Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Color Inside the Lines

Color Inside the Lines
Or…Controlling Your Points of View
by Editor Maggie Johnson

Has anyone ever read your manuscript and advised that you need to control your POV? Have you ever mentally answered “What the h-e-double-hockey-sticks are they talking about?”

Well, in a romance story the Points Of View that we are interested in seeing are the Hero’s and Heroine’s. Isn’t our main reason for reading romance to experience how these two people meet, fall in love, and feel about each other?

Did we really buy the book hoping to find out how her mother thinks she is a total incompetent in homemaking skills? Or were we really hoping to read a sub-plot about how his best friend thinks he is a complete fool for being taken in by this seductress?

Well, yes and no. These little tidbits of information are interesting, and make the hero and heroine seem just a wee bit more human. So they do have a place in the story--we’re just not going to hear about them from Mom and Dave (the best friend) directly.

All of our information is going to be filtered through Jack and Sally, the aforementioned hero and heroine. (Please feel free to be more creative in naming your characters.) But we’re going to learn these things in an organized manner--one that does not give our readers a headache wondering who is saying or thinking what…and why.

In other words, it is a big turn-off to hop from head to head in any given section (or sub-chapter) of a story. Do not give us Sally’s experiences for two paragraphs before giving one paragraph of Jack’s and then hopping back into Sally’s head again. Readers should not have to ask themselves where the aspirin bottle is. That takes them way out of the story…never a good thing.

 Remember that when we are in Sally’s point of view, we are not going to think about our long, slender, well-manicured fingers--unless Sally is a narcissist. We typically don’t think of ourselves that way. I’m not saying that her manicured fingers are not long and slender, only that the reader will find this out during Jack’s POV as he admires said digits.

Also during Sally’s POV we’re not going to learn that Jack is overwhelmed by Sally’s telling of her mother’s bizarre “accidental” death while mopping the kitchen floor. Unless, of course, Sally has perfected the art of mind-reading and can feel that Jack’s whelm is beyond the normal boundaries. Although we could find out about his distress at this time if he expresses in their conversation that he is utterly overcome.

So what’s with the color reference in this article’s title? Well, it’s a little exercise that I recommend my authors do for a couple pages when I see them head-hopping. They can either print out the pages and use their six-pack of multi-colored high-lighter markers, or use the multi-colored high-lighting capabilities that most word processing programs have. I even let them choose their own colors…though am happy to provide them with the following examples:

Blue = Jack said (or thought…or felt)
Pink = Sally said
Purple = They said (Mom, Dave, or anybody else directly conveying information)
Gray = Somebody said (This is the narration, or backstory)
Green = Nobody said (Deliberate scene setting Ex: He saw the red couch, she wore the blue dress)

So the gray and the green are not a part of this essay, but I will say this about that: Add the gray and green together and they should not total more than 10% of the entire manuscript. This is covered under the concept of “Show, don’t tell.” That’s another story for another time.

Now we have to take the purples and convert them to either blue or pink. It’s not that Mom cannot feel that Sally is a complete and utter failure--it’s just that these feelings need to be filtered (probably) through Sally as a (current or remembered) conversation with Mom. Or maybe Sally views a videotape or reads a letter in which Mom rants and harangues Sally about her un-ironed bedsheets. (You’re starting to feel that perhaps the mop--from the above death scene--is going to get off on “justified homicide” about now, aren’t you?)

After we’ve made everything blue and pink, they need to be segregated into their own sections. But sometimes this interrupts the story flow, right? Well, then what we need to do is bring in a translator and translate some of the pinks to blue and vice versa. Instead of Jack being overwhelmed by mom’s demise, he may “appear” or “seem” (to Sally) to be overwhelmed.

In an ideal (fantasy) world, the amount of blues and pinks would be about equal. But we must admit that the pinks are generally more “touchy-feely” so will most likely be more abundant. Just try to have at least 1/3 blue to 2/3 pink because our readers want to know both sides of the love equation, better known as the love story.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Launch Party

Join the authors of Honky Tonk Hearts on
the main reader loop of The Wild Rose Press
May 9th between 6pm and 10pm EST
to celebrate this wonderful new series full of the cowboys you love!

Along with the fun, there will be random draws during the evening festivities.  Giveaways include:
  • $5.00 Wild Rose Press Gift Certificate
  • Those Violet Eyes T-shirt
  • Guitar pendant necklace
  • 2 Pink Wild Rose Press totes
  • 3 Honky Tonk Hearts envelopes (filled with fun stuff and promo items plus a discount coupon for the Wild Rose Press ebook store)
And all those who comment will also have their name put in the Stetson for a chance to win a Honky Tonk Hearts Prize Pack including T-shirt, tote, $5.00 Wild Rose Press gift certificate...and lots of other fun stuff!

And that's not all! Before and after the barn doors close on the launch party, the series authors are on the blog circuit with more fun and giveaways.
Join us on the following dates, leave a question or comment for the authors and your name will be added into a draw for another chance to win a Honky Tonk Hearts prize pack! (Draw to take place September 25, 2012)
You won't want to miss a day!
Dates may include a group or single authors…you’ll have to visit to find out! But one thing they will ALL have is sexy, heartbreaking, breathtaking cowboys.

Roses of the Prose:

Wednesday May 2nd
Wednesday May 9th
Saturday May 12th

Paty Jager: Western Wednesdays:

Wednesday June 6th
Wednesday June 13th
Wednesday June 20th
Wednesday June 27th

Wild & Wicked Cowboys:

Monday May 14
Wednesday May 23
Saturday June 23
Monday July 23

Kat Henry Doran’s blog:

Monday, April 23
Sunday April 29
Sunday May 6
Monday July 2nd
Monday July 9th
Tuesday July 17th
Monday July 23rd
Monday July 30th

Katherine Gray:

Wednesday July 11
Wednesday July 25

Cowboy Kisses:

Thursday April 24
Tuesday July 10
Tuesday August 7
Tuesday August 28

Sweethearts of the West:

Wednesday August 22
Thursday August 23

Rachel Brimle:

Saturday April 14
Tuesday May 22
Thursday May 24
Tuesday July 3

There may be more dates added so don’t forget to pop back and check!

Special note: We are still looking for a few more good stories to round out our series...Honky Tonk Hearts submission call and details can be found here:

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The Wild Rose Press' Own Stud - Festivo

This very handsome guy is Festivo and he is not only our latest cover model but also makes a cameo appearance in the story "Worth Winning" out today from The Wild Rose Press.  Our good friends at Aisling Sporthorses are traveling to Ohio this weekend for the big Equine Affaire show where Festivo will certainly outshine all the other horses involved.  He's a terrific guy with a fantastic personality.  I wish I was going to be with him.

If you have any interest in horses or just like a good solid short story romance, check out "Worth Winning".

Monday, April 9, 2012

A New Series from Last Rose of Summer

Everyone loves a wedding.
Fragrant baskets of brightly colored flowers; the sounds of harps and violins wafting on warm breezes; luscious seven-tiered cakes; and the expected something old, new, borrowed and blue.
That's what the editors for the Last Rose of Summer are looking for in our new series:
Dearly Beloved

Every successful event has the usual happy couple. For a Last Rose hero or heroine, they could be  marrying for the first time, perhaps not. We also believe the bride and groom shouldn't hog all the glory. Any of the second stringers involved in the wedding could very well take the spotlight and become the hero and/or heroine: clergy, wedding planner, pastry chef, caterer, florist, musicians, parents of the happy couple [or step-parents], members of the wedding party.
We want to be reminded of why two people commit to each other till death do them part. 

Certainly, bride-zillas, wedding Nazis; possessed caterers; twelve-handed best men or nymphomaniac bridesmaids are always welcome to join the mix. Perhaps having the entire wedding party down with the 24 hour flu and barfing their way down the aisle would add an unforgettable touch to the activities. 

Submission specifics:
Word count: 7,500—25,000

Dearly Beloved  will be limited to 15 contracted stories so it is important to write with heart and make sure the story is heavy on goals, motivation, conflict and a HEA.

Heat:  sweet to spicy [no erotica please].

Note: At some point in the story, the phrase “Dearly Beloved”, must be included.

Please follow general submission guidelines on the TWRP website for formatting; submit through In the subject line include: Dearly Beloved Series and the TITLE.

For questions or clarification, feel free to contact Kathy Cottrell, Senior Editor for the Last Rose of Summer line, at

The possibility for this series are endless; we're excited to see what our talented authors can create.   

Friday, April 6, 2012

A Dream

A dream you dream alone is just a dream. A dream you dream together is reality. ~ John Lennon

I ran across this quote a few days ago and I can’t get it out of my head. Like so much of what John had to say, it manages to be both trite and profound at the same time. He was talking about Double Fantasy, the album he was working on with his wife just before his assassination, but he was also talking about his marriage. As I approach a major anniversary of dreaming with my husband, I can’t help but wish that John and Yoko could have dreamed together for many more years. How much richer the world might be.
So what does this have to do with a blog in the Rose Garden? Just this: we humans are dreamers. We dream in the womb, we dream awake and asleep, we dream until we die. We tell ourselves stories about life and death and the realities in between, and we tell each other stories.
Aha, you say, she’s finally getting to the point. Writers in particular are dreamers (as are actors, singers, knitters, artists, engineers, politicians, lovers…). We’re very good at dreaming alone; picture all those back-of-the-drawer manuscripts we’ve written since we could first mangle a crayon in our fists. We are drowning in dreams. But remember Lennon’s second point: dreaming together is reality. A manuscript is just a pile of paper until you invite someone else into that particular dream.
You all know how scary and even painful it can be to share your story. With a little luck, you’ll find someone who respects it. With more luck, that someone will be capable of elucidating what you’ve written until every word glows. With even more luck, you’ll find other dreamers whose dreams have built a company capable of sharing your story with many more people than you ever dared to dream.
Imagine all the elements that become a part of the saga: your story-dream; other writers who critique and support you; the editor who dreams with you; the publishers who bring you together; the cover artists and layout pros; the people who created the machines and technology to produce and sell your book; the readers who enter your world and pass it on to others—even people like me, who weave dreams about the dreams you dream—all coalesce to conjure a new reality: your book.
A book that enriches the world long after we stop dreaming and makes a fantasy far more than double.

by editor Kinan Werdski

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Honky Tonk Hearts Debut!

I am soooooooo excited to announce the debut of the Honky Tonk Hearts series with Sylvie Kaye’s Honky Tonk Man available NOW at The Wild Rose Press.

The authors for this series have created wonderful, endearing characters, and you’ll enjoy the special way they have incorporated the Lonesome Steer Honky Tonk into each story, and as an added bonus, each story gives you a little hint at the romance of the honky tonk’s owner, Gus Rankin.

Watch for another story at the end of the month and more information of the big Honky Tonk Hearts launch party on The Wild Rose Press loop coming May 9th!

Until then, enjoy Honky Tonk Man!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Awards of Excellence in the Garden

We are celebrating in the Garden. We know that every story published by The Wild Rose Press is the best in romantic fiction. However, today we’d like to share some recent awards from Epic.

Best Novella
Hearts in Darkness by Laura Kaye

Best Historical Romance
Passage to November by Phyllis DeMarco

Best Romantic Suspense
Absolution by Kaylea Cross

The Wild Rose Press will be at the RT Book Reviews convention in Chicago.
If you’ll be attending RT convention, stop by and see Lisa Dawn, Marketing Director for The Wild Rose Press, in Club RT along with Frank Danna from Onseekers to see a demo of the new author app for IPhone and Android.

Johnny Loves Krissy by KyAnn Waters is nominated for an RT Book Reviews Award for Best Erotic Romance from a small press. Stop into Club RT for a special gift from KyAnn Waters, Desiree Holt (2011 RT Award Nominee) and the Wild Rose Press.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Crimson Rose Submission Call

Crimson Rose is thrilled to announce a new submission call. It is:

“Summer Heat”

• Spice level: Sweet to Hot
• Length: 7,500 to 55,000 words

Crime and emotions seem to spike on hot summer nights. Bring them together and the results are explosive. Let your late night imaginations run rampant. It can be any kind of mystery or action suspense. The hero and heroine can be the investigators, or the victims. The only equirement is that the heat of a summer night must be a key role. We even welcome manuscripts taking place in a foreign country.

Submit your synopsis and query to after checking out the Crimson guidelines on our website. In the subject line include: Summer Heat Series and the Title of your manuscript. For questions or clarification, please feel free to contact Lori Graham, Senior Editor for Crimson Rose, at lori (at)

Get a jump on summer and start thinking hot now. We look forward to seeing just how far and
how clever your imagination can be.