Tag: anthologies

PLEASE WELCOME REBECCA VICKERY

Hey everyone!  It’s my great pleasure to introduce our visitor today here at Wildflower Junction, Ms. Rebecca Vickery. Rebecca is one busy lady.  Not only does she write some awesome short stories and novels, she owns her own publishing company, Victory Tales Press. 

Hi Cheryl and Everybody! It’s wonderful to be here.

I try to stay busy as it helps keeps me out of trouble. (My Hubby says not completely.)

Laura Shinn and I were discussing writing short stories as a way to hone our craft back in March 2010. We decided to invite a few authors to join us for publishing an anthology or two. The idea caught on and snowballed and Victory Tales Press was born. Several authors say that not only have the shorts improved their writing, but they have given them a new excitement by enabling them to try something new. Laura came on board as Chief Designer and Consultant and our first anthology, in which Cheryl’s story, To Make the Magic Last, first appeared, was published June 1, 2010.  

Victory Tales Press has only been in existence a little over one year.  But what a wonderfully successful year it has been! With  14 assorted anthologies published over the past 17 months, there is no end in sight. Anthologies are a popular venue these days for people who are “on the go”—and who isn’t? Victory Tales Press has a great system for letting you, the reader, know just what you are buying with their “heat” rating.  These anthologies are rated sweet, sensual, and spicy.  

Laura and I both write Happy Ever After Romance in various sub-genres from sweet to spicy so we decided to stay within boundaries we know. Therefore, we don’t publish erotica or other than traditional romance. (We leave that to others who know more about it.) We always have heat ratings on our VTP books. Our Sweet stories contain long, lingering glances, hand holding, and gentle kisses. The Sensual stories contain passionate kisses, foreplay leading up to the bedroom door, and possible mild cursing. Stimulating is probably my favorite and includes lightly described love scenes, intense emotions, and the more violent thriller or suspense stories. And for the in-depth love scenes, stronger language, and intense passion we have the Spicy rating. We often have an anthology that combines Sweet and Sensual, but we try not to ever include Sweet and Spicy in the same book. 

Rebecca’s company has been so successful that she has added two imprints, Publishing by Rebecca J. Vickery, and Western Trail Blazers. This imprint boasts well-known western authors such as Pete Brandvold, Jory Sherman, and Kit Prate.  Tell us what brought this all about. 

Once our anthologies were launched, I began to have requests from authors to assist them with publishing their book and to help them get into print. Rather than charge them money for my services, we agreed to share royalties. Publishing by Rebecca J. Vickery was the result and is now the “parent company” according to my legal advisors. At PbRJV we publish in a variety of genres not limited to romance (but do not include erotica) and currently have works available from 17 authors and are adding more all the time. Amanda Ashley is one of the better known, NY Times Bestsellers who contracted a story with us this year.

Then Cheryl introduced me to a Western author who was looking for a new publisher. We began talking and Western Trail Blazer was born soon after. With many traditional publishers closing or discontinuing their Western lines, the American Western I grew up reading was about to die out. I don’t want my grands to grow up not knowing about our Wild West and this is my way to help achieve that. To the authors Cheryl mentioned, we should add Troy D. Smith, Madeline Baker, John Duncklee, John D. Nesbitt, and Chuck Tyrell, all very experienced Western authors and we are adding more there, too. 

Now that you know who Rebecca Vickery is, I’ll let her “do the talking”—here are some questions and answers y’all might like to know about Rebecca, and if there’s anything she didn’t tell you here, just ask! She’s a mighty nice lady and very knowledgeable about all aspects of the publishing world.  And she’s also a darn good writer, in her own right! 

Rebecca, let’s talk about the publishing end of things first.  Why did you choose anthologies to focus on in the beginning?

There really isn’t another publisher out there I know of that focuses on romance anthologies. Publishing anthologies was a chance to involve more authors and it provides us all with a much needed break from working on longer books. We can also share a wider variety of romance for our readers and in different heat levels. A win-win situation.  

How successful have the anthologies been for you?

Monetarily, we aren’t getting rich by any means. Royalties are split among the authors in each book and Laura and I take a very small cut for expenses. But money was never the point. The anthologies have been successful in helping several authors regain their eagerness to write, come up with new material, step out of their “box”, and improve and tighten their writing skills. So personally, these anthologies have been very successful for me. Best of all, I’ve made friends with authors and readers I would not have met otherwise. 

Do you see a resurgence of interest in anthology stories rather than novels?

Book interests seem to be almost as changeable as Hollywood husbands. For a short time anthologies were more in demand than full-length novels. Right now sales are down for both anthologies and novels as a newer trend takes over.  

What plans do you have for future anthologies? Do you ever publish “stand alone” short stories?

I’ll answer these two questions together. The current trend seems to be moving away from the anthologies, except for holidays. We plan to cut back on them for 2012 and probably publish only for Halloween and Christmas, which have been our most popular ones so far. The trend is now moving toward short stories published individually and sold inexpensively. With the new reading apps for cell phones and less expensive e-readers, the shorts are perfect for waiting in line, at doctor offices, on work breaks, and even while stuck in traffic. We currently have a 99 cent Gallery for short stories at PbRJV and we offer Dime Novels for 99 cents at WTB. They are extremely popular. 

What about your imprint, Publishing by Rebecca J. Vickery? Tell us about what kinds of material you publish through that venue?

We offer mainstream fiction and non-fiction, romance, suspense, Inspirational, speculative fiction, fantasy, time travel, and historical. I probably missed something, but it is pretty much all genres non-erotic and non-Western.  

Well, you know this is a western-y blog, so tell us all about your Western Trail Blazers imprint.

We are really happy with the way our Western imprint is growing. We published our first story in September of 2010 and had two authors with us. Now we have 15 authors and have published 45 works so far. At WTB we accept submissions in fiction and non-fiction, Action/Adventure, Romance, Historical, Fantasy, Paranormal, SteamPunk, Time-Travel, and Mystery/Suspense as long as they are based in the American West and have a Western theme. No erotica or non-traditional relationships are accepted. We would also like to publish a few non-fiction biographies of Western heroes and maybe a campfire cookbook. 

What do you have lined up in the future for these imprints?

We plan to publish more quality reads at affordable prices while helping authors who are tired of the traditional publishing madness, but aren’t quite ready to go out and publish independently. We hope to continue to grow and to help encourage both writing and reading. 

Now let’s talk about YOUR writing. Tell us about your novels?

I have four novels currently available and two short stories. Surviving with Love is a sensual adventure romance. A female tracker and an ex-military man must rescue two boys kidnapped by thieves. Looking Through the Mist is a sensual mystery/romance about a detective who does not believe in psychics, but gets stuck working with one when he must locate two missing children. Following Destiny is a highly sensual romance with fantasy elements, in the form of a magic ring, which helps a woman hear warnings from her ancestors about a serial killer. Seeking Shelter is my most recent and a sweet romance about a young woman who gets in a pile of trouble trying to find her horse, a home, and a man she can love. One of my shorts is The Rescue, a speculative fiction story about a crashed spaceship crew and an alien. (Beware it has an ironic ending.) The other short is The Trouble with Fishing and is a slightly humorous, romantic adventure of a city girl on a camping vacation.

 I hear you are giving away a prize or two. Tell us about those prizes and how we can win? 

Every visitor is welcome to a free download of our VTP recipe book (no coupon needed):

Christmas Dessert Decadence at http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/42869

and 2 WTB shorts,

The Divided Prey at http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/36979 (coupon code SSWSF)

Kill Crazy at http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/25001 (coupon code SSWSF)

From PbRJV, my short:

The Trouble with Fishing at http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/43093 (coupon code SSWSF)

Then if you leave a comment and your email address, you will be entered in a drawing to win a pdf ebook of either Bad Wind Blowing by Peter Brandvold or In the Shadow of the Hills by Madeline Baker and published by Western Trail Blazer. (Reader’s Choice to 2 winners) I’ll post the winner at 9 EST tonight.

 Where can your books be purchased?

Our e-books can be purchased at major online retailers:

Smashwords, Amazon, B & N, Sony, Apple iStore, etc.

Our Print books are available at Amazon, B &N online, Books-A-Million online.

The links are at our website stores for your convenience.

 Can you give us a link for the sites we’ve mentioned so everyone can go see what’s available from these awesome imprints? 

The link to Publishing by Rebecca J. Vickery has just changed. You can now find us at http://pbrjv.com

Western Trail Blazer is at http://westerntrailblazer.com or at

http://westerntrailblazer.yolasite.com

Victory Tales Press is at http://victorytalespress.yolasite.com

 Thanks so much for being here with us, Rebecca. I know you said you’ll pick your winner(s) later on tonight, but just to whet our appetites, can you give us an excerpt or two?

This is an excerpt from Peter Brandvold’s Paranormal Western:

Bad Wind Blowing

http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/33855

(To set the scene:

Clay Carmody has ridden into a strange town to bring dead bushwhackers to the Sheriff and stumbled into a gunfight at the saloon.)

Carmody dropped to his butt and pressed his back against the bar. As he automatically began replacing the spent brass from the .44’s cylinder, he glanced left, where the smoke hung thick over the overturned gambling table. Blood-splattered chips and playing cards were scattered across the floor. The man who’d produced the derringer lay limp over an overturned chair, bleeding from several wounds. Carmody caught only glimpses of the other gunmen lying in twisted heaps against the far wall.

The sheriff sat with his back to an overturned table, knees raised toward his chest. The lawman was fumbling with the gun in his lap, reloading from his cartridge belt. He was having a hard time, as his right arm was shaking, apparently from the graze to that shoulder. His face was hidden by the flat brim of his snuff-brown hat.

Carmody got up and walked over to the sheriff, his ears ringing, eyes stinging from the smoke. As he stopped before the man and opened his mouth to speak, the man snapped the Peacemaker’s loading gate closed and jerked his head up suddenly. The pistol shot straight out from the man’s chest, the barrel aimed squarely at Carmody’s heart.

Carmody’s gaze flitted from the revolver to the face of the most beautiful woman he’d ever seen.

An excerpt from Madeline Baker’s Historical Western:

In the Shadow of the Hills

http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/69450

(To set the scene: John McKenna, half white and half Cheyenne, has married a white woman. Because his grandfather is rich and powerful, he has been allowed into society.)

 My mother was delighted to hear the news of Clarissa’s pregnancy and immediately began making arrangements for one of the rooms in the mansion to be turned into a nursery so the baby would have a room of its own when we came to visit.

The Van Pattens were less than pleased, though they tried to hide it. Grace Van Patten looked at me as if I had defiled her daughter; Belmont looked as though he was going to be sick.

I saw the hurt in Clarissa’s eyes when her mother forced a smile and said, “how nice”. I saw the tears my wife blinked back when her father poured himself a stiff drink and downed it in one quick swallow.

That night, as I held Clarissa in my arms, I was suffused with guilt. But for me, Clarissa would have married some fine, upstanding young man who came from the same background she did, a man her parents would have welcomed with open arms.

And hard on the heels of that guilt came a surging tide of anger at their reaction. Clarissa was their only child. Why couldn’t they see how happy she was? Why couldn’t they be happy for her?

“It doesn’t matter, John,” she told me late one night.

But it did matter. Among the Cheyenne, family was everything. Mothers, aunts, and grandmothers played an important role in the raising of a daughter; fathers, uncles and grandfathers all had a hand in the raising of a boy. No Cheyenne child ever lacked for a lap to sit in, a shoulder to cry on, a listening ear. Because a boy’s father was often away hunting or fighting, he spent much of his early years in the company of his grandfather.

“Please don’t let it bother you, John,” Clarissa urged. “You’re my family now, all the family I need. All I’ll ever need. I don’t care what my parents think. I know you’ll be a wonderful father.”

Holding Clarissa in my arms, I vowed that our child would lack for nothing, that, if necessary, I would be father, brother, uncle and grandfather.

 Thanks so much for being with us today, Rebecca!

ONE MAGIC NIGHT from A 2011 SUMMER COLLECTION

Have any of you ever incorporated your family history into your writing? Do you like to read books that are based, however loosely, on factual happenings?

My mom was the oldest of eleven children. She knew everyone in our family and how they were related. Because she and my dad grew up together in a tiny little town in southeast Oklahoma (their high school had a graduating class of twelve), she also knew quite a lot about his side of the family as well.

But when I was younger, I was not interested in the stories she told me.  It was only later, when I was grown and had children of my own, that I began to wonder and ask questions, and by that time, her memory had already begun to decline.

 If you have ever read the book, The Education of Little Tree, (by Forrest Carter) or seen the HBO movie, this story might sound familiar. When Andrew Jackson decided that the Indians were to be assimilated into the white man’s world, he put lots of plans into action that would take years to snowball and evolve into what they eventually became—a truly shameful period in the US governmental policies and procedures. One of Jackson’s plans, besides Removal, that was carried through into subsequent presidencies, was the idea of assimilating Native American children in white homes to integrate them more completely. The Native American children were taken from their villages and given to willing white families (along with a tidy little government stipend for their troubles) to raise.

 My great-great-great grandfather was one of these children.  We don’t know his real name. It was changed when he was delivered to his new “family”, a Presbyterian minister and his wife.  Their last name was Walls.  So his name was changed to Walls, and he was given the first name, David. Forbidden to speak his language, he was forced to forget all the ways of his People, and dress in white man’s clothing, go to white school.  But he was never going to be white, and his place in the world was divided so drastically that he could not fit in anywhere.  Eventually, the Rev. Walls sent David to medical school in Missouri.  When he returned to the small town where he’d been raised, he was a doctor who rode to his patients on horseback. Later, he married and had children, but it was not a happy union and his son, my great-great grandfather, became an alcoholic whose own children, in turn, left home as soon as they possibly could. My great grandmother, his daughter, married at 13.  Her older sister left home one day and never returned.  No one ever knew what became of her.

I’ve often thought of these children that were abducted by our cavalrymen, and taken away to their white “families”, forbidden everything familiar and forced to adopt everything new and different, even their speech and childhood games. Can you imagine it?  To never be allowed to see your mother and father again. Siblings separated and “given” to different families, their heritage and connection with one another lost forever.  How many tears must they have shed? And how lonely and separate they must have felt, how isolated,  even into adulthood…so that most of them, I imagine, never were able to fit in anywhere in the world.

 My story in the 2011 SUMMER COLLECTION, available through Victory Tales Press, is based loosely on what happened to my long-ago ancestor  

Dr. Shay Logan has just returned to Talihina, Indian Territory, from medical school in Missouri. Shay hopes to settle down and make a life for himself, but how?  He doesn’t belong to either world, Anglo or Indian He’s made the acquaintance of Katrina Whitworth at the July 4th town social, and the attraction is mutual from the very beginning. Shay begins to have hopes and dreams that may be out of the question…but Katrina seems to have stars in her eyes for him as well. Will she risk everything to be with him?   Katrina makes a social blunder, and Shay follows her into the woods to apologize to her, but when they return, Katrina’s drunken father humiliates her.  To make matters worse, her former beau shows a side of himself she had not seen before. Can Katrina and Shay have a life together that they so badly want? Here’s an excerpt for you.

FROM ONE MAGIC NIGHT:

As his hand started its descent, Katrina turned away.  But Shay’s arm shot out, grasping Whitworth’s hand and holding it immobile.

You will not.”

Three words, quietly spoken, but with a heat that could have melted iron, a force that could have toppled mountains.

Katrina’s father’s face contorted, his teeth bared, finally, as he tried to jerk away. He didn’t utter a word.  He stared up into Shay Logan’s eyes that promised retribution, as the seconds ticked by.  Finally, he lunged once more, trying to pull free, but Shay still held him locked in a grip of steel.  Only when he released that grip was Whitworth freed.

“You presume too much, Doctor Logan, unless you are assuming the care and responsibility of my daughter.”

“Papa! Oh, please!” Katrina felt herself dissolving into a puddle of less than nothing beneath stares of the townspeople of Talihina.  What had started as an exciting, beautiful evening had become an embarrassing nightmare.  It was torture to think that she was the cause of it all.  How she wished she had stayed home with Jeremy as she’d first planned, before Mrs. Howard had volunteered to keep him company.

Now, Papa was saying these things that she knew he would regret later.  It was always this way when he drank too much.  These accusations had gone beyond the pale of anything he’d ever said before.  But Shay Logan wouldn’t realize that.  He wouldn’t know that Papa would be sorry tomorrow.

Evidently, there was one thing Shay did recognize, though.  She saw the very slight flare of his nostrils as he drew in the scent of alcohol on her father’s breath, and in that instant, there was a flash of understanding in his eyes.

“You’ve had too much to drink, Mr. Whitworth,” he said in an even tone.  “I will overlook your behavior toward me because of that, but not toward your daughter.  She has done nothing, yet you would strike her, and cause her shame.”

“She’s my daughter,” Whitworth replied sullenly.

“But not your property, Whitworth.  Never that.  You owe her an apology.”

“No, Shay, really—” Katrina began, then as her father whirled to look at her, she broke off, realizing her mistake.  ‘Shay,’ she had called him.  As if she had known him forever.  As if she was entitled to use his given name freely.  As if she were his betrothed.

“‘Shay’ is it, daughter?  Not, ‘Dr. Logan’Shay.”  He spit the words out bitterly.  He drew himself up, looking Shay in the face.  “I’ll not be apologizing to her—or to you.  And I’ll expect nothing less than a wedding before this week’s end.  Do you understand me, Doctor?”

Shay had lost any patience he might have harbored.  “You understand me, Whitworth.  You will not dictate to me, or to your daughter on such matters of the heart.  As I say, the alcohol has got you saying things you’re going to regret, and—”

“Threatening me, are you?  Threatening me?”

“Truman.”  Jack Thompson stepped out of the crowd and smoothly came to stand beside Katrina.  “Let’s put this…unfortunate incident…behind us, shall we?”  He confidently tucked Katrina’s hand around his arm.  “I can see that the church auxiliary ladies have almost got everything set up for this wonderful Independence Day meal—” he frowned at Mrs. Beal, nodding at the picnic tables behind her.  She jumped, motioning the other ladies to resume the preparation.

He gave a sweeping glance around the group of onlookers.  “I, for one, am ready to eat! How about you all?”

Katrina was swept along at his side as he walked toward the tables, speaking to acquaintances and friends, laughing and…and seething with tense anger the entire time.  She could feel it in his body, with every step he took and the tightness of his grip as he covered her hand with his. Katrina glanced back over her shoulder, hoping to catch a glimpse of Shay, but the crowd blocked her view.

“Smile, my dear,” Jack gritted into her ear.  “I’m hoping we can still salvage your virtue, no matter what happened, really, between you and the good doctor.  If I see him near you again, I’ll kill him.”

BUY LINKS

Smashwords:

http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/66862

http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/victorytalespress

http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/VTPanthologies

 Lulu:

http://www.lulu.com/product/ebook/2011-summer-collection-anthology-sweetsensual/16048225

http://stores.lulu.com/store.php?fAcctID=55332464

Here’s the link at Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00564A820

 I WILL BE GIVING AWAY COPIES OF A 2011 SUMMER COLLECTION TO TWO LUCKY COMMENTERS! JUST LEAVE ME A COMMENT WITH YOUR E-MAIL ADDRESS AND I WILL DRAW WINNERS SOMETIME AFTER 8:00 TONIGHT!