Sunday, April 25, 2010

My 5 Favorite Writing Books

The market is flooded with books about writing - fiction writing, nonfiction writing, freelance writing children's book writing, romance writing, etc.  I could go on and on but I won't.

I've bought my share of these books, some more helpful than others. If I had to make a list of my favorites (and I do because that's what I've decided to blog about today) I'd rate these books as my top 5.

1. Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg
I read this book for a college writing class many years ago (no I'm not going to say how many) and this is the book that really inspired me to write on a regular basis.  It's the perfect book for a beginning writer.  Goldberg's approach is more personal than academic, but tremendously helpful none the less.

2. Guide to Fiction Writing by Phyllis A. Whitney
Whitney is most well known for her juvenile books and her romantic suspense books.  But she was also a good writing teacher - to me at least.  Natalie Goldberg got me into the habit of writing.  Phyllis Whitney showed me how to take all those scribblings and make a story out of them.  This book was more about structure and organization than inspiration. Following Whitney's suggestions definitely put me another step closer to being ready for publication.

3.  Sally Stuart's Christian Writer's Market Guide
Actually Stuart's guide isn't the only one I use and I don't recommend that it should be the only guide any writer uses.  I think it's a good guide to start with because it contains lots of small markets that are open to working with beginners. It also has information on writing conferences and organizations.

Market guides are expensive and buying two or three every year is out of my budget.  I recommend buying your favorite market guide every year or two and then supplementing a library copy of another market guide when you need to check on a market not listed in that guide.  If your library doesn't have a copy, they can request it through interlibrary loan.

4.  Writing the Christian Romance by Gail Gaymer Martin
This is a solid basic guide for writers who are trying to break into the inspirational romance market, especially if you are aiming at category romance publishers like Steeple Hill or Heartsong Presents.  Martin has written extensively for both of these companies.

5.  From the Inside Out: Discover, Create and Publish the Novel in You by Susan May Warren
This is my latest discovery.  I enjoy Warren's books, so I looked her up on the internet.  It turns out that she and fellow author Rachel Hauck started a blog and then a Ning community called My Book Therapy.  Their Monday night chats are better than any class I've paid for.  I actually take notes!  The book was a recent purchase and I admit I haven't finished it yet, but I have no doubt that it belongs in this list.

There they are - my top five.  If you're a writer, please leave a comment and tell me what's on your list.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Royal Dreams

This morning on the Today show, there was much speculation about a pending royal engagement between Prince William and his girlfriend, Kate Middleton. Usually, I let the TV drone on in the background while I get ready. But, this time, I stopped what I was doing and sat and watched the segment.

Watching the dashing prince, I couldn't help but revisit that day way back in 1981 when his mother, Lady Diana Spencer, married Prince Charles and became the Princess of Wales. I know I'm dating myself here...I wasn't that old. Barely 13.

But old enough to set my alarm clock for the wee hours and watch the royal wedding unfold on live television. It was the stuff of young girls' fantasies. The bride even arrived in a real glass coach! I think that was the day I fell in love with romance.

Prince Charles and Princess Diana
on their wedding day, July 29, 1981

It was also the day I fell in love with royalty, a love that is still near and dear to my heart. Like Elle Woods from the Legally Blonde movies,  I am convinced I have the perfectly shaped head for a tiara.

Why do so many of us harbor secret dreams of castles, glittering crowns and Prince Charming? I think it's a dream God has placed in all our hearts. A dream that will ultimately be fulfilled. But we won't be given a crown that can be tarnished by earthly things. God's Word tells us we will be given a "crown of glory which will never fade away" (1 Peter 5:4).

And as for Prince Charming, riding in on his white horse? We don't wait for Him in vain...

"I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True" (Rev 19:11).

In my upcoming series from White Rose Publishing, I explore these dreams of royalty, tiaras and handsome heroes on white horses. Rodeo Royalty kicks off on July 16, with the release of Book 1 ~ Rodeo Redemption!

Rodeo Redemption releases on July 16, 2010

Rodeo Rescue,
Book 2 in the Rodeo Royalty Series

Rodeo Resurrection,
Book 3 in the Rodeo Royalty Series

Until then, embrace your role as a princess in the Kingdom of Heaven!

"But you are a chosen people,
a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people
belonging to God ,that you may
declare the praises of him
who called you out of darkness
into his wonderful light."
1 Peter 2:9

Teri Wilson ~ Romancing the pet lover's soul
Cup of Joe ~ Available NOW from White Rose Publishing

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Christianity - It's A Topic Worth Pondering

Hello, WRiB blog followers! I hope you're finding the time and ability to enjoy the blessings of this Easter season. Do you savor the rebirth of the world around us as spring quite literally erupts? Do you take joy in the long days and lazy nights as, at long last, spring and summer take hold following winter's term?

This past weekend, as my DH and I prepared our home (and hearts!) for a college graduation party for our daughter, I got to thinking. I'm a child of ritual, and, to a degree, there's comfort in that truth, and in the heartbeat of nature's timeless cycle.

For example, before I go to bed each night, I have my own little cycle, or routine. 1. I pray and, if so inspired, journal in my 'Book of Thanks." 2. I read the day's passage from "Daily Word." 3. I read the day's passage from "Living Faith." 4. I read from my most current TBR. 5. At long last, I doze off.

A couple nights ago, the readings from "Living Faith" came to me from the Acts of the Apostles, and it hit me hard. It speaks to the durability of Christianity, and it's one of my favorites:

‘If this endeavor is of human origin, it will destroy itself. But if it comes from God, you will not be able to destroy it. In fact, you may find yourselves fighting against God.’ (Acts 5:34-42 NIV)

The verses bear enormous impact on all of us as believers, and is, without doubt, one of the most underrated, yet powerful words to be found in the Bible.

The truth is this: Christianity is 2000+ years strong - and came to be in an age far removed from any form of mass communication. Yet, to this day, it powers, connects, challenges and enlightens so many millions, offering love and hope to those who seek. Believer or not, the fact remains: Something "happened" all those thousands of Easter’s ago.

If not, Christianity wouldn’t have survived for long following Christ’s death on the cross.

Throughout the ages, many false prophets performed powerful deeds, and spoke powerful words, but their followers soon died out. That never happened with Christianity. Instead, followers of Jesus became stronger. Think about that! What made a group of people (who were so scared they denied Christ and locked themselves in an upper room for days) go out into the world and enthusiastically proclaim the Gospel – knowing they were putting themselves in grave danger?

The Apostles were willing to risk death by gruesome meas. You don’t do that just to preserve someone’s “reputation.”

These were the actual first-hand witnesses to Christ’s life, death and resurrection. They didn’t back down. They all suffered and died for the Truth, yet they spread the gospel like holy wildfire! That is not only powerful, it transformed the world.

When I find myself frustrated by world events, and the culture in which we live, I keep this verse handy . While we live in times that seems to go against many of Christ’s teachings, we already know the end of the story. We already rest sure in the knowledge of God’s mercy, grace, guidance and love.

Is there any greater gift to consider as we continue to travel the resurrection path?

Blessings, everyone!

Marianne Evans

Monday, April 19, 2010

Dealing with Differences

Readers that know me are aware that I have a special place in my heart for children who have disabilities.  I wanted to explain about how that affects my work in today's post.

In The Prodigal Father (From Five Star Expressions), the heroine's two year old daughter, Risa, has Down syndrome. She will soon turn three and transition from the Birth to Three Program to the public school's Early Childhood class.  The Birth to Three Program is a federally and state funded program that provides help for children under the age of three who have significant developmental delays.  This help may take the form of speech therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, early education, and assistance in gaining access to appropriate government assistance programs.

My youngest daughter has Down syndrome.   She was born six weeks early, when we were getting ready to move from Illinois back to my home state of Wisconsin.  She was supposed to be born about a month after our move, but my little girl had other ideas.  Coping with a new community and a new child who has unexpected health problems was a huge challenge.  I was completely lost - until I met our Birth to Three services coordinator.

Our doctor in Illinois would not release my daughter from the hospital until he was sure we had a new pediatrician lined up in Wisconsin and that the Birth to Three Program had my daughter on their list of clients.  And I'm very glad he did!  My Birth to Three services coordinator soon became my best friend - literally.  My book is dedicated to her and to all the Birth to Three professionals out there.

She helped my family manage my daughter's health problems, found community resources for us and even came with me to some of my daughter's doctor's appointments at The Children's Hospital of Milwaukee.  Our therapists were great sources of information and encouragement.  If you have never had a child with developmental delays in your family, chances are you haven't heard of the Birth to Three Program.  I think it is worth knowing about, no matter what your circumstances are because these wonderful, caring, dedicated professionals are true heroes.

Transition out of Birth to Three was a scary time for me.  I definitely planted some of my own feelings into Beth's, my heroine's heart on this.  Luckily for my daughter and for hers, there was a great public school program waiting to take over.  The school program does not extend it's support to the whole family as well as the Birth to Three Program, but I guess after three years, we were ready to stand on our own feet.

I worked for a year or so (in between library jobs.  Budget cuts, you know.) as an aide in the early childhood classroom for our school district.  This was several years after my own daughter had moved into elementary school.  As an aide I met many beautiful children with great potential inside them.  One such little girl had verbal dispraxia.  Messages from her brain did not always make it to her mouth and speaking was extremely difficult for this bright, loving little girl.  She became the inspiration for Charity in my Orchard Hill story "Accepting Charity."

I feel it is a great privilege to write about children like this who overcome many obstacles just to participate in daily life.  I have been blessed by knowing them and hope to convey that blessing to my readers.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Spotlight on By The Book & A Chance To Win A Download

Hi Friends!

Today, By The Book is being spotlighted over on Pamela's bog

If you get the chance, please stop by. As a special incentive to WRiB followers, after visiting her blog, leave a comment here. On Friday, I will choose one of the names and give away a free download of Teacher's Plans, Sweet Rest, Smuggler of the Heart, or Daniella.
Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Rambling Roses of Summer

Spring is in the air! Since I seem to be the appointed white rose fairy of legend and lore, my post Flowers and herbs

Roses and Meanings

RED ROSE: proclaims “I love you”and is the ultimate symbol of romantic love and enduring passion

YELLOW ROSE: indicates friendship and are also appropriate for graduations, newlyweds, Texans and new mothers

PALE PINK ROSE: depicts grace, gratitude and gentleness, a joy to behold. They also express happiness and fun

DEEP PINK ROSE: say thank you

LAVENDAR OR LILAC ROSE: indicates the sender has fallen in love at first sight with the recipient and is enchanted

WHITE ROSE: pure white roses are a symbol of truth and innocence. They also send other messages “I miss you” and “You’re heavenly”

CORAL ROSE: express one thing with their passionate color—desire

PEACH ROSE: speak of appreciation, gratitude and also sympathy

ORANGE ROSE: express enthusiasm and desire on the part of the sender

DEAD ROSE: regardless of their color, dead roses scream it’s over loud and clear


PINK AND WHITE: symbolize peace and harmony

RED AND YELLOW: symbolize happiness and celebration

RED AND WHITE: symbolize bonding and harmony

ONE SINGLE RED ROSE: I love you but I’m not going to go broke telling you

TWO ROSES ENTWINED: An engagement or wedding is imminent

Looking for a unique rose bush to plant in your garden? Here are some of my favorites, each featured in my Easter story, Lasting Love.


fragrant blossoms grow in clusters with ruffled edges

mature shrubs will be covered with hundreds of pink and white flowers

perfect rose for a garden party, a child’s birthday or ddance recital


six blooms have a traditional hybrid tea rose form

petals are a romantic shade of warm pink with creamy reverse

great gift for anniversaries and a wonderful backdrop for prom pictures and weddings


larger flower very fragrant

Citrusy aroma enhances each blossom

Fresh summer scent


vintage appeal

fragrance is strong, sweet and spicy

sweet centerpiece


luscious rose with pretty pink flowers with ivory stripes and an apple scent

vigorous blossoms grow on ten to twelve foot cane

fairy-tale backdrop


hybrid tea rose

unusual shimmering jewel-toned rose

Powerful scent reminiscent of old fashioned rose

dark red with vibrant green leaves

big beautiful blossoms on bushy plant

classic and flawless appeal

very hearty and disease resistant

huge climbers and beautiful for lattice


old fashioned rose scent radiates from satiny petals

timeless and romantic appeal


deep mauve lavender flowers

wavy edging trimmed in deeper lavender

highly fragrant and quite hearty

easy to grow and very Victorian

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Into the Grae: A Review

Into the Grae by Nicola Beaumont is the first book to be released in White Rose Publishing's new Gothic line.  The book blurb reads: Graeme McCracken, Lord Hamel, is cursed. Loving him is deadly, so he vows never again. Never fall in love, never risk another woman. Then he rescues Felicity Worthington and falls in love with the feisty beauty—but his love is fatal. Now, only God can save her…but will He, when He is the very God who cursed Graeme to begin with?

Felicity Worthington is on a mission from God: Kill Graeme McCracken and avenge her friend’s death. But the lord of the manor is strangely alluring and mysteriously magnetic—not at all the cold-hearted murderer painted by her mind’s eye. As she begins to trust, to love, she is devastated to find that Graeme is indeed the Butcher of Beacon Hill. When her life is threatened, she learns that only faith and love can save her from becoming the next victim on the moor.

At 77 pages Into the Grae is a quick read.  But it certainly had the potential to be a full length novel, if the author had chosen to make it one.  As it is, she did a great job of building plot and characters in the scope of the story.  All the typical Gothic elements were included - lonely old house, ancient family servant, brooding hero, innocent heroine and crazed villain.  Felicity is mesmerized by Graeme right from the start and readers will be, too.  His character is a mixture of deep, melodic voice, dark good looks, handsome face and mysterious past.

It is Felicity's faith that allows her to face Graeme, supposedly a heartless murderer, and to eventually realize that he is not to blame for the tragedies that have befallen him. It will be an even greater task for her to convince Graeme to lay aside the guilt he's taken upon himself and convince him that he is worthy of God's love.

The White Rose Publishing's Gothic line is off to a great start with Into the Grae.  I hope we will see more releases in this line soon.  For those readers that enjoy this story, you may want to try The Resurrection of Lady Somerset, another Gothic romance by Nicola Beaumont.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Newsletter Opportunity!

Hi Folks,

I think later today, Kara will be posting another if her wonderful blog post. In the meantime, I wanted let you know Rose Petals, The Official Newsletter From White Rose Publishing Authors is now available!

To receive your copy, please e-mail with NEWSLETTER in the subject box.


Friday, April 9, 2010

Keeping Faith Through Long Illnesses

Since December, my husband has had a serious illness. His bladder stopped functioning and he was admitted to the hospital with acute renal failure. I found myself in constant prayer. I wasn't ready to lose my husband.

Worse, I had retired from my full-time job and only afterward learned that my husband was not eligible to enter into Medicare Part B. What were we to do? I turned the burdens to God and He lifted us up. The VA accepted my husband under hardship due to the drastic change in our income since we would only have our social security to live on.

It took months of getting through all the necessary steps with various doctors to finally get my husband scheduled for surgery. The week prior to the scheduled surgery, we had to get clearance from his lung specialist and his heart doctor. The surgeon planned to operate by using a spinal block, and the specialists finally gave their approval. On March 29, my husband had surgery.

We learned on April 6, that the surgery was successful! Praise God!

Finally, after nearly four months of having to live with a catheter, my husband is healed. God is so gracious! He knew the outcome, and we just had to trust in Him, be faithful, and patient. He answered our prayers.

Our Pastor has been with us throughout this entire ordeal, visiting, calling and coming to the hospital to pray with us. On Tuesday, when I contacted him with the wonderful news, he shared these words of wisdom, which made us laugh. He said, "Praise God from whom all blessings flow."

Thank God for humor and for His abiding love.

Carol Ann Erhardt

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Good Bye Winter, Hello Spring!

Ecclesiastes 3:1 "There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven."

When our sons were very young, my mother would often say, "For every age the boys will hit, you'll find good things about it and some difficulties." And you know what--she was 100% right!

I find this is true for more than just developmental stages. It's true for life in general. When things seem dark and dismal, there is a blessing to be found even there. God invites us to draw near to Him, and He will draw near to us. God is our Rock and Fortress, our stronghold in the time of trouble. He takes the winter of our hearts and warms us with His love, fresh and pure like the spring breeze.

Do you have any "spring" stories to share about how God has warmed your heart and where you've seen Him at work in your life?

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Jesus Christ is Risen Today!

Thine be the glory, risen, conquering Son;
endless is the victory, thou o'er death hast won;
angels in bright raiment rolled the stone away,
kept the folded grave clothes where thy body lay.

Lo! Jesus meets us, risen from the tomb;
Lovingly he greets us, scatters fear and gloom;
let the Church with gladness, hymns of triumph sing;
for her Lord now liveth, death hath lost its sting.

Edmond Budry (1854-1932)

"Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen."
Luke 24:5 NRSV

Christ has risen indeed!

Happy Easter to All

Friday, April 2, 2010

Snow Angels is now available!

Good Morning! Just a quick note to let you know my new romance, Snow Angels releases today! As an inspirational author, I'm thrilled to combine faith elements with a story about my favorite sport, snow skiing. Ever wonder what it would feel like like to fall in love with a handsome, daring and compassionate ski patroller? Isabelle Rollins knows what it's like. But, she's in for some surprises as her handsome rescuer has her tackling more obstacles than she imagined.

Here's the blurb:
A blizzard brings them together...
A twist of fate threatens to tear them apart.

Seeking her father's approval, ski patrol candidate, Isabelle Rollins, will stop at nothing to secure her place among the highly respected patrollers at Snowcap Resort, even if it means risking her life. When she becomes lost in a blizzard, she fights her way to the doorstep of a handsome stranger, only to discover he is the one man who can stand in the way of her dream.

Seeking refuge from his tragic past, Ski Patrol Director, Mitchell Donovan, prays his new environment will help his daughter heal and overcome her persistent nightmares. When a stranded woman shows up on his doorstep desperate to survive a raging blizzard, he brings her in from the cold and into his life, only to discover she's the one woman he has no business falling for.

Stop by to check out an excerpt and view the book trailer, or go to for more info.

Wendy Davy
~Adventures of the Heart ~