Friday, December 31, 2010

HOW TO SAY 2011, MEMORIES, AND LOCAL FADS

 I clearly remember last New Year's because the entire world was in a discussion about how to say "2010." Before, we knew 2009 was "two-thousand and nine" because we couldn't say "twenty-oh-nine," like we said "nineteen-ninety-nine." Somehow, "two-thousand and ten" did not sound right, so people began to use "twenty-ten."
Now, I suppose we'll continue with "twenty-eleven." Agreed?

In the eighties, we went country-western dancing once a month with a couples group. One of our favorite places was a good old honky-tonk named the Crystal Chandelier in a nearby town. One New Year's Eve, a very young George Strait and his band Ace-in-the-Hole were performing, and I couldn't wait to see him in person. We did little dancing that night because visitors packed the place wall-to-wall, standing room only. My best friend and I left our husbands against the back wall and decided we'd worm our way through the crowd to stand right in front of the stage. This was the one and only time I acted like a groupie.

No, I take that back. That same friend and I skipped out of school--and we were the teachers!--and drove to Dallas to see Bruce Springsteen and his Born in the USA tour in the Cotton Bowl. We stood on our chairs the entire concert. During the performance, some smoky odor kept choking me. I asked my friend, "What is that horrible smell? " Her answer, "Marijuana." How did she know that and I didn't. Hmm.

I digress.

I know a woman who performs a rather odd New Year's Eve ritual. Exactly at midnight, no matter the weather, she runs out to her front yard and drops whatever she wears on the bottom down to bare skin. Then, she sits on the grass and sings some college fight song. Sorry, I do not remember which university she loved. Perhaps it's best we don't mention it.

Fresh water springs form a river right in the middle of the town in which I live. The spring water bubbles up over a large area, which is dammed up forming a small lake and waterfall near a restaurant. The river is a beloved natural resource here, cherished by all the citizens. The water stays a constant 72 degrees year round. In the summer, during high temperatures, the water feels very cold. During the winter, even our mild low temperatures make the water seem a little warm.

Tomorrow, a crowd will gather on the banks of the river near the university to watch hardy souls jump in the river. This is not a nude dipping as I've heard about in some liberal parts of our nation. No, ma'am, this is conservative country, and we don't allow nude swimming here! However, if that is your cup of tea, you need not go any farther than about 25 miles NW to a popular waterfall and pool lovingly nicknamed "Hippie Hollow." There, my friends, you can probably do whatever you want. I wouldn't know.
I've never been there.
At least I don't remember if I have.

I digress again.

You might think I'm reminiscing about the good old days, and that I miss them. Such is not the case. I'm perfectly happy where I am in life, almost glad I don't feel the need to go out and party to bring in a New Year. I'm always glad to see the end of a year; whether it was good or bad is of little importance to me. What I do love though, is the fact we have a NEW year, a beginning, a starting over, of sorts.

As an author, I appreciate that publishers close up shop for a week or two, allowing their editors, artists, and other employees to take time off to relax.
It's a time of renewal for them, as well as the rest of us, the authors.

To each of you, I wish you a Happy and Prosperous New Year. Remember, we are the luckiest people in the world in many ways--especially in that we are free to write and seek publication. Good luck to all!
 Celia Yeary-Romance...and a little bit 'o Texas
New Releases
Texas Promise-eBook-Desert Breeze Publishing
Making the Turn-print & eBook-Wings ePress

 

Monday, December 27, 2010

I'm Not in Love Yet.....

I'm not in love yet……with my Kindle.


Don't get me wrong, I do like my new K3 Kindle that cost $139.00 from Amazon, complete with wireless and the USB port. But…yes, there are 'buts,' and they're not small things, either.

First, I'm a tactical person, that is, I experience some events through touch. I hug, kiss, smooth fabric, soothe brows, pat on shoulders, love to make salads so I can touch each vegetable, and make sure I like the feel of the material of a new piece of clothing before I buy it. This sense is missing from the Kindle. I will admit, though, it has a satisfying size and weight, rather handsome, but it's a MACHINE. The leather cover is nice, though; I can rub mink oil into it, polish it up, and yes, the leather is lovely, with a nice feel.

Second, I'm a visual person. Probably more than touch or feel, I deeply appreciate the aesthetics of the beautiful and artistic: colors, shapes, arrangements, architecture, and lines. The e-reader has sorely let me down in this department. When I finished four anthologies read from my Kindle, I was practically salivating in anticipation of finally getting to read my newest paperback. Yes, that's right. I'm a TRAITOR! I love, love, love a print book--mass paperback, trade size, hardback--I absolutely adore them.

Finally, I opened the newest paperback I bought: Susan Mallery's "Hot on Her Heels." The cover is pink, white, and green. I LOVE pink, white, and green! This is the last book in the Titan Sisters Series, I think, but if Susan releases another one, I will have to buy the paperback. I can't help it. The situation is out of my control.

Lest you think I'm hardhearted, technologically inept, or just plain stubborn, let me assure you I will use the Kindle. I won't place it on a shelf and forget it's there. No, I have found a place in my heart for it, even though it's small. Maybe I'll grow to love it.

Perhaps its charms will one day woo me over.
But for now, I'm torn.
Celia Yeary-Romance...and a little bit 'o Texas
http://www.celiayeary.blogspot.com/
http://www.celiayeary.com/
New Releases
Texas Promise-eBook-Desert Breeze Publishing
Making the Turn-print & eBook-Wings ePress

Friday, December 24, 2010

FRUITCAKE Gets Bum Rap...or CAN a Fruitcake Stop a Speeding Bullet?

“Fruitcake Gets Bum Rap”-a quirky individual who gets shuttled off to jail on an imaginary charge.

No, not that kind of fruitcake. I would never use such a politically incorrect term to define someone who might resemble my Great-aunt Lizzie who made pies out of leftover jams and jellies. I’m referring to the type of cake made from candied fruits and nuts that some insist on baking or buying to give as Christmas gifts. You’ve heard Jay Leno make fun of a family tradition of giving this cake, where one recipient says, “Why, thank yew sooo much! I just love fruitcake.” Then that person proceeds to wrap it anew and gives it to someone else. The same cake is passed around for years—and never deteriorates!

I, for one, really, really do love fruitcake. Admittedly, some are better than others, but even the cheap ones that come in a decorative tin and sold in your local discount store have something to offer. At Christmas parties, someone always contributes a plate of dark sliced fruitcake, perhaps a little dry, forlorn, skipped over by guests as they select a tidbit here, a morsel there. Me? I’ll take a piece of the cake every time.

Last year, I posted this on my blog and included my recipe for fruitcake. However…I have something BETTER! A man commented about fruitcake and sent along this You Tube video--do not miss it!

http://www.zug.com/live/83255/Can-a-Fruitcake-Stop-a-Bullet.html


MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL!

Celia Yeary-Romance...and a little bit 'o Texas

Monday, December 20, 2010

Two New Christmas Releases!

Good morning, Linda. Aren't you excited about our Christmas releases? A Time to Give is a perfect Christmas story. How did you come up with the plot?

You know, Celia, I sometimes feel the stories behind our books are as interesting as the books themselves. We've discussed how our characters take on life and develop minds of their own.

Oh, yes. More than once one of my characters starting acting a little bit too big for her britches and became the star of the show.

Well, as you wrote A Christmas Wedding, I remember you saying that you didn't know where the story was going.

That's right, I didn't know how I was going to make Kailey Lovelace connect with Alex Dunn. At the time, they were medium-height people.


But I guess Kailey knew all along and you just had to give her a chance to tell it. I started the book last night and the plot has already drawn me in. I had to force myself to leave it for another time as it was past the witching hour and I needed sleep. But I won't be able to get it out of my mind until I read that last word. Your stories always have that effect on me.

Thank you so much. You don't know how much that means to me.

When I read a couple of your short, short stories recently I asked you if one was an offshoot of the other. I had seen a similarity in the characters and plot that reminded me of an incident in my own work. And I promised to share that with you.

I can't wait to hear that tale. Since we have time on our hands, I'd love to hear about it right now.


It began when I wrote A Time To Give. We were living in Alabama at the time and driving a two-lane highway from Kentucky to our new home. On our route was a small roadside restaurant where we always stopped for coffee. Out of that stop, I created a setting, a waitress named Ellen, and the season of winter, which became Christmas. Among my characters that stopped at the restaurant were a young mother and her two children on their way North from Florida. Ellen invited them to stay over but they drove on in a snowstorm.

So, this is the newly released story, right, Linda? A Time to Give?


Yes, and fast forward a few years when I wrote a novel set at a Kentucky Welcome Center with a tour guide named Kala. Again, it was nearly Christmas and the Interstate closed down due to a snowstorm. Tourists were caught with no place to go and among them were a young mother and her two children. When they walked into the Welcome Center in my story, I said to myself, "I know these people." But the problem was, I couldn't remember the names I'd given them, and my manuscript was in my condo in Florida, not available on my computer. I thought I'd named the little boy David but try as I might, I couldn't remember the name I'd given his sister. So I called her Heather and the mother Brenda.

Later I learned that in the short story the little girl was Teresa and her mother Diane. And the irony of this is that both the book and short story are now available on the Internet and I still haven't changed the names!

How funny! This could only happen to Linda Swift.

This second story, Let Nothing You Dismay, was published by Kensington and with a setting in my hometown. It got a lot of local publicity, and in the midst of it, I got a call from a local magazine editor saying she was using a short story I'd submitted to her. Yep, you guessed it. She was publishing A Time To Give in her December issue.

So both stories were available for the townspeople to read, with the same three characters in both. And I was wishing I'd been able to keep the names the same so no one would think I'd plagiarized my own work and tried to cover it up.

I did have a chance to explain this when I did a program in the library for a local TV station. I made a joke of how long it took the woman to drive from North Alabama to West Kentucky, which was about three years instead of the normal five hours.

But this taught me a lesson. Now I try to keep characters from insinuating themselves into someone else's story unless it's a series.

Now, you really have me laughing. Like your To Hull and Back tales, your humor and wit are quite engaging.


You've done a four part series of one set of characters, haven't you? I've read three of them now and I'm waiting for the fourth. And will you do anything more with Kailey and Alex?

A four-part series? Oh, yes, you mean my "Texas books," for lack of a better name. Three have been released, with the fourth coming in April. Each novel led to another, with the same family, the Camerons of Texas, woven through. I can't seem to stop doing that! But the main characters always clamor in my head until I write their stories.

My newest, a Christmas novelette titled, A Christmas Wedding, features a six-foot-tall heroine who finds her hero in an even taller man. Why did I use a tall heroine? I'm not the least bit tall! Once I knew a statuesque woman who had lost her husband some years before. She was still young, a nurse, and one summer she joined a medical mission team to Guatemala. The doctor in charge was very tall. They are now married.


And guess what? Kailey Lovelace in A Christmas Wedding is a nurse and marries Alex Dunn, an ex-soldier who was an Army medic. They plan….oh, I can't tell. You'll have to read the story!


Linda and I invite you to go to Willow Moon Publishing and check out our stories:
A Time to Give-Linda Swift
A Christmas Wedding-Celia Yeary
Link:

http://willowmoonpublishing.com/

Celia Yeary-Romance...and a little bit 'o Texas
http://www.celiayeary.blogspot.com/
http://www.celiayeary.com/
New Releases
Texas Promise-eBook-Desert Breeze Publishing
Making the Turn-print & eBook-Wings ePress

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Special Guest Diana Castilleja


Greetings from Central Texas! I'd like to introduce Diana Castilleja who lives only a few miles from me, and she's one of the few romance authors I actually know in person. We've visited and were tablemates one year at the annual Texas Authors Day. I admire Diana for her high energy level, great enthusiasm, ability to talk anyone to death, and her positive attitude at all times.


At our last meeting, she gifted me with a copy of Ice Cream in the Snow. See? I told you she was generous. I didn't? Oops, left it out. Well, add that to the list.

Her sweet novel, Ice Cream in the Snow, features a young mother, Jessica Harden, who is rearing her twelve-year-old son, Jacob, alone. You will love this kid, he's every mother's dream child, one who works and acts as if he's twice his age--when he's not acting like a typical preteen. They are a team, and when surprises crash into their world, they form an even closer bond, each protective of the other. Throw in an inherited business (an ice cream parlor) upon the death of her ex-husband; his secrets and money; and a mysterious stranger named Brick Donnelly and you have a novel that will keep you turning pages all the way to the end of the HEA.
Welcome, Diana!

Thank you Celia for letting me come and camp out for the day at your blog. Thrilled that you enjoyed Ice Cream In The Snow. So now, something Christmasy...
CHRISTMAS AT DIANA'S HOUSE
Let's see... What to say that can't be used for blackmail by my child later in life.... Hm....

Christmas at our house is probably pretty routine, a lot like others. After staying up until some ungodly hour wrapping the last of the gifts (No, I don't do this ahead of time for the majority. Always mean to, and don't. LOL), I get to bed to be awakened at the crack of dawn (if I'm that lucky) by my child. Though it does make me remember doing it to my parents, indulgent as they were, so I don't get too upset. It's great seeing him get excited. And that's why God made coffee and fast drip machines.

Then the carnage begins. Paper flies this way, bows that way, and the dog runs for cover under the bed. And that's just the husband! A few years ago, the man thought he'd be funny and wrapped a lump of char(coal) to go in my stocking. Yeaaaah. He's lucky he got to stay in the house that Christmas. So I wasn't amused, but he thinks to this day it was the height of hilarity. He thinks threatening to do it again is funny.

After morning calisthenics involving massive paper removal, the guys make a racket and I make food. We get dressed and drive to his parents' house. I like my in-laws, actually adore my mother-in-law. Eat more food. The kid gets another gift or two and we chill. Then it's off to my parents' house. Lather, rinse, repeat. Even down to the pumpkin pie. It's a wonder I don't wobble side to side by the end of Christmas day.
Exhausting and long, it's still a good day to spend with everyone. But that is pretty much a Christmas day following me around, reality TV style. Scary I know, but I least I'm not orange.

As a gift for those who come and play, I'm going to give a copy of Ice Cream to a lucky commentor, so say hi or ask a question. If you are interested in winning, please leave your email in the comments, or check back in a few days if you don't wish to leave one. I will draw a name on the morning of the 21st, so international folks can come and play too. And thank you for stopping by! Thank you Celia!

BUY LINK:
http://purplesword.com/zencart/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=7&products_id=66 

ALSO AVAILABLE ON : All Romance eBooks

THANK YOU, DIANA.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Meet SHERRY GLOAG-an author from the UK

Somehow, I won a copy of THE BRAT--I don't remember how, but I'm very happy I did. At the time I didn't know Sherry, and certainly didn't know about her book, either.

Who is Sherry Gloag? She is a very talented author who also has a desire to review other authors' books. As a transplanted Scot, she has the good fortune to live in the beautiful coastal countryside of Norfolk, England. The garden-like area surrounding her home is her "thinking space," and I can imagine just how beautiful it is.
Sherry has experienced wonderful success in the U.S. with her writing. Go to her blog and you will read the high praise many reviewers have given her for THE BRAT.

In a nutshell, this book is about a young author, Gina Williams, who writes under an assumed name. She is the victim of childhood abuse by the mother of Ben Kouvaris who owns her publishing company. But Ben needs something else from Gina which makes her very wary of this man.
Take my word for it--THE BRAT is riveting, and I recommend it as an excellent read.
***
Sherry shares one of her favorite holiday recipes with us. I will warn you--you must convert the 185 degrees Centigrade to Fahrenheit if you are a U.S. citizen and don't know anything about the metric system!
Your turn, Sherry!
**************
Thank you, Celia--
While a recipe for an eggless fruit cake may seem a bit mundane during the holiday, festive season, once I came across the recipe, I chose to use it for my Christmas cakes ever since.

Ingredients
2 cups self raising flour
1 teaspoon mixed spice
1/2 level teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup butter
3/4 cup dried mixed fruit
1/2 cup sugar
12 tablespoons hot water
1/2 level teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
flaked almonds

Method
- Put the mixed spice, nutmeg, butter, dried mixed fruit, sugar and water into a saucepan.
- Place the over a medium heat and stir the mixture until the butter has melted and the sugar has dissolved.
- Bring to the boil and then simmer for 3 minutes.
- Remove from heat and cool until lukewarm.
- Add the bicarbonate of soda and stir.
- Put the flour into a large mixing bowl and make a well in the centre of it.
- Pour the lukewarm mixture into this.
- Mix well and pour into a greased cake tin.
- Smooth the top of the mixture and sprinkle with a few flaked almonds.
- Bake on the middle shelf of the oven for 1 hour 15 minutes at 185 degrees centigrade.
- Turn onto a wire rack to cool.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Read on to discover out what problems face Gina and Ben.
Gina Williams has a secret and prays it is buried with her childhood persecutor, Anna Kouvaris, as discovery will ruin her reputation as a famous children’s author. She soon discovers the son, Ben Kouvaris, new owner of her publishing company, has uncovered her past and is making demands. Will he ruin her career if she doesn’t comply?
Ben Kouvaris is blown away by the unknown beauty at his estranged mother's funeral, and when his father demands he marry, immediately, to secure the family business, he knows just who he wants as his temporary bride. But can Ben persuade Gina to trust him?

You can find out more at The Wild Rose Press = http://www.thewildrosepress.com/sherry-gloag-m-862.html
Or visit my website and enjoy some of my other, short, stories = http://www.sherrygloag.com/
Or visit my blog and read about some wonderful guests who have joined me there = http://sherrygloagtheheartofromance.blogspot.com/

Sunday, December 5, 2010

A Christmas Collection Anthology: Sensual

Published by Victory Tales Press
eBook - $3.99
Paperback - $9.99
http://www.amazon.com/ChristmasCollection.../dp/145630437 

http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/29147   

Four sweet to sensual stories to add romance to your holidays. Written by four multi-published authors who enjoy telling tales.

Scarlet Ribbons by Cheryl Pierson
The Proposal by Diane Craver
My Life and Times with Nickolopolus Christog Cringelenstien Clausener by Charlotte Raby
Angel and the Cowboy by Celia Yeary.

BLURB:

Angel and the Cowboy by Celia Yeary

When U.S. Marshal Max Garrison enters the bookshop and meets lovely Daniella Sommers, his life changes. Knowing he's met the woman of his dreams, all he has to do is convince her to marry him and move to his ranch. Daniella has been different her entire life, with her dusky skin and black hair. Her English parents, though, convinced her she was theirs. When Max Garrison enters her lonely world, she learns that love is all that matters.

EXCERPT:

Max pulled out her chair, and then seated himself across from her. Daniella’s heart beat a little too fast, and her palms perspired inside her gloves. Why did they have to sit right out in the front of the room where everyone present could stare all they wanted?“Max, I’d feel more comfortable in the back corner, there by the door to the storeroom. Can we move?”

Looking around, he said, “No, honey, this is good, right here. I want people to see me courting you, and if we sit in a corner, they might not get a good look.”

“But…I don’t want them to get a good look. Besides, I don’t mean to be rude, but you’re not courting me.”

Max chuckled, making her want to hit him over the head with a…book. So, he thinks this is amusing. Well, she didn’t. If she could get through one meal with him, he’d probably go home tomorrow and their time together would be over. By the time he returned to town, perhaps she would have moved away somewhere, starting a new life. Or perhaps he would have forgotten about her. Now, why did that make a little pang in her chest? That’s what she wanted, wasn’t it? To be rid of him?

“Tell me something, Dani. Why do you think the townspeople think poorly of you? Exactly what have they done? Give me some examples.”

Smoothing the napkin in her lap, she whispered, “I’ve already told you. I won’t repeat it.”

Leaning back in his chair, fiddling with his fork, Max said, “All right. I’ll ask some more questions, then.”

At that moment, Gertie arrived to take their order. “Hello, Mr. Garrison. What can I get y’all today? We have T-bone steak or sliced ham. Both come with all the trimmings—beans, mashed potatoes, and carrots.”

Max looked at Gertie. “Sounds real good. Let’s see what Miss Sommers would like, first.”

Daniella wanted to crawl under the table. The woman acted like she didn’t exist, and her husband, Roscoe, had done the same thing. Howdy, Mr. Garrison. What can I get you, Mr. Garrison? How dare they? But they did dare, overlooking her just as everyone else did.

REVIEW FROM COFFEETIME ROMANCE:

Angel and the Cowboy-by Celia Yeary 

Max Garrison is a recently retired U.S. Marshall who moved back home to his family ranch near Boulder City, Texas, about eighteen months ago. He is a plain-spoken, kind man. Daniella Sommers is a lonely young woman who owns Sommers Tea Parlor and Book Shoppe in Boulder City. Her parents recently died. Max is determined to persuade the lovely Daniella to be his bride.

This is a charming tale that is easy to read because it flows beautifully. I love the way it made me feel, like I was back in the Texas Old West. It is so easy to picture Main Street and the characters – the author painted indelible pictures in my mind with her words.

I liked each story in this collection. My Life and Times with Nickolopolus Christog Cringelenstien Clausener by Charlotte Raby certainly ranks as one of the most original Santa stories I have ever read. My favorite story, though, is Angel and the Cowboy by Celia Yeary. Daniella and Max are so very realistic it is almost as if they are about to step out of the page to give me a friendly “Howdy”. This story just oozes with, what I imagine is, a well-researched, accurate depiction of life in the Hill Country of Texas during the late 1800’s. All four stories may be read and enjoyed by anyone as there is no explicit sex or foul language.

Laurie

Reviewer for Coffee Time Romance & More

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Have You Ever Lost Something Valuable?

"Valuable" is in the eye of the beholder and subject to interpretation. We've all lost something we considered valuable; however, I am referring to things we can live without. In other words, losing a loved one in death shouldn't fall into this discussion, because at times the death of someone we loved can seem almost too much to bear.

In the fifties, my mother lost the beaters to her electric mixer, the big kind that sits on a stand. She'd had the mixer for several years, and she used it almost every day. She had all three of us girls searching everywhere we could think of. One of us said, "You threw them in the trash by accident. That's the only explanation left." She would never, ever accept that. She'd say, "No, I would never do that." And even twenty years later, she'd wonder, "What happened to those beaters?"

My husband and I at separate times have lost our matching wedding rings. I wrote an entire blog about that a few months ago. I remember how we felt, thinking we'd never find them, but we did. In retrospect, though, we could have lived without them. Our marriage wouldn't tarnish, nothing in our life would change, and we'd manage just fine. We might have even bought new rings if we hadn't found them.

Last Christmas, my husband bought a beautiful pen and pencil set for me. Really, this set is special, very beautiful, as well as practical. I keep them on top of my desk, to the left, at the base of my little blue lamp. One day I noticed the automatic pencil to the set was not there. I began to search. Did it fall into the nearby trashcan? Did it roll off the desk and under my dresser? Is it in a drawer? A pocket? I went through every single thing in the room to no avail. When had I used it last? Could I have taken it to the hall desk where I have two built-in bookshelves? Could it be anywhere in the desk? I consulted my husband. Did you borrow my pencil? Is it anywhere in your office, on your desk, in your closet?

He and I searched the entire house, opening everything that could be opened. Bottom line, we scoured the house--and the vehicles--until we could not think of any other possible place to look.

I searched off and on for days. He said he'd buy a new set for me.

No, I said, I want this set--just like my mother wouldn't accept the fact those beaters were gone.

But he began searching for another set anyway. When he found one he thought I'd like, and before he ordered the set, he sat down with me and said: "That pencil did not disappear into thin air. It's in this house somewhere. Now, think. What were you doing when you last used it?" I couldn't remember, of course, but I kept thinking about the hall desk. "I think I looked up a phone number, and the book is on the first bookshelf."

He said, open it--see if you left it in there. Nope. No pencil. While we stood in the hallway where this little desk is built into the wall, he reached up and pulled down a book, one I use often. He said, "Look." Sticking out at the top, between the pages, was about an inch of that pencil. Then I remembered having the book on my desk, open, and using the pencil to take notes. I have a habit of laying a pen or pencil in the groove of the open book. He's taller and saw it, but I couldn't unless I stood on tiptoes.

Would you believe that I cried? But really, would the loss of the pencil have changed my life? No.

Sometimes I think we waste too much time remembering and regretting something we've lost.
A rejected manuscript.
A friendship.
A connection with a family member.
An opportunity.
An entire unproductive morning.
A chance for success.
A visit with someone before it's too late.
An unfinished project.
A lost love.
A misspent youth.
A…dream.

How do you handle the loss of something important to you?
I hope during this holiday season, before 2011, that you and I will evaluate our lives, accept that which we cannot regain, clear our hearts and minds, and move on.

Celia Yeary-Romance...and a little bit 'o Texas
http://www.celiayeary.blogspot.com/
http://www.celiayeary.com/

New Releases
Texas Promise-eBook-Desert Breeze Publishing
Making the Turn-print & eBook-Wings ePress
Still available:
All My Hopes and Dreams-eBook and print
Texas Blue-eBook (Kindle) and print
..at The Wild Rose Press.
All Titles available on Amazon 

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Celia's Favorite Things-2010

Move over Oprah!

1. Purple Fleece Jacket. Wal-Mart Sales Rack. $7.00
2. Jordana Easy-Eyes Automatic Eyeliner. Walgreen's. $1.29
3. Twelve Mini-Croissants. HEB Supermarket. $2.50
4. Ten Almond Joy Mini-Candy Bars. HEB Supermarket. $1.20

5. Vintage Dangling Earrings. Target Jewelry Sale. $4.00

6. Mild Bath Soap with Baby Oil. Walgreen's. 3 Bars/$1.00 with Coupon.
7. Old-Time Gospel Favorites CD. Half-Price Book Store. $3.00
8. "TryMe" Omelet Skillet. Wal-Mart. $5.99
9. Shimmer Lights Shampoo for Blond or Silver Hair. Sally's Beauty Supply. $2.99

10. HAND-WRITTEN THANK YOU LETTERS. FROM LITTLE BOYS. PRICELESS!


WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE THINGS for 2010?
Celia Yeary-Romance...and a little bit 'o Texas
NEW RELEASES: 
Texas Promise-eBook-Desert Breeze Publishing
Making the Turn-print & eBook-Wings ePress
Still Available: All My Hopes and Dreams and
Texas Blue-The Wild Rose Press  
(See Amazon or my website for all titles)

Friday, November 19, 2010

Danielle's Holiday Goodie Tour continues....

Greetings! Today, the lovely and vivacious Danielle Thorne is visiting to give us another one of her fabulous and easy holiday recipes. But please indulge me first while I praise her newest release, By Heart and By Compass.

In this exciting novel, Danielle has created a pair of unlikely would-be-lovers and skillfully intertwined their hearts and minds. The setting of the love story is actually a love affair both Max and Lacey have with a lost pirate’s ship and the owner. Why did I buy this book when I have zero interest in ships or the sea? Because her excerpt, the first meeting between Max and Lacey which I read on the publisher’s website (Desert Breeze Publishing) excited me. I had to know more about her brusque hero, Max, and why the brilliant and determined Lacy went after not only the man, but the lost ship, as well.
I literally sat on the edge of my seat while reading about their thrilling and dangerous exploits. Even more exciting was the transformation of this hard-nosed Max when he falls in love. Believe me, friends, you will love this story. I highly recommend it. Celia

A big Texas Welcome, Danielle!

Happy Holidays, Celia, to you and your readers. Thank you for having me here to share some of my favorite holiday recipes this season – to celebrate both sweet treats and sweet reads.
Today I'd like to share one of my fastest goodies that takes only minutes to prepare. It's irresistibly crunchy, with the rich flavor of peanut butter. My favorite thing about NO-BAKE CHEERIO BARS, is they have a cereal base, and that helps take a little pressure off the holiday calorie count.
      
                

NO-BAKE CHEERIO BARS
8 cups of Cheerios
2 cups of chocolate chips
1 cup of light corn syrup
1 cup of sugar
1 ½ cup of cream peanut butter
1 ½ teaspoons of vanilla extract
Grease a 9X13 pan and set aside. Combine Cheerios and chocolate chips in a large bowl. In a saucepan, bring corn syrup and sugar to a boil and boil for one minute. Remove from heat. Stir in peanut butter and vanilla until smooth. Pour over cereal mixture and toss evenly. Press into greased 9X13 pan and let cool. Cut into bars.
Optional: Omit chocolate chips and substitute with two more cups of cereal for plain peanut buttery cereal bars. Just as yummy, a bit less rich.
************************** 
Read on to find out more about my recent sweet romance adventure that makes a great companion to a plate of munchies!
BY HEART AND COMPASS is available now!


"When Lacey Whitman buys a restored Victorian home, she never dreams discovering an antique diary will lead her back to sea and into the arms of the dive bum she’d rather forget. Her habit of living in the past comes to a screeching halt as diver Max Bertrand and the diary of his ancestor take Lacey on the quest of a lifetime: To discover and raise the privateer ship, Specter, and bring the treasure and legacy of a true hero home again. But will finding it cost her heart?"


Find out more at Desert Breeze Publishing:
http://stores.desertbreezepublishing.com/-strse-96/By-Heart-and-Compass/Detail.bok 

Visit me and my romantic adventure stories at:
http://www.daniellethorne.jimdo.com/ 


Follow, follow, follow me at The Balanced Writer!
http://www.thebalancedwriter.blogspot.com/ 


THANK YOU, DANIELLE. I hope you find new readers who will love your story as much as I did. Celia

Friday, November 12, 2010

MEET DIANE CRAVER


DIANE CRAVER

Have you ever experienced a connection with a complete stranger after only brief introductions? I met Diane Craver through a mutual publisher and on a couple of Yahoo Groups for romance authors. She stood out among the other wonderful authors as a person with deep convictions and beliefs. I liked her pleasant, caring comments, and the fact that she always paid more attention to others rather drawing it to herself.

She’s an Ohio farm girl and still lives in the country. Don’t let that fool you—she is well-educated. She met the love of her life, another teacher, while teaching in an orphanage and directing their plays.

Diane writes fun and inspiring stories filled with memorable characters.


MARRYING MALLORY
I read one of those novels, titled Marrying Mallory. In it, things have always gone wrong for Mallory, including a divorce from the father of her young son. Even though she has faith in God, she suffers guilt because she cannot forgive her philandering husband. So she decides to do something for herself—a cosmetic surgical procedure she’s always wanted—and accepts the fact that some things cannot be changed. After all…life must go on.

Today, I am pleased to have Diane as my guest. Diane, you have a special Christmas release, titled A Christmas Gift. Since the season is right around the corner, I’m certain readers will want to know about it, too. What is the story about?

A CHRISTMAS GIFT
“Some of A Christmas Gift is based on my childhood experiences, so that lends an authentic feel to the whole story. Love seeps through the characters, even though the story line and characters are fictional. Debby Reeves is an adult in the prologue and epilogue of the book. The rest of the book is told through the viewpoint of Debby as a bright seven-year-old. Her father, Justin Reeves, is a man who has it all: a good job, a loving wife and children who are the center of his universe. Justin also has a secret he’d hidden from everyone his entire life. One night Debby stumbles upon his secret and is shocked by what she finds. She confronts her father with the awful truth. What happens next is heartwarming and proves that obstacles can be overcome at any age.”


The novel sounds like a perfect Christmas story. When will this book be available?

“A Christmas Gift will available on November 15th – in both trade paperback and eBook formats.”

You’re one of the busiest people I know, pulled in many directions. How and when do you find time to write?

“It’s hard. I thought it would be easier now that we only have two daughters at home but it isn’t. I actually wrote longer books when more children were at home. LOL My three books published by Samhain are much longer at approximately 85,000 words. My Desert Breeze books are only around 50,000 words. I wanted to keep A Christmas Gift short so it’s 25,000 words. It’s a perfect length to read during the busy holiday season! I write in spurts and set writing goals. I do manage to scrawl paragraphs on pieces of paper if busy with family and household chores, so later I can transfer what I’ve written to my laptop.”

Your life sounds full and rewarding! What is the most surprising thing about you that most people don’t know?

“I think they’d be surprised how easygoing I am when it comes to my hubby. When we were making our wedding plans, he said that I wouldn’t get him to wear a tux. I didn’t care if he wore a tux but wanted him to wear a nice suit. Then he decided to buy a leisure suit to wear because it wouldn’t require a tie. Wearing a tie would be a reminder that he was losing his freedom as a single guy and be a symbolic thing with feeling tied down. His words! He’s always been a nonconformist and unique in his thinking, and I actually went along with it even though I thought he should wear a suit and tie. We had a small church wedding with about 80 guests in 1975. He and the best man wore their stupid leisure suits that were only in style for a short time. After 35 years of marriage and six children, he never mentions feeling tied down. LOL”

You sound very proud of his nonconformist attitude! When you have complete freedom and time alone, what is one special thing you enjoy?

“If it’s in the summer, I like to escape to our pool and swim by myself. It’s quiet and peaceful. During other seasons, I enjoy reading.”

The pool sounds lovely—a perfect respite. Since you’re an accomplished author, what advice would you give to aspiring writers?

“It’s been a long road to publication for my books. Getting published hasn’t been easy. I made it with self-discipline, faith in my writing, family support, and determination. If you are an aspiring writer wanting to be published, hang in there. You have to continue to write and to believe in yourself. Writing is not a career for the weak. When it comes to rejections, you have to be persistent and develop a thick skin. Remember this is a subjective business so don’t get discouraged.”

Perfect advice. I don’t think anyone could have said it better. Do you have anything else you’d like to tell us?

“I have a Christmas contest on my blog. If you leave a comment on this post, your name is entered for my two drawings. The first drawing is Nov. 14th. The second one will be Dec. 8th. For each drawing, I’ll give away a signed copy of one of my Christmas releases to the winner, a $10 GC from one of my publishers, and a beautiful angel ornament. More details are on my blog. http://www.dianecraver.com/blog
Buy books for your Christmas gifts! Both my Christmas releases will be in paperback. Or if you prefer eBooks for your own reading enjoyment, all my books are in electronic formats.”
BUY LINK for Marrying Mallory:
http://stores.desertbreezepublishing.com/-strse-51/Marrying-Mallory/Detail.bok

BUY LINK for A Christmas Gift:
http://www.whimsicalpublications.com/newreleases.html

Diane’s Website:
http://www.dianecraver.com/

“Thank you, Celia, for having me on your fantastic blog!”

And thank you, Diane. I know readers will love your books.

Celia Yeary-Romance...and a little bit 'o Texas
http://www.celiayeary.blogspot.com/
http://www.celiayeary.com/
New Releases
Texas Promise-eBook-Desert Breeze Publishing
Making the Turn-print & eBook-Wings ePress

Friday, November 5, 2010

HOW MUCH DO WE REALLY NEED TO KNOW?

I, for one, am happy to learn not everyone in the world needs to know Calculus. A professor of mathematics claims that the common man on the street—or woman in the boardroom—has no need for calculus or any higher mathematics beyond algebra (which I claim we don’t particularly need, either) to live a good life.
So, why do some mathematicians and educators attempt to embarrass the general public concerning their lack of knowledge about how to “calculate” certain bits of useless numerical facts?
 To sell something—that’s why. After the Sputnik scare of the fifties, the pundits bemoaned the fact that we were “a nation at risk,” setting up a scenario in which publishers of mathematical educational materials flooded the market. Every college and every public school bought the programs and set to work turning our students into mathematicians. The idea hasn’t worked yet.

Oh, probably some of us believe an elite mathematician performs daily chores and routine tasks on a much higher plane than the rest of us, but really…can a calculus expert read the newspaper any better than I?

A wise teacher friend once told me that a student only needed to learn two things to be successful: how to read and how to write. If one can perform those two tasks proficiently, then he can learn anything he wants. He can live a successful, satisfying life learning and doing what works for him.

I will admit a person should know basic math. Balancing a checkbook, living within a budget, and calculating a percentage are necessary for most of us. After all, we don’t want to go into debt, or pay late fees, or file bankruptcy because we could not do simple math.
 Now I’ll tell you a story. I did not receive an academic high school education. I took “Distributive Education” courses, thereby skipping not only biology, but math any higher than elementary algebra, trigonometry, and chemistry. But because of the Sputnik scare in the fifties, the government offered a National Science Foundation student loan to train teachers in order to outrace the Russians getting to the moon! So, I entered college at age 27 and signed up for....guess what? A NSF loan to major in education and science. I aced every course during my first two years, and earned only one C during the second half of my BS degree. The C was in Bacteriology—more difficult than Physics. Yes, I made B’s in physics by using a trig book to work my physics problems. Sure, I would have loved to know trigonometry, but I didn’t. But…I knew where to find answers.
What does this mean for all of us? How does it affect me?

Now I write romance novels and women’s fiction. You know what a learning curve I had there. Many of us probably entered the writing world in a similar manner: deficient in knowledge about publishers, editors, POV, Active vs. Passive writing, and myriad other necessary elements of style.

So, how are we doing? Can we solve our own problems? If we don’t know how to do some particular thing, do we set out to learn how? Do new electronic gadgets thrill us? Or do they set our teeth on edge because we’ll need to learn one more new thing?

Can you read? Can you write? You bet you can, opening many doors of opportunity.
Will our young people learn to read AND write? Sometimes I worry that the texting business will ruin them. But I still have faith that the majority of them will find a way to do and learn what they need to know to live a happy successful life and be a productive citizen.

Celia Yeary-Romance...and a little bit 'o Texas
http://www.celiayeary.blogspot.com/ 
http://www.celiayeary.com/

New Releases
Texas Promise-eBook-Desert Breeze Publishing
Making the Turn-print & eBook-Wings ePress

Saturday, October 23, 2010

SMALL TOWN TEXAS

Small towns occupy much of Texas. Del Rey, population 8,000, is one such place, one-hundred miles southwest of Dallas, surrounded by small farms, family ranches, and even smaller communities. The highway by-passed the town years ago, but Del Rey still thrives with older residents and younger families moving in to escape city life in Fort Worth and Dallas.

One main street holds most of the businesses, with a few other stores and shops on side streets. A new Super Foods sits two blocks from the center of town, the old café turned into a soup, salad, and sandwich shop, the old Kress Variety store is now converted to a Pizza Parlor, complete with a room full of video games, and another with old cartoons showing, one after the other.

Del Rey, Texas is a figment of my imagination for my first women’s fiction novel titled MAKING THE TURN. Thirty-nine-year-old Sara Daniels loses her fortune and all her possessions overnight when her philandering husband dies on the Riviera in the home he shares with his mistress. Sara has no choice but to trade her BMW convertible for a used minivan, load it with the few possessions she salvages from her home, and move back to the farming community where she was born.

Welcome to Del Rey, Texas.

BLURB:
Starting over at age thirty-nine is no picnic under any circumstances, but the task is daunting for Sara Daniels. Living an affluent lifestyle her entire adulthood in Dallas does not prepare her for instant bankruptcy, especially if a philandering husband dies suddenly, leaving her penniless, debt-ridden, and homeless.

Planning on moving in temporarily with her cantankerous mother in the small town of Del Rey, Sara faces more problems than she can handle. During the long, hot summer, she and her daughter, her mother, and a handsome distraught widower and his charming young son learn they can have second chances.

EXCERPT:
After a moment of hesitation, he said very softly, “Sara. I apologize. That should never have happened.”

Shaken by the kiss, Sara turned and gripped the door handle without replying. Instead of opening it, she turned back around, holding the cake platter against her chest with crossed arms. Managing to keep her voice under control, she said, “Well, it won’t happen again, that’s for sure. You won’t be seeing me anymore anyway, probably, unless we just happen to run into each other. I start work tomorrow, and besides, I won’t be staying in Del Rey very long.”

“You’re not moving here?” he asked with some surprise.

“No, I told you from the beginning I was visiting.”

“But you have employment.”

“Yes, but, well…that’s just to help Jeff out temporarily while I’m here.”

“Jeff?”

“The golf pro. So, you see, you really don’t need to worry about my coming around anymore.”

At this juncture, Sara stood as stiffly and silently as Rick.

At last, Rick spoke softly. “It’s mainly about Aaron, Sara. Don’t you see? He needs a lot of things, but right now in his life, I’m the one to supply everything for him—physically and emotionally.”

“Oh, I understand,” she began in a low voice and leaned toward him. “Having your life change drastically is traumatic on anyone, especially a child. But we adults can just suck it up, can’t we, Rick? We carry on, no matter whom we lose, or how much the loss endangers our well-being, or how the circumstances destroy our self-concept.” She paused and looked toward the house and bit her bottom lip. “I need to go.”

Sara drove away. She looked in her rear-view mirror and could barely make out Rick through the near darkness, still standing in the driveway with his hands shoved deeply into his pockets, watching after her as she turned onto the highway.

“Damn,” she whispered to herself. “I can’t please anybody. First kiss in over ten years, and the man apologizes.”

************

BUY LINK:  http://www.wingsepress.com/  (Print and eBook)
ALSO Available at Amazon-print and Kindle

Celia Yeary-Romance...and a little bit 'o Texas
http://www.celiayeary.blogspot.com/
http://www.celiayeary.com/

New Releases
Texas Promise-eBook-Desert Breeze Publishing
Making the Turn-print & eBook-Wings ePress

NOTE: PHOTO is Lockhart, Texas 

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

A Tribute to BELVA PLAIN: 1915-2010

 BELVA PLAIN
Upon early retirement, I began to read voraciously, probably trying to catch up from my super busy career years. When I did have a free moment late at night, I fell asleep in my chair. To spend all the time I wanted in the library was like putting a kid in a candy store.

I discovered Belva Plain’s novels right away. Although I’d not heard of her, I recognized a master novelist. Her first novel, “Evergreen,” published in 1978, spent 41 weeks on the New York Times best-seller list in hardcover and another 20 in paperback.

She wrote more than 20 bestselling novels over several decades, an achievement she began working toward only after her children grew up and she became a grandmother. In longhand, she wrote on a yellow pad, creating epic novels of family and forgiveness that were adored by her fans.

“Evergreen” follows the story of Anna, a feisty, red-headed Jewish immigrant girl from Poland in turn-of-the-century New York, whose family saga continues through several decades and three more books. In this first novel, Anna is torn between the love and ambitions of two men.

Those who loved her said that Ms. Plain was a country girl at heart. She spent her childhood summers in the family’s home in New Canaan, Conn., where she learned to milk cows and frolicked with her dog.

Critics weren’t kind to Belva Plain. One wrote that her books were “fat with plot and sentiment, thin in nearly every other way.” Such opinions did not stop millions from enjoying her books, often described as “big, cozy entertaining reads,” Ms. Plain saw nothing wrong with being entertaining. She once said even geniuses entertained.

A quote from Belva Plain: “I got sick of reading the same old story, told by Jewish writers, of the same old stereotypes—the possessive mothers, the worn-out fathers, all the rest of the neurotic rebellious unhappy self-hating tribe. I wanted to write a different novel about Jews—a truer one.” She wrote about things that mattered most—family and friendship.

Celia Yeary-Romance...and a little bit 'o Texas
http://www.celiayeary.blogspot.com/
http://www.celiayeary.com/
New Releases
Texas Promise-eBook-Desert Breeze Publishing
Making the Turn-print & eBook-Wings ePress

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

SCARLET O'HARA, MARIE VON TRAPP, AND CAROL BURNETT

 What do these three women have in common? Give up? I’ll bet if you thought from now on, you wouldn’t get it. Maybe I should ask, and then see if anyone can guess the connection. No? Okay, then I’ll tell you.

All three made a dress from curtains. Why did each do the same thing?

Scarlet was first to do it in GONE WITH THE WIND (1940). What possessed her to use the green velvet curtains trimmed with gold tassels to make a stunning dress with a bustle and a hat to match? Because she had to appear well off in a time of war—The Civil War—in order to woo Rhett Butler. Rhett was the scoundrel carpetbagger from the North who cared not a whit for the Rebels, or the Yankees either, but he had all the money. And little ’ol Scarlet needed that money to save her precious Tara.

Maria was the nun-turned-nanny-turned-wife in THE SOUND OF MUSIC. In playing with the vonTrapp children, she discovered they had no proper play clothes. So, she tore down the curtains in her room and made each child a set. (I will tell you, the clothes were very tacky—the drapery material just wasn’t a good choice. But Maria made do.)

Carol Burnet, as we all remember, is one of the best comediennes of all time. Younger ones learning the craft could learn much from her. In one of her skits, she portrays Scarlett and her co-host portrayed Rhett. He stands at the bottom of the spiral staircase, and Scarlet AKA Carol, appears at the top of the steps. She wears an outfit much like the one in GONE WITH THE WIND. It’s green velvet with gold tassels—hat and all. But she did not remove the curtain rods, so that they go across her shoulders, and draped with the velvet, they look like HUGE shoulder pads. I think she trips down the stairs. Hysterical. It makes me laugh to remember the scene.

So, what do these women have in common besides clothing made of curtains?

Scarlet was manipulative, hateful, selfish, and well, let’s face it—she was a real heroine.
Maria was sweet, even-tempered, generous, creative, and okay—a real heroine.
Carol was happy, funny, cheerful, noncritical, and yes—a real heroine.
Each woman had strength and courage in her imaginary role and her real life. We should admire and respect these women. Even though most of us will never reach the high pinnacle of success we dream about, we can be a Scarlet, a Maria, or a Carol.

So, which are you?
Are you too-good-to-be-true Maria?
Are you break-the-rules-and-the-devil-take-his-due Scarlet?
Or are you go-all-out-have-fun-no-matter-what-befalls-you Carol Burnet?

Or a COMBINATION?

Now, lift your spirits, make your plans, and put your nose to the grindstone. None of these women came by their success and fortune by sitting down. And this should be a lesson for us all.

Celia Yeary-Romance...and a little bit 'o Texas
http://www.celiayeary.blogspot.com/
http://www.celiayeary.com/

New Releases
Texas Promise-eBook-Desert Breeze Publishing
Making the Turn-print & eBook-Wings ePress

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Rocks on the Porch

 In the late eighties, my husband and I decided to build a house on acreage we owned. First, we sold the house we’d live in for about fifteen years. Then we moved into a small house in a crowded neighborhood so we could build our house with no pressure concerning our previous residence.
The acreage we owned contained pockets of big rocks—some huge flat slabs of limestone, and many odd rocks we called cannon balls. These round rocks ranged in size from a tennis ball to a big bowling ball. All were made of red sandstone, and we thought perhaps they were geodes, but after cracking several open with a sledgehammer and finding no pretty quartz crystals, we concluded they were red sandstone through and through.

I saved three that were the most round and had little angular protrusions making them vaguely look like Sputnik. Our rental had a tiny covered front porch. Since we had the house crammed and the patio, too, I lined the three rocks along the wall of the house on the front porch. Big one, medium-sized one, and smaller one.

One day when I arrived home after a long day of teaching, the doorbell rang. There stood two young men, all cool and cocky, selling some kinds of books. I said no, I don’t believe I need any books. Oh, please, they said, you’ve got to let us give our pitch—we get points for that. How long is the pitch? I asked. About ten minutes. No, I said, I just don’t have the time, and besides I’d be wasting your time, because I’m not going to buy any books.

They became a little angry, and one said I should at least support them by listening, because here they were working like crazy, and I sat in my air-conditioned house. By then I had become slightly mad, so I excused myself. Have a good day, I said, and closed the door. One of them kicked the door. I let it go and went back to my work.

In an hour, my husband came home through the front door because the garage was stacked wall-to-wall and to the ceiling with appliances and boxes.

Honey, he said, your big rock is missing. What?? Oh, I was so mad, and explained it had to be those boys who took it. Probably they smashed it somewhere. I was really angry at those rude young men.

About that time, the phone rang. A young mother I knew lived three doors down, and she said, Celia, I need your help. Will you walk down here? Since you’re a science teacher, you will know what to do. Hurry, she said, I’m a little scared.

What is it? I asked. She said, I think it’s a bomb that dropped from the sky, maybe from space. It has things protruding from it and it’s making a hissing sound, like gas or something escaping. And it must have fallen from a long distance because it made a depression in my yard. Come quick and tell me what to do.

My husband walked with me, and both of us were a little unnerved. Since I am skeptical about almost everything, I wondered, what is it really? At the edge of her yard, she called from the porch to walk around that area by the sidewalk. I looked down, saw the depression, and in it was my biggest round rock. And yes, let me tell you, I heard a hissing sound.

I wanted to laugh, but the hissing sound bothered me. My husband squatted and rolled the rock to the side a little. Under there was the round metal cover over the water main. And yes, it was making a little noise like s-s-s-s-s-s-s.

I called to her. It’s safe to come over here. There’s no danger at all. When she stood beside us, I said, that’s just a rock. In fact, it’s my rock.

She frowned and said, I don’t believe you. You’re just saying it’s your rock. It is, I declared, and I proceeded to tell her my story about the young men. Soon the three of us were laughing our heads off, and she said oh, please don’t tell anyone about this. I told her, Honey, I have to. It’s too good to keep secret.

She said you’re going to tell my mother, aren’t you? (Her mother and I are good friends.) You know I will! I can’t keep it to myself! She laughed some more, and we went home with my rock.

When I see this young woman at her work place, she starts laughing. We both remember the funny story, and she always says, you were so sweet not to call me stupid.

Celia Yeary-Romance...and a little bit 'o Texas
http://www.celiayeary.blogspot.com/
http://www.celiayeary.com/

New Releases
Texas Promise-eBook-Desert Breeze Publishing
Making the Turn-print & eBook-Wings ePress

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Meet Author Caroline Clemmons

I met Caroline on-line when I won a copy of TWRP’s civil war anthology, Northern Roses and Southern Belles. She wrote a short story titled “Long Way Home,” and I loved it so much I e-mailed her and told her. That message turned into an enjoyable friendship, as well as, a professional one. Since I know and admire her writing, I invited her to be my guest. My first question concerned her history in writing, her first published novel, and if she still loved the book.

She answered, “I began writing about 1990 to 1992. My first published novel was a contemporary, BE MY GUEST, published in 1998 by Kensington for their ill-fated Precious Gems line. I hate that book for several reasons, but am thankful it made me a published author and a member of RWA PAN. It’s sold in numerous foreign countries and been good to me financially.”

I guess I understand, but if a book was good for me financially, I might conjure up a little love! But let’s continue. There’s a commercial on TV that sings, “And that’s what I like about Tex…as!” If someone wrote a song about you with that same title, what three things would we like about Caroline Clemmons? Come on now; don’t be shy.
 “Only three when there is so much of me to love? What can I say? I’m on a diet. [1] My writing, I hope! [2] My sense of humor. [3] That I’m friendly.”

I love your answers! Now, just for fun, I like to check my (theoretical) biorhythms occasionally on a little internet chart. In percentages, it measures my physical, emotional, and intellectual levels for that day. In your life, on an average day, which of the three would be the highest overall and which would be your lowest?

“Lawsy, I hope you’re measuring after ten in the morning! Oh, I don't mean I sleep until ten. I get up early and can even check email, drive to a meeting, do laundry, etc., but I'm pretty much on autopilot. At ten o'clock the other part of my brain wakes up--sproing!--and I'm a person. Whoever recognized biorhythms was a genius. I often listen to chakra tapes while I write, so I hope my chakras are aligned, at least. I am so not a morning person. My physical peak is from about ten in the morning until noon, and sometimes into early afternoon until about three. My intellectual peak is from eight in the evening until midnight. My emotional peak—do I have one of those? Hmm, it’s possible it’s aligned to my physical peak. Certainly, I’m more optimistic at that time.”

It seems you understand yourself pretty well, and I should think that would be useful for all authors. Speaking of authors, they fall into one of two categories: risk-takers or easy-does it. Which are you? Can you explain?

“I suspect I’m an easy-does-it. Could be it depends on what mood I’m in at the instant an idea occurs to me. Not that I’m moody. No, who said I was?”

Don’t worry. I know you’re an even-tempered, lovely lady. So tell me, what are three best things that have happened to you recently?

“My family is safe and supportive. My thyroid cancer is—hopefully—gone. Two of my books were published this year.”

And those would make anyone happy. I had no idea you had a health problem, but then you don’t talk about yourself like I do! Let’s move on to your newest release, The Texan’s Irish Bride, newly released by The Wild Rose Press. Why did you choose an Irish bride? What do you know of the Irish in Texas in the nineteenth century?

“I love Ireland! Not that I’ve lived there, but my husband and I have traveled there twice. We would both be ready in under an hour if someone offered us a return trip. While we were driving from one point to another, our wonderful tour guide commented on the landscape and its history. So many things fascinated me, like the penny walls, the stone fences, the intense green of the landscape, and…well, everything Irish.


Many Irish fought in the battle with Mexico for Texas Independence. My family is mostly of Scot-Irish ancestry, so I identified with this country. They are so friendly to Americans because so many of us are of Irish ancestry. The immigration to Texas began in the late 18th century, but accelerated in the 19th century with the Potato Famine. We have no idea how hard life was there even before the famine. But during the famine, hundreds of thousands of poor literally starved to death while the English were eating well. I can say this since I also have English ancestors—the English wouldn’t allow Irish children to attend schools, hence the “hedge row” schools for Irish children to learn to read and write. If caught, though, the teacher and the parents would be jailed for breaking the law. So, many illiterate Irish made their way to America and drifted to Texas. Many settled here.

In the book, most of the Irish are Irish Travelers, also known as tinkers. They aren’t gypsies because they are of pure Irish lineage, but they are often confused with gypsies due to the wagons in which they traveled. The heroine and her family are not Irish Travelers, but they are traveling with a band of them. When turned off their land in Ireland, the heroine and her O’Neill family were forced to leave with only what they could carry. The Travelers took them in and they made their way to America with the lure of free land. How they arrived and how they traveled to Texas is something you’ll have to learn by reading the book. Aren’t I devious, though?”

Well, yes, but I love your honestly! I learned facts I never knew, and I see why you’re so fascinated with the Irish. Visiting Ireland is on my Bucket List, by the way. And guess what, Caroline? I just read a review for The Texan’s Irish Bride from The Romance Studio, and she gave this novel Five Hearts! And…a Top Pick from Night Owl Reviews. Isn’t that exciting? I know it a great story, and you know how I feel about the cover—it’s gorgeous.

One more question: In a one-sentence blurb, tell us about The Texan’s Irish Bride.

“Texas rancher is forced to wed an Irish woman and inherits her entire family.”

Excellent. Now, do you have a blurb for us?
“Cenora Rose O’Neill knows her father somehow arranged the trap for Dallas McClintock, but she agrees to wed handsome stranger. She’d do anything to protect her family, and she wants to save herself from the bully Tom Williams. A fine settled man like Dallas will rid himself of her soon enough, but at least she and her family will be safely away from Tom Williams.
Texas rancher Dallas McClintock has no plans to wed for several years. Right now, he’s trying to establish himself as a successful horse breeder. Severely wounded rescuing Cenora from kidnappers, Dallas is taken to her family’s wagon to be tended. He is trapped into marrying Cenora, but he is not a man who goes back on his word. His wife has a silly superstition for everything, but passion-filled nights with her make up for everything. Ah, but what is he to do with a wife and her wild Irish family?”

How about an excerpt, too?
“Dallas raised his gaze where Aoife directed. Four girls danced, but only one drew his attention. Shoulders straight and feet flying, Cenora met his glance, then broke away from the other dancers to perform only a few yards from him.
Catcalls sounded nearby. She ignored them but gave a toss of her head. Her hair had come unbound, and her act sent her fiery hair awhirl. Light from the blazing campfire cast an aura-like radiance around her. Lantern glow overhead reflected her eyes sparked with merriment, challenge, and something mysterious he couldn’t name.
No longer the delicate china doll, her wild beauty called to him, mesmerized him. He visualized her brilliant tresses spread across a pillow, her milky skin bared only for him. His body responded, and savage desire shot through him. Surprised at the depth of his reaction, he wondered if her performance in bed would parallel the unbridled nature of her dance.
Good Lord, could this glorious woman truly be his wife? And if so, heaven help him, what on earth was he to do with her?”

Buy link is www.thewildrosepress/caroline-clemmons-m-638.html
Website: http://www.carolineclemmons.com/  

Caroline, thanks for remembering the Buy Link and your website. I appreciate your visit this morning, and I wish you much success with this wonderful story. I know it will do well.

“Celia, thank you so much for having me as your guest today. I’ve really enjoyed the visit.”

Thank you again, and readers, thank you for visiting, and please leave a message for Caroline. She loves to visit!

Celia Yeary-Romance...and a little bit 'o Texas
http://www.celiayeary.blogspot.com/
http://www.celiayeary.com/
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Saturday, September 18, 2010

The Avoids: Part III--Useless Characters


Just as Elmore Leonard tells us to avoid useless words, useless adverbs, and useless descriptions, he probably would tell us to avoid Useless Characters in our stories, too. You know--those walk-ons, walk-offs we never see or hear from again. In other words, if the character has no vital part, no duty to perform, or no interest to the reader, then take some time to triage your manuscripts. Who are these useless people?

CHARACTERS THAT DON’T BELONG IN YOUR STORY.
1. They don’t make anything happen.
2. They get along with everyone, neither creating nor enhancing conflict.
3. We aren’t interested in knowing any more about them.
4. They are not connected with either the main character or the main character’s story.
5. They don’t generate plot.
6. They walk on, then walk off, and we never hear from them again.

There are many reasons an editor rejects a manuscript. I can’t begin to list the vast number. Many times it may be you’ve chosen the wrong publisher for your novel, or the editor is having a bad day, or your writing is excessively sloppy, or that your plot is indecipherable.

But have you ever had a manuscript rejected because your characters were in serious need of help?
EXAMPLE: I wrote a story about a brilliant professor of Renaissance literature, stuck in her own little world and in a rut. She meets the new football coach in town. He courts her, encouraging her to try new things. My rejection letter said my heroine was “too staid, boring, and proper—too nice.” (See Number Two above.) The editor nailed the description of my heroine. Maybe I should make her a little quirky and funky, instead of proper and well mannered.

The protagonist must have a worthy problem. If he or she doesn’t, we won’t be interested in them. (See Number Three above.) Every good novel or short story I’ve read had a main character with a real problem. Now, he doesn’t know his REAL problem at the beginning, even though he thinks he does. That’s how a plot should move forward, with the protagonist learning more about his problem and what to do about it.
EXAMPLE: In the beginning of GONE WITH THE WIND, Scarlet had a problem. She thought it was to find a husband who could properly care for her, but in the end, her real problem became learning how to save herself.

Don’t introduce a character unless he/she has a specific role somewhere in the plot.
EXAMPLE: In TEXAS BLUE, I introduced an old man living alone in a shack far away from a town. My hero and heroine happened upon him, ate breakfast with him, and learned how many more miles they had to go to the next town. I had no further plans for this old man, except later he became a source of vital information for the heroine, and he became her partner in a rescue attempt. This is a case of the author—me—not realizing I had written a useless character, and inadvertently made him vital to the story.

TRIAGE: the sorting of and allocating of treatment of patients, esp. battle or disaster victims according to a system or priorities designed to maximize the number of survivors.
Note: substitute “characters” for patients and victims.

Thank you for visiting my blog—
Celia Yeary-Romance...and a little bit 'o Texas
http://www.celiayeary.blogspot.com/
http://www.celiayeary.com/
New Releases!
Texas Promise-eBook-Desert Breeze Publishing
Making the Turn-print & eBook-Wings ePress