Monday, August 17, 2015

Tossed Salad

or, Just a few words to the wise…

Okay, how many of you know what a tossed salad is?
Yep, thought so.
And why is it called a “tossed” salad?
Yes, you’re right — because you toss it with the serving utensils in order to mix the ingredients together, of course. Or, in some recipes, you put a lid on the bowl and shake the whole works.
So why would you write “He tossed the empty container in the wastebasket.”???
To me, that says he either picked up the wastebasket and shook it, or he used a stick or something similar to stir and “toss” or mix the contents.
That’s why I will edit that sentence to say “He tossed the empty container into the wastebasket.”
You write “She jumped in the car and slammed the door,” and I will edit it to “She jumped into the car and slammed the door” because otherwise you’re telling me she was hopping up and down inside the car (a convertible with the top down maybe? Or a child jumping on the seats?), whether slamming the door was a result of the jumping or simply happened with or after the jumping.
That’s just one of my picky little correction points.
Do you know the difference between “wave” and “waive”? (Besides the extra letter in the middle, I mean.) Apparently some authors — and editors, I’m sorry to say — do not know there’s any difference, because I’ve seen it numerous times in final galleys.

You can wave your hand at someone either to catch their attention or as a way of saying goodbye. If you were to waive your hand…Wow! I don’t think you really can do that, although Lady Macbeth would have gladly done so, probably. Dictionary definition of “waive” is “to officially say that you will not use or require something that you are allowed to have or that is usually required.” You can waive your right to a jury trial, or the committee may waive the requirement of a fee with your application. But to waive your hand would mean you want to throw it away, relinquish it voluntarily, or put off immediate consideration of it (as in, just ignore the darn thing). Hmmm. 

That leads us to “waver” and “waiver.” A ghost may waver in front of you, or a person unsteady on his or her feet might waver from side to side. Neither would waiver, because, first of all, “waiver” is not a verb; it is not something you do. A waiver is a noun, a thing, usually a legal document that puts aside some otherwise restricting rule or necessary step in a process.
Last but not least, let me make a recommendation. At some point before you say you’re done with a book and it has your approval, use the Search feature of your Word program and see how many times you have used the word “peek” — you might be surprised at how often it has crept in! And let me suggest that you try using “peer” in some of those spots if you really need to indicate to a reader that someone was sneakily looking somewhere or at something. Your homework for this evening is to look up the dictionary definitions for each:
Peek = ………..
Peer = ………..
And don’t you dare use “peak” or “pique” instead of “peek” — or vice versa.


Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Steam punk and Coffee Time Romance

Do you write steam punk? Are you all excited about bicycles, balloons, steam engines, clock work and the Victorian Era transformed with a vast range of wild adventures shared by intrepid heroines and dashing heroes? Do you dream—and create tales-- about air ship pirates, hidden treasure to discover and a bit of magic and mayhem? If so, August’s Book Brew is for you! We’ll be hosting our day-long event in Monday, August 3 from noon until 8:00 PM EDT. The event takes place on our Coffee Thoughts blog page. Our participating authors can post one or two excerpts up to 1500 words, a cover or other picture and another post or two about your writing, the genre, or anything you think readers would enjoy. To sign up—and I suspect this will fill up fast—drop me an email at Once I hear from you I’ll send you all the procedures and how to share in this fun event!

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Help Wanted: A new series from the Wild Rose Press

Help Wanted: At times, everyone needs a bit of help. And love doesn’t always come easily.   The historical department at The Wild Rose Press is pleased to announce Help Wanted, an exciting new arranged marriage series where cupid gets a little push. 

Help Wanted stories should focus on the struggles of heroes and heroines who need a mate—fast!   Maybe it’s the lonely frontiersman looking for a wife to help him settle his claim.  The war widow who needs a handyman. The soldier eager to marry before heading off to war. The hippie posting a sign at Woodstock. Let’s not forget the Regency heroine thought to be past the marriage market, the lord who needs to sire an heir, or the heroine desperate enough to become a mail order bride.

An announcement or advertisement must appear within the first twenty pages to get the story started. Your characters may advertise on their own or have the advertised-for spouse thrust upon them. We are looking for fresh ideas and unique twists to bring about the arranged marriage rather than the same old tired plots.

Stories must be historically accurate and suited to one of the following lines: American Rose, Cactus Rose, Tea Rose, Vintage Rose**. Story length of all ranges will be considered, but we prefer to see 2ok and up to give the relationship time to develop. Please follow the general submission guidelines on the website for formatting and submit via “Help Wanted” should appear in the subject line, as well as your title.

**while this series was created with historical authors in mind, if you can find a valid reason and believable plot for a contemporary arranged marriage story, TWRP will gladly consider it for this series!  

Monday, June 1, 2015

Call for Submissions

REAL MEN WEAR KILTS - Call for Submissions - The Wild Rose Press, Inc.
Whether he's the leader of his clan in the historical highlands, invited to a Halloween party, or your sexy next door neighbor, we’re looking for a hot hero in a kilt. The story can be any genre as long as it is erotic—contemporary, historical, time travel, paranormal, fantasy, futuristic, western, suspense, M/M, etc.

LENGTH: Preferred target is 20k-40k but will accept any length.
etting though Scotland is preferred.
MUST: Hero must wear a kilt at some point in the story.

 All titles are subject to change as we will focus on the Highland/Kilt aspect.

Query at with "Scarlet Rose Series REAL MEN WEAR KILTS" in the subject line. Please list the word count and enter a 1-2 page synopsis in the body of the email. 
Email for any questions.

Monday, April 13, 2015

A Wild Rose Press author talks about rejection

Mary Eleanor Wilson talks about rejection and her path to publication.

Check it out

About Mary Eleanor Wilson

I have been telling stories since I was a child. In school I was the kid who always had a 13-page dissertation on "What I Did During My Summer Vacation." I sold my first story to a romance magazine when my youngest son was two years old, and since then I've been waging the love/hate war of writing and publishing. My work has been featured in Guideposts, Angels on Earth, Snitch Magazine, and many other publications. After majoring in Journalism at St. Mary of the Woods College in Terre Haute, Indiana, I worked in newspapers for several years. I now concentrate on writing what I love most -- novels!

Friday, April 10, 2015

150th anniversary of Lee’s surrender to Grant

April 9, 2015 marks the 150th anniversary of Lee’s surrender to Grant at Appomattox Court House, effectively ending the American Civil War.   What not many people realize is that it was not in fact the complete end of the war, and several skirmishes and battles followed because Lee surrendered only the Army of Northern Virginia, not all Confederate forces.  General Joseph Johnson, with whom Lee’s forces had been trying to link up, presided over a very large force in North Carolina.  For a while, Johnson agonized over whether to surrender or fight on.  Many of his starving troops were eating the bark off trees and picking through horse manure for bits of oats and corn but still wanted to continue the fight.  With no hope of reaching supplies, and with soaring desertion rates, a couple of weeks after Appomattox, Johnson too surrendered. 

The passions that drove the Civil War were epic—as was the cost in lives.

If you add up the number of American men killed in the Revolutionary War, along with The War of 1812, The Mexican War, World War I, World War II, The Korean War, The Vietnam War, The Iraq War, and the War in Afghanistan, more American men died in the Civil War than in all the other wars in which America fought combined. 

The passions of that tragic war, the determination, rage, treachery, and deceit, are captured in Point Blank:  A Novel of the Civil War by Carmine Sarracino, which will be released in the future by The Wild Rose Press.  Follow Louisa March, modeled after Louisa May Alcott, as she serves as a volunteer nurse in a hospital in Washington just after the horrific battle of Fredericksburg. Idealistic and na├»ve, she struggles to overcome challenges of espionage, drug trafficking, war profiteering, and murder that tempt her to run away from it all and return to her comfortable home in Massachusetts. 

Her love for a war-weary, badly wounded Union soldier, however, keeps her in the hospital—and in the midst of the high drama of this most deadly conflict.  Her limits are tested every day:  first by the gruesome wounds she must tend but then by the collapsed social barriers that put her into situations of sexual temptation she could never have imagined back home in Boston.  Fiercely determined to be strong and succeed, she is challenged at every step of the way.  Only her love for Cole Morgan, a Union soldier who was nearly dead when she began caring for him, inspires her to find strength deep within herself that she did not know she possessed.  The enemies the two confront are as darkly powerful as their love for each other, especially Dr. Stephen Valentine, a drunkard, spy, and war profiteer,  and Eustace Light, an albino Confederate sniper with preternatural vision, almost superhuman marksmanship, and an unquenchable hatred for Yankees.

Colby Wolford
Historical Editor
The Wild Rose Press

Monday, April 6, 2015

It's a great day to snowshoe....

... The most recent storm left a foot and a half of snow on the ground, and the trails have been untouched for eight days, according to the log at the trail-head. The snow sparkles in the brilliant sun, the sky is a high clear blue, and the air is still. Temps are a little below freezing, but that's a good thing; snowshoeing is physical, and we'll warm up soon.

The virgin powder entices me like a blank page, waiting for me to make my mark on it. What will I find out there? Where will the story take me? But I feel intimidated, too. Will I mess it up? Get lost? Destroy something pure? 

Well, sure I will. There is no creation without destruction, even if it's only the destruction of a different story I might have told. Getting lost on snowy trails is ridiculously easy, especially in open woods like these. Where the porcupine tracks cross my route, I'm tempted to turn and see where he lives, deep in the hemlock grove. Happily, getting unlost on snowy trails is incredibly easy--just turn around and backtrack until you get your bearings. My snowshoes will leave tracks for others to follow, but no one else will have the joy of breaking trail.

On the other hand, no one ever follows exactly the same path. Whether I'm writing a classic genre like cozy mystery or attempting the Appalachian Trail, I will move at a different pace and see things differently from anyone else. I may follow someone else's footsteps, but mine will alter hers. Those who come after me will obliterate mine, or widen the trail, or make detours, just as I do as I follow my hiking partner. 

Making new tracks and making new stories are hard work. Snowshoes widen and lengthen your foot, so your outer thighs and quads take on more of the effort, and your core and back muscles need to compensate. Every new story requires a stretching of the mental muscles, makes you reach deep for new characters and insights, and you will develop new skills to support the tale as it grows. I am often as weary after a day's writing as I am after a day's 'shoeing. 

And just as exhilarated, too. All endeavors, mental or physical, have their rewards. Half this essay ran through my head as I walked, and writing anchors the trail in my memory. Either one is precious, but both together are miraculous. 

Nikki Andrews
to Purchase on Amazon:

Monday, March 30, 2015

A Great Blog on Craft

A great blog on craft, of layering depth into your story. Check it out!

Hill, E. A. “It Ain’t Over Till the Full Story Sings”.  The Editor’s Blog. March 23,2015.  March 30,2015 

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Author Renee Johnson Writes - A great blog article

Please hop over to Wild Rose Press author, Renee Johnson's blog.

Justen Ahren Demystifies his Monastic Approach to Writing

“The nature of a monastic pursuit is one that involves ora et labora, ‘prayer and work’ — a submission of every aspect of one’s life to a particular purpose.  Literally, when we work with attention and intention our work is our prayer.”  — Justen Ahren

Monday, February 16, 2015

Warmth in the Writing Cave

So, it is after the holiday season and everyone is getting down and dirty in their writing caves.  How’s the heat?  And I don’t mean the rating level. Those caves can sure get pretty drafty.

Let’s face it, it is the middle of winter, and here in Southern Ontario we’ve been getting the brunt of a few good snowstorms.  The woodstove is great....but it is in another room and my office is freezing! 

But the work is still coming in and due dates are never ending. So, as much as I would love to curl up with a book in front of the warm fire, it doesn’t happen often.

Recently, I have found something awesome!  They have been around for a long time but only lately have I discovered the wrist-warmers/arm warmers/fingerless gloves, whatever you’d like to call them.  What an awesome idea!  Sure, we can wear extra sweaters and a blanket over our legs if necessary, but our poor hands are shoved out there drilling the keyboard with icy fingers.

Whether you are crafty and can make your own, buy them already made, or simply hit the dollar store, buy a pair of mitts and cut the fingers out, these little marvels sure help make that writing cave a little more liveable...especially when you are working in there on cold winter nights.

And hey, don’t forget your own style—if bright colors are your thing, go for the bright and bold to keep your mood high for writing.  And who says you can only have one pair?  Maybe this month you are writing something hot and sultry, so go for a sleek black and red pair, but next month you might be planning to write about vintage ladies and hunky dukes so need something a little lacier.  Have fun with them!  Your writing cave is all about getting the story right, so give yourself a little inspiration on your wrists!

For the crafty writers, here are a few links to make your own:

I’m a crocheter and these are really cute, quick and easy.

Since I’m not a knitter this page gives a whole bunch of choices.

And since I mentioned vintage, here is a sweet set to crochet:

As I said, for those not so inclined or want a quick and easy fingerless gloves, hit the dollar store or your local Walmart and pick up something fun, funky, sassy or sultry and simply cut out the fingers to keep your hands warm and the writing moving!

 Stay Warm!

Stacy D. Holmes
Senior Editor, Yellow
The Wild Rose Press

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Chat Tonight - Special guest host - Goal Setting

Tonight Jan 13, 2015

Join special host Linda Joyce in a 1 hour chat on SMART-R Goal Setting. 8-9pm ET
Please see the attached worksheet. Use of this worksheet will be discussed in the chat tonight.
Link to chatroom:

                 SMART-R Goal Worksheet by Linda Joyce


                                             Critical Updates?
What is the desired result?
(who, what, when, why, how)

How do you measure progress?

What skills and resources are needed?

Does the goal alignment with your overall goal?

What is the realistic deadline?


Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Twas the night before shut down....

"Twas the night before shut down, and all through our house
  All the editors were sighing, and letting go of their mouse.
The cover models were hung (hee hee) on the covers with care,
  In hopes that the readers would drool and stare.
The great manuscripts were edited and all have been read,
  As visions of more submissions danced in our heads.
With RJ at her computer, and Rhonda in her pjs,
  The editors are poised for a few easy days.
When over in Crimson there arose such a clatter,
  A villain on the prowl was as mad as a hatter,
Away to the department the editors flew like a flash,
  But the bad man was caught and tied with a sash.
The hand on the breast of the heroine vampire,
  Her body parts tingled, as if on fire.
When what to our unbelieving eyes should appear,
   But one lonely cowboy with all the right gear.
With a mighty stud, so lively and thick,
   We knew in a moment it must be erotic.
More rapid than eagles the senior editors they came,
   And we whistled, and shouted, TWRP would never be the same.
Now Nicole!  Now Diana! Now Stacy, Amanda, and Leanne!
   On Callie Lynn! On Lori! On Roseann!
To the top of the porch!  To the top of the wall!
   To the fantasy department we went, to all have a ball!
As elves, ghosts, and other creatures fly,
    When we see these characters we look to the sky
So all around us in the air they flew,
    With a variety of costumes, and some dragons, too.
And then in a twinkling we heard in the hall,
    A Civil War soldier with a lilting southern drawl.
As we were turning our heads and looking around,
   A modern day hero was what we found.
He was dressed in his finest from head to his boot,
   His clothes were tight fitting, and we let out a hoot.
A bundle of manuscripts he had flung on his back,
   The host of good stories TWRP would not lack.
The manuscripts—so many!  The plots how they varied.
   Thank goodness, the hero and heroine were not married.
The older heroine is welcome her, too.
   Her experiences are old, but her love life is new.
Lords and ladies, and a man in a kilt,
   Oh we love how those Scottish heroes are built.
A sweetheart of a story can warm a reader’s heart,
   But unless behind closed doors the characters are apart.
Give me a cowboy who just rode into town.
   Or a vamp and a were, but please not a clown.
An erotic, oh dear, can make us so hot,
  But please make sure the manuscript has a plot
We looked in the pack for a manuscript to take,
   Saved the stories on our computers for after the break.
Putting our flash drives in a very safe spot,
   The Christmas cheer made us feel like a tiny tot.
We sprang to our computers for one last time.
    We needed to end our little rhyme.
So here us exclaim as we shut down and go out of sight,

   Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.

Allison Byers
TWRP Editor, Historical Department
~~American, ETR, Cactus, and Vintage Lines
~~"Making History Come Alive"

Sunday, December 21, 2014

The Wild Rose Press on Holiday

Everyone at the Wild Rose Press wants to wish you the best this holiday season. 
Our offices will be closed from Dec 19 through Jan 5, 2015.

Enjoy, relax, and read a good book from The Wild Rose Press.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Why you shouldn’t give your book away

By Rhonda Penders

Why buy the cow when the milk is free?

We’ve all heard that saying. Basically, the meaning behind it is that someone isn’t going to pay for something that is offered for free. Whether it’s your virtue or your book, the issue is still the same.

When a writer devalues her work to the point of giving away her book, isn’t that what she is really doing? Just giving it away as if it were nothing?

I have to wonder if an author is so desperate to have someone, anyone, read her book, that she’s passing them out like pamphlets on the street corner.

Is it so bad that she doesn’t think anyone would or should pay for it? What about the months, maybe even the years, she spent pounding away at the keyboard creating that book? What about the lost hours spent editing and reworking it to perfection?

A promotional ploy

Most authors sacrifice a lot to write a book. They give up any and all free time in exchange for getting the story on paper. That has to be worth something; certainly more than a freebie.

Authors tell me it’s a promotional ploy. Promotion is great and today we have to constantly try new angles and ideas to draw in readers. I have no issue with giving away a chapter to entice a reader to purchase the rest of the book but give away the whole book? It doesn’t make any sense.

Authors hope that by giving away a book, readers will buy more of them or will buy the next book that comes out. Unfortunately, it doesn’t usually work that way. Readers are a very frugal bunch. If they can get free books, why would they pay for yours? They will simply pick up someone else’s free book tomorrow, and someone else’s the next day, and so forth.

The numbers don’t lie

You may disagree with me – maybe your experience is different – but as a publisher, I have to tell you that the sales numbers don’t lie. While a select small number of authors may have seen book giveaways as a clever promotion to boost the sales of their next book, it is rare. Giving books away isn’t making sales numbers climb. How could it? Free doesn’t equal bigger royalty checks.

Meanwhile, authors have devalued their craft to the point where even they don’t think it should cost anything. I’ve been to a lot of craft shows the past couple of months. I’m amazed at the price of the handmade pieces people are selling. But then I think about the hours and hours of hard work these artists put into each piece and I have to admit it’s probably a bargain. Aren’t authors the same as these other artists? Aren’t authors creators of their craft and shouldn’t they value their work just as much as a wood carver or a glass blower does?

Maybe this old adage has a point in today’s publishing world. Every writer has to do what he/she thinks is best for their career.

It’s a tough time in publishing for authors but the answer isn’t giving it away. To me, that’s the same as giving up.

- See more at:

Rhonda Penders, Editor-in-Chief