Saturday, January 31, 2009

The Month of Love

It’s February. Love is in the air. (And on store shelves selling for twenty bucks disguised as fabulous Godiva chocolate. Yum :) I thought this would be the perfect time to talk about sexual and romantic tension in a romance.

Sexual tension is at the core of the attraction between your hero and heroine. It’s the chemistry that sizzles and bites your readers, making them long to stay up late reading more. It can be subtle—a touch or a glance—or it can be explicit. Either way, it’s one of the most important parts of your story. It shows the reader the developing desire between the hero and heroine.

But how to make your manuscript sizzle (and yes, even “sweet” romances have romantic tension—or they should—as that heat is present whenever there is a deep attraction) while still showing not telling?

Here are some tips:

--Use all your senses. You don’t want to overwhelm the reader, but visualize the scene. Bring the senses into play. What does the character see? Does the hero’s shirt hug his broad chest? Is the heroine’s skirt playing peek-a-boo with the creamy skin on the inside of her thigh? What about scents? Consider all the scents that might be present, beyond simply “musk” or “male”. Is there a lingering taste of deep, pungent dry wine on the hero’s tongue? Look up fragrances and see what terms the fragrance company uses to describe the scent. Draw the reader in.

--Sexual tension is primal. When we see someone we are attracted to, instinct kicks in. Our body responds in ways we sometimes have very little control over. The feelings are raw, animalistic. Keep the response in tune with that instinct--even in a sweet romance when you're simply describing a tingle racing up the heroine’s arm at the hero’s light, lingering touch.

--Show, don’t tell. This is pounded into our writing brains for a reason. Telling the audience that the hero excites her…well, isn’t very exciting. Show through action (does the heroine tug her hand away from the hero as if burned when he touches her because the sensation startles her?). Show through dialogue (those witty exchanges or spunky comebacks are often holding attraction at bay!). Show through well-timed internal dialogue (don’t weigh the flow of the story down, but adding in snippets will bring more romantic tension in).

--Finally, get in the mood. It’s hard to write good sexual tension, or a good love scene, if you’re thinking about the dirty dishes in the sink. So make the time to really get into your scene. Use music or candles if they help. Just be sure to be in your character’s place.

Bringing in more sexual and romantic tension to your romance will captivate the reader, move the story forward, and help develop the romance. So, pour a glass of wine (or sparkling cider) and get in the mood—to write.

Renee Lynn
Editor--Champagne Line

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Champagne Editors Tell All : Renee Lynn

Casually walking around the Garden, pretending to enjoy the roses, I pounced upon Editor Renee Lynn and threatened her with dire bodily harm (just kidding! No, I didn't!) unless she caved to the inevitable and granted an interview. She graciously agreed. :)

TWRP: Where is the best view in your city?

RL: At the top of a nearby mountain. You can see everything for miles. And when the sun is setting, it’s amazing.

TWRP: How often do you change your screen saver?

RL: Never. Seriously. I don’t have anything but the normal Windows screen saver. How lame is that? Oh Lord, now everyone will know how truly boring I am!

TWRP: What makes you feel patriotic?

RL: This is a great question. And, with the change in administration just recently behind us, I guess I would say this past inauguration. No matter which side of the fence you are on, it was a day to be proud. Proud for our voting system. Proud for how far we’ve come. And proud that we have a peaceful changeover in this country, where many places do not.

TWRP: Beignets or biscuits?

RL: Well, now, I am gluten-free, so I really can’t have either (unless I seriously alter the recipe J, but since my hubby is from Louisiana, I would have to go with beignets. In fact, right about now, they sound great!

TWRP: Why do think cats stare at us so enigmatically?

RL: You know, I am really more of a dog person, so I would have to say they are staring at us to think of a way to annoy us. Mischievous little creatures, they are!

TWRP: Who makes you laugh the hardest?

RL: My sixteen-month-old son. He will do something so silly or make a funny face, and I crack up.

TWRP: When do you wear sequins?

RL: Hmm, unless it’s a wedding, probably never. I am more of a subtle shimmering metallic or classic black kind of girl.

TWRP: Tell the readers the book in the Champagne line that best epitomizes a romantic incident in your own life.

RL: I guess I would say Cornflower Blue by Kathy Pratt. The heroine in this book moves from a small town in Iowa to a big city in California. Though I didn’t share this journey, I did move from a small-ish town in Upstate New York to Dallas, Texas--alone and totally on my own. There I met my husband ,and we have been together for nearly twelve years now. Also, Misty’s (the heroine from Cornflower Blue) father passes away, and she needs to go home for the funeral, bringing out some complex emotions in her. I, too, lost my dad a couple of years ago to a devastating bout of leukemia. And making a journey home to face the loss of someone who meant so much to you is agonizing. So, I can relate to her there are well.

To purchase CORNFLOWER BLUE by Kathy Pratt click on the title.

In CORNFLOWER BLUE, Iowa native Misty Dawn James receives a crash course in the ethnic and cultural diversity of Orange County, California. Misty relocates from a farm in Iowa to Fullerton, California to go to college. Before she can get started in school, she finds herself learning to dance the Merengue, submitting to a makeover orchestrated by her new best friend Joaquin Vasquez along with her Aunt Marigold, and falling for handsome law student, Esteban Torres. Misty’s journey from Iowa farm girl to California girl is at times a bumpy road. The people she meets in California are much more challenging than those she’s left at home. Her Aunt Marigold is an aging flower child and founder of the ‘Red HOT Club’ for single women over forty. Her friend Jackie’s flamboyant personality and appearance frequently get them into embarrassing and sometimes sticky situations. Esteban introduces her to Latino culture in California, and Misty is soon won over by the loving and lively atmosphere that surrounds all of the family gatherings he takes her to. She is forced to make an extremely difficult decision about her future when her father dies and she returns to Iowa for his funeral.

This concludes our interviews with the Editors of the Champagne Rose line. Please check out these Champagne authors and more at

Champagne Editors Tell All : Kat O'Shea

Tracking down the Champagne Editors is hard! Its almost as if they're hiding out! Ohhhhh....Kat! Quick, answer these questions and I'll go away, I promise! LOL

TWRP: What color is your favorite sweater?

KO: Actually, I have two favorites. The first one I picked up years ago in a thrift shop in Denmark. (I love resale shops!) I don't remember how many kroner it cost (this was before the euro), but it was a steal. I paid about $30 US for a dress, the cardigan, and a gorgeous pair of leather shoes. The sweater is cream-colored with a bright, Fair Isle pattern across the yoke in mainly green, red, black. It has brass buttons down the front. I love it because it's so heavy, it's indestructible. It's also warm enough to wear as a coat. I've even worn it skiing, and it kept me toasty on the slopes. I just brushed off the snow when I fell; it never penetrated the knit. I've often wondered if I could wear it as armor. Bet an arrow would glance off.The other sweater is cuddly, perfect for snuggling into on chilly days. It's black angora with beading across the yoke. Very romantic and sparkly enough to match my tiara (see below).

TWRP: Have you ever worn a crown?

KO: How do you know so much about my fantasy life? From the time I was seven and read The Little Princess, I dreamed that someday, I'd turn into a princess. I keep waiting for the royal proclamation to arrive, telling me my real parents are indeed rulers of some far-flung country, and I was accidentally switched at birth. However, the closest I've ever gotten to a crown, besides seeing one in a museum, is my tiara.Does a tiara count? I have one on right now as I write. I only take it off when I go to bed and sometimes not even then. You may not know this, but my tiara gained me entrée to Wild Rose Press. When they were looking for editors, the ad asked: Are you called the "comma queen" by your critique partners? As it happened, the night before, my writing group had presented me with a tiara and crowned me "grammar queen." If that isn't destiny, what is? I emailed Rhonda to tell her that, yes, indeed, I had been crowned queen. She called the very next day, and the rest is history. So now I never edit without it. (Did I mention that it's studded with amethysts and diamonds?—which I'm positive, knowing my critique group, are real. Oh, and it has white, fluffy down glued on it too, so I'm ready to take off the minute that proclamation arrives.)

TWRP: Why are squirrels so cute?

KO: Their bushy tails? The way the wrinkle up their noses? Their little beady eyes that gleam? They make good pets? I don't know what it is, but they're appealing little animals, even if they are rodents. As a matter of fact, we had one as a pet when we were kids. Our yard with its butternut and chestnut trees served as a playground for squirrels. My brother and I tamed one, and it came when we called. It sat up and begged when we held out peanuts and then ate them out of our hands.

TWRP: Apple pie or blueberry muffins?

KO: Blueberry all the way. Blueberry pie, blueberry muffins, blueberry scones, blueberry pancakes, blueberry bagels…I love them all. My favorite treat is to pop frozen blueberries into my mouth straight from the freezer. Better than ice cream and a lot less fattening.

TWRP: Where is the best place to get cozy in your house?

KO: My whole house is cozy. It's so tiny, you can barely turn around in it, so if we have any guests, we're always up close and personal. My husband and I bump into each other regularly walking from one room to the next. He'd say the coziest spot in the house is beside the woodstove on a winter evening. I'd opt for being tucked under the covers in bed—alone or together.As for why our house is so small: We downsized when the last of our five kids went off to college. We wanted to make sure we wouldn't end up with a bunch of freeloaders mooching off Mom and Dad for the rest of their lives, so we bought the smallest house we could find. Two bedrooms, one of them an office without a bed, ensures that the kids will come for short visits, but not extended stays. And only one at a time. [NOTE: We do love them, but absence truly does make the heart grow fonder.] Note: From interviewer - we did exactly the same thing - small house, two bedrooms, one is the office. (grin).

TWRP: How often do you share a banana split?

KO: I haven't done that in years, but it brings back memories of high school. We had an ice cream place near us that made gigantic banana splits—so big they dragged them in on a sled. The servers ran across the restaurant jingling bells as they pulled them to your table. A dozen or more of us would pile into a car (this was before seat belt laws) and head for Alaskaland. We'd order two banana splits (about 30 scoops of ice cream per dish) and eat every bite. Yum!Now you've made me hungry for one, and it's the middle of winter.

Who is most exciting person you know?

Wow, that's a challenge! Exciting, hmm… If said my husband, you'd want to know what about him I find exciting, and this being a G-rated blog, I'd decline to answer. But he's been exciting me for 34+ years now (And, yes, I was a child bride. I'm only a little over 29 now. Or maybe that should be 39. I lost track of birthdays a few years ago. Who said editors could do math?)

TWRP: Tell the readers the book in the Champagne line that best epitomizes a romantic incident in your own life.

KO: Oh, dear, I wish I could say it was one of the glitzy, glamorous ones, but if I'm honest, I'd have to pick Daredevil and Dormouse by Giulietta Jones. As you can see from the cover, the hero's a hunk. So's my husband (except he's a blond). But hard as she tries to impress him, the poor heroine makes a fool of herself every time he's around. The first time she meets him, she's dressed in her son's penguin costume with packets of soup pinned to her chest and is trying to escape a drunk who thinks she's a stripper—don't ask, you have to read it to find out why.) Reading about her escapades is laugh-out-loud hilarious; although actually going through them is not so humorous, as I know from experience. However, she and I each ended up getting our man—and having a happily ever after, which is what romance is all about.

To purchase the DAREDEVIL AND THE DORMOUSE by Guilietta Jones click the title.

Stay tuned! I'll hunt down the last of the Champagne Editors, yet!

Champagne Editors Tell All : Mary Belk

So, once again I wandered around the garden scouting for editors to pester and give up their deepest, darkest secrets. Editor Mary Belk ran slower than the rest and I caught up with her easily. Forced to answer my questions, she caved in and told all.

TWRP: What kind of purse do you carry?

MB: Purse... as small as possible.

TWRP: When do you feel like wearing satin?

No, satin. I like silk better. Something bright. No pastels.

TWRP: Why do you think karaoke is so fun?

MB: Singing is fun, anytime, anywhere.

TWRP: Fudge or candy bar?

MB: What do you mean "or"? Fudge and candy bar and a Coca Cola.

TWRP: Where is your favorite star in the sky?

MB: I like the North star. It has a good rep for bringing people home.

TWRP: How often do you get away from it all?

MB: I'm looking for a way to get into it all at the moment. I'm recovering from an illness and complications and feel like I have been away from it all too long. I like to play the piano when I'm stressed. Of course, reading.

TWRP: Who do you take to the park?

MB: Park? What park? I used to take myself to Mammoth Cave National Park. That was a getaway when I needed to get away from it all. To stand in one of the parking lookouts... that is peace.

TWRP: Tell the readers the book in the Champagne line that best epitomizes a romantic incident in your own life.

MB: Romantic incident? Well, I don't remember romantic incidents. At least, none of my line up with a book. Maybe I better write one. It would be something like Cowboy Santa. He was a cowboy from Colorado and looked like Santa. More in my age range. We were both professors at a university and met in a writer's club. He didn't seem too interested until I was on Donahue, and he discovered my naughty writing.

Let us all write emails to Mary to get Cowboy Santa written! It sounds like just the story our readers love! Tune in tomorrow as I trap more editors into complying with my secret interrogations!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Champagne Editors Tell All : Rebecca Terry

Meandering through the Garden I came upon editor Rebecca Terry. I slithered (I love that word!) into her office and asked all kinds of questions to delve into her psyche. Little did she know!

TWRP: Where is your favorite tourist trap?

RT: Kennybunkport, Maine! I love the ocean and seafood! I am not into heat and sand and the crush of half naked bodies so the darker colder beaches of Maine are very appealing to me.

TWRP: How often do you get silly?

RT: Sadly, silly wasn't written into my character! I have a really hard time with it. The closest I get is playing with my son when no one is around but he and I. We make faces at one another and just act silly as only toddlers are truly capable of.

TWRP: When do you take time for family fun?

RT: Every day! My husband and I have 3 kids, ages 13, 8, and 2. We try to spend time every day on something fun. Be it a game after dinner, chatting about events or people, of just their wrestling on the living room floor.

TWRP: Pancakes or waffles?

RT: Waffles! No contest.

TWRP: What hair color would you like to try?

RT: Red! My entire family has red hair in some shade or another. From copper to auburn to strawberry blonde. I feel left out. I'm not huge on cosmetic maintenance so I won't dye it just yet. When these greys multiply a bit more maybe...

TWRP: Who took the best photo of you ever?

RT: My husband. I was pregnant with daughter number 2, all dressed up in a wonderfully flattering green maternity suit, and we were going out to dinner with family and friends. It's the only photo I've ever been able to describe as "glowing". Little did I know, it turned out to be our engagement dinner as he proposed that evening.

TWRP: Which is better, books or movies?

RT: BOOKS! For whatever reason, time constraints, money, lack of imagination, Hollywood can never create a movie that fully does justice to what your imagination can do with a book. The world inside a book is as deep and rich as you make it. You can step in and out at will and if its a series...its a journey with characters that become your friends. I honestly can't say enough on this topic!

TWRP: Tell the readers the book in the Champagne line that best epitomizes a romantic incident in your own life.

RT: Uh, I don't know that there is one. Seriously, I married the man I fell in love with in high school. We work, raise kids, live the day to day lives that most people do in middle America. The women of Champagne are smart, sexy, modern women who grab life with both hands and hold on for the ride. And it's always a roller coaster! I'm just not that exciting! I will recommend a few wonderful stories coming out later this year though! The At the End Zone Series starting with Mike's Best Bet by Doreen Alsen and Borrowed Stilettos by Rebecca Clark. Both are wonderful reads by very talented and funny authors.

Mike's Best Bet by Doreen Alsen - coming soon!

When music teacher Andi Nelson suckers high school football coach Mike Kelly into making a bet he has no chance of winning, sparks fly! Ultimately, as Mike and Andi have to put their differences aside to save two students, they realize they have both won the best of all bets.

Borrowed Stilettos by Rebecca Clark - coming soon!

It's a classic case of mistaken identity...only this time, it's no mistake. Mild-mannered teacher Audrey Thompson dresses as her flamboyant but cowardly twin in order to break up with her sister’s fiancé, Zach Banister. Before she can do the dirty deed, she starts to fall for him herself. Her plan goes hilariously and seductively awry, as things tend to do when you’re stuffing your bra and borrowing your sister’s stilettos. Little does Audrey realize, however, Zach is also playing a game and has his own agenda.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

That Elusive "Voice"

I attended an editor’s chat the other day, and one of the questions asked was, “What makes a manuscript stand out the most?” Invariably, the answer from all the editors—including me—was voice. Some authors were put off by this. Either unsure what “voice” actually encompassed, or fearful because your author’s voice is not as easy to hone as the mechanics of writing a good novel.

Why would voice be the main selling point for a manuscript? Because while the words in a manuscript might be technically correct, they might not grab the reader—make them laugh and cry and feel with the characters. It’s voice that draws you in. It’s voice that make you read into the wee hours. It’s voice that sells a manuscript.

But how can one work on voice? Isn’t it something either a writer has or doesn’t?

It’s true that a certain aspect to your voice comes naturally, and there is little to be done about it. Yet, certainly, like other aspects of writing, voice can be honed and worked on.

One way to do this is by writing. Seriously. The more you write, the more your own unique voice will develop. I remember my first manuscript (which was a mess, by the way) was read by a NYT best-selling author, and when she got to the final forty pages or so, she said to me, “Ah-ha! Here is where you start to become publishable. Here is where your voice comes out.”

She was so right! I have since retired that manuscript, but, it was such a fabulous learning process! I often read manuscripts for submission and realize that this author’s voice doesn’t really shine until near the end.

There are many reasons for this. One being the author finally knows her characters by the end.

Which leads me to my next point. Get to know your characters. Do whatever you need to. Consider doing character sketches, or interviews, working out their GMC (goals, motivation, and conflict), and learning all you can about them. If you know them very well from chapter one, you will have a much better voice for them as you’re writing.

Finally, read widely in the genre you’re targeting. The voice for a Regency historical romance is very different than the voice for a sensual erotic contemporary. And the voice of a book written 10-15 years ago, even in the same genre, will be very different than the voice of a book that would be contracted today. I’m not suggesting you mirror another author’s voice, but be sure to make yours sound as marketable and fresh as you can within the confines of your own genre.

Also, I’d like to say that whatever your voice is (dark, humorous, sexy) work with it. And make it work for you.

How about you? Have you learned any tricks to honing your voice? I’d love to hear from you!

Renee Lynn
Editor--Champagne Line
The Wild Rose Press

Monday, January 19, 2009

Champagne Editors Tell All : Stephanie Parent

Peeking into an open Garden gate, I found editor Stephanie Parent and began to cross-examine her with piercing intensity, rather like a prosecuting attorney (not that I am one, but if I were, that's how I'd do it. I think. Although I'd wear flashier outfits...)

TWRP: What is your favorite planet?

SP: Oh, I wish I could come up with clever answers for this sort of thing! I’ll have to say Jupiter or Venus, since I love the song “Hey Jupiter” and the album To Venus and Back by Tori Amos.

TWRP: Where do you like to relax?

SP: The bookstore, of course!

TWRP: How often do you eat mashed potatoes?

SP: Regular potatoes, never…but mashed sweet potatoes, all the time! (Interviewer's note: No mashed potatoes? ACK!)

TWRP: Pie or brownies?

SP: Definitely pie—especially pumpkin or sweet potato! (I’m sensing a theme here!)

TWRP: Who is your favorite cartoon philosopher?

SP: Charlie Brown!

TWRP: Why are fireplaces so romantic?

SP: Because I can’t start one without a man around!

TWRP: When do you take a long drive?

SP: I love Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu…it’s super romantic.

TWRP: Tell the readers the book in the Champagne line that best epitomizes a romantic incident in your own life.

COURTING HIS ROYAL HIGHNESS will be available April 22, 2009

SP: Well, I’m really excited about one of the books I’ve edited, Courting His Royal Highness, by Amy Hahn, which is coming out in April. The opening of the book takes place at the Roosevelt Hotel in Hollywood, literally less than a block from where I live! Unfortunately, the similarities to my own life end there—I haven’t been chosen to host a reality TV show starring a real (and super-handsome) European prince! But a girl can dream…and Hollywood’s the place to do it!

Thank you, Stephanie! The entire Pacific Coast Highway is a lovely drive. Tune in later this week for more revealing stories about our Champagne editors!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Champagne Editors Tell All: Eilidh MacKenzie

As I continue to around the Garden pouncing on Champagne Editors to pry their secrets out, I came upon Eilidh MacKenzie. (Her first name is the Gaelic form of Ellie or Helen and is pronounced Ay-Lee). The unsuspecting editor answered all my questions with a smile!

TWRP: When do you sing?

EM: Whenever I can. When there's bluegrass, Gaelic singing, or classical choral music on the CD player. If there's a community choral group handy, I'm in there.

TWRP: Why do dogs have so much fun?

EM: Because they live in the moment. I asked my dog, Rupert, and he said, "Who cares?!! Gotta go sniff that tree, dig that hole, jump in that stream!! Pant, pant!"

TWRP: Where is your favorite hideaway?

EM: Port George, Nova Scotia, on the shore of the Bay of Fundy. The family cabin is surrounded with woods, with deer and fawns crossing the grass to the apple tree, rabbits nibbling the clover, squirrels living in the outhouse. It's Rupert Heaven, of course.

TWRP: Eggnog or Chai?

EM: Ooh, homemade eggnog (in The Garden Gourmet, WRP's free cookbook) with lots of rum and brandy. But stay far away from that store bought stuff.

TWRP: How do you like your waffles?

EM: Wrapped around homemade ice cream with fresh fruit.

TWRP: Who makes you happy?

EM: My husband, Britt, is top of my list of blessings. A gentle giant, who gives unlimited hugs and kisses and washes dishes! After him, just about anything furry with four legs.

TWRP: What is your favorite holiday?

EM: Any excuse to cook makes a great holiday for me. Next up, rugalach: cream cheese pastry wrapped around marzipan, apricot jam, and almonds.

TWRP: Tell the readers the book in the Champagne line that best epitomizes a romantic incident in your own life.

EM: Hmm, I started looking for a story about best friends falling in love, but on the way I found "Dibs," which reminded me of my hunky husband. This is a PG rated interview, I think, so I'll just say he's dedicated to helping me with my big "O."

Everyone knows there are three things you don't take away from a woman. Her chocolate, her wine or her ability to have an orgasm. When fantasy coordinator Lacey Valentine finds herself in the unfortunate situation of not being able to reach the big O, she sets out on a mission to get it back. Hunky musician Covey James has just inherited millions of dollars. His wish is to live the life of a playboy. His grandmother's wish is to see him and his two brothers settled down while she's still living. His grandmother has a way of getting her way and he ends up on the hunt for Mrs. James. When he makes a pit stop to help a damsel in need of an orgasm, his plans go astray.

Come back next week when we find more Champagne editors and learn about the things that go on behind the editor's desk!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Champagne Editors Tell All: Julia Thornhill

In the ongoing saga of worming the deepest, darkest secrets out of our Champagne Editors we caught up with Julia Thornhill and grilled her relentlessly. For your eyes only, darlings...

TWRP: Who does the dishes at your house?

JT: Depends on who gets sickest of moving them out of the way to make coffee :-) Actually, I do the majority of the dishes, but if I've been snowed under with work, my DH is always glad to pitch in. He has to be asked, though...he's not good about seeing the dishes pile up... lol.

TWRP: What is your favorite flower?

JT: A rose, of course :-) Actually, the peace rose is my very favorite of all the roses. My grandmother had a rose garden while I was growing up and I've continued the tradition in my own yard.

TWRP: When it rains, do you curl up with a good book?

JT: Of course...and even sometimes when it's not raining (hence the piled up dishes).

TWRP: Croissants or donuts?

JT: Depends... what kind of donuts??? :-)

TWRP: Why do you think people bungee jump?

JT: Uh,.... they don't have enough excitement in their lives? A death wish? I don't trust elastic....

TWRP: Where is your favorite restaurant?

JT: In Apalachicola, Florida....they make the BEST oyster po'boys..mmmm.. makes me salivate to think of it.

TWRP: How often do you play in the snow?

JT: Well, since I live in south Georgia I would have to say the answer to that is...not very often :-) And, since I'm basically a very cold-natured person (until recently...what's up with those hot flashes???), it works well being down south.

TWRP: Tell the readers the book in the Champagne line that best epitomizes a romantic incident in your own life.

JT: I've obviously led a more boring life than the champagne heroines I've read. The one thing I have in common with them, though, is that I've found my own "happy ever after" with the man of my dreams.

Thank you, Julia for giving us that little glimpse of your daily life! Stay tuned for future Champagne Editors spilling the beans!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Even Editors Have Resolutions

It’s a new year. Time to make resolutions, start fresh, and reflect on what we’ve learned in the past year. I love the beginning of the year. All the possibilities are fresh, enthusiasm abounds, and we know there will be a spring at the end of the long winter.

I thought I’d share a few of our staff resolutions with you today. A way to keep us all on track:

Rhonda Penders, Editor-in-Chief and Publisher: My own personal resolutions for this year: As Roni Adams – finish and publish “Under a Rodeo Moon” a short story in a Trilogy alongside Cindy Spencer Pape and Stacy Dawn. Finish edits on “Trouble in Texas” and have it published and out sometime in early summer.
As Rhonda Penders – get my grocery budget back on track and under control.
Amanda Barnett, Senior Editor, Faery Rose: As an editor to be more diligent about what I take on as contracted. To smell the roses more in the To try to be there more for my own authors and editors.

Michelle Stilley, Crimson Rose: My resolution is to win the lottery. I'd like my "fun" job to become my only job. Sounds like a good plan, right?

Lori Graham, Senior Editor, Crimson Rose: She wants a LLLLOOOONNNGGG NNNAAAPPP!!!!! Please hear me of Nap God! (Lori, I so hear you. I would kill for a three-hour snooze!)

Donna Basinow, Floating Editor: 2009 is going to be the year I finally get my writing in shape and myfirst publishing credit!

Renee Lynn, Champagne Rose: Try to learn how to balance being a mom with working, editing and writing. So far I’ve learned that it’s easy if you never sleep, cook, or clean. :)

So, what are your resolutions? Come on, spill it! We want to know.

Have a fabulous new year!

Renee Lynn
Editor--Champagne Line
The Wild Rose Press

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Champagne Editors Tell All: Cindy Davis

Since January is Champagne Rose Month, I've kidnap…er,..sweetly talked the Champagne Editors into an interview. Several of them have already been interviewed about editing and writing in Our Garden at But what goes on after the editor puts the red computer cursor away and leaves her desk? What do they do after hours? Here, for your reading pleasure, are the answers to some burning questions…

TWRP: Were you looking for your hero when you found him?
Cindy Davis: No, he was looking for me. I was swept away. It was a second relationship for both of us. He fell in love at first sight and was so tuned in to me that he finished sentences for me. (That got old, for me, fast!)
TWRP: Who tells the best jokes in your family?
CD: Trust me, there are no joke tellers in our family!
TWRP: If you could be anywhere right now, where would you be?
CD: Someplace warm--the Bahamas sounds nice. I live in New Hampshire where this autumn was snowy and cold. Contrary to popular belief, in our part of the state we rarely have a white Christmas. Did this year though. Ick. The husband said, "We will not be here next winter." Hmm. Probably not the Bahamas though--can't easily get the motorhome there.
TWRP: Cookies or cake?
CD: Cake, if I have to make a choice. But if I eat sweets, my love is butterscotch blondies made by a company called the Bellows House Bakery.
TWRP: Why do you think people star-gaze?
CD: Because they have no lives.
TWRP: How old where you when you discovered your favorite book?
CD: About fifteen. I read Gone with the Wind. I've read it three times since and always find something new to enjoy.
TWRP: What scent do you like best?
CD: I like balsam in winter, baking bread in fall, rainy mornings in summer, lilacs in spring. (Can you tell I'm not a perfume wearer?)
TWRP: Tell the readers the book in the Champagne line that best epitomizes a romantic incident in your own life.
CD: A hard question, probably because my life hasn't been a barrel of romantic adventures. How about ROMANCE BY THE BOOK by Tina Gallagher?
After a disastrous marriage, real estate agent Maureen O'Connell is content reading about love, passion, and her ideal man in a romance novel. How will Finn Ryan convince her he's better than any character in a book?
CD: The reason this so closely mimics my life is that after a disastrous first marriage, I too lost myself, not in romance novels like the main character, but anything that kept me from thinking. As with Romance by the Book's character, my real-love came most unexpectedly.

Click to buy ROMANCE BY THE BOOK by Tina Gallagher

And DOG NANNY, too. (DOG NANNY isn't available just yet).
Doggy do-gooder Julie Shields has one month to save two delinquent poodles from becoming doggies of divorce. A self-proclaimed born-again virgin with a biological clock running out of juice, she also needs to find a husband. When hunky pilot Nick Worthington arrives at the Abilene airport to fly her to Waco, he sends Julie into a tailspin. But he also may be a drug trafficker and smuggler of illegal aliens. Not only that, he’s involved with another woman. Julie's quest for a suitable husband leads to several misfires. Only Nick leaves her panting for more. Will she have to put a choke chain on him before the month is out?
CD: I think it's funny and romantic, with lots of ups and downs--and a hunk of a hero!
Thank you Cindy, for allowing us a peek into your life! Stay tuned for more exciting questions answered by the Champagne Editors!