Thursday, October 25, 2012

A Haunted Garden Halloween Hop - Deadly Creatures

Are you the kind of person who sees a spider on the wall and goes screaming from the room? Or are you a brave soul that grabs a tissue, squishes the spider and flushes it down the toilet. Or the bravest of us all, do you let the spider crawl onto your finger so you can take it outside and gently release it into the rose garden. I’m somewhere between screaming and leaving the room and grabbing a big shoe. It depends on the size and furriness of the spider.

I thought it would be fun to share a top ten deadliest creature list. So if you have an elephant in your back yard, you’ll want to call in the professionals.

10 - Poison Dart Frog – Kissing one of these won’t get you a prince. One frog has enough toxin to kill 10 people.

9 - Cape Buffalo – The two sharp horns should scare you enough, but these beasts run in herds.

8 - Polar Bear – Fluffy, white, cuddly and look so docile. But you’ll be safer with a stuffed animal.

7 – Elephant – When I think of Indiana Jones riding elephants through the jungle, I think adventure. But elephants kill more than 500 people a year.

6 - Australian Saltwater Crocodile – Drowned and dismembered, yeah I think that is enough motivation to stay away from an alligators neighborhood.

5 - African Lion – This magnificent animal is considered a near perfect hunter. I think there is a story to write about a lion shifter. Precision hunter, wild and savage. I know those are qualities we love in a hero.

4 - Great White Shark – With 3000 teeth and can smell blood in the water, you’d be better to take your chances with a vampire.

3 - Australian Box Jellyfish – This jellyfish has enough toxin to kill 60 humans.

2 - Asian Cobra – The Asian Cobra isn’t the most venomous, but of all snakebites each year, it is responsible for the most deaths.

And the deadliest creature…watch out! It’s the…

1 – Mosquito – The mosquito kills more than 2 million people a year.

Is there a bug or animal that sends a shiver of fear along your spine? Leave a comment for a chance to win a $10.00 Wild Rose Press gift certificate good at either or

Thank you for Trick-or-Treating the editors blog Behind the Garden Gate.
Continue on the Haunted Hop by visiting these Wild Rose Press authors.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012


Samhain or Halloween as we call it here in the states marks the end of summer. It has also been suggested that on the night we celebrate Halloween the veil between our world and others is like gossamer and can be breached by those who dare.

Worlds where faeries, dragons, immortals, and all types of paranormal creatures both good and bad have fascinated the human race for many millennia.  It is the aspect of new ground, unfamiliar territory, and paths not always walked that I believe pull readers into the world of romance. Worlds that could be vastly different then what they are used to, and in doing so it is the responsibility of the author and the editor to make sure the pages are true to life in whatever world the author paints in words.

Write what you know, and if you are not sure of the facts, please look them up. Create a place that is unique even if it is just the neighborhood tavern. Make it real, make it fun, and make it a place readers will want to revisit. Creating a world means layering it with characters, places, and even at times a villain that is unique for that particular place.  

Use your imagination, but please, make sure you cover all your bases.  Don’t leave any inconsistencies that readers will be able to get lost in. You want them to be involved but because they cannot help themselves—not because they are confused.  A world should be a place that readers do not want to leave. You want them to remember the world you create long after they close the book.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Editor's "Sweet List"

(Originally posted at Roses of the Prose, May 12, 2012-revised slightly to share today :)

How do you get on a "sweet list", whether a series sweet list or an editor’s sweet list. Well, it’s easier than you think…if you are willing to put in the work. Simply put, do your homework.

Remember how your mother always asked, “Have you done your homework?”…and somehow she could tell from the look on your face if you had or not? An editor has that same ability, we can tell who’s done their homework and who hasn’t, and that goes a long way to your chance to make the sweet list.

Let’s start from the beginning: Homework…studying…study your craft.

Take the time to read books from the genre you want to write and to read various books on writing. I say various because not all writing books work for all writers. There are many good ones out there, but you need to find the ones that speak to you, that you can relate to and understand in a way that makes sense to you. For some, that means more technical books on grammar etc while for others, a more biographical outline from an author’s point of view works better. But the more you read, the more you pay attention and find what you like and don’t like, the more you end up finding your own voice.

The next step is to write, and just keep on writing. Every story, every project, every trial and error, every critique or rejection teaches you more and more. This includes finishing a story. Why I say this is that a lot of writers work so hard polishing and perfecting the first three chapters in overexcitement to submit something. The problem here is that stories have these funny ways of going off track, of changing, growing, dropping off here and overcompensating there as you get that first or even second draft worked out. It is so easy to work over and over on those first three chapters, figuring you’ll work on the rest while you are awaiting a response from the publishing house. But by doing this, you are cheating yourself, and you’re story. You see, you really never know if a story is going to work unless you write the whole thing, only then can you see the full scope and any holes that need filling. A story can take so many twists and turns along the way, how will you truly know all the story can be until you discover each thread, each path that takes you to the happy ever after? Not to mention all you learn about the craft and yourself along the way. Trust me, nothing worse for an editor than getting a great partial submitted and eagerly requesting the full manuscript only to have the rest of the story falls apart because it was rushed or not given as much attention as the first three chapters had been given.

Now, once you do get your story written, that is the time to start the next part of your homework….studying publishers. This is VERY important. Read ALL the submission guidelines to the various publishing houses you are interested in. It is hard to get on a romance editor’s sweet list when you submit a contemporary intrigue story that has lots of adventure, but no love story. Or a romance with the sweetest, chase kiss to an erotic publisher. Or you submit a story with no faith element to a Christian publishing house. Believe me, it happens, more often than you would think.

Along with this is studying their basic submission instructions, too. For instance, if the submission guidelines say a manuscript should be double spaced, Times New Roman 12 font with one inch margins then that is what you should send in. I really don’t like to use the term “test” but in effect, that is a bit of what you could consider submission guidelines. For the most part, they are there to keep all manuscript formats uniform, but at the same time, it is a small test to see if the author did their homework, the simplest of homework at that. *Raising my hand* I admit it, if I request a manuscript, I often give a general format I prefer as noted above right in my request email. And if I get a manuscript back in a weird font with two inch margins etc, well, it definitely gives me pause, concerned that if the author didn’t follow my basic instructions for formatting then how are they going to handle more in-depth edits?

Lastly, when you’ve done all your homework, the best way to get on my sweet list is to capture me, right from the 1st paragraph. Put me right in the action from the get-go and you’ll get my attention pretty quick.

Take the Honky Tonk Hearts series that we’ve launched at the Wild Rose Press. How did these authors stand out amongst so many submissions? How did they get on my sweet list? For exactly the reasons above….they did their homework, they studied their craft and proofed their work, they read the submission guidelines for both the publishing house and the specific series, they emailed and asked me questions to be sure of the HTH guidelines and they queried and submitted as requested….then they captured me, each and every one right from the get go. The series was fairly open for setting so long as one pivotal scene took place at the Lonesome Steer Honky Tonk, so I was looking to see the various ways authors interpreted this. And no, not every submission contracted was perfect from the start and not all were from established authors. I asked for various revisions from a number of them before contracting, and each author did their homework yet again. I saw the effort from each one, that strive to be the best they could and create the best story they could. Each author was open and willing to work to bring out the most in their stories and the series, and that also reflected highly with me.

Most times I end my email notes to authors with “As always, any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to let me know.” And I mean this, every time to every one. I’m here to help, to guide and to bring out all a story can be and all my author has for that story.   

And the best way to help editors help you, is to do your homework, read, ask questions, and most of all, keep writing.


Monday, October 1, 2012


The subject is definitely controversial.  On the one hand proponents feel writers should have the ability to go directly to the reader and sell their product without a publisher deciding  they can or not.  Those against it feel it's cheating.  Not wanting to wait for a publisher to contract the manuscript and going it alone.  Those against it also feel it could possibly lessen the quality of books and the buying public has no way of knowing if a book or short story is worth their money or not.

No matter which side you are on; one thing is for sure...Self-Publishing is part of the new world of publishing and changes haven't been this big since the first ebook was published over a decade ago.

One would think that a publishing house such as TWRP would be against the idea of self-publishing as it basically means the author is cutting out the publisher and going direct to the public.  But nothing could be further from the truth.  TWRP was started to help grow writers and in our constant mission to succeed in this goal, we are always open to change and new ideas as they come along.  Today, Wildflowers Books ( was opened as a way to help writers reach their goals once more.

WFB will offer services that will help the writer self-publish his/her book. We will offer services to allow the writer to have a beautiful cover, a manuscript that is converted to the proper format for various distribution channels such as,, iStore, and several others. We will also offer print copies if the length is appropriate for printing.

TWRP will always be the main thrust of our business; helping writers become published authors in the traditional sense and we will always bring you the very best in quality romance.  But just like there was room for both print books and ebooks; there is room for selfpublished books too. Change is good; it keeps everything moving forward.  Remember, some used to say the home computer was pointless too.

So stop by and take a look at the newest part of our garden -

Any questions, feel free to contact me directly at

Rhonda Penders