Friday, May 31, 2013

A Look Back at Mommy by Calisa Rhose

Join me in welcoming Calisa Rhose to the Roses of Prose today.

Hi ladies! Thank you for having me on Roses of Prose! I’m in awe of the wonderful talent surrounding me, but thrilled to be a one-dayer.

I’ve been thinking a lot about my parents lately. Partly because it is the season to celebrate mothers and fathers, but also because it’s the season of both their passing. We lost Mommy on April 29, 1984, unexpectedly, from an unknown heart issue at the young age of 46, just eleven days before her birthday. To say we miss her is an understatement. We lost Daddy four years later, on May 26, 1988, at 62 to a multitude of illnesses from a hard life. I love and miss him terribly too.

But I’m happy to say I am who I am because of those two wonderful people. I think back about Mommy and I know she wasn’t the perfect mother. She wasn’t always there when I needed her. She liked to go out and party on weekends with or without my Daddy. There were times one of the kids were sick and she’d check on us and then leave for the night. I had hard feelings about her for years, but when I married Mitch that seemed to just go away. We spent eight months together before she died and I have some very fond memories of those months.

I remember praying one day as a young teen that God keep mom alive until I came to my senses and forgive her for not being perfect. Did I blame myself for how she was? Not at all. I did recognize my part in our distanced relationship, however. I was bitter and resentful when she divorced my dad and left us kids with him without, or so I thought, a second look. We talked years later and she tried to explain her actions. I still don’t understand how a mother could leave her children like she did, as she said I would once I had kids of my own, but I do think I understand her a little more. She was a mother, unwed, at 16 and life was not always kind to her. By the time she left us I think she just needed to be her for a while. She married my dad a month before she had her first baby- not his- and never had a wild child time to sow oats and she was one of those people who apparently needed that to become a whole person.

Then again, maybe I’m looking for a silver lining where there isn’t one. I choose to see it anyway.

What I do know for certain was Mommy was ecstatic when I became pregnant with her first grandbaby. She was proud to be able to be a part of my life during the early months of that journey. That was the times I cherish most in my life with her. When my mom became my friend.

Sadly, God granted my prayer and as we became closer and forgiveness was a given for both of us she became sick and no one knew it--or she just didn’t tell anyone. With a new peace in our relationship He took her three months before I gave birth and Mom never saw her first grandbaby. But He also let her live until I came to my senses…as I’d asked so many years before.

Was my prayer a premonition? I’ll never know. Sometimes I feel selfish and wish I’d stayed mad at her longer if it would have kept her here with us so mine and my sister’s babies and grandbabies could have met her. I’m just glad I asked him to give us that chance to heal before He took her. It just goes to show me- God hears prayers and forgiveness is golden.

It’s late--but Happy Mother’s Day, Mommy. I love and miss you.

I’m thankful I had a better relationship than my heroine in Risk Factors did with her parents. If you don’t mind I’d like to share a little of this March release with your readers now.

RISK FACTORS- available March 4, 2013

Love, like life, is not without risk.
BLURB- Veterinarian Vivian Dane has purchased her uncle’s practice in the tiny town of Wales,
Missouri, where most residents still doubt her ability to treat their pets. But Viv is used to being
considered less-worthy than her predecessors. After all, her parents are world-renowned wildlife
vets, and most everyone is unimpressed she’s chosen to not follow directly in their footsteps.
Now Connor, a patient’s owner, is hot for Viv, but clearly doesn’t think she’s dating material
because he has a daughter…who he believes no woman is good enough for.
Being a perfect dad is EMT paramedic Connor’s life focus. He can’t seem to stay away
from sexy Doctor Viv, but attraction is as far as he’ll ever let it go. His mother abandoned him,
leaving him to be raised in the foster system, and then his wife abandoned both him and their
daughter. He absolutely will not risk bringing another woman into his little girl’s life and having
her feel the hurt of being left…again.
Forfeiting is easier than attempting and failing. So why does Viv feel compelled to prove
she’s a sure bet for Connor and his daughter? Can Connor trust Viv--and himself--enough to play
the possibilities?
It was close to five o’clock and Viv wanted to go home. Winter hadn’t reached the Midwest yet, but from September through October the temperatures often dipped and dove sporadically, before diving for the long winter ahead. There’d been a slight chill in the air that morning and she hoped for a few more weeks of warmth before harsh weather moved in.
She looked forward to a hot soak in the bathtub, but Skittles was due for pick-up first. Connor had assured her he’d pick her up, or have his father get her before five. She glanced at her watch again. Four-fifty-six. She didn’t mind staying late if she needed to; it would be a shame to leave the nervous animal alone another night.
She opened the small closet to put the dust mop away.
With a start, she spun and her hand caught the broom handle on her way around. Gasping, she grabbed uselessly, horrified as the cleaning tool flew sideways from the closet. In slow motion she saw it shoot out against Connor’s shoulder and fall with a sharp snap onto the tile floor.
“Oh! I’m so--so sorry! Are you hurt?” Instant heat rushed up her neck and she bent to reclaim the errant broom to shove into the closet. She slammed the door and leaned against it on a sharp breath.
“I’m fine. You worried your killer broom might attack again? You might consider putting a lock on the door,” he said with a crooked smile.
Puzzled, Viv looked around and realized with total humiliation how it appeared she’d trapped the broom inside the closet--when in actuality, she wanted to climb through the door beside the instrument and hide.
“Of course not. That would be silly. I didn’t expect you right now.”
“It’s two minutes of five. I told you I’d be here for Skittles. Is it too late?”
Right. The skunk. “No. I’m sure she’s more than ready to go home. Do you have the pet carrier to put her in?” She probably didn’t need to ask when Connor stood empty-handed before her.
He lowered his head and she knew he’d forgotten it, fought back a smile at his forgetfulness. “Sorry. I drove straight from work and didn’t think about it.”
“No worry. I have one you can borrow.” Which meant he’d have to see her again. She’d definitely need to see him again.
“Thank you. I’ll bring it back tomorrow.”
“Oh, there’s no rush. I keep a few on hand for emergencies.” She led him back to the cage where the skunk still huddled, and got a carrier while he opened the cage to retrieve his daughter’s pet. As he lifted the black fur ball out, Viv set a pink case next to him.
He hissed under his breath and almost let the animal loose. Viv opened the cage and held it upright for him to lower the skunk down inside and shut the door. Once he stood with the pet taxi, she detected a smear of red on one finger.
“She bit you?” Skunk bite, rabies, germs…
“It’s fine. When she’s scared she tends to nip a warning like a cat.” Connor’s lack of care concerned Viv, however.
“I should clean it with antiseptic before you go.”
“I’ll tend it when I get home.”
“But, it may have germs…get infected.”
“It’s not the first time, and her rabies vaccination is current. Thank you, but it’s not necessary.”
Viv stopped by a cabinet on the way to the front reception area to grab ointment and a Band-Aid.


Also, Risk Factors is on Authorgraph! Get your copy signed.

Author Bio:
Calisa Rhose is an Okie, born and bred, through and through, and proud of it. While growing up, when she wasn’t on the back of a horse, she could be found with pen and paper in hand. Her writing career began with poetry in her younger days. Then she discovered Rock-n-Roll and cute musicians. Poetry turned into stories of romance and dreams. These days she lives with the same man who convinced her to take a romantic journey with him almost 30 years ago. After raising three strong daughters she spends her days loving their granddaughters, hoping for a boy someday, and writing. When she’s not writing, you can find Calisa putting on her editor hat and working to help other published and aspiring writers.
She is working on more projects with her favored contemporary cowboys, first responders  and firemen, as well as, the occasional ‘other’ heroes- and their sexy female counterparts, those sassy, stubborn heroines.

Find Calisa at her website/blog

Thanks again for letting me come by today.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

May is For Writing Memories, Glenys O'Connell (Book Giveaway)

I love the Internet.

I have always loved the Internet.

Right from way back in the early 1980’s when it first became available to the very rural area I lived in. In those days you had to plug a telephone cord into your computer, none of this cable or satellite technology. And it was slow, at times painfully so. But then, at that time computers were also very slow, and the slowness did nothing to diminish the wonder, the sheer joy of being able to send an article or a newsletter to people in places as disparate as South Africa, Australia, The US and Jamaica, and have it arrive within hours.

Well, yes, I did say it was slow. But in those days it could take anything up to four weeks for a letter in what we now call 'snail mail' to reach any of those destinations from here in rural Canada.

To be able to send copy for articles, promotional materials, web content - this was in the pre-blog days, if you can imagine that - in so short a time was a miracle in communication terms. These days I can send an entire manuscript to a publisher in minutes, send article proposals to magazines far away, write web content for companies across the Atlantic who then use the miracle of the Net to disperse them to clients in other countries…

There's no doubt that writers have benefited hugely from the arrival of computers and the Internet. Sure, people argue there are drawbacks, such as digital books threatening the very existence of real paper books (as if!) and some bemoan the fact that anyone at all can put out an ebook or a dvd or a cd without having to go through the filters of 'professional' gatekeepers such as publishers and record companies.
Well, phooey!

This will all shake out in time. There are awful ebooks out there, unedited, badly written, plotless and pointless. But the simple fact is that, once bitten, the reader will be twice shy. People putting out poor quality work won’t find a market for their next work.
And, as someone who loves writing, I can't see any real reason to deprive others of the fun of putting out their words into the EtherNet.

My first computer was only black and white, and worked on a rather dowdy, extremely limited word
processing system. Then Windows was invented and - wow!
One company I worked for as a journalist proudly presented me with a Macintosh Computer - the Apple trademark was still in the pipeline. This computer, with its tiny monitor, needed a large floppy disc to be inserted in the top drive, and another in the lower drive. The top disc held all the programming information, and without it, you weren't going anywhere!

The bottom disc contained all the material you diligently typed in, and this disc, closely guarded, was the one a courier took to the company's editorial headquarters two or three times a week.
Yes, I can hear you youngsters out there snickering. But that’s fine. Someday your kids or grandkids will compare you to a dinosaur, too.

The daily newspaper I worked for provided portable electric typewriters to its staff, and quickly scented the benefits of a computer network in the office. For myself, running a fairly remote satellite office, they purchased a portable computer. People these days might laugh, but then it was state-of-the art.
To be honest, with its case closed it looked just like a large, square portable typewriter. Oh, but the joy it brought - I could type in all my articles and features, then - get this - I fitted the telephone receiver into the two rubber rimmed holes on the top, made a few adjustments, whispered "AbraCaDabra" or, on bad days, a prayer to St. Jude, patron saint of hopeless cases,  and all my work flew across the ether to my boss, the Managing Editor. I might finish work at 3:30 am, but it was in his computer 100 km away, when he started work at 6:30am

The only glitch, really, was that digital cameras weren't available then. I'm a photojournalist, took my own pix to go with articles and stories, and these were on the old fashioned rolls of film. Where once a courier stopped by my mailbox in the wee small hours and whisked my paper copies of articles off to head office, now he stopped by only on the days I called and asked him to pick up film.
Now everyone has a digital camera - sometimes several if you include the pocket one, the laptop one, the computer one, and the cell phone one…..

Sometimes as sit on my front porch with my laptop, I imagine I can see words and pictures flying by my head, carried on unseeable waves, from thousands of computers and cameras and phones…..
Yes, I love the Internet.

Do You love the Internet? There's your choice of one of my ebooks for the best reason to love the Net.

Glenys O'Connell's love affair with the Internet continues to grow as she dabbles with Indie publishing. Click here to take a look at her list of traditionally published and Indie published books here.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Slow and Steady Wins the Rachel Brimble

Please join  me in welcoming Rachael Brimble to The Roses of Prose today. Take it away, Rachel!

I decided to write a little bit about my writing journey today as I am enjoying the thrilling status of becoming a new Kensington (The Seduction of Emily available now) and Harlequin Superromance author (Finding Justice was released February 2013)

To say I am happy would be a gargantuan understatement!

The thing is, this success did not happen overnight by any means and no matter what happens with regards to my future career, I will always shout the benefits and advantages of the quality small presses out there. For me, they are worth writing for and they are worth learning from.

Too many aspiring writers view small press as a last resort. They write their stories and then submit to every agent going, every big publisher that takes unsolicited submissions, every mid-list publisher until they say, “Fine, small press it is then.”

Then wonder why they get rejected from them too.

For me, writing is a craft – a huge robust learning curve that you have to open your mind and heart too if you stand any chance of making it. Reputable small presses are ran by people who love books, love writers and especially love readers. They want to deliver good quality stories that will appeal to their genre readers and more than that, they want them to come back for more.

So why would they accept a story that you tossed at them as a last resort? They won’t. They know they deserve more respect than that.

I started writing short stories about ten years ago and gradually moved on to longer and longer novels, until I found my happy place at around 85-90,000 words. I went from being multi-published with the likes of The Wild Rose Press and Lyrical Press to my position now of being a Kensington and Harlequin Superromance author.

Copyright © 2013 by Harlequin Enterprises Limited
Yet, I still intend to do my best to write novellas as often as I possibly can for the publishers who molded my success. Why? Because I won’t forget the people who believed in me from the start.

If you believe in yourself and are willing to soak up as much knowledge and experience as possible, my journey could easily be yours too. The editors I have worked with have taught me SO much and I wouldn’t have a chance of learning my craft without their encouragement, patience and support.

Embrace small press – I do!

Rachel’s latest release is a Victorian romance novel with eKensington. “The Seduction of Emily” is available to download now. Here’s the blurb:
Seduction is a wicked game, and no one plays it better than the devilish Will Samson in Rachel Brimble's captivating new novel. . .

Since girlhood, Emily Darson has accepted that she will marry Nicholas, the son of her father's trusted business partner. The marriage contract safeguards her family legacy, Emily's fortune, and everything she values--except her independence. Only when a sinfully handsome scoundrel enters her life does Emily realize quite how much a loveless match will cost her.

Will Samson has advanced from expert pickpocket to confidence trickster of the highest caliber. Now he has come to Bath to exact vengeance on the man who destroyed his mother--the man Emily will soon marry. But from his first glimpse of the enemy's bewitching, spirited fiancée, Will's plan changes.

Amid the ballrooms and salons of elegant society, heated glances explode into scandalous kisses. Revenge is sweet, but surrender will be irresistible. . .

Rachel’s Links:

Twitter: @rachelbrimble

Monday, May 27, 2013

Things I've Learned Along the Way

Today is my sixty-fifth birthday. How can this be when I'm so young? Or so I keep asking myself. Calvin, on the other hand, just smirks and says, "It's been a long time coming, angel." Yeah, like sixty-five years! Golly, just saying it makes my eyeballs twitch. I retired when we married ten years ago, so this birthday milestone does not carry with it the typical yay me, I get to retire hoopla. Although I am a proud carrier of a Medicare card. And when I announced to my doctor during my visit last week that he was getting my virgin Medicare card, the young man blushed. "I just love you and Calvin. I'm telling you, I've got no patients like the two of you."

That was a compliment. Right?

So what have I learned along the way to this milestone? I've learned to love more and judge less. I've learned to embrace the future and cherish the past. I've learned the smartest people are little children. They see the wonders of the world through eyes filled with possibilities instead of boxing things in with jaded expectations. Take a dandelion, for example. A child looks upon it as a thing of beauty and magic. Blow on it and watch what happens. Adults look at the same flower and think weeds.
Most importantly I've learned the value of dreams. The ultimate fulfillment one experiences when he or she completes every step toward the attainment of that dream or goal. For me, it was writing and being published. For others, it is getting a college degree or playing professional sports or mastering a musical instrument or dance. All require sacrifice and hard work. All strengthen our souls and enrich our lives.
One of my favorite poets is Langston Hughes. I'd like to share his poem regarding dreams:

Dreams by Langston Hughes

Hold fast to dreams
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird
That cannot fly.
Hold fast to dreams
For when dreams go
Life is a barren field
Frozen with snow.      

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Moms I have known

Yes, Mother's Day is past, but I'm in LA to see my niece, who has a 4-year-old son and who is expecting her next baby in a few months, so I've got Mom on the mind.

My Mom passed away 2 years ago, and I still miss her pragmatic wisdom, her wit, and her grace with dealing with aging. I hope I've learned from her.

My oldest sister is a mom and she had a challenging time raising her daughters when she divorced her husband while they were still young. I give Sis kudos for taking a chance, moving away from home, and making a fresh start hundreds of miles away. It's hard to do, but it was the right move for her.

Both my nieces are moms now. The oldest niece became a mom when she was in her late 30s, which is late to start a family. But she waited until she found the right man, and her husband is a marvelous father and husband. My other niece, in LA, is equally blessed to have a man with her who dotes on his kid(s) and on her. It's a pity they have to live in LA (and they agree), but they're in the movie business, so they have to be there.

My middle sister and I don't have kids. She never married and she lives a very social life with friends and she's been a career woman all her life. I respect and admire her greatly. And I chose not to have children because I never wanted that responsibility and because, quite honestly, kids just don't interest me. I realized a long time ago that I make a much better aunt than a mom, and I've stuck to that all my life.

It's interesting how the role of Mom continues to evolve in today's world. I like to watch how my sister has eased into Grandma's shoes, reminding me of my mom when I saw her with my nieces. It's funny how we act grown up but inside we're still just the kid, looking to someone else for advice. Then one day we realize that, hey, we're the one giving advice!

Life's continuity ... it's a blessing, isn't it?

30 books and counting ...

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Magic and Mystery by Christine Elaine Black

Today's guest on The Roses of Prose is Christine Elaine Black. Please welcome her!

I love magic and I love mystery, especially in the romantic, historical book genre. It hadn’t occurred to me to write those elements into my story but touches of magic and mystery appeared, and soon I realized that ancient tales appeal to me because of those very elements.
Seer, prophet, oracle, sibyl, wise-woman, clairvoyant, diviner, augur: whatever the exact meaning of all these names they have a common thread. And I can’t write a tale of ancient Rome without having a woman with magical power make an appearance. Whether it be for good or bad reasons…I’ll leave that spoiler alert alone!!
Happy reading and I hope you find some magic and mystery in all of your stories.
Christine Elaine Black :)  

Taurus - Free on amazon kindle May 21 - 25

Blurb: Rebellious and strong-willed, Kalliassa flees a political betrothal arranged by her brother, the emperor of Rome. She runs to the one man capable of preventing the match -- her brother's sworn enemy. Unwittingly, she throws her fortunes into the hands of a man pledged to destroy Roman rule.
Taurus, proud Governor of Panua, would do anything to provoke the emperor, even ruin an imperial sister. But Kallie is like no woman he's ever met, and she tests his strength of will and his solemn vow to end the reign of her family forever.
Can true love overcome lust, lies, and deceit?

Excerpt: The parchment rolled out of Kallie’s hand and fell to the floor with a sharp oath directed at the author. How dare the emperor use her as a pawn in his game of politics! The love and trust she had placed in him as a small girl, watching from afar as their grandfather groomed him for greatness, shriveled in the brutal realization that he now ruled with complete disregard for his family. Marriage! To a man at least three times her age, ruler of a desert country, and with a harem of wives and concubines, no less. The only choice appeared to be swift action to avoid the imperial order. On unsteady legs she ran for the stables.
The horses stamped impatiently, and Kallie glanced around for the boy normally on duty at this time of day. “Sergius, are you in here?” A rumble of laughter greeted her.
“Should you not be dressed for dinner in fine ladylike attire?”
Kallie squealed with delight. “Uncle Atticus! You have arrived at a most propitious moment.”
“Have I indeed.” Her uncle, in truth her father’s uncle, had taught all the children in the Gregorian household the most efficient and effective skills of survival in the roughest conditions. “And why are you dressed as a boy?”
“I’m running away.”
Atticus eyed her with skepticism. “From what?”
“Our esteemed emperor has ordered me to marry, and I won’t do it.”
“Hah,” Atticus grunted. “If you wait until after I eat and refresh my water supply, I’ll go with you.”
“But why? You will incur the wrath of my brother.”
“I have my reasons.” Atticus scratched his bushy beard, a twinkle lighting his dark eyes.
“Where can we hide from the entire Roman Empire?” Kallie mused.
“I know a place, but it will require cunning, and could be dangerous.” Her uncle chuckled with his usual good humor.
Kallie’s mind glowed at the possibility of escaping her brother’s reach. The great emperor, Caius Gregorian, would not be amused.