My name and/or pen name: CJ Clark

Blog/web site/twitter:,, and on Twitter

Where I write: I write from the Arkansas Ozarks.

What I write: I write contemporary romance stories and have two books available from, and both are on Kindle and Nook. Wyoming Dreamer is the story of an abused woman who’s gone through a divorce and decides to follow her dream of living out West. Although she doesn’t want a man in her life, when she meets rancher Quaid Kincaid, she changes her mind. Since both have baggage, they must come to terms with their pasts and their future together. Marry Me Under the Mistletoe is a humorous romp about an overweight gal who tweaks her personal info to an online guy. When he invites her to Colorado, she has to either lose weight fast or fess up to her lies. Imagine the surprise when she discovers he’s played the same game. Can they confess and let bygones be bygones? And what about that luscious workout instructor making eyes at her man? Or that Scot that’s coming on to her? Who wins whom?

Best rejection: The first chapter of Marry Me Under the Mistletoe (formerly titled Christmas in Colorado) finaled in the 2010 Weta Nichols Award Contest of Ozark Romance Writers.

What keeps me writing: Knowing that practice makes perfect. Someday. . . someday. . . I want to be famous.

I am a writer because: It is my forte. I’ve always loved and excelled in English Composition classes. Because it allows me to be people (characters) I am not, which is a lot of fun. Because writing is soothing for me (except when on a deadline).

[We’d like to thank CJ for sharing with us. If you’re a romance writer (unpublished or published, straight romance or strong romantic elements) who is interested in being profiled, email Elley.]


Louise Rose-InnesMy name and/or pen name: Louise Rose-Innes

Blog/web site/twitter:, and on Facebook

Where I write: I write at home, in my loft office, surrounded by personal inspirational items and photos of my son, with the radio on and sunlight streaming in from the skylight above my head.

What I write: Category Romance (contemporary): Antarctic Affair – On Amazon Kindle (US Kindle link, UK Kindle Link)

Worst rejection or how long it took before publication: Worst rejection was by Harlequin Mills and Boon (HMB) who kept me on tender hooks for a year before giving me a formal NO.  The manuscript apparently did the rounds with all the editors, and I was so hopeful, that it was a real blow when they eventually refused it.

Antarctic Affair-Louise Rose InnesBest rejection or what it was like to get “the call”: Best rejection was when HMB (again) said there were elements of the story they really loved and proceeded to give me a full page of positive feedback (on Antarctic Affair) with encouragement that I was heading in the right direction and to keep going.

What keeps me writing: The need to create fun, flirty stories with dashing heroes for women to enjoy.

I am a writer because… It comes naturally to me, and I enjoy getting lost in my own fantasy world where every story has a happily ever after. I’m a freelance web copywriter/eMarketing Guru and Chief Blogger at I write Romance Novels in my spare time (the little that I have!)–but it’s a pleasure for me rather than a chore.

[We’d like to thank Louise for sharing with us. If you’re a romance writer (unpublished or published, straight romance or strong romantic elements) who is interested in being profiled, email Elley.]

My name and/or pen name:Libby Mercer


Where I write: I don’t have a desk set up at home right now, so I can usually be found on the sofa working away on my laptop while I’m stretched out. It’s a pretty sweet setup. I’m not in a huge hurry to get my desk sorted out.

What I write: Sweet contemporary romance. To be more specific, my romance has a slight chick-litty feel with some quirky characters and offbeat situations.  My debut novel is called Fashioning a Romance, and will be released on May 18 by Musa Publishing.

Worst rejection: Fortunately, I don’t have any rejection horror stories (not that I haven’t had rejections, hah!). I’ve been writing for many, many years. Started submitting manuscripts about fifteen years ago – off and on – but my writing has definitely improved over the years, so it all worked out for the best.

What it was like to get “the call”:  Technically, I got “the email” and it was nothing short of amazing. It was surreal and wonderful, and it’s still kind of hard to believe!

What keeps me writing: The stories that keep popping into my head. I can’t imagine walking around with these stories unfolding in my mind and not actually getting them out on paper (or on the screen, to be more accurate).

[We’d like to thank Libby for sharing with us. If you’re a romance writer (unpublished or published, straight romance or strong romantic elements) who is interested in being profiled, email Elley.]

My Name and/or Pen Name: Sarah Madderra

Blog/web site/twitter:

Where I write: From our home/far

What I write: romance/contemporary, working on Beginnings Farm: Rebuilding Love and Trust, story of an abused horse inherited by a veternarian and a trainer. The trainer is a woman coming out of an abusive marriage. The vet instills love and trust in both with his help.

Worst rejection: From writer site

Best rejection: Only had above

What keeps me writing: I enjoy the storytelling.

I am a writer because…I enjoy doing it, and I am independent. I plan on self-publishing, don’t wish to deal with traditional right now.

[We’d like to thank Sarah for sharing with us. If you’re a romance writer (unpublished or published, straight romance or strong romantic elements) who is interested in being profiled, email Elley.]

My Name and/or Pen Name:  Francene Carroll

Blog/web site/twitter:  As a technophobe I have not got around to setting up a blog or website yet (shocking I know!) but hope to rectify this very soon. Stay tuned.

Where I write:  On my bed, on the couch, on a banana lounge under a tree in my backyard, in the car if the inspiration strikes. Pretty much anywhere but at my desk!

What I write: I have written a romantic suspense called Shadows of Yesterday which is published by Breathless Press.

I have a romantic comedy forthcoming from Siren-Bookstrand titled Pleasure Island. I’m currently working on a vampire novella series.

Worst rejection or how long it took before publication: I was very lucky and got a contract fairly quickly for my first book which I was very grateful for. Unfortunately instant fame and fortune did not immediately follow but I continue to live in hope.

What it was like to get “the call”:  Very, very exciting, to put it mildly. I ran screaming through the house and would have turned cartwheels if I was nimble enough!

What keeps me writing:  The sheer joy! Writing gives me such a great feeling of personal fulfilment that I couldn’t stop if I wanted to. I’m hooked.

I am a writer because…I love nothing more than to let my imagination run free!

[We’d like to thank Francene for sharing with us. If you’re a romance writer (unpublished or published, straight romance or strong romantic elements) who is interested in being profiled, email Elley.]

My Name and/or Pen Name:  Yawatta Hosby


Where I write:  I take a notebook and pen everywhere I go.  I love writing in the hair salon, at the library while I’m checking out the cute librarian, in the bathroom, at family get-togethers, and in the car.  If at home, I write while watching TV or listening to music.  The more background noise–the better I concentrate.

What I write:  Contemporary Romance.  Dramas that focus on family and romantic relationships.

Worst rejection:  I haven’t started the query process yet, but I’ll get there by three to four months.  I imagine the worst kind of rejection would be the generic ones–“I enjoyed reading your manuscript, but it isn’t a right fit for my agency.”

Best rejection:  I imagine the best kind would be where the agent or editor gives certain suggestions to your manuscript and invites you to resubmit.

What keeps me writing:  My imagination.  I would be lost if I couldn’t jot down the lives of my characters.  Writing is my passion and keeps me motivated during the day–my excuse to daydream.

I am a writer because:  I was meant to be one.  Ever since junior high school, my teachers and some family members have encouraged me to try and get published.  Now, I’m setting my doubts aside and taking their advice.

[We’d like to thank Yawatta for sharing with us. If you’re a romance writer (unpublished or published, straight romance or strong romantic elements) who is interested in being profiled, email Elley.]

My Name and/or Pen Name: Summer Vasu

Blog/web site/twitter: I’m on twitter @SummerVasu

Where I write: When I’m at home, I write at my desk, on my laptop. But nowadays, I mostly do my editing here. I used to scribble in a notebook when on bus ride on way to work. I can tell you it drew a lot of attention. It was funny the way people would crane their necks and try to make out my scribbles – some of which even I found frustratingly incomprehensible later! Once a man said to me, “Mam, I’ve seen people reading on their journeys, you’re the only person I’ve seen writing during one!” That really split my sides and made me shake my head at my own self. But when else would I find the time? Having a job and taking care of husband, two kids and in-laws at home rather narrows the leisure a bit. Though it’s touch and go when they’ll all decide to disown me for having writing more on my mind than cooking, washing and all the rest of it. Now since hubby’s got me a Blackberry, I’ve given up on scribbling and usually hide the screen with my index while I jab down short hand to keep up with the flow of thoughts.

What I write: Contemporary romance, or mostly along Modern HMB lines. Have been trying my hand on a paranormal short, hopefully I’ll finish it.

Worst rejection: Combined rejects of last two years number up to four. Except one, they were all standard Rs. My worst one was probably the third I got for a Modern, since I had high hopes for that one. But I quite see what I did wrong and am grateful for the experience. And oh yes, one even worse was losing a contest. It rankled so much, I turned a sore loser and didn’t vote for the finalists at all. That was early 2011. Hopefully, it has made me a better person and I won’t do such a thing again.

Best rejection: It was for a medical first chapter submission call from HMB. They called my writing intense and compelling. I was really encouraged by that.

What keeps me writing: The fact that I simply cannot not write. It took me many years to finally start trying, although it was always at the back of my mind in a sort of ‘will do sometime’ way. Since I have started however I find life has become more meaningful despite the rush hour feeling I have created for my every day.

I am a writer because…I love to shape stories, and scenes and conversations that keep running in my head. Two characters involved in intense emotion, that scenario makes me write and I start to lag when I write the in-between filling scenes.


[We’d like to thank Summer for sharing with us. If you’re a romance writer (unpublished or published, straight romance or strong romantic elements) who is interested in being profiled, email Elley.]

My Name and/or Pen Name: Gillian Colbert

Blog/web site/twitter: and twitter is @GillianColbert  

Where I write: I write out of the Deep South in my little space carved out amongst my eleven-year-old daughter and my  two Pitbulls who rule the roost.

What I write: I write erotic fiction, non-fiction and poetry.

Worst rejection: A form letter that told me absolutely nothing about why they rejected me.

Best rejection: “Great story. We’ve just closed to freelance submissions,” from Jack and Jill magazine.

What keeps me writing: The voices in my head clamoring to get their stories told and out for the world to see.

I am a writer because… I am driven to create worlds and characters that challenge their insecurities in the search for their one true mate.


[We’d like to thank Gillian for sharing with us. If you’re a romance writer (unpublished or published, straight romance or strong romantic elements) who is interested in being profiled, email Elley.]

Six months ago I was featured here as an aspiring romance author and today marks the release of my very first novel, Daring to Love, with Breathless Press. Woohoo!

As writers, we strive to see our writing in print and I’m thrilled I stuck at it even when it seemed like such an unattainable goal. I could paper the house with the rejection letters I’ve received over the years. But, if I’m honest, last year was the first time I actually completed a novel. With each knockback I received from a publisher, I threw a strop and resolved never to write again, abandoning whatever WIP I was working on.

I think I imagined the hissy fits and moans of “What’s the point? I’ll never be any good” would severely wound whichever editor had slighted me, not realising the only person I was hurting was myself. In this industry there really isn’t any room for self-pity.

It was the death of my mother at the age of fifty-three that opened my eyes and gave me a new outlook – life’s too short to sit around whining. If you want to be a writer, you have to get off your ass and write!

So, last year I was determined to finish that first novel and I did, only to face more rejections. This time I used the feedback I received as a learning experience of what not to do in future work. I took a couple of days to mope and wallow but then I took out my trusty notebook and pen and started on a new manuscript. I was actually excited to put the advice I received into practice, especially when adrenaline junkie Matt and Miss Stuffy Knickers Andie were so keen to make an appearance!

A huge part of my new attitude is also thanks to my crit group, who I met on-line eighteen months ago. My fellow inmates of The Nuthouse Scribblers have been so supportive and are always there to give me a kick up the behind when I need it. Every time I reached a stumbling block with Daring to Love, they gave me a leg over it and pushed me on to the end. It’s no wonder that many of them are now enjoying their own successes, because they all have such fabulous imaginations!

Breathless Press was the first digital publisher I submitted my manuscript to and signing the contract for Daring to Love was a big deal for me. And, whilst I may not be a best-selling author, yet, I want to share a few things with other aspiring writers who need a little push in the right direction.

  • Write! It seems an obvious thing to say but I know in the past I talked more about getting published than actually writing.
  • Find yourself some writing buddies. I was reluctant to share my work with anyone at the start but good critique partners are worth their weight in gold. They will give you honest opinions and suggestions that will undoubtedly improve your work.
  • Rejection is a part of the process, get used to it! Don’t throw your toys out of the pram and swear never to write again. Absorb any feedback you get and use it to further your writing. I can guarantee that when you get a little distance from the ms, you will realise the publisher was right.

Remember, being a writer is just like being self-employed – no-one else is going to do the work for you!

Daring to Love by Karina Buchanan



Daring to Love by Karina Buchanan

Andrea Macleave is determined to lose her ‘Miss Stuffy Knickers’ nickname with a rappel down Ireland’s famous Europa Hotel, for the hospital where she works. Risk taking goes against everything she believes in and it takes a kiss from her hunky instructor to send her on her way. With her wild side let loose, a one night stand with the action man seems the perfect antidote to her staid life.


“I should have known you couldn’t handle your drink.” With the devil in him, Matt pushed the buttons guaranteed to re-activate his Andie.

A frown, a purse of full pink lips and she took the bait. “I’ll have a whiskey if you’re buying.” The determination to prove him wrong blinded her to the goggled looks she garnered and the sudden quiet at the table.

He couldn’t help his smile getting wider, the more irritated she became. “One whiskey, coming up. Jimmy give me a hand getting these in, will you?”

“I’ve a good mind to get you fired!” Matt hadn’t noticed Andrea following him over to the bar. At the sound of her sexy, pissed-off voice, he slowly turned his head.

She stood, ram-rod straight, giving him clear appreciation of long, lean legs. They seemed to go on forever in those spiky black heels she had swapped for her trainers, even if she still had to look up at his six foot four frame. The figure-hugging jeans would bring a grown man to his knees but he would prefer to see her in something to better show off those pins.

The rose tint in her cheeks gave away her embarrassment at being so openly admired and coming across as a letch was not how he wished to be perceived. Nevertheless, he did enjoy throwing her off guard.

“You should be thanking me really.” He wound her up and let her go.

“Thanking you?” She crossed her arms across her chest, drawing the V of her top down to give a tantalizing peek at her cleavage. “I should have you arrested for the way you behaved, never mind getting you fired.”

“It got you over the edge, didn’t it? You were so caught up, being ticked off at me that you didn’t have time to think about what you were doing.”

“In that case, turn around.”


“So I can slap the gold star on your backside for a job well done! Do you seriously think that’s a good enough reason for your behavior? Is that the way you carry on with all your clients?”

“Only the pretty, obstinate ones. As for having me fired, well,” he backed his elbows onto the bar, “I do the charity rappels voluntarily. It’s difficult to replace a trained instructor willing to work for free but if I caused you so much offense, do what you must.”

Her delicious mouth opened and closed and he was assaulted with memories of tasting her. And how good it would be to do it again.

“Since it’s for charity and all, I suppose I’ll let the matter drop. Forget it happened.” The defensive arms slackened and fell to her sides. With the thaw setting in, Matt impulsively stepped forward, to invade her personal space.

“Are you sure that’s what you want, Andie?” If he could forget his rules for one night, she could stop pretending she didn’t want him.

Instead of seeing the look of longing staring back at him, her pupils narrowed. “Where do you get off calling me ‘Andie’, anyway? My name is Andrea.” She lifted the tumbler of the finest whiskey from the bar, knocked it back and stalked back to her friends.

Matt King never was one to back away from a challenge.


I’m doing a giveaway on my blog to celebrate the release of Daring to Love – a copy of the book and a little gift from Ireland – so pop over and say hi at or contact me here:!/profile.php?id=100002715462350

So much has happened since I was featured here earlier this year. My debut novel Wallflowers Don’t Wilt was published on October 7th by Breathless Press, and I can’t stop checking the sites it’s up on. I’ve even had some reviews-good ones. (You can buy from, Amazon, Arc, etc., etc.) Very excited.

Wallflowers Don’t Wilt is a regency ménage (two women and a man). Here’s the mini blurb:

Two women on the verge of freedom. One man looking for adventure. Can he persuade them freedom comes in many forms, including three bodies entwined?

Wallflowers Don't Wilt

Then I’ve just got the cover of my next book, also to be published by Breathless. To Please A Lady will be released on January 6th. Here’s the blurb and banner:

Two’s company, three’s a crowd? Not according to Hermione’s lovers. Now all they need to do is to make Hermione agree.

To Please a Lady

As if that isn’t enough (and oh my it is, but it isn’t if you get the drift) I had two more books accepted last week: a contemporary cougar romance, The Price To Pay also by Breathless, and a contemporary romantic mystery, Taken Identity, has been accepted by Noble Romance Publishing.

And there’s more. I have had a four book Young Adult series accepted by Lycaon Press, a new and exciting Young Adult publishing house, on the strength of the first one. I’m really excited about these as well, as they are totally different. It’s a series about Shape Shifters in Scotland. Called The Shalean Moon series, it’s due out next summer.

So, a busy and productive time for me, and I can truthfully say I am loving it. Hectic and happy!


[Editor’s note: We’re thrilled for Raven, and we’d like to celebrate the success of more of our formerly unpublished writers from Writer Wednesday. If you’re now published or soon-to-be published and would like to guest blog, drop me a line at If you’re an unpublished author who wants to “rub the Genie lamp” (aka being featured on Writer Wednesday), email me at the address above.]