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Friday, January 30, 2015


Celia in a secret location--oh, okay--it's Las Vegas.

Wish for the Moon is a story I thought no one would take. I was writing romance novels and romantic short stories, and I knew this book would not fit any guidelines of the romance publishers I knew...and had books with.

I held the complete manuscript for a year or more, wondering where and when I would try for publication.

After studying several epresses, I found one who had no major agenda. They only looked for stories they liked. I took a deep breath and submitted it.

After one week, I was offered a contract with the note that read, "This is a wonderful story."

This was all well and good, but the problem was selling it. The small publisher did nothing, and I did not have an audience who might like it. So, it sat four years, earning little pittance.

Enter Prairie Rose Publications.

After a while I knew they had the attitude I did.

"A good story is...a good story."   

Perhaps all authors have a story they've written they call "the book of my heart." I use this term to describe a story I would write even though I might not find a publisher for it, and even though not one person would ever read it.

Why? Because the setting and some characters came from my childhood memories that I hold dear in my heart.

The setting I use is a tiny North Texas community called Salesville, which lies eight miles north of Mineral Wells in Palo Pinto County. First off, it is my birthplace--in 1940, and yes, I'm that old--and in that decade and even later in time, some people lived then as their ancestors had in the Nineteenth Century.

An abandoned farm that reminds me a bit of my grandparents' home in North Texas.
The particular place in my story is the family farm of my paternal grandparents, those wonderful loving people I called Granny and Papa.

But I wanted the story to take place in 1901. No problem, because in the 1940s, their house had no running water and no indoor plumbing as if the year was 1901. They did have electricity because I remember one light bulb that hung from a cord in the center of each room. Still, they used a kerosene lantern much of the time at night.

So, I have the setting, my grandparents' rickety weather-beaten house, a rose garden to one side, a screened-in porch attached to the back of the house, a barn, a pasture, and a well.

The story centers around the baby of the family, sixteen-year-old Annie McGinnis and her relationship with others in her world as she becomes a woman:
Her family~~mother; father; handsome, smart brother Kyle; and her big slow-witted brother Clifford.
Max Landry~~a troubled, bereft young man who wanders to their farm and stays a short while.
Old Blind Jerral~~a blind man who lives on a small place behind the McGinnis farm with his elderly mother. (I used my uncle as  model for Jerral. My uncle was blinded as a young man and lived on the farm for a long time.)
Later in the story, Jerral will play a big role in Annie's life.
Two Texas Rangers.

At the dawn of the Twentieth Century, sixteen-year-old Annie McGinnis wishes for a chance to see more of the world, since all she’s ever known is the family farm in North Texas. A mysterious visitor arrives who will change not only her life, but her family’s as well. To save Max Landry from a bogus charge, she follows him and the Texas Rangers back to the coal-mining town one county over where a murder occurred. The short journey sets Annie on a path of discovery—new horizons, an inner strength, and quite possibly…love.

   She stood still and studied him, frightened, sorrowful. “Max?”
   “What, sweet Annie?”
   “Why did you kiss me?”
   Max looked into her eyes, shaking his head slightly, pausing before he said, “You know, I shouldn’t have done that. It was wrong of me. I do apologize.”
   Sudden anger rose in her breast. She jerked her hands from his and stepped back. “That is very cruel, Max Landry. Did you know that? Do you know what you’ve done? You’ve made me seem pathetic. Kissing me so sweetly and then taking it back. That’s not a kind thing to do. Suppose…suppose some girl fell in love with you, when…you did that to her. Don’t you see it would break her heart? If I were you, I would do some thinking on how you go about kissing girls all over the place!”
    She whirled away from him and began to walk, taking long, angry strides. He watched her for a moment; then took off after her. By the time they were about a couple of hundred yards from the back fence, he walked beside her, but neither spoke. All Annie wanted to do was to get home and go to her room for while. She needed to be alone.
    Their arrival was not how she envisioned it, however. Tied at the post at the side of the house were two horses. Both carried a rifle in a sheath on one side of the saddle. At that moment, Grover and Helen walked out the back door of the screened porch. Two men, dressed alike in brown Western-style pants, white shirts with black string ties, and tan Stetsons, walked out behind them.
   Even from this distance, Annie could see the silver circle-star badge of the Texas Rangers pinned to their shirts and imprinted on their big oval belt buckles.
I'll give away a free copy of Wish for the Moon. Leave a comment, please. And thank you one and all for visiting.

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Celia Yeary-Romance...and a little bit 'o Texas



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Thursday, January 29, 2015

New Release --- WISH FOR THE MOON by Celia Yeary -- Free Book Giveaway!

We will be giving away a free copy of WISH FOR THE MOON by Celia Yeary, so be sure an leave a comment to enter the drawing.

At the dawn of the Twentieth Century, sixteen-year-old Annie McGinnis wishes for a chance to see more of the world, since all she’s ever known is the family farm in North Texas. A mysterious visitor arrives who will change not only her life, but her family’s as well. To save Max Landry from a bogus charge, she follows him and the Texas Rangers back to the coal-mining town one county over where a murder occurred. The short journey sets Annie on a path of discovery—new horizons, an inner strength, and quite possibly…love.


    “I’ve never been anywhere, at least far away. Oh, how I would love to go to Paris, too, and New York. Other than Brazos City, I’ve only been over to Mineral Wells, once. Did you know they have the healing water baths there in two hotels? People come from all over. Anyway, we went to a fair and rode a Ferris wheel and a carousel, and ate hot dogs from a stand, and even had fairy fluff. I didn’t really care for that pink gooey junk, though. It was sort of disappointing, you know? What you saw was something awful pretty and it promised to be something outstanding, but when you bit into it, all you got was a mouthful of airy stuff that just disappeared in your mouth.”
    Max stopped in the field, took Annie’s arm, and turned her toward him. “Did you know, Annie McGinnis, you’ve just articulated how I feel much of the time?”
    “What…what do you mean, ar-ticu-lated?” she asked with widened eyes.
    Before he answered, he lowered the tote to the ground, and placed his hands low on his hips, gazing away from her. Words wouldn’t come exactly as he wanted, but she had expressed the convoluted thoughts he had in his head much of the time.
    He turned back and said very slowly, “Often I see something nice I might like to have, a big house, one of those new motor cars they’re making now, a new tailored suit with a hat to match, or…a family…” His voice trailed off as if he forgot what he wanted to say, but really, he just didn’t know how to express his feelings.
    “Go ahead, Max, say it,” she urged gently. “A family to come home to.”
    He shook his head. “But it could all disappear in an instant, right before your eyes. Don’t you see?     It’s not worth it in the end. You think you have something forever and bang, it’s all gone. Turned to nothing in your mouth when at first, it seemed so sweet.”
    Annie stepped closer to him and placed her hands on his upper arms. He stood still and looked at her, waiting for her to speak. His heart beat hard against his ribs, and the warmth from her small hands burned through his shirtsleeves, but he didn’t move and waited for her to speak.
    “Max,” she began very softly, “don’t you see? Life hurts sometimes, doesn’t it? Does that mean you hide away, and curl up and die because you’re afraid? Even animals don’t do that, Max. They move on, find another burrow, another place and maybe another family, but they start over somehow.     You can’t run forever, you know. Soon, you should stop, make a decision, and move on toward your goal. Wandering about like the hoboes that sometime sit under the trestle isn’t for you. You’re too smart and too good to give up on the life the Lord gave you. Wouldn’t you be ashamed of yourself? Stand up, Max, and move on. Find your place and live.”
    Max couldn’t move and he was even afraid to breathe. Before he could stop his emotions, a lone tear leaked out of the corner of one eye. Without thinking, he pulled Annie to him, and kissed her sweetly and sincerely on her soft lips.
    When he broke the kiss, she smiled at him like the angel she was. “Let’s keep moving, you think?” Max asked.
    “Yes,” she said, and smiled so brightly that he thought he might break down and really cry.
    “Come on, then,” he said. “Show me the way.”

B&N Nook           Smashwords

Wednesday, January 28, 2015


Someone asked me recently, "How on earth do you get your ideas for these stories of yours?" The truth is, I don't know where they all come from, nor am I always conscious of when an idea strikes. What I do know is this: stories come to me. Not all at once, of course; that would be too easy. But they do come in visual flashes; sometimes quick as a lightning strike, other times more like a slow, steady burn, like glowing coals from a perfect smores campfire. I fly by the seat of my pants when I write, and I begin each session wondering what my characters will reveal to me this time. Often, if the session goes well, I become lost within their world and lose all sense of time and place. Just last night my main character finally decided to reveal her story to a group of eager Texas cowboys, and before I knew it,I had written straight through the night and shut my light off at 5:00 a.m. Sure, I know where I went last night-1880's Texas- but I don't know how I got there. Where did these brand new ideas come from? My MC revealed details of her life I certainly knew nothing about, and I created her. Or, so I as the writer, would like to think. Sometimes I wonder, but that's for another post entirely.

It's a funny thing, one's subconscious. We writers conjure up all manners of past experiences, conversations, people, places and faces. And yet, details show up we have no recollection of having experienced ourselves, in any sense of the word. So when someone asks me where my ideas stem from, I just smile and murmur an answer about knowing how to look for, and listen for, a good story. You see, my training in listening for stories began when I was three, and has sculpted me throughout my life to become what I am now, a historical fiction writer.

My training? I was essentially born into the world of living history. I suppose not many of us can boast experiencing life's day-to-day adventures of the 18th Century, but my fondest memories still bring me back to my youth...when kids still plugged into their own imaginations.

My favorite smells in the world are woodsmoke, leather and horse sweat. Combine the three and I'm a little girl again, running through meadows in moccasins and a little deerskin dress, dodging teepees while catching grasshoppers in tin lanterns and picking ox-eye daisies to decorate my braids. By 1986, (I was seven) I knew how to row a canoe, drive a team of mules, and con absolutely any man with a horse to give me a boost, saddle not necessary. When no horses were available, a bale of hay holding someone's saddle sufficed, and I imagined I was on my trusty steed, gallivanting off into the sunset. Ladder-back chairs made for the perfect train, and when enough of us kids got together around the woodpile, teams were chosen and a very serious game of "Patriots and Lobsterbacks" always followed. We were always the Patriots, and being that I was often the only girl, I was always the one tied up, time and again, waiting for my Patriots to break through enemy lines. Sometimes, the boys fighting over me got a little bit too real. Wielding fire-pokers, they dueled, and I wound up with the tip of a hand-forged fire-poker embedded in my shoulder. I still bear the scar, and it brings me nothing but bittersweet joy for the memories I've gained. I miss those times, terribly. Years have a way of changing things, and I do not often adjust well to change. Lifelong friends have been made and lost over the years. We still reenact, and I still sit around campfires at night, passing the jug, and quietly listen to my friends reminisce over the good old days.

In the old days, my solitude during the campfires was two-fold. If I was quiet enough, maybe my parents would forget I was there and I wouldn't have to retreat to the tent for the night. I wanted to stay up, because I wanted to hear the adults tell their stories. One can pick up on grand stories, if one knows how to listen. Over the years I learned to listen intently. To this day I am often labeled as quiet and shy, but usually I'm just listening for a juicy tidbit...a damn good story.

Sometimes, those damn good stories turn into scenes which, no matter how much you love them, you wonder if they are meant for the story. A decision must be I scrap the scene, or keep it?

One day I came up with the idea for a small, insignificant scene involving a small wooden cross. I could see the cross clearly in my mind. It was handcarved out of a wood with tiny mottled holes, and handwrapped with black sinew. I began jotting down the framework for the idea revolving around this cross to be gifted to my main character, a young woman from Philadelphia. (You’ll hear more of her later). The original scene didn’t seem to blend too well with what was going on in the story at the time, so I had decided, pretty much, to scrap it. Two days later, my uncle had an appointment in town and so he came for a short visit and a crash on our couch. The appointment also took him out of our place long before my husband and I rolled out of bed the next morning. I was going through my morning routine when I heard my husband ask “What’s that on the floor?” and I saw him bend down to pick something up. He carried the unknown object over to me and I held out my hand. He dropped the item in the palm of my hand; I looked down at it and the breath hitched in my throat. I started to quiver and I can only imagine the look on my face. There it was, the very same little wooden cross wrapped in black sinew… the very same mental cross I had written, and thought of scrapping, only days before.

You see, when my uncle found out about his illness, his brother carved that little cross for him, and he has worn it under his shirt ever since. This is why I have never seen it before. I gave the cross back to my uncle, shivering as I told him the story. And in case you are wondering? No, I did not scrap the scene. It will be there, bold as print, in my novel. I took a picture of my uncle's cross, the cross I envisioned my character wearing days before it fell into my reality...just to remind myself that the stories we write belong to our characters, it's their story as much as ours. Sometimes it pays just to stop, listen, and let them tell it.

Tell me, where do you gather your greatest inspiration for your own stories? Comment on this post, and I will select a random commenter to win an e-copy of Prairie Rose Publication's anthology, "Cowboys, Creatures and Calico, Vol. 1" - containing my debut short story, "The Legend of Venture Canyon"! Thank you for reading.

If you just can't wait to see if you won, here's the Amazon link.

Monday, January 26, 2015


Do you like short stories? I love them, both as a writer and as a reader. I’m so thrilled that they’re making a comeback in today’s world! I remember as a teenager in high school English class, some of the short stories that were taught at the time. You can probably recall these classes, too—we read many short stories and novels that couldn’t reach into our world and touch us, not at that age.

It’s odd to me that had some of the selections been different, or more age-appropriate, this might have fostered a love of reading the short story rather than dread for so many. The essay questions at the end of the story seemed hard for many of the students to understand, much less formulate answers to in order to show what they learned from the story. As high school freshmen in the 14-15 year-old age range, and with our limited knowledge of the world, it was difficult for some to be able to grasp symbolism or foreshadowing among other story elements. I realized later on that some people never grasp it, no matter how old they are. Reading with that kind of intuitive understanding is not something everyone is able to do.

Being forced to read something for a grade rather than enjoyment was something I didn’t understand. For one thing, I enjoyed reading. As with any kid, some things held my interest more than others. But I never could fathom some of my classmates who actually said, “I hate to read.”
I had some favorite short stories, even out of the ones we were forced to read. Who could forget Whitney and Rainsford in Richard Connell’s THE MOST DANGEROUS GAME? Frank Stockton’s THE LADY OR THE TIGER? Or, TO BUILD A FIRE, by Jack London?

Those stories were what inspired me to want to write “like that” and I often wondered in later years, seeing my kids’ English books and the stories they contained, where our next generation of writers would come from? There was certainly nothing “inspiring” in those stories. I was wishing there were some of the stories from “the good ol’ days” in their books, even though at the time I had been their age, many of my classmates had detested those same stories that I loved so much.

But one day, my daughter came home from school and said, “Mom, we read a story today that was so good! It’s about a guy who is trying to survive in the cold and he tries to build a fire…” And a few years later, my son couldn’t wait to tell me about a story they’d read about an island, where men were hunted…

Not everyone who loves to read wants to become a writer. So I’m wondering…was there a particular short story that you read when you were younger that made you want to write? Or even just made you become an avid reader? Since so many of us write westerns, was there a western short story that influenced you when you were younger? The one that I loved was not really a short story, but a short novel, Fred Gipson’s OLD YELLER. In later years, another one that stood out was Shirley Jackson’s THE LOTTERY.

I’m giving away a free copy of one of my short stories today, FOUND HEARTS. Be sure you leave a comment to be entered in the drawing! If you just can't wait to see if you won, here's the Amazon link!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

PRP--New Release--Cowboy Kisses--Giveaway!

Be sure and leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of COWBOY KISSES!

What could be better on a cold Valentine’s Day than to sit down with a book chock full of stories about special cowboys and their ladies? COWBOY KISSES has just what you’re looking for! Eight stories by some fabulous authors who share with you their love stories of the old west!

A KISS IN TIME by Lorrie Farrelly
Texas Ranger Colin Carter owes his life to a girl who appeared out of nowhere to save him. His gratitude quickly turns to passion, and Cady Corcoran loses her heart to him in return.  Now all that stands in their way is time: Colin was killed 25 years before Cady was born. Will these two star-crossed lovers ever have Time on their side?

WHEN MY HEART KNEW by Linda Carroll-Bradd
Tomboy Maisie Treadwell meets her match in cowboy Dylan MacInnes. From the moment they meet, the sparks and words fly. Of course, if she hadn’t knocked him down and caused an ankle sprain, their relationship might have gone more smoothly. To avoid damaging the reputation of the family’s boarding house, Maisie is at the mercy of meeting Dylan’s demands. When they discover a shared interest in adventure stories, a bond is struck. Soon, Maisie can’t wait to spend time reading aloud to the virile man confined to a bed—until the afternoon she overhears him explaining that his demands were meant to teach her a lesson. Can Dylan find a way to gain her trust again?

Aspiring novelist Amelia Mercer travels from New York City to Colorado to help her injured aunt recover. When the stage is robbed and her luggage stolen, bounty hunter Ned Waymire comes to her aid, acquainted with the harmless culprit and wanting to spare the boy. But Ned also seeks to impress the independent young woman. Amelia's wish to never marry, however, clashes with Ned's desire to keep her reputation intact. When a final bounty from Ned's past threatens their future, she knows that A Westward Adventure isn’t just the title of her novel, but the new course of her life.

Jake Morris is a lawman, but—wounded and near dead—his survival depends upon Mary Hastings, who discovers him half-hidden in her family’s woodshed. Practical, determined Mary nurses him back to health. But danger is not far off; the outlaw who wounded him has continued to pursue him, and now threatens both Mary and her sister, as well. More than just an intriguing and attractive woman, Mary becomes the Valentine Angel who not only helped heal Jake’s body, but also helped heal his heart.

When a beautiful horse charges into their yard one spring evening, Mrs. Jones and her tomboy daughter, Marlee, can’t know how much their lives will change. Marlee goes in search of the owner of the big horse, only to be jumped by an injured man. He’s hurt badly, and Marlee must get him home to safety.
Ben Chambers is searching for something, but until he meets Marlee Jones, he doesn’t know what. Settling down is the last thing Ben wants, but he can’t seem to convince himself of that around Marlee. Valentine’s Day is upon them and there’s only one thing to do—tie Marlee’s heart to his own with a special red ribbon, and let the courtship begin!

HUNTER'S GAMBLE   by C. Marie Bowen
It's a gamble. With no way to track William Lowe's missing family, Hunter intends to use spirit magic through his pendulum. It's a risk he's never taken, but after hearing William's desperate story, and seeing the specter shadowing William, Hunter is convinced he has to try.
It comes down to faith. Iris Piler is taken from her fiance's farm by force, much like William had been taken by Confederate forces three years ago. Only, Iris doesn't know who these men are, or how William will find her…if he's still alive.

To escape her domineering mother, Omaha socialite Judith Maroney heads to her sister's Colorado ranch on the morning train...a train that’s ambushed by the very cowboy who stole her heart on her last visit!
Taking on the disguise of his outlaw twin brother, Tremaine Heisler holds up a train to retrieve a family treasure—and finds his gun pointed at the woman he loves. Is there any way out for either of them?

HOPES AND DREAMS by Beverly Wells
When Claire O’Gill agreed to be legal guardian for her niece, Tori, should disaster strike, she never expected to fill that title. But now, not only is she the guardian, she must flee the clutches of the wealthy, cold-hearted grandparents who intend to snatch her niece away. Her determination to protect little Tori has them zigzagging and backtracking from Philadelphia to Wyoming to hide. 
Sheriff Zach Ballard isn’t in the market for a wife. Once burned by a money-hungry woman was more than enough. Zach becomes friendly with the adorable Tori, but her mama seems to want to avoid him. His suspicions as to why grow stronger, heightening his intrigue—and his heart yearns to trust again. 
      All the while, Tori is busy talking to Mr. Cupid. She wants a daddy, and she knows exactly who can fill that spot for her new mama. Can two lonely hearts defeat a little girl’s wish and the forces of Cupid?  

 Settle in for some mighty fine Valentine’s Day reading from your favorite western romance authors!

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