Theme

As spring chases away the winter blues, the Roses are finding inspiration in the words of others. For April:

Happiness is like a butterfly which, when pursued, is always beyond our grasp, but, if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you. ~ Nathaniel Hawthorne

Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Always remember that you are absolutely unique. Just like everyone else. ~ Margaret Mead

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Uncharted Trails by Jannine Gallant

Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson



Every Move She Makes just released a couple of days ago, and I'm pretty excited about it! For me, this is a new path with a major publisher. I'd love to see this book blaze a trail of successful sales. We'll see about that.

Currently I'm blogging all over the place with unique excerpts. If you want to check out some of the other short scenes I'm sharing with my followers, a full list of stops is posted HERE on my personal blog. I hope you'll visit a few of them.

What's this book about, you ask? Here's the blurb...

Long ago, Rachel Carpenter was a glamorous soap star. She gave it all up to move to Napa Valley with her daughters to open up a bookstore near her family vineyard. Her life is safe and dependable, until she encounters Kane Lafferty at a wilderness camp in the rugged High Sierra. A burned-out police detective struggling with his own demons, Kane is instantly attracted to Rachel. And like Rachel, he isn’t sure if he’s ready to open up his heart. But everything is about to change…
 
Someone is watching from the darkness. A fanatic obsessed with Rachel for years has decided to claim what he believes is his. It will be up to Kane to not only protect his new love and her family, but to uncover the identity of the stalker before it’s too late for all of them…


And now for our excerpt. Kane and Rachel are also following an uncharted trail....the moon path.


A full moon rose above the mountaintops, casting a faint trail of light across the lake. Stars shone brilliantly in the night sky as Kane paddled the canoe away from the shore. Rachel was more beautiful than he remembered as she leaned back against a heap of inflatable cushions and blankets and gazed upward. His arms flexed as he pulled the paddle smoothly through the water. He’d rather wrap them around her.
“Are we going someplace in particular?”
“Just following the moon path.”
Her teeth flashed in the darkness. “Kane Lafferty, I believe you’re a romantic.”
“Promise not to tell. It’d ruin my tough-guy image.”
“You’re about as tough as a marshmallow.”
He dropped the paddle and held out a hand. “Come over here and say that.”
“I would, but I have all the blankets.”
“Good point.” Stepping carefully, he left his seat to settle with her in the bottom of the canoe. His arms came around her as he pulled her against his chest.
Rachel unfurled a blanket to cover them. “This is cozy. I could stay out here all night.”
“Suits me.”
“Unfortunately, Jade and Ivy would worry.”
His chin rested on her head. “Lark doesn’t worry about you?”
        “Not when she thinks she knows what I’m doing. She said this canoe ride was just an excuse to make out.”

Will the moon path lead to love? You might have to buy the book to find out!
Get your copy now ~ available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Kobo!

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Is This Really a Road Not Taken? by Rolynn Anderson

Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Ever wonder if you are leading or following?  As much as I want to take up my machete and hack a path through a jungle of overgrowth, I have to wonder if some trailblazer got there before me and I’m merely retracing an old route.  Emerson speaks of risk and originality; I worry I’m a retread.

A banal example: My husband and I have ripped out the carpet in our entire house, replaced by gorgeous (and expensive!) wood floors.  My husband is skeptical of this move, not just because of the expense.  He likes the feel of carpet under his feet, even if those feet leave trails on carpet that appear only weeks after the new stuff is installed.  I hate that about carpet, along with the general difficulty of keeping carpet clean.  How do you keep little critters out of the pile?  Is it even possible?

The house looks gorgeous, like something out of an interior design magazine.  But it looked pretty before, too.  Now, think.  You ever watch those house renovation or house hunter shows on TV?  Note how the house built in 1930 is fully carpeted, but the sales person gleefully lifts the carpet from a tack strip and says to the potential buyer, “It’s got wood floors!  Aren’t you lucky?”

An entire population took the wood ‘trail’ in 1930.  Millions decided to tread the all-carpet path in 1960.  Here in 2015, wood rules.  And don’t get me started on tile, granite and/or Caesar stone for kitchen counters.

As much as I want to be a trailblazer as writer, spouse, friend, gardener, golfer and interior designer, I have a sneaking feeling that I’m the follower...not the leader Emerson had in mind.

All that being said, not many writers have set a double murder mystery in Petersburg, Alaska.  I hope.  Take a look at my last novel, LIE CATCHERS:



Here are the Amazon and Wild Rose Press buy sites:


Monday, March 30, 2015

Choices and Consequences by Diane Burton



Our lives are fashioned by our choices. First we make our choices. Then our choices make us. ~ Anne Frank

One of the hardest things for a parent is to teach children that choices have consequences. Too often we want to protect them by preventing them from making a poor choice or bailing them out of a bad situation. From the time my grandchildren started climbing, my daughter’s frequent refrain was “make a better choice” instead of “don’t do this” or “don’t touch that.” And when they continued anyway, she told them “as a consequence” they had time out.

A better choice. And consequences. The choices we make—whether consciously or unconsciously—affect us in ways we cannot imagine. Not doing something is a choice. Little, everyday decisions accumulate and have consequences. When my husband changed jobs or was transferred, things happened fast. He went to work in the new town, leaving me behind to put a house of for sale. Putting off painting the front hall, repairing that screen door from the dog’s claws, and other household chores caught up. Should have made a better choice.

At the end of February, we had all the documents needed for taxes. Past history told me “corrected” documents could come in March. So I kept putting off gathering all the info to take to our tax person. Did I consciously make a decision not to work on taxes? Nope. I was preoccupied with my newest WIP. Writing about space adventures was much more interesting than gathering medical expenses or figuring out business miles. Avoidance was a choice. And the consequences were that last week I scrambled to get ready for Friday’s appointment.

Procrastination is my middle name. Granted, I work better under deadlines. It’s amazing how much I can get done when I have to. Not so amazing is that I could have done things ahead of time—like the taxes. Procrastination is a choice. Choices have consequences.

As I write this post, a line from a Robert Frost poem kept swirling around in my head. This ending from “The Road Not Taken” is perfect choice on which to end this post.

“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.”

Diane Burton writes romantic adventure . . . stories that take place on Earth and beyond. She blogs here on the 8th and 30th of each month and on Mondays on her own site: http://dianeburton.blogspot.com/

Friday, March 27, 2015

Toes in the Sand by Betsy Ashton

"Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined." 
~Henry David Thoreau

I had no idea when I started my path to be a writer where it would lead. My dreams were to learn to write, to tell a good story, and to entertain those who chose to read it.

I taught a memoir-writing class yesterday at a 55+ retirement community where I met eight outstanding people. I asked them to tell me stories about their parents or grandparents. Many focused on the values taught them as children and how those values shaped their lives. I asked them to think of a favorite smell from one relative. Smells ranged from sweat, machine oil and pipe tobacco (factory worker), cotton (textile worker), talc, perfume and Ivory soap (various grandmothers) and fresh biscuits with jam (home maker). I could see the people had never thought how important it is to capture scents to give a relative flesh and blood. I left them writing away, happily sharing memories with each other.

I had always written for business and pleasure, but when I became serious about writing fiction, I knew squat. I had no idea about the different ways to approach characterization or scene. I simply told a story, plopped in some dialogue, and called my draft done. Not so. It took the patience from a writing group and some beta readers smacking me upside the head to help me focus on the craft of writing. I'm pretty dense, but something finally came through.

I didn't dream of publishing a novel. I dreamed smaller in the telling of the story. Now I know the importance of showing that story through action and dialogue and less through plain narration. Beta readers now look forward to the next book or section of a book. They encouraged me to dream large.

I did. With one novel in print since 2013 and the sequel coming out on Tax Day, I am now living the life I imagined. From toes in the sand of writing to a couple steps on the journey, I'm on my way. I still don't know where writing will lead, but I'm willing to follow my dreams.

Now, if I could just win the lottery...

###

Betsy Ashton is the author of Mad Max, Unintended Consequences, and Uncharted Territory, A Mad Max Mystery, which is now available for pre-launch e-book orders at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

I never imagined this ...

Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined. ~ Henry David Thoreau

 I've always been a writer. I write professionally (technical documentation), I have 2 degrees in English (Masters Thesis), 2 in Information Theory (Masters Thesis), and a degree in Horticulture (final project: landscape maintenance handbook for homeowners).

In 2004 I decided I wanted to learn how to write fiction. I always wrote fiction, but badly. I decided to learn to Write Good. Long story short, in 2007, three of my books were published and here I am today, 25 books later.

One part of the Writing Life I never imagined was the promotional aspects. I guess I figured I'd have books published, people would discover them and everybody would be happy. I didn't count on the constant need to sell myself and my books. When you're with a small publisher, you don't have large distribution (i.e., in every bookstore in the country), so you need to lead people to your books rather than let your books be found.

I've tried various promotional activities over the year. This year is the Year of Good Reads. I'm a member there but haven't done much with it. This year I'm dabbling in giveaway (details below) as well as a few other activities. Will it affect my sales? No idea. It's hard to track what helps sales because royalty reports trickle in so slowly. But if I see a bump in sales next year, I think I can safely assume it's because of GR.

My first giveaway is up now. Check it out right here. I timed it to coincide with spring because, hey, this is the first book in my Deadly Landscaping trilogy, and in spring a person's thoughts turn to gardening (and, in my case, murder). Feel free to share the link, share the info, share it all -- the more the merrier. Good Reads will choose the winners and I'll send 'em a book.

I'll report back later if I see a bump in sales -- stay tuned!



Wednesday, March 25, 2015

How Romance Has Been Influenced by Gothic Fairytales by Marina Myles


Please welcome Marina Myles, our guest blogger, to The Roses of Prose!

Sleeping Beauty. Beauty and the Wolf. Hansel and Gretel.  These classic fairy tales evoke visions of dark, gothic castles or of creepy shadowed forests. They also bring to mind the fight between good and evil as well as visions of wicked witches and frightening beasts.
Like many of us, I loved fairy tales as a child. I had my mother read them to me over and over again. That’s why their timelessness is ingrained in my brain—having secured a special place in my childhood memory bank.
But what makes them still appeal to modern readers?
There is plenty of evidence that they do. Consider all the current television shows and motion pictures based on fairy tales. From Grimm to Once Upon A Time to Snow White and the Huntsman to Maleficent starring Angelina Jolie, there is still a strong market for retellings.
To answer the question, I believe fairy tales appeal to modern readers thanks to the idea that love conquers all. Look around us. There is so much stress and tragedy in the world. We all need a little hope and romantic salvation…a little escapism, as it were. The other day, I turned on the news and watched a horrific story about the violent murder of a college girl. Following the story was an account of a restaurant customer offering to pay his waitress’s college tuition after hearing about her monumental student loans. He was her fairy godfather!! I was so relieved that a positive story followed the tragic one. It actually changed my attitude for the morning.
What could be more positive than a fairy tale? We are able to get lost in the magic of them, cheer for the hero, sympathize with the heroine, and shout with joy when the prince and the princess end up with one another. We know there will be a happily-ever-after, but isn’t that why we read them?   
I hope readers enjoy all of the stories in my Cursed Princes series. They contain a little mystery, suspense, and action, but you are guaranteed to get your positive ending!
Thanks for having me!


 Marina Myles’s love of books began as soon as she read her first fairy tale. During her college days in Dallas, she received degrees in English Literature and Communications—and enjoyed the unique experience of being a Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader. Now that she lives under the sunny skies of Arizona, she hasn’t left her glamorous life behind completely. After all, she gets to divide her time between her loving family, her loyal Maltese, and worlds filled with fiery—but not easily attained—love affairs. 
Visit her at www.marinamyles.com
Represented by Louise Fury of The Bent Agency

Works published by Kensington:    The Cursed Princes Series
BEAUTY AND THE WOLF
SNOW WHITE AND THE VAMPIRE
A WARLOCK’S DANCE (novella)
SLEEPING BEAUTY AND THE DEMON
CHRISTMAS AT THORNCLIFF TOWERS (novella)
CINDERELLA AND THE GHOST