Saturday, April 28, 2007

Book Reviews: The be all and end all?

Lynette Rees

Now don’t shoot me down in flames, but I don’t put too much stock on book reviews and I’ll tell you why. It’s not because I haven’t had any good ones. Quite the contrary in fact. When my first novel was published last year, it got fantastic reviews. Most were five star and one was a 'recommended read' at Fallen Angel Reviews.

I haven’t had an absolute stinking review as yet, although I have had one or two iffy ones [they were three star reviews, so still classed as good.]

Donald Mass, the author of ‘Writing the Breakout Novel’ says that reviews don’t sell books because few people see them. In Mass’s opinion it is word of mouth that sells those books. Someone gets excited about a book and then tells someone else, who in turn thinks they would like to read that book. And so it goes on.

I know one novelist who paid to advertise her new book in a well known romance review magazine, the bible of romance reviews. What did she get for her trouble? She got a nice advert all right. Great. On the very next page the reviewer had written a stinking review of her book. She pulled the book to pieces saying it was ‘very much like a work in progress and severely flawed’. That poor author was devastated by her one star review.

Now the same book had been given a five star review at a well known website, the reviewer there had loved the book.

So, what we are getting to here is at the end of the day, a review is only one person’s opinion.

If we are fortunate enough to sell hundreds or even thousands of our books, for all those readers who love it, there will be one or two that don’t. They may even hate it. What if they were the ones who reviewed our book? We’d soon forget about all the good reviews and probably focus on those couple of bad ones.

There’s a well known reviewer on the web, most of you will know her, but for argument’s sake, I’ll refer to her as Mrs. Chuckles. She dishes out reviews right, left and centre. Some of the reviews she gives out are phenomenal while some are dismal. She has a rating system marked out of 100 points.

I don’t get why people are so enamoured of her reviews. In fact, I don’t trust them at all. I don’t get how one person can review so many books. How does she get time to go to the bathroom?

She used to give great reviews to a New York Times best selling author, reviews in the 80’s. Then one day she wrote a stinker for this author’s book, giving her just 9 points. She said some awful things about her book. Now, in my mind that was one of the author’s best works. All her other reviews had been top notch.

I wrote to Mrs. Chuckles and told her I thought she was a very entertaining writer, but why when she had so much talent herself, did she not want to write her own book? She didn’t give me a satisfactory answer.

If anyone here knows how *Mrs. Chuckles manages to review so much, not just books but films etc, as well, do let me know. Personally, I think the woman is an alien who has multiple heads, eyes, and hands, enabling her to review twenty or more books at one time. Well, it’s the only explanation I can think of for how she manages find time to do anything else!

But then again, maybe I see what others have thought and dismissed. I’d be the type to say: “The Emperor isn’t wearing any clothes!”

I don’t want to upset any of you reviewers out there, I’m sure you are all doing a fantastic job. It’s just at the end of the day it’s only your opinion. I sold hundreds of books last year in my home town and no one had read any of my ‘great reviews’ for it. It got sold by word of mouth.

Donald Mass has a point.

What do you think?

Do book reviews sell your books or is it something else?

Friday, April 27, 2007

New Miniature Rose! Released TODAY!

My newest short story, "The SS Grace" is now released on The Wild Rose Press! You can download the file for only $3!

Here's a clip of the story...

Savannah Dodson thinks this cruise will be the honeymoon she never had. But once on board, her husband delivers a blow that threatens to drown her heart forever. Can Savannah and Austin find the grace they need to save their marriage? Or will it sink to its death beneath tumultuous waves?

And here's the direct link to purchase!

Thanks for your support and encouragement!

PS. If you missed my previous short story “If Wishes Were Dog Biscuits”, here’s the link!


Thursday, April 26, 2007


April 27th, 2007 is an exciting, thrilling, scary, wonderful day for many of us with new releases with the Wild Rose Press. Months, maybe years, of hard work have brought us to this pivotal point in our new career, hobby, pasttime, passion...and I would like to take this time to congratulate, and wish one and all every success.

Michelle Chambers


IDEAL- a five letter acronym neatly summarising my work:


IDEAL describes Ripples in the Water- my new historical romance novel released April 27th, by the Wild Rose Press- and its exceptional interpretation in the cover art:

1609. Three years after seven Catholic conspirators are executed alongside Guy Fawkes for their part in the infamous Gunpowder plot...

Celeste Darwent, a traitor's daughter, trudges the lonely, barren wilds of Hawkridge. Sold to the Captain of the Black Moth for a princely sum Celeste escapes her fate unaware her life is forever destined to be a part of his no matter where she should run, or how far, for she no longer has memory of their past, or the son she's borne, but for whom her body no longer yearns...

Until she reaches Teigne Hall, and is confronted with a man bearing a most remarkable resemblance to the Captain of the Black Moth.

To his mind Darby Manderville, Earl of Hawkridge, has rescued an unfortunate beggar from certain death on the moor, but when he discovers a lost family heirloom sewn within the hem of her dress resentment, prejudice and contempt soon take the place of his compassion.

Celeste Darwent comes to Teigne Hall a haunted woman; a woman without a past, yet her presence will shatter Darby's life as, unwittingly, she unlocks a secret best left alone. A secret that, like Ripples in the Water, reverberate through their lives. Yet, Celeste, too, carries a secret; one that, should it be discovered, would see her hung...

Darby will, in the end, need choose between his love for Celeste, and his duty to his king; and determine if he could truly be father to his brother's child.

Read an excerpt:

Her fingers tightened about the door handle.
"It would be wrong of me now to concern you further with my affairs," she said evenly, "you, who must despise me my contempt."
"I do not despise you," Darby replied levelly.
"Your manner suggests otherwise." She heard his tread draw near, and steeled herself against the intensity that was him.
"To retain my sanity," he said his voice taut, "I cannot allow myself to think about something I cannot have."
The reflection in his voice pierced deep into her heart, and a small cry bubbled forth from her lips. Her heart had been closed to him, yet he'd found a way to unlock it, throwing her emotions once more into confusion. Why must he tell her this? She could feel his warmth around her drawing her to him like a blanket. Their blanket.
Mustering her strength she stepped back into the room, and distanced herself from him. "It didn't occur to me that you were sincere in your feelings for me," she said her voice scarcely above a whisper.
"I gave you no reason to believe it," Darby admitted. He moved again towards her, but she stared ahead of her, her manner determined. She didn't wish to be reminded of a time she could never know again.
"You owed me no consideration, my lord," she replied, "nor did I expect it. We shared a strong attraction for each other, and I, too, am guilty of what happened between us."
"Guilt? Is that why you refuse me? Is that why you run from me?" His breath stirred her hair. Celeste closed her eyes, and clasped her hands tightly against her stomach. The simplicity of his questions conveyed the anguish from which they'd been expressed. She turned slowly to face him. His uttered words still lingering in the air, his vulnerability laid rather unexpectedly bare to her.

Digital release- April 27th, 2007
Print release- June 22nd, 2007

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Mark Your Calenders!

My very first book with The Wild Rose Press will be released on May 4th! Home Again is a contemporary romance in the Sweetheart Rose Line. This reunion story is full of emotional drama when the heroine realizes the only way to move forward, is to go back.

I hope you all take a chance with this new author:) I know once you get caught up in Ellie's life, you'll want to know more. So please mark your calenders for Friday, May 4th and get your copy of Home Again.


In 1989, I joined the Army 120 pounds soaking wet, just in time for the first war in the Middle East, Desert Storm. During my time in, I started writing down the hilarious things that happened me. Being dropped for push ups my first ten seconds in Basic Training for laughing. Going into the gas chamber without a mask. And many more. These things left an impression on me, so I decided to write a book that encompassed some of my misadventures. Thus, the genesis of the inspirational fiction novel, REVEILLE OF THE HEART.

REVEILLE OF THE HEART takes you on the journey into Camilla Harrison’s life as she joins the Army, despite her family and boyfriend’s objections. She crawls through mud, shoots weapons, goes through the gas chamber and ends up a POW…all the joys of basic training. When she reaches her permanent station, she meets Nathan Porter. He becomes an amazing friend. All seems great until Cami’s boyfriend Trevor decides to visit and proposes. Cami then has to decide between the man she always knew she would marry and her soul mate.

The book ends with one of the key characters being wounded in Iraq. A horrible tragedy that is unfortunately a reality in our world. When I started thinking about how I would promote Reveille, I got this desire to do more with my book. To give back to the very people that inspired my book. I began searching and praying…and was introduced to a woman at America’s Heroes of Freedom. She is just as anxious to partner with me, as I am with her.

This awesome organization helps the military families visit their wounded loved ones. They send care packages to the wounded in the hospitals. Some of these soldiers only have the bloodied clothes that they were wounded in because the hospitals don’t have enough gowns. AHOF finds ways to donate gowns, socks, underwear and other necessities. They also give donated gifts, which is where I come in. I would like to donate books to the family members that are waiting with their sons and daughters in the hospital and to the soldier and sailors themselves. This is where you come in. If you would like to purchase a book for a soldier, visit my website: and click on “Bookstore.”

To find out more about the awesome things AHOF has done, go to

Help support the men and women who gave so selflessly for our freedom.

Bless you.

Kimberlee R. Mendoza
Author of “Reveille of the Heart”

Tuesday, April 24, 2007


I’m sure every writer has been asked where they get their ideas. And how those ideas turn into a story. I know I have. Interestingly enough, I find that a rather difficult question to answer. Probably because, for me, there isn’t any distinct process.

I've given it some thought, and decided to share. Lucky you. :o)

The basis for my ideas is an imaginative, creative mind. I’ll see something, or experience something, and all of a sudden, thoughts start tumbling. It’s like a snowball rolling down the hill. Pretty soon, one tiny germ of a thought has coalesced into a mini movie in my head. Without even trying, a scene is complete.

Well, any writer knows it doesn’t stop there. Because even though the snowball grew, all we’ve got is the head of our snowman—a scene—so our creation is nowhere near complete. We need a torso—arms, legs, and facial features. And for anyone that’s ever built a snowman, you know that generally the torso is made up of more snow, but we can get really creative with the arms, legs, and features. So, let’s assume those elements are our voice. We can take an idea—and it may be something that’s already been done—and make it uniquely ours.

You see? We take our idea, then we have to start adding elements. If you’re writing romance, you need to decide on a conflict between your main characters; you need to know their goals and motivation. What will be their black moment? The situation that could tear them apart. What will ultimately bring them back together?

Let me give you an example. A teaser, if you will.

Recently, while eating a hotdog, I dropped mustard. I work at home, and was pacing while eating. Naturally, this couldn’t happen downstairs on the hardwood, it had to happen upstairs on the off-white carpet. (No kids!) As I’m scrubbing the carpet, cursing that the one time I drop food and it makes it past my bust, it has to land on my carpet, and it has to be mustard! Was I thinking about a story idea at that moment? Nope. But one popped into my head. Suddenly I have a heroine eating a hotdog, and she gets mustard on her chest. Hmm, where would she be? Where would one walk around eating a hotdog? My brain starts filling in the blanks. A few days later, I sit down, write a short story, and eventually sell it. You’ll have to buy it to learn how my snowman turned out!

So, while my example may sound simplistic, that’s the way it happens for me. What about you? Where do your ideas come from?

Also posted at

Monday, April 23, 2007

Loopy for Loops

I know some of you are looking for some places to pop in now and then and promote. Here's a list of Yahoo! Groups where you can promote your books, and the promo rules that go with those groups.

AORAAG (Authors of Romance and All Genres) - Promotions will be done on Wednesday only... One [self promotion] is allowed per member... One [publisher promotion] is allowed per publisher, any member of a publisher may post this promotion... The announcement of being awarded a contract or receiving a great review may be posted at anytime. (full rules)

Brenda Williamson Romance Party - PROMOS allowed, but please DON'T POST THEM EVERYDAY and ESPECIALLY, DON'T POST THEM ON SCHEDULED AUTHOR DAYS! Why? Authors and readers alike find it inconsiderate.

Coffee Time Romance - Please feel free to promo yourself on every Monday ONLY.

eBookLove - Authors are requested to provide one free romance ebook giveaway per blatant promo posted to this list... Author Days are a chance for authors to talk about their work for a whole day on the list. Just look at the calendar on the eBookLove yahoo website and find an empty day that works for you. Then contact us to request your preferred day at ebooklove-owner @ yahoogroups .com (delete spaces). One of the list moderators will get in touch with you to work out the details and set up the calendar entry.

Fallen Angel Review Chatters - Please respect the forum and do not post promos during scheduled author/publisher days.

Joyfully Reviewed - Tuesday is promo day!

Love Romances eBook Cafe - Promo day is Mondays only... This means 1 promo per author/publisher. When posting promotions, please start the subject line with "PROMO." This way our members who do not wish to read them all can skip them.

Novelspotters - For the loop rules, click NovelSpotPromoGuide.txt.

Romance Bistro - Contest Mondays: Have a contest you want to share? Today’s the day! Tell us all Tuesdays: This is our Author Promo Day. Tell us all about your new or upcoming releases, excerpts, or special events!

The Wild Rose Press author loop - This is a Wild Rose Press reader group for the promotion of The Wild Rose Press and its authors only. Please do not post promotions or excerpts from other publishers.

Sonja Foust
Author of Love In Shadow

Please visit for more eBook promotion ideas!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Thursday 13 - The Wild Rose Press style

Thirteen Great Reviews for WILD ROSE PRESS titles

  1. COMING HOME by Emily Brevard - 5 Blue Ribbons, Romance Junkies
    This sweet, touching romance is more than just a love story. It is the journey to re-discovery of God and self. However, the end of Jenna’s voyage is just a new beginning. Come along for this incredible trip. You won’t be disappointed. In fact, you might be as pleasantly surprised as I was.
  2. DESERT GUARDIAN by Karen Duvall - 5 Cups, Coffee Time Romance
    This is a very gripping tale into a cult and how it might be seen from varied eyes. I loved this with the adventure of a lifetime rolled into just a few days.
  3. CRAZY FOR THE COWBOY by Cindy Spencer Pape - 5 Roses from Red Roses for Authors
    Cindy Spencer Pape writes a fun and entertaining, page turning story in Crazy For The Cowboy. Humorous and sensual and very romantic. A great read I highly recomend.
  4. LOVE IN SHADOW by Sonja Foust - 5 Stars from ECataromance
    Love in Shadow showcases an author who can convey feelings of love and friendship in a short amount of time... Anyone looking for a short read that will leave you with a warm feeling should pick up Love in Shadow.
  5. HOW ABOUT TOMORROW? by Jenna Bayley-Burke - Joyfully Reviewed
    How About Tomorrow was extremely poignant. For a quick, simply stunning look at someone picking themselves up and dusting themselves off and going for broke, How About Tomorrow is a cute read.
  6. THE PENDULUM by Tarah Scott - 5 Hearts, The Romance Studio
    This series, introduced by The Wild Rose Press, will be challenged to keep up the standards set by Ms. Scott in this first offering. I cannot wait to see the other parts revealed.
  7. CHASTE KISS by Jo Barrett - 4 Angels, Fallen Angel Reviews
    Jo Barrett turned this suspenseful tale into one that kept me guessing who was the stalker out to kill her from beginning to end. Throw in a love story that will warm your heart and you got a hit.
  8. TWILIGHTS KISS by Marly Matthews - Once Upon A Romance
    Ms. Mathews pens an exciting fantasy romance with charming secondary characters and a very stubborn hero and heroine.
  9. IN SILHOUETTE by Jenna Bayley-Burke - 4 champagne glasses, Cocktail Reviews
    A lovely short story. So much told in so few words. Great visuals with this tale, I was transported back in time to the age where people were utterly polite and behaved most properly in company.
  10. CHEATIN' HEARTS by Stacy Dawn - Sweeter Romantic Notions
    This book is well-written, clean, and incredibly straight-forward. It's incredibly easy to read, and it left me chuckling, which is very impressive considering it's only seventeen pages. If ever you need to ask a writer about keeping it simple, Ms. Dawn would be the one to ask.
  11. SHADOW OF THE WOLF by Robyn Wren - Coffee Time Romance
    Ms. Wren gives fans of fantasy and the paranormal a story that is sure to give many hours of reading pleasure.
  12. IF WE LISTENED by Jenna Bayley-Burke - 3 Cats, Wild Child Magazine
    Ms. Bayley-Burke did a nice job of working believable characters into a realistic situation and still pull off a mini-story in such short a length.
  13. OUT OF SIGHT by Terri Odell - author Roxanne St. Claire
    Loved this one as much as "Words." What a wonderful way to ask the question "Will she, or won't she...?" Terry draws tension, conflict and emotion with so few words. I absolutely loved the ending!

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!
1. (leave your link in comments, I’ll add you here!)

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Looking for the HEA

I have a writer friend who refuses to watch any movie or read any book that does not have a happy ending. Her reason? Enough sadness happens in real life, and she reads and writes to escape. She will take the HEA over a cathartic reading or viewing experience anytime. Usually, I tease her and tell her she’s missing out on some great works: Of Mice and Men, The Great Gatsby, Bridge to Terabithia, anything by Nicholas Sparks.

But today, I understand. After watching the new reports of the Virginia Tech shootings, I completely get her justification. Brilliant minds snuffed out. Lives scarred forever. All this on a college campus, the very place we send our bright young adults, with all their enthusiasm and power and potential, to build a better world.

There are few answers and little anyone can say to explain what happened or soothe those left behind. We can pray, of course. We can reach out a hand to someone in need. We can post a message on a chat group or hold our own loved ones a little tighter. We can take action by lobbying for stronger gun control laws or for better censorship of violent movies and TV shows and video games. We can show more goodwill to those who are “different” or “loners” in our society.

And we can read and write happy endings. We can create worlds for people to escape the sadness of real life. We can remind people that there is still much to celebrate, like moments of connection between two souls. How wonderful to belong to a group of writers like those at TWRP, to be contracted in a genre that is characterized by its insistence on the HEA. Sometimes, it’s all we really have.


See what I'm blogging about today at Allie's Musings...

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

What’s your favourite romance movie?

For me, it has to be, without a question of a doubt, Brief Encounter. This movie isn’t even a modern one. It was released in 1945 and directed by David Lean, starring fine English actors, Celia Johnson and Trevor Howard.


Laura Jessen, a married woman, takes a trip into Milford every Thursday. She comes from a middle-class background and on this particular day, shops then goes to the movies. It appears to be her weekly treat.

One Thursday, as she is waiting for her train [it was steam back then of course], a piece of grit blows into her eye and she encounters the debonair doctor, Alec Harvey, who kindly removes it for her.

She thinks no more of their encounter, but literally bumps into him again on one of her trips when he shares her table at a restaurant. They end up going to the cinema together and their romance flourishes.

She knows this is wrong and both of them are torn.

It’s not a happy ending for either of them really, but on the other hand, they end up doing the right thing for the sake of their respective families.

I love this movie as it’s so atmospheric. The film was shot during the winter months when the days were short and the nights were long. Images like the couple’s shadow [as they are in a passionate clinch] reflected on the brick walls of the underground tunnels leading to the station and the steam from the trains provides a setting that becomes a character in the movie itself.

The viewer can practically sense the moment Laura falls for Alec when they are chatting at the station cafe about his research work. The way she searches his face with her eyes.

There is no sex in this film, although it almost happens when he takes her back to his friend’s apartment, but they are disturbed. It is then, Laura becomes aware of the sordiness, not of their love, but of the postion they are both in sneaking around.

I never get fed up of this film, I’ve watched it many times and still see something new in it each time.

View movie trailer here:

View clip from Brief Encounter here [spoiler warning — contains end of film] :

So, the question I’m asking is, what’s your favourite romance movie and why?

Lynette Rees

Return to Winter and It Happened One Summer, coming soon to The Wild Rose Press

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Popular Fiction as Myth

This weekend I had the opportunity to attend a workshop given by Debra Dixon, author of the book, Goal, Motivation, and Conflict, which has become pretty much the backbone of popular fiction writing. After flight delays and other fun and games, she did condensed versions of her three major presentations, “Goal, Motivation, and Conflict,” “The Big Black Moment,” and “The Hero’s Journey.” My expectations for the workshop were moderate. I’m already familiar with the concepts of GMC and black moment, but I’d heard she was an excellent speaker, and I believe you can always learn something new. That is exactly what I came away with from the first two portions—bits and pieces of new ideas to use here and there in the writing process. Deb is an informative and entertaining presenter, and the material is great, but I’m a little too much of a seat of the pants writer to use charts and such to plot out my book. No single process works for every writer, (which she was quick to point out herself, to her credit) and that just doesn’t work for me. I can however see myself going back and using the ideas she presented to rework problem areas or to unstick myself when I’m caught in a dead spot. So by lunchtime on Saturday, I considered my money and time well spent.

I didn’t have fabulous expectations for “The Hero’s Journey.” After all, I’ve known since grade school that for a story to be a story, the protagonist has to change. So I waited, not with baited breath, but with pleasant anticipation for her to begin. And then all my expectations fell away.

This wasn’t a ‘how to write a romance’ talk—not really. It was a ‘what is a story talk’. And again, to her credit, she did not claim the original ideas and material as her own. She began by citing the academic papers she’s based her workshop upon. The workshop points out that in nearly every culture, stories and myths have twelve essential elements. And that the function of myths in society is to provide hope. They give the listener or reader a hope that there is life after death, a hope that good conquers evil, a hope that extraordinary effort brings extraordinary rewards. In our society, popular fiction has that place. People read fiction for hope—whether it is about love winning in the end, the cops catching the bad guy, or the little hobbit saving Middle Earth.

A good story must engage the reader mentally, emotionally, and on an instinctive level, just like an enduring myth. We want to see our characters put through their paces before they get the reward at the end, and we want to watch the characters grow and evolve. A good story takes the characters out of their comfort zone and forces them to change, but also shows them how to change and why they should. Finally, that journey should be both inward and outward. Ms. Dixon’s workshop goes on to explain a great many more facets of an enduring story, but I’ll let you discover the rest of this material for yourself. Read her books, or take her class if you get the chance. I highly recommend them.

Romance has a universal appeal, because a fundamental facet of human nature is the desire to find the perfect companion(s) with whom to share our lives. We are not a species designed to live alone in an emotional sense. But when we read about love and romance, we don’t want to just see “Bob met Sue and they fell in love and lived happily ever after.” We want our characters to work for it, fight for it, and be willing to sacrifice for it. Because when all is said and done, we still need hope, so we still need our heroes/heroines. And we still want to watch them earn their happily-ever-after.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Freedom's Touch Excerpt

Good morning all!

It's snowy here and I'm honestly feeling kind of disgruntled by snow on our daffodils but I just had to visit with all of you. I knew it would cheer me and besides, I wanted to post an excerpt from my latest release, FREEDOM'S TOUCH. It released yesterday from The Wild Rose Press and it is something that puts a smile on my face this snowy morning. I hope it does the same for you.


The voice that came to her from the gloom wasn't the one she expected. It was, instead, the voice she heard night after night in her dreams.

"Why, you'd think it was an ordinary occasion for you to receive visitors after dark, the way you're standing there in your night dress."

"Marsh—is that really you?"

The figure swung off his mount, secured the animal to the hitching post and took the steps two at a time.

"Of course it's me, Katy-did. Did you expect someone else?" His teasing tone made her heart skip a beat, as did the familiar nickname—no one else called her Katy-did but Marsh. The sound of it on his lips stole her breath away.

Throwing her arms around him, she lifted her face to his and smiled.He felt solid in her arms, the living embodiment of her endless imaginings. Pressing herself to him, she opened her mouth to speak but didn't manage to utter a sound. Marsh's mouth met hers with a hunger that took them both by surprise. Their lips touched, their tongues explored and their bodies heated as all the repressed desires rose to the surface in the beat of their hearts. Kay met his touch without restraint, her tongue swirling around his in the age-old dance of love that required no lessons.

The thin cotton night dress provided no buffer between her body andthe regulation uniform Marsh was wearing. His arousal was evident, insistent against her body as her hips ground into his.

I don't know what you're doing here, my darling man, but I'm not going to let you go until we've dropped these barriers between us, thought Kay.

(c) Sarita Leone, April 2007

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Freedom's Touch

FREEDOM'S TOUCH, Book Two in the Legacy of the Celtic Brooch Series, releases tomorrow! I am excited beyond words about this. It was a great honor to be invited to participate in this wonderful project and I hope my installment of the series will be enjoyed by readers. It takes the brooch from one age into another, this time into the turmoil of the Civil War.
A blurb:
Across an ocean, to another land and time, the brooch goes from hand to hand, heart to heart.
As the Civil War rages, Kay Lane does what most women do—she works to keep her country home intact, struggles to manage her family’s small shop and waits for word that the chaos that’s invaded their lives will soon come to an end. She hopes, too, for word of the man who has claimed her heart. Marsh was one of the first to volunteer for duty, and now that he’s gone Kay wishes they had married before he left.
But regrets won’t win a war, and as Marsh fights his battles, Kay wages her own crusade for freedom. She becomes a conductor for the Underground Railroad, using her ancestral brooch to signal the arrival of new fugitives.But will Kay and Marsh’s shared love and unerring belief that freedom belongs to all be enough to shelter them through the next big battle? Gettysburg looms and the hands and hearts that hold the brooch will be forced to endure new trials. Only time will tell if freedom’s touch will unite —or separate—them.
And an excerpt:
“Thank you, ma’am,” the woman whispered, her voice cracking as she spoke. Kay understood that on the trail to freedom, words were a luxury those on the run could ill afford to waste and she was touched by the woman’s show of gratitude.
“You’re very welcome,” Kay said. She would have loved to linger but with every passing minute the chance she could be discovered missing from the house grew. “When you move on tonight, keep traveling north. You’ll walk a good twelve miles this night, so rest well. Go back the way you came, through the woods until you find the stream again. Walk beside it as it winds toward the mountains. Follow the north star—you know that one, don’t you?” She waited until all three heads nodded before she continued. “Follow the star, keeping the stream on your right side.”
She held up her right hand and waited until three darker ones joined hers. “Until you see a cabin beneath a stand of pines. There will be an ‘X’ on the side of the cabin—you know what an ‘X’ is, don’t you? Good, then just go into the cabin and wait. The next conductor will be to you before sunrise. Do you understand what I’ve told you?”
“Yes’m, we do.” The man sounded tired and looked as if he needed a bath, a hot meal and a warm bed.
Kay resisted the impulse to reach out and hug him, knowing her desire to comfort would be shocking for the travel-weary passengers to deal with. She wished she could offer these people more, wished with all her heart and soul they didn’t have to pay so dearly for their freedom. But wishing, especially in a world gone mad the way theirs had, only made her sad. She took a deep breath and placed a hand on the latch that opened the hidden panel.
Before leaving, she turned and met the gaze of each person and held it for several long moments, trying to memorize their faces. It was the only way she had of keeping them close. After she scooted through the panel and out of the barn, she would never see any of them again. Instead she’d be left to wonder whether they completed their journey, whether they lived or died and whether they’d found freedom in this world—or the next.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

New Rosy-Cheeked Kid in Town

Hi, all.

I'm proud to announce that I've signed two contracts with The Wild Rose Press. A Sigh of Love is a contemporary with the Champagne Rose line, and Love of My Heart will be published by the Faery Rose line. I'm not sure when they'll be released, but at the pace editing is going, it won't be far off. I'm looking forward to a long and productive association with The Wild Rose Press. I'll be staying in touch with you. Don't forget to check out my new author page at The Wild Rose Press website.

Bess McBride

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Sold Another Short Story!

I've just put my pen down from signing the contracts The Wild Rose Press sent me for my contemporary short story, Avenue Of Dreams!

I'm very happy about this, as I loved writing Molly and Sebastian's story.

Will post more details as they come to hand, but I'm so pleased TWRP accepted another of my short stories. My other short story with TWRP is To Love Again - a Last of Summer Rose, rosette!

Happy Easter to all!

Friday, April 06, 2007

Promo Opportunity!

To join the Ho-Dom and have your name and link listed, email me at with your name and your link address. I'd love to have a reciprocal link, but hey, it's totally up to you.

Just a few widdle ickle rules: 1. You need to be pursuing eBook publication or have an eBook out; 2. One link per pseudonym.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

New Release!

Hey friends!

Just a note to let you know that my newest short story "If Wishes Were Dog Biscuits" is available NOW on The Wild Rose Press website!

Scroll down on the home page until you see the cover with the tile and my name. You can download the file for $3.00.

Thanks for your interest, support and encouragement! =)

Betsy Ann St. Amant

Hey friends!

Just a note to let you know that my newest short story "If Wishes Were Dog Biscuits" is available NOW on The Wild Rose Press website!

Scroll down on the home page until you see the cover with the tile and my name. You can download the file for $3.00.

Thanks for your interest, support and encouragement! =)

Betsy Ann St. Amant

Monday, April 02, 2007

The New Steve McQueen

Steve McQueen

Daniel Craig

There has been talk recently that English Actor, Daniel Craig, resembles Steve McQueen. I think this might have started with an article published in The Washington Post and now various messages boards are flooded with the topic: Is Daniel Craig the new Steve McQueen?

I have to admit I love a bad boy. Although, I picked out good guy, Mark Darcy, as my preference in my recent blog post: "Good Guys Versus Bad Guys: Are you a Mark Darcy kinda gal or a Daniel Cleaver one?" published here on Sunday March 4th, 2007, the bad boy normally wins for me every time.

View post here:

Sometimes I cut out pictures of my heroines and heroines from magazines. Quite often they are actors who have the same energy and characteristics of the character I would like to convey in my novel. Maybe one day I will use a picture of McQueen or Craig as my inspiration!

Steve McQueen was my ultimate male actor hero, ever since I first saw him in "The Great Escape" way back in the 1960's. Those baby blue eyes came right out the screen at me.

What was it I loved so much about him and still do?

I think it was because he didn't conform. He stood alone for what he believed in, both as a film character and as a man in real life.

I read an article only yesterday in the Mail on Sunday, Mc Queen's first wife Neile Adams, said that a movie may be made, based on her book about her life with Steve. She would like Daniel Craig to play his part.

Personally, I think McQueen was a one off but I have to admit, Daniel Craig, from what I have seen of his acting skills, comes a close second. He is also highly charismatic as Steve was. An actor to watch for the future.

What do you think? Is Daniel Craig the new Steve McQueen?

Lynette Rees