Boise Novel Orchard

Boise Novel Orchard is sponsoring a contest! With prizes! For North-West writers and artists!
What do you need to do to win? First, you need to enter. To enter, you’ll need to write something using the theme “bridges.” Fiction and non-fiction should be between 3,000 and 5,000 words, poetry no more than 22 lines. We’re looking for black and white cover art too! There’s a $10 entry fee, with one entry per person.

What are we offering up? Winners will be published in a chapbook, due to be released in May. There’s also a cash prize. Entries are due no later than March 20, 2010.

There are more details here, on the website.


January 22, 2010. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

CBC Author Ask and Tell #5 Stef Ann Holm

This month our very own “valley girl”, USA Today Bestseller, Stef Ann Holm dishes with us.

Available in November: All That Matters



“A wisp of mystery combined with more than one enchanting romance and some engaging characters makes this an extremely enjoyable story.” 4 stars, Romantic Times

1. Describe your latest project.

Book 2 in my Grove Marketplace Series about an Italian family building a “BoDo” type project in downtown Boise. It’s the follow up to All The Right Angles. It’s called All That Matters. It’s just been released and is available now!

2. What ONE other author do you think readers should read?

Anyone that tickles their fancy. Why restrict yourself to just one? I can’t only eat one chocolate out of the Sees box. 🙂 I like so many different types of books . . .

3. Please share a passage from a favorite author of yours, and what do you like about it?

Probably something in a Janet Evanovich book. I think the one where she’s bemoaning some thugs spray painted her car and couldn’t spell the bad four-letter name for her correctly.

4. Who would you love to invite to dinner (living or not) and why?

My husband’s dad who is deceased. I heard he was a swell guy and I regret I never had the opportunity to meet him.

5. What’s on your playlist right now (music)?

I don’t have one. I only listen to the radio. The last song I enjoyed was Kansas’ RENEGADE. Reminds me of hot summer nights in the Valley where I grew up in L.A.

6. Have you had any interesting experiences with one of your readers– via blog, book signing, conference, correspondence?

In the 1990s I had someone call me on the phone to ask me out for coffee. Tracked me down via a dedication I did to my (ex)husband and figured out my phone number. It was kind of freaky.

7. Is there anything about being a published author that you wish you’d known before you were published?

That deadlines can consume your life.

Also, please provide a short bio or a link to one on your website if you have one.

You can read more about me at

November 3, 2008. Tags: . CBC Authors. Leave a comment.

CBC Author Ask and Tell – #4 Angie Abderhalden

Welcome to our Author Ask and Tell in which the published authors of Coeur de Bois Romance Writers of America Chapter respond to the questions of inquiring minds! This month we’re excited to bring you an Ask and Tell with Angela Abderhalden!
Watch for her newest release, Unintentional Victim in 2009.

Available now: Questionable Ethics:
“There’s a new PI in town–insightful and clever “Mel” Addison will win your heart as she pulls herself from the depths of grief to confront a ruthless murderer.
Angela Abderhalden has penned a mystery with emotion and intensity. I can’t wait for the next installment!”

–Joanne Pence, Author of the Angie Amalfi mysteries

1. Please describe your latest project.

My latest project is another mystery series, this one in the competitive world of chess. I have a manuscript under consideration from Ellora’s Cave and an erotic mystery that I am editing and will have out to publishers by the end of October.

2. What ONE other author do you think readers should read?

I don’t have just one author. I think writers should read lots of
classics. Most of them are classics for a reason. And from each one figure out why they are labeled ‘classic’ and try to incorporate that into your own writing.

3. Please share a passage from a favorite author of yours, and what do you like about it?

“We catched fish and talked, and we took a swim now and then to keep off sleepiness. It was kind of solemn, drifting down the big, still river, laying on our backs looking up at the stars, and we didn’t ever feel like talking loud, and it warn’t often that we laughed-only a little kind of a low chuckle. We had mighty good weather as a general thing, and nothing ever happened to us at all-that night, nor the next, nor the next..” Ch. 12 ‘Huckleberry Finn’. This I feel is Mark Twain at his best. His imagery is awesome (the river as a metaphor for freedom from oppression, social injustice, broken family life, etc.) and you really do feel like you’re drifting on the Mississippi.

4. Who would you love to invite to dinner (living or not) and why?

I would love to sit down and talk with Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain). I love his wit and the way he said what he thought. He’s always been a
favorite of mine since I grew up in Quincy, IL., which is just fifteen miles upstream from Hannibal, MO. Yes, I’ve been to the cave in which Tom and Becky get lost, at least the one that inspired him to write about it.

5. What’s on your playlist right now (music)?

I’m a very eclectic listener, so it really depends on my mood. Here’s what I’ve played in the past couple of days. Paramore (new age rock), Rascal Flats(one of the very few country groups I listen too), Don McClean, Billy Joel, AC/DC, Styx (am I showing my age here?), Tran-Siberian Orchestra’s Beethoven’s Last Night (rock/classical), Blue Man Group, Thelonius Monk (jazz) and Oscar Peterson(jazz). I don’t have a favorite. When I’m writing certain genres, I’ll play a certain style. Or a particular story will ‘require’ a certain kind of music. For example, when I’m writing on my erotic mystery, I play jazz and on my chess mystery I usually play new rock such as Paramore.

6. Have you had any interesting experiences with one of your readers– via blog, book signing, conference, correspondence?

I met a lady in Quincy, IL (this is where my book ‘Questionable Ethics’ is based, my hometown) who asked me questions about getting published. She wrote a book about caring for cats. Oops, sorry her ‘cat’ wrote the book. As part of my book tour there, I held a drawing for a free meal at a diner mentioned in my book. She won. I received a letter shortly after arriving home thanking me. Oops again. Her cat wrote me about how happy his owner was. I’m still thinking about sending her cat a small present of catnip!

7. Is there anything about being a published author that you wish you’d known before you were published?

I wished I’d have known how much work goes on after the book gets
published. I would have studied more about marketing along with learning the craft of writing. As it was I had to do a crash course in
marketing/promoting. I know I’ve made mistakes. (I’m still learning.) Being with a small publisher, all of marketing fell to me. I’d have done a whole lot more research a lot earlier so I would have been better prepared.


Angela Abderhalden is a first time novelist who lives in Meridian, Idaho with her husband, two kids and a rascally beagle. She has been writing for fifteen years and is a member of several writing groups in the area. She is the 2008 President of Partners in Crime (a local chapter of Sisters in Crime), a Member-At-Large of the Popular Fiction Association of Idaho (who sponsors the annual Murder in the Grove Writers Conference) and a member of the Idaho Writer’s League and Romance Writers of America.
Visit her website at:

October 1, 2008. CBC Authors. Leave a comment.

Who, Whom, Whose, Who’s: Which One to Use When

Okay, here’s one of the biggies — even I used to have difficulty with the various forms of the word “who,” but the rules are actually pretty simple when you get right down to the basics.

“Who’s” is a contraction of “who is,” so one only uses it as a contraction for “who is.” If you replace it in a sentence with “who is” and the sentence doesn’t make sense, you’ve used it incorrectly.

“Whose” is a possessive — it indicates ownership of an object (or responsibility, in the case of “Whose fault.”

That brings us to the tricky ones: Who and Whom.

Remember the preposition discussion? Here’s a gentle reminder: A prepositional phrase is a bridge from the verb of a sentence to its object. Well, that’s a clue to who and whom. Who is the subjective form (use it in the subject part of a sentence). Whom is the objective form (use it in the object of a sentence).

So the question, “Who does this belong to?” is grammatically incorrect not because it begins with the word “who,” but because it ends with a preposition, a bridging word. It’s that bridge-to-nowhere thing. Who is actually right, because it’s the subject of the sentence (it’s the rest of the sentence that, well, has issues.) Correctly structured, the question becomes, “To whom [preposition>>objective form] does this belong?”

But who talks like that? [subjective form>>verb, no prepositional phrase.]

September 28, 2008. Uncategorized. 2 comments.

CBC Author Ask & Tell – #3 Annalise Russell!

Welcome to our Author Ask and Tell in which the published authors of Coeur de Bois Romance Writers of America Chapter respond to the questions of inquiring minds! This month we’re pleased to present Annalise Russell.   

THE PLEASURE OF HIS BED, September ’08 Kensington,  available from Amazon on August 26, 2008

1. Describe your latest project.

My latest project is actually two. Currently I am working on re-editing, extensively, a book I wrote quite a few years back. This book sold two years ago, however it was never released due to the fact that the publisher folded. I’m very hesitant to give up on this story – it is one of my very favorites.

I am also working on another historical erotic romance, this one with some paranormal elements. The concept of this story is one I’d like to use for a series.

2. What ONE other author do you think readers should read? 

Hmm, I can’t imagine choosing just one. There are so many talented authors. If I had to pick a particular favorite of mine, though, it would be Diana Gabaldon. Her Outlander series not only draws the reader in to fall in love with the characters, but she leaps across the lines of taboo subjects we are told never to write about. And does it artfully.

3. Please share a passage from a favorite author of yours, and what do you like about it?

“But this dream of love, though beautiful, is only one scene in our play. In the procession of the soul from within outward, it enlarges its circles ever, like the pebble thrown into the pond, or the light proceeding from an orb.” R. W. Emerson

This particular passage is from one of Emerson’s essays titled, Love. As a collector of old leather bound books, I’ve read many of the classic authors, yes for fun, but for some reason Emerson’s writing has always spoken to me. His imagery and style of prose tend to sneak up on you with such surprise and layered meaning, that I pull one of his books off my shelf every so often and find a quiet corner for a while.

4. Who would you love to invite to dinner (living or not) and why?

Do I have to cook and clean the house before they come? Okay, assuming they are coming to see me and not my floors, I’d have to say Leif Eriksson and William Wallace, both very important historical figures. And as I write historical stories, who better to get first hand evidence of what life was like when they lived.

5. What’s on your playlist right now (music)?

I don’t listen to music while I write. I find my mind wanders with the notes. I will on occasion listen to music before I sit down to write. To get into a particular mood to write a scene, I mostly listen to Celtic music. As a writer of historical romance, today’s pop music doesn’t have the feel of battle and blood, desperation, love or necessity, which I find Celtic music captures. As far as which Celtic bands I listen to, they would be The Wicked Tinkers (great battle music, lots of drums) and The Chieftans (amazingly haunting melodies). There are also several other CDs I use that have songs by various artists. Oh, and my husband plays the bagpipes, so personal concerts are always welcome. And I often get the opportunity to listen to the local pipe bands practice and play events.

6. Have you had any interesting experiences with one of your readers– via blog, book signing, conference, correspondence?

Well, as my book has not been released yet, I can’t say as I’ve had experience with readers – unless you count my blog. As a new author, I don’t expect strangers to recognize me, or my name. However, at a function I attended a few months back, I did have a young woman who apparently reads my blog recognize me and blurt out “Oh, you’re that author! I love reading those kinds of stories.” Needless to say, I was caught more than a little off guard.

7. Is there anything about being a published author that you wish you’d known before you were published?

Well first, I’d have to say that the one thing I’m glad I didn’t know before I started this journey is just how hard this business really is, on so many levels.

That said, I can’t imagine not writing. I’m such a romantic at heart that stories about love and heartache swirl around inside my head all the time. But I’d have to say that the biggest lesson I’ve learned so far is to follow my own instincts about a story. Input and opinions are great, rules are good to know, but listen first and foremost to your gut. Know that not everyone will read and fall in love with your story, or your voice, or your style. And that’s okay. If your story truly touches your heart, it will touch others.

Also, please provide a short bio or a link to one on your website if you have one.

Annalise Russell is a true romantic, right down to her toes. She’s been an avid reader of romance novels since she started sneaking them out of her mother’s closet as a teenager. Writing, in one form or another, has been a way of life since high school, thanks to the encouragement of teachers and professors along the way. Now, she spends her days writing for others what she loves to read most, romance.

Thank you!

August 12, 2008. CBC Authors. 1 comment.

Prepositions, the Busy Ps

Grammar Queen, can you please explain what a prepositional phrase is and why it’s important?

Why, of course I can explain. The root word of preposition is position. Thus, a preposition is a part of speech that helps a verb by explaining some aspect of the positioning of the verb. The “pre” is simply alluding to English syntax; other languages have postpositional phrases. Shrug.

A prepositional phrase is the preposition and the verb’s object (a noun) with any modifiers stuck in there to make the sentence descriptive.

I originally learned about prepositions with the mouse and house analogy. A preposition describes a mouse in relation to a house. It can be in the house, on the house, under the house, around the house, etc. This is a little simplistic, but it certainly works for garden-variety prepositions. Is it possible to come up with exceptions? Please, I think I was seven when my mother used this teaching tool.

Why is it improper grammar to end a sentence with a preposition? Well, a preposition is a transitional word connecting the verb and its object (normally a noun). So a preposition without the rest of its prepositional phrase is a bridge to nowhere. However, transformational grammarians (the quantum physicists of grammar) agree that in modern usage, the prepositional object can be implied. They also don’t have difficulties with split infinitives, so take that with a pinch of salt.

Why are prepositional phrases important? They’re the rest of the sentence after the verb.

Oh, and if you want to understand the title of this post, watch this:

I do not understand why The Powers That Be ever took Schoolhouse Rock off the air. It, well, rocked.

-Val, sometimes a grammar queen, but usually just a grammar geek

July 29, 2008. Grammar. 1 comment.

Spelling Counts

Misspelling a word can alter the meaning of an entire sentence. The advent of spell-checking software has made accurate spelling easier, but it is not a panacea. When a typographical error or spelling error results in another word, spellcheck is useless.

Take the increasingly common misspelling “loose.” Loose is an actual word, of course, but it’s becoming a common misspelling of the word “lose,” with sometimes humorous results (that were meant to be serious).

For example, here’s a sentence from a review of Little Brother by Cory Doctorow on the Boise Speculative Fiction Writers blog (thank you, w0pht, for permission to use it):

This novel preaches the gospel of open encryption and free speech that this country is rapidly loosing to political fear mongering and civil rights trashing.

A single letter has changed the intent of a serious sentence describing a political climate of increased censorship of word, deed and thought. With the error, it reads (to me) as if open encryption and free speech have been unleashed, like Shakespeare’s dogs of war, to prey upon fear mongering and civil rights trashing: quite the opposite of the writer’s intent, though not a bad idea.

If you’re thinking w0pht is grammar challenged, please rest assured this was simply a typographical error in a blogpost. And buy his short story in the new anthology Barren Worlds from Hadley Rille Press, because I can’t use his typo and not plug his new book. I’m getting an autographed copy at his reading, 2 p.m. on July 26 at the Rediscovered Bookshop.


July 22, 2008. Tags: . Grammar. Leave a comment.

CBC Golden Heart Finalists

The Coeur du Bois Chapter would like to Congratulate our members, Tatia and Becky, on their Golden Heart Finals.

July 19, 2008. Announcements. Leave a comment.

And they’re off!

All she could think of was ‘why me?’.

As a first sentence to an ABC story, it is full of potential.

July 16, 2008. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

ABC Story Assignment

We thought it would be fun as a chapter to do a ABC story on our blog. I’m posting the idea to our yahoo loop with letter assignments. We hope to have the first sentence by Saturday. Half way through the alphabet we’ll post the results here so everyone can see how it’s going.
I’ve included the rules here so if other chapters or writing groups would like to try it they can. We got the idea originally from The Cherries. Our member Janis McCurry is a Cherry and participated in their ABC story.

Here are The Rules

1. The story will be posted to the list, so we must use a distinct subject line so the messages thread correctly. The easiest way to do that is to reply to THIS post for person A (and trim everything but the A sentence), person B will reply to person A’s post (and trim everything but the A and B sentence) So no tag lines or book links, and so on…please TRIM any extraneous material BEFORE sending the reply to create the story post.

2. To keep things moving, each letter should post their sentence within 24 hours of the previous letter (and no more than 48 hours of the letter preceding that one). For example, A posts over her morning coffee, then B posts before lunch, C will have 48 hours from A’s post to get their sentence submitted to the list. After the 48 hour mark, someone else will be given the letter. We will also need volunteers who are willing to jump in on any letter as a substiute poster, if needed.

3. This is a cooperative story, so posters should focus on using elements already in the story. The goal is to draw threads together and create a cohesive story.

4. No altering sentences after the fact. Once you hit “send,” the sentence stands.

5. Digest subscribers who are contributing a sentence may need to follow this thread on the web to make sure they don’t miss their assignment window. Or unsubscribe from digest for the duration of the story.

6. I have the power to edit sentences for grammar, or disallow sentences which are inappropriate, etc.

Let the chaos unfold.

July 15, 2008. Tags: . Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

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