Friday, October 31, 2008

Editor Appreciation Day at The Wild Rose Press

Today, we pause to acknowledge the tremendous contribution of our Wild Rose Press editors. These remarkable ladies work very hard to make us authors look good. And we appreciate all the hours of work you put in, all the messages of encouragement and advice, and everything else you do to make The Wild Rose Press a success.

Thank you! Thank You! Thank You!
White Roses in Bloom

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Creepy Crawlies And 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, the 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.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Sequels & A Funny Thing

It seems these days if you write one book, you inevitably will write a sequel. What is this desire authors have with sequels, trilogies or even huge sagas? Is it really reader demand that fuels this phenomenon or are we authors just not ready to say goodbye to our characters?

I’m just as guilty as the rest as I’ve a romantic suspense series of which I am in the middle of writing the third installment and having more fun with these characters than ever before. Now I’ve started work on a sequel to my Inspirational, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Your Wedding.

My motivations? Most often when I write a sequel it is because it has been requested. Readers and reviewers both have asked me to write a sequel to A Funny Thing. Just recently, a storyline came to me. The sequel starts two and a half years after the end of the first novel and it will focus on Alice Steele—the younger sister of the hero from A Funny Thing. Don’t worry Randy and Kari will show up too. Alice has now graduated from college and is ready to start her first reporting job even though her mother wants her to come home and find a husband. On her first assignment, she butts heads with Will Rand, a young reporter from a competing newspaper. And wouldn’t you know it—they find themselves competing over and over again. Little does she know that the greatest secrets to reveal come from Will himself.

Alice was a fun character to write in A Funny Thing. She became a sounding board for both my hero and heroine. She has a humorous sense of humorous and also a sensitive heart that is open and ready to listen, if not give advice.

Here is an excerpt of Alice with her brother, Randy, from A Funny Thing.

“Hey brother,” called Alice from the doorway. “You can’t waste away the night thinking about Kari.” She gave him one of her humorous grins.

Unfortunately, Randy was in no mood. He turned and looked at her with annoyance. “Does Mother need me to do…something? I need something to do.”

“What’s wrong with you, Randy? I don’t think I’ve ever seen you this distracted. Didn’t your date with Kari go off well?”

“It went great; Kari was great.” He tried to maintain an easygoing expression, but irritability had slipped into his tone and he knew it. Alice walked in the room and reclined on his bed.

“Okay, now when are you going to tell me the truth,” she asked, her eyes sharply assessed his face.

Randy lay back on the bed next to her and took in a deep breath. “The date really did go well. We had a lot of fun together.”

“Did you kiss her?” she whispered in his ear.

Alice!” he answered with surprise.

“You did. I can see it in your eyes…You love her!” Alice exclaimed, as she sat up. “So, what happened? Don’t tell me she doesn’t care for you? I’ll never believe it.”

Randy sat up, too. “You sure know how to jump to conclusions.”

His sister flashed him a knowing smile. “Okay, you’re right,” he finally admitted. “I did kiss

her, and I…I do love her. But when it came down to it the other night, I panicked and fled like a coward.

She must hate me now.”

“Randy, if she really is the one for you then she won’t hate you. She’s probably just confused and possibly mortified. You better let me take over from here on out.”

“Thanks, Alice, but I can handle this. Actually, there is something you can help me with.”

If you haven't read A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Your Wedding, it is available at The Wild Rose Press. In e-book format, it is also at Fictionwise. Also available in print at Amazon & Barnes and Noble.

To read the entire 1st chapter visit my website.

My short Inspirational story, Relationship Rescue, was recently reviewed by author, Victoria Pitts-Caine. To read the review, please stop by her website.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Finding Peace in Troubled Times

Hello friends,

I try to ignore the news these days. I honestly don't want to know that our economy is collapsing, listen to the presidential candidates sling insults at each other, or hear about the latest attack on an innocent person. But it's impossible to avoid hearing about or being effected by the world we live in. Our world is growing increasingly wicked and unless you are Pollyanna you probably have felt afraid, depressed, and worried.

We don't need to be afraid. The Lord is with us. He has promised to lift, guide, protect, and bless us if we will but turn our hearts to Him.

Genesis 26:24 - "Fear not, for I am with thee." We don't need to fear. The Lord is on our side.

1 John 4:18 - "There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear." Don't you love that line? The Lord's love is perfect love. It can cast out our fear if we will trust in him.

Matthew 21:21-22 - "If ye have faith, and doubt not . . . it shall be done. And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive." The Savior is speaking to all of us here. Please get on your knees and turn to him in prayer. Our great country can be preserved if we will but recognize and thank the source of our blessings.

I testify to all of you that miracles have not ceased. The Lord loves each of you and is waiting to bless you. All you have to do is turn to him. I believe that through our faith and obedience we will be blessed and will not need to fear.

May the Lord bless and keep all of you,

Cami Checketts

Friday, October 24, 2008

We Have a Release Date!

Hello Friends,

Just wanted to drop in and let you all know that we have a release date for my latest White Rosette, Winter Madness from The Wild Rose Press.

Mark your calendar for March 11, 2009!

I know, seems like forever - but at least we know it's coming!

Here's the blurb:

Sienna has survived what most succomb to - the death of a spouse and child and has maintained her faith despite her troubles. William has never met anyone who actually lived out what they say they believe. Is it true love between the faithful optimist and broody pessimist or simply winter madness?

Until later take care, God Bless and remember....anticipation enhances the excitement.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Disrupting Harmony Now Available

Harmony Solberg is happy with her quiet, orderly existence. Then Joseph Velasquez and his brood of noisy children, teenagers move next door, shattering her peace. Against her will, she’s drawn into the children’s lives. Soon she’s sewing Halloween costumes and helping out with the church’s fall harvest party. Harmony realizes that she’d rather have a loud, chaotic life with Joseph and family than go back to her lonely old life but Joseph doesn’t seem to think she’s cut out for it. Will she be able to convince him, with a few tricks and maybe a treat or two?

True Love Never Runs Smoothly

Hope was very nice about the whole thing, considering that Joseph just showed up on her doorstep with Harmony that evening. Her eyes grew big when she opened the door and saw her brother with an overnight bag in one hand. With his other hand, he was holding onto the arm of a clearly outraged Harmony.

“Can Harmony stay with you tonight?” he asked abruptly.

“Um…sure.” She took a step back and motioned them inside. “Come in. Oliver and I were just watching a movie.”

Harmony glared at Joseph. “You see, she’s busy. I’ll be fine at my house.”

“Ignore her,” Joseph ordered his sister. “She needs a place to stay for the night, and she won’t stay at my house.”

Hope’s mouth dropped open and her gaze went back and forth between them. She obviously wanted to say something but was at a loss.

Oliver stuck his head out of the living room and said, “Hi Joseph, Harmony.”

“I’m sorry to interrupt your evening, Oliver,” said Harmony, with a scorching glance at Joseph. “But I wasn’t given much choice.”

“Is…is there a problem at Harmony’s?” asked Hope, a bit timidly.

“Yes,” replied Joseph at exactly the same time that Harmony said “No.”

Hope and Oliver exchanged looks. “Which is it?” Oliver ventured.

Harmony’s eyes narrowed and she pointed at Joseph. “The only problem is that my bathroom no longer has a door.”

Joseph’s face darkened further, which Harmony thought a remarkable feat. “If you had come out when I asked you, I wouldn’t have had to take it off the hinges.”

Monday, October 6, 2008

“God does not play dice.” - Albert Einstein

Einstein's "God" would not allow him to rest content with anything less than a rigorous scientific description of the intrinsic orderliness of nature at its micro-physical as well as at every other level of reality. - Reflections, Thomas Torrance on Albert Einstein.

I am but a small part in the vastness. If my existence were to be weighed out, it would be meager to that in the scale pan opposite mine, the one holding the expanse of the universe.

My candle in the darkness will burn for a mere second between the beginning and end of things. But within me there is a purpose, a passion, and a reason to exist. I did not create this ability but it is my responsibility to nurture it.

To whom much is given, much is expected. - Luke 12:48. Therefore I feel I’m compelled to be a writer and share my beliefs through what I write. If the flow back doesn’t equal the flow from me then it isn’t I who is at a loss. I’ve done what I intended to do.

Victoria Pitts Caine

Thursday, October 2, 2008

New Review

Wow. I just found this review from Joyfully Reviewed for my vintage short story When Johnny Comes Home. Thanks Tanya.

Do you want a quick book that will make you go awww? Well When Johnny Comes Home is definitely the book for you then. Ms. Watters had me cheering for Audrey and hoping that Johnny could see what was really before his eyes and in his heart. This was a wonderful touching romance.

Kim Watters