Fall is almost here, and the Roses are falling all over themselves with ideas! For September, we're going to: Fall in Love, Fall to Pieces, Fall into Place, and Fall by the Wayside.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Fall in Love with Serendipity! by Jannine Gallant

I love creating towns. Especially towns I can revisit in a series. When I wrote my Secrets of Ravenswood trilogy, I built Ravenswood from the ground up, a small town set in the High Sierra. For my cowboy Trouble books, I created Redemption, Texas. I got pretty elaborate with that one, making a map with a paint program so I could keep locations and street names straight. When Margo and I decided to reclaim our rights to our Class of '85 books and republish them ourselves as anthologies, we knew we had to change the location of the reunion. We moved the setting from New York on the shores of Lake Ontario to Serendipity, Vermont overlooking Lake Champlain. I love this area--absolutely beautiful! A lifetime ago I spent a summer on Stave Island, a private island smack in the middle of the lake up near the Canadian boarder. I cleaned house and mowed lawns and helped prepare meals for the people who owned it. Fun memories. This is the area where we dropped our fictional town of Serendipity. I insisted on the name. I've always loved the way the word rolls off your tongue.

In our lovely Vermont town, old classmates from Serendipity High are reunited at a twenty year reunion. These are stories of love rediscovered and second chances. Each is a stand alone book with three stories included in each anthology. Here's the good news! Right now both our books are absolutely FREE through Sept. 19th. I hope you'll grab your copies of both books and fall in love with Serendipity, too!

ROAD TO SERENDIPITY by Jannine Gallant  Click HERE to download Jannine's book from Amazon for FREE!

SATURDAY IN SERENDIPITY by Margo Hoornstra  Click HERE to download Margo's book from Amazon for FREE!

To stay updated on news about my books, check out my Website or follow me on Facebook and Twitter.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Falling Into Like With A Place

by Betsy Ashton

In the beginning of a new series, several different things have to come together. First the story needs a strong main character. Next it needs a plot with conflict. Third it has to have interesting secondary characters. And fourth, but not last, the story must move the reader toward the conclusion.

Those who've read my current book know that I like opinionated, often snarky, women as main characters. This WIP has an alpha male at center stage. He's not a chest pounding, knuckle dragging, hard drinking Federal law enforcement officer. He's a widower with a four-year-old daughter and a sister who lives with him to help take care of the child. Because he works for the government, he's often moved around for different assignments. His new challenge is to lead a law enforcement team requiring coordination among several state, local and Federal agencies. Therein lies part of the plot and the conflict.

This male is also a stranger in a strange land. His current transfer is from his home in Northern California to a mid-Southern city. He knows virtually nothing about his new city. He is also a minority in a place where his ethnicity is unusual. He looks at the people on the streets, in the markets, at public events and finds little that is familiar. (No, he's not from a foreign planet, but he might as well be. Few of his "people" make this city their home.) He has to learn not to gawk at people. Conflict #2: How does he help his daughter and sister fit into school and neighborhood when no one looks like them?

Daughter and sister are part of the supporting cast of characters. Their feelings about being uprooted, about losing a mother and sister-in-law, about looking different and about having different accents work to give them depth. Throw in local law enforcement officers at the state and local level, add a couple of Federal agents from other task forces. Stir.

Put these folks in peril from the bad guys. Stir again.

What do you think? Would you read something like this?


Betsy Ashton is the author of Mad Max Unintended Consequences available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. The second book in the series, Uncharted Territory, will be released in June 2015. She lives for words and writing.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Fall in Love with a National Guardsman by Donna Michaels

I did. ☺

My husband is full time National Guard and the inspiration behind my hero in my upcoming release WYNE AND DINE. He and his unit have inspired me to write the Citizen Soldier Series set in the Poconos of PA (my back yard) where fall is so dang pretty! This series is a spin-off from my cowboy series, so don't fret, you'll still get some cowboys and cowboy-isms. These servicemen are rough and tough and tortured and sweet and passionate and deserve an HEA.

I've met many men and women in the National Guard over the past thirty years, and I've noticed in the publishing world that not too many books with military heroes and heroines are National Guardsmen. They're Marines, SEALs, Rangers...etc., which are wonderful, heck, I've written books featuring each of those great branches of service, but I felt it was time to showcase the guard. There will even be some heroines in this series that are part time soldiers. It doesn't take the threat of world domination to send these men and women into action. They are here for us when disaster strikes on the homefront. My husband has been state activated during floods, blizzards, hurricanes, ice storms, presidential inaugurations, and yes, some units where activated to help out in New York on that fateful day.

The Guard was originally created to guard our homeland. They were not supposed to be deployed, but times have changed, and so have the world's needs. These men and women are there when their community or the world falls to pieces, or to the wayside or even seems like it's falling apart. So, I figure it's time we fall in love with them. ♥

The Wyne brothers were first introduced in Book 3 HER UNIFORM COWBOY in my Harland County Series. They are the heroine Brandi's brothers, and this first book will feature the wedding between Brandi and Kade up at the Pocono resort she'd helped design for her brothers to run. Look out, Pennsylvania, the cowboys are coming up north for a visit. :-)

Here's the unedited blurb:

Sweet, reliable Lea Gablonski has a dream. Two dreams. To work at a museum in NYC, and to gain other-than-sisterly attention from her best friend’s brother. So far, she’s 0 for 0. With her MA in History just a wall decoration at her family’s diner where she’s working while her dad recovers from surgery, she enjoys her encounters with the sexiest man alive—even though he would sooner pat her on the head than take her to bed. 

Military born and bred, Btn. S4 Sgt. Benjamin Wyne thrives on order and control in his fulltime career in the PA National Guard and in his personal life. But when he’s forced to ask his sister’s best friend—his childhood sweetheart’s younger sister—to pose as his girlfriend to thwart unwanted advances from his boss’ wife, his world turns chaotic. Lea is full of life and energy and tastes so damn good he’s addicted. And when the attraction takes on a new level at his sister’s wedding, his carefully guarded heart begins to thaw. 

He’s seen many relationships go wrong in the military. If he takes a chance on Lea and gives up control, will she be like her sister and leave him for a career in the big city? But if he doesn’t take a chance, will the best damn thing to ever enter his life become history?
I'm shooting for a September 22nd release, and hope I do these men and women justice. They are human, with normal lives and jobs, but when they get the call they will put their lives on hold and on the line for you and your family.

Here's the link to my website where you'll find more about the buy:

Have you ever been up to the Poconos of PA? It's a year-round playground for outdoor activities. In the series, the Wyne brothers own and run a resort. ☺

Thanks for reading,


Monday, September 15, 2014

When Things Fall into Place by Alison Henderson

Don't you love it when things fall into place? 

I've just finished my Christmas story for third annual Roses of Prose December short story extravaganza and am feeling pretty proud of  myself. Why would a short story make any novelist feel proud, you ask? What with moving, OG's health issues, and lots of house guests, those 4,100 words were the first new fiction project I've completed since last year's holiday story. I started a new novel but have struggled to get back in the writing groove, so this short story was just what I needed. It got me writing again every day and stirred up the creative juices.

Two years ago I was apprehensive when we started this project. My novels fall into the 90k word range, and I hadn't written a short story since junior high. I wasn't sure how to structure a story of that length. Somehow it all fell into place, and the story I wrote that year turned out to be one of my all-time favorites. I had a great time writing last year's story, too. This year, now that I've moved away from Midwestern winters, I had a blast writing about a blizzard on the north shore of Lake Superior!

In fact, writing this story was so much fun it gave me an idea for my next project. I've decided to put my novel on hold and write a collection of ten holiday short stories which I plan to self-publish next fall. It's a manageable goal, and the challenge of coming up with that many premises and characters should fuel my creativity. I won't have the opportunity to get bored or bogged down, because another new story will be right around the corner.

Wish me luck!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

When Things Fall by the Wayside

Things never fall by the wayside for me. I can’t let them. I’m obsessive like that. If there is something that needs doing, I immediately put it on my To Do List and usually about five seconds later, I do it. My husband makes fun of me for the things I put on my To Do List, but I don’t want to forget anything… I don’t want anything to fall by the wayside.

I’m a time-budgeter by nature. Though I no longer wear a watch—I’ve broken five of them shortly after purchase—I am ever aware of what time it is or how much time I have to do something or what time I have to be somewhere. I schedule time like a maniac. Fifteen minutes to clean and change the litter boxes. Ten minutes to water all my potted plants. Two and half hours to clean the house. Four minutes to drive to work. Seventy-five minutes to teach a math class. Maybe it’s because I’m a math teacher for part of my work day or maybe I’m crazy, but time is important to me. I don’t want to not have enough.

More importantly, I don’t want to waste time. Nothing peeves me more than climbing into bed at night and feeling like I didn’t use my time efficiently. As a way of falling asleep—which doesn’t happen immediately like it used to—I often tick through a mental copy of my To Do List for the day. If I got everything done (and I’m Type A, remember, so I most likely got everything done), I’m very pleased. If something had to get carried over to the next day, that will bug me. Sometimes it will bug me to the point that I will get out of bed and attempt to get that something done if possible.

I’ve said it before. I’ll say it again. I’ve got problems.

There are other things I don’t let fall to the wayside too. If I start reading a book, I’ll finish it even if I don’t like it. I have to. There’s only been one instance in my 40 years of existence that I didn’t finish a book. It had an older heroine in it, which would have been okay, but I didn’t realize that going in and just couldn’t connect with the character. I’d say one book in the hundreds I’ve read over the years is acceptable.

Yes, it is. Cut me a break.

I like to bake. If I’m trying a new recipe and it doesn’t come out as expected, I’ll try again. And again. And again, if necessary. If the middle of the chocolate cake is supposed to be “molten,” I won’t quit until it is the exact definition of molten. Desserts definitely should not fall to the wayside. Ever. I’m pretty sure that’s a cardinal sin or something.

Some big projects I’ve done either personally or professionally I’ve often wanted to let fall to the wayside, but I don’t like to let people down. I don’t like to let myself down. I’ll keep plugging along then until the project is completed even if it exhausts me.

I guess what I’m saying is The Wayside, wherever that place is, is not a place I visit. I don’t know how to get there. While I can think of a few examples where things would have been easier if I could have parked my car in front of The Wayside and emptied the trunk, being productive and determined is the way I roll. Sometimes I get tired. Sometimes I’m out of breath at the finish line. Sometimes I wish I could just say, “Aw, the hell with it,” and loosen up.

But then I wouldn’t be me and it’s too much work now to figure out how to be someone else. I don’t have time for that. It’s not on my To Do List.

I’m not throwing myself by the wayside.


Visit my website at

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Letting go, letting prose fall by the wayside

I'm working on a massive series (9 books in the first 3 trilogies for the first generation, 3 books in the next generation, 3 in the next). I've wanted to write this series for a decade or more and in fact, I have written this series, multiple times. I did several drafts of the first generation and 2 drafts each of the 2nd and 3rd generations.

Those drafts were painful. I just told the story, I didn't "show" the story (authors out there know exactly what I mean). The story was good, the characters were good, but I didn't know then how to write. Now that I have 25 books under my belt, I'm much better able to do this series justice.There were scenes in all of those drafts that I adored. I mean, they were really good and really showed the characters and their motivations and their personalities.

The problem is the characters have changed since I wrote those drafts. The plot has changed somewhat, the motivations have shifted, and now those scenes just don't work anymore. I found myself trying to use some of it in the first trilogy and it was so freakin' painful.

So I went back, looked through ALL the masses of paper copies, and circled what to keep and tossed the rest. Then I filed them. Then I took all those electronic drafts and I tucked them into one big folder and I filed it on the D drive of my computer (where I never go).

Now I was faced with fresh pages and some of those scenes still stick in my head, but now I can use them as jumping-off places for these "new" characters.

Letting it fall by the wayside was tough, but I had to do it. And someday, when I'm old and gray, maybe I'll dig around in that D drive and have a chuckle reading those old drafts.


(still writing after all these years)

Friday, September 12, 2014

Falling Between the Sheets

Writers are often great procrastinators. At least I can be. Take right now, for instance. I'm supposed to be writing the first sex scene of the book I'm frantically writing so I meet my deadline in three weeks. Instead I'm writing this blog five days early and, for a person who typically writes them the night before, this ought to give you an idea how much I dislike writing sex scenes.

I've written roughly twenty. You'd think it would get easier to have my characters fall between the sheets, if they even make it to the bed. But I want every act of intimacy to sound different, feel unusual for the reader.

Let me ask you, how many ways can one make the same act sound diverse?

It's kind of like eating a bagel, isn't it? We can eat them plain as we run out of the door. Spread them with cream cheese if we have a few extra minutes to add something special. Or use a variety of different toppings, if we want to enjoy a taste of something different. But in the end, we're going to open our mouths and take a bite--and enjoy.

Personally, I'd sooner toss my characters a plain bagel and yell, "Have a good day!" The next sound I'd hear would be my editor falling out of her chair. Editors want excitement, pizazz and lots of fillings on their sex bagel. This is where the emotions between the two people come into play. The experiences they've shared so far and how they feel about one another. I'd sooner dwell on this than the physicality of everything. Once again, editors don't always agree. Maybe I'll toss them the plain bagel...

                               ~~~~ * ~~~~ * ~~~~
Bear Fur...It's what all the best eReaders are wearing. 

Highlands, bear shifters, an animal communicator, a hippie in pink pelican baffies (bedroom slippers) and a bit of a mystery. A HIGHLANDER'S OBSESSION