Friday, November 16, 2018

Being Thankful by Diane Burton

This time of year, you’ll see many posts on being thankful. I hope you’ll indulge me with one more. I am so blessed with my family. Hubs and I were married on Thanksgiving Day. He says that’s how he’ll never forget our anniversary. 😊 After forty-six years, we’ve had many events—big and small—to be thankful for. We’ve had good times and difficult ones. Our relationship grew stronger during the difficult times. We don’t always see eye-to-eye on issues. Most of the time, we cancel each other’s vote. We enjoy different TV shows and movies. I love reading fiction. He doesn’t. However, he will read my books. His usual response: not bad or pretty good. Glowing praise from him. Together, we raised two children. Because of the demands of his job, he missed much of the children’s early years. He’s making up for that with our youngest grandchildren.

I’m so proud of our children. Despite the “normal” teenage conflicts, when I despaired that we’d ever have a good relationship, they’ve become loving, responsible adults with families of their own. I admire their parenting skills. Most of all, I’m thankful they found loving spouses who support them in so many ways.

There’s a saying “If I knew grandchildren were so much fun, I would’ve had them first.” I can say, with all certainty, that’s true. During a stressful time, we visited our daughter’s family in Indianapolis when our first grandchild was a baby. Rocking a sleeping baby brought so much peace and relaxation. My stress went away as I cuddled her. With each grandchild (five now), I’ve felt the same. Time disappeared. I had nowhere else to be. No chores to do. Just holding and rocking a baby was enough. I wish I’d known that when my babies were that small. I’m so thankful for the second chance.

While I’m thankful for living in a land of freedom, I fear for our future. In our efforts to protect our country, will our liberties be lost? Will Emma Lazarus’ poem on the Statue of Liberty (“…give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me…”) be a lie? I’m thankful my ancestors found refuge here.

As I give thanks, I must add the fabulous authors I’ve found here on this blog. We went from strangers to friends as we shared our lives, our sadness and triumphs. I’m grateful for the support they’ve given me, the attagirls and the commiserations. While the deadlines for twice monthly posts always seem to catch me unawares, I wouldn’t have missed this experience. These ladies made me stretch my creativity with the annual holiday stories. Prior to my first time, I hadn’t written a short story since high school (back in the Dark Ages). Talk about fear and trepidation! That was in 2013. Now, I look forward to writing a short story that begins with the same first line as the others. More than that, I look forward to reading the others’ stories. Despite the same prompt, we all have such different stories. I hope you enjoy them, too. My story will be up on December 8 – 10.

With this being my last post, I want to say how thankful I am for all of our readers. Enjoy the holidays.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

An Exercise in Cover Design by Alison Henderson

You've all been such a valuable and cherished source of support for me over the years, it seems only fitting that I should be asking for your help once again in my final regular post for the Roses of Prose. I may have mentioned I've started re-working a story I began a few years ago after finishing Unwritten Rules. It's going well, so I decided to start working on concepts for the cover design. I'm aiming for a June 2019 publication date, but having a cover I love always inspires me to keep going when the writing bogs down, as it inevitably does. Also, I like to live with the design for a few months and keep tinkering with it until I've got it just right.

To that end, I've come up with five preliminary cover concepts, and I'd love your gut reactions to them. The story is a romantic suspense (not sure how those elements will balance out yet) set in Big Sur and Carmel. There's a murder, money-laundering Russians, and a couple of humorous, meth-dealing bikers. It may turn out to be darker than my last series but not bite-your-nails-and-hide-in-the-closet dark. In addition, my heroine is a kinetic sculptor who has come home to escape an abusive relationship and find her true self through her art, so there will be personal growth, transformation and hope. Not much of a tall order, is it? lol

At this point, I want the cover to convey a strong sense of place and the impression that something interesting is going to happen here. I want something that will make readers click on the cover to learn more.

Three of the mock-ups include images of the Bixby Bridge, and two are of the Big Sur coastline. The bridge images convey more of a sense of mystery or suspense, and the crashing waves tie in more with the title and the heroine's wind sculpture. I'll decide which way to go once I have more of the book written and have a better feel for the final tone. For that reason, it would be really helpful if you treated this like a Chinese restaurant menu and chose one from column A and one from column B. But please, if you hate them all, please say so! 

Thanks so much for your help!


Wednesday, November 14, 2018

A Selection of Poems by Christine DePetrillo

I often write poems when I'm experiencing writer's block. I'd like to share some with you today. Enjoy!

Here are two serious, nature-inspired ones:


Summer green
autumn red
to orange
blankets the
awaiting the
         arctic veil
Fading sun
graying sky
frosty crispness
quiet hush

leafless trees
dark twigs
wait like soldiers
                  for the icy assault

flakes fall
frozen bullets
covering all in




Silent soldiers
standing tall in the ranks
needled arms raised
against the ambushing

Autumn marches in
spraying its yellow, orange, brown
ammunition on the

Only the strong emerge
true green

Quiet river
remembers the battle
reflecting the victory
of the

And here are two silly, food-inspired ones:



off my
for  the

my fingers
in a

right in it
and it
doesn’t make
a sound

three days later
when it’s



It’s orange.
It’s bumpy.
Mom’s is
Always lumpy.
It’s squash.

Serve it cold
Or serve it warm.
Either way
It’s got no form.
It’s squash.

Eat it now.
Don’t delay.
Best to get it
Out of the way.
It’s squash.

Take a drink.
Wash it down.
I’ll try my best
To hide my frown.
It’s squash.

Time for dessert.
Oh me, oh my
Cut me a slice
Of that apple pie.

Oh no…
it’s SQUASH!

Be sure to check here after Thanksgiving and into December for The Roses of Prose Annual Holiday stories! Free holiday cheer! Also, join the Facebook reader group I co-host with author Amanda Torrey at Small Town Hearts. We have a blast over there and we want you to be a part of it all!


Tuesday, November 13, 2018

NaNo once again!

I'm participating in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) in a very half-assed way. I'm making progress on my book and I probably will finish it this month, but that's not unusual for me --I write every day, come hell or high water, except when emergencies interrupt (like my sister in the hospital for 5 days -- that sidetracked me while I stayed with her).

I like NaNo. It's a chance to put aside distractions and focus on what I want to do and it's "sanctioned". Other folks are doing it, too, so it's not like I'm being selfish by doing what I love to do. Of course, I do that all the time, but for one month I'm simpatico with other writers who are also nose-to-grindstone, writing away. I love hearing stories of progress that others are making and how they manage their writing schedules. We're all so different but we all love what we do -- and that's what is so fun about it.

Here's to all those busy writers out there, glaring at their computer screens, hands poised over the keyboard. May inspiration strike and the words flow!


Monday, November 12, 2018

Coming Soon--"Beary Sassy" by Vonnie Davis

Lucky me, I've been friended by a small group of paranormal authors who self-publish. Someone creates a storyline, sets up pages on facebook so we can keep in touch, and offers services like cover creation, formatting, and beta reads.

Our current project is "That Old Black Magic: Heart's Desired Mates" series. It is set in a Shifter Community of Stillwater, CA in the Sierra Nevadas. Eight books will comprise the series. Each author retains her rights with royalties paid directly to the author. We promote and support each other.

Each story revolves around a couple who fight their attraction to each other. Although they secretly watch the other, few overt attempts are made to connect. Oh, there are run-ins and arguments, awkward words, and stolen kisses. What finally brings them together is a Raven-shifter's chanting an old heart's desired mate spell. Something goes awry -- isn't that always the case? -- and the entire town is thrown into an orgy. Couples who've secretly desired each other unite for a night of passion. Some wake up the next morning aghast at what they've done.

My contribution involves a Scottish bear-shifter sent to Stillwater after she's been targeted by a drug gang. A man she's dated hid drugs in her home. When she finds them, she turns the cache over to the authorities. She's shot, poisoned, and marked for more attempts on her life. The head of her bear sleuth sends her to America -- a new take on witness protection.

Police detective in the magical community is Mateo Savage. This panther-shifter is attracted and yet put-off by the Scottish bundle of sass.

Keep watching. My new book will be available soon! It's in the formatting stages now. it'll be out in eBook and paperback formats.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

It's That Time Again To Thank Those Heroes Among Us by Margo Hoornstra

Yep, November 11th has arrived again. Those of you who read this blog regularly know that, on this date every year, I pause to reflect on those who have sacrificed and continue to sacrifice so much to allow the rest of us to be free. And protect us when we are.

Please join me in thanking those who serve both in the military abroad and our law enforcement community here at home.

I am proud to be the wife, daughter, sister, granddaughter, niece, cousin and mother of these remarkable heroes among us.

And I have to tell you. It never gets old in honoring them for their service. So please join me in a moment of silent reflection...and appreciation.

Thank you.

I'll be back here again on the 23rd. Until then, if you're so inclined, please visit my WEBSITE

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Day of the Dead in SMA by Rolynn Anderson

In a couple days I fly home after five weeks in San Miguel de Allende. You know me…this place will appear in a book eventually. The Day of the Dead (actually a Week of the Dead), was the high point. I was especially interested in the ‘shrine’ concept. Every store, restaurant, hotel, and family develops a shrine to those who have died. Heavy use of marigolds, the ubiquitous skeleton, pictures of the dead, and foods enjoyed by the dead. Yes, even a plate of chicken enchiladas, loaves of bread, seeds, favorite cups, and plates.  Unbelievably detailed. The Mexicans also decorate their cemeteries with bright flowers and seeds. So here are some pictures to illustrate how Mexicans celebrate Day of the Dead: 
In a cemetery:
In a street near a church:

 In a cemetery:

In a store (all made with seeds!)

My takeaway…I wish Americans had a ‘memory’ day.  I think we’d benefit from the ritual.  What do you think?

Speaking of memories.  In June of 2013, I introduced myself to you; 33,000 words later, I’m saying goodbye. But since I don’t do farewells easily, I’ll concentrate on the ways we’ll continue to interact.  I still want to tell you about my pre-order experience…I’m dying to ask you what you think of a book I have in mind.  I’ve had some success with AMS, but all my campaigns have stalled lately.  We definitely need to keep in touch and help each other with this crazy career!

As for my pre-order,  click here to get the bargain dollar off before Dec. 4!

Facebook page: