Monday, May 7, 2012

Cowboys anyone?


I have a confession today --not a bad confession, but a confession none-the-less. C'mere and listen close.

I think COWBOYS can be just as sexy as Highlanders. As I told my very special guest today, I was lucky enough to spend three years in San Angelo, Texas. So while a man in a kilt is my first love, I also appreciate a fine lookin' man in a snug pair of jeans with a Stetson pulled low over his eyes.

Imagine my pleasure when the Yellow Rose Line of The Wild Rose Press sent out a call for their Honky Tonk Hearts series? Whoo Hoo! As Yellow Rose's motto says, "Got your heart set on a cowboy?"

Without further ado, allow me to introduce the Senior Editor of the Yellow Rose Line, Stacy Holmes. Not only is Stacy going to give us the scoop on what editors look for, but she's also going to treat us with a peek at two of the gorgeous covers for two of the books in the Honky Tonk Series and a chance to win some goodies!

Welcome to my little corner of cyberspace, Stacy!

Stacy:  Thank you so much, Maeve for having me today.  And to thank you and your readers, I will be randomly drawing a name from all the commenters today to win a special Honky Tonk Hearts envelope filled with a special coupon, bookmarks, magnets and other fun stuff from the authors of the series.

Maeve:  That's awesome, Stacy and thanks so much for taking the time to share your "side" of the publishing game. Why don't we start by sharing what led you to become an editor for The Wild Rose Press?

Stacy:  I admit, it was one of those moments that change the direction of your life/career because it was something I never thought about doing until the opportunity arose. 

I started almost from day one as an author with The Wild Rose Press.  Before their first year was through, the garden had grown so much that Rhonda Penders contacted me with respect to an editing position for the Yellow Rose line.  I was honored at the respect she gave my work and soon found that editing came very natural to me.  Whether helping a newer author learn more about her story and herself, or working together with an established author on a great story, it is truly amazing being a small part of helping someone else attain their dreams, all the while doing something I love to do.

Maeve:  Sounds like it was "meant to be" to me! As an editor, what is most likely to catch your eye first in a “promising” submission? Opening hook? Plot? Character’s personalities? Or all of the above?

Stacy:  Yes, that opening paragraph can say…or not say…a lot.  It really is true about first impressions so you want a story to grab you right in.  After that, for me, it is the characters.  Are they believable, natural, relatable?  I find many newer writers often focus too much on what should happen (to move the plot in the way they want) rather than what would happen (as in a natural flow of events, one to the next).  This usually leads to details not matching up or characters losing their characterization so to speak, and a quick way to pull me out of a story.  At the same time, when all there, and I am three or four pages in without even realizing it, that tells me I’m reading a promising submission.

Maeve: *happy sigh* Ah yes...the joy of losing yourself in a story. The Yellow Rose Line specializes in giving us heart-stealing cowboys. Do you enjoy any other genres or are you strictly a Stetson gal?

Stacy:  I admit, I’ve always been drawn to the Stetson, a cowboy’s strength in physical appearance as well as their strength in protecting the land and the ones they love.  But I enjoy reading all genres from paranormal to historical, suspense to romantic comedy.  Actually, the more I laugh with a story, the more I enjoy it no matter what the genre.

Maeve: I agree. A story that makes you laugh is often good for anything that ails you. And now for our last question:  what is the best piece of advice you have for authors seeking publication?

Stacy:  Keep at it.  Keep learning.  Every critique gives you something to work on, and every rejection teaches you something.  Use that for your next project and the next.  Yes, there are some people who can write a story and sell it quick—but to be honest, they are the exception, not the rule.  But every story you write, everything you learn along the way makes the next one better.   One thing we try not to do at The Wild Rose Press is send out quicky form rejections.  Though I don’t like sending any rejection, I do like the fact that even when we need to reject a manuscript, we are helping that author learn more about the craft whether by giving examples of areas needing to be worked on or direction for resources so they can study up.  Keep at it.  Keep learning.

Right now we have a brand new series debuting in the Yellow Rose line:

Honky Tonk Hearts

Lonely hearts seem to gravitate to the Lonesome Steer Honky Tonk. A few miles outside Amarillo off historical Route 66, the large wood-paneled structure boast a large neon star with a single flashing steer riding away from it.  Owner and bartender, Gus Rankin, has seen his share of the wandering souls cross his bar and dance floor over the years—he’d even like to think he helped a few find true love along the way.

These stories all have at least one main scene at the Lonesome Steer Honky Tonk, but then range out from close by to all over the country…and all have amazing cowboy heroes.

The first two stories, Honky Tonk Man and Nothing But Trouble debuted last month and we have an official launch party for the series coming up on May 9th on the main Wild Rose Press loop.  I am so excited because over the course of the night all the authors will be there, we have a great Honky Tonk Hearts prize package to give away and other random draws throughout the night.  Should be lots of fun!  You can find all the details here: 
We would love for you all to join us!

Don't forget to leave a comment for a chance to win the goodies Stacy mentioned. What do you think? Could a cowboy steal your heart? ;-)


  1. A cowboy already stole my heart, but I write about men in kilts. Yeah, I don't get it either. My dh was born and raised on a horse farm. That black cowboy hat and duster made many a woman swoon. ;-)

  2. I have a love for cowboys as well. You just can't go wrong.

  3. Again, thanks so much Maeve for letting a few cowboys visit your highlanders today.

    LOL Victoria, me too....the first time my dh showed up in cowboy boots, I was a gonner!

    I agree, Savannah, you just can't go wrong with a cowboy LOL.

  4. Great interview, Stacy
    Yummy blogsite, Maeve
    Kathy Cottrell

  5. Born and raised in Arizona, well, I just have to love cowboys. Good interview and good advice, Stacy. thanks

  6. Maeve sent out an email on our publishing loop about cowboys and I nearly toppled off my recliner to get here as quickly as I could. I had no idea you were here, Stacy. **waves madley**

    Ladies, if you haven't started reading this series, you're in for a real treat. Sensuous cowboys. Spirited women. Hot romance with a branding iron that'll sear your soul.

    My story, THOSE VIOLET EYES, is a little different. My cowboy is a wounded vet who's come home to Texas to heal and find a piece of his soul. What he finds is a sassy woman who's not about to take any of his attitude. Oh, the sparks that fly!

  7. Another cowboy lover here. It's that tough physique and even tougher mentality. No wimp can be a puncher, that's for sure. I'll look forward to reading this series!

  8. A cowboy in a kilt - could be interesting, Maeve. Maybe you should submit a story to the line! This was a super fun series to write for. I hope everyone enjoys it!

  9. Great interview. My vote's with guys in kilts, but it's always all about characterization and the writer's voice with me, so I'm not sure I have a favorite at all.

  10. This is great advice, Stacy. Wonderful interview Maeve. I tweeted and shared to FB and am now off to write more on my own HTH story.

    Oh- since I've already won a goodie package elsewhere, don't enter me again, please.

  11. I only started reading cowboy stories about 2 years ago, and started slowly. I now LOVE cowboys-- yes, Highlanders are still close to number one for me, as are shifters. I'm thinking someone needs to write a story with a Highlander who time travels to the Old West, and gets bit by a werewolf or were coyote and has to become alpha of his own pack. Yep, that would be a dream come true for me. LOL

  12. Love to read all the comments, thank you...and
    ROFL Brenda, you sound like our Senior Editor for Black Rose. She's proposed very similar scenarios LOL.

  13. Hi Maeve and Stacy,

    Cowboys are by far one of my favorite heroes. There's just something about the way they say 'yes, ma'am' that makes my toes curl and my heart melt. Not to mention how they look in those Wranglers!

  14. The swagger might be just the same, you know, Maeve!

  15. The swaggger might be just the same, Maeve! *winks*

  16. Although I love highlanders, cowboys are still number one for me. Historical or contemporary, I love them all.

  17. I love cowboys since I was a child watching Roy Rodgers and my cowboy has been by my side 49 years in June. I can't get enough cowboy stories. sue Leech

  18. Having lived in Wyoming for eighteen years, I've more than fallen in love with those cowboys--from the tips of those cowboy boots to that Stetson and everything in between!

  19. Oh, I do love cowboys. :) This new series sounds great.

  20. Sounds like a good idea! I love a sexy cowboy :)

  21. I LOVE cowboys! The closest thing we have to your scrummy, sexy-drawling cowboys here in New Zealand are weather-beaten, mono-lingual older high country farmers :) I'm sure there must be a sexy one or two there, but seem to be far and few between ;)

    I've already got my eye on a few of these titles and am loving the central theme of the series. Great work to everyone involved!

  22. LOL! Thanks so much for stopping by everyone and thank you, Stacy, for coming by for a visit. Y'all have my wheels turning --a cowboy in a kilt or a Scot in a Stetson...hmm...I'm thinkin' that's SO do-able! ;-)

  23. LOL Would love to see that Maeve! And thank you again for having me

    And thank you everyone for joining us today!! I love hearing from other cowboy loving romance readers and authors.

  24. Hi all!!
    Sorry I'm late. I'm on digest and just found out about the blog. I love cowboys, any kind, rhinestone cowboys, rodeo cowboys, and I'm sure I'd love one in a kilt, too!

    Great interview, Stacy. And I can vouch she's a great editor :)

    Hope everyone enjoys the series!

  25. Hi! Great interview! This series looks awesome! Cowboys... *sigh* I love them! I think cowboys could be casted as anything and id still want them. Heck, the word cowboy brings pictures to mind and makes me drool! lol Unfortunately, i live in boring Michigan. Not a cowboy in site. I need to consider moving. lol Thank you for the awesome post and the giveaway! ;)

  26. Thanks Sylvie!

    And congratulations to Nancy Jardine, winner of the Honky Tonk Hearts fun filled envelope!

    It was a great day, thanks so much Maeve!