Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Meet Author Lyn Cote

Today please welcome Lyn Cote to our blog. Lyn has authored inspirational romances in the historical, contemporary and suspense genres and has written for Steeple Hill, Warner Faith and Avon Inspire. Always ready to help new and upcoming authors, Lyn teaches online classes and keeps a current list of inspirational romance markets on a section for her website.

Good morning,Lynn. To start with, please tell us a little about your Avon Inspire 'Texas Star of Destiny' series.

I had never done much research into early Texas history. I read about Moses Austin’s deal in 1820 with the last Spanish governor of Texas and was intrigued by the three demands made of the Anglos entering Texas: No slaves, Convert to Roman Catholicism, and swear allegiance to Spain. I was intrigued because in my experience Americans of that period were unlikely to follow any of those! And that means conflict and every good story thrives on conflict. Here's the blurb for book one.

Desires of her Heart is a historical romance between a woman forced to make a new life on the Texas frontier and the scout who leads their wagon train through the uncharted territory. Set in 1821, Dorritt Mott is anti-slavery, a woman ahead of her time. When events make it impossible for her family, including an overbearing stepfather and a spoiled half-sister, to remain in New Orleans, they head to Texas on foot to join Stephen Austin’s settlement and recoup their fortune in virgin Texas.

Quinn, a social outcast as the half-breed son of a Cherokee mother and an American father, has made a name for himself as a scout and a man not to be taken lightly. When the New Orleans lady and the frontiersman meet, they become unlikely allies as they travel the wilds of Texas. But will their trek be in vain? Mexico has broken with the Spanish Crown that had granted Austin land. And both armies plus marauding Comanche roam the pine forest and prairie of Texas.

And though they are unaware of it, there is a closer danger, a man who is plotting destruction and who will try to make Dorritt and Quinn pawns in his scheme. As their romance blossoms, can Dorritt help Quinn put his trust in the God, who has promised that those that delight in Him shall be given the desires of their hearts? What will it take for Quinn to believe that promise?

Desires of her Heart is available now and the second book Her Inheritance Forever will be available in October.

You recently started a new blog "Strong Women Brave Stories." Can you tell us a little about that and why you chose that subject?

That phrase is my brand. In my historical sagas, I always feature women who are trailblazers, a multi-cultural cast of characters, and authentic historical detail. I didn't start a blog until I realized that this theme would be of interest to any woman and that every woman has a story. This month is my Mega May, where I have featured stories not only from other authors (such as White Rose author Kara Lynn Russell) but also from readers. This is also the only month that I give a basket of books and goodies to any reader who shared a story or made a comment. This goes through May 31st. Drop by and enjoy at least one of the stories and leave a comment. You might win!

You've written in several areas of Christian romance - contemporary, historical and suspense. Which do you prefer and why?

I love writing historicals the most. I think that is my true voice, but I've learned to write a pretty good contemporary romance and romantic suspense--IMHO!

I agree! My favorites are your first contemporary Never Alone and your suspense trilogy Dangerous Season, Dangerous Game and Dangerous Secrets.

According to your website, you started writing in 1984. What moved you to make this choice?

I had always wanted to write, but I had been pouring my creativity into my writing and then having two children. One day I drove past the school where I used to teach and I thought, "I'm bored." And the next day I started writing my first manuscript. It took me from 1984 to 1997 to sell to Love Inspired-Steeple Hill. I wrote 5 manuscripts before selling. Joining Romance Writers of America and getting on the Internet finally put me in touch with what I needed to know.

How do think the current economy will effect new writers seeking publication?

Books are still selling. Compared with many other forms of entertainment, books are still a bargain!

Kara, thanks for having me as a guest. I'm so happy that White Rose Press is publishing more inspirational romance. No woman ever tires of romance!

That is so true! Thank you for being a guest on our blog. We are honored to have you here.

You can find out more about Lyn at her website and also at the Love Inpsired Authors site. I also encourage you to visit Lyn's Strong Women Brave Stories blog. It has great stories about exceptional women that would never be told otherwise and I'm not just saying that because Lyn was gracious enough to invite me to contribute there! I truly believe this is a wonderful way to keep the stories of these women alive.

Monday, May 25, 2009

A Writer's Holiday

Today is a holiday. A long awaited day off work. We'll remember those who served our country and love ones that went to their eternal glory before us. Perhaps your decorating graves, attending a parades or flag dedication, preparing food for festive picnics, putting your writer's note pad in a pocket or purse...WHAT? It's a holiday...not for a writer

A recent online course taught by a well published author revealed that many writer's don't pepper their stories with enough emotions. Today is a day that many wear their feelings on their sleeves. However your celebrating today will provide many emotional scenarios you may want to jot down to use in your writing. If you're decorating a grave, watch the other people around. Some people are comfortable in a cemetary, they'll touch the stone, brush their fingers over the name, other's may be nervous placing the flower's haphazardly on the grave and standing a few feet away while darting their eyes from the headstone to others in the area. Would either of those actions fit your hero or heroine?

A parade shows a mixture of emotions, glee from children as they catch thrown candy, laughter as neighbors visit, pride as the flag or a loved one marchs by, respect as hats are removed. A young person may view the flag with an entirely different emotion than a WWII Veteran. Actually a WWII Veteran may feel differently about serving his country that a Vietnam Veteran.

A picnic, whether with family or friends has many opportunities to jot down emotional reactions. Watch the new couple in love. how her cheeks flush when they touch, a secret look or signal they give each other. Do they smile at the mention of the others name? When a game of soft ball or volley ball starts, is everyone a good sport? Who teases and does that teasing set well? The least likely person may be the most competative and take the game seriously. Do they shake their head in digust or tell the others to get their heads in the game when they mess up? Then there is always someone going through a rough patch. Does the couple sit apart? Do they avoid the "how are you doing" questions or do they give a practiced answer while their eyes tear up or they cast their gaze downward?

Enjoy your holiday but don't forget that writer's notebook, you may run across an emotion that will give your WIP that extra something!


Friday, May 22, 2009

Creepy Crawlies and Other Things that Bump Up Our Determination.

It was a dark and stormy night… Okay, so it wasn’t exactly stormy, just a light gusty breeze, but it was dark and late. Finally, after a thirty minute commute from my local chapter meeting, I pulled into my garage, a little road weary and at the same time overjoyed I actually made it back to watch the late news on television. When the automatic garage door went up, my brain registered that one thing a woman does NOT want to see in the garage. And not just any where in the garage but in that three foot space between the door jambs. A big, fat, hairy tarantula. And it’s between me and my nice, safe house.

Folks, we’re talking BIG here. Apparently, it’s out hunting. Okay, breathe; those Lamaze classes certainly come in handy four years AFTER labor. I contemplated my next move. I could wait it out. NOT! Tarantulas are nocturnal. I could sleep in my not so comfortable car, or I could get out and fight the do I need to reiterate big and hairy spider? In between bouts of irrational musings, I decided to get out of the car and show this arachnid who’s the boss.

Not an easy feat for someone deathly afraid of anything with more than four legs. Stems back to childhood which I refuse to talk about. With husband and children in bed, I had no choice. So spying the offensive creature lying in wait for the unsuspecting dinner (ME) to cross his path, I grab the nearest thing that resembled a pole to shush the thing onto darker, stormier journeys. Now I know why I’ve kept that old broken shower curtain rod by the garage door all these years. I finally could put it to good use.

Let me tell you, Harry was huge. Oh, excuse me...I did tell you this before, but this great brown beast with eight legs was bigger than a breadbox. Hey, it’s my story and I can exaggerate. This particular spider was bigger than the last one I evicted. Harry Jr. must have been the son or daughter old Harry here, but believe me, I wasn’t about to check the sex as I showed it the door. Junior went quietly into the big box.

Harry, on the other hand, wouldn’t give up his nice comfy surroundings with abundant food and some semblance of protection without a fight.

Did I mention tarantulas can JUMP? Fascinating as they are to watch each fat, hairy leg stretch and move in a synchronized fashion like those swimmers at the Olympics, this particular one wanted no part of “There’s the door, now stay on your side and I’ll stay on mine and we’ll all be happy” tune. Nope. He kept trying to turn around and crawl back in. And I kept poking him with the metal rod in the direction of the great outdoors.
After five minutes, victory was mine.

Which got me to thinking about determination. Harry was determined to stay in my garage. I was MORE determined to evict the huge, hairy beast. The one with the most determination gained the prize. Just as I won in the writing world.

Did I let Harry get the best of me each time he turned around and tried to crawl back into the garage? No. I kept at him, prodding him along. Ergo, did I let each rejection letter end my dreams of being published? No. I kept taking classes and reading articles and honing my craft. But most of all I kept submitting. I kept at it against all odds even when it seemed like I had enough rejection letters to paper my bathroom wall.

Even when Harry lifted his big, fat hairy you-know-what at me,– it’s a defense mechanism so I’ve been told – I didn’t let him stop me from my dream of a Tarantula free garage. (or at least the idea that I couldn’t SEE any more of them)

It’s that way with writing, folks. It’s a spider-eat-cricket world out there. If you don’t have the guts to keep trying, get out of the way of those authors who will. Because in the long run, all your hard work and determination will pay off.

Eventually, I found an editor who got my work. You will, too.

So that’s my story and I’m sticking to it, until tomorrow night that is when Harry, gargantuan beast, lifts the garage door by himself and crawls back in, or I receive another one of those SASE’s containing a “Thanks but no thanks” form letter. As before, I’ll be ready. I’ll pull out that long pole or log onto my computer again and start the process all over again.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

White Rose Publishing is sponsoring a contest...

Hearts Crossing Cover

What’s missing from this cover?

Your Name!

Introducing a new contest from White Rose Publishing.


They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Well, we’re giving you a picture plus a synopsis—and that’s worth 20,000-25,000 words plus a publishing contract. All you have to do is fill in the synopsis blanks to create your own unique plot, and then write the story to go with it.




Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Special Guest - Kelly Marstad

Hello Friends,

Please join the White Rose Authors in welcoming special guest, Kelly Marstad as she talks about Guidelines. But first.....A little about Kelly.....
Kelly has been a writer for eight years. She is published both in eBook format and print through two separate publishing houses. She boasts six titles under another pen name in the mainstream market, all of which came out in 2008 and two which found their way to the top of the bestseller's list.

With the recent conviction that God did not intend her talents for the mainstream market, she has switched gears completely and is now pursuing the inspirational genre without regret. Kelly is the wife of a vicar, mother of two children, a life-long Christian, world traveler, student of human behavior and of the writing craft.
Kelly also does line and content editing for several publishing houses as well as individual authors. Find out more about Kelly at her website and blog or email her at:
Now....Here's what Kelly has to say about Guidelines....Ah. Guidelines. We love them, don’t we. No, don’t argue. Let’s say it together, “I LOVE my guidelines.” Right, well, work on it for me, okay?

So here’s the thing. We write. We lurve writing. If we don’t write, our brains get so occupied with writerly thoughts that our real-to-life issues may suffer and clog like a big, hairy drain. We write because we have to, because it satisfies us, because it is the gift God has given us. And it is a gift which is why we sometimes get frustrated when guidelines stifle us. I think it’s safe to say that much.

A while back I did an article for the Seekers blog about my frustrations in transferring from the Mainstream market into the Inspirational market. It stemmed around the differences in ABA and CBA guidelines, and admittedly, I got a bit snarky (though, if you know me, you’d have laughed because I’m almost always snarky in a well-intentioned kind of way. Seriously. No, seriously. *sigh*). But I am here to eat my words—oh, for Pete’s sake, even I can’t say that with a straight face. How about, “I am here to modify my words”? Hmm. Yes, that sits better.

I had a tough lesson recently. It was about obedience. 1 Peter 2:13-17: “Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every authority instituted among men…live as servants of God.” I squinted when I read this. I figured if the words were blurry it didn’t apply so much. I might have convinced myself, if it had not been followed by Hebrews 13:1-5. “Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established…Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted…”
Oh, bother. Even squinting couldn’t get me past that one.

My lesson was submitting to the senior pastor at our vicarage church (husband is a seminarian ie/pastor in training). Long story, but basically I could not do enough to please him, join enough, commit enough, to the point where I was asked to keep record of how often a day I pray and read my Bible. Now, I admit it did ease my mind to know the seminary agreed with me and wasn’t pleased with his ongoing requests for which he held my husband’s passing grade captive. But they asked me to submit.

The official line was, obey, apologize, commit, submit. Do not defend yourself or explain yourself for it would only anger the pastor. Submit because then you have done everything in your power to make the vicarage work. A tall order for me. I prayed. I ground my teeth. I prayed some more and then went to a meeting with him. And do you know? God came with me. I submitted. And in doing so, I learned just how much God’s people mean to me regardless of whether or not I agree with the institution placed before me.

What does this have to do with writing? “Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every authority.” Even publishers. Even editors. Even *gasp* (dun-dun-dun-duuuhhhhhh) guidelines.
You are doing it for the Lord’s sake, not your own. You are doing it because He asked you to, not because the publisher wanted to be rigid (well, okay, maybe they do, but that’s beside the point). He gave you the gift and you serve Him.

Your obedience is all that is required here. Beyond whether we think topless-Joe is okay in a book and the publisher disagrees, beyond topless-Joe and svelte-Sally in an embrace, no matter how chaste, beyond topless-Joe having a beer with his non-alcoholic friends at a backyard barbeque, you must submit to the authorities over you. Not for your pride. For the good of your soul, mastered by your Heavenly Father.

“…he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted…” Are you rebelling? I was. Did. Still do, at times. I struggle to submit because I do have success in the mainstream market. I can make money writing with them. My editors and my publishers still want me back. And do you know, they will send me emails from time to time checking in with me, seeing if I meant what I said when I told them all good-bye and shut down my pen name.

My submission is to God, not my wallet. My submission to the Heavenly Father who gave me the ability to write in the first place and knowing that in my obedience to Him, He might use words from something I’ve written to touch even one of His blessed children. And because of that obedience, He will look at me with pleasure. Wow. Wow-wow-wow-wow-wow!

You know what’s even more freeing? I’m off the hook. I don’t have to like the guidelines, but I don’t angst over them either. Not anymore. I don’t have to wonder if my words carry purpose or carnality. Not anymore. I don’t have to wonder if I please God. Not anymore (sidebar: anyone else in here channeling Margie Lawson’s rhetorical writing?). Not when I do as He asks and submit my will to His. I’ll let Him worry about the details of whether or not I make it in this market. He’s a much better planner and publicist than I could ever be.
Interesting story and great advice, Kelly!
Watch for more special guests coming soon.
Until later....take care, Be BLESSED! and remember, White Rose Publishing is GIVING AWAY a Sony Ereader and it's NOT too late to enter the contest!

Monday, May 18, 2009

A Newspaper for Christians!

Hello Friends!

Hope this post finds you ~and yours~ BLESSED, Happy and Healthy!

Today I'd like to tell you about a brand new kind of newspaper - well it may not be entirely new in your area, but is is new in mine LOL!

Christian Star Newspaper is owned/operated by a friend and fellow author, Monica Soileau.

Monica and I first met when she attended a Bayou Writers' Group meeting.

She now has a published novel, a radio ministry AND this newspaper!

This non-denominational paper offer articles, poetry, book reviews and all sorts of good news for Christians!

Distribution is picking up and Christian Star Newspaper can now be found in SW Louisiana & SE Texas - and moving on into Dallas, TX and Atlanta, GA soon!

Check out the website and read the archives and hey, if you're a writer, submit something! I will be :-)

You can find a link to Christian Star Newspaper in the sidebar of my personal blog under "Areas of Interest."

Well Friends, that's about it for now.

Until later....Be Blessed!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Married Couples' Romance

As a married woman, I like to read about married couples who enjoy romance or who reheat romance in their relationship. How about you?

My husband and I have been married nearly 18 years and from all our history I drew elements for my White Rose novella “Love Letters.” Honestly, a lot of the negative characteristics in each character are my own. (grin) Hey, write what you know, right? But for the most part I just expanded on a way I’ve felt in the past. (And of course some of the elements are completely imagined.)

But here’s what I wasn’t expecting. As married folks read the book, people from church, friends, etc. I hadn’t expected them to say, “Oh, I could so relate with that.” Or, “How did you know?” We often feel so alone in our trials, and we imagine we’re all alone. But fiction bridges the gap to our isolation and demonstrates we have fellow ‘strandees’ who are right there with us, struggling, hoping for help to arrive.

Wahoo for the ministerial value. (grin)

I’ve been reading Christian fiction for about fourteen years. My favorite genre? Romance! So when I started writing fiction, this was the genre I felt somewhat confident tackling. At this point, I don’t always write married couple’s romance; just a couple of my manuscripts have centered on them. But I’ve enjoyed the freedom the stories allowed and ‘relatability.’

Usually, fiction about a married couple is considered women’s fiction because the over-arching plot is about the heroine’s growth as a woman, even if she is married. If romance is included, it’s a thread, a subplot, not the main plot. But in “Love Letters” I wanted to explore what would happen in a couple’s life (married 10 years) if romance was revisited after a long absence. What if the husband was avoiding strong emotions, afraid he’d be abusive (due to his father’s example of a husband) and so avoided every strong emotion? The couple has twins, but they suffer lack of expressed love.

Jordan Ambrose is looking for passion. From her husband. And, as Randy Ambrose will tell you—she’s great at pushing his buttons. The problem? He’s hiding out from any intense emotions. So their love life is lackluster. Well, except for those letters.

Jordan discovered a box of love letters in her husband’s home office closet. Why doesn’t he act like the “R” from the letters, so clearly written to “J”? If she can drag him away from his writing desk, they can talk about it. But will Randy stop hiding and love with abandon?

One of the other elements I enjoy in writing married’s romance is the sizzle factor. “Love Letters” is rated “sensual” on Wild Rose’s site because I did include a love scene (briefly and wholesomely). But because my characters were married, this wasn’t off limits in my inspirational fiction. (I agree with the passion standards of inspirational fiction, btw.) I felt bringing in this aspect made the story feel real, and that it was in keeping with showing the behind-the-scenes struggles this couple faced. And the victory in the end as they each grew in their love for each other.

I’d love to hear from you. Do you like reading a romantic thread about (or entire novel devoted to) a married couple and their quest to rekindle romance in their lives? If you’ve read one recently, please leave a comment with the book’s name. I’d love to read more.

Happy reading (and writing)!


Friday, May 15, 2009

Orchard Hill's "Forgotten" Romance

Cora Applebaum here, reporting from Orchard Hill.

Seems there's a lot of new readers - and writers - here on the blog, so maybe I'd better introduce myself before I get on to my news.

As I said before, my name is Cora Applebaum and I'm from the small town of Orchard Hill, Wisconsin. Some may say I'm Orchard Hill's "most informed citizen." I don't know about that, but I did help White Rose Author Kara Lynn Russell with her Orchard Hill Romance series. She wrote about one extraordinary year in which 12 couples in our church got engaged!

Now, those of you who have followed the Orchard Hill series are probably counting and only coming up with nine stories. Those are the stories of the nine matches that my friends Pansy and Misty made during there silly competition to see who was the better matchmaker between them. Their own engagements bring the count up to 11.

Still, no matter how you count it, you're going to come up one story short because that story hasn't been told yet. You see, Pansy and Misty had nothing to do with this match. It happened all by itself and so perhaps got overlooked the first time around. But once Kara Lynn got wind of it, she had to know the whole story.

That story - "Susan's 4th of July Fireworks" has recently been accepted by White Rose Publishing. Some of you will remember Susan as Angel's rival in "Entertaining Angel" and you may be asking yourself how such a jealous, scheming female like that end up with her own story?

Remember, "Judge not, lest you be judged." Maybe there are some things about Susan that you didn't know. You'll have to read the story to find out, because goodness knows I'm not one to pass on any gossip. Here's the info Kara gave me:

Pansy and Misty matched a lot of couples in Orchard Hill but not everyone needs their help.

Cal Wensloff has moved back home to Orchard Hill and Susan Schmidt discovers that the crush she had on him in high school is alive and well. The amazing part is that Cal seems to be interested in her, too. But when her father forbids her to see him, and a rival sets her sights on Cal, Susan has to make some hard choices.

The 4th of July is coming up and and she's agreed to play Snow White in the annual parade. Will Cal be her Prince Charming, or will Susan end up alone again?

One way or the other, there'll be fireworks in Orchard Hill this 4th of July.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Everything's Coming Up Roses

Hello everyone!

I'm very excited to be visiting tonight. I'm sorry I didn't post earlier today, but I have a good excuse. I'm on revision deadline! :) The next book in The Crystal Falls Series has been contracted and my editor and I have been working hard to make it the best book possible.

Violets for Vanessa is tells the story of a young woman rising above the victimization of her youth. Struggling to be free of her abusive father, Vanessa Gallagher maintains her independence by managing a tea shop in town and begs her mother to find a safe haven. Determined not to let another man control her, she cannot resist the comforting kindness of handsome contractor Chad James. And his kisses leave her wanting more.

Almost thirty, Chad James yearns to settle down. Spunky Vanessa Gallagher wins his heart, but will she let God into hers? When her father meets his doom at the bottom of a cliff, police suspect Vanessa’s mother. Will Chad help absolve her when he uncovers the truth in an unexpected turn of events? And will Vanessa ever choose love over independence?

While there isn't a release date yet for Violets for Vanessa, the first two books in the series are available NOW. Vanessa makes an appearance in each book. After reading Lilacs for Laura and Roses for Rachel, you'll be more anxious than ever to hear Vanessa's story.


Thank you for joining me tonight on the White Roses Blog. As you can see, in the world of Crystal Falls, everything is truly coming up roses.

:) Dianne Miley

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Special Guest - Debby Mayne

Good Morning!

The White Rose authors are happy to welcome special guest author, Debby Mayne and her book, Peachtree Dreams!
Author and speaker Debby Mayne grew up in a military family, which meant moving every one to three years throughout her childhood. Debby was born in Alaska and lived in Mississippi, Tennessee, Oregon, Florida, Hawaii, and Japan. Her comfort foods are as diverse as her interests. You might find her eating sushi while reading a cozy mystery novel or fried catfish while watching a Tampa Bay Buccaneers football game.

Her husband of almost 30 years has accepted the fact that outside of her faith and family, books are the most important thing in her life. She and Wally have two grown daughters, Lauren and Alison, a son-in-law, Jason, and a granddaughter named Emma.

Debby has published 11 books, more than 400 short stories and articles, and 5 novellas that have been printed in 6 anthologies. She has also worked as the managing editor of a national health magazine, product information writer for a TV retailer, and as a copy editor and proofreader for several book publishers. Debby currently enjoys writing Christian fiction, which allows her the freedom to tell stories without restraining her convictions.

She lives on Florida’s west coast with her husband and two cats. To learn more about Debby, visit her website at

Debby's 2009 releases:
Peachtree Dreams - Barbour Publishing, April 2009
Love Finds You in Treasure Island, Florida - Summerside Press, June 2009
Christmas Homecoming - Barbour Publishing anthology with Paige Winship Dooly, Elizabeth Goddard, and Elizabeth Ludwig, September 2009
Noah's Ark - Heartsong Presents, October 2009
Be Still and Let Your Nail Polish Dry - Summerside Press, 2009

Peachtree Dreams blurb: Three Georgia women can no longer believe in happily-ever-after endings. Shannon lost her boyfriend when her face was scarred. Jill buries the pain in her past by focusing on her work. Cindi is getting out of the bridal business after her parents announce their divorce. Three determined men will attempt to change these women's opinions of love.

About writing for Barbour Publishing: Ever since my first sale to Barbour in 1999 (Harvest Home anthology, 2000), I've enjoyed steady sales and great support from the editorial staff. Rebecca Germany, JoAnne Simmons, the copy editors, and proofreaders have worked hard to make my books as good as they can be.

Hope you enjoyed our special guest today - check back often and see what the White Roses are up to!

Friday, May 8, 2009

The Economy and Christian Publishing

Everyone knows that the economy is a great concern to citizens around the world. People are losing their jobs, losing their homes and yet—surprisingly—sales in the realm of Christian fiction have soared. Hearing this fact over and over made me stop and think about why that is.

Why out of all the books out there today is the Christian market not being hit by this deficit? I believe it really has to do with the message of not only Inspirational fiction but also fiction in general. Being a trained historian, I look at current events through the eyes and ears of the past. We really aren’t experiencing anything that hasn’t already happened—occasionally many times over—throughout history.

Back in the 1930’s we had the Great Depression (which ended due to WWII and not government intervention—by the way). At this time, book readership and also movie attendance grew by leaps and bounds. Why? That’s easy. The people wanted a distraction from real life. And they found that in cheap entertainment which took them away from reality if even for a short time.

Think about the Andy Hardy films that were so popular with Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland. The Marx Brothers. Musicals with Fred and Ginger. Gangster flicks (where the law always caught up to them in the end).

What about books? Detective stories such as The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett and The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler, Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, Agatha Christie mysteries, and even The Hobbit all came out during this time.

What does this have to do with today? Just as in the past, when things start going bad in our economic stability we need a reprieve if just for a little while. If just for a moment of time between work and bed. Between changing diapers and making dinner. And that respite seems to be coming in the form of Inspirational fiction.

What about secular fiction? There are some great works being published out there, but what is the message? We have lots of agnsty reads with reluctant heroes. Entertaining, it’s true. But where does that leave the reader?

What Inspirational fiction does is bring a Christian message and that is a message of hope, and in this ever uncertain world I think we all need a little hope in our lives. We who write Inspirational fiction do it to entertain, to make you think and also to have you realize that there is hope for your life if you would only accept Him in.


Please visit White Rose Publishing today. Download a Free Read and browse through our other titles.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Intro - Annette M. Irby

Hey everyone! It's my birthday, so I thought it'd be fun to post and introduce myself. I'm new to this blog but I've been a White Rose author since 2006. I've been a blogger since '07 and I was really excited to find that White Roses have this forum for sharing our writing lives and our projects.

My White Rose publication is called Love Letters. Here's the blurb:

Jordan Ambrose is looking for passion. From her husband. And, as Randy Ambrose will tell you—she’s great at pushing his buttons. The problem? He’s hiding out from intense emotions, like passion. So their love life is lackluster. Well, except for those letters.

discovered a box of love letters in her husband’s home office closet. Why doesn’t he act like the “R” from the letters, so clearly written to “J”? If she can drag him away from his writing desk, they can talk about it. But will Randy stop hiding and love with abandon?

There are reviews up at my website on the Fiction page. Colleen Reece and Betsy St. Amant had some nice things to say.

I wanted to write a romance which centered on a married couple and there were few houses taking them, so I was thrilled to meet an editor with Wild Rose Publishing as they were launching their new lines. Since that publication, I've been writing, writing, writing. Still waiting on word back for a few projects.

Here's a fun idea--leave a comment to win an e-copy of Love Letters. Comment about the best birthday present you ever received, the best one you've ever given, OR your dream birthday present. I'll draw names tomorrow and post the winner's name in the comment section here. And please leave your email address so I can notify you that way, too, if you win! Have fun.

Happy Thursday, Annette.

Check out Annette's other sites:, and (for book reviews and interviews with authors).

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Flexing Your Writing Muscle

Good morning, everyone!

Let me go get a cup of coffee, and we’ll talk about getting fit! Writing-wise, that is. I’m eagerly anticipating the release of All or Nothing, as many of you already know. May 29, 2009 seems to be spiraling toward me! Release day has led to a flurry of pre-release promotion, seeking out new readers, alerting friends, family, and writers who’ve supported me all the way on this journey.

But even with all that promotion and planning book signings, blog tours, chats, and finding new ideas for selling e-books and print books alike—it hit me. God didn’t just put one book in me. Since finding The Wild Rose Press – and White Rose Publishing – it seemed like the floodgates of my mind increased. The words wanted to jump out of my fingertips. Hearing about contests, and story prompts, and knowing I have drawers-full of partial manuscripts I’ve carted around since I left the shelter of my parent’s home, I knew that the Lord gave me a gift, and now, I had someone who believed in me.

As you know, By Another Name came out of this frenetic energy. It truly was a gift—a story about bullying and overcoming those scars. Then, a couple of free reads—and then…two different projects, both short stories – one still to edit, and one getting its final polish before send out by the end of May. I’ve done a whole lot of blogging. But what about the writing? What about the full length novels waiting to be written, already plotted and planned? A few of which I’ve *ahem* promised my editor—and am working on in fits and starts. Really. I am.

I’m tired of stopping and starting projects. It’s time to commit. To get back into the research I love, and finally get the next novel going and finished, I’ve pledged to write 1,000 words a day for 90 days. This isn't – which I participated in the year before All or Nothing was published. The idea is, you get a novel-between 80,000 and 95,000 words by the time you’re done. This isn’t 30 days of writing whatever comes to mind, in a frantic hope of achieving a goal. This is a methodical marathon of words, carefully planned out, and I feel – divinely inspired. What's more, it's an excellent habit of flexing that beautiful writing muscle that we're blessed with.

All or Nothing coming to print is answer to prayer. But it also shows God's sense of humor. Almost as if He's daring me to increase the size of my dream. Yes, my pre-order is in. I’ll hold it in my hands in a few weeks. See my name on the cover. But I know that the next novel will be even better, because my writing has improved ten-fold since White Rose Publishing took me under their wing. Thanks Elizabeth. Thanks, Nicola. Thanks, Rhonda and R.J.

Now, off to write my 1,000 words!

Monday, May 4, 2009

A women's influence

Last week I was blessed to attend a fabulous women's conference at Brigham Young University. As I sorted through my notes wondering what I could best share with you, this thought stood out. "When we walk into a room, we either add to it, or we take away from it." Merrilee Webb

I know it doesn't sound like an overtly spiritual thought, but think about it. You make a difference. You can't just slink into a room or through life thinking you don't matter. You either add to the situation or you take away from it. You're either progressing or regressing. 

No matter what our station in life we have the chance to touch someone's heart and life for good. We are women of God. We know our purpose. We are blessed to know why we're on this earth and where we are going. Not everyone has that peace and reassurance. 

I pray each of you will stand up tall in the faith, put a smile on your face, and never forget - You make a difference!



Cami Checketts is a wife, mother, scout leader, author, exercise scientist, and proud supporter of Cold Stone Creamery. Please refer to her blog - for fitness advice and strength training routines. Her books can be found on

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Can you put a price tag on your writing?

I don’t usually get on my soap box—but I cannot hold my tongue. Or in this case, cannot keep my fingers from skating across the keyboard. I am going to address one of my pet peeves--those who do not appreciate the gift of writing. I have three short stories published by The Wild Rose Press which is now White Rose Publishing. After taking countless classes in creative writing, both at local colleges and online, attending workshops and conferences and putting in far longer than the average eight hour day, I fancied myself the next Nora Roberts. I sent out query letters and partial manuscripts to literary agents all over the state of New York, certain they’d be ringing my phone off the hook. No such luck. Those phone calls never came, but one rejection letter after the next filled my mailbox to the hilt. Devastated, my heart wept. Totally disillusioned, I was ready to throw my dream of writing out the window. But then I wised up and realized the only way to get what I wanted was to fight for it with all I was made of. And that’s when things changed.

When I want something, I develop a competitive edge. And perhaps that’s what it took to push me so hard. After pulling my head out of the clouds, I developed a stiff upper lip and some mighty tough skin. And you know what they say…when the going gets tough…the tough get going. So I buckled down and enrolled in as many writing classes as I could find, polishing my manuscript to the best of my ability. And after getting feedback on it from my critique group, I felt ready to pitch it to a New York agent at a writers conference.

Nervous but confident, I presented my ten minute pitch, feeling certain I’d be asked to submit the entire manuscript. Once more, my dreams were shattered. The agent handed me back my business card…and I sure didn’t need him to show me the door.

Feeling sorry for myself, I was once again thinking perhaps writing just wasn’t meant to be. But then someone sat beside me at Starbucks while I was drinking a cup of coffee. I was so upset I wound up pouring my heart out to this woman who I had never met before. She handed me her business card and told me to submit my manuscript to The Wild Rose Press. That woman was Liana Laverentz. And that’s how I got my foot in the door with The Wild Rose Press. Through God’s intercession, when one door closed…another door opened.

The editors are wonderful to work with and the authors are willing to go the extra mile to lend a helping hand. Lori Graham is my editor and the feedback she gives me makes my writing shine. And when I got my first contract one year ago, it was like hitting the lottery for a million bucks. It had nothing to do with money. It was the feeling of accomplishment after striving for it for so long. No one understands a writer like another writer. There is no comparison to those words, “I’d like to offer you a contract.”

So you might be asking yourself where this is going. After my first contract, Lori offered me two more contracts shortly thereafter. Nicola designed my beautiful book covers and Rae Monet designed a killer website for me. I have had three releases this year along with a free read, all in the White Rose line. And my heart swelled with pride. So when someone made the derogatory comment, “I’m sorry you didn’t get a good price for your books,” my heart dropped.

Certainly we don’t get the money the big publishing houses pay, but what we do get is a whole lot more. We have editors who give us the chance to resubmit our work by giving very beneficial feedback, a caring staff, some of the best artists and awesome authors. And we all connect to support, promote, and be there for one another through thick and thin. The bigger publishing houses more than likely wouldn’t have such a rapport. I am proud to be a member of the garden and very proud to write for White Rose Publishing.

writing is a gift, a God-given talent meant to be shared. And I’m proud of my talent and hope to leave my footprint on the world when I’m gone. The emotional rewards far outweigh the monetary. And I know I speak for all writers. Writing is in my blood. If I didn’t get paid a penny, I’d still write in my journal or my blog. I write for emotional healing and to help make this world a better place.

As you know, before the loss of my vision, my passion was painting. Blending colors into a rich palette of crimson, peach and indigo into a desert sunset filled me with peace and tranquility. When I lost my sight, I was devastated for the obvious reasons, but mostly, because I could no longer paint. But after a long and winding road, a new dream resurrected when I discovered I could paint just as vividly with words. I never want to forget the simple beauty of a rose or the exotic beauty of a wildflower. And describing what I used to see and paint in such vivid detail is my way of remembering. Can you put a price tag on that?

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Is it disappointment or is it a gift?

What happens when our hopes and dreams are dashed by reality? Using old clichés such as "that's life" or "that's the way the cookie crumbles" or the more recent: "don't worry, be happy" just soothes the moment. When you've written for weeks, months or even years on a project and a letter comes back just screaming to be opened announcing your manuscript has been rejected, do you crumble in defeat?

It doesn't meet our needs. We just contracted a similar story. Please consider another publisher/agent
, glares back at us from the hastily typed or crookedly copied form letter. Once in a while a handwritten note might even venture onto the page, but it is still a rejection.

So now what?

Did you ever consider that rejection as a gift? It is the gift of time and opportunity. I truly believe that there is a time and a season for everything (Ecclesiastics 3:1 - 8). I used the verses in my book, Alvarado Gold, and my life. Everything happens for a reason and everything comes to fruition in its own season.

I keep a log of everything I mail out, short stories, novels, etc. I have been published about twenty times which is roughly a quarter of my overall submittals. But so many of those stories I've turned around and resubmitted to another publisher and they've been accepted and published. Over half of what I've written has won a contest or been printed in magazines, anthologies and books.

Everything happens in good time, it just may not be our time. Re-examine, re-do and re-submit. It's all about the timing. The Right Timing.