Tuesday, April 26, 2011

MY BEST BOOK OF 2011 IN 2085


A couple of weeks ago, I visited with my husband's niece by her pool in Florida. As we sat and chatted about this and that, she said, "Oh! I have something for you. A book. I know how much you read…and write…and I found a 1935 book for one dollar I thought you might like to have."

The book is a novel by Valcour Verne, titled The Pendulum: A Novel of Today, printed in 1935. This book is about seventy-five years old, a hard-back, the title embossed in gold. It's in excellent shape—I wonder how many people read all 450 pages of the novel.

The publishers—The Mayfair Press—uses this quote to personify their company: "The Books Upon Your Shelf Speak Volumes of Yourself." Clever, huh?

The book and the quote made me think of our books today. Some are eBooks, some are prints, and others are both. The prints may last seventy-five years if they are hardback and have good binding, but what about the eBooks, the electronic versions of our precious stories we love so much?

Me? I still prefer prints, especially if the author is special or a favorite. Since a few of my novels and short stories are offered in eBook only, you'd think I'd be a complete, loyal convert, but I am not. Even so, I do own a Kindle and it's loaded with books. My bookshelf is also loaded, and my desktop holds a stack of books that won't fit onto my shelves.

So, here we are, some of us conflicted, torn between the two sides. But why should we try to determine which is best, which will last, or which will soon become obsolete? Today, we're lucky that we can enjoy each on its own merit.

I do wonder, though, about the books I write, offered electronically and/or print. This year I will say my best book might be one that has a May 4 release date. It's not a pure romance; it is historical; and even though it does contain a sweet romance, it's really a "coming-of-age" story about a young woman in 1901.

The novel is titled Wish for the Moon, offered first electronically, and a few months later, offered in print. I wonder about this book. Where will it be seventy-five years from now? Will the print version survive somehow and a reader in 2085 will find it on sale for one dollar in a used book sale? Will this reader hold it to her breast, enjoying the fact she found a treasure? Or will only the electronic version survive, and if so…where will it be? In the depths of an enormous cloud of electronic writings maintained by Amazon? In a small used electronic-only book store?

I wonder, but I'll never know.

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

Friday, April 22, 2011


Congratulations, Make a Wish, and Blow out the B-Day Candles!
Desert Breeze Publishing…it's your birthday!

When I found myself with two manuscripts about sisters, I then had the problem of how to get them published together. I'd already had one disappointing experience in which my series got derailed. My goal was to get two contracts at once, or at least one contract with the second promised. This took me on a widespread research of publishers. Voila! I found the new publisher Desert Breeze Publishing, and the owner, Gail Delaney, stated in the welcome message that they liked series--just what I was looking for.  

As of April 1, the second book has been released—in the same month as Desert Breeze's birthday celebration.

To celebrate, I will give away one copy of each of the two books—two lucky winners! All you need to do is leave a quick reply—if you win, I can probably find your email address.

The Cameron Sisters: Book I: Texas Promise

After two years, Jo Cameron King’s life as a widow abruptly ends when her husband returns home to Austin. Unable to understand her angry and bitter husband, she accepts a call to travel to the New Mexico Territory to meet her dying birth father whom she knows nothing about. Her plan to escape her husband goes awry when he demands to travel with her.

Dalton King, believing lies his Texas Ranger partner tells him about Jo, seethes with hatred toward his wife. Now he must protect Jo from his partner’s twisted mind, while sorting out the truth. Jo’s bravery and loyalty convince him she’s innocent. But can they regain the love and respect they once shared?

The Cameron Sisters: Book II: Texas True

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.


AMAZON: all my books



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

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Times...they are a'changing.

Who sang that? Bob Dylan? The phrase keeps running through my head. Oh, I know…times change on a regular basis, but recently I feel the changes are zooming by at warp speed.

I saw a tiny little girl, not long out of diapers, sitting on a stool in the library clicking away on a computer. Her eyes rarely left the screen, as she looked…surely she couldn't read…clicked, watched, and clicked again. Why wasn't she in the children's book area, where hundreds, if not thousands of colorful books are lined on shelves or propped open? The low tables and child-sized chairs were all empty, but a child occupied each and every one of the ten children's computers.

Wal-Mart has introduced a line of cosmetics for little girls. The display is right there, next to the L'Oreal and Cover Girl make-up for adults. Unbelievable. Why would any mother think her five-year-old needed lipstick and blush?

At church Sunday, the pastor called the little ones forward for the Children's Sermon. One small girl toddled down the aisle in high heels. I kid you not. Backless, high-heeled sandals with her pretty little dress.

Why must every university student own a new vehicle, often a huge pickup with extended cab? We have 30,000 students here in town, and every one of them owns something to drive, and most are brand new and not cheap, either. They drive from their apartments to the University bus stops, park along the streets illegally, and ride the bus the last six blocks.

Aren't we in an economic slump? Read the paper, read MSN on-line, or watch the news and you will repeatedly see and hear stories of hard times for our citizens. I simply do not understand.

Have you gone car/vehicle shopping lately? Where eight years ago each line had two choices—the base model and the upscale model, now, each line has from four to six models to choose from, and with each step up, the buyer is offered more gadgets. And thousand of dollars additional charge. I want a power driver's seat. I have a six-way power seat on my base model Chevy minivan (which I want to get rid of), but to get this handy gadget, I must go up to the next to highest-priced level on almost any brand of vehicle. This level offers several useless things I do not need. But a salesman whispered to me, "Oh, we don't NEED them, but we WANT them." Hmmm, so there's the sales pitch. Baby, if you want one thing, you will need to buy four others you simply don't need…and most likely, don't want.

Ah, well, such is life.

Oh, by the way.

The little girl who wore high heels to church? When the service was over she kicked them off so she could run outside barefoot and play in the front yard of the church with the other children.

Oh, and the tiny girl at the computer in the library? Before I left, she had dragged her mommy to the book area and her little arms were loaded with pretty books.

Yes, and the students who clog our streets and take our parking spaces? They turn out in force on Clean the River Day and work all day long. Also, they keep our big Food Bank booked with volunteers. I know, because I tried to sign myself and my husband up to volunteer, but were told…"we don't need any more volunteers. The University students keep the roster filled."

So far, I haven't seen any mother buying Wal-Mart cosmetics for her little daughter, so maybe there's hope….

Do I have a new vehicle yet? No, but I'm closer to making a decision. I think I found the "one," but we'll see. Buying a new one takes me a long time. Have to figure out all those gadgets, first.

All is not lost. We’re all okay. We're doing just fine.

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

Friday, April 8, 2011

Do Your Readers Love Your Characters?

When I read a negative review—my own, a friend's, a best-selling author's—and learn why the reviewer did not like the book, often the reason is "I did not care for the protagonist." "The Heroine was not very likeable." "The Hero acted like a jerk."
Think about that. More often than not, the low rating concerns the likeability of the main characters. So, what characteristics make a protagonist empathetic? Why does one character resonate with the reader, but another turns her off?

The Protagonist has been treated unjustly. She loses her job because of a jealous co-worker; she was jilted at the altar; she was cut out of her father's will; she was physically abandoned, left alone to fend for herself; she is lied to but doesn't know it before it's too late.
This approach can work if we do not see her as a martyr—she must carry on with a brave face.
"Sharon's husband goes through a mid-life crisis, asks for a divorce, and wants to sell the house they've had for 25 years. Although she agrees—what else can she do?—she is angry and heartbroken. Stiffening her spine and lifting her chin, she seeks out a new life…with anger and resentment still burning in her heart."

The Protagonist displays a valued trait. She may be very loyal, loving, or courageous. This especially works if she makes or has made a bad choice. We forgive her, if we first see her tending a sick loved one, helping a child, or standing up to a bully for a friend.
"Jeanine dusts off her counseling certificate and works with battered wives. Knowing she made a fatal error by marrying Joel, she tries to settle her life by helping others."

The Protagonist is burdened with inner struggles. She may suffer depression, bitterness, jealousy, resentment, or hate. Perhaps she has shut down her emotions because of one of these reasons, but does not recognize her problem.
"Millie works 24/7, exhausting herself and threatening her health. If only her friend James would leave her alone and stop trying to help. She does not need help from anyone. Her life is under control. If only she could sleep…"

The Protagonist wishes for some basic human need. Perhaps she needs someone to love her, a purpose in life, or acceptance. This works well if we first see her as uncaring or selfish.
"Marcia cares for her dying mother for years, laying her own hopes and dreams aside. Now that her mother is gone, Marcia reaches out for acceptance in a world she doesn't understand."

The Protagonist grieves. She has lost a child, a beloved spouse, or her last living relative. A reader won't know why she grieves, but we don't want a bunch of back-story to explain her actions. Instead, we should learn more through the action and plot of the story.
"Jackie lost her baby and husband in one car accident…and she was driving. She meets Hal, and he wants her to live again…but webs of emotions keep her trapped, and even he might not be able to break through."

This is the short list of ideas to make the protagonist likeable. We want to cheer for her…but can't if she acts in a negative manner we don't like. At this moment, I'm in edits for my last contracted novel, The Stars at Night..
I had entered the first chapter in a contest, and got shot down. My critique partners did not like Katherine. I liked her…but others read something that made them feel negative toward her. What was wrong with her?

I sent the first chapter to a young woman with a degree in journalism and creative writing. What's wrong with my heroine, my protagonist? What is she doing that turns off readers?
Here's why:
Five year-old Nicky tugs at Katherine's jeans' leg to get his aunt's attention. Katherine pushes his hand away and says, "Don't do that, Nicky. Wait til I'm finished here."
This is one example of several in which I had Kate speaking to sad little Nicky a little harshly.
My friend said, "Instead of pushing his hand away and scolding, have Kate reach for his hand, hold it, rub her thumb over his, saying—'Just a minute, Sweetie. I promise we'll get a room with a television.'

I am happy to report I "fixed" Kate, and even though she is insecure about taking Nicky to raise, she is kind and sweet to him. She shows that she loves the little boy very much.

JULY RELEASE : The Stars at Night..a contemporary romance. Desert Breeze Publishing

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

Saturday, April 2, 2011


In the midst of furiously writing romance novels, another story came to me. I knew it wouldn't be a pure romance, though. Oh, of course, I would have a heroine, and yes, she would meet the "one," but the plot would revolve around her, her mother, and a mystery baby. A real love story--man, woman; mother, daughter; and daughter, family.

We were driving south through Indiana from Michigan back to Texas, and through that region are long stretches of farms and small towns off the interstate. Often during times on the road such as this, we have a CD playing. This gives me "dreaming time." I stare at the highway in front and occasionally glance to the side, but I'm only seeing characters in my imagination, performing for me, trying to tell their story.

On this particular trip, a scene played in my head about two teen girls meeting in an Unwed Mother's Home in 1980, and both having baby girls. One baby dies; one goes home with a mother.

This model looks like Dana Dawson
The Heroine

 The main story is about Dana Dawson who accidentally learns a shocking truth about her identity and the actual place of her birth.
During her search, she meets handsome, fun-loving Dr. Grant Adams who assists her in learning the truth.
In the meantime, they fall in love...but obstacles get in their way.

This model looks like the Hero
Dr. Grant Adams 
CRYSTAL LAKE REUNION was released on April 1, 2011 by Whiskey Creek Press. If you want to know more, Click below to read the blurb and open a sample chapter—which is a prologue. The story begins 25 years later.

Thank you for visiting!
Celia Yeary-Romance...and a little bit 'o Texas