Friday, February 21, 2014

Visit Lobster Cove - A New series from the Wild Rose Press

Lobster Cove Series Guidelines

Word Count:      No particular word count but would prefer stories to be at least 20,000 and up

Deadlines:           Holiday Stories – May 31, 2014 (So they can release for Holiday 2014)

                                For other stories, there is no deadline at this time.  However, we will be announcing one
                                at a future date.

What is Lobster Cove?

                Lobster Cove is a fictional small town on the coast of Maine, near Bar Harbor. It is quaint and quirky with a colorful history, a friendly population of charming residents, and a vibrant tourist business. It is home to research scientists and small shop owners, grumpy cops and sassy chefs. Back in the day, it was a bustling fishing town and home to many immigrants, from both the state cabins and the lowest decks.

What are we looking for?

                The Wild Rose Press is looking for well-written, engaging manuscripts from across all of our lines, from Historicals to contemporary. Stories can be romance or mainstream and can be sweet or erotic or anything in between.

Submissions must take place in Lobster Cove and also meet the guidelines for the individual line, including heat level and tone. For example, a paranormal must meet the guidelines for Black or Faery Rose and take place in Lobster Cove.

For instance: (These are just examples to get the creativity flowing!)


Crimson – FBI agent has been tracking a serial killer up Route 1, straight to Lobster Cove. Can the grumpy local sheriff help her finally catch the killer?
                Sweetheart – The local dog walker has had a crush on the cute second grade teacher since high school. Helping his class with their project for the annual Lobster Crawl finally gives her the opportunity to ask him out.
                Champagne – The ferry boat captain isn’t getting along with the historic lighthouse’s new owner. They fall for each other’s charms, but can they charm the old lighthouse into working again?         
                Yellow Rose - She left her family’s Wyoming ranch for a new start leading tourist rides around the area, but what happens when her cowboy comes looking for her?        
                Last Rose of Summer – After her divorce ten years ago, a sassy chef was too busy running her tourist magnet bistro and raising her teenage daughters. Now that they’re in college, she can finally cook up something with the fishing boat captain.


American Rose – The Revolution hasn’t quite reached sleepy Lobster Cove, so what’s going on between the British soldier and the magistrate’s daughter? Which one is really the spy?
                Cactus Rose – He’s sure his fortune is in the Wild West of California, but to earn his way, he’ll have to protect the coach of a wealthy arranged bride the whole way there. If they can ever get out of Lobster Cove.
                English Tea Rose – A shipping magnet brings his society daughter to their new home in Lobster Cove. Can she and the brash American ever get along?       
                Vintage Rose – An ER doctor is sure she’s treated every type of wound, from freak shark attacks to car accidents, but can she heal the wounds the town bad boy comes home with from the first Gulf War?


Black Rose – He lives in the creepy old mansion and runs the morgue. Is there any way this guy isn’t a vampire?
                Faery Rose – She runs the apothecary shop that draws locals and tourists alike. He’s only passing through and needs a gift for his mother, so why is he still there a month later?


Scarlet Rose – A Navy SEAL has no idea what he’s going to do in Lobster Cove, until he finds out the oceanographer is as sexy in just her glasses as she is in a wetsuit. Or maybe something like this—no one knows quite what the mysterious woman is doing with the old speakeasy, but there’s a whole new kind of tourist in the area.


In a cozy New England town, there’s bound to be a wine club, a ghost walking an old rampart, or that almost forgotten mystery surrounding the missing child.

Submission Process

For authors who are already published with Wild Rose Press, the query process is the same as always. You may query your editor about writing a story for the Lobster Cove Series. Your editor will work with you and the line’s Senior Editor, as well as the coordinator of Lobster Cove (Lori Graham) to ensure your story fits within the guidelines of Lobster Cove.

If you are new to TWRP, please submit your story using our submission guidelines. Make sure you indicate you are writing for the Lobster Cove Series. Your story will be sent to the appropriate editor who will work with the Senior Editor and the coordinator (Lori Graham) on the story.

To maintain continuity across the stories, a basic layout of the town and names of landmarks and streets will be created. Once stories are selected and editing has begun, changes may need to be made to the stories for continuity of character names, events, etc.  As more information about this is decided, notifications will be posted so everyone is on the same page. A yahoo loop will be created for writers serious about writing for this series. Please do not ask to join the loop if you are not serious about writing for this series.

Anyone with further questions should contact coordinator Lori Graham directly at She will answer you directly or get you the answer you need.

Welcome to Lobster Cove and we hope you enjoy your stay!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Swat that Fly!

One of my authors recently called me Stacy "The Fly Swatter" Holmes, and I couldn't help but laugh.

It is true though, and I am sure all my authors will agree, because one thing I do my best to catch them on is 'the Fly.'

I'm sure you've heard of Telling versus Showing.  Telling is when the information is almost narrated from that of an impartial third party...or what I like to call a Fly on the wall. Showing involves using Deeper Point of View—staying within the main point of view character’s perceptions/descriptions. 
By describing things as if in the head of the main character—only things he/she can see, hear, touch, smell and know—keeps the reader engaged and empathetic to your character and living right with them in the moment. 
Here are examples of a few “buzz” words/phrases that signal the Fly narrative needs to be swatted in order to show a Deeper Point of View:

a)        Overuse of proper names—especially that of the main character. 

The overuse of proper names signals a third party Fly perspective—especially an overuse of the main POV character’s name, because most people don’t think of themselves in the third person.

These can easily be reduced by changing just a couple instances (no need to change all) and using descriptives or revising the sentence structure.  The same goes for the overuse of secondary character names--changing a few here and there to perhaps a nickname or descriptive from the specific POV character, as if being in their head versus just telling what a Fly sees, ie: his daughter, the cook, the annoying man, Miss Scaredy-Pants, Mr. High And Mighty etc, depending on the tone and mood of the scene.   Also, changing an instance to an action using appearance descriptives can be another way to avoid the repeated names and give the reader a visual of the character instead, ie: Her sleek fingers wove through the mass of blonde hair.

Here is an easy highlighting technique for a quick visual reference of the overusing of proper names:

i) Select all text in the chapter(s) that you wish to work with.

ii) On your toolbar, go to Edit—Find—Type the name in the field—click the box next to‘Highlight all items found in’—click Find All.

iii) You will now see all instances of that name selected. Now, click on the Highlight button on your toolbar and all should be highlighted that color.

iv) Save.

v) Repeat for the next character’s name, using a different highlight color for each. If you don’t have a highlight button already on your toolbar, simply review the Help section of your word program for assistance.
 b)        Use of a parent’s proper name by the child.  Unless it is set up that the child specifically refers to his/her parent by the full or proper name for a reason, then most children think of their parents as father, mother, ma, pa etc, and thus, when in the child’s POV, the use of parental proper names signals the Fly’s impartial perspective.

c)        Using ‘they’ or a collective such as ‘the women’ or ‘the siblings,’ and which includes the POV character.  This is often done when transitioning from one scene to another.

Example: They slowed their pace because the ground was uneven.  The wind blew around them and made the hike hard.

           These instances should be rewritten in the specific perception of the POV character where sensory and physical details can be added to show things from the personal experience of the moment, such as how the uneven ground specifically affects the main character or how she interprets the slow pace—is she frustrated by the hike or glad for it.  Even a simple notation of her pulling a wind-whipped strand of hair from her face would keep it in her specific perception rather than that of the impartial Fly telling the basic action. A possible revision could be something like:

           Cassandra huffed out a breath and slowed her pace once again for the older women to catch up.  The wind whipped her hair in her eyes, and she tugged the errant lock away from her face in order to see the narrow, uneven path ahead.

d)        Telling/Passive phrases are yet another Fly reference.  Whenever possible, take direct action and/or use a more active verb from the specific character’s POV.

Telling Fly POV:  Her eyes opened.

Active Character POV: She opened her eyes.

Telling Fly POV: He leaned forward and put a hand on her shoulder.

Active Character POV: His hand clamped on her shoulder, and she cringed against the pain.

Important note: it is not necessary to reword in large masses of description, sometimes a simple adjustment of the sentence to an active verb can make a HUGE difference.

So, how many Flies do you think you can swat from your manuscript? 

(the above is copyright © Stacy D. Holmes 2014)