November 19, 2015

Flat Tire Inflated!

Here's a little update from the weary author on the road to starting over.

I was happily traveling along the road of a published author...wind traveling through my hair...dreaming up plots for my next book. My characters rode in the backseat, encouraging my ideas. Sometimes a new character would hitch a ride, chattering in the passenger seat, convincing me why they'd enrich the story. 

Then I got a flat tire and hobbled on the rim until the road stopped. Yep. I hit a dead end, dark forests on each side. And my rim was as damaged as my spirit.

But I'm a stubborn soul. I climbed out of the vehicle, motioned for my characters to follow, and traipsed through the scary woods, manuscripts in hand.

 We didn't cross any wolves or gingerbread houses, despite my character, Ruby, insisting she wear a red cloak. We did come across a perfect home though.
 I am happy to announce my novel, Jewel of Ramstone, was accepted by Totally Bound Group. (Part of Totally Bound Publishing)

I'm eagerly awaiting edits.  Waiting is hard for me, so in the meantime, I'm continuing the Medieval Quest series. One of my favorite secondary characters from Jewel of Ramstone gets to tell his story in this book.

I've got a slew of work to keep me busy, as I tend to have more than one (or five) works in progress.

 My diverse characters need a place to exist after all:

A contemporary romance about a paralyzed woman rebuilding her life.

A fantasy romance about a human in love with an alien.

Another fantasy about a lost soul with a broken wing and spirit who crashes into a Christmas forest.

I'm revamping the three books in the Magic Stone Series.

I'm also co-authoring yet another project. Woman's fiction surrounding the hi-jinxs between twin sisters while they attempt to save a bed and breakfast from foreclosing.

In my spare time I write story ideas on paper towels while cooking dinner. 

November 17, 2015

My Way

Many times in life, things happen swiftly, without warning. There isn't a choice in the matter. Things spin out of our control. However, the outcome in these matters depends solely on the receiver.

Yeah, this is what I tell myself when life throws bricks at me. Do I believe my pep talk? Do I think I will survive the setback? Definitively.

I was born stubborn. (Ask anyone in my family.) As a  kid, a tenacious attitude was not a quality. Nor was it accepted. I spent most of my youth grounded. I didn't know how to curb the penchant to do things my way. I did not strive to be obstinate. It was simply the little person I was.

As an adult, I continued to embrace that stubborn spirit, but I learned where to apply it. In writing, I'm never stubborn when it comes to edits. I always learn from them. In relationships, I've tweaked stubborn into compromise. In many areas of life, it is unnecessary, or even detrimental to march the road of stubborn warfare.

However, in the aspect of life punching me in the gut,  I point down that road and shout a battle cry  I refuse to allow any hardship to beat me to the ground. Like anyone, life's punches hurt. They tend to knock wind out of hope. I'm affected like anyone else. I allow tears to travel down the road to self-pity land. (Or a waterfall to hard rocks when it comes to Autism affecting ones I love…but that's another story.)

A dollop of stubbornness and an army of courage sure come in handy in times of adversity. I wallow in the pity land for a bit, and then I move on. I persevere.

Stubborn can be a good thing, and I'm glad I was born with that quality. 

photo by Stuart

September 29, 2015

Late Night With a Caffeine Infused Writer.

 Persevere I said. It will be okay, I said.

But it doesn't feel okay. Not all the time anyway.

Have you ever started over? It not easy, is it?

(cuss word deleted)

I try to persevere in this journey back into publication. Usually I do well, but sometimes....ugh.

Well, it's done. Or it's just started. I suppose it's all in how I view it.

I've gathered my manuscript, synopses, and even updated my author bio. After researching many publishers, I sent submissions to a few. Jewel of Ramstone, needs the perfect home. Of course, all my books need a home, but I must admit Jewel of Ramstone is my favorite.

Then I waited.

  Usually I write while I wait, but I found myself coloring. Even though it was an "adult" coloring book, I put all my creativity in that, instead of working on the second book of the Medieval Quest Series. I mean, a secondary character refused to rest when Jewel of Ramstone ended. Who am I to argue with a handsome knight? Well, I was doing well with book two, and said knight was very pleased.

Before the bridge on my road to publication exploded.

I didn't know what was wrong with me. I always want to write. But damn, I sure could color pretty pictures, right?

Then the rejections began. But as many writer friends said, it is just a rejection. Keep at it. And I did/
I know it isn't my writing they are rejecting. There are a myriad of reasons publishers reject a manuscript. I'm not going to go into them, because…well, I'm supposed to be writing about perseverance.

As usual, I go around the long way to get to it.

I hope you aren't skimming

Okay this is random, but damn.

Back to the inspiration of this post.

You know what helps me persevere? Fellow authors.
They know the hours spent tapping away at the keyboard while the night turns to day.
They feel what I feel. Totally understand the ups and downs of the journey to publication...and beyond. 
They know the heartbreak of watching numerous works simply vanish when a publisher closes their doors.
Though authors may be going through all this, we are connected--like a single soul. 

I know, dramatic right?
Well, hell, I'm a writer. I love drama. 

And so, I'd like to dedicate this late-night-coffee-infuse-blathering post to my fellow writers:


Writer or not, words cannot convey the depth of my gratitude.

I am there for you as well.
Our community of writers, misfits, artists---whatever name society wants to put on us--we are strong.

WE will get there again. And we will celebrate with each success.

May 19, 2015

Poking My Feet Out of the Window

My publisher closed their doors, and I decided to open a window and climb out instead of waiting for another door to open. Was I upset? Yes. However, after my emotions face-planted me onto the couch and I used up my box of tissues and a roll of paper towels, I jutted my chin. Yep. Nothing, including all my books flying off of the shelves--and not in a good way--will not slay my determination.

When I started blogging, I shared my road to publication. It looks like it's time to do that again, huh?
Six books published, and now six looking for a home...yeah, another journey.

Recently, I submitted Jewel of Ramstone to a publisher. I gathered everything I needed.

My author bio was dated, the query and the synopsis in need of an update. 

Wow, I forgot how hard it was to write a query and synopsis! Not to mention talking about myself in a bio. I decided to embrace who I am, convey my love of writing and let my heart lead the query. The synopsis? Yeah, those give me hives, but I did it! Author bios come a bit easier, and I hope I got "me" across to the publisher. 

I'm keeping my nails on the keyboard, instead of of chewing them to a nub. My next book is in progress. Meanwhile, I'll check my email for  a contract...or (gulp) rejection.

Either way, I will continue on my quest--back into publication.

April 20, 2015

Left Me Breathless...

 "Breathless Press has decided to close its doors after a long year of declining sales...."

That is about all I could read before my eyes filled. Before my heart broke. Before I was left breathless.

This saddens me, and leaves me without a publisher. I had six books with Breathless Press. My first one in was published in 2009 and the last one just a few months ago.

However, unlike many troubled small publishing houses, Breathless Press did not leave authors high and dry. They closed their doors softly...slowly...and with a heads up. My publisher--well, former publisher--kept everyone updated. Then, when options were exhausted, they closed before they went broke.  This means every author, editor, cover artist and marketer gets paid.

 Too many times I've read about independent publishers closing with no notice, leaving the authors wondering how to get their right backs and collect owed royalties. Not my publisher. Breathless Press was a company full of honest, hardworking and amazing people. People who were shoved out of the publishing world by economic downfalls. Ouch.

Today I filled out the form to revert rights to me.  Damn. Yes, there were tears, and they fell hard and fast. Then, with my sister's words echoing in my mind, I swiped a tissue over my eyes and took a shaky breath. I decided to look for that door she stated would open when Breathless Press closed theirs.
 I'm still looking.
I think I need glasses. Preferably rose colored ones...

Okay time to buck up. It's a new venture. It's only been a few hours since I heard the final click of the door closing, but  though I am left out in the cold, dark world without those rose colored glasses, I refuse to give up.

I'm going to make my own path, fulfill my dreams and bring my characters to life again.

December 2, 2014

Nightmares and Dreams

This post is about a reoccurring nightmare that started when I was quite young. I would wake in a sweat, too terrified to scream. It happened so often, I actually expected it to return each time I closed my  eyes. As I grew , I sometimes knew I was dreaming and try to change the outcome. Lucid dream or not, I couldn't change it. Not one detail. 
However, I discovered a nightmare can become a dream--one to follow. Doesn't make sense? Read on.

The smell of lavender is strong while I flee through the castle gardens. Frustration mounts as the blue silk dress I'm wearing hinders my stride. I gather the skirts, kick off my shoes and run barefoot across the pebbled path. A low-hanging tree branch catches my braided hair, yanking me to a halt. Adrenaline swooshes through my veins, and fear drives me forward. Though I try to cover the distance between the gardens and the main doors of the castle, it’s as if I am running through water. My breath stutters with exertion, but I must make it inside to save a little child. I do not know if he’s my own, or why I must save him.
As I pass through the doors, my garb changes from the beautiful gown to tunic and breeches. Not only that, but quiver filled with arrows is slung across my shoulder and I clutch a bow in my fist.
 I find ruin in my path. The sweet lavender aroma turns to acrid smoke, choking me. My burning eyes fill with tears. The castle--my home--is in flames. I  search for the child. A suction of doom catches my heartbeat as I skid to a stop in a corridor. The child is in the arms of an enemy knight, my own father dead at his feet.
 I arm my bow with surety and watch the arrow meet its mark—through the man’s chest. He drops the child and I rush to the man, surprised I knock him down. Slipping a dagger from my boot, I trace a line across the man’s throat, assuring he is dead. Weeping, I damn the enemy to hell for killing my father.  
I hear the child whimper, It is a little boy. Deed done, I grab the child and flee to the lower level of the castle, recalling an escape through a door into the backfields. The lad is crying and I beg him to be quiet. I cannot pry the door open and someone...I just know it is the clomping down the stone steps.  Vast rows of casks line the walls and I ditch in a space where one is missing. I clamp my hand across the child’s mouth and try to control my heavy breathing.
The footsteps draw near. Once again, I am clad in the silk blue gown.  The child is no longer in my arms, as if he never existed.  The hand against my lips, covered with the blood of my enemy, is my own. Now it's me the knight is after. I press my back hard against the cask when I glimpse the end of his lance.
 Dark and dank, the room smells like earth, tinged with oak. My heart pounds so hard, I am sure he can hear it, but he stalks by, his head void of a helmet. I hold my breath, waiting for him to give up his allow me time to wake from this nightmare.
 The knight takes a step back, then another and slowly turns his head. We lock gazes, his squints, mine widen. I shake my head, unable to speak, to pray. 
The thud of his lance into the cask behind me takes my breath. I'm impaled. With my life slipping away, I grasp the lance in my chest, my blood mixing with ale, my breath whispering my last plea.

Who is the child? I never knew. 
What a weird dream , huh?  I mean, I was a grown woman in the dream, yet a young child when I awoke--with a silent scream, clutching sweaty sheets, tremors of fear undulating from the inside out.  Certain of admonishment if I woke anyone with “that silly dream” for the countless time, I couldn't even call out for comfort after awhile. Cuddling deep in my covers,  I'd whisper it's just a dream into my pillow, but deep inside I knew it was real.
 I know that doesn't make sense, and even as a child I knew it was a contradiction, but somehow everything in that dream really happened. The familiarity of it all made me question myself and ...well, everything. 
I shared this dream with my family, but stopped doing so when I'd receive a slow smile, a shared look which closed me out. "You're being silly." A litte hug and "Now go play." I kept silent after that.
 I played imaginary games involving kings, queens, princesses and and knights that protected the people within the walls of the castle. I built some kick ass castles out of dominos, by the way. All along, I hoped my imaginings would calm the night to come. It didn't.
Somewhere along the way from childhood to adolescence, the nightmare stopped. One morning, halfway through a bowl of cereal, the realization hit.
 I didn't have "The dream" the night before.
 Odd as it seems, I simply knew I wouldn't have it again. No more knight, no more child, no more lance sliding effortlessly through my chest.
And I was right; I never did. However, the sound of the lance echoed in the recess of my mind as I drifted to sleep. That stayed with me long after the odor of smoke, blood, lavender, earth, and oak dispersed. The urgency to find the child, the fear, and death slowly drifted into a distant memory. The lance--the horrid sound of it hitting the cask behind me--was the last to leave.
 Many years later, the nightmare returned in a way. No, it didn't creep into my bedroom,intent on haunting my night. The fearful remnants which resided deep in my mind transformed into something pure and good. I suppose my subconscious was the culprit..or savior. 
I didn't plan on it, but the dreadful nightmare is a scene in my novel,  Jewel of Ramstone. This medieval romance was born from a long ago nightmare. 
So, as I stated earlier: A nightmare can become a dream--one to follow. A horrid experience made my dream come true.
 I'm a storyteller and I penned the life of Ruby in Jewel of Ramstone. A dream come true. 

UPDATE; Many readers fell in love with a secondary character, Sir Jac, in Jewel of Ramstone, So...yeah this will be a series. (I kind of have a crush on Jac too.) I've decided to call it Medieval Quest Series. Why you ask? (Okay, so you didn't, but pretend.) Because the obvious era, but mostly because the common vein is a quest to find truth, honor, memory, love...ya know, a quest for what is right. 

November 25, 2014

Twenty-fifth Day

Weird things pop in my mind. I'm serious. Today is November 25th, so like any weird person, I decided I must do something twenty-fivish.
So, here's 25 things that make my heart smile.

1. My very own knight, who mended my battle-weary heart
2. Every moment my children smile
3. Family--even the ones who make me grit my teeth
4. Memories of my Ma-maw
5. Phone calls from my sisters
6. Hot cocoa jokes 
7. Giggles at inappropriate times--which makes me laugh harder
8. Adventures in a different country 
9. A vivid imagination
10. The gift of storytelling
11. Editors (I swear, a good one makes the difference between celebration and dread.)
12. People who believe in me
13. Second chances
14. Hope
15. Unconditional love
16. First words
17. Last words
18. A whisper when I'm mad. (especially when his breath tickles my neck.)
19. Jumping jacks (only my sister will understand this.)
20. When someone reads my books--and loves them
21. Critiques
22. When a character appears out of nowhere
23. When a character takes over a story
24. When people  talk about  characters in my books like they're real
25. The day Jewel of Ramstone was finished. (Though I felt a bit lost without the characters filtering through every thought.)

Tah-dah, there's twenty-five thankful things!  *Wink* I'm thankful for alliteration too. 

November 22, 2014

Something for Saturday: Spotlight

Author Carolyn LaRoche's New Release!
Someone wants Angelina dead...again. Will following her heart put her in danger or in the arms of the man she's meant to be with? 

As far as the world knows, NYPD detective Angelina Ferrara died in a violent firefight on Chelsea Piers over a year ago. Living in the witness protection program as history teacher Lucy Taylor was supposed to save her life, but being alive and living were two very different things. Until she meets detective Logan James when he goes undercover in the same private school where she works. Something about the handsome man with the gorgeous blue eyes piques her interest. There’s no doubt he has secrets… but then so does she.  When the Ricci crime family discovers she’s still alive, she finds herself on the run with Logan. Her heart led her astray before. Can she trust it to let Logan help her survive?

Her little car had an engine about as powerful as a hamster wheel. There was no way she was going to outrun the truck that was accelerating with lightning speed. On one side of her was a deep ravine, the other the steep slope of a mountain towered high and tree covered. The steering wheel shook violently as she pushed her little car to its limits, sheer adrenaline keeping her focused on the winding road. As she rounded a sharp curve, the back tires spun and fishtailed out from behind her. The tiny car shook violently as Lucy struggled to maintain control. The SUV caught up with her then, ramming into her rear bumper. The car groaned but held on. Lucy spun the wheel to make the next sharp curve, all the while her eyes searched for a way off the dangerous mountain highway. Another crash from behind jolted her car forward with such force Lucy lost her grip on the steering wheel. The car veered right but she managed to straighten it out before hitting the tree line.
"What the hell do you want with me?" she screamed at the truck in her rearview mirror.
The driver responded by slamming into the back of her car again. Metal ground against metal, gravel flew everywhere, and the car careened toward a thick bank of trees to her left. Straightening the car once more, Lucy crushed the gas pedal to the floor and watched as the speedometer climbed quickly. Lucy felt the little rush of excitement she always got in a good pursuit despite the fact that she was the one being pursued.
She whipped around yet another curve, and the SUV caught up with her. Just as she managed to get her little car under control again, the SUV crashed into her back end again with such force Lucy thought her car might shatter there in the middle of the road. The little car veered to the right, aiming straight for the side of the road and the ravine beyond. Lucy tried to regain control but the effort was in vain. She braced herself as the car plowed through thick vegetation, hit something, and started to slide down the steep embankment.
She heard the growl of the SUV's engine roaring away over the revving of her own engine as the tiny car crashed through the underbrush. The car flew over a log and landed on the slick vegetation covering the incline. The car lost its hold on the ground and rolled its way down the slope, finally landing up against the trunk of a large pine tree where the engine died. Lucy's head smacked against the steering wheel knocking her near to senseless. Everything fell deathly silent as she fought to remain conscious.
A loud crack broke the silence. As she watched through the broken windshield, the tree in front of her began to wobble. Blood trailed from her forehead into her left eye blurring her already shaky vision. Rubbing at it with the back of her arm, she used her other hand to desperately claw at the seat belt release.
If she didn't get out of the car, the tree was going to fall right on top of her.
The giant pine swayed once and then began its descent toward Lucy and her crumpled car. Yanking hard at the jammed seat belt, her head swimming and her stomach churning, Lucy finally freed herself. Just as the tree crushed the roof of her car, like it were nothing more than a tin can, Lucy pulled her body through the opening that used to be the driver's side window.
Cracking wood and crunching metal stirred up a cacophony of birds and small animals protesting the intrusion in their habitat. Lucy lay on the damp moss and rotting leaves, her heart banging against her chest wall. The sound of her pulse racing in her ears muted the sound of the creaks and groans as the tree settled against what was left of her car. Every inch of her body hurt, but her head ached most of all.
Release Date : 11/28/2014     Pre-order Today!

Carolyn LaRoche grew up in snow country but fled the cold and ice several years ago. She now lives near the beach with her husband, their two boys, two finicky cats and one old dog. When she is not at the baseball field cheering on big hits and home runs, she is busy teaching science to unwilling teenagers.  She is co-author of the book The Crazy Lives of Police Wives and hangs out online at both Carolyn La Roche - Author and

November 15, 2014

Something for Saturday~ What's better than a book?

  Seriously, what's better than a book? You open the cover and words take you to a place you've never been.

That's what I love about writing as well. I create characters, settings, and places for a reader to escape to--if for but a while. (I escape too. Just saying.)

My main genre is historical fiction. Especially medieval. I haven't a clue as to why I've always been fascinated with that time period. I even had a reoccurring dream that I was a medieval maiden running from an enemy knight--well, I guess that's more of a nightmare, but that's another story. (If I remember right, I posted about that nightmare a couple of years back. It actually inspired a scene in Jewel of Ramstone.) Maybe I'll re-post that later this week.

Anyway...where was I? Oh yeah, medieval times. I researched the era to assure the clothing, food, weaponry and such are accurate in my stories, be it The Medieval Quest series with book one JEWEL OF RAMSTONE. or my Magic Stone Series.

Fantasy is fantasy, but I used what I gleaned from medieval research in the Magic Stone Trilogy as well. Obviously I didn't research the time-travel element in that series. (I really wish I had a Tardis...or Dr. Who.) Luckily, someone or something blessed me with storytelling ability, and I wrote the first book, For All Time. Cade travels from medieval times to modern day where he meets Sage. And her dog, Tex. I didn't intend to have my very own dog in the story, but he nudged his way in, and nearly stole the story with his typical mischief. 

The second book, Timeless Valentine, is filled with the wonderment a medieval sorcerer can bring to a teller at a bank. Kerry, the teller, and Wren, work magic of their own. Enough said?

The third book, Stolen Time, was kind of a surprise to me. I didn't even know the first book would start a series. Though I am the author, my characters tend to take over my writing. There's a secondary character, Margery, from book one, For All Time. When I wrote the word END, I thought that was the end of her. However, Margery refused to give up her fight. She nagged me, and refused to quit until I gave her a chance to snag the man she loved. Little did Margery realize I was going to tear her away from everything familiar...

Well, heck. I guess I've rambled enough. 

Woman reading a book by stockphoto at   
The dog photo...TEX--is mine.