Thursday, March 24, 2011

Do Your Books Have a Definite Theme? Well...they should.

Theme? Morality.
 What makes a good book? There are myriad reasons, but the over-riding one is Trouble, spelled with a Capital T. Your characters must be in some kind of conflict that leads to Trouble.

Trouble and conflict make us care enough about a story to keep turning the pages. Trouble and conflict always have something to do with one or more of the following Dramatic Themes:
Healing (wounded hero or heroine)
Redemption (righting past wrongs)
Second Chance
Transformation (change)
(There are many themes—these are only a few of the major ones.)

We don't want to be hit over the head with Theme. A good author will write so that the theme emerges from the story. We don't need to be told.

Theme? Accepting Change
 Most book club discussions revolve around the discussions of Theme. This might be a good way for an author to self-review her book. "What is the underlying theme?" This week, in my book club, we had read Thomas Hardy's Under the Greenwood Tree. (Yes, I hear you asking, Why would you read that when there are many other good books? Answer: We are committed to read two classics per year—until someone declares, "I declare our commitment null and void."

As an author, do you (a) invent a story, which has a predetermined theme, or (b) do you create and write, and in doing so, a theme emerges? Do you ever think about the theme?

EXAMPLES from my novels:
ALL MY HOPES AND DREAMS: Theme: for the hero, Ricardo, it's Transformation. He saw his role as a caring husband but uninvolved with his wife's duties and daily tasks. He learned to see things her way, to support her, and to care more deeply.

TEXAS BLUE: Theme: for the hero, Buck, it's Rescue and Protector. As a tracker, he is to find Marilee and take her to Nacogdoches. He does and protects her with his own life.

TEXAS PROMISE: Theme: for the hero, Dalton, a wounded soul, it's Healing. He's been hurt physically and emotionally by his partner, and believes lies his partner told him about his wife.

TEXAS TRUE: Theme: for the hero, Sam Deleon, it's Redemption, righting past wrongs. He deceives his new wife, but learns that love turns his life around when he makes up for hurting her.

These themes, Transformation, Protector, Healing, and Redemption, are recurring themes in my novels.

What about yours? Do you write with a recurring theme? Or does each novel revolve around a different theme? Can you identify the themes in your novels?

Celia Yeary-Romance...and a little bit 'o Texas 
*TEXAS PROMISE: The Cameron Sisters-Book I

Friday, March 18, 2011


I'm happy to announce two releases on April l.

The first—in keeping with our glorious Spring—is TEXAS TRUE: The Cameron Sisters—Book II. The wildflowers on the cover are Indian Paintbrush, which is one of the heralds of spring, along with its faithful companion the Texas Bluebonnet. (look on the sidebar for the cover of TEXAS PROMISE: The Cameron Sisters—Book I for the Bluebonnets.)


At a Governor's Ball in Austin, Texas, True Lee Cameron meets suave Sam Deleon. Before the night is out, she transforms from the coddled and protected younger sister to a woman in love. Reality crashes down when she accidentally learns he has deceived her. Daring to disobey him, she follows Sam to the oilfields and determines to live wherever he does. Has she made a mistake? Will she give up and return home where she can make her own rules?

When Sam Deleon meets the gorgeous young woman his mother has chosen for him, he fears falling in love, because he knows nothing about love. In order to carry out his mother’s plan, he marries True and moves her to his mother's home, intending to visit enough to set the plan in motion. When True fails to obey him, he faces the possibility of losing her, thereby losing his inheritance and the family property.

Sam and True attempt a reconciliation and compromise. Together, they now face a nemesis, someone who determines to thwart every action they take, endangering not only their lives, but also those whom they love.

Available April 1-Desert Breeze Publishing
Ebook only.
Also Available on Amazon--eBook

The second book is a Contemporary Romance set in Texas titled Crystal Lake Reunion. The story also involves three women and two babies—one of which dies at birth.

Twenty-five-year-old Houston realtor, Dana Dawson, has no reason to believe her life is not as it seems. When Ruth Dawson, her mother, travels thirty miles to Crystal Lake for her twenty-fifth high school reunion, she becomes ill. Dr. Grant Adams summons Dana to the small town she has never seen. There Dana begins to unravel a secret about her past she did not know existed.

Dana keeps her suspicions to herself and remains in Crystal Lake when her mother goes home. During the next week, she becomes acquainted with the charming young doctor and elicits his help to discover her true birthplace. There she finds a shocking truth that not only changes her life, but also almost destroys her mother and another entire family.

Available April 1 from Whiskey Creek Press
eBook only
eBook only

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

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Endings are important, too...aren't they?

In the past two weeks, I've read five books. Something about each story made an impression on me, which made me think about it after I read the last page. Notice I didn't say "a happy impression." Not all the books had the same kind of ending, but all the story lines were good. They held my attention. I turned the pages, anticipating the next scene. And…I remember how they ended.

Remember "Gone With the Wind?" Who could not recall the story and especially—the ending. "I'll worry about that later. After all. Tomorrow is another day." It did not end happily, at least for Scarlet and Rhett, but it left us hanging a little. What would Scarlet do? We felt certain she would survive and move on, so we weren't very distressed. What would Rhett do? Probably he would return to his old habits and continue being the rogue that he was—with a broken heart, of course. The ending gave us a rare opportunity to imagine the next phase of their lives.

What does a reader wait for at the end? Satisfaction is the key word. The novel must have an ending that satisfies the reader. If not, the reader most likely will not return to that particular author. Just what does "satisfy" mean?

1. To answer or discharge a claim in full.
2. To make happy.
3. To pay what is due.
4. Convince.
5. To meet the requirements.

Surprised? A satisfactory ending does not always mean the same as "A Happy Ending." Nor does "a happy ending" hold the same meaning for everyone. For faithful romance authors and readers, a HEA is a requirement. Ninety percent of the books I read fall into this category. Even though I do read others that I know won't end happily, I look for some satisfaction for my protagonist—and myself.

~*~Did the author leave a glimmer of hope for happiness for my protagonist?

~*~Did the author make me believe wholeheartedly that the story was worth the time and emotional commitment I put into it?

~*~Did the author leave me with a lasting impression that her next book will be just as good?

~*~Did the author conclude the story with enough emotion to make me cry, laugh, or say "Yessss."

If none of these happen, you can bet I won't buy her next book.
What was the last book you read that did not have a perfect HEA, but you liked it anyway?
What is the best kind of ending for you to recommend a book?

Thanks for visiting with me today—
Celia Yeary-Romance...and a little bit 'o Texas

*TEXAS PROMISE: The Cameron Sisters-Book I
*Love Romances Café-Best Historical Romance 2010-Honorable Mention
*The Romance Studio-Five Hearts
*Love Western Romance-Four Spurs
*Sherry Gloag, Reader-Five Hearts
*Steph Burkhart, Reviewer-Five Hearts

Wednesday, March 9, 2011



The Texans who died at the Alamo did not know they were fighting for independence from Mexico and for a newly created republic.

The delegates, elected on February 1, convened on the morning of March 1 in Washington-on-the-Brazos, a new town about thirty-five miles upstream from San Felipe. It was a dismal place; the cold rain the night before had left the one street ankle deep in mud, and the cotton cloth stretched across the openings for windows in the unfinished building in which they met only partially excluded the chilling wind.

The situation that confronted the delegates when they assembled that cold morning was anything but promising. Mexican troops were crushing Texas forces in south Texas, and Santa Anna's army was wearing down the garrison at the Alamo. Travis was pleading for aid, but there were no troops between them and San Antonio, 150 miles away. The outlook was well nigh hopeless.

However, on March 2, 1836, delegates meeting at Washington on the Brazos declared Texas free and independent from the Republic of Mexico. Fighting was going on at the Alamo and four days later, on March 6, the Alamo fell to the army of Santa Anna.

A few weeks later, troops under General Sam Houston defeated the dictator Santa Anna at the Battle of San Jacinto on April 21, 1836, guaranteeing Texas' freedom.

In marking the 175th anniversary of the Texas Declaration of Independence, Texans should remember that the state in 1836 was a diverse society that engaged many races and cultures in the battle. The Texas war for independence was a multicultural revolution, but it is rarely presented that way. One misconception was that Texas' independence was won by any single ethnic group.
Men and women of all racial and ethnic backgrounds have fought for the Lone Star flag and everything it stands for. Mexican-Americans, African-Americans and Cherokee Indians all played significant roles in the fight for liberty.

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

Friday, March 4, 2011

Meet Special Guest: Author Linda Swift

Award Winning Author
of numerous novel
Linda Swift and I became acquainted through one of the Yahoo loops, and we soon learned we shared a similar outlook on writing, promoting, reading, and life itself. I've read several of her books…and she's read mine…which provided a springboard into many long discussions. I know her well enough now that I can ask a few questions about this particular story--To Those Who Wait--and I do have a few.

I asked her: "Why did you write this story? It's different. Were you going through a phase of some kind? Did you use some of your own experiences as part of the plot? I'd love to know." ~~Celia~~

Thank you for inviting me to talk about my new release today,

A Classic Love Story
by Linda Swift
Available in eBook and soon in Print
Whiskey Creek Press 
Celia. I am intrigued by your questions of how I came to write this story. Since you've read several of my other books, I know you sense that this one is different and wonder why. And your astute observation about "going through a phase" is spot on. I spent four years as a counselor in a rural mountain school and was appalled by the prevailing lack of regard for student welfare. While there, I felt I had butted my head against a wall trying to make a difference without success. So To Those Who Wait was a catharsis for me after I left that particular school.
I have also worked in several other schools in three states and I know political motivation often takes precedence over educational goals. And this is never more obvious that when consolidation is an issue. This story will resonate with every teacher in public schools as something they have also seen or experienced.

All stories have to be told through empathetic characters. Scott and Leah were conjured up to tell this story and they have problems of their own. Teen-age children, meddling parents, spouses that for different reasons are unsuited. They didn't want to fall in love but it happened. And I think their relationship will satisfy any romantic heart although the story's conclusion may not.

But given events beyond their control, the outcome was inevitable so don't blame me. Scott and Leah made their decision, I only recorded it. ~~Linda~~

This is part of a review I wrote for To Those Who Wait. ~~Celia~~

"To Those Who Wait takes place in the 1970s, but it's a timeless love story that could happen in any decade…or century. Scott Parker and Leah Carson have no right to fall in love and carry on an illicit love affair, but the reader will feel and understand their deep love for each other.
To Those Who Wait is a gripping, emotional story about everyday people who only want peace and love in their lives—and the best for their children. Certainly, this novel will leave a mark on the reader's heart. Without a doubt, as a reader and reviewer this novel holds a sacred place at the top of my list of "must reads." The author, Linda Swift, is one of the best among the classic novelists. Don't miss To Those Who Wait."

For a time the only sound in the room was the soft scratching of Leah’s pencil and the quick rustling of pages as she scored them. Then she put the last booklet on the finished stack and laid down her pencil.

“All done?” he asked.

“Yes, thank goodness.” She stood up, crossed to the window. “It gets dark early now, doesn’t it?”

“Yes,” he answered, draining his cup and setting it back on the corner of her desk.

“Aren’t you going home?” she asked softly.

“No. The first game starts in an hour. I’m just going down to Joe’s for a barbeque and come on back. My wife’s at the shop.”

“I’d forgotten all about the game. I’d better hurry.” Leah went to her desk, opened the top drawer and got her purse.

"Come to Joe’s with me.” He smiled at her. “I’ll buy you a barbeque for working overtime.”

“I’d really love to but my mother will have supper ready and it would be rude of me not to go home.”

“You just don’t want to go with me. Why don’t you tell the truth?”

“Okay, the truth. I’d like very much to go with you. But you know I can’t, Scott. What would people say?” Her voice quivered and she felt tears in her eyes.

“I’m sorry, Leah.” He put his head in his hands. “I don’t know why I’m badgering you. I guess it’s just this damned consolidation mess. Forget I said it, will you?”

“It’s okay, Scott. I know you’re upset.” She stood there in the shadowy room looking at his bowed head. “And I really would like to go with you. It’s a funny thing, isn’t it? If I were a man, I could do what I want. Or if you were a woman. But because we’re a man and a woman I can’t.”

“Who says you can’t?”

“Society. You know what I mean. We can talk to each other here at work but we could never do it anywhere else without starting gossip.”

“And if anybody knew we were here alone at this hour it would cause some pretty wild gossip, too. So go on home, Leah, before we get caught.”
You may find Linda and her books here: