Friday, February 27, 2009
Whew - lot's going on over here....new members, new features, new guests - WRIB authors are really stepping up to this blog thing LOL!
If you've followed my blog at all, you'll know that I utilized the kill clause in my contract with Enspiren Press for my WF novel, The Visionary and signed with Literary Agent, Les Stobbe to pitch that book along with another WF novel - well he is. He sent the proposal to 8 editors and so far we've received, three rejections.
A funny thing happened though....a friend sent me a notice she received about a new line of romances Strang is implementing. From the guidelines available it appeared they are looking for Amish/Historical novels.
Not sure if they took contemporary at all, I decided to email the editor and ask.
The answer was no.
BUT, she informed me that REALMS does accept contemporary but they like "supernatural" elements to be in the story. She then went on to describe "supernatural" as subtle - evidence of God working behind the scenes OR as obvious as angels and demons.
Excited, I highlighted that explanation and sent an email to my friend that my novel The Visionary had these and described a couple of scenes in the book to illustrate.
Ever hit the 'send' button and realize you've sent something to the wrong person?
The email went straight to that editor!
I quickly forwarded it to my friend with a note that the editor would either think I'm a dork or ask for a proposal LOL!
Before my friend could respond, the editor ASKED for a proposal.
I immediately revised my proposal to show the supernatuaral elements more clearly and sent all the emails to my agent with the new proposal. He then submitted it.
Now you tell me, isn't that too odd, too coincedental, to not be God?
I think so.
Until next time.....take care and Be BLESSED!
Pamela S Thibodeaux
"Inspirational with an Edge!" TM
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
In her high school yearbook, Megan Dougherty was voted most likely to eat the last box of Twinkies. Ten years later, the now sleek and sophisticated business woman attends her class reunion. She discovers her former classmates haven’t changed until Kyle Green arrives. Apparently some things have changed…for the better?
Sunday, February 22, 2009
Last week Cindy K. Green asked about inspirational romance's potential for leaving the reader emotionally satisfied at the end of the book. Readers commented on favorite inspy authors and why they liked those authors.
Today I'm going to ask a question along the same lines. Have you ever read a book from the "mainstream" of publishing and found an unexpected message of faith in it?
I have, of course. Otherwise this would be an awfully short entry. One of the most remarkable examples of that comes from author Terry Pratchett. I have no personal knowledge of Mr. Pratchett's beliefs but if I were to guess, I'd say he was an agnostic or possibly even an athiest. And yet his Discworld books often have remarkable messages of hope in them. I commented last week that my favorite type of book is the kind that makes you laugh and then makes you think. The Discworld books are my supreme example of that. One book in particular is a favorite for re-reading during Lent, which begins this week.
Acording to the Discworld and Pratchett Wiki "The main themes of the book are theism, atheism, morality and ethics. One of the more important messages of the book is: do good things, simply because they are good and not just because a god demands it. This might not sound too funny, but the messages are hidden in a rather humorous story...about Brutha, a novice priest of the church of Om. It turns out that Brutha is the only believer who really believes in Om. Everyone else is just believing in rules and rituals. After happily ignoring his believers for ages Om decides to take a look at things. However, since the power of gods on Discworld is proportional to the number of real believers he finds himself changed into a rather powerless tortoise. Om and his only believer Brutha now try to restart the belief in Om...His (Brutha's) essentially simple nature meant that he never questioned any of the Church's commandments, until he actually met his god face-to-face and discovered that perhaps the scriptures weren't as accurate as he had once believed. The experiences of man and god alike resulted in a complete reshaping of Omnianism (with less smiting), and a resurgence in faith for the god."
(Warning - spoilers from here on)I can't say that I agree with all the conclusions that are made, but I do end up thinking about the issues that lead to them. The most powerful scene for me was at the end when Brutha, now a very old man, dies and finds himself, in accordance with Omnian beliefs, at the edge of a desert. It is said that they must cross the desert and their judgement waits on the other side. Brutha sees a huddled, miserable figure nearby. It turns out to be Vorbis, the villain of the book who used Brutha for his own political gain, then attempted to have him tortured and murdered so he could not tell anyone the truth. On his death Vorbis realized how truly evil his actions had been and was thus too terrified to cross the desert.
When Brutha sees him, he offers him a hand, helps him up and begins to lead him across the desert. Death, who has escorted Brutha's spirit thus far asks if Brutha realizes that this is the man who had so horribly wronged him in life. Why would he help him now?
Brutha replies that he's not helping Vorbis because of who Vorbis is, but rather because of who he (Brutha) is. I'm reminded of Matthew 5:43-45:
"As you have heard that it is said, 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemy. But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous."
What about you? Have you ever found an unexpected message of faith in a "mainstream" book?
Kara Lynn Russell
"No heart is safe."
The Wild Rose Press
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
The WRIB authors opened up our blog for guests and today I'd like to introduce to you fellow TWRP author, Teri Wilson!
You can learn more about Teri and her books at http://www.teriwilson.net/.
Do You Hear What I Hear? Hoofbeats & Heartstrings Book One
Blurb: As a child, Simone Littleton adores the European folktale that animals are given the gift of speech at midnight on Christmas Eve. She makes a wish to talk to animals “forever and ever” and, when her pet Dalmatian asks her for a biscuit, she discovers her wish has been granted. Now Simone is all grown up and she uses her unique gift to rehabilitate unwanted horses. When race horse trainer Chet Wallace rolls into San Antonio, with chocolate eyes and dimples blazing beneath his black Stetson, romantic sparks fly. He is immediately drawn to the beautiful woman who has a mesmerizing affect on both his horses and his dog, but his less than enthusiastic response to Simone’s claims threatens their budding romance. It takes a scheming Jack Russell terrier and a fresh batch of rescue horses to convince Chet she just may be telling the truth.
Excerpt: “So this is why all your animals are named after artists.” Her gentle voice washed over him, soothing his nerves.
He turned and there she was, hair full of hay like always. She looked particularly welcoming today, though, wearing a soft pink sweater that hugged her curves. Her hair was on top of her head in a ponytail rather than her usual braid. He had to press down the urge to loosen the fastener and let it tumble over her shoulders in thick, blonde waves.
He gulped. Hard. Just looking at her was almost enough to take his breath away. “Happy Thanksgiving, Simone.”
She came closer, ponytail swinging, and stood next to him. Close enough so he felt almost intoxicated by the orchid fragrance. “Happy Thanksgiving. I can’t believe you painted this. It’s breathtaking. When I close my eyes and picture Buttercup in my mind, she looks exactly like this.”
It was a nice compliment. The special gleam in Chet’s eye came not from her kind words, but from the fact Simone stood close to him and looked at him in the way Ted had observed in the kitchen the night before. Yes, there was something between them all right. He felt it in every nerve ending in his body. “Thanks. It’s just a hobby really.”
“You are quite the Renaissance Man, Chet.” She punched him playfully in the shoulder.
“You’re just one surprise after another. What am I going to find out about you next?”
“Well, if I told you it wouldn’t be a surprise now, would it?” His gazed locked with hers and he winked.
Do You Hear What I Hear? is available now in Ebook & Print from The Wild Rose Press!
Monday, February 16, 2009
I read something troubling this week. It was from someone who doesn’t normally read Inspirational. To get a feel for the genre, she ordered three random Inspy books. I don’t know who she read or what stories but her response was that she was “surprised to find how totally distant the books were from any real spiritual angst. There's no struggle, no doubt and no fear. Consequently, there's no emotional satisfaction at the end.”
I assume she was reading Inspirational romance and some of them like any other genre of romance can be filled with ‘fluff’ stories. Fun reads without any real depth. BUT there are some great Inspirational authors out there who touch you deep down to the core. I’m right aren’t I? Who are some of the authors you’ve read and never forgotten—stories or characters that stirred you in an incomprehensible way?
I’ll give a couple examples of Inspirationals that have affected me that way. Blind Promises by Diana Palmer from Steeple Hill. Now Diana is a well loved author in many genres. She wrote a story that reminded me very much of Jane Eyre. The passion was there, the characters, the angst. And even now a year later, I still think about that book. Another favorite author is Lori Wick. Her book, The Princess, is another that truly affected me. It included more desire on the parts of the characters than I would have thought in a mainstream Inspy romance. There was depth to her characters and plot. A great book and one of my ultimate favorite Inspirational romances. Another author I would encourage this reader to pick up is Francine Rivers. Her books take you to a deeper level in so many ways. You will be changed after reading one of her books. Several of The Wild Rose Press White Rose books affected me in similar ways: Nicola Beaumont’s Forever from Paris, Kara Lynn Russell’s Until Summer Ends, and recently First I’m Nobody by Kas
I know you all have favorite Inspirational authors and books. Share some today. What would you say to someone who read a couple Inspy’s and was now turned off to the genre as lacking in spiritual angst and struggle while missing emotional satisfaction? I want to know. The world awaits your response.
Robynn folded her hands in her lap, rolled her shoulders back and held her head straight, waiting for what he thought they needed to talk about. But if she really started talking about what had been on her mind all this time, she might have to ask for forgiveness afterward. She released a breath through close lips in an attempt to calm herself.
Mitch looked out at the playground equipment in the distance, the bright street lamps illuminating his profile. He was definitely not comfortable with whatever it was he was about to say and she was glad of it. It was time he felt a little distress over this whole situation.
He turned abruptly to her with bright eyes. There might have even been some moisture there. “Robynn, I messed up. I’m sorry. In all this time, I never asked for your forgiveness but I should have. I’m sorry.”
Robynn felt her heart melt several degrees. She crossed her arms in an attempt to keep her courage up. “What are you sorry about exactly, Mitch? About the fact that you asked me to marry you and then a year later you still wouldn’t let me plan the wedding or set the date. Or is it because I wasted three years of my life believing that you loved me?”
He slid across the bench and moved as if he might take her hand but refrained and instead rested against the back of the bench. “I was crazy to think you could wait indefinitely. Things don’t stand still. They’re always moving, always changing. The bottom line is that I was afraid and then when you gave me that ultimatum, I got angry at you.”
“You were angry at me?” she replied, bristling from the inside out.
“You didn’t seem to understand that some people need more time.”
“Some people seemed like they were never going to be ready.”
“It wouldn’t have been never. I was just being careful, making sure it was right.”
“Sometimes you just have to have faith.”
“You’re right.” He tipped his eyes down to his lap and smiled. What was he smiling about? Nothing about this was funny.
His eyes moved back up to hers. The expression was serious again…well, more like intense. It made her pulse trip. “Honestly, Robynn, I didn’t even understand what love really was. I was blinded by my own selfishness and what I wanted. I didn’t appreciate what a blessing your love and even more your very presence was to me. Do you know what torture it has been for me to see your face each Sunday morning or at a single’s activity and not be able to tell you how much I love you, not even be able to look at you like I want to?”
An icy chill raced down Robynn’s spine, causing her to shiver. Her stomach seemed to drop down to her knees as her equilibrium fell off. She reached out and held the bottom of the bench to steady herself. “You still love me?” She almost choked on the words. It was what she had been hoping to hear from him for the past six months.
“Yes, of course, I still love you. How could I stop?” He reached his hand out this time and took hers captive, bringing it back to his lap.
Tears sprung to her eyes and she knew she was about to start blubbering and she couldn’t allow that to happen in front of him. She sucked in a calming breath and exhaled, hoping to find the strength as two renegade tears slipped down her cheek. “Tell me why then, Mitch. Why? You broke my heart.”
Now Available at The Wild Rose Press
Friday, February 13, 2009
Monday, February 9, 2009
Because most of us have a job at home as well as one we travel to and spend most of our day the TBR pile grows higher and higher. "Back in the day" as the kids say, I could read a book in two days, max. Now it takes me forever due to life's little interruptions. Not to mention my own little interruptions of writing books, too.
But as I carry the book around: in my purse, in my lunch bag, on the seat of my car (stop at a red light) and on the floor of my car, it becomes a friend.
Sometimes I need a friend while I wait for my human friends to join me for lunch. I definitely need a friend in the doctor's office. Both sitting in the waiting room and on the table where I've spent several hours this past month waiting for someone to look at my swollen ankle.
So I guess it is a good thing that the TBR stack never dwindles down and with all the great writers here at the White Roses in Bloom Blog how could my TBR stack ever get smaller?
When I first joined The Wild Rose Press, I purchased Pamela's, Cindy Green's, Betsy's, and Kara Lynn's books. Later followed by Kimberlee's and Georgiana's. With so many new White Roses, I want to read all of their books, too.
I even picked up a book last night when I went to buy toothpaste. I'm hopelessly lost!
Friday, February 6, 2009
I was privileged to listen to a concert given by Eric Genuis, who many know as a part of the popular RADIX. My husband and I were so impressed by the music that we had to purchase a CD (well, two), and it was on the drive home that I was reminded of the most important lesson of all: We are called to be a blessing to others and to recognize when God has used others to bless us. Obviously, this was a lession that had been subtly hammering me all week, first at our conference, then at the conference in Tucson. [Our scheduled keynote speaker got off the plane in a wheelchair and ended up in the hospital--thankfully, he was fine. But, it left a gap in the conference schedule.] The compassion and understanding of our conference attendees was a blessing to me; the dynamism of our speakers, as well as their message, was also a blessing. And again, in Tucson, just being able to be there to listen, learn, and fellowship, was a God-given gift.
But, as my husband and I were driving home Sunday evening, listening to the CD entitled Eternity, which features full orchestra classical music composed completely by this man, Eric Genuis, my soul was stirred to a greater understanding of the human purpose: We are called to be a blessing to others and to recognized when God has used others to bless us.
It had rained earlier, and the sky's clarity wore a newness. God's greatness as Creator was displayed beautifully in the charcoal gray sky, streaked with a few silver-lined, low-flung clouds, and confettied with stars--all emboldened by the brightness of an almost-full moon. As I gazed at the night sky and listenend to Eric's music, pondering the absolute talent and grace it took for this 21st Century Beethoven to create such lyrical beauty, I began to grieve over just how little I have personally contributed to the advancement of God's kingdom. I found myself wishing I had been blessed with some great talent--like Eric's--that could inspire people, stir their souls to an appreciation and lasting love of Our Lord. If I had, perhaps my contribution could be greater.
And, as [my husband] and I crossed the Navajo reservation, and I realized the awesomeness of God's creation, and the beauty of Eric's music--not only that he can create it, but that he uses it for Our Lord--I realized just how blessed I am. I may not have any great talent, but thank God Eric does, because if he didn't, I would never have been able to experience this music that captures the essence and beauty that resides in the Trinity.
Many of us may feel we don't have any significant talent--and maybe we don't. But, we do have a significant something. It's a different something for each of us, and we must always remember that God created us exactly as we are--to know Him, to love Him, to be with Him in Eternity, and to serve Him--and we serve Him best by understanding whatever our something may be, and using it to bless others. Eric's "something" is his music--in a huge, explosive, and rarely-matched talent that he offers back to God. My something and your something may not be as explosive or so unforgettable, but if we do it well and for the greater glory of God, it will always be soul-catching. And when we're given the opportunity to experience others, both those whose graces penetrate and uplift the soul like Eric's music, as well as those who might just open a door for us when our hands are full, or offer a smile whether we need it, or not, if we only recognize that we are blessed by these things, we will surely grow in holiness each day...
So, that is one way in which I learned to appreciate the "smallness" of my talents. I still don't like talking about me, but I have come to accept that writing is one of my talents. There may be others whose talent is greater, but that's OK. I'm a pretty good storyteller. :) It is a joy to create stories--stories that hopefully entertain, but also leave readers with a little something to think about when they get to "the end." My high school English teacher wrote in my yearbook the year I graduated that I was a romantic (I think it had something to do with Romeo & Juliet being my fav. love story). I didn't realize at the time, that years later, I would create my own romances. But I do. And what a blessing it is! For me, writing a wholesome romance is to share a reflection of God. His life, death and resurrection is the ultimate romance. Love is why we are here. Romance is what keeps love alive.
While it may not seem like it by reading this blog post,
The Lighthouse (Contemporary: Novella) and Reviewer's Top Pick from Night Owl Romance.
Rachel is in love with her best friend, but when Malachi doesn’t seem interested, she turns to an international stranger whom she meets on the internet. At first, conversation is just a pastime, but soon, romantic fantasies form in her mind. Why not consider a man who travels across an ocean to meet her—a man who makes her feel wanted? After all, Malachi might as well be a world away—even if his concern does seem genuine when he warns her about the intriguing Frenchman.
RESCUE ON THE WAY…
Malachi has sworn not to interfere in Rachel’s relationship, but he’s in love with the head-strong woman who is determined to continue her budding romance…Yet, Malachi senses something isn’t right about the playboy who has suddenly consumed Rachel’s time, so he vows to save her from the stranger—and herself—even if it means losing her forever.
Ethereal Lark Blackwell has been hidden within Somerset Manor most of her young life. Few guessed her existence. With the death of her mentor comes the command to marry the new Lord Somerset. He is to protect her, to introduce her to Society, and to keep hidden the mystery of her beginnings. Ha! After his shocked tirade and obvious disdain of the arrangement, she would not marry him even if he were the last man on God’s green earth.
Jonathon Rexley, Lord Somerset, cannot help falling in love with the mute beauty who talks with her hands. Without this marriage, the estate falls to his wastrel brother, who already seems to have charmed the lady. Gad, but he is torn. Despite his love, the possibility exists that in her fire-blackened past, she could be his half-sister. Marry her, yes. Touch her, never.
THE RESURRECTION OF LADY SOMERSET
may just be the death of the Jonathan Rexley
If you'd like to read a free "prologue" of The Resurrection of Lady Somerset that is not published in the book, here's the link.
Forever from Paris (Contemporary: short story) Five Angels from Fallen Angel Reviews
The Desire of her heart…
Finally, a man who doesn’t think Marie is a bumbling fool for not being able to articulate her thoughts. Kind, thoughtful, attentive…handsome: He’s definitely the answer to her prayer for a devoted husband.
A promise of forever…
Observant, funny, shy…gorgeous: Martin is tempted by the thought of a lifetime with Marie, but he must put aside his desire, for his heart is not free to love another woman.
Can the prayer for a husband and the prayer of a wife, heal hearts and craft a happily-ever-after for two unsuspecting strangers?
Happy reading! And remember, you have a special "something" that someone can't do without!
Thursday, February 5, 2009
My post-Civil War Inspirational romance story, Dilemma of the Heart, released yesterday. I’m very excited about this release as it is my first historical with The Wild Rose Press. Today I’m the hostess on TWRP loop from 12-2 EST. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/TheWildRosePress/ I hope you’ll show up since I’ll be discussing the Historical and the Historical Hero. What fun they are to write. In the meantime, here is an excerpt from Dilemma of the Heart. I’ll be sharing more later on the loop.
Cassandra Huddleston has a dilemma. Her heart still resides with her sweetheart, Frederick Adair, reported as killed in action at the close of the Civil War. Now she has a new suitor, Emerson Bryce, powerful, attractive, and dominant; he usually gets what he wants. Cassandra must decide if she can forget the man of her heart and learn to love the man offering her a future.
As she struggles with her feelings, Cassandra is faced with the possibility that Frederick’s death might have been greatly exaggerated. If that is true, will Emerson be willing to let her go?
Placing her hat on the bench, she removed the golden charm from around her neck and held it in the palm of her hand. She opened it and admired the lock of lovely golden brown hair held inside. She touched the strands of Frederick’s hair, the softness causing deep emotions to stir within her. A hand came to her mouth to stifle the sob forming in her throat. With him, she had formed all her hopes and dreams. All that was gone. Now the future only seemed to spread before her like an empty, desolate land.
Lord, why? Why did you allow Frederick to die? Why did he have to leave me? Why? Huge tears began to tumble down her cheeks.
Snapping the locket shut, she shot to her feet as her hands bunched into fists. These thoughts were a poison to her soul. It was as if she was determined to make herself continue in perpetual grief. Her life had become a vale of tears and she was tired of it. She had to let him go if only to allow her heart to rest. She knew that would only come by allowing God to heal her pain but she couldn’t. If she permitted herself to stop hurting over Frederick, it would be like admitting she had forgotten him.
Frederick began to move toward her, his strides determined and sleek. “And how shall I address you when you’re married?” His voice drawled into a low and provocative tone, making her heart give a little leap.
She made the mistake of gazing into those deep, wonderful eyes of his and forgot to breathe as his eyes, no longer playful, seared into her, down to her beating heart. When she was finally able to gulp some air, her lungs began to pump again. “You may call me Cassandra as you always have…I hope.” Her voice came out breathy and weak.
“Oh, no, I don’t believe that would be proper.” He stepped right in front of her face and touched his forehead to hers. In that moment, it felt as if a dozen butterflies had been released inside her stomach. He grabbed her around the waist, but before he had the chance to kiss her, she returned to her senses. Pushing off from his chest, she moved down toward the stalls, keeping her back to him as she held a hand over her galloping heart.
Available Now at The Wild Rose Press.
Monday, February 2, 2009
I am honored to be here, blogging among the finest contemporary authors. My name is Robin Shope and I am a serial writer. What that means exactly is, I just cannot stop writing no matter how many rejection notices I get. My dogged perseverance has landed me with hundreds of articles in print, a few dozen stories in popular collections and my sixth book will be out in May.
How did I get here? It’s been a journey. From an early age, I discovered I wasn’t really good at anything but playing; school became an ongoing struggle. It might have helped if I paid attention but I was so busy with make believe that reality took a backseat. It probably didn’t help that my dad owned a Chicago nightclub that was fashioned after an old castle and stories of Robin Hood and his merry men abounded. Yep, I was the Princess of my very own castle to play in on weekends.
When I reached high school, my counselor advised I forgo college. I went to college anyway. I kept on plugging, working, taking some courses over again, like ‘weather’. All my life I hated school so I decided to become a teacher. And I got rejections notices so I decided to make writing my part time job. It works for me.
I am the co-author of the Jill Lewis Trilogy by Revel. My first book with TWRP, The Christmas Edition came out December 2008 and recently released is book two in The Turtle Creek Edition Series, The Valentine Edition (more edition books will follow in 2010). A stand alone, Wildcard releases early May.
Here are some quick blurbs…
The Christmas Edition
Lucy Collins has given up on Christmas since the painful break-up with her fiance. Things only get worse when a large newspaper is about to come to town and threatens the livelihood of their family run business, The Turtle Creek Newspaper. At the staff Christmas party, she makes a wish and what seems like the answer to her prayer walks in the front door to apply for the editor position, which they are hoping will bring new life to the paper. Not only is Joe McNamara a genius when it comes to the written word, but he is also gifted with ideas about keeping the newspaper afloat. However, Joe has a secret of his own that he is keeping from Lucy. If she finds it out, then what looks like a promising relationship will unravel, but it's Christmas time, the season of rebirth and miracles. Will the spirit of celebration be enough to heal two hearts? Or will the reality of deception make this the worst Christmas of all?
The Valentine Edition
The last place in the world Jodi Williams wanted to live was Turtle Creek, Wisconsin, but when her stepdad refused to put in a good word for her at the Chicago paper, she had no other choice than to accept the first job offer that came her way. Josh Thomas was Turtle Creek's veterinarian, but he also happened to be single and quite handsome. His life was pretty peaceful until a pretty, young stranger came to his clinic with a dog that had been hit by a car. While his first reaction was to care for the injured animal, he couldn't help a few glances at this unique young woman. That day was one of quite a few new beginnings. Jodi came to the aid of an injured animal, earning her the respect of a handsome man, she started a new job as a reporter for The Turtle Creek Newspaper, and she gained the wrath of the vet's receptionist. Della had her sights set on Joshua, and she wasn't about to let anyone come between her and the man of her dreams.
What would happen if someone secured a microchip that could be manipulated to give his or her candidate the edge to win the next presidential election? Not enough votes for a landslide, but just enough to put their candidate over the top in a decisive win. The Wildcards are a group of maverick agents who want to take over the outcome of the next election for President of the United States. During Ivy Dillon's last week as a Washington Intern, she and Ms. Geneen Waters, the secretary to the President of the United States, overhear a conversation about voting machines and missing software. Months later Ms. Waters body is found floating in the Potomac River. FBI Special Agent Ian Serby, who swears he will give his life to protect her, takes Ivy into protective custody. Ian is smart, sexy and seems to have a hidden agenda all his own. Will Ivy follow her heart and believe what Ian tells her about trying to stop the Wildcards or is he actually a member of the Wildcards?
Come on over and visit me at Shoutlife for more information. Be sure to say hello, I would love to meet you! Drop by my blog as well. In the left column is great writing tips and also other blogs I enjoy.
God Bless, Robin Shope AKA Serial Writer