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

Monday, December 8, 2014

Monday Morning Tell and Show

Many know this, others don’t. Some find it easy, others difficult. No matter what the case, I would like to discuss characterization with you and how it comes about.
“What is characterization?” you ask.
Easy—it’s the art of giving your written characters their unique identity, that which sets them apart from other characters in your writing—or the characters in other people’s writing for that matter.
“But how do you give your characters their identities through characterization?”
Quite simply, in two different ways: directly and indirectly. Direct and indirect characterization are the two methods writers use to shape, mold, and form characters. Continue reading and you’ll find information on how to keep these two methods straight in your head as well as how they help to make your characters relatable, lively, and interesting. I’ll begin with direct characterization since it is the easiest method.
Direct characterization is what the author states about a particular character. The author makes explicit statements to the reader: statements like “He was this” or “She acted like that.” If you don’t want your reader to mistake some facet your character has, direct characterization will set the reader the straight. But there is a problem with using direct characterization that can drastically effect your writing and even your publishability (yes, I did just make up that word).
You see, direct characterization falls into the realm of telling. And I’m sure you’ve heard many times in the past—and you may be hearing it from your editor now—you need to show, not tell. Direct characterization does not lend itself to gracefully painting images and emotions; rather, it’s an abrupt statement (however eloquently written) that tells facts. Therefore, the use of direct characterization should be kept to a minimum.
But lucky for you, there’s a way to avoid this: use indirect characterization.
“But what is indirect characterization? And how do I use it?”
I’m so glad you asked.
There are a variety of ways to work indirect characterization into your writing—five to be exact. And to help you remember them, just think of the word STEAL (just as I’m stealing this section of information from one of my college writing classes…but it’s not academic dishonesty, this info is public domain and plastered all over the internet).
Speech: what is the character’s tone, word choice, and/or accent.
Thought: what do the character’s private thoughts/feelings reveal about the character?
Effect on others toward the character: how do people react/behave around the character?
Actions: what does the character do, how does the character do it?
Looks: what does the character look like, how does he/she look or carry him- or herself?
Indirect characterization really isn’t a hard concept. All that you are doing with indirect characterization is revealing your character’s personality without stating it outright.
Now that you know the difference between the two types of characterization, how will you work it into your writing? Or, perhaps, how will you change your writing style? That I cannot tell you because every author has their own process when it comes to writing. But what I can do is give you two tips):
Tip #1: After you finish writing, start from the beginning and search out those all-knowing author statements that give details instead of paint pictures. When you’re sleuthing through your pages, especially look for the telltale verb forms of “to be.” Besides being a weak verb, forms of “to be” can be a tip-off that there is a direct characterization statement. Once you find it, try and think of a way to subtly paint what you have brazenly stated.
Tip #2: While writing, if you find you have written a statement (eg She was shy.) Stop and fix it right then and there. And do this for three main reasons. First, it cuts down on your editor telling you that you’re telling and not showing—no one wants to sound like or listen to a broken record. Second, it cuts down on the time it takes to edit your manuscript. The less telling you do, the less rewriting you have to do! Third, this to establish the habit of critically eyeballing what you’re writing while you write. This kind on-the-job training hones your skills because practice doesn’t make perfect if you’re practicing incorrectly, so correct a stylistic mistake as soon as it’s made.
I hope this information was either a good refresher for your or that you found it helpful for either correcting a bad habit or looking at new ways to create and shape your characters. I want to leave you with this note from one very successful writer:

“Every human being has hundreds of separate people liing under his skin. The talent of a writer is his ability to give them their separate names, identities, personalities and have relate to other characters living with him.”

Mel Brooks

Colby Wolford
Historical Editor
The Wild Rose Press

Monday, November 24, 2014

Is your manuscript ready to submit?

Is it technically clean? Grammar? Punctuation? Formatted properly? Have you followed submission guidelines for the agent or editor you are submitting to? Yes? Then what else will your manuscript need?

It needs to be brilliant. It must stand out from the crowd. Your ghost story may be a little Ghost and Mrs. Muir mixed with Ghost--not a bad concept at all. If so, you have two good examples of concepts to blend. Make certain you fulfill the expectations of the reader.

Taking your writing from beyond good to great. Several books recommend methods to help you understand the difference and ways to evaluate your own work. There are also a couple of blogs I think may be helpful. During a recent weekend workshop on writing, one point struck me as solid genius, and the idea stuck. Think about the best books you’ve ever read. Out of the hundreds, perhaps thousands, how many are memorable? Why? What was it about the subject or characters or plot which made that particular book stand out from the rest? Does your book contain those same elements?

Consider the number of manuscripts agents, editors, and publishers see versus the number of books actually published. How do professionals decide whether to publish one well written, technically perfect vampire novel over another? Or one gut wrenching romance over another? One mystery with compelling twists and turns…instead of another? The answer for a first time author may be in evaluating the first published books by bestselling authors in the genre you write. Once the author’s first book has been contracted, do we ever see that same attention to detail in follow up books? We should. And often we do. But compare your book to the first best seller by Stephen King or one of your favorite authors. A good example might be Harry Potter. The manuscripts were turned down over and over again by many traditional publishers. The first book in the series had to be strong enough, well written enough, unique enough to take a chance with, because buying a young adult fantasy series was a stretch at the time. What did happen, was that the stories had universal appeal. They were well written, the characters were fully developed with the potential to expand as the series did. The plot had a villain worthy of the title and a cast of characters we cared about and wanted to know.

Compare it to Hunger Games. The audience is a little older but the adventure contains the same unique elements. And the first book is strong enough to hold on to fans for the second book, etc. What about Outlander by Diana Gabaldon? Adult content, a historical - time travel - romance. Don’t tell the men who read this series as historical fiction that it is also a romance. Don’t tell anyone grounded in reality about the time travel aspect. Yet even while crossing genres, this series worked. The answer to the question of what makes a best seller--besides selling books--is doing it well—better than the rest.

It’s no longer enough to write a technically perfect novel. To stand out from the rest, the manuscript must rise above all those well written stories. Your story must be robust, your manuscript a masterpiece. Each chapter should demonstrate genius. Tighten the CONCEPT. Clarify the HOOK. Tweak your PREMISE. Each scene must address GOAL, MOTIVATION, and CONFLICT. Then review each of these points and see if you can elevate your novel to the next level, and then the next. Good luck. I’m looking forward to seeing it soon.


Another trick to writing your novel is learning about screenwriting. The first course I took featured Sid Field’s concepts. Those of you using Scrivner for writing may be familiar with the screenwriting program Final Draft. I’ve left a couple of links here for you that may be helpful in plot development.

That being said, a word of caution: Good dialogue generates information in your story, but it shouldn’t replace narrative completely, especially deep point of view. Deep point of view (the characters’ gut feelings and thoughts) is what makes a reader feel or care about the characters and invest emotion in the story. Investment drives commitment. Commitment drives memories. Memories make books remarkable. Remarkable books make best sellers.

Frances Sevilla
Editor - The Wild Rose Press
Fantasy and Crimson

Monday, October 20, 2014

Don’t Be Stingy With Setting Details

One problem I see in many submissions to the Sweetheart line is the scant amount of details used to describe setting. Often, I’ve read several pages into chapter one and haven’t seen the name of a city mentioned (even if the city is invented) or a geographic region, or worse—any clues as to the time of day or the weather conditions.

Not only do the details help the reader get a sense of where these people are, but the details allow the author to create the backdrop for the action. If the author doesn’t describe the place where the characters are interacting, then the reader will do it by whatever is available. They might look for clues in how the characters talk or if the heroine orders a diet pop (Midwest) or the hero grabs a chili dog from a street vendor (big city) or they walk a couple blocks downtown to a corner where several food trucks are parked (seen this in California).

But that’s not the readers’ job—that’s the responsibility of the author. Look at the following two paragraphs and see what a difference the inclusion of a few details makes in the creation of mental images.

Example 1: Sue Branford adjusted the strap of her messenger bag, crossed the street, and turned down the block. She had to get to the newspaper office and get her story submitted within the hour. The air was hot and she squinted at the sky.

Example 2: The seconds ticked down on the traffic light, and Sue Branford adjusted the strap of her messenger bag while balancing on the edge of the curb. As soon as she spotted the ‘walk’ sign flashing, she dodged around the cab straddling the crosswalk, slammed a hand on the trunk, and then ignored the cabbie’s long blasted honk and taunt as she dashed for the corner. The offices of The Riverdale Gazette were only two blocks away but felt like ten in this 90 degree heat, and her deadline was less than an hour away. Meeting that would be tight.

Obviously, the second paragraph is longer and provides more details, specific ones, which allow the reader to start building the scene in his or her head. Look at the items included and what can be derived from them:

Traffic light (modern type)
Balancing on curb, dodging around cab (shows impatience in character)
Cab (not a small town)
Big enough city that cabbies honk & yell taunts (sorry to decent cab drivers)
Name of newspaper (hints at fictional town)
High heat (probably summer time)
Tight deadline (either her story is long, or maybe controversial and will need fact-checking)

As an editor, I’m looking for stories that get me right into the action but also give me a feel for where the story occurs. I don’t want to be on the fifth or sixth page, following along as the heroine and hero have a cute meet with witty banter only to learn the story takes place on Boston Commons in June and they should have had all sorts of pedestrians, bicyclists, skaters, etc. around them and birds chittering in and out of the nearby gardens and ponds, but none of that is included. Such a lost opportunity, and more than likely, a rejection.

NOTE: the examples are not from a submitted query or manuscript, but of my own creation. And the details on Boston Commons were collected from a Google search in less than 15 seconds.

I love to see comments of your preference for setting details.

Leanne Morgena
Senior Editor, Sweetheart Rose line