Friday, November 20, 2015

Writing Historical Fiction

I am first a historian (TWRP convention rather than an historian) with a passion for the past. I came across a story that was the foundation for my first novel and a series here at TWRP. The problem was the details were both sketchy and contradictory. Two of my ancestors were murdered in a disagreement over the ownership of slaves. There is a little information in the official record, the court order book, and the first historical account was penned 60 years later from oral tradition. Needless to say, there was much possibility of error. Other accounts contradicted the first.

How to tell the story? I've always been a fan of historical novels. These take several forms such as alternative history (Lee prevails at Gettysburg), a fictional character in real events (the Flashman series by George MacDonald Fraser), and getting inside the heads of real people (The Killer Angels). In the case of fiction it is less important to have absolute historical accuracy than to have the story and the scene to be authentic. An author can jigger around events to make the story more manageable (Fraser does this). The important thing is to leave the reader with a good sense of the time and the events and even educate the reader about real personages.

In the case of my first book, Down The River I had a list of the known players, only the barest details of events. The rest was all mine. I decided to tell the story of the murders and the times from the point of view of Phyllis (real person) the only eyewitness to the crimes. I needed to learn about the location Eastern Kentucky and its history, the history and legal structure of slavery, and concurrent events (War of 1812) that might influence the characters' actions. Research began in every book at the library, even the Library of Congress, dealing with local history. I even got books on the natural history of the region. I visited Colonial Williamsburg o see how houses were built, how ox carts operated, and what people made and ate.

More to follow
David Wilma

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Christmas is Coming by Katherine McDermott

I recently boosted sales of the paperback version of my suspense romance Hiding by selling them
at an arts and crafts sale and providing Christmas wrapping. This was easy to do. Last year after
Christmas I bought rolls of papers at very low prices. I cut the paper with pinking shears about and
2 inches wider and taller than my book. Then I glued the backsides with rubber cement. Many different charitable organizations have sent me adhesive gift tags so I put them on my sacks as well. All purchasers have to do is slide the book inside, fold down the top and seal it with tape. They might want to add a bow.
Also, with Christmas in mind, I think we should all support each other and our wonderful publishers by giving books from TWRP to our friends and family for the holiday. So Merry Christmas and I plan to do my shopping at The Wild Rose Press website.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Band-Aids, Boo Boo's and Beefcakes-Ask A Registered Nurse

On Dec 1, 2015 we will be having a follow up chat with Kim Turner.

8pm ET in the Wild Rose Press chat room.

Have a question, medical related, post it here in a comment on this blog. Kim will answer in the chat on Dec 1st!

See you there.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Lobster Cove Series

Since the Summer of 2014, you've been swept away to the Seaside town of Lobster Cove, across genre and in all lengths of fiction. However, the time has come to close for submissions to this quaint community. Final deadline for submissions is Dec 31, 2015.

Thank you to all the authors who have brought Lobster Cove to life.

Look for future series from The Wild Rose Press.

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