Sunday, November 1, 2009

The Wild Rose Press
Introduces a Special Submission Call from Crimson Rose

Jewels of the Night…


One submission will be chosen at random to launch the series. The selected contract will be given a premium publishing slot during Crimson month (November, 2010) as well as a featured review and interview with the review site Once Upon a Romance. The selected story will be showcased on the Crimson Rose Page of The Wild Rose Press website and the Behind the Garden Gate blog. The Wild Rose Press will provide an advertising book banner to the author. Once Upon a Romance will also display this book banner without charge for a thirty day period beginning with the day of book release.

This submission call is open to current Wild Rose Press authors as well as all new query authors.

· Must involve a blue diamond. It could be a treasure hunt or a midnight thief or… Let your imagination take flight!
· Must involve a high level of danger
· Can be in any region of the world
· Can be any timeframe as long as the most prevalent elements are romance and intrigue


Stories must be complete. With a word-length between 20,000 and 65,000 words (miniature rose or rosebud length)
Must be an original, never-before published work and you must own the rights to it.
To qualify for the launch, submission must arrive on or before March 31, 2010
Manuscripts must be formatted per standard formatting rules (Times New Roman, 12 pt, double-spaced, 1 in. margins, numbered pages)
Submission call is open to both published and unpublished writers
Story content must adhere to posted Crimson Rose guidelines as posted on the submissions page of


Email your manuscript as a single Word .rtf attachment to Lori (at)
Put: “Jewel of the Night Series: Manuscript Title: YOUR NAME” in the subject line
In the body of the email, include
The synopsis
Your Real name
Pseudonym, if applicable
Your contact email

Submissions received that do not follow these guidelines will be discarded without notice. The Wild Rose Press is not responsible for submissions lost in cyberspace and not received.
Upon receipt, you will receive a confirmation email. If you have not received a confirmation email within five working days of emailing your submission, please send us an email.
Direct questions regarding this submission call to: Lori (at)
If you have received receipt of your submission, please do not inquire about status until after standard response wait time. All entrants will be reviewed per our normal submission guidelines which are available at

Thanks for submitting and good luck!

Monday, October 26, 2009

So...Do...Tell Me...

What type of heroes do you want to see in the magical land of fantasy?

I know I asked for this in my long post to start off our part of the paranormal month, but would love to hear your answers. Not just our wonderful and so talented authors, but readers also.

Thanks for all the authors, readers, and editors do to make Faery an awesome line at The Wild Rose Press!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Hot Off The Press From Faery Editor Frances Sevilla...

We are FAERY ROSES... we are paranormal, supernatural, time-travelers or space travelers and we are all about romance.

How hot and spicy can our line get? Well, personally, I’m a big fan of “the hotter the better.” But there’s something to be said for sexual tension. Nothing beats two souls searching for each other with a gut-wrenching need who have to overcome a conflict keeping them apart. We ache for them, we cry for them, we lust for them.

Mmm, star-crossed lovers finding each other across time and space, or different realms or planets, fighting a common goal, or just fighting to stay together...FAERY ROSE is all of that and more.

Heat levels vary. During sexual scenes our authors may close the door or leave it wide open. So what do you think the difference is? Language. Description. Details. Yes, all that and more. Language drives the rating. It’s a whole different story. While we keep our description from turning into Purple Prose without being crude, our FAERY ROSES may blush pale pink or blaze hot pink, but if they turn SCARLET, you’ll find those in the Wilder Rose Press catalogue.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

“Magic Rules!” or “Ye cannae change the laws of physics.”

Kelly Schaub writes:

“Writing fantasy is so much easier than writing something from real-life, like a historical. You can make stuff up as you go and never have to research anything!” –Newby Paranormal-Author

Almost. Paranormal fans, who often read bucketloads of scifi and fantasy, expect the worldbuilding to be consistent.

“That can’t really happen.”
Often in a paranormal romance, one small element of reality is tweaked but all else remains the same as real, contemporary Earth. For example, a talking dog. Reader accepts that the animal can talk and reads along blithely accepting this. Until you have the talking dog unlocking doors and cooking dinner or doing anything else that requires opposable thumbs. “Dog’s can’t do that,” the reader says, ignoring the fact that dogs can’t talk either. Why is one believable and not the other? Unless you show in the beginning that this dog can magically perform human-like deeds, the physics of our world deny the possibility in the reader’s mind. Think of Scooby Doo. He’s cartoonish from the beginning, so we accept that he does human-like things.

“That’s so unrealistic!”
A film example is from the recent “Alvin and the Chipmunks” movie. At the opening of the show, the three chipmunks are singing in harmony while loading nuts into a hollow cavity in a fir tree. Singing chipmunks = acceptable. Hollow fir tree = not found in nature…also, where did the nuts come from in a conifer forest? Add that chipmunks are ground sqirrels and a burrowing species...Little details like that can kill the suspension of disbelief.

“Who believes this stuff?”
While flying across rooftops on wires kung-fu fighting in slow motion works in Hong Kong cinema, it doesn’t work in a Hollywood action flick. Why not? Different audiences have different expectations of the level of realism. Do stars of a Hollywood romance suddenly burst into a song and dance number rather than getting’ busy? No, but that’s expected in a Bollywood film. Readers loyal to books about Celtic magic want every book to follow the same general rules found in the literature pertaining to Celtic legends. Wiccan followers know the main tenet of Wicca is “harm none,” so if your Wiccan character brings harm to anyone through use of magic with no three-fold consequences, your story loses believability.

“Well, that was convenient.”
When you create your own fantasy world, you get to decide how magic works or not in your setting. But change the rules of your magical creation for even one sentence and you’ve lost your audience. “Hey, how come Brilliant Hero can do X with his magic in chapter one, but on page 200 suddenly Brilliant Hero can’t do X anymore right when it’s crucial to avoid Scourge the Villain and save Damsel? Why didn’t he just do X again and avoid the problem?” If there is a logical explanation for why Brilliant Hero suddenly forgot that spell or couldn’t work it, make sure the reader knows before you get there. If one character has a limitation on his or her magical ability that other magical characters do not share, let the reader know the why of that.

Follow your own rules
Establish your non-real-earth rules early and clearly then follow them. Readers, editors and agents of paranormal romances have the expectation that what you establish during the first chapter will hold true throughout the book. Want to tweak the rules later as you write further in the manuscript? Great—but return to the beginning and establish that as the rule. As long as you are consistent with your worldbuilding, your readers will accept whatever strangeness you want to dish out.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

The State and Fate of a Villain

By: Sarah Hansen/Editor Faery Rose

Sporting a swirling cape and sinister mustache. Camouflaged as part of the team. Skulking in the background—human? Or not?

The villain plays a dark and important role. The villain himself (or herself) may possess their very own point-of-view. He may lurk as a menacing presence, foiling the best efforts of the hero and heroine to save the day (or night—it is paranormal month here at The Wild Rose Press) through the hero and/or heroine’s POV. His point is to help drive the plot, give cause to the story, to help force the hero and heroine to grow.

For a strong villain—a worthy opponent—this character, whether human or supernatural, needs some special attention and devlopment right along with the other characters in the story. A hastily contrived antagonist to throw a wrench in the works ends up quite obvious and a turn-off. Please don’t expend all of your creative energy on the to-be-happy couple. Don’t just call him sinister, make him that way. Being smelly and ugly doesn’t mean he’s evil. That just means he was blessed with poor genetics and needs a bath. Infuse him with actions and an aura that make the reader’s neck hair stand on end.

The villain can break a story as much as an ending that leaves you scratching your head. Don’t let your villain float. Give him a connection to the characters that truly makes it a feasible relationship. Random, ambiguous villains bug me as much as flat heroes and heroines.

Design the darker side to fit, meld, blend, to truly belong to the story as the heroine and hero belong. A villain needs a personality too. Strengths and weaknesses, quirks and flaws, maybe even the occasional redeemable quality.

Just make sure they can be defeated in the end.

Thursday, October 15, 2009


Although, a lot of readers and authors think paranormal is filled with Vamps, Weres, and Demons, there are other entities that are served up on the Faery Rose line. Below will give you just a glimpse into what we have for readers and what we want from authors, whether you are pubbed already or looking to break into the literary world of romance.

Fairy Tales are not just for children. Our recently revamped Faery line is a place where you can allow your imagination a free rein to create romance with mystical and mythical characters. Picture if you will, a faery hero who is not the cartoon equivalent but a strong sensual male who knows what he wants and goes after his leading lady. Dragons don't just frolic in the mist but turn into mortal men and women with love and lust on their minds. Elves who are not meek or from Santa Land but have minds and hearts of their own, looking for love with a bit of mischief thrown in. Ghosts who come back to life for the love of their life and wizards, warlocks, and witches who crank up the romance like they spit out a spell. Futuristic worlds, filled with science fiction warriors who can wield a sword as well as a laser and not afraid, be they woman or man, to go after what their heart desires. Time travels moving through centuries with the hero and heroine seeking not the secrets of the ages but love. Sweet, sensual, spicy or hot, authors wishing to query should be acquainted with our guidelines for submissions.

Now, having read the above, the key word is romance. We at Faery want what any other editor out there craves--a tale of romance that will transport us out of our daily grind, make the world's problems go away for a bit, and something that will make us remember the book long after we turn the last page.

My personal favs for Faery subs are time travels that bring the past to the present. I also have a soft spot for Science fiction or futeristics, whichever you prefer. My main goal, however, is to find a manuscript that I would buy myself. That is how I judge a submission and it is what I tell the lovely editors on Faery.

Authors should never be afraid to explore the unusual but make sure you keep on top the main ingredient, romance, in what you submit.

Now, readers, I would love to hear from you!! Tell me what you want!! Tell me what makes you crave in a book, and what you would stand in line
to buy!

Next, and you will be hearing more from Frances Sevilla, a culmination of questions and answers for our writers.

How should you decide which line is right for your manuscript?

Read the line descriptions. Faery Rose for instance... Faeries can be both good and bad. Are we all rainbows, lollipops, and starlight? No. Our time travel can take you to dark places. Some of the witches in our books may practice black magic. Our ghosts can be gruesome. We might be a sweet romance or spicy hot romance, but we are always ROMANCE.

What do we represent?

The promise our line makes to our readers is a HEA [happily ever after] for the hero and heroine. One other thing—perhaps the most important thing—is that this story is about THEIR ROMANCE. They may have to overcome demons, travel to distant planets or through time, but they should do it TOGETHER for most of the story.

So if you think your book fits into the Faery line, read a few of our free reads, and then do your homework. Look at what we don’t want for the line, and then make sure if we request your full manuscript, that you format it to our guidelines. Make the editor’s job as easy as possible to accept your book.

Why did your manuscript get rejected?

First, ask the big question... Is it a rejection letter or a revision letter?

One of the biggest mistakes a new author can make is misunderstanding this concept. Agents and editors may not tell you to change something unless you are contracted with them. Before you’re contracted they may suggest changes they think will move your manuscript closer to a contract.

Let’s say you get a letter you think is a rejection. What should you look for?

Is the letter detailed with a few SPECIFIC suggestions for ways to revise the manuscript? Then do it. You haven’t been rejected. Resubmit it.

Are there pages of suggestions? Someone has taken a great deal of time to review your work. They wouldn’t do that if they weren’t serious about encouraging you. You haven’t been rejected. Do it and resubmit.

Are there major revisions suggested? If so, your decision may be more difficult. Send a letter back advising what you are willing to change and what you are not. The ball is in the agent’s or editor’s court. They may have to reject your manuscript based on your answers.

When is it really a rejection letter?

When the letter states that the manuscript does not comply with our publishing or line guidelines, it probably means you should find a different home for your manuscript.

One of the hardest things for an editor to do is reject an excellent manuscript because it doesn’t meet The Wild Rose Press or Faery Rose guidelines. An excellent story, plot, characterization, and voice won’t work if we don’t publish your specific type of story.

We are looking forward to keeping you entertained, interacting with readers and writers during our part of the paranormal month here at The Wild Rose Press.
You will be seeing the editors I am so proud of, Claudia Fallon, Sarah Hansen, Kelly Schaub, and Frances Sevilla, when they post some of the ideas dear to their heart!

Remember if you never open a book either print or ebook, you will never be able to find the treasure inside!

Hugs! Amanda Barnett/Senior Editor/Faery Rose

Saturday, October 10, 2009

A Canadian editor

Greetings from a blogging virgin. This is a repost of the intro I posted on Monday to the wrong blog, so you may have already seen it. I hope I'm in the right place now.

Greetings from the frozen North!

Well, not totally frozen yet, though we have had a couple of overnight frosts. Past time to bring the tomatoes in; we had two red ones this year. Whoo-hoo! I'm afraid that's more a comment on my gardening skills than the climate. Lucky for us, I put more time into my editing than into the garden.

I'm a grammar-, spelling-, punctuation-Nazi from way back. I have to constantly remind myself that not everyone shares my passion for the minutiae and arcana of the English language. I feel incredibly privileged to be allowed to indulge my editing vocation and paranormal avocation at the same time. Talk about a dream job!

This month the Black Rose editors and authors are dispatching from the dark side. Stay tuned for everything you ever wanted to know about spooky beasties, All Hallows Eve traditions, and how to ward off the fangity critters out there. As well as garlic and silver, I've heard that rowan berries and red thread are helpful. But I've yet to learn how to tie up a werewolf with the red thread. Or maybe it's for flossing those fangs?


Thursday, October 8, 2009

Nightmare: A Story of Unrequited Love

NIGHTMARE: A Story of Unrequited Love

How many times have you found yourself wondering just what exactly are succubae and incubi? And what the heck do they do, anyway? Well, if you’re like me, quite often, that’s for sure.

So, dear Readers, with a bit of time on my hands (ha!) over here on the Dark Side of the Garden, I’ve taken it upon myself to do some research into the matter. It appears different theories exist regarding the creation of these infamous, highly-sexed creatures of the, uh, bedroom. Yet, according to the esteemed Sanctum #11: Inquisition, which I’m sure you are all familiar with, “the leading theory was that a warlock or warlocks were trying to create more of their kind the old-fashioned way: by breeding them.” The incubi and the succubae of medieval European folklore visited men and women during the dead of the night to engage in sex, ultimately to produce doers of great evil or powerful warlocks. It was believed that “the most famous child of such a union” was Merlin the Magician. Wow!

Now here’s the unrequited love story part. No HEA here…
A few years before he painted The Nightmare (1791), Johan Heinrich Fussli had fallen passionately in love with a woman named Anna Landholdt in Z├╝rich, the niece of his friend, Johann Kaspar Lavater. Fuseli wrote of his fantasies to Lavater:

Last night I had her in bed with me—tossed my bedclothes hugger-mugger—wound my hot and tight-clasped hands about her—fused her body and soul together with my own—poured into her my spirit, breath and strength. Anyone who touches her now commits adultery and incest! She is mine, and I am hers. And have her I will….

Fussli's marriage proposal didn’t meet with Dad’s approval and lovely Anna married a family friend soon after. It’s said that The Nightmare, (see art below) then, can be seen as a personal portrayal of the erotic aspects of love lost.

Well, if Johan is portraying himself crouching on the beautiful Anna’s midsection, no wonder Daddy didn’t approve!

Joelle Walker
Editor, The Black Rose Line

Monday, October 5, 2009

Be sure to leave the lights on...

There's a monster under your bed! Okay, so maybe there's not a monster under your bed but I've got to tell you, when I was a kid, I was convinced there was, in fact, a monster under my bed. It was an absolute no-no to allow hands or feet to hang over the side of the bed as I was convinced someone--or something--would grab me. Is it any wonder I landed here in Black Rose? Me thinks it was no accident.

As we begin the favored month of those of us at Black Rose, it's a time to reflect upon what it is that brings us to the dark side. People often ask me if I'm a glass half-empty kind of person since I lean so far toward the strange and unusual. I like nothing better than a good vampire or a hunky shape shifter. Still, I must answer them with a firm, no. I'm very much glass half-full kind of person. It's what I love about the dark paranormal romances. You see, it's like this for a Black Rose story you get the age-old battle of good vs. evil along with all the wonderful emotions of an evolving romance. I always know I'm going to get three things: a chill, a thrill, and a happy ending. First, something in each story will give me the oh-factor whether it's a vampire, a demon, or a werewolf. Second, the romance is going to be hot and exciting. And, finally, good will always win and the lovers will find a way to be together regardless of the odds stacked against them. Seriously, how can you beat a story like that??

Now, as a storm brews outside my window and darkness is beginning to fall, it's time to run upstairs and turn on the light in my bedroom...just in case.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Introducing myself...

Hi, I'm Amanda Barnett. I have been with TWRP for over two years. I have spent my time wisely with a lot of different lines and Black Rose is one of them. I love the vamps and weres we
get as submissions.

There is always something you can count on when you evaluate a sub for Black. Exciting, different, and hopefully it holds your attention.

We have some amazing authors on Black as well as TWRP. I'm proud to be an editor to several here on the Black Rose line as well as others.

So, let's make this a wonderful month for all the things that go bump in the night!

Barnett/Editor Black Rose and Senior Faery Rose

Thursday, October 1, 2009

It's October! With that comes...

Indian Summer, Octoberfest, firey autumn colors but most important Halloween, All Hallow's Eve, Samhain!


I am Callie Lynn Wolfe, Senior Editor of the Black Rose Imprint here at TWRP. I have been with TWRP from almost the beginning. I have been fortunate enough to watch this company grow and thrive under the tender cultivating efforts of RJ and Rhonda. I have also watched the Black Rose line grow and it still is. I absolutely love the darker side of the garden and my mission is to see it thrive.

That said, I wanted to tell you a bit about the line, our new blog and what we've got up our sleeves this year to celebrate Paranormal Month.

As you all know, we ran the Got Wolf? contest last year. This year we are celebrating the winners as well as the release of the two Anthologies. I am excited about both books and the collection of stories they hold. We will start October off at the Black Rose blog with the various authors of Got Wolf, so please don't miss any of that. Then we will slide into discussions about the many different aspects of Halloween/Samhain legend, history, tradition and all the creatures that make up the term Paranormal. The darker side, that is

For the next week or so the Black Rose editors will drop in and talk to you about themselves and the upcoming events.

For more information on submission requirements for Black Rose, please visit our guidelines page.

Below is a brief description of what we look for in our stories:

The Black Rose Line at The Wild Rose Press is actively open for spicy to very hot story submissions.

The darker side of the garden seeks steamy, Alpha male or female weres, to die for vamps, or any other delicious mystical creature you have locked up in your wildest imaginations. These stories should include vampires, werewolves, shape shifters, and mystical creatures of all types. The stories are darker, but must have a strong romance theme as the central story thread. We are open to a wide range of stories, and because these creatures tend to be sensual in nature, Black Rose accepts manuscripts that fit the Sensual, Spicy, and Hot ratings parameters, but sex should not be used as the main story thread.

Black Rose is open for submissions as we speak, so if you have a dark tale to tell we're your line.

I want to mention some other great perks this month for Paranormal month. All paranormal books will be on sale all month! So please do hop over and check them out. We have a wonderful selection to choose from.

One other thing I'd like to say. Keep an eye on the The Black Rose Blog daily because you never know when someone will be offering a prize or giving away free stuff and books. This is our month, and we're up to no good or should I say lot's of ghoulish fun:) Don't miss a trick or treat.

We look forward to haunting you all month long. Welcome to the darker side. Step on in and feel the chill. No worries though. I'm sure one of our HOT heroes or heroines will be along shortly to warm you up.

Callie Lynn

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Last Rose of Summer

September is Last Rose of Summer month here at The Wild Rose Press. Over the years, I've taken some flak for the name of this line. Contrary to popular belief it is NOT the line for those that are in their last chapters of life; it is not the line for someone who is desperate and this is their last chance at love.

If you live anywhere that experiences seasonal changes, frost, snow, ice, etc. you might be familiar with this type of flower. The last rose of summer clings to the vine - blooming, even when the snow begins to fall and all around it other flowers shrivel up and die in the cold. The last rose of summer stays strong, stubbornly hanging on when all hope is lost. It is beautiful, and plucky and never something you take for granted.

That's what the heroines are in this line. They've seen life a bit - that's not to say they are old but they have experienced some of life's challenges and come out still blooming. They could be as young as 30 or in their 40's and 50's, as in life there is no "age" when life throws you a curveball. These gals might well be divorced or widowed young or they may have never married and suddenly find themselves truly in love for the first time. Maybe they've been caring for sick familly members and missed out on all the fun of being in love and are going to catch up now. There are any number of scenarios for these gals. Browse our selection in this plucky line and I"m sure you'll find a title or two that catches your eye because of course its going to take a pretty special hero to convince these heroines they need to be a part of their lives.

Last Rose of Summer - a thing of pure beauty and certainly never anyone to be pitied. Happy September!


Sunday, August 23, 2009

Hook Readers With a Strong Beginning

Yesterday at the monthly meeting of my writers' group, several handouts were distributed. I made the time to sit this morning and read them over.
Am I glad I took the time, because this one is excellent: from the July/August 2009a issue of Writer's Digest, Hook Readers With a Strong Beginning, by Les Edgerton.

With a crisp and witty writing style, Mr. Edgerton entertained me as well as reinforced things I've been encouraging for the past few years: where and what NOT to start a book with, ie a dream sequence, a ringing alarm clock or phone, too much or too little dialogue.

Just wanted to share this with you all.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The Dog Days of Summer

That's an actual sunset on Lake Ontario taken last weekend, and it's a gentle reminder that summer across the country is drawing to a close. In some states, the kids have already begun to go back to school and those that haven't are busy shopping for new sneakers, backpacks and the various items that are requested by the teachers.

Does the end of summer excite you or make you sad? It seems as if there are two camps in this - those that eagerly anticipate the structure and scheduled days and nights of the school year and those that long to keep their toes buried in the sand for a bit longer. I have to admit to being a little bit of both - I love the summer sun, the heat, the long lazy days and nights that go on forever, but I also love it when the kids have to get up and out of the house and actually "do" something with their time. lol.

Whether you have kids in school still or not, September is a new year for most of us and with that new year hopefully some resolutions. We have a few months before the dreaded holiday season kicks off - use your time wisely, get that manuscript submitted or edited or even finished! Set a deadline for yourself and stick to it, even if its only to write for 30 mins every day. Whatever you have to do to get to the end do it. Remember if you write 1 page a day in a year you'll have a whole book.

Before we seriously head into fall though, don't forget that all this month we're celebrating the hottest line in the garden - Scarlet Rose. If you've never picked up one of these sizzling reads this is the time to do it. All our titles in the wilder garden are on sale. Just be careful, you may need more than a glass of lemonade to cool off after these hot reads.

Enjoy the rest of summer everyone and remember to take some time out for you - read, write and or simply close your eyes and let your mind brainstorm some wonderful story idea.

Rhonda Penders

Thursday, July 23, 2009

American Heroes... and then some

I posted this on the American and Vintage Rose shared blog the other day, but it bears repeating so I thought I'd post it here, as well.

Last night’s American Rose line celebration chat proved, once again, that while our numbers in AR are small, our hearts are mighty! Thank you to all the editors and authors who came out to celebrate with us.

AR editor Allison Byers took great delight in finally giving us the scoop on what she’s been teasing us about all month long—our American Heroes series. For those of you who missed it, here’s a recap:

American and Vintage Rose* are combining for a series entitled "American Heroes." The hero/heroine can be a person in the military or one can be an everyday person who inspires someone, changes his/her world for the better, or displays heroic qualities that a romance reader would embrace. Think of Rosie the Riveter, suffragettes, a southern belle who saved her home, northern ladies who had Antietam at their doorstep, nurses and doctor who fought under enemy fire, firefighters during the Chicago fire. There are so many historical figures in our lifetime, and we on the American Line want to capture that spirit and share it with our readers.

The stories can be 30,000 to 100,000 words. The time frame is anything from 1492 to 1992 (the end of the first Gulf War). Vintage stories can be set on foreign soil, but the hero/heroine must be an American. American Rose stories must be set on American soil.

What I found most interesting was when we began to discuss the many kinds of heroes there are out there. I was amazed at the ideas our authors threw out there. Canadian Mounties? Absolutely. A pilot on 9/11? You betcha. Gulf War heroes? Yep.

The bottom line, authors, is these are YOUR lines and if there’s one thing I’ve learned in my three plus years at the helm of the historical department, it’s that no matter what direction I think a line may be heading... the authors usually have a different idea entirely! Which is why we are always open to suggestion.

In the next few weeks I will be working hand in hand with the VR and AR editing teams to revise the guidelines for both Vintage and American Rose, and I welcome your input. I am continually amazed by the enthusiasm and excitement you show for these lines, and if there’s a direction you’d like to see these lines take that they haven’t already, or have a question about whether we do/do not accept certain settings, feel free to email and tell me.

After all, the authors are in charge of things around here, I’m just along for the ride. *G*

Nicole D’Arienzo
Managing Editor, Historical Division

*to clarify… Vintage Rose accepts both American and non-American settings post 1900. The American Rose line accepts settings from 1492 through the first decade of the 20th century but only deals with American settings. English Tea Rose accepts all non-American settings up to 1900 and Cactus Rose focuses on historicals set in the Old West.

Monday, July 13, 2009


When I write revision letters, I often tell my authors that I expect to see the three Rs in scenes. The three Rs encompass building character, which, as many of you know is my editorial Holy Grail.

When you plot a scene, you enrich the character’s life, bring it down, or plant them in a situation where the three Rs should happen, not only to fill the chapter, build word count and build character, but allow the reader to identify and create a bond with the hero or heroine.

So, in writing the three Rs, there are a few suggestions.

REACT: Most chapters start with a scenario of some type. The heroine is on a crashing plane, a raft in the ocean, her mother’s kitchen or in traffic dropping her child off at daycare. There are endless scenarios you can use, these are just a few.

At this point, the reader knows where the heroine happens to be. How does the heroine react to being there? Is she screaming and hanging on for dear life? Has she just yanked her hand out of the water before a shark cruises by? Did her Mom just make fluffy pancakes and bacon and the heroine is salivating? Or did a man in a sports car just cut her off in traffic? What did our heroine feel at this very point in time? Whatever she feels is a reaction. Build character here. Wring those feelings right out of our hapless heroine. Internal dialog and observations are good things! Conversation with another nearby can also build character.

RESPOND: Now that the plane has crashed, there’s a ship on the horizon, Mom has provided her with the pancakes and the man in the sports car screeches to a stop, jumps out and waves a bloody hand – our heroine has to respond. Her earlier thoughts are forgotten. Now she has to look for a way to survive in the jungle with pieces of plane all around, flag down the ship, decide to only eat half of Mom’s pancakes because she’s on a diet, and scrabble around under the driver’s seat to find that emergency fist aid kit she always keeps in the car. (Editorial intrusion – what do you mean you don’t keep a first aid kit in the car? Do so immediately. The editor has spoken!). Now she is poised to take action. Tools have been found, her former internal dialog is cut off and another crisis is staring her right in the face. She has to respond.

At this point, our heroine is coming to the aid of something or someone. She hasn’t actually done anything, but she is prepared or preparing to do so. Fill that page with her preparations. Dialog with the dog that survived the plane crash too, the kid who is in the raft with her, Mom’s discussion on her being too skinny, or the policeman running car to car looking for a first aid kit (see, I told you that a first aid kit is a necessary item in your car!), are excellent for showing the reader our heroine’s character. They get the sense that she will help, discuss, and even have a courageous sense of humor despite her surroundings or the people around her. These are heroine traits, and secretly our readers want to believe that they would respond exactly as our heroine is doing. Which leads us to Resolution.

RESOLUTION: The scene is now coming to a close. The heroine fashions a glider out of half a wing and parasails out of the jungle, thereby saving herself. Or she whips off her petticoats and flags down the ship. Mom realizes our heroine does need to drop a few pounds and takes back ½ pancake to eat herself. The heroine bandages the driver’s bloody hand, and he kisses her right there in traffic to the cheers of the stranded motorists. Our heroine had done something. She has taken action and resolved the plot issue that was introduced at the beginning of the scene. The responses portrayed and the preparations she took filled the chapter with character-building internal thoughts, open dialog and actions.

In closing this scene you can build character yet again by giving our heroine a sense of satisfaction at a job completed, a strength of purpose that uplifts her ego, and the knowledge that her actions, and hers alone, resolved the entire situation. If she did have help she needs to acknowledge it openly and not take all the credit. Giving credit where credit is due is also heroic.

So, in building character and plotting scenes remember the 3 Rs – React, Respond, Resolution.

Friday, July 3, 2009

The Convenience Of Everything...

Lately, I’ve been running across manuscripts wherein our illustrious heroine is placed so conveniently that she literally does nothing to further her own life or the storyline at all.

What am I talking about?

Let us set aside the passive heroine for the moment and concentrate on plot here. For those of you who hear me constantly preach about characterization, just hold on, I’m getting to it…or the lack thereof.

Plot is a tool to further the story. It is the action, the backdrop and the surroundings that our hero and heroine wade through as they discover their own feelings for each other.

I once determined that a good, 20 page chapter required four different scenes to act as a foil for the characters. These scenes had to comprise some form of action so our characters could act, react, compare notes, and resolve. So, the plot of a story would be something like…

The heroine’s diamonds are lost.

The characters look high and low aboard the ship, bumping into each other as they pat down the stern sheets, empty out lockers and check the beds in steerage.

The diamonds are found when a passenger bites down on his coq au vin and breaks a tooth.

It is discovered that the heroine had visited the deck where the seagulls landed on the railing for the scraps the cook threw out and one of them snatched the diamonds out of heroine’s handbag which she accidentally left on a deck chair…and the cook had run out of chicken for his dish, so he got the next best thing…

Basically, the plot above tells the actual story. There’s not one bit of characterization except in the distant sense – an idiotic heroine who brings her handbag up deck, and a cook who doesn’t want to disappoint the passengers about the meal.

The heroine, except mentioned in the first sentence, is unnecessary for the story.

Now, let us return to my first sentence. In a plot rich environment, the heroine is placed so that many things can be happening around or to her, but she comes through unscathed, not only in body, but without a thought of the uniqueness of the situation.

1. Our heroine is thumbing rides and although everyone else would be at the mercy of an axe murderer, our heroine remains completely safe and she even gets money from the trucker who picked her up.

2. Our heroine, without any knowledge at all, gets an executive position without any credentials and then does an outstanding job, better than all the college grads around her.

3.Our heroine escapes death in an avalanche because she wanted to explore a pretty little shanty in the woods. A shanty that has food, water and a heat source, so she could survive for two weeks until rescued.

Each of these plots are active. But our heroine is not. When too many outstanding coincidences such as the three above appear in one manuscript, it is a lack of control over characterization. The heroine didn’t actively participate in any of the above, they just “happened” to her. Heroines are supposed to be proactive in their lives. They also need to have emotions and feelings clearly defined when these extraordinary things are going on.

To conveniently place people on a stage to “act out” a role, without delving into what they’re thinking and feeling is simply a plot that doesn’t even need a heroine or hero.

Since romance needs both, The Convenience Of Everything won’t work.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Lawmen and Outlaws Christmas Anthology

The Cactus staff is looking to put together another Lawmen and Outlaws anthology. Only this time it will be Christmas themed stories to be released for Christmas 2010.

The stories need to be no longer than 25,000 words with either a lawman or outlaw as the hero.

Send a synopsis to with Christmas Anthology in the subject line by November 1, 2009. We'll pick four stories and contact those authors by November 15, 2009. The completed story must be turned in by February 1, 2010.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Cowboy Month

Ok its not a cowboy picture but it is a Yellow Rose and this is Yellow Rose and Cactus Rose Month (sorry Cactus ladies, I can't find a Cactus Rose). This photo is actually straight out of my real garden at home. Its a Peace Rose and it was sent to me a couple years ago by one of our authors in the UK - Diyls Xavier. I had my doubts that it would thrive in our climate but it has and it blooms beautifully every year.

Anyway, for those of you who don't know, its Cowboy Month. I won't even pretend to not be partial to this month. I love it. I absolutely love it.

The Cactus Rose line has an awesome anthology that released last week entitled: "Lawmen and Outlaws", and at the end of the month, another of our WayBack, Texas tales will come out. This one is an anthology by three Yellow Rose authors - entitled "Finding Their WayBack". You won't want to miss reading either of these anthologies.

If you've never tried a Yellow Rose or Cactus Rose story let me gently encourage you to check them out. All titles are on sale this month and I don't think you'll be disappointed by any of them.

So Cowboy Up everyone; let's spend some time with cowboys and cowgirls form the old west or the contemporary ranches of today.


Monday, May 25, 2009

The Character Of Heroines

We talk about them all the time. We talk about their qualities, we talk about what they say, and of course, we write about their love life. So, exactly what constitutes a heroine and how is she clearly defined in her role? Why is this protagonist so universally loved that people will read an endless number of stories about her and her fellow heroines?

The meaning of the word, heroine, implies all the positive traits of humanity.

heroine – noun - 1 a: a mythological or legendary woman having the qualities of a hero b: a woman admired and emulated for her achievements and qualities 2 a: the principal female character in a literary or dramatic work b: the central female figure in an event or period. (Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary)

She is quite literally, the central, lead character in a romance. When an author writes a story, the entire story revolves around this woman’s actions, challenges, reactions, thoughts and feelings.

Even when writing from the man’s point of view, we are given glimpses into the character of the heroine.

To write a heroine whom readers will love, an author must delve deeply into the psyche of humanity. A heroine can have negative feelings and thoughts, but they must always be tempered by the cause or motivation for those emotions. In addition, those feelings must be fleeting, or be negated by something positive in her heart.

Although there are a few heroines written who are gossipy, unkind, money-grubbing and self-centered (the movie character Scarlett O’Hara comes to mind) in most cases, a true heroine only displays these tendencies, without believing them. How she feels and thinks about these negative emotions is quite the contrary and it is delineated by her warmth, heart and caring.

Heroines, quite simply, are heroic. They may be scared, they may be angry, they may be upset, tearful, whiny, and cranky, but in the end, they understand that they must act, and by acting, they show their courage, control, compassion and worth to the reader.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Our Grand Prize winner!

Congratulations to .....

Emma Lai (Cari Quinn was not eligible to win the grand prize)

You are our grand prize winner. You will receive a gorgeous tote bag full of books, a t-shirt, coffee mug, gift certificates and whatever else we can stuff in a tote bag or if you would rather, you can take a $30 gift certificate to the TWRP bookstore.
(this can be any TWRP store, White Rose Publishing, the Wilder Roses or the main Wild Rose Press bookstore.)

email me at

thank you to everyone who participated today. The garden is truly an amazing place.

Thank you from the Wild Rose Press - Blog Party Winners

Thank you to everyone for sharing our third birthday. If you are one of the winners from the posts today, please email me at Today's winners will receive their choice of digital book from the line hosting the hour that their name was drawn from, except those that won on my lunch break post.
Those 4 winners will be mailed their prize. The grand prize winner will be announced in a few minutes.

Here is the list of hourly winners:
English Tea Rose – Silver James
Scarlet Rose – Cyranowriter
Cover Artists – Deborah Rittle
Humming birds – Pam Thibodeau.
Yellow Rose – Ann Campbell
American Rose - Amber Leigh Williams
Cactus Rose – Becky
Vintage Rose - Marye Ulrich
Champagne Rose - Lynda Lukow
Last Rose of Summer – Shannon Donovan
White Rose - Hywela Lyn
Crimson Rose – Mary Rickson
Faery Rose - Catherine Bybee
Black Rose – danie88
Climbing Rose – Future Mrs. Ashley Rose
Sweetheart Rose – Christine

Lunch break prize winners
Susan Shay - book light
Larena - book light
Tarah Scott - book thong
danie88 - book thong

Thank you for a wonderful three years and we'll celebrate again next year.

Parting is such Sweet Sorrow--so come and pitch the editors of the Sweetheart line!

The last hour is always the sweetest. Thanks for stopping by. For our blog post, we'd like to open it up to pitches. Formal, informal--do you have a sweetheart of a read? We'd like to hear about it.

Enter your pitch in the comments. (and refresh to see new comments!) Give us the name of your story, the computer word count, the conflict (or what keeps your hero and heroine apart) and the resolution. Just remember--keep that bedroom door firmly closed. The Sweetheart line is emotionally-driven.

Make us laugh, make us cry-make us feel something--and you're guaranteed a request.

Leanne Morgena, the senior editor of Sweetheart, says...

I’m sorry I can’t participate in “real time” but I’m involved with my RWA chapter-sponsored conference today and tomorrow. Recently, I was interviewed for a New Zealand newsletter and was asked what makes a great submission for the Sweetheart line.

This is what we look for:

A story that starts off by pitting two well-developed personalities against each other and then keeps them together, but at odds, for the majority of the rest of the page count. Something from their individual pasts makes them hesitant to view the other as a potential mate. Through the course of the story, events take place that cause them to look at each other in a new way. Experiencing these events together allows them to create a relationship that moves from attraction to respect to trust to love.

At the end of the story, we look for both main characters to make a choice that they couldn’t have made at the beginning. They do it because they are stronger people for having known the other or because they choose to put another’s interests above theirs. In a line that doesn’t contain other plot elements (paranormal, suspense, sensuality), character growth and emotional content are the keys that hold the story together and have to be its focus.

Her personal favorites are:

--reunion stories because when characters have a past, they have to get over whatever broke them apart and whatever is keeping them apart now. I also like stories that involve competent people thrown into situations for which they have no training are also favorites. (big city girl on a farm, scientist put into the public eye, adult with no siblings taking care of friend’s small child, injured cop accepting help) Urban or rural, humorous or emotional, be sure to develop your setting so the reader has the tools to create mental images for your characters and where they live and work.

Vicky Reed says...

My personal faves are best friends who fall in love, realistic jobs and settings. It's fun to be rich or own a bed and breakfast--but retail clerks, unemployed mothers who find the love of their life and a job, fast-food workers and people putting in time at the food bank to help themselves and others, fall in love every day. I'd also like to see ethnic characters, African-American, Japanese-American, Filipino-American, whatever kind of (insert here)-American you are. I want to see Uncle Taki and Auntie Marival. Your granddaddy or uncles. Fly your colors. Whoever they are, make sure your hero and heroine are three dimensional and don't let the setting or secondary characters upstage the love story.

A special request for...

The Flower Basket--our Sweetheart Continuity

Do you have what it takes to be a part of The Flower Basket?

Sweetheart is currently seeking submissions to The Flower Basket series set in a small town called Almendra in central California. A free read titled Business is Blooming (available on our website) by Linda Carroll-Bradd launched the series, provides essential information about the town and introduces the three shop owners. Some element in your story has to include contact (in person, phone or email) with the shop or one of the three shop owners for a flower delivery.

The trick to plotting an appropriate story is to take an existing part of the town’s economic or social life and figure out a romantic story for two people who would live and/or work in this town (without duplicating what’s been contracted). Although the characters you create need to interact with The Flower Basket and the owners, your story can’t create any new storylines for Steffie, Grace or Donica, or some of the other characters. We hope that’s not too confusing.

A story chart detailing the existing characters, their roles/professions, and businesses mentioned in the contracted books is available on request from The chart also details which characters are reserved by the original author and which are available for others to use. The senior editor, Leanne Morgena, is also willing to review story outlines for works-in-progress.

Thanks for being here with us! We hope you had a wonderful time. The Sweetheart line will be available until 11p.m. EST. Pitch us! ....and you might win a prize. :)

Climbing Roses Prom Mania

Welcome to all you late nighters! This hour is hosted by Climbing Rose, our YA line.

Hope you’ve had a special Friday night so far. We’re glad you’ve joined us. Feel free to make comments or ask any questions. We have several authors and editors stopping by to answer. Some of our special teen readers may be joining us as well. I’d like our Climbing Rose team members (that includes authors and readers, too) to introduce themselves & leave comments.

Birthdays are always exciting times, and the best part is getting presents. So we have lots of presents for Climbing fans. One lucky person will walk away with the book of her (or his) choice just for commenting during this hour. But that’s only the beginning.

Climbing Rose is celebrating Prom Mania all month. If you stop by our Climbing blog and mention you saw this logo, your name will be entered in the drawings for great prizes supplied by our authors throughout May. If you find this logo on our authors’ websites or social networking sites, you’ll have multiple chances to enter. And that’s not all.

Because May is our special Climbing Rose promo month, we’ll be celebrating Prom Mania with free reads, prom-related quizzes, crafts, kissing tips, embarrassing prom moments, and advice on choosing the perfect prom dress. We’ll even post info on where to get free or low-cost prom gowns.

Send your friends or favorite teens to visit the site, and join us for some fun. (You won’t want to miss the pictures of our authors in their prom gowns, big hair and all!) All of this will take place at Stop by every Friday in May for a fun quiz. And throughout the month, we’ll be drawing names at random from those who comment or participate in our quizzes. Best of all, all of our Climbing Rose books will be discounted for the entire month. Take advantage of the sale to pick up some of your favorite titles.

You can find info about upcoming releases, fabulous booktrailers (some of them designed by talented teens), author pictures and bios, and read the stories behind the books. How did our authors come up with their ideas? Read the blog to find out.

Exciting things are happening in Climbing Rose. At our CR blog, moderated by our teen reviewer Blaize Rose, CR authors have been blogging on topics of interest to teens. Even better is the new Climbing Roses store for print releases, a safe place for teens to shop. With a dozen new titles slated to be released, Climbing Rose is the place to be for teens and the young at heart.

Also, join us in the chat room on May 14 from 8-9 p.m. EST. You can talk to Climbing Rose authors, editors, and some of our wonderful teen readers. Ask questions about our books, the writing process, or how to submit to the Climbing Rose line. We'd love to see you there.

Have any questions for us now? Ask away. We’d be more than happy to answer them.


Kat O’Shea

Senior Editor, Climbing Rose

P.S. One last gift before I send you out into the night at the end of our hour (unless you're off to the Sweetheart blog). I thought this blog & the video (if you haven't already seen it, or even if you have, you may want to watch it again) was both touching and inspiring.

Here's to following your dreams!