Friday, December 31, 2010


 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
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!


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

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


ALSO AVAILABLE ON : All Romance eBooks


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.

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

- 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 =
Or visit my website and enjoy some of my other, short, stories =
Or visit my blog and read about some wonderful guests who have joined me there =

Sunday, December 5, 2010

A Christmas Collection Anthology: Sensual

Published by Victory Tales Press
eBook - $3.99
Paperback - $9.99   

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.


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.


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.


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.


Reviewer for Coffee Time Romance & More