Tuesday, May 10, 2011

I'm Moving!


It's been a long month of April. I finished and submitted HOME to The Wild Rose Press, got a request for the full and am now waiting on the future of this sweet story. I finished revising (read- rewrote) the first five chapters of Perfect Dr. Viv and sent that to my editor yesterday. I now await her approval (or denial) to move forward on that one as it now reads. I started plotting a new medical and started it. Now I think it won't work for medical so it will target another line. I've read a few great books that I still need to do reviews on some of. And I am moving.

When I say moving I mean cyber-wise and physically. Here's the deets:
In early April I took a website design workshop through RWA PRO. We had two wonderful and so very patient instructors, Cynthia D'Alba and Gwen Hernandez, who walked us literally step-by-step through how to set up a blog using WordPress.com. After setting up a blog, which as you've seen here with this one I already know how to do most of, they taught us how to add pages which I discovered through the course of the two weeks Blogger also offers so I was excited about that. They also showed us how to create nesting (or sub) pages. This is something I needed and that Blogger doesn't offer just yet, but something I really wanted.
In my opinion WordPress' themes aren't as fun and interchangeable as Blogger's are, not as varied in how I design my own, but they have some really nice ones and they 'walk' you through creating your own header. That is something I still haven't figured out on Blogger, though a lot of others have and have done a green-with-jealousy-great-job with.
Anyway I have been wishy-washy back and forth for the last three weeks trying to decide if I want to move from my comfort zone that Blogger has become for me in the last five years- or move and give WordPress a chance to enamor me. I've been unable to decide, so today I forced myself to make the choice and just do it, or don't.
I thought about the pros and cons, of course. I thought of reasons why I should move to WP. Here's what I came up with (and maybe it's just m adventurous side taking the lead):

a. I'm hoping to publish this year and need to brand myself in a more defining way. That is hard to do with an existing blog where everyone knows me as that 'persona' and not who I need to be when I publish that first book.
b. I like new things. Whether it's a 'toy', car, shoes, style of dress, or my blog I want to try it and learn from it if at all possible. A new blog allows me that chance.
c. I'm having more guest bloggers in the near future than in the past who are all, or mostly, debut authors and I thought it would be nice to have a nice clean place to invite them. Rather than this crowded and over done page, that I really don't want to redo yet again. (I get bored easy)
d. I just want to confuse everyone, and this is a good way to accomplish that. Just kidding! I can maneuver WP so easy that I actually have my own self-created website. I'm proud of that accomplishment since I've been trying to get one functional for years and didn't know how, so had to depend on others to do it for me. That's fine, but I was left with no way to personalize or add content when I wanted to.
e. When I do sell my first book I can buy my first domain name with that profit. I love the sound of supporting myself, even in a virtual way. Contributing in a meaningful way.
f. I've chosen my pen name and the new site is set up to headline that 'person'. I'm so excited about that!

In the very near future (like this week) I will be changing my Twitter name (again for some of you) to my new name, and possibly starting a Facebook page to reflect that name, as well.
There are a couple of down sides to WP. Aren't there in most aspects of life? One is that you can't 'Follow' me. But you can 'Subscribe' which, I'm told, is the same basic principle to keep informed of what I'm doing on my blog. So, I ask (ok, beg) you all to visit, subscribe, comment but, please, don't leave me over there in a new place all alone! There's so much to see and appreciate (I hope) in my new home.

I only opened the new site to search engines today so you can find it...or you can just go to Calisa Rhose's site from right here.

Did I say I was moving physically, too? I am. Father in-law needs hubby and I to move in and are for him sometime around the first of June. Lots of changes in my life and not all as I'd hope for, but we do what we have to to make life work and to better the lives of those we love. I'll have a little more on the move when the time nears.

For now, in case you missed it... Pen Of The Dreamer has moved! I'll check back from time to time to make sure everyone finds their way to my new home. All I ask is when you visit the NEW BLOG/WEBSITE, leave a comment THERE for a chance to win a book! (of my choice)


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Last Soul


I have Carolyn Rosewood visiting today to tell us a little something about her DEBUT RELEASE! Please give her a warm and cozy.

Carolyn Rosewood read her first romance novel at age 19 and was hooked. But it took a devastating tornado in her city to spur her into action. Realizing everything can change in an instant, she also realized if she didn't pursue her dream of being a published romance writer, it would never come true.
She joined the Romance Writers of America, and last year attended her first writing conference, their National Conference in Orlando Florida. It changed her life, and lit a fire that's still burning. Carolyn has also written contemporary romance, but she's drawn to the spicy paranormal stories and loves writing them.
She's a PRO member of the RWA, and serves as Treasurer for the Nashville Tennessee RWA chapter, the Music City Romance Writers. Married to her real life hero, they have a daughter in college and a cat named Shadow who loves to watch Carolyn type.

Hi, Carolyn. Thanks for being here. I’ll sit over here on my comfy throne and let you have the floor to tell us about The Last Soul, from Evernight Publishing.

Her paranormal romance novella, The Last Soul, will be released April 20th from Evernight Publishing!

The Last Soul
Faina has been dead for one hundred and fifty years, but she’s about to become human again. All she has to do is seduce Jace Blackmon, the most honest financier ever to grace the city of angels, into signing away his soul.

Jace Blackmon has fallen in love with his fantasy woman. But when he realizes she was tricked by a demon to bring about his ruin, including the revelation of a long-buried secret to the media, he must choose between his heart or life without her.


Faina donned a Betsey Johnson flowered dress and wedge sandals, then materialized a few blocks from where Jace worked.
            It felt so good to be outdoors. The warm air was soothing, the traffic noises and bustling crowds reminding her of New York City. Faina didn’t often get nostalgic for her human life, but today she did. If she succeeded in this mission, she’d be human again. Warm weather, noisy crowds and city life would be her reality, not simply the realm in which she was allowed to work.
            Unless Mastema had tricked her. No. She wouldn’t think about that now. She had a job to do. She took her time, peering in shop windows and trying to look like just another California trust fund babe out for a stroll on a bright summer day. The fact nearly every man pounding the pavement tripped over his own two feet as she strolled past wasn’t lost on her. She didn’t have the baby face, long blonde curls, and legs up to there for nothing.
            She avoided eye contact. It was enough to leave them with her scent, they’d have trouble getting it out of their head for weeks, but to look them in the eyes would be downright cruel. Even when she’d been alive all she’d had to do was turn her baby blues in a man’s direction and he followed her around like a dog in heat. She’d made more money for Madame Lily during her first six months than most of her girls made over the course of two years.
            As she made her way to the entrance of the 770 Wilshire Building, she caught a whiff of burned toast. She ducked into the nearest shop and pressed her nose to the plate glass window, scanning the crowd for a familiar face. She’d only seen Mastema appear once in human form. He’d looked ridiculous dressed in a long coat and cowboy hat on the streets of Aurora Nebraska, population four thousand two hundred and twenty-five as of last year. His bad-boy Western get-up would have been more appropriate for Arizona in the late nineteenth century.
            Either Mastema hadn’t been the demon she smelled or he’d already evaporated. The sidewalks were filled with six foot blondes and men who looked like they walked off the cover of GQ. Not a weird outfit or menacing swagger in sight.
            “Help you, Miss? You need mani and pedi today? We have new summer colors look perfect on you.”
            Faina whirled around to face the ancient Vietnamese woman. She’d ducked into a nail salon. Her senses had been so focused on the burnt toast smell and Mastema’s human form she hadn’t noticed the acrid smell of nail polish.
            “No, not today. I’m sorry. I’ve got to go.”
            Faina opened the door and strode to the parking garage entrance of the building. On the way a clock struck five. The smell of burnt toast wafted from a nearby taco stand. Had that been what she smelled? Tacos? She was jumping at shadows. That wasn’t like her.
            She made her way to Jace’s sports car by visualizing it. As the flood of workers poured into the garage, she hoped Jace would stay calm when he saw her. She was taking a risk as there would be plenty of witnesses if he wigged out.
            He was busy scrolling through messages on his phone as he sauntered to his car, and didn’t see her until she stepped in front of him as he was about to open the door.
            “Oh Jesus. Holy fu—” His warm brown eyes opened wide and he visibly swallowed. “How did you... you’re real. Holy shit.”
            “Get in your car, Jace. People are staring. One of them looks like he’s going to take a picture with his cell.”
            The lie snapped him out of his trance. He unlocked the doors and she slid into the passenger seat. “Start the car but don’t move yet.”
            He stared straight ahead as the engine roared to life. Beads of sweat pooled at his hairline. She could hear his heart pounding. When she reached up to wipe his forehead he moaned. “It’s all right, Jace. Just try to relax.”
            “I don’t understand.” His voice shook.
            “You don’t need to. Wait until the garage clears out a bit. Then we’ll leave.”
            “I... I have a dinner date. A family friend. I have to go. I don’t want to but… I… I should.”
            “Do you want me to leave?”
            He looked into her eyes with the most desperate longing she’d ever seen on a human face. A flash of apprehension shivered down her spine, unbalancing her. She was going to hurt him. Badly. He’d lose everything. His home, the Foundation, his dinner date, maybe even this fancy sports car. And some kid wouldn’t have a place to sleep on a cold, winter night, or a youth group to keep him off the streets.
            The men she brought to Mastema were bad-to-the-bone to begin with. They just needed a little help to push them in the right direction. The inevitable direction, as he liked to call it. But Jace Blackmon was a good guy.
            Then why does Apollyon want him? But what if he didn’t want Jace? What if Jahi was right and Mastema had forged the contract?
            “Faina.” His whisper pulled her back to the present. Until she had proof to the contrary, it was Jace’s soul or her eternal torment as one of Mastema’s sex slaves. This was self-preservation. Nothing more.
            She looked into his eyes and smiled “Yes, Jace?”
“Please don’t leave, Faina.”

Buy The Last Soul here.

Thank you so much for coming by, Carolyn! I love the cover of The Last Soul. Great artwork.

I’m sure Carolyn would love to hear from you. You can find her at:

The Last Soul ~ coming soon from Evernight Pubishing
Haunted Heart ~ coming soon July 1 2011 from Etopia Press

Thank you for popping in. Don’t forget to leave Carolyn a comment!


Friday, April 15, 2011

We have a winner!!!!


Thank you all for coming and supporting Jules Bennett with her new Desire release. We had a great time putting this together for you.

As you know, we took names and Twitter picked the winning number for us. So, the winner is... '7'!

Oh, you need the name? Picky, picky!

Congratulations, PatriciaW on your copy of Desire's April release, Jules Bennett's- Her Innocence, His Conquest!

Please, contact Jules' on her website so she can get your deets, Patricia.


Monday, April 11, 2011

When Dreams Come True

I told you I’d be back with a special guest. Thought I was kidding? Ha! I have the beautiful and talented Harlequin Desire author, Jules Bennett here with me today to talk about the release of her new book! I nabbed her before life gets crazy. She’ll be all over the place tomorrow, including the radio station! I’m still trying to picture the station employees baby wrangling her two children since she tends to take them with her to local appearances. :) So without further gab from me… (hear the drumroll?)…Please, welcome Jules Bennett!

 Before I was published, I always imagined where I would be when “the call” came through. We've all envisioned that moment, knowing it would stay in our minds forever. Because, let's face it, when an agent/editor call to tell you your dreams are about to come true, there's nothing like it. I honestly cannot even describe that emotion. Think Christmas Eve as a child waiting for Santa, add that with the excitement of your first date, and throw in your wedding day, babies birth and a whole lot of sugar. Now multiply that by at least 10 :)

Jules Bennett- Award winning author
I’m giddy just thinking about my first sale. You have to tell us about the day you got THE CALL.

Let me tell you how I set the stage, just in case my life-altering call came through. I only passed out my cell number to my agent because I'm never home. Then I set the ringtone for my agent as Vito Corleone from The Godfather when he says, “I'm gonna make him an offer he can't refuse.” Appropriate, right?

I would never have thought of that. Perfect ringtone.

           Okay, so one day in November 2008, I'm getting my 2 year old dressed and trying to feed my baby before rushing out the door to my day job (I'm a beautician, or was until I hung up my shears in December 2010). Anyway, as I'm multi-tasking the bottle and tugging clothes on my oldest, I hear the ring. You know, THE RINGTONE I SET?

I'm embarrassed to say, but it's true, I jumped up from the chair, nearly knocked my 2 year old over and laid the baby in her crib and ran like my life was on the line. I dug and dug in my purse and answered. I'll give you a brief bit of the conversation.

Agent: “Desire likes your book and would like to buy it. Here's the offer...”
Me: “Oh, oh, oh, oh.” giggle, giggle, giggle “When will it come out on the shelves?”
Agent: “You haven't said yes to the offer.”
Me: “Oh, I was already way past that step. Keep up.”

After THE CALL (and those 2 simple words do have to be in all caps, right?) I phoned my husband and broke down in tears. All the excitement had caught up with me and he had no clue what I was blubbering about and was worried until he finally understood that the kids were okay and I got a book deal. Then he choked up. I kid you not. This man has been with me from the first time I wrote Chapter One and he's encouraged me since.

I'm smiling and tearing up as I'm writing this because I still feel that giddiness and excitement of writing and living my dream. I mean, I lie and make up cool people for a living. Who doesn't want that job?

*Raising hand while dabbing tears* A good support team is so important, and the family is the cornerstone for a solid foundation.  

I won't lie, the steps to getting pubbed for me were sometimes brutal and I felt like I was walking on glass. When I gave birth to my second baby, I seriously considered giving up writing because I was afraid it would be too hard to juggle 2 little ones AND be successful at writing.

But guess what? I didn't give up and the reason I didn't was because I would NEVER tell my children to give up on their dream just because the path to reach your goal in life had speed bumps and detours.

So I pressed on and I'm living my dream. Not only that, I married my high school sweetheart and I'm living my own Happily Ever After.

We are so lucky you didn’t give up, Jules. I can officially say "I knew her when... We were both struggling and sharing our rejection woes on eHarlequin, when we first 'met' in 2006." It is a tough job, with high demands and long hours. I mean- we spend literally hours, upon grueling hours, thinking-- and writing those thoughts-- about sexy, handsome, rich…did I say sexy? men…every day. (HARD work!) But SO worth it! And to celebrate just that—there’s a special offer for you, right here, right now… Jules?

So, I'd love to hear what steps you're taking to make your dreams come true. Whether it's writing related or anything else in your life. We all have goals and dreams. I'll admit, I have one that I've only shared with my sister and I'm making her keep her lips sealed. :)

I'll give away a signed copy of my April Harlequin Desire, HER INNOCENCE, HIS CONQUEST to one random person who leaves me a comment. :)

Available NOW!

Architecture kingpin and expert playboy Zach Marcum knew exactly how to get what he wanted—both on the job and in the bedroom. Until sexy, independent and impossible-to-ignore Ana Clark charged into his life. Her construction company could make his luxury resort project a multimillion-dollar reality, but he couldn't risk letting the career-driven siren slip past his defenses. Discovering she was a virgin made the seduction stakes even greater, as Zach crossed the line from business to pleasure….

Wife to her high school sweetheart, mother to two little girls, former salon owner—oh, and author—Jules Bennett isn't afraid to tackle the blessings of life head-on. Once she sets a goal in her sights, get out of her way or come along for the ride…just ask her husband. Jules lives in the Midwest and loves to hear from readers. You can contact Jules through her website http://www.julesbennett.com . You can also follow her on Twitter @JulesBennett, friend her on Goodreads.com and Like her Facebook Fan Page.

Wow. I need this one on the top of my tbr pile. You heard her folks. Comment now for the chance to get an autographed copy of Her Innocence, His Conquest! I’ll announce the winner Friday. In the in between you can hop over to her website.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

I'm still here- Just busy


I'm sorry I've been AWOL for some time (over a month this time!). It seems like when it rains it pours, doesn't it?

I'm doing a catch up today and I'll be back later with a new guest. While you may know I submitted a full ms to Harlequin M & B Medical back in December, you also may remember that editor Flo sent me a revise and resubmit, R&R, in January. I've been hip-deep in said revisions since. Especially this past month when I jumped in naked and really got going  with necessary changes to a book I already love, love.

So how's that working for me? Well, I sent the first two chapters to my crit group a while back. My lovely Twinkies are loving the changes! Now I'm working on consistency to make sure the changes follow through as I patchwork the parts I'm keeping to the new parts. It's a lot like making a patchwork quilt (I attempted to make one once- tip: never start a new craft with a difficult pattern! I never finished the quilt.). The difference, besides the obvious words vs fabrics, is that it takes a lot more thinking to make words fit together to form a coherent pattern when you can't just eyeball your project and see the obvious with one glance.

Enough with the quilting analogy since that's all I know about that. I'm midway and it's going faster now that I'm more re-acquainted with the characters, who've undergone personality transplants to various degrees. The bold one is now shy while the broody, quiet one is more bolder- though more brooding I hope. And the child? Well, you'll have to wait and read it one day to find out about sweet Janna.

But revisions are getting done, will be done soon if nothing hops in front of the train.

On another note: I am in process of polishing HOME, the Vietnam era short story and one of a group effort series with other wonderfully talented Oklahoma Romance Writers of America- the Outlaws. I first brought this story to you last summer with a brief snippet to introduce you to gypsy gal, Poppy Tippen and her hunka-hunka doctor love, Sammie Callahan. Good news folks. I sent in the query and synopsis yesterday to The Wild Rose Press! I'll keep you informed when I hear news. I'm crossing everything- well, anything not needed to work on the other revisions- that they want to buy this sweet story. Please do the same!

What else am I working on? Heck, ain't that enough at one time? Well, no! Lol

I already have a second medical story brewing (not the one I mentioned before, but a better one!). I won't allow myself to write anything on it until this first book is out of my hands again though, so I won't share any of it yet. Soon... soon. I haven't forgotten my wolves either, though they are caged and waiting for me to feed them fresh meat. Sorry- this blog is what happens on less than a first cup of coffee.

So, tell me what you're up to since our last visit. What has your motor pumped and ready to steam ahead? Or what has you stumped to a crawl?