Wednesday, June 24, 2009


Do you love cowboys? Heroes who make you want to pitch a hissy fit one minute, but then you fall in love with them the next? Oh, I do. Corey, Jericho, and Clay are three characters every reader will certainly enjoy. They charm, protect their women, expose their weaknesses, and always remain faithful. We’ll meet them and the strong women they love in one of the Wayback, Texas anthologies from The Wild Rose Press, titled Return to Wayback.
Wayback, Texas, where a cowboy falls in love every 8 seconds.

(Blurb) Corey Donovan spent twelve years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit. Now, he’s headed for Wayback, Texas where Tiffany Covington waits—both thrilled and afraid of his return. Tiffany married a millionaire soon after Corey’s arrest and sentencing. Bitter and bent on payback, he visits her at the Covington mansion. The news Corey has a son unsettles him, but she asks him to be a father to Joey. Tiffany also has a plan to offer payback along with the true story of his arrest. If she succeeds, maybe Corey will forgive her devious father and reclaim her heart—and his son.

(Review) Lynda Coker’s fifty-five page story contains enough substance and plot for a full-length novel. The characters are real and worthy of finding happiness and forgiveness. The reader will like Corey, Tiffany, and Joey, and will cheer when the three reunite. The conclusion was as satisfying as any romance should be, but it left me wishing it had been longer book. I would have loved to see the relationship between Corey and Joey developed more. This is really a wonderful story.
Ms. Coker writes with clear purpose and aplomb. The reader does not need to decipher the text—I appreciate a clearly written novel. Don’t miss Payback in Wayback.

(Excerpt) “I’ve never walked away from anything. You of all people should know that.”
“Good. Then we’re agreed that you’ll help Joey build the right skills, those things only a man can teach him.”
“If you think an ex-con is qualified teacher material, maybe you need to re-think your definition of the right skills.”
“I know what you’re made of, Corey Donovan; it’s in your eyes.”

ROPED AND TIED-Mallary Mitchell
(Blurb) Jericho Farrell left Wayback and Eden Sawyer for a shot at a better life, but now he’s back. Eden has forgiven him for leaving, but will he forgive her when he discovers he’s a father?

(Review) Mallary Mitchell’s short novel is packed with emotion and action. Eden and Jericho have a long history—and a three-year-old son he learns about when he is injured. Their young love unraveled, but years later when he returned, he did not intend to pursue her again. Don’t be too quick to judge Jericho, though, even though he is a bit argumentative and sullen at times. The dialogue between the two was some of the best I’ve ever read—very quick, witty, and just as real people argue and spar and tantalize.
Ms. Mitchell writes exactly as I love a story—more dialogue between the hero and heroine than narrative or inner dialogue. She has a gift of exposing a character’s true feelings though their speech. I hope you love Roped and Tied as much as I did.

(Excerpt) “I love you.” He traced her jawline with his forefinger.
“You are something else, Jericho Farrell, and you are not harmless. You are just the kind of trouble I don’t need.” Eden dropped her chin to his chest and snuggled. “You know neither of us has enough sense to know what’s good for us.”
“Yeah, but I am content with that knowledge,” he whispered.


(Blurb) Bronc rider Clay Tanner is looking for a good time. Dusty Morgan looks like she could use one, but she turns him down. Feeling like he’s been bucked off before the eight-second buzzer, Clay’s betting he can score if she’ll give him a re-ride. But qualifying may call for more than he’s prepared to give.

(Review) Anne Carolle has given us a perfect score. Just as the 8 second buzzer proclaims a winner, so does her short novel. Clay is the consummate good-time cowboy; that is, until he meets Dusty. He’s drawn to her; she’s different, she’s cute and sweet and smart. But inadvertently, he makes a bet with his best friend, and the bargain soon comes back to haunt him. You’ll love the ending—I shed a happy tear because Clay’s actions were just so, well…romantic!
Ms. Carolle possesses imagination and skill that allows her to create a story with the exact elements a short novel should contain. You’ll want to read straight through, so give yourself enough time.

(Excerpt) “Hell, every time you see a pretty girl, you make a bet with yourself. You may not be playing for the hundred dollars but you sure as hell were playing.”
“What if I wasn’t?” Clay ground out. “What the hell if I wasn’t? What if I actually love her, Jesse?”
Jesse’s face paled. “You serious?”
Clay closed his eyes. All he saw was Dusty. With tears streaming down her face. How the hell was he going to right this one?

To Purchase the print of Return to Wayback--

REVIEWS BY—Celia Yeary

ALL MY HOPES AND DREAMS-a Texas Historical
Available in eBook: The Wild Rose Press
Available in print:, B&N

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Why I Write the West

The first Western Romance novel I read was “This Calder Range” by Janet Dailey. Before that, my adult reading material came in groups. One genre kept me busy for months or years, until I moved on to another. The first genre was Science Fiction, and I read dozens over a period of a year or so. But I cannot remember one author or one title. The plots and otherworldly creatures fascinated me, but I soon selected something else. So many books—so little time! I began Willa Cather’s books, and when I’d finished all those, I selected a new kind of novel I’d not seen—women’s fiction. Maeve Binchy, Rosamund Pilcher, Belva Plain. Each author received my undivided attention until I’d read all I could find. Next, westerns. Plain old shoot-’em-ups, cattle drives, rustlers, outlaws, and lawmen. Oh, I loved these novels, and Louis L’Amour became my favorite because he often had a little love story in there.

Romance? Didn’t read it. None, zip, nada. Too trite, I’d heard—the novels always ended the same way—happily-ever-after. Same plot, boy meets girl, they fall in love, have a falling-out, make-up, get married. What’s wrong with that? I asked a cynical friend who only read literary works. And in my ignorance, I thought all romance novels were published by Harlequin.

Then, one day in 1990, I visited a used-book store and bought a paperback by Janet Dailey titled This Calder Range. I couldn’t put it down. Remember, I love Westerns, and this had the requisite HEA. I fell in love. I searched the used-book stores and eventually the library until I’d found and read all ten in the Calder series. Her latest, I believe was released a couple of years ago. From there, I discovered LaVyrle Spencer, a master of romance writing, Dorothy Garlock, Maggie Osborne, Linda Lael Miller, and Jodi Thomas—plus many more. I still search for new authors who write exciting, satisfying Western Romance.

In 2003, I sat down and began to write a story. And yes, it was a Western romance—a historical. Probably I’ll never be in the same category with other favorite authors, but each one has been an inspiration and a benchmark for me.

My first release, All My Hopes and Dreams, takes place in West Texas, in the far western edge of the Texas frontier. The year is 1880.
To escape an arranged marriage, beautiful, proper Cynthia Harrington from East Texas impulsively marries Ricardo Romero, a striking, sensual Spaniard who ranches on the far western edge of the Texas frontier. Innocently, she steps into a hotbed of anger, rivalry, and strong wills. As she struggles to gain a foothold in the hostile household and foreign ranch community, she finds that her biggest challenge is to make her husband love her.

Ricardo creates his own problems by marrying an outsider, angering his mother, father, and his jealous ex-lady friend. Then, the Texas Rangers arrive looking for a killer, and Cynthia saves Ricardo’s mother in a confrontation with the wanted man. Ricardo realizes that his delicate bride has more grit and spunk than he thought, and his greatest trial becomes a race to pursue his own wife and persuade her to stay with him.
Read about their adventures and how they fall in love. Purchase the eBook here:

Or purchase the print here:

Thank you, Celia Yeary

Thursday, June 11, 2009

The Yellow Rose of Texas

Years ago, I sat on my patio and overheard a conversation next door. The new neighbor from Illinois and her relatives sat on her screened-in porch, discussing Texas. One asked, “What is the State Flower of Texas?”
“Hmm,” she mused, “I believe it is the yellow rose.”
“Ahhh, yes,” replied a male, “from that song—The Yellow Rose of Texas.”
All agreed and moved on to another topic. I continued reading my paper, but chuckled to myself.
Every Texan knows the bluebonnet is our beloved state flower, and I wager many from other states know, as well.
So, what does the term “The Yellow Rose of Texas” signify?
“The Yellow Rose of Texas” is a traditional folk song of Texas, and has become the unofficial state song. (Few Texans know the name of the real state song.) No one knows who wrote it, but it is a tribute to a beautiful young mulatto woman. According to legend, she was the heroine of the Battle of San Jacinto.
Emily D. West (or Morgan), a free African-American woman, was seized by Mexican forces during the looting of Galveston. According to legend, General Santa Anna was so preoccupied with the captured servant girl that he failed miserably as commander of the Mexican Army. The unprepared Mexican troops were so overwhelmed by Sam Houston and his volunteer army of Texians that the battle lasted only 18 minutes. The Battle of San Jacinto ended the Texas Revolution and made Texas an independent nation.
THE SONG: 1858 Minstrel version
There’s a Yellow Rose in Texas that I am going to see,
No other darkey knows her, no darkey, only me.
She cried so when I left her, it like to broke my heart,
And if I ever find her, we never more will part.
Oh, my feet are torn and bloody, and my heart is full of woe;
I’m going back to Georgia, to find my uncle Joe.
You may talk about your Beauregard, and sing of General Lee,
But the gallant hood of Texas, played hell in Tennessee.
Note: the word “darkey” was replaced with “soldier” throughout the song and chorus.

Skillet Cheddar Cornbread (Yellow cornbread)
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 cup milk
2 eggs, beaten
2 cups Cheddar cheese, shredded
Mix thoroughly.
Pour batter into hot, greased 10-inch iron skillet
Bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes or until cornbread is golden
(Recipe and portions of the “Yellow Rose of Texas” from Texas Tastes and Tales)

Celia Yeary
ALL MY HOPES AND DREAMS-a Texas Historical
Available in eBook: The Wild Rose Press
Available in print:, B&N

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


(Disclaimer: photo is not me)
Got Game? When I turned forty, I decided to learn to play golf. So, I asked my good friend and women’s golf coach to teach me the game. She said, “Sure, I’ll teach you.”
She took a small set of student’s clubs--and me--straight to the course, bypassing the driving range. “We’ll just start and see how you do,” she told me.
“I know the object is to get the ball in the hole, but what are the procedures, the rules?” I asked.
“It’s simple,” she said. “Just hit the ball, go find it, and hit it again.”
Ha-ha-ha! But she was dead serious. Some coach she is, I muttered to myself.
In a nutshell, though, that’s it.
After a couple of years of playing, I beat her almost every time. She always complained she’d taught me too well.
Years later—did I say how many?—oh, good, because I didn’t intend to—I thought to try my hand at writing a romance story. I wondered how to write a novel, and if I did, how could I have it published. I heard the words of my coach: “Write a story, send it to a publisher, then write another.” Easy-peasy.
Writing is like playing golf.
In a game of golf, the player uses drives, fairway shots, chipping, and putting to get the ball in the cup. Then, she adds her score.
In writing, the author uses plot, characterization, Point of View, pacing, and climax. Then, she submits and hopes for a contract.
Doubt will kill a golf round. The minute a player decides her ball will go in the water, I assure you, it will. When she chastises herself for making a wrong choice or missing an easy putt, she’ll add more strokes. If she decides she’s the worst player in the field, then she probably will be.
Once a writer—or golfer—allows doubt to creep in, her game and attitude vanishes.
Many pro golfers, especially the world’s number one player Tiger Woods, subscribe to the mantra, “Never lay up.”
When a player is faced with a long shot over a hazard, he has two choices: hit the ball close to the hazard, so that the next shot is easy and he will have a better chance of getting close to the hole. Or if he’s a strong-willed player and faces the same situation, he will take all the club he can, study the situation, take his stance with confidence, and…go for the green!
Each hole is a clean slate. Other holes are history.
Each new document is wide open to possibilities.
We all like to win--at golf or writing. But we’re not out to beat the field 100% of the time. We play to challenge ourselves, to best our own last score, to lower our putt average, and to lower our handicap.
Don’t misunderstand me, though. I love to win. Oh, yes, I absolutely do. Whether the prize was one dollar, or a golf ball for the week, or the quarter pot, I went all out. In past years, I even won a few tournaments and received very nice trophies, money, and gifts. Some of my playing buddies would say, “Man, you come out here to win, don’t you?”
My answer was, “Why would I come out here to lose?”
So, as it is in the game of writing and publishing, I came to play…and to win. So, what happened when I went home without a prize? Nothing. I always viewed it as a privilege few have to enjoy, so if someone else won, I’d congratulate her, go home, and I was still happy. But wait until the next time.
So it is with writing and submitting. If I must be unhappy, or angry, or jealous, I’ll do so with something important.
And so, I strive every day for a win, a contract, a prize, an award, a good review. Why would I do otherwise? But a rejection will not ruin my life.
Take my advice—go for the green. And smile.