Wednesday, January 19, 2011

SPECIAL GUEST: ANNE CARROLE and Love Western Romances

(Celia) I'm so pleased to introduce Anne Carrole, a Western Romance author and co-founder of the very popular website Love Western Romances.
Anne says she is "a Jersey girl with a Western heart who was raised on a farm in NJ with horses, dogs, cats, chickens, rabbits, and whatever other animals she and her sisters could convince their parents to shelter." Besides reading and writing romances, you can find her rummaging around antique stores, in the garden, or on the tennis court when she's not watching the rodeo. She is married to her own urban cowboy, and is also the proud mother of a teenage cowgirl.
Anne, please tell us about Love Western Romances, the site you and Karyna DeRosa created several years ago. Why and how did this idea come to you?

(ANNE)
Thanks for having me here at Sweethearts of the West—just love that name.
Love Western Romances is a review site devoted exclusively to western historical romances. Our goal is to help readers find new authors and authors find new readers.
Karyna and I met at our local RWA chapter and were bemoaning the fact that we couldn’t find enough of the books we loved to read (and write), that is western historical romances. We figured a lot of other fans of the genre were having the same problem. Being Karyna is a whiz on the computer (she manages website design and programming for her corporate day job), and my day job used to be in marketing, the idea of starting a website devoted to promoting the genre seemed the answer and Love Western Romances was born.

(Celia) With all the success of Love Western Romances, is there extra pressure on you to live up to higher expectation?

(ANNE)
If you mean do we feel pressure to keep things going, we do. I won’t lie that there aren’t days when it seems too much, given we both have day jobs, personal lives, and are working to get our own books published, but when we hear from readers and authors, that keeps us going.

(Celia) I know the website well, and notice you have three main areas of promotion to offer authors of Western Romances. First, explain the Author spotlight and how does it work?

(ANNE)
Each month we feature a western historical romance author. We try to have a mix of up-and- coming authors as well as established authors. Many of the established authors we contacted and asked if they’d appear, but western historical authors can contact us through the site and if we have an opening, we’ll place them in our spotlight. We try not to repeat authors more than every two years and if we do repeat, it has to be because they have something new to say for a visitor’s interest beyond a new book to promote, though we are all for letting people know about the latest books. That’s why readers come to our site, to learn about what’s new in western historical romance.

 When we first got started we were a little intimidated about asking some of the “big names” in western romance to be in our spotlight. I mean, who were we but just an upstart website.  Our first author, Stacey Kayne/Harlequin Historical was releasing her debut novel and so we sort of launched together. After that, Cheryl St. John, another Harlequin author, graciously agreed  to be in our spotlight(she’s a real sweetheart). They both were very helpful in supporting us since they were starting their own blog, Petticoats and Pistols, and felt the more the merrier. Once we had a few authors in the spotlight,  I got bold and approached Leigh Greenwood, because I thought having one of the few male romance writers would be a good draw to our site. He couldn’t have been nicer. In fact that is what I have to say about ALL the authors who have been in our spotlight; every one of them has been gracious, generous and just plain nice.

For me, though, a highlight had to be when I gathered up my courage to ask Linda Lael Miller to be in our spotlight. Anyone who knows me knows she is my idol as far as western romance goes. In the very early days of our site, her publicist had contacted us about reviewing A Wanted Man—still a favorite of mine. So, through her publicist, I contacted her. Talk about being nice and supportive. She mentioned it on her blog, mentioned us on her publisher’s site, put up our logo during that year’s Best Western Romance and donated several times to our voter bundles. She appeared again in 2010. She’s a fan favorite and will always be one of ours.

 (Celia) The review section, I notice, is huge. How does an author get a review from LWR?

(ANNE)
Most of the time they contact us through the website. We get most of our books to review from the authors themselves, rather than their publishers. We can only handle about five a month because we don’t have that many reviewers. (Anyone who wants to review western historicals and will accept them in pdf format, please feel free to contact me. We are always looking for new reviewers.)

We accept only western historical romances because that’s what our site visitors are looking for and, just because of volume, we do not accept self-published or re-issued books for review, though we are happy to mention them in the author news section of our newsletter. Anyone can join our monthly newsletter, which is another way to find out what is happening in western romances at

(Celia) The third important part of the site is the offer to buy ad space for a book cover on the Home Page. How does this work?

(ANNE)
This is the only form of paid advertising we accept on the site. The fees we charge ($10 per month per book cover ad) go to cover our maintenance of the website and to fund our Best Western and other contests. We’ve never made a profit on the site, take no money ourselves (there isn’t enough). This is truly a labor of love because we don’t want this genre to disappear.

An author who has a western historical book cover they want displayed on the Home Page can pay through Paypal on the site. Then they need to e-mail us at


and provide us their book cover or banner in jpeg format.  We’ll then link the book cover back to their website. That’s it.

(Celia) One trivial question: If you bought a car that matched your personality, what would it be?

(ANNE)
Well, that’s definitely a question I haven’t been asked before. I’m not sure of the particular model but it would definitely be red and sporty, I think, but not necessarily an expensive one. Just one that’s fast and nimble. My favorite car back in the day was my Honda Prelude so maybe it would be that.

(Celia) Now, we'd love to know about your books in general and your newest release.

(ANNE)
I have a short story published with the Wild Rose Press called Re-ride at the Rodeo, a contemporary western, that’s available separately as an e-book or in print as part of the anthology Return to Wayback.

(Celia) Can you give us a blurb and a buy link for the book?

BLURB for Re-ride at the Rodeo:
Saddle bronc rider Clay Tanner is looking for a good time and the tempting little blonde who’s working the beer concession at the rodeo looks like she could use one—except she turns him down. Feeling like he’s been bucked off his bronc before the eight second buzzer, Clay’s betting he can score if she’ll give him a re-ride. But qualifying may call for more than he’s prepared to give.

Dusty Morgan’s nonplussed when hard-bodied cowboy Clay Tanner hits on her. She doesn’t exactly have the kind of figure that attracts Texas cowboys. Besides, even though Clay’s deep timbre voice sends tingles clear to her toes, he’s an undependable rough stock rider and a player to boot. Though he may be what she desires, Dusty knows from experience he isn’t what she needs—or is he?
(Celia) I remember this one from the RETURN TO WAYBACK anthology! In fact, I wrote short reviews for each story and posted them on my blog.
Friends--if you want a good read, check out Anne’s rodeo story. It’s part of a series from The Wild Rose Press--I think there are 14 books in the series (I have one in there, too.)   

BUY LINK:


Where else can we find you?

Thank you so much, Anne, for visiting the Sweethearts of the West. Good luck and best wishes for your continuing success.

Celia Yeary



24 comments:

  1. Hi Anne:

    I grew up on a farm in New Jersey near Chester (at least for a number of years). We rented the farm house so I had the fun of living on a farm but I had no farm duties like the other kids! It was the best of both worlds! I loved it!

    I’d like to know what qualifies as a Western Romance. What years? What geography? And will you take Western Historical Fiction that has a romance in it but the romance is not the central focus of the book?

    Vince

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  2. Hi Anne

    I've visitesd your review site several times in the past and really enjoy your guest authors! Good luck with your newsest Rodeo book from the Wild Rose Press. I love writing about rodeo cowboys, too :-) There's just something about those guys that melt a woman's heart.

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  3. Hi Vince. Chester is just up 202 from me. Lovely little town and wonderful area. For us a Western Historical Romance is from 1850 to 1900 and we've stretched those years sometimes to accommodate the first decade of the 1900's because there still was a lot of "west" being lived at that time.

    As for geography, anything west of the Mississippi.

    As for Western Historical Fiction, we have reviewed a few such as Billy Killdeere by Lee Aaron Wilson but our site visitors and reviewers do expect some romance to go along with their history.

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  4. So glad you were able to pop in at Love Western Romances.com, Marin. And thanks for the warm wishes.

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  5. Good morning--Anne, we're very pleased to have you here this morning. I was hoping visitors would have questions for you, and I see that Vince started us off right.
    Have fun today--Celia

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  6. Anne Carrole, thank you for being on our site. I was so excited when Loves Western Romance reviewed my book! I felt I'd made it. LOL

    Do you spotlight only by invitation or can an author ask to be in line for a spotlight?

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  7. Hi Celia--thanks for having me!

    Caroline, authors can also request a spotlight and if we have an opening we'll slot you. Right now we are booking for the second half of the year. We try to have a mix of established and new authors to keep it interesting. Right now we are thrilled to feature Kensington author Jo Goodman who also writes Regencies along with western historicals. In February we have award winning Zebra author Georgina Gentry who is a font of knowledge on western history.

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  8. Hi Anne,

    I enjoyed your post. It was nice to read the background of how your review site for Westerns launched and survived. I applaud you for your labor of love!

    Maggie

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  9. Hi Anne!
    Enjoyed your interview. I grew up like you did, horses, calves, chickens. I’d even ride up to my girlfriend’s house after school to visit. Pony power is a lot more fun than asking my parents, or older sisters, for a lift. Sometimes it would get late and I’d have to ride home by the light of the moon, which was always a little spooky through the woods. But better times I can’t remember!


    Thank you, thank you, thank you! I’m so thrilled MONTANA DAWN won the 2010’s Best Western Romance from your site. I remember before I got published I used to look at the current winner; never dreaming one of my books might actually be there someday. I love all the goodies you sent and I plan to use one of the gift cards today. LOVE your site! I go to it often to see what’s coming up soon on the western horizon.

    Hugs!
    ~Caroline

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  10. Thanks Maggie!

    And so nice to see our Best Western Romance 2010 author here, Caroline! Reader's just finished selecting the winner on our site. Every December through mid January we hold a reader's choice poll for Best Western Romance of the year from among those books that received 5 spurs from our reviewers. A lucky Voter can also win a bundle of goodies donated by authors and LWR. It's a lot of fun and traffic to the site soars :). And it assures that western historical romances get some deserved recognition. Congrats again Caroline for Montana Dawn--a lovely book.

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  11. Anne, I loved reading the full story of how LWR came about. I'd never heard it. I just know you and Karyna do an awesome job. I love the site and frequent it often to see what new western romances are out. I wish you lots of luck with your next book. I LOVED RE-RIDE AT THE RODEO! You have a definite western romance voice.

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  12. Linda, thank you so much.

    Now Linda Broday is exactly what I am talking about when I say that western historical romance authors are the nicest people. Karyna actually introduced me to her work and through LWR I've gotten to know Linda even more. If you haven't read Linda, you are in for a treat. She writes about ordinary cowboys who are called by circumstances to find that inner strength and grit needed to win the woman of their heart, as in one of my faves by her, Knight of the Plains. She's also got some great stories in a line of anthologies with Jodi Thomas, the latest of which is Give Me a Texas Ranger.

    Can't tell you how thrilled I am Linda that you stopped by.

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  13. Great interview, Anne. You've done a fantastic job of creating such a high-quality website for lovers of western romance. And I highly recommend Re-ride at the Rodeo to everyone as a fun, sassy and sexy quick read!

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  14. Fun story about how it all started, Anne. Thank you both for LWR -- I've 'discovered' so many good authors through the site.

    Nancy

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  15. How lovely to meet you Anne. It's nice to see all the great strides in getting westerns out there. Great taste with Stacey Kayne, one of my dear ones, as your first guest. The site sounds perfect!

    I hope to sell one of my westerns so I can contact you. :)

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  16. Thanks Lynn , you are dear to say so!

    And Nancy so happy you have found new authors nexus that's the point:)

    Paisley, hope you find a publisher and stop by LWR!

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  17. Thanks Lynn , you are dear to say so!

    And Nancy so happy you have found new authors nexus that's the point:)

    Paisley, hope you find a publisher and stop by LWR!

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  18. Hi Anne,
    Good to see you here at Sweethearts and learn a little more about you!

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  19. Hi Anne.

    I stopped in to congratulate you on your latest book from Wild Rose Press. WTG!

    gem

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  20. Hi Anne,
    So good to see you here at SOTW, and of course, great interview! Celia always asks the very best questions. I was glad to learn more about LWR. What a labor of love that must be for you! It's a wonderful site, and I always enjoy seeing what's "up" there. It's so nice to know more about you and your books!
    Cheryl P.

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  21. Thanks Paty, Gem and Cheryl for stopping in. And so glad you enjoy the site! :)

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  22. Kudos to you and Karyna for providing your expertise and time to others.

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  23. Hi Anne, what a wonderful interview. I enjoyed getting to know you better. I absolutely love LWR. Thanks for supporting all the Western writers and readers out there.

    And I too adore Cheryl St. John and Linda Lael, well, she is a goddess. oxoxox

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  24. How lovely to find some New Jerseyites with hearts in the West. I live in Manhattan, but my first book is set in a mining town high in the Colorado Rockies. Can't explain why. Perhaps I was being channeled by a 1890's woman who wanted her story told. But, it's nice to see that this northeastern author is not alone.

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