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Sunday, August 31, 2014



Hey everyone! Prairie Rose Publications is now accepting submissions for their Halloween anthology, COWBOYS, CREATURES AND CALICO! This is a western historical romance anthology, and we would love to see what you can dream up about Halloween in the old west. Stories should be 10K-15K in word length, and the heat rating can be anything from sweet (candy corn) to spicy (red hot tamales!) No erotica is accepted. The deadline for your submissions is September 1, 2014! Do you have a Halloween tale for us? Please let us know! Submissions are received at or We look forward to taking a look at your submissions!




MY DOG CAN DO MAGIC!—Middle Grade Readers—(ages 9-12)

Do you have a good idea for a fantasy or sci-fi story about a dog? That’s what we’re looking for in this anthology for MIDDLE GRADE READERS (9-12). If you have a story that tugs at the heartstrings or shows the excitement and bond in a relationship between a boy or girl and their dog, we’d love to see it! The possibilities are endless: a stray dog becomes a young girl’s best friend – but he’s got “something special” about him; a young boy is given a dog…though what he really wanted was a horse—or so he thought! These are just a couple of ideas, but your imagination is boundless with what “could be”. Dogs are magical anyhow, but in this collection, these dogs have a true bit of magic they’re able to use now and then! What magic will your dog have? Can he speak like a human? Does he sense trouble before it happens? We’d love to have a look! Spots are limited! Please send a cover letter and blurb along with your submission.





Love happens in the most unlikely places, to the most unlikely people. This anthology will be a collection of stories about characters that fall in love under odd circumstances--one of them is not what he/she appears to be. With a paranormal or Halloween theme in mind, we want your best tale about what might happen when your human character falls in love with one that's not--a werewolf, shapeshifter, vampire, angel...or demon--or anything else you might think of! The young college girl who falls for a cruise ship entertainer who happens to be a vampire; or a chauffeur, who falls for the daughter of his millionaire boss--a beautiful woman who is immortal. It could be as simple as an odd coincidence, a stray glance or being caught in a summer downpour that sets the story in motion.

Common theme in all stories will be a photograph. Example: maybe your heroine is a celebrity of some kind and a photograph of her is on the front page of the paper; or maybe your hero sees a photograph on the heroine’s wall that was taken with her older brother—whom he mistakenly believes to be his “competition”. The photograph can play a major role or be mentioned in passing—it’s up to you however you want to use the photograph YOU imagine! It can play any part in this unlikely love story.

We are excited about this collection for a recently-recognized readership—new adults—ages 18-24. We’re anxious to see how your characters fall in love—and what they do about it! Please send a cover letter and blurb along with your submission. Keep in mind that these stories should be set in contemporary times.




Saturday, August 30, 2014


By: Celia Yeary

Several years ago, I bought a 1970 Edition Writer's Digest book titled "Handbook of Short Story Writing." This small book gives practical advice on the how-to's of:
Ideas, Characters, Dialogue, Plotting, Viewpoint, The Scene, Description, Flashback, Transition, Conflict, Revision, and Marketing.

With the complete guide, one would think a budding short story writer would soon learn the knack of writing decent stories, and perhaps one day turn into Eudora Welty. You remember her, don't you? I recently found another treasure at my local Half-Price Book Store titled "A Curtain of Green and Other Stories," by Eudora Welty. The first printing was in 1941 and the book has been reprinted many times. Her works are taught in college English courses.

"Curtain of Green" contains seventeen short stories, ranging in length from twelve pages to twenty-five pages. In case you're wondering the exact length of a true short story, her stories probably can be considered the watermark.

The titles of her stories in "Curtain" are creations in themselves: "Lily Daw and the Three Ladies," "Old Mr. Marblehall," "Petrified Man," and "Death of a Traveling Salesman,"—to name a few.

You didn't know Eudora Welty wrote "Death of a Traveling Salesman?" She did—in 1930. And how many times has that twenty-five-page story been read, and re-read, and studied, and turned into a stage play? She was born in 1909 and died in 2001, went to college but returned home to live out her days in the home she was born in. She never married, but was said to be a "dreamy" sort of girl. I believe this "dreamy" characteristic came about because she was creating stories in her head.
We've all done that, haven't we? Looked dreamy? Or maybe in a trance?

I am no Eudora Welty, nor do I wish to be. But I value the short story more because of her talent, greatness, and influence.

These days, I'm turning more to writing shorter fiction. Call them what you will—short stories, short fiction, mini-novels, or novellas—each one contains the same elements as any piece of fiction.

In this busy world we live in, readers must often cram in a few pages here, a few pages there. The short story--or novella, etc.--becomes a godsend for a quick satisfying story to ponder.

Here is one example you may download, if you wish.

                                                    The Cattlemen's Ball-FREE-16 pages

The story goes back to the original Cameron male, Ryan Cameron, who becomes the patriarch of the Cameron Family of Texas. 

A short while ago, I wrote four "Dime Novels." These are around 25,000 words each, and each has a Jimmy Thomas cover. Of all my books, these four Dime novels at 99cents have been a very successful adventure.

In the Prairie Rose Publications anthology titled Cowboy Cravings, my short story titled
"Starr Bright" is one of the offerings.
Next up for me? A mail-order bride trilogy titled Trinity Hill Brides. As of this moment, the trilogy is almost complete.
I enjoy writing shorter fiction, now, but the full-length novel is still my favorite.

Celia Yeary-Romance...and a little bit 'o Texas
My Website
My Blog
Sweethearts of the West-Blog
My Facebook Page 

Friday, August 29, 2014

Prayers and Promises Publications -- New Release OLIVE U by David L. Johnston

An aging Baptist preacher in small-town Kansas. The members of a band who play contemporary Christian music in Los Angeles. Beyond their love for the Lord Jesus and His people, they have only their struggles with failure and success in common—until tragedy brings them together on Christmas Eve.

When Paul Knight joins the members of Olive U, the group instantly jumps from local cover band to sought-after opener at concerts across the nation. The problem is Paul may not know the Lord as well as he claims.

After a tornado of historic proportions rips through Kansas, an elderly Baptist preacher, Ron Best, faces challenges to his doctrinal beliefs and failure after failure in his ministry. But the Holy Spirit keeps pushing him forward.

Olive U is the story of how God brings these men together for Christmas Eve on the wind-swept Kansas Plains.


10:30 am, Sunday
60,000 feet over south-central Kansas
The atmosphere over south-central Kansas roiled and churned. At the surface, hugging the expanse of flat, green farmland, cool, dry air was pushing down from Canada. Above, warm, moisture-laden air from the Gulf of Mexico pushed back. Clouds formed where the air masses met; vapors condensed out of the tropical incursion. Lightning zigged across the heavens, flashing between building cumulus formations, and thunder rolled across the prairie. As the moisture condensed out of the atmosphere, heat was expended and pockets of supercooled air swirled and rushed toward Earth's surface in icy blasts. This activity increased the rate of condensation; the air became increasingly unsettled. Thunderheads rocketed into the stratosphere.
The first big, cold raindrops evaporated in the dry layer of air underlying the tropical incursion. The first small hailstones, which formed high above in those supercooled pockets, bounced harmlessly amid the crops. A drop or two of rain plopped to the ground. Then, heavy rain fell suddenly, reducing visibility to mere feet.
Where the warmer air overrode the Canadian cold front, the atmosphere rolled like the business end of a combine, spinning horizontally amid the chaos. Whether influenced by the cold down-bursts, the rain, or some unknown force, only God knew, but the rolling columns of wind soon began to stand vertically on end, and the first funnel clouds loomed dark and ominous above the worried creatures below. Fear on Earth blossomed like the dark thunderheads above.
About then, distant weather observers first took notice of the activity as their reporting instruments began displaying troublesome data. This storm was early — early in the season and early in the day. And the speed with which the activity grew in power alarmed the inexperienced observers who were monitoring the equipment for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration this Sunday morning. They hesitated, however, before sounding the alarm—wanting confirmation from senior scientists before they caused a needless panic. By the time the first alerts were broadcast over television and radio stations, and the civil defense alarms began to wail in the widely scattered small towns on the Kansas plains, one funnel had touched down, briefly, in an empty field. Minutes later, some of Earth's residents witnessed the birth of an awesome monster.
For a moment, there was silence—no birds, no wind, no rain, no thunder—nothing. The sky took on an odd, greenish hue. Then, day became night—as if someone had flicked a switch. A haunting, low-pitched roar began to build from somewhere. In a few seconds, the sound was like a locomotive that was powered by all the angry bees on earth. In the next flash of lightning, the super-funnel was visible, dropping from the darkness above. Then, the sky opened. Rain fell in a deluge. The wind roared and thunder cracked sharply. The dark outline of the funnel became a tornado of historic proportions, a mile and a quarter across at its base, nurturing winds that left nothing behind.

  B&N nook      Smashwords


Thursday, August 28, 2014

PRP New Release -- HOME FIRES By Kirsten Lynn -- Giveaway

A free ecopy will be given to one person who comments today. Be sure to leave your email if you want to participate in the giveaway.

Cord Matthews sets his sights on the open Montana Territory when the War Between the States rips everything from him. Olivia Bartlett, the only woman he's ever loved, has been killed--a cross marks the place where she lies buried. Cord builds a new dream, but a ghost from his past won’t let him forget what his heart wanted most.

Olivia, forced to flee her Virginia home, finds new purpose as a nurse to the wounded at Fort Laramie, Wyoming Territory. War and separation haven’t diminished her love for Cord Matthews, or her stubborn belief that he is coming for her. Danger threatens once more with the impending arrival of a new commander at Fort Laramie--a man who has already tried to kill her once. Olivia flees to Montana Territory, seeking refuge.

Reunited on the Montana frontier, can Cord and Olivia hold tight to their love and defeat the man who seeks to destroy them both?

    “Aunt Liv!”
    Like a fly, a voice buzzed around Olivia. The distressed nature of the voice entreated her to answer, but instead she swatted at the intrusion and leaned into Cord. The gray wool of his uniform brushed against her arms and raised tiny bumps over her flesh. Gentleman’s rhythmic cadence lulled her into a sense of peace. How many times had the buckskin horse carried she and Cord to their many adventures? She twisted in the saddle and lifted her face to gaze into Cord’s amber eyes memories passed between them. His mouth spread in a slow grin and he winked. 
    Olivia squared her shoulders and jabbed her forefinger into the rough wool covering his chest. “You will come back to me, Cordell Matthews.”
    Cord’s chuckle rumbled under her. The sound blanketed her in warmth and settled in her heart. 
    “You could give a general lessons in how to issue orders, sugar.” 
    An invisible force shook her shoulders threatening to unseat her. She frowned. Cord’s grip tightened, but he continued on as if nothing untoward happened. Livy followed his lead refusing to ruin this time with Cord.
    “Yes, Livy, the whole of the Union Army couldn’t keep me away from you. Then I’m going to marry you, and we’re going to settle here and raise horses and babies.” A long road loomed just a few feet away. Disquieted both shifted in the saddle. His arm tightened on her waist and pulled her closer. Cord tugged Gentleman’s reins, stopping him at the crossroads. One road led Olivia back to the Matthews’ farm. One led Cord to war.
    Olivia held Cord’s hand and slid from the saddle. She brushed her lips across his knuckles. “I love you, Cord.”
    “I’ve always loved you, Olivia Bartlett, and I suspect I will through this life and the next. You don’t be giving your heart to anyone else while I’m gone.”
    She held his gaze. “Never. No matter how long. God be with you.”
    His hand slipped from hers and he spurred Gentleman forward. Olivia stood waving long after any sign of man or horse disappeared. Tears streamed down her face and her hand dropped.
    Olivia turned her face to the trees lining the road. A breeze rustled the trees and carried a voice. “Aunt Liv, please!” 
    A weight shoved with vigor against her shoulder. Olivia resisted the pull to open her eyes. She pressed her face deeper into her pillow holding onto her dreams, where Cord was. Real or dream, Olivia cherished any time she was allowed with him.
    “Aunt Liv, p-please, I n-need you!” 


Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Research: My Obsession with Old Newspapers #western @JacquieRogers

Sometimes people ask writers the most puzzling questions. We’re often asked, “Where do you get your ideas?” I never know what to say about this. Doesn’t everyone have so many ideas they can’t write all those stories in the next 400 years? Maybe a more pertinent question would be, “How do you mold your ideas into a complete story?” Because that isn’t always easy. At least, not for me.

But a question someone asked today really stunned me and I'm afraid I was a little long on the uptake.  She asked, “Why do you write historicals? Isn’t all that research boring?”

Um, no.

And she followed it up with, “Where do you find this stuff? I wouldn’t know where to begin.”

Obviously, she’s not obsessive about old newspapers. I love the archives, especially the Idaho State Archives, which is the best set-up I’ve visited in the Pacific Northwest. Or libraries. Nearly all of them have newspapers on microfiche.  I think I have tiny microfiche reels in my red blood cells.

If I’m looking for something specific, I try to narrow down dates and location so I can find whatever I’m looking for a little faster. But... (confession time) what I love most is reading the papers with no thought of anything in particular, and saving whatever interests me at the time. And, going back to the idea question, if I didn’t have enough story ideas already, reading newspapers definitely fills the barrel and then some.  With a bonus of a few characters now and again.

Here's a bad hombre:

You can find medical articles. I’d never heard of the Condurango cancer-cure, but that just might work into a story sometime.

Do you know what books your third grade student would use in 1871?

Actually, we learn a lot of things from the article above.  We know the Silver City (Idaho Territory) schoolteacher was Mr. P.M. Sullivan.  We know how many students attended, the subjects they took, how many days school was held, and the titles of their textbooks.  This could definitely come in handy.

Ghosts in Wagontown—looks like our fascination with ghosts is nothing new.

Patent medicines (and devices) are always fun.

Anything with prices in it catches my attention.

So now you know—the newspaper was $10 and a shot of whisky cost 25¢ in Silver City, whereas it cost $2 for a newspaper and 5¢ (for gin, but I bet he means an equivalent liquor) in Chautauqua, NY.  

And of course parents and childrearing.  A lot has changed in the last 150 years, but parents loved their children then as now.

So there you have a variety of articles, any one of which could trigger and idea, and put together, they could be really interesting!

My latest story, Mail-Order Ruckus (the second book in Mail-Order TangleCaroline Clemmons wrote the first book, Mail-Order Promise) has a puppy and a bull.  What breed of puppy?  What breed of bull?  Oftentimes they call a breed one name and a hundred years later, it's another.  Such is the case with Durham cattle, now called Shorthorns.  For the puppy, I went with a border collie.  Then of course I had to find out the various schemes of the mail-order bride business, and there were several (not all of them on the up-and-up, either).

For Don't Go Snaring My Heart in Lassoing a Groom, I had to learn all about breeds of goats.  Turns out, they didn't call goats anything but goats until the turn of the century.  

Took me a while to find that.  Sometimes looking for something that's not there takes a while, but all's not for naught because of course, you find fun stuff along the way.

Of course, that's the danger of old newspapers, especially for someone who has a bad case of "shiny!" and can't stay on task as it is.  There's just so much information and every bit of it is fascinating in one way or another, that I simply can't imagine anyone not thinking a trip to the archives is every bit as much fun as going to Disneyland.

But, um, that's just me.

Hearts of Owyhee series

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The Black Angel by Barb Betts

Good Morning All,
B. J. Betts here or as Kathleen so cutely calls me Barn. A few weeks ago I had the privilege of touring the General Grenville Dodge House. I had not been there in years and that was to chaperone an outing with my daughter's 5th grade class so there was little time to really enjoy all of the wonderful artifacts from that era that the home offers. If you are ever in this neck of the woods stop in for a tour. It is really enjoyable.
For those of you who are Hell On Wheels fans the Dodge family will hold a special interest. General Dodge was a man of many talents. During his lifetime he engaged in the mercantile business, organized a bank, surveyed the Missouri River Valley to the West for the Transcontinental Railroad, and served with distinction during the Civil War and earned the rank of General. It is said he was the youngest General until WWII. But it was due to his expertise as a railroad builder he gained his wealth, fame and historic importance.

 Lincoln Monument in Council Bluffs, Iowa. Where President Lincoln stood and looked over the city while planning out the Transcontinental Railroad.

The Dodge House as we locals call it sits high on the bluff over looking the city. It is absolutely beautiful and a tour takes you  back to a kinder and gentler time. A time of sipping lemonade in the flower gardens and of grand balls held up on the third floor of the home. I was amazed at how tiny Mrs. Dodge was. They had a number of her clothes on display and she was no larger in stature than a twelve year old child. Her waist no bigger than  a minute.
  General Dodge
 Dodge House

Oh, but this is not all about the Dodge family. Growing up in Council Bluffs, we all hard the legends of the Black Angel...

She stands high up on the bluff guarding the way into the Fairview Cemetery. A cemetery once used as an Indian burial ground but was taken over as a place to bury their dead by the Mormons.  In 1916 Ruth Anne Dodge died in her New York home. He body was sent back to Council Bluffs for burial. Before her death, she told her two daughters, Anne Dodge, and Eleanor Dodge Pusey about a vision she had been having.
She told them of standing on a rocky beach and through the fog she saw an ancient ship coming towards her. She said the ship was covered in sweet smelling roses and rare flowers. On the bow of the ship she saw a beautiful woman standing there. Her hair was the color of spun gold and made a halo around her head as her hair fell to her shoulders. Her clothes were folds of brilliant white and fell to her feet. She was so beautiful that Ruth Ann knew she wasn't of this world and her eyes so brilliant in color they looked at her but yet past her.
 In her arm she carried a Grecian urn. It was filled with water that sparkled like  a million diamonds. She bid Ruth Ann to drink of the water but she said no, she wasn't ready yet. She told her daughters that she dreamed the same dream three times and each time the angel bid her to drink the water. On the third night she did drink the water and died a few days later. On her death bed she told her daughters the angel gave her the water of life and that she would now be immortal.
The two daughters commissioned Daniel Chester French, the famous sculptor who made the Lincoln Monument to make a sculpture of the angel their mother had seen. Their instructions were explicit about how the angel must look. When the sculpture was finished the daughters donated it to the city of Council Bluffs. The angel stands to this day at the gates of the cemetery, water flowing from the urn she carries offering, "The water of life."
So as far back as I can remember, it was said if you visited the Black Angel and then dreamed about her for 3 nights in a row, you would surely die. Of course, everyone had a cousin or great uncle that perished after having dreamed about the angel.
I will admit as I walked through the Dodge House that day a few hairs did rise up on the back of my neck. Perhaps the story is true after all, and Ruth Ann Dodge still walks the halls of the Dodge House.