Sunday, March 31, 2013

Easter, 1930’s Style by Georgie Lee

Happy Easter, readers. We're happy to have Georgie Lee on this special day. 

Thank you for joining me today and for the lovely ladies of the Roses of Prose for having me here. Not only is today the last day of March, but it is Easter. Many of you have probably spent a fun morning hunting for Easter eggs, attending Easter service or just spending time with family and friends. In the midst of all this egg and chocolate overload, I’d like you to take a moment to stop and think about the 1930s.

The 1930s?
Yes, the 1930s, the decade of the Great Depression, the start of World War II and the golden age of Hollywood, which just happens to be the setting for my latest release Studio Relations. It is the story of Vivien Howard, a vivacious female director and Weston Holmes, a handsome studio executive who must overcome their professional differences to find love during Hollywood’s golden age.

The 1930’s also brought us a few Easter traditions. Granted, the decade didn’t contribute as much to the way we celebrate Easter as it did to the way we celebrate Christmas, but it did add a little something to the springtime fun. 
-          Associating bunnies and eggs with Easter has been around for a long time, but did you know that jelly beans were first introduced into Easter tradition in the 1930s? They’d been around as a candy for some time, but for some reason their association with Easter was cemented in the 1930s.

-          The first Easter Seals, the sale of which benefit services for the disabled, were introduced in 1934. The organization had been around since 1919, but the seals themselves were not introduced until 1934.

-          The song Easter Parade by Irving Berlin rose to prominence in 1933 as part of a Broadway review. However, the Fred Astaire version we all know and love didn’t arrive until 1948.

-          You can blame hollow chocolate bunnies on the 1930’s. According to a article, advertisements for hollow chocolate bunnies first appeared in newspapers in 1939. Debate still rages as to whether solid or hollow are best.

So, as you enjoy another handful of jelly beans while Easter Parade drifts out of the stereo for the last time, please consider curling up with Studio Relations, a story set in the decade that started the hollow bunny debate and these other Easter traditions.   

Studio Relations Blurb
Vivien Howard hasn’t forgiven Weston Holmes for almost derailing her career five years ago. Female directors in 1930s Hollywood are few and far between, and a man who coasts by on his good looks and family connections can’t possibly appreciate what it took for her to get to where she is. But when the studio head puts Weston in charge of overseeing Vivien’s ambitious Civil War film, she realizes she has a choice: make nice with her charismatic new boss or watch a replacement director destroy her dream.

Weston Holmes doesn’t know much about making movies, but he knows plenty about money. And thanks to the Depression, ticket sales are dangerously low. The studio can’t afford a flop—or bad press, which is exactly what threatens to unfold when an innocent encounter between Weston and Vivien is misconstrued by the gossip rags. The only solution? A marriage of convenience that will force the bickering duo into an unlikely alliance—and guide them to their own happy Hollywood ending.

Georgie Lee Bio
A dedicated history and film buff, Georgie Lee loves combining her passion for Hollywood, history and storytelling through romantic fiction. She began writing professionally at a small TV station in San Diego before moving to Los Angeles to work in the interesting but strange world of the entertainment industry.
Her traditional Regency, Lady’s Wager and her contemporary novella Rock ‘n’ Roll Reunion are both available from Ellora’s Cave Blush. Labor Relations, a contemporary romance of Hollywood is currently available from Montlake Romance. Mask of the Gladiator, a novella of ancient Rome is now available from Carina Press. 

When not writing, Georgie enjoys reading non-fiction history and watching any movie with a costume and an accent. Please visit for more information about Georgie and her novels.

Social Media Links
Twitter: @GeorgieLeeBooks

Buy Links


Studio Relations
Georgie Lee

Hollywood 1935
Vivien Howard marched into Earl Holmes’s office and threw the script on his desk. “Storm of the South. This is it. This is the picture I want to direct next.”

Earl picked up the script and flipped through it, unfazed. “The Civil War? It’s been done, and badly.”

“Not the way I’m going to do it.”

“I read the script a couple of months back. It’s a war movie. A woman can’t direct a war movie.” He tossed the script onto his large mahogany desk and leaned back in his leather chair, his hands clasped over his round belly, his graying eyebrows knitted as his eyes bored into her. Earl’s imposing attitude would have cowed a lesser director, but Vivien had played this game too many times with the old studio head to be scared off now.

“It’s a love story set during a war.”

“The Civil War.”

“I know exactly how I’m going to shoot it.” She sat down on Earl’s plush leather sofa, pushing back her shoulder- length curly brown hair. She crossed her legs, thankful Miss Hepburn’s popularity had made wearing trousers respectable. Even if the Women’s Decency League proclaimed pants
the ruin of womankind, Vivien preferred them to skirts and always made sure they were femininely tailored to complement her dark hair and eyes. Being one of only a few female directors in Hollywood, she played a man’s game, but she was always careful to remain a lady. Her career depended on this tightrope walk.

Earl leaned back in his chair and studied her. She knew he was intrigued, but she also knew he hated to let directors think they were getting their way, even if they were.

“The boys in New York won’t like the idea of a woman directing a war movie,” he replied, selecting a cigar from the humidor on his desk.

“If you pitch it right, they’ll love this project.”

“But I’ve got to love it first.” He clipped off the end of the cigar and placed it between his lips. Vivien picked up the large silver lighter from his desk, popped open the cap, sparked the flame, and held it out to him across the desk.

“You love the money my films make. You also love how good my successful films make you look to the boys in New York.”

Earl leaned forward and lit his cigar, then sat back in his chair, slowly drawing in the smoke. Vivien knew she had him. She smiled, waiting for him to make the next move.

“Who’d you have in mind for the lead?” he asked.

“Peter Davies. He’s perfect.”

“He’s a supporting actor. You need a leading man with box office draw, someone like Gary Roth.”
Vivien perched on the edge of his desk. “Peter has leading man potential. All he needs is the right role, and this is it. ”

“And the fact that you two are dating?”

“Has nothing to do with it.” Vivien was on shaky ground, and she knew it.

“The boys in New York are going to insist on a big star, especially when they get wind that I’m letting you direct a war movie,” Earl protested.

Vivien fixed him with a serious look. “It’s a love story, and you know it. It’s also the best script to come across my desk in years, and I’m the best director to do it.”

“We still need a star to headline it.”

“And we’ll have one when I cast the female lead.”

Earl chewed on the end of his cigar, eyeing her. “Fine. You can do it. Start tomorrow.”

“I’ll start today.” Vivien jumped to her feet. She’d been planning the film on the sly for weeks and relished the chance to finally work on it out in the open.

Earl shook his head, snatching the black phone off the receiver. “I don’t let any of my stars push me around half as much as you do.”

Vivien smiled over her shoulder as she made her way to the door. “That’s because no one makes as much money for you as I do.”

“Don’t make me regret this, Vivien,” Earl called out after her.

“You won’t, I promise.” She winked, then slipped out the door.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Writing Programs: Help A Writer, Win an eBook!

Spring is all about new beginnings, and I love it. I’m a spring baby – born on March 21st, the date many people consider to be the first day of spring, after the Spring Solstice. But it gets more confusing – the solstice can occur on either the 20th or more rarely, on the 21st, depending on time zone and year. And then there’s the differences between the Gregorian and the Julian calendars, oh my! Small wonder I get easily confused J
Here in the Great White North (rural Ontario, Canada) Spring is all about planning while waiting for the snow to melt. Yep, we still have plenty of the white stuff. So we browse magazines and catalogues to plan spring wardrobes, pore over seed catalogues and plan for fresh veggies and a riot of flowers.
The seed catalogues contain positively pornographic photos of gorgeous exotic new types of flowers, shrubs, and vegetables, plenty to keep a gardener warm in her dreams until the weather warms up!

Yes, I love the new beginnings Spring offers. But some new beginnings are there all year round. New novel ideas are waiting like gifts to be unwrapped. The secret is to know when the time for the great unwrapping has arrived!
With four new releases in the past four months: The No Sex Clause, Saving Maggie, Judgement By Fire, and Winters & Somers – I’ve been feeling exhausted and a bit jaded. The excitement that goes with a new release involves lots of exhausting promoting and talking about the books – at least, once the editing, formatting, and waiting are over – and all I could think about in the last couple of weeks was NOT writing. My DH and I went out a lot, visiting, shopping, exploring. Planning. I did a lot of catching up with friends who thought I’d fallen off the face of the earth. Reading. Housecleaning. Paperwork. Taxes. But most of all, playing and replenishing the creative well.
And daydreaming.

Then it happened. An idea popped into my head and held out its arms like a newborn to several other ideas that were languishing in a file on the computer. Every writer has a file like this – mine is named IDEAS – not very poetic but gee, it serves the purpose.
So, with ideas linking, characters began to step out of the shadows of my mind and introduce themselves. Considering I write romantic suspense, mystery, and comedy, I sometimes worry about what – or who – exactly is lurking in the shadows of my mind. But let’s not dwell on that!
Anyhow, during my ‘recovery’ time, I’ve been reading a terrific book on getting more written. It’s called 2kTo 10k: Writing Faster,WritingBetter,And Writing More ofWhat You Love. It’s by Rachel Aaron, a prolific writer herself, and well worth reading if you want to – well, if you want to do what it says on the cover!

So now I have a dilemma. I have this terrific idea for a contemporary mystery series leavened with humor, set in a country house in England. My fingers are itching to hit the keys without even an outline – chapter one is already done.
Then I took Ms. Aaron’s advice and downloaded a trial version of Scrivener (click the link for a trial copy). It’s a marvelous program that helps you keep track of, and easily access, everything in your manuscript.
Now I’m torn. Do I plunge into the writing , knowing I’ll face blocks when the plot or characters don’t gel and I’ll have to rework, revamp, or edit like crazy. Or do I take the time out and explore this new program and figure out if it really will work for me?  I know I’ve had problems sometimes (who hasn't?) with having to go back and edit for mistakes in simple details such as character descriptions and names, or chronology. This is a real pain that usually occurs if you have to stop writing for a few days and then try to get back into your manuscript.

So, learn the new program or fly by the seat of my pants into the writing? Any thoughts? Do you use a writing program like Scrivener? Do you outline? Are you a planner or a pantser when it comes to writing? There’s the gift of an ecopy of Saving Maggie from Amazon for the most helpful comment!

 Glenys O’Connell writes romance and mysteries laced with humor. You can read some of her first chapters at Romance Can Be Murder!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

What March Madness Means to Me by guest Diane Burton

Welcome Diane to The Roses of Prose today. One lucky commenter will receive a great prize. Read on!

March Madness means basketball at our house. Hours of basketball. Especially if a Michigan team is playing. But only for Hubs. I am not a sports fan unless it’s baseball. To me, March means Opening Day is around the corner. So while he is glued to the TV watching really tall guys run back and forth on the court, I’ll be on my laptop with Enya blasting through my earbuds writing the next chapter of my latest book.

Besides signaling the coming of Major League Baseball, March is such an iffy month here in the upper Midwest. Is it the end of winter or the beginning of spring? Sometimes Mother Nature can’t make up her mind. Snowstorms and crocuses sticking their tiny heads out of the snow. That first bit of green poking through the dead brown grass along the highway. Daffodils? Well, maybe not yet.

In March, I start planning my garden. What new flowers will I plant this year and where? Will I go with tried-and-true petunias in the flower boxes and impatiens on the shady northside of the house and marigolds on the south? Or will I be adventurous and try something new? Then I count down the days until our local nursery has annuals for sale. I don’t dare buy them too early as our area of Michigan often has late frosts. Who wants to do all that work preparing the beds and planting flowers only to lose them to the cold?

Since March this year opened with snowstorms throughout the country, this month should go out with gentle warm breezes and lots of sunshine. I can only hope.

Blurb for The Pilot:

Life on the frontier of space is hard enough so when pirates stole Celara d'Enfaden's cargo, she vowed not to be tricked again. Determined to make an example out of indie pilots who disobey orders, Coalition Administrator Trevarr Jovano impounds Celara’s starship and cargo. If he backs down, he’ll lose respect. If she can’t deliver her cargo, she’ll default on her loan and lose her only home—her ship. More important than her ship, though, is her brother. To rescue him from a galactic gangster, she’ll even work with Jovano who is bent on avenging his wife’s murder.

Excerpt from The Pilot

Celara stopped looking for the Dockmaster when she saw a pair of legs topped by the most gorgeous set of male buns she’d seen in at least a year. The owner of the aforementioned body parts, encased in the dark blue uniform of the repair crew, was bent over the open hatch of an Agilean Speeder.
Now, there was a ship. The sleek vessel—one of the fastest in the galaxy—almost distracted her from the mechanic. He’d shrugged off the top portion of the jumpsuit so that it pooled around his waist. The environment of the repair shop affected many newcomers, especially those unaccustomed to the heat.
As she stared at his butt, all she could think was oh, mama. She hoped he was human and that the rest of him lived up to the preview. Better yet, she hoped he was in a party mood. After escaping from the pirates, Celara wanted to howl . . . and someone to howl with.
“Hey, big boy,” she called to the mechanic. “Wanna party?”
As the mechanic abruptly straightened, he whacked his head on the raised engine hatch. He muttered a Bricaldian curse about origins. She hoped he meant the ship’s, not hers. But then, considering her origins, that curse wasn’t out of line. When he turned around, she sucked in a breath. Oh, yeah. A primal part of her sat up and took notice. His backside, gorgeous as it was, didn’t compare to the rest of him. He had the broad shoulders and muscles of a laborer plus the black hair, square jaw and blade-straight nose of Bricaldian aristocracy. What a delicious combination.
“Did you arrive on that hauler?” He nodded to her ship. His voice, a tantalizing allure of baritone and chokiris, sounded vaguely familiar.
“Yep. That’s my ship.” She tucked her thumbs into the side pockets of her trousers and thrust out her chest a little in pride. “D’Enfaden’s Thermopylae. Fastest little transport in three sectors.”
He walked past her to examine her ship then ran his hand—long, strong fingers, she noted—over the dents and scrapes along the aft section. “It appears to have sustained damage.”
“My thruster gimbal got damaged when I kissed an asteroid evading filthy pirates. They didn’t catch me, though.” She grinned. “Hey, you new around here? Don’t remember seeing you before—and I sure would remember seeing you.”
He arched his dark eyebrow.
She raised her hand, palm outward, in the traditional indie greeting. “Celara d’Enfaden.” As he stared at her with green eyes as sharp and clear as veridion, she raised her own eyebrow. “And you are . . .”
When he reached into the pocket of his work uniform and pulled out a zircan leather folder, she groaned before he even opened it. She knew what the folder contained. A shiny gold badge, carved with an intricate array of stars, swirls and a tiny red jewel in the center. The insignia of the Coalition.
“I am Administrator Trevarr Jovano.” He snapped his fingers and two armed Security personnel stepped out of the shadows of the Agilean Speeder. “I am impounding your ship and confiscating your cargo.”

The Pilot is available at:  Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble ~ Smashwords ~ Kobo

What flowers are your favorites?

One lucky commenter will receive a Smashwords coupon for a free copy of The Pilot. Be sure to leave your email address.


Diane Burton combines her love of mystery, adventure, science fiction and romance into writing romantic fiction. She’s a member of Romance Writers of America® as well as the Mid-Michigan and Fantasy, Futuristic & Paranormal RWA chapters. She is the author of the Switched series, about twins exchanging places—from Earth to a starship and the reverse. With The Pilot, she begins a new series about strong women on the frontier of space. She is also a contributor to the anthology How I Met My Husband. Diane and her husband live in Michigan. They have two children and two grandchildren.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

A Cheerleader in the Midst of Madness by Vonnie Davis

I've always had a problem with self-esteem. Sure, I knew I could raise some pretty terrific kids or cook a gourmet meal or ace a test in college, but I didn't think I could ever attain my deepest desire--to become a published author. Enter cheerleaders. Well, one especially. My Calvin--tall, slender, gray kinky hair, a quick smile and a belief I could do anything. Finding love at anytime in one's life is wonderful, but to find it after living alone for twelve years and nearing the end of what society deems "middle age" is an exceptional feat. I am a blessed woman.
It was Calvin who insisted I stop dreaming about becoming a writer "one day" and start tapping those computer keys "now." But the house, I lamented. I have housework to do. He accused me of making excuses. After more than forty years of making them, I suppose I'd become an expert at rationalizing why I couldn't write. Calvin was having none of it. This man with a Masters in American Literature took over the dishwasher, the vacuum and the toilet bowl brush. He now holds a graduate degree in Household Husbandry with a minor in Cheerleading.
Every afternoon, he makes me a cuppachino, frothing the milk stiff just the way I like it and carefully carries it to me, his tongue tucked between his teeth so he won't spill a drop on his clean floors. And, in return, I give each of my fictional heroes one of the many endearing qualities of my real-life hero. In my heart this bit of Cavin is what helps make them all strong and lovable.
So when the call came that THOSE VIOLET EYES finaled in the National Achievement of Romance Fiction Award, guess who leaped with joy? My knobby-kneed cheerleader. Every time he looked at me the rest of the evening, he grinned and said, "No longer will you say you're not good enough. Never again."
Who is your cheerleader? Who along your rough and pitted road to publication cheered you on? Who told you you can do this. Who helped you believe that through the madness of life--and there is SO much madness hurled at us--that you can achieve your goals? Who makes you feel you're a better person? This, my ladies, is love...sisterly love, parental love, friendship love and romantic love. What a precious gift.
* ~~ * ~~ * ~~ *

Vonnie Davis is an author of contemporary, historical, paranomal romance and romantic suspense. Visit her at or

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Madness in the office

I'm having a difficult time at my Paycheck Job, which I will not discuss here, but suffice it to say, I barely have time to take a deep breath this month. know in a week or two life will ease up, but right now, I'm overwhelmed. I'm so overwhelmed I had a book release and I haven't even mentioned it anywhere.


That's what comes from having to work for a living! Normally I love my job, but there are days ...

Anyway, here's my book. It's called Righter because the main character (Mike) is a writer and he's out to right an old wrong. He's a retired actor and he's going undercover -- as a woman -- to a writing conference to out a murderer and find the man who assaulted an old friend.

It's a male POV book, so it was very Victor/Victoria for me: a woman, writing as a man, who's pretending to be a woman.

Challenging but fun to write. It's on Amazon right now and will go into wider distribution this summer (and will be free in May).

Now on to my next crisis!