Tuesday, June 26, 2012


When I was growing up, friends, school activities, and summer fun were all-important events. My daily goal was to be in on as many things as possible, because I couldn't stand "missing out on anything."
Mother never had trouble getting me up to go to school. Even if I was sick, I'd beg to go if I remotely felt like it. She always said of me, "She's always afraid she'll be left out and miss something."
True. Very true. To my sad consternation, I am still like this today--just not as much.

It's not all bad, though. Recently, I discovered that this deep desire is somewhat akin to keeping up with a plot. Our lives are a running plot, moving from one scene to the next, and if we "miss out on something," then we don't completely understand our next move.

 Before glasses were prescribed for me at age 12, I could not see the movie screen well enough to know exactly what was going on. Usually, I could make out the characters enough to follow the basic story--especially if dialogue was provided. But if the screen were dark for some reason--a storm, a nighttime scene--then I'd whisper to my mother, "What's happening?" When the credits ran, I could not read those at all, so she would read them to me.

It finally occurred to my parents that I was horribly near-sighted. With glasses, the ability to watch action changed my life. I could see the entire plot.
What does this have to do with writing?

Have you ever read a novel or story that seemed to have an incomplete plot? The scenes were fuzzy, indiscernible, and confusing. The story arc did not work. The plot made little sense.

It's just like reading without glasses--we're not getting the whole picture.
I'd like to say all my completed works make sense and the plots are clear as day--such as Steven King writes. That may be true for me, but perhaps not for every reader. Maybe a reader thinks the story is "missing something."

I recently finished reading the third novel in a series written by one of my favorite authors. The first two books were quite clear and very good. But the third one missed the mark and I haven't yet come to a conclusion as to the exact reason. All I say is that it was incomplete and confusing.

Characters are my strongest point. A plot that makes sense and is complete is the main part of writing that I work on the most.
"The story is the thing." And so, it follows, "the plot is the story."

Of all the novels and stories I've written, the one that has brought the most comments is Crystal Lake Reunion. Happily, all comments have been glowing. I am grateful for every word.

This novel is not a pure romance, even though it does contain a love story. The main character is a dead baby, because the tiny thing started the entire story. If not for her...no story. Dana Dawson, a young Houston realtor, has a lifelong connection to this infant, even though she knew nothing about it. Dana learns the truth about herself accidentally, and in the end, several lives change.

The plot for this story literally wrote itself. Unbelievable? Maybe, but I would wager most authors can say that about a special story they wrote.

Once the kernel of the beginning was planted, the story took off and I did not stop writing until it was finished. I think I wrote every day on the plot, something I can't say about any other story.
Thanks for visiting!
Celia Yeary-Romance...and a little bit 'o Texas
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Thursday, June 21, 2012


The reluctant hero is typically portrayed as an ordinary person thrust into extraordinary circumstances which require him to rise to heroism.  The reluctant hero does not initially seek adventure or the opportunity to do good.

In many stories, the reluctant hero is portrayed as having a period of doubt after his initial foray into heroism. This may be brought about by the negative consequences of his own heroic actions, or by the achievement of some position of personal safety - leaving the audience to wonder whether he will return to heroism at the moment when he is needed the most.

The movie High Noon is one of the best examples of a reluctant hero.  Will Kane (Gary Cooper) the longtime marshal of Hadleyville, New Mexico Territory, has just married pacifist Quaker Amy (Grace Kelly) and turned in his badge. He intends to become a storekeeper elsewhere. Suddenly, the town learns that Frank Miller—a criminal Kane brought to justice—is due to arrive on the noon train.

Miller had been sentenced to hang but was pardoned on a technicality. In court, he had vowed to get revenge on Kane and anyone else who got in the way. Miller's three gang members wait for him at the station for the noon train.

Kane and his wife leave town, but fearing that the gang will hunt him down and be a danger to the townspeople, Kane turns back. He reclaims his badge and scours the town for help, even interrupting Sunday church services, with little success. During this time, Amy begs Kane to leave with her, but Kane has strong beliefs that he must defend the town...even alone.

Yes, he is a Reluctant Hero, but he stands his ground, finishes the job, turns in his badge again, and leaves with Amy.

But what about Amy? She cannot stay away, and in the end, she grabs a gun to shoot a gang member who was in the process of trying to shoot Kane. The gang member grabs her as a hostage, but she fights him off, giving her husband a clear shot.

Once the gang members are dead, the town residents emerge to cheer for him. But Kane will have none of it. He throws his badge in the dirt with contempt, and rides out of town with his wife.

I see both Kane and Amy as reluctant heroes. Not one review site or blurb gives credit to Amy for being a strong heroine. It's all about Kane.

Amy foregoes her religious beliefs for a few moments, in order to save the life of the man she loves. Did she do that easily? Or quite reluctantly? I believe she had to grit her teeth and blank out her Quaker teachings in order to perform her deed. Absolutely, yes, she is reluctant. Just as reluctant as Kane, or more so.

I like reluctant heroes. In fact, I'd say more men...and women...are reluctant to act heroic than set out to be the hero. Case in point--our own soldiers

In Texas Blue, Buck Cameron is a reluctant hero. He doesn't like his mission to find a young woman who has been described to him as "wanton" and "worthless." He's been paid to find her, though, but the main reason he must carry follow through is because he will go to jail if he doesn't. Since he has plenty of money, he cares nothing for that, but he does not want to go to jail for something he didn't do. In the end, Buck is transformed from the town's fair-haired boy to a hero worthy of the title.

In Texas Promise, Dalton King has not a heroic bone in his body. He can carry out difficult jobs as a Texas Ranger, but when it comes to protecting his wife from harm, he has to overcome his suspicions of her that she's deceived him. He is reluctant all the way, but in the end, does the right thing.

In Texas True, Sam Deleon has no intention of acting as a real husband to True Cameron. He  has other plans and believes he can accomplish his goals without falling in love with her. In fact, he doesn't even know what love is. But she teaches him, and in doing so, he opens his heart and his eyes and understands what he must do to makes things right.  To do that, he must act heroically, something he had no intention of doing.

Texas Promise and Texas True will soon be back on the market with a new publisher, new covers, and now available in both eBook and print.

Thank you!

Celia Yeary-Romance...and a little bit 'o Texas
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Saturday, June 16, 2012

My Daddy

Clarence Davis

Most of my ramblings I call anecdotal stories of my childhood revolve around me and sometimes my mother. Somehow, I have left out my daddy--for no particular reason or intent. Actually, he was the best daddy anyone could have. I don't remember that he ever scolded me and certainly he never spanked me.

I will give credit where it's due, and that is much of the time Daddy was gone during the week and came home on Fridays. That took him out of the picture a great deal. Still, he was present always in our hearts, minds, and conversations.

Daddy was bald by the time he was 23. He'd had thick curly blond hair to go with his beautiful Davis blue eyes, but genetics dictated that he lose it quickly and ended up with a ring of hair around his scalp. That's the only way I ever remember him, so that was his natural look.

As soon as he could afford them, he wore Stetsons and cowboy boots. Oh, I loved him in those.
Mother had dark brown eyes--and I got those. Daddy sang a little here and there, and he'd sing the old Western song to her, "Beautiful, beautiful brown eyes...I'll never love blue eyes again."
Daddy was a patient man...very patient. He liked to tell people he was bald because he lived in a house filled with females.

~*~He was the one who told Mother--"I think it's time to curl Celia Ann's hair," and Mother would put a permanent in it so it would match my younger sister's naturally curly hair.

~*~He wanted us dressed up as much as possible, because we were transit oil field people during my early years. No one ever saw us ragged or dirty or unkempt in any way. He polished our white high top shoes once a week.

~*~Once my older sister dropped her engagement ring down the toilet. Of course, she was hysterical, but Daddy calmly turned off the water and dismantled the commode and somehow found the ring way down there.

~*~Another time, we were all dressed to go to a wedding. I went to use the bathroom, and accidentally hit the shelving that sat above the tank. A large bottle of Mentholatum  fell into
the commode and it zoomed right down and got stuck. Daddy calmly returned to the bedroom, changed from his dress clothes to his work clothes, and told us to go on to the wedding. He didn't want to go anyway.

~*~When I was in high school, my girlfriends and I had slumber parties. One summer the party was at my house, and we made beds in the backyard in makeshift "tents" of quilts draped across overturned lawn furniture. At midnight, here came the boys, tiptoeing down the driveway to the back of the house. After they harassed us a little and we played around the yard, two boys climbed on top of the carport and onto the top of the house. Oh, they were quiet, they thought, but my daddy heard them.
He charged out the back door in his boxer shorts and no shirt and gave them the what-for.

~*~A great memory was sitting on the ice cream freezer on a towel while Daddy cranked the handle to turn the blades inside. During that time, he talked to me and I always enjoyed that time.
Daddy always told all of us three girls how pretty we were. I grew up with the thought that I was beautiful. Nope. I also thought we were rich because we always had new clothes and shoes. Nope. But he worked hard, and often at a second job to pay for the things we wanted. I even got a piano in the sixth grade.
People respected him. He was a quiet man and the only time I heard him raise his voice was when he ranted about someone he worked with.

Our country would be so much better off if all men were like my daddy.

Celia Yeary-Romance...and a little bit 'o Texas
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Saturday, June 9, 2012

A Bit of West Texas Nostalgia from the Fifties--or You've Come a Long Way, Baby

We've spent the last few day traveling from the Hill Country to the South (High) Plains of Texas near Lubbock. We visited with many relatives in a kind of reunion that actually revolved around the passing of a dear family member.

 My husband and I grew up on the South Plains, high on the Caprock of Texas where the land is as flat as a tabletop, and the sky is as big as the universe. The humidity is very low, so even in the summer the area often has cool weather. But when the sun shines high in the summer sky on a cloudless day, the rays can burn your skin very quickly.

Returning to Levelland was similar to a time warp, as both of us found buildings and places that were important in the fifties. The town was a wonderful place to grow up, and although neither of us came from moneyed families, we both were blessed with good, old-fashioned values, a love of our country, and our families.

As we drove around, we looked for our "old haunts" back in the fifties.
This building was the gas station (service station to anyone younger than 40) where my husband worked one summer as a teenager. In those days, an attendant filled your tank. They also did small engine repairs and changed tires.
He worked from noon until midnight. "Never again, though," he said. It was too tiring. He also worked at a small local grocery store until he graduated.
We searched on 8th street where I first lived in Levelland. As a fourth grader, my family found a house like this one--I think this might be the very one, but I cannot be sure. It was a tiny stucco with three rooms for the five of us.
I don't suppose any of us minded living there. It seemed we always had everything we needed.
It's hard to believe that a family is still living in this very old house.


This is me in 1949 when I entered fourth grade in Levelland. We had just moved there, and notice the side of our house....this is why I think the one above was ours that
many years ago on 8th street.
I call this my smart-aleck period, when Mother allowed me to wear saddle oxfords and jeans and shirts instead of a dress. Wow...that was something big time!
I loved bubble gum, too.

The moves and the poor accomodations were caused by the oil boom in Texas. My daddy worked for an oil company, and we lived in motels, boarding houses, and small duplexes for six years following the oil camps. Then we moved to Levelland into the small stucco house.
Mother said she did not want to live out of the back of a car anymore. She told Daddy she wanted a house for her three girls, so she could raise them right.

This is our house Daddy built when I entered fifth grade and entered a new school on the other side of town. We loved this house. It doesn't look too much different from the fifties. Someone bought it and added a metal roof, but the awning over the picture window has been there for 60 plus years. Daddy laid the sidewalk which looks like it needs repairing. Boys came to this front door to take me out...and the Avon lady came to this front door to let Mother choose her purchases for the month...but my best girl friends came around to the back door to visit, play our 45s, or have a slumber party.
This front door is where my husband came to pick me up for our first date. My bedroom was on the front right--I could peek out the curtains and wait for his arrival.

This was the Wallace Theater on the county square--across the street from the court house. In this theater, Jim and I enjoyed our very first date. The movie showing?
Love is a Many Splendored Thing. He held my hand.

The court house square is very pretty--the building has been renovated, the grass is green, and the trees are very tall. Believe me, shade is important on the South Plains. On the back of this building was the public library. I loved going there, up the several steps to the big heavy door, and wandering around to find just the right books--The Bobbsey Twins, Strawberry Girl, and all those good historicals about real people.

We won't go back until next summer when my graduating class will have a big important milestone reunion.

Can you go home again? Not really.
Since I have such good memories, though, I do go home in my heart and in my mind.
Thank you for joining me today!

Celia Yeary-Romance...and a little bit 'o Texas
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Saturday, June 2, 2012

Promotion, Marketing, Selling...What's Your Style

Recently, the subject of our style of marketing comes up often. What is "Style?" Do you have one? If so, what is it? And is it honest?
We want the reading public to recognize our style, our unique way of marketing or promoting--same thing, I suppose. But what is it? And do you have one that is distinctive?
I'm not sure we can know if we do or not, but I'm willing to bet others do.
It's your Personality. Period. Don't be anyone except yourself. Don't try to emulate anyone else. Just be you, and your "style" will be obvious.
How and where do we market? A personal blog, a group blog, FaceBook, Twitter, guest spots on other blogs, articles, and...what else? Book trailers, video interviews, and Yahoo groups.

Still, each one of us could do something on all of these venues, and guess what? Each one would be different.

Here are a few author's styles I recognize--but don't know personally--from FaceBook:

~*~A little goofy, funny, never coarse, always sexy, witty, talks about everyday things. Titles are short with similar sounds. One series has titles that are phrases in well-known songs. If you asked about one of her books, she might say, "That would take all day, because you know me...I'd never shut up. Why don't you go to Amazon and read the blurb? I will say I think you'll love this one." Romance with family members as main characters, very sensual, from main street to the boardroom, contemporary.

~*~Sweet, kind, says little, doesn't talk about herself, sticks mostly to business, you know she is always smiling, and if you asked about one of her books, she might say, "Oh, I'd love to tell you. But tell me about your family, first. How're they doing?" Romance, sweet to sensual, stories with real life problems, very little back-story, love at its best.

~*~Talkative, understands where you're coming from, exciting, excited, always enthused, very smart, honest, helpful, and if you asked her about one of her books, she might reply, "Oh! I thought you'd never ask! Do you like the cover? I just love it! I want you to read this one. Let me give it to you. But I have another you might like, too." Romance, high sexual tension, hard-hitting, recognizable theme. Contemporary, Historical.

~*~Tells humorous tales about happenings in her life, doesn't mix business with her anecdotal stories, has a good heart, generous, you know she would give the shirt off her back to you, understanding of life's problems, takes things in stride, doesn't mix in politics or religion, and if you asked about her books, she might say, " Wow. You're interested in one of my books? I am so thrilled." Romance, murder, small town, Southern, high tension, serious with wit and a little sarcasm. Contemporary.

~*~Outrageous, funny, only a little coarse, not always happy, loves to use photos of herself, tells about her books very briefly and moves on, talks about objects rather than people, and if you asked about her books, she might say, "Good grief, lady, look them up on Amazon. I don't have all day." Contemporary, hot.

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