for Houston. Anita has a B.A. degree, combining speech communication, psychology, and art. Some of her favorite things are exotic teas, going to the movies, and all things Jane Austen. She’d love for you to visit her website at
Here's an interview with Anita about her most recent novel, Love Finds You in Humble, TX.
Tell us about your most recent novel. I hired the amazing Circle of Seven Productions to do a book trailer for me, so I’ll let the narrator tell you a bit about the book. Click here:

Do you have a favorite character in Love Finds You in Humble Texas? Actually, I was very interested in one of the smaller characters. I love Wiley Flat. He was such a surprise the way he showed up and revealed himself to me. Almost as if he really did exist. There are so many times I’ve thought it would be fun to attend a party and have all my characters show up. I could watch them interact with each other, and see what happens. Reminds me of the movie Stranger Than Fiction.

How did you come up with the idea for this novel? I started with a simple concept—two sisters who were very different. One would be an image coach and the other would be in desperate need of an image coach. Then I thought, “What if both sisters fall in love with the same man?” Now that seemed like an interesting concept since it would have a lot of natural built-in conflict, especially if the sisters were close. I wrote an opening scene, and then my fingers began to fly. Even though I generally know where the novel is going, many times the story reveals itself as I go along.

Are you anything like the heroine of your novel? I’m like Trudie Abernathy in certain ways. She has the heart of an artist, and she is introspective and has a passion for life. I am those things too. But Trudie is a compilation of many personality traits beyond me. Some pieces are from acquaintances, friends, family members, and from just watching people and taking mental notes. Then in the process of writing, the imagination takes over to add its own magic to the mix.
What do you hope readers will feel when they finish your book? Here is a tiny excerpt. “Life can be a collage of pretty pictures as well as a thousand shattered moments, but God can bring marvel to it all as He takes those broken pieces and, with the light of His grace shining through them, makes something beautiful, something treasured.” I hope readers feel that kind of encouragement when they close the book.

When did you realize that you were going to be a writer? At a young age I tried writing a novel. It was truly terrible, but I know those were the first little signs of what I would someday be. I should have taken the signs more seriously. But I didn’t. I walked away from my desires and dreams for a very long time. I had an appalling lack of confidence. And so when I was about thirty, I was reading a novel, and I thought, “Okay, I can do this.” I think it was God gently nudging me again. This time I listened. And I kept going, and have been writing ever since. I wish I could tell you the name of the novel I was reading when I had that epiphany, but the name of the book is lost from my memory. But I will never forget the way I felt when I made that decision to write—to finally allow myself to follow my dream.

What does an average workday look like for you? I get up around 5:30, eat oatmeal and grapefruit, and then take a mug of coffee upstairs to my office. I catch up on my email, and then I start writing. I break for an early lunch, and then I either run a few errands, or I go back to my writing. After dinner, I’m usually back in my office working again or I’ll spend the evening reading a good book. I don’t watch TV, but on the weekends I do love to rent new movies. Watching someone else’s story unfold is my treat after working hard all week, trying to tell my own story.

Where do you get the ideas for your novels? Everywhere I go, ideas come to me—whether it’s a book concept or a new character or a twist in the plot or a unique phrase. Sometimes I’ll be grocery shopping or picking up the dry-cleaning, and I’ll think of something to add to my work. That happens so often that I’ve come to accept errands as a blessing in disguise.
What are some of your favorite books? I enjoy reading the classics. I loved Oliver Twist, To Kill a Mockingbird, Romance of the Forest, Pride and Prejudice, and The Woman in White.

Do you have any tips for writers?
1. Read. I have discovered that the more I read the better I write.
2. Follow all leads from networking opportunities, writer's conferences, and tips from writer friends.
3. Look for "holes" in the marketplace. One way of finding holes is to talk to booksellers and librarians. You might discover that there is a real need for a certain kind of book. Perhaps a number of patrons have asked repeatedly for a particular subject and there are few or no books written on it.
4. Try brainstorming when you are out of ideas. Then when the ideas do flow, start a file for later use. For example, you could have a file with character profiles, bits of dialogue, fresh book titles, or other elements that you could eventually use in a new piece of writing.
5. Read all your work out loud. It sounds a bit simplistic, but it’s a valuable tool.
6. Titles are important. Make sure that your title is the very best it can be for your work. If you don't like it, brainstorm until you find a new one, or use a dazzling phrase from your manuscript.
7. If you feel a burnout approaching, and you're actually thinking about throwing in the towel, put your work aside, read a book for fun, start a journal, go on a writer's retreat, or take a break by writing something outside your genre.
8. Try making a habit of writing, even when you don't think you're in an inspired mood.
9. Pray that God will guide you and help you be the best writer you can be.
10 Many popular authors have known rejection, so you’re not alone if you have a drawer full of rejection slips. (Years ago I collected enough to paper a small room!) The bottom line is—if you feel called to write, don't give up.)

Great advice! Where can readers find you online? I’d love for you to drop by my web site. I’m at
Thanks for inviting me to your blog!
Thank You, Anita for blogging with us today!

Sunday, April 26, 2009


This past Thursday I was privileged to be a member of the choir for the ordination and installation of our diocese's new bishop. Bishops are not installed every day, and this is a once-in-a-lifetime deal for most people--the first and probably last for me, I'd wager.

Anyway, as this man lay prostrate while we sang the Litany of the Saints, and then as he knelt while about a dozen bishops laid hands on him, I began to think about all the wonderous things Our Lord has allowed me to see over the years since I allowed Him into my life. In fact, I was taken back to the day when I was to journey to the very cathedral in which I sat watching our bishop-elect become our bishop; I recalled that I almost didn't go.

I was to travel to the cathedral for the first time--more than a hundred miles from my home--and when I got to the church (my home parish) where I was to meet the person I would be traveling with, I discovered she was sick and couldn't go. I would have to make this trip into the vast unknown alone--the only one who would be alone, mind you. Not something I cared to do in the least. And so, I went into the church and sat in a pew in the front of our church and told God I wasn't going. "I can't do this," I said, "and if you want me to go, you're going to have to do something about it pretty quick." Immediately--and I mean literally immediately after the words were out of my mouth--I heard the music team practicing in the basement for the next Mass. "Come back to me with all your heart. Don't let fear keep us apart. Long have I waited for you coming home to me and living deeply our new life."

"OK," I said. "I'm going." Sounds pretty amazing, I know. But it gets even more amazing because, what I didn't know then, but do know now, is that the music team had skipped an entire half of a verse in order that I might get that message as was. You see, "Long have I waited for your coming..." is the beginning of the refrain in Hosea, but "Don't let fear keep us apart" is not the end of the verse. There's an entire second line that comes between that part of the verse and the refrain--a nice phrase, but not one that would have punctuated the point as much as what I actually heard. God is amazing. And that was just the beginning. Some time later, as I was thrust into some tribulations, I realized why I had to go alone that day.

What a blessing that He made me go alone--yet, not alone, because, through the music team, He gave me the strength to choose wisely. What would my life be like today had I stayed home that day a little over a decade ago? What other blessings would I have missed?

Now, you might find it unbelievable when I tell you that I almost didn't go to the bishop's installation. I got irritated a couple of days before with some things that were going on, and had decided I could just stay home and watch it on TV like every other Ordinary Joe in the diocese, but then my mother reminded me of something I had once told her (don't you hate it when people do that? :) ) "Don't let something you can't do anything about deprive you of a wonderful experience. You'll regret it later." And you know, she was right (Don't tell her I said that; it'll go to her head. :)). Not only did I realize it the moment the ceremony began, it hit me more fully when our new bishop raised from his knees and was escorted around the altar table to sit in his place as our diocese's chief shepherd. The Holy Spirit's presence was so palpable that words cannot describe it. What a blessing not only to be there, but to be a particpant in the ceremony via the choir.

First, the words of Hosea sung from the basement, then my mother's words urging me at just the right moment. God's blessings are many in the small and in the great. I try to remember that--although, I don't always succeed. Blessings abound. There are the great blessings--those times when we're able to see the fruits of our evangeliztion efforts, or God sends someone with a message that is the perfect message for the perfect situation at the perfect moment in time, or we're privileged to suffer for the sake of the Gospel. But there are also those smaller blessings--those times when we're given three minutes to listen to a favourite song, or we find a stolen moment to read a great story--or a poor one. :) Or to see how the eighty-year-old married couple in the pew in front looks at each other as though they just met when we know they've been married for sixty years.

God showers blessings on us every day, we need but to realize that every moment is a new opportunity to see God's love for us in action.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Dedicating a story...

I thought long and hard about the dedication for my first inspirational romance, Dreams Do Come True, which was released yesterday by White Rose Publishing. After thinking about dedicating it to everyone who's ever read any of my writing, I decided to go for a dedication that also fit the story. What did I finally choose?

To all writers struggling with rejection: Never give up hope.

I've spent years receiving one rejection after another. Dreams Do Come True was rejected twice before White Rose Publishing offered me a contract. Even though there were times I thought I'd never receive a contract from a publisher, I couldn't give up my dream. That perseverance (some might call it stubbornness) is what made me keep submitting even when it seemed pointless. I'd gotten to the point where I expected a rejection from every submission I made, but I also made sure each of those submissions was as perfect as I could make it.

All the hard work of learning the craft of writing and rewriting nearly everything finally paid off. Last year, two of my short stories were accepted for publication by non-paying markets. I know that doesn't sound like much of an accomplishment, but those were my first pieces of fiction published, and one of the markets had rejected my work in the past.

With the confidence those acceptances gave me, I pulled out Dreams Do Come True (which had previously been rejected) and did a little rewriting and polishing and submitted it to White Rose Publishing (which was still the White Rose line of The Wild Rose Press at that point). I had a good feeling about it, sure this would be the publisher for my story. Then I received the email from the editor telling me it was good as far as it went, but I needed to make it longer.

Big sigh. I had absolutely no idea how to make it longer. I'd written the story until the ideas stopped coming. So, I spent a few days praying, thinking, and discussing it with my critique partners. To my surprise (and relief), the ideas started flowing. I added a few thousand words, wrote a much more satisfying ending, and sent the new and improved manuscript to the editor. Her response? She gave me a contract!

With a writing history like that, and since the heroine of Dreams Do Come True is a writer struggling to find a publisher, I had to dedicate it to all the writers going through their own struggles on the road to publication.

All I can say is this: If I can do it, so can you. All it takes is willingness to work hard, learn everything you can about writing and storytelling, and accept constructive criticism. I have yet to hear of anyone who writes a perfect first draft. Even the most well-written manuscript will come back from an editor with a few markings.

Aspiring author Cassie Teague has been rejected…again. As she considers giving up her dream of getting published, a handsome editor walks into her life and makes her wonder if God has more in store for her than just writing.

Acquisitions editor David Jameson wants more than just Cassie’s book. But will office politics destroy his hope for the future?

Dreams Do Come True by E.A. West is available now from White Rose Publishing.

Monday, April 20, 2009

How Our First Reader Graced Us

Our new cover from gifted cover artist, Nicola Martinez.
Isn't it stunning?

Last summer we anticipated the release of our first White Rose book - our first published book ever.  Imagine our excitement, joy and, yes, anxiety about the next step after publishing.  Will we reach Readers?  If they take the chance on unknown authors will they enjoy our voice, be touched by our faith inspired messages and happily travel our story's journey?

A few days after the magical release date of JEWEL OF THE ADRIATIC, my (Pat) husband, Nick, borrowed by car to drive to weekday Mass. [Important note: my license plate reads: KM DAUTR - the vanity plate a gift from Nick after we completed our first manuscript.]  After Mass a woman approached Nick and questioned him, reportedly incredulous, "Are you K.M. Daughters?"

Nick explained that his wife and sister-in-law (Kathie) write under the penname and the woman further inquired how she might purchase our new book.  Turns out the lady, Rosemary Kaenel, is a Wild Rose Press author (Last Rose of Summer, Rosette, It's Called Love) and her interest struck me as heaven sent.

Our book features Marian apparitions and the rose is associated with visions of the mother of God, her favorite flower - a pivotal reason why we submitted to The Wild ROSE Press after we completed the manuscript.  A woman named "Rose" "Mary" wanted to buy this book?  I couldn't deliver it to her fast enough.

An instant connection occurred with Rosemary.  She's a lovely person - interesting, interested, engaging, gracious, funny, quietly - deeply religious.  Amazing, she has sung the Lord's praises in our church choir for seventy years!  I produced the autographed book for her, our first sale, our first official Reader!  When she had finished reading it she took the time to send an email to tell us she loved it and why.  Such a precious gift.

But there's more!  A few months later I received another email from her advising me to call a local bookstore right away.  She had just visited the store and convinced the owner to host a signing for K.M. Daughters.  We made the arrangements and on a bitter cold January day (in the Chicago environs cold is bitter cold) we sold enough copies that the store wants us back to sign ROSE OF THE ADRIATIC! 

Rosemary attended the signing affording us the chance to hug her for her lovely good deed.  Our fellow White Roses are attuned to the angels among us.  How nice to have the chance to single one out and share her with you.

I did seize the opportunity to return the small favor of purchasing her Rosette and sent her an email to tell her why I loved it.  She told me she's eagerly awaiting the July 31, 2009 release of our sequel (ROSE OF THE ADRIATIC). We found a Reader, or should I say, she found us - and we gained a dear friend.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Win a Sony E Reader!

Visit between April 1, 2009 and May 30, 2009 and purchase any title from any of the sponsoring authors.

It's easy to enter: Once you purchase a book or short story from any of the participating authors (free read downloads, excluded), email your order number to

That's it.

In addition to the wonderful inspirational stories available at White Rose Publishing, SONY will include $25 worth of free downloads from their site with every reader we give away. So enter now!

If you purchase more than one title, you can enter more than one time.

For questions regarding the contest contact Rhonda Penders at

*Full details, the list of participating authors, and no purchase necessary rules are on the website

Winners will be announced on WRP's website on June 1, 2009! Good Luck!

Friday, April 17, 2009

So what does the folded napkin mean?

Twenty years ago today, April 17th, hundreds of Chinese people marched into Tiananmen Square begging for freedom from the oppressive government. The government’s response was to run over them with tanks. As Americans, I think it is easy for us to take our freedom for granted. I know I certainly do. There might be many things wrong with our country, but there are also many things right. America is the land of the free!

My country allows me to be free and for that I will be forever grateful. But also my Savior allows me to be free. We just celebrated Easter, but really, what does that mean? What happened two thousand years ago in Jerusalem on those three days between Good Friday and Easter changed everything.

After Jesus rose from the dead, He did something quite interesting. He carefully folded the napkin that covered His face. The Gospel of John (20:1-11) tells us the napkin, which was placed over the face of Jesus, was not just thrown aside like the grave clothes.

When Simon Peter arrived at the tomb, he went inside and noticed the linen wrappings lying there, while the cloth that had covered Jesus' head was folded up and lying to the side. The Bible takes an entire verse to tell us that the napkin was neatly folded, and placed at the head of the coffin.


In order to understand the significance of the folded napkin, we need to understand Hebrew tradition of that day. The folded napkin had to do with the Master and Servant. When the master finished eating, he would wipe his face with the napkin and then wad it up and toss it on the table. The servant would know to clear the table because the wadded napkin meant, "I'm done."

But if the master got up from the table, and folded his napkin, and laid it beside his plate, the servant wouldn’t touch the table, because..........The folded napkin meant, “I'm coming back!”

Jesus is Coming Back!

And we don’t need to be ashamed. He won’t run over us with His tank, so to speak. He doesn’t want to oppress us. He wants us to be free. We are freed from sin, freed from death, freed from punishment. We are free to live, free to laugh, free to smile. We are free to enter His throne room of GRACE, for that is where we belong.

Let’s enjoy the freedom our Lord has given us every day. It is a precious free gift, bought for us at His great cost.

Lots of Love,
Janelle Ashley

Don’t forget Wildflower in Bloom is available at It is an Easter story that can be enjoyed every day of the year.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

A Day in a Writer's Life

Good morning! Today I thought I'd share a day in my writing life. I also run a small business with my husband but I'm caught up (for once!) and I'm dedicating the day totally to writing. I really need to since I have major revisions to do on my latest novel, Violets for Vanessa.

Here's my plan for the day. I got up about 6:15am. Threw on sweats and a t-shirt. LOVE working from home days! Watched the news with my husband and ate breakfast - my usual yogurt, berries, granola, and walnuts with a glass of OJ and a vitamin. Kissed hubby goodbye as he went off to work. Now writing my blog so you could read it first thing.

I will read my devotional "Our Daily Bread" and pray over my life and my writing. I'll undoubtedly do the dishes and straighten the house, maybe toss in a load of laundry. Then to work!

Today's revisions include making my hero more "heroic." I gave him some flaws so I could show his growth. Apparently I went a bit overboard on that! My editor wants him fixed and I agree with her. Chad James is getting an attitude adjustment today. In additon, my heroine isn't showing enough emotion. She's been sexually abused and is naturally shy and reserved. Although there's plenty of emotion brewing underneath, Vanessa Gallagher is keeping her feelings to herself - and not even sharing them with the reader! So she needs fixing too. I hope to start writing by 8:00. I'll make a cup of vanilla almond tea with honey and sip as I write.

I'll take a break around noon for lunch - a week-after-Easter egg salad sandwich and an apple. I'll probably check email and switch laundry from washer to dryer, maybe fold a load of clothes as I'll need a diversion for a bit. And call my daughter who's away at college. She's coming home this weekend and we need to confirm our plans. :)

Back to work and write the rest of the afternoon. Isn't this exciting? LOL Around 5:00 I'd like to take a walk outside. I'll need some fresh air by then! Pet our outside cat and feed her supper. I'll check to see if the daffodils are blooming yet. I live in a cold zone of northeast Ohio and spring lags behind a bit up here.

Time to make dinner, and yes, I cook. Today's menu is scallops (the frozen less-expensive kind) with pasta and vegetables. I'll slice some fresh strawberries too. Wow, this sounds like I'm such a healthy eater and truly I deviate waaaay too often. Did I mention the mini-cupcakes leftover from Easter or the box of chocolates on my buffet? Or that I ate McDonalds for lunch AND dinner on Tuesday????

The evening will probably consist of the excitement of television and a phone call to my son - also away at college and coming home this weekend. Next week is my husband's birthday and we're going to dinner on Sunday.

Well, that's my writing day. Like I said, this dedicated day is unusual. Yesterday I went to NewCastle, Pennsylvania on business in the morning and wrote in the afternoon. Tuesday morning I took care of paperwork, email, and made bookmarks, had lunch with a friend I hadn't seen in years, ran banking errands, etc., and then rushed home to change and get ready for a booksigning. I sold several copies of the first two books in The Crystal Falls Series, Lilacs for Laura and Roses for Rachel. Monday was business paperwork til 6:00pm, eat Easter leftovers, rake gravel and leaves in the yard for an hour and a half, and then work on revisions until late into the evening.

Every day is different - and that's what makes life interesting! (sometimes....)

God Bless YOUR Day!

:) Dianne Miley
Lilacs for Laura; Roses for Rachel
Available from

"'For I know the plans I have for you,' saith the Lord. 'Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'" Jeremiah 29:11

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Special Guest - Julie Lessman!

The White Roses are proud to have as our guest today, Julie Lessman!
Julie Lessman is an author who has garnered much writing acclaim, including ten Romance Writers of America awards. She resides in Missouri with her husband and their golden retriever, and has two grown children and a daughter-in-law. She is the author of The Daughters of Boston series, which includes A Passion Most Pure, A Passion Redeemed, and A Passion Denied. You can visit Julie at her Web site at


She’s found the love of her life.
Unfortunately, he loves her sister.

As World War I rages across the Atlantic in 1916, a smaller war is brewing in Boston. Faith O’Connor finds herself drawn to an Irish rogue who is anything but right for her. Collin McGuire is brash, cocky, and from the wrong side of the tracks, not to mention forbidden by her father. And then there’s the small matter that he is secretly courting her younger sister. But when Collin’s affections suddenly shift her way, it threatens to tear Faith’s proper Boston family apart.
Book 1 of the Daughters of Boston series, A Passion Most Pure will carry your heart from the sophisticated streets of Boston to the green hills of Ireland as men go off to war and women long for their return. Full of passion, romance, rivalry, and betrayal, it will captivate you from the first page.

Depth of beauty … shallow of heart, Charity O’Connor is a woman who gets what she wants. She sets her sights on a man who wants nothing to do with her, and although the sparks are there, he refuses to fan the coals of a potential relationship with a woman who ruined his life. Charity burned him once, destroying his engagement to the only woman he ever truly loved. He won’t play with matches again. But Charity has a plan to turn up the heat, hoping to ignite the heart of the man she loves. And she always gets what she wants—one way or another.
And Coming May 2009!
Book 3, A Passion Denied, is the story of Faith and Charity’s little sister, Lizzie, a shy bookworm who dreams of a fairy-tale romance. It unfolds a man’s dark past and a young girl’s shattered dreams … and the God who redeems it all.
Elizabeth O’Connor is the little sister John always longed for. With a fire for God in his belly, he has been her spiritual mentor since she was thirteen, sharing her love of literature and her thirst for God. But when his gangly protégé blossoms into a beautiful young woman bent on loving him, he refuses to act on the attraction he feels. His past won’t let him go there. Unfortunately, “Lizzie” won’t let him go anywhere else … until his dark and shocking secrets push her away.
Check out Julie's Daughter's of Boston Series today ~ and watch for 3 more in the series!
Until later....take care and Be Blessed.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Wendy Davy's New Inspirational Novel

Night Waves is Coming Soon

I’m excited to announce my new inspirational romance novel, Night Waves, is on its way to being released. The date will be announced on my website as soon as I get the word. For now, check out the blurb below:

Newspaper reporter, Cali Stevens, boldly walks into Sheriff Nick Justice’s office, with one goal in mind: To find her best friend who disappeared while vacationing. When the no-nonsense sheriff refuses to give her details of the investigation, Cali takes matters into her own hands and starts her own investigation. She never intends to fall for the sheriff…or into the clutches of the Coral Isle’s first serial kidnapper.
Coral Isle’s recent abductions give Nick Justice enough to worry about without adding any complications into the mix, and his attraction to Cali Stevens is definitely a complication. When Nick encourages Cali to leave the island, she refuses. Now he must manage to find the missing women while keeping Cali and the rest of the women on Coral Isle safe.

If you get a chance, stop by my website at to read an excerpt and view the trailer. Thanks!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

God is everywhere

Two weeks ago, I went to Las Vegas for the weekend. My husband and I go every year with the partners at his office as part of a trip to entertain clients. Not being a big gambler, I spend most of time on these trips lounging by the Bellagio pool or shopping – because yes, the shopping in Vegas is fabulous.

This year I wanted to try something different. Vegas is surrounded by gorgeous mountains, something I never see since I’m from South Central Texas. I thought it would be fun to go horseback riding and see some of the scenery. So, I scheduled a two-hour trail ride through Red Rocks Canyon. My only challenge would be getting there from the Las Vegas strip. If there’s one thing I dread about going to Vegas, it’s the cab rides. I remember reading somewhere that at least one pedestrian a week is hit by a car in Vegas and I believe it. Those cab drivers terrify me.

I entered my taxi that was to sweep me off to mountain paradise with more than a little trepidation. Red Rocks Canyon was a good 25 minutes away so I was in it for the long haul. But as soon as I slid across the cracked vinyl seat, a beautiful sound came to my ears.

Caught a glimpse of your splendor
In the corner of my eye
The most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen
And it was like a flash of lightning
Reflected off the sky
And I know I’ll never be the same

It was one of my favorite songs playing on the taxi’s radio.

“Is this K-Love?” I asked the driver.

“No, it’s SOS,” he said.

“Oh.” I smiled at him through the rear-view mirror. “This is Third Day. My favorite band.”

His eyes lit up and he turned around. “Are you a Christian?”

His question struck me somewhat by surprise. I live in the Bible belt. Texas – the land of the mega-churches. Not very often has anyone asked me if I’m a Christian. Interestingly enough, I would be asked that question no less than three times on my weekend trip to Las Vegas. “Yes!”

He turned the music up. All the way to the canyon, we talked about Jesus, even though sometimes we had to yell above the praise music. It was a wonderful ride. And when I went on the trail ride, my guide was a Mexican cowboy who told me all about his struggle to fit in and find a good Christian church in Vegas.

As we approach Easter – the original Third Day – try to remember that God is everywhere. He turns up in even the most unexpected places, even the back of a taxi cab in Sin City.

To celebrate the holiday, I’m giving away a free print copy of my Easter romance Love, Lilies & the Unbroken Straw. For your chance to win, simply visit my personal blog at Leave a comment on the most recent blog entry and you’ll automatically be entered in the drawing. I will choose the winner’s name at random on Easter Sunday.

Have a glorious Easter rich with God’s blessings,


Teri Wilson ~ Romancing the pet lover’s soul

Friday, April 10, 2009

It's Easter....What Have You Done?

Authors are encouraged to sum up their novel in one sentence for the instance you meet up with an editor or agent and only have a minute or two to pitch your idea to them. In television, this is known as a log line - that short description you see in the tv guide.

Here's a couple of one-liners or log lines I've come up with for my books....

The chance we all long for, the chance to start over ~ The Inheritance.
Are we the sum of our choices? ~ Choices
Can stubborn hearts be tempered unto the will of the Lord? ~ Tempered Hearts
Can joy be found amidst tragedy and grief? ~ Tempered Joy

You'll see these for every novel and short story in the slideshow of covers in the sidebar on my blog.

My husband tells the story of one sermon that has stuck with him all of his life - one sentence or rather one question .....

"It's Easter, what have you done?"

As we enter the holiest weekend of the year - pause and reflect on your life, sum it up in one sentence and then pray that God show you what to change so that at the end of your life, you'll hear the one sentence we all long to hear out of the mouth of our Lord.....

"Well done, good and faithful servant."

God Bless & Happy Easter.

Pamela S Thibodeaux
"Inspirational with an Edge!"

Thursday, April 9, 2009

What's in a Name?

A few weekends ago, my young daughter’s hamster died. Okay, being the loving mom that I am, I immediately agreed to get her another one because there’s nothing cuter than a furry fluff ball of a rodent that can do acrobats on the sides of the wire cage and spin for hours on her wheel. So the other night was the big night. All the way down to the big box pet store we discussed new names.

Keep in mind that I loved the deceased hamster’s name Mousla. It suited the somewhat lazy, okay if it will amuse you I’ll spin on my wheel for you Russian Dwarf hamster, which spent a lot of time eating and sleeping.

Well, my darling daughter decided this new hamster was going to be named Twister. I should have stopped the car right then and there and turned around. No way should I have allowed my precocious child to walk through those big, glass double doors. No way should I have allowed that darling of mine to even look at a cage filled with ROBO dwarf hamsters. The name alone should have sent shivers down my spine. ROBO. I’ve got images of the Terminator flitting through my consciousness even as I write this. A super-stud hamster on a mission to take out everything in its path.

“But they’re so cute, Mama. Paleeze?”

“Oh, honey, let’s go see what the other big box store has.”

“But they’re so cute and you promised.” Foot stomping on ground now. “I want one.”

Okay, so now it’s images of the spoilt brat from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

“I know I promised sweetie. How about one of those docile, sleeping ones in this cage?”

“Boring.” My son pipes in. “How about a rat? We can name him Remy, like in the movie Ratatouille.”

“Er, no honey, your dad doesn’t like rats.”

Neither does your mom because they do not look as cute as Hollywood portrays them.

“May I help you?” An unsuspecting Michael approaches with a key.

NO! “May we see one of those cute, little hamsters over there, please?”

“Can I have two?”

“One.” She tricked me. I was in over my head now.

My first clue to my future nightmare should have been when it took Michael a few minutes to capture our new pet. The pet house went belly up. The wheel tipped over. Wood chips went flying as if struck by a tornado-er-Twister.

After we got our fluff ball home, I realized she could jump. Close to twelve inches straight up in the air. And if she got away would be almost impossible to catch. We have dogs that chase anything. Not a good combination, people.

So after some quick internet research, I discovered she might be able to escape through the metal bars of her cage. Not a good thing to figure out AFTER she’s home. Being the kind mom that I am and not wanting to have to attend another pet funeral so quickly, I switched cages with my son’s hamster that lived in an aquarium. Fortunately, the switch-off went without a glitch. So now we can see all the acrobatics, and dervishes this hamster on speed creates.

Or a Twister.

What’s in a name? Isn’t that a loaded question? As a writer, a lot. As a mom, well….lets just say I should have put my writer’s cap on instead of wearing my heart on my sleeve.

Aside from the usual naming books that give me the meaning and the background of a name, my other favorite research guide is Pierre Le Rouzic’s The Name Book. This book contains incredible information on the personality and characteristics of a name.

For instance, in my latestmanuscript, the heroine’s name is Ruth. Her highly tuned emotions and high moral code are perfect for the caring and nurturing medical profession she works in, as opposed to say an Andrea or Erica, who would be better suited for a career elsewhere. Or my hero, Noah, a pilot who needs adventure but tends to be on the stubborn side and won’t let go of his son’s death.

A lot goes into naming a character, or a child, or a pet. Somehow Twister didn’t quite make it into Pierre’s book, but I can see the entry if there was one. Highly active, able to climb walls in a single bound, super speed energy without the benefit of caffeine. Kind of like a child I know. And last but not least, a cute, furry fluff ball that will worm its way into the hearts of unsuspecting humans.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Guest Hana Haatainen Caye

The White Roses would like to introduce to our readers the talented Pittsburgh writer and voice over artist Hana Haatainen Caye. Hana’s copywriting and voice over agency SPEECHLESS serves the needs of individuals world-wide.

We are happy to have Hana join us today. Please leave her comments and questions.

Hana is a talented and versatile writer and voice over artist with over thirty years’ experience.

Voice over services:
A trained actress and public speaker
Corporate narrations
Audio books
Dramatic readings
Web voice-overs
eLearning modules
Character voices
IVR systems and messages on hold

Writing services:
SEO copywriting
Press releases
Radio and television commercials
Professional bios
On hold messages
Personal or business letters
Children’s books
Short stories
Magazine articles

Editing and proofreading:
Many websites and publications, including
the best-selling Chicken Soup for the Soul series

The Clear Choice
Welcome, Hana. Could you tell us when you first started writing?

I’ve been writing since elementary school. I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t writing. I started out with simple poems, like:

Who has Lou’s
Other shoe?
She needs two.

I’ve since developed that short poem into a picture book.

I double-majored in Creative Writing and Theatre Arts in college, after being honored with my high school’s Creative Writing Award and Best Actress Award my senior year, so the writing just continues to evolve.

I would like to talk about one of your earlier writings, The Nickel Story, published in Chicken Soup for Grieving Soul in 2003. What was that story about?

It was a wonderful story about an elderly couple that attended my church. When Frank met Susan, she was a young widowed mother and he vowed to win her heart. She walked past him while he was playing pinball and caused the machine to tilt so he told her she owed him a nickel. Shortly before he died, after celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary, Frank gave that very same nickel to our minister and instructed him to give it to Susan at the funeral. “Tell her I’ll be waiting by the pinball machine,” was his message to his bride. It’s a moving story and I was honored to have it published in the Chicken Soup series.

Hana, you’ve had your share of heartache in your life, including the loss of your first husband in an explosion. Isn’t it true many people thought The Nickel Story was written about your life?

Well, not actually. Of course, when they heard I was being published in the Grieving Soul anthology, they jumped to that conclusion. However, the story doesn’t reflect my loss in any way.

My husband was killed in an industrial fire, surviving only 23 hours with third-degree burns on 98% of his body. He was 34 at the time and we had two young daughters.

How do you heal from such a horrendous loss?

There’s a simple one-word answer to that: Grace. God’s amazing, all-encompassing Grace. It was a long road, but I never walked it alone.

And you eventually met and married a wonderful man, and together, you have five adult daughters. But something from your past haunted you, something you prayed for and hoped for with all your heart. Could you share with us what that was, Hana?

Before I started dating my first husband, Jim, I got pregnant to another man. I was 22 and living alone in Pittsburgh. Without family here for support, I decided to surrender my child for adoption. During my pregnancy, however, I started dating Jim. Even though we planned to be married the following year, I still decided it was best for everyone involved that I go through with the adoption.

I chose a family from profiles I was given, knowing only a few details about them, and not knowing their name.

I gave birth to a beautiful, perfect 7 lb. 12 oz. baby girl, lovingly cared for her in the hospital, prayed over her, sang her lullabies, and then handed her to a nurse three days later. That was the most difficult thing I’ve ever done in my life. I was so in love with her. I’d journaled to her throughout my pregnancy and beyond; journal entries expressing such love and deep loss.

Jim and I married less than one year later. Three days after our first anniversary, I gave birth to another baby girl, followed by a third one two years later. But my heart still ached for the one I gave away. My precious Meagan Rae.

Through the years, my other daughters were raised knowing about their older sister. They were with me each year as I grieved the loss of her on her birthday. I would by a card, write a note to her, seal it, and stash it away, in hopes of being able to share it with her someday. I would also buy a birthday cake, light candles and we’d sing Happy Birthday to the empty chair. Her birthday’s were heart-breaking days for me. How I longed to hold her one more time.

When I signed over the rights to my daughter, I also signed a form stating that if, when she was 18, she wished to find me, they could release my information. As her 18th birthday approached, I became consumed with hope of a reunion. I prayed fervently and waited by the phone. But her 18th birthday came and went. As did her 19th, 20th, 21st, and so on. Part of me would fall into deep depressions as I wondered why she hadn’t bothered to find me. I signed up on all the Internet sites for reunions, posting all the information she needed in case she was searching and didn’t know to go back to the agency. At times, I was almost desperate in my longing.

And God eventually answered your prayers, interceding through The Nickel Story. Readers would love to be inspired by your touching story. How did God reunite you and your daughter through your writing?

One Sunday, a couple of weeks past her 23rd birthday, I submitted an anonymous prayer request during our church service. It simply read Pray for Meagan to find her birthmother. The following Friday night, I spent a few hours scouring the Internet in hopes she’d registered somewhere looking for her birthmother. Discouraged, I turned off my computer and went into the bathroom to get ready for bed. It was one a.m. I looked in the mirror, with tears running down my face, and said, “Meagan, where are you? Why can’t you find me?”

At the same time, 10 miles away, my daughter’s adoptive mother was working on her computer. Suddenly, my name flashed through her mind, so she typed it into a search engine. Twenty-three years before this particular night, she read my name upside-down on the adoption papers. Being that my name has a unique spelling, she never was able to remember exactly how it was spelled. But as she entered it into her computer, an article appeared and she knew she had found me. She immediately phoned her daughter, who was out for the evening, and told her to come home. “I found her,” she explained. “I found your birthmom!”

The two of them stayed up all night, waiting for the right time to call me. At 8:15 a.m. my phone rang and I heard an unfamiliar voice start talking about a story I’d written for Chicken Soup for the Soul and an article the Post Gazette ran about me. I was annoyed at the early hour of the call on a Saturday morning and was ready to hang up on her when I heard her say, “I think I’m your daughter.”

I can’t even imagine the whirlwind of emotions storming through your head when you heard your daughter’s voice for the first time after so many years. Can you put those feelings into words?

When I realized what was happening, all I could say was, “Oh my God. Oh my God. Oh my God.” I don’t take that phrase lightly and rarely say it. My youngest daughter came running downstairs to find out what was wrong. Through my tears I told her, “It’s Meagan. It’s Meagan.” She immediately burst into tears herself and ran upstairs to get her cell phone to call her sister, who was at work. My husband, Bill, asked what was going on and came running downstairs to see for himself. After 45 minutes of everyone getting on the phone and talking to her and to her mom, we agreed to meet at 1:00 that afternoon.

It was a magical meeting. Both families coming together to celebrate a life given and a life cared for. I cannot adequately describe my feelings, but I can say that October 11, 2003 was the best day of my life. The joy was beyond belief. Holding her again (although she’s a good two inches taller than me!), seeing the joy on my children’s faces as they embraced their sister for the first time, and finally experiencing an answered prayer that was as much as part of me as every breath I take. Indescribable.

One final question. Do you have any inspiring words or a quote to leave us with before you leave?

Wow. Everything that comes to mind seems so cliché. I guess the bottom line is to never give up on your dreams. Whether it’s to finally see your name in print or to find what you’ve been looking for nearly all of your life, dreams do come true. Prayers are answered. Joy can be complete. Sometimes it just takes a little longer than we hoped it would.

Thank you for joining us, Hana. As many times as I’ve heard this story, it never fails to send chills racing down my spine. Hana placed her burden in God’s hands and never stopped believing. Just like the white roses blooming in our garden, FAITH is the cornerstone of love.

Read The Nickel Story and more on Hana’s website:

Hana Haatainen Caye
Writer bringing out the best in words!
Voice Talent adding LIFE to all your audio projects!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Easter Lilies about to Bloom

You may have heard the buzz last year about the Easter Lilies contest. To enter, you needed to submit a story which in some way used this Bible verse from Song of Solomon 2:2: “Like a lily among the thorns, so is my darling among the maidens."

Three stories were chosen as winners and after a long wait, those stories are about to be released.

Under the 5th St. Bridge by Carla Rossi will be released on April 9.

Wildflower in Bloom by Janelle Ashley will be released on April 10.

By Another Name by Ashley Elizabeth Ludwig will be released on April 11.

Want to know more? Visit the Easter Lilies page at White Rose Publishing.

Want a free copy? Visit Christian Review of Books and enter their contest. Also at this site you can read a brief interview with each author and review of each story. The White Roses in Bloom would like to thank Roseanna White at Christian Review of Books for arranging all this!

And if this isn't enough for you, check out some of the other Easter titles by White Rose authors.

Lasting Love is a recent release by Sharon Donovan.

Considering Lily is a part of the Orchard Hill Romance series by Kara Lynn Russell.

Love, Lilies & the Broken Straw from the Hoofbeats and Heartstrings series by Teri Wilson from our parent company The Wild Rose Press.

Did I forget any White Rose Easter stories? If so, please tell us about it in a comment.

Wishing A Blessed Easter to All,

Monday, April 6, 2009

Help! I love to read but don't have the time

I'm an avid reader. My mother introduced me to reading long before I could talk. I am also a wife, mother, grandmother, daughter, writer and housekeeper. So when do I have time to read just for fun? and Are you having trouble finding time to read just for fun?

Ask yourself these questions:

Can I read while waiting in line at the supermarket? While waiting to see the doctor or dentist?

My answer: I love reading while I'm at sonic. For me reading while I wait is great! I carry a book with me everywhere I go. I read while waiting in line with my groceries or at Walmart... I confess, I love their long lines, it gives me more time to read.

Can I go to bed an hour early and read? Or get up an hour earlier then the rest of my family and relax with a good book?

My answer: I try to go to bed early so that I can read. Beware, sometimes the book is so good I spend most of the night reading. I read in the morning too but that is Bible and Devotional reading. I love getting up earlier then everyone else and reading the wonderful stories in the Bible. They are amazing and true.

Is there one hour of the day that I can just relax and read?

My answer: Since I'm a stay at home writer, I will often sit down after lunch and just read for an hour. I have to set the kitchen timer or will end up there all afternoon :)

I hope this has helped you to see that you can get your reading time in. So go ahead... relax with a good book. I know I will.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!

Greetings to everyone today, the beginning of Holy Week.

Easter has always been my favorite time of year. As a Christian, I hold to the resurrection as the cornerstone of my faith. Just think about it...the stone is rolled away and the tomb is empty. Doesn’t it send the proverbial shiver down your spine every time you hear it? Celebrate large this week, my friends. He is risen – He is risen, indeed!

Coming Thursday...
Under the 5th Street Bridge

Here’s the blurb:
Last Easter, Trey Lawson returned from war with a combat injury and a long road to recovery. A year later, his life appears to be back on track, but he’s not exactly where God wants him. He couldn’t be. He’s miserable. Joy Cavanaugh has waited a year for Trey to snap out of it. Their once-serious relationship has all but disappeared since his return. She’s convinced he still loves her, but why has he shut her out? He’s made it clear he’d rather spend his time ministering to the homeless men under the 5th Street bridge than to allow her back into his life. As they herald the holiest of all Christian celebrations, can Trey let God resurrect his life, or will Joy have to give him up forever?

Carla Rossi is the author of Limited Light and Almost Home. Visit Carla at or by e-mail at

Friday, April 3, 2009

Precious Children

I just experienced the joy of becomming a grandparent. One of my daughters gave birth to precious baby boy born on March 4th. As I looked into his little face, I thought of how beloved he was to us even before he was born. And I thought of how we, as imperfect parents and grandparents let phyical fatigue, moods and temperaments affect the way we deal with those we love the most.
God, as the perfect parent, loves with perfect love. He is patient and never tiring. And he has good plans for our lives. However, just as children must learn to trust their parents even when they don't understand the "why" behind some decisions, we are called to trust God. This isn't always easy when life is tough. However, the rewards are eternal.
With this in mind, I wrote my novel, LOVE NEVER LIES. Trusting in God as well as others is not always easy. Hurts from the past often get in the way. In this story, my heroine, Julie, had trust issues from a previous romance. Therefore, when she met the new church counselor, romance was the last thing on her mind. Yet, something about him captivated her. He was gentle and fun loving, patient, and had a good sense of humor. And, he was a widower with a young daughter who tugged at Julie’s maternal instincts. He seemed to be a good father and a devoted believer. In spite of herself, Julie was falling in love. She never imagined that a crisis would arise and that all the traits she loved might drive a wedge between them. Could he be trusted or would he break her heart?

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Wildflower in Bloom

I just came inside from my balcony where the breeze whipping across the San Francisco Bay carried the fresh scent of lilacs and wisteria growing in my backyard. Not many things in life are more wonderful than flowers.

The Wild Rose Press held an Easter contest and the criteria was that we had to incorporate the scripture from Song of Soloman 2:2, “Like a lily among the thorns, so is my darling among the maidens." Imagining a beautiful lily made me think about what it takes for a flower to thrive. I believe the sun could represent the warmth of God’s love, and the rain is like the Holy Spirit who quenches our dry and thirsty soul. Being rooted and grounded in rich soil comes from immersing ourselves in the Word and abiding. But even with all this provision, some flowers still wither. In spite of the fact that as believers we have the warm sun, cool rain, and rich soil, we sometimes still wither for no apparent reason.

In my own life I know I sometimes wither because of fear. Fear of failure, fear of rejection, fear of the unknown. Three hundred and sixty-five times the Bible tells us, “Fear not.” One command for each day of the year. There is no reason for us to ever wither in fear when you consider all God has given us to be strong and courageous.

The theme of Wildflower in Bloom is overcoming fear. My heroine Poppy lives in fear because of heart wrenching tragedy in her past. Her pet raven Henry chooses to live within the bars of a cage instead of spreading his wings and enjoying the world. Henry is a symbol of Poppy who isolates herself in her quest for safety. Throughout the story Poppy learns to live in a world outside the bars of fear. We all need to constantly remember that perfect love casts out fear.
Here is the copy for Wildflower in Bloom:

Barton Remington has always thought of his best friend's little sister as an untamed dirty-faced tomboy, but after a six year absence he returns home to find this little wildflower all grown up and much too appealing for her own good.
Poppy Mandelville is merely a merchant's daughter, so when Barton returns from the war, and she discovers her childish infatuation has bloomed into love, she must put aside all hope of a match with the future Earl of Birmingham? Or must she?

The three winning rosettes will be released April 9th, 10th, and 11th on ebook format on The White Rose website. I hope you get a chance to read them all.

Wildflower in Bloom by Janelle Ashley
By Another Name by Ashley Ludwig
Under the 5th Street Bridge by Carla Rossi

Win a Sony eReader

White Rose Publishing is holding it's officially Grand Opening bash all during the month of April, and to kick it off, they are holding a drawing for a free Sony eReader. This is your opportunity to find out more about some of the White Roses in Bloom members, get a great read (yes, you can enter the drawing with no purchase necessary, but then, what are you going to read?) and perhaps win a great eReader. On top of that, Sony is also giving the winner $25 worth of free eBook downloads from their eBook store.

Click the Win a Sony Reader! image, or HERE, for more details

Interview with Writer Rhonda Clark

Allow me to introduce my friend Rhonda Clark. She is a freelance writer, blogger and novelist. She lives in Memphis, Tennessee with her husband and two children, where she is a stay-at-home mom. Her hobbies include spending time with her children, reading and volunteering at her church. Please sit back and enjoy getting to know Rhonda with me. (You know you wanted that second cup of coffee anyway.)

Q: Rhonda, you have an impressive bibliography of published articles. Can you tell us a little about your work?

A: Thanks, I’ve never thought of it as “impressive.” It’s just what God wants me to do. He has blessed me with a quirky way of seeing things. I can find Him and His teachings in places most others never would. I’m excited to be able to reach others with Christ’s message through my work.

Q: What other roles do you fill in life besides "writer?" How do you maintain the balance between them?

A: I’m a wife, and stay-at-home-mom of two. The three of them keep me busy with soccer, football, basketball, softball, and whatever else is going on in their lives. Around here, each day is a new adventure. Finding balance is sometimes tough, and I couldn’t do it without God’s blessings. He keeps me on track.

Q: What do you find rewarding about writing?

A: It’s a release for me, a cleansing process for my mind and emotions. I’m one of these people who has a mind that seldom stops, it’s always running. Writing allows me to exhaust my thoughts and my brain to the point of relaxation. What’s so very cool is I get to share God’s message of love and redemption while doing something for myself.

Q: Tell us about the podcast you've recently started with The Christian Pulse.

A: At The Christian Pulse we call it a pulsecast, and this is my newest adventure. The Inkwell debuted in March, and is a show dedicated to interviewing writers about their books. It airs the second week of every month with a contest that runs from the air date to the end of the month. We give away a copy of the book we’re discussing.I have some fantastic guest lined up, they include, Michelle Sutton, Rita Gerlach, Lena Nelson Dooley, and the wonderful Kara Lynn Russell. The next air date will be April 12 and I’ll be interviewing Marty Norman about her book, “Generation G.” This is a wonderful book about grandparenting in the 21st century. I’m nowhere close to being a grandmother, and I learned a few things. This also makes a great Mother’s Day gift.

Q: Are you working on any other projects right now that you'd like to share?

Beach Reads, where I review books, and talk writing. Each month I have a featured author. April will be Laura Lee Heinsohn. There will be a new post about her every week, with an opportunity to enter a chance to win her book, “Cracking the Parenting Code.” I’ll post a review later in the month. My newest blog is Within Your Skin. I’m on a journey to get healthy and thought others might like to join me. I’m going to look at eating plans, exercise plans, and healthy products. You’ll get to learn from my pitfalls and what I learn from the Scriptures. This blog is only a couple of weeks old, but it’s going to be a great encouragement for me and hopefully others.

My big project is my novel, “The Road To Bliss.” That’s the first time I’ve revealed the title to the public, so you’ve got a scoop. J It’s currently in rewrites, but I took some of the cut passages and turned them into short stories. I’m going to enter it in the Page Turner Contest. It’s currently in rewrites. I’ve turned a couple of the cut pieces into short stories, and plan to do this with other parts. You’ll get to know some of the characters and a little of their background before the book is published. The Tennessee Writer’s Alliance has published the first two in their online magazine Maypop. I’ll most likely being publishing all of the short stories through them. The Demon Road and The Runaway Road are available now.