Wednesday, October 31, 2012

It's Release Day!!!

It is the official release day for A Bride Sews With Love in Needles, CA! You can find it at these fine retailers: 

Happy First Day of November, Happy NaNoWriMo kickoff, and Happy Release Day! 

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

World War One Wednesday ~ Press Release!

First of all, happy Reformation Day! Yup, it's the 490th anniversary of the day Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the Wittenburg Church door.

Second, tomorrow is release day for A Bride Sews With Love in Needles, CA! Squee!

Third, I have to send a huge shout out to Sandie Bricker, who was so kind and generous with her time and expertise to lend me more than one hand hammering out my very first press release. And all while she's trying to mend from a rather nasty back injury! You can learn all about Sandie and her totally fun books HERE.

Fourth, Here is the polished up press release:

ROCHESTER, Minn. – For Immediate Release - New York Times bestselling author and Rochester resident Erica Vetsch is always looking for inspiration for her next novel. Recently, just such inspiration struck when Vetsch visited the Dodge County Museum in Mantorville, MN, and she spotted a vintage World War I Red Cross signature quilt created by Dodge County women.

When Vetsch saw the names that had been embroidered on the red and white quilt in exchange for a donation to the Red Cross, the author of historical fiction for the inspirational market says, “I knew instantly that I wanted to include a signature quilt in my next novel. I couldn’t help but wonder about these people who donated to have their names on the quilt and about the women who stitched the names.”

Vetsch took that inspiration one step further by creating a signature quilt of her own honoring the WWI veterans of Dodge County. After some diligent research at the Minnesota State Historical Society Library in St. Paul, and the assistance of Mary Ann Bucher, secretary of the Dodge County Historical Society, a list was compiled.

Vetsch and her sister-in-law, Linda Ambrose of Stewartville, MN, pieced, embroidered, and assembled a queen-sized replica of the original Red Cross quilt bearing the names of 359 soldiers and two Red Cross nurses from Dodge County.

The quilt will be gifted to the DCHS Museum. A presentation ceremony is planned for Veteran’s Day, November 11, 2012, at 3:30 p.m. at the museum, located at 615 Main Street in Mantorville. The quilt will be on display at the museum along with the original that inspired the project as well as other World War I artifacts. The author will sign copies of her newest release, A Bride Sews with Love in Needles, CA, the WWI-era novel that emerged from a simple trip to a museum and the discovery of an antique quilt full of memories.

# # #

For more information on the ceremony, contact the DCHS Museum at (507) 635-5508.

Question for you...have you ever written a press release? What would be your dream venue for sending a press release to? The Today Show? Jay Leno? Dr. Horrible's Sing-a-long Blog? :D

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Ramping Up

Handicapp Ramp

Today, my schedule kicks into high gear. Today is the start of basketball practice for the son. Three practices a week and at least 16 games. For the next four months, we're in overdrive.

I've also taken on a couple of ministries at church, am writing a novel, have a book releasing Nov. 1st and another one Dec. 1st, am homeschooling the boy, approaching the end of year bookkeeping season, and judging in a writing contest.

While I'm eager and excited about many of these things, I'm also feeling the need to get some sort of strategy, some sort of system to make it all manageable. I need to break it down into bite-sized chunks that won't choke me.

I'm blessed to be able to work on my writing/blogging/networking while my son is at practice. There are several hours blocked out every week to work on word count and meet writing goals. Yay!

I'm still working on how everything else will shake out, but I think I'm ready to embrace some busyness. 

How about you? Is your schedule ramping up? Are you devising ways to make it all fit without burning out?

**** THIS JUST IN: Author Keli Gwyn is giving away THREE copies of A Bride Sews With Love in Needles, CA, and to sweeten the deal, she's also including a copy of A Bride's Portrait of Dodge City, KS for each winner too! Hop on over to and leave a comment to be entered to win! 

Thursday, October 25, 2012

The Friday Five ~ Candy Style

Halloween Candy

In light of next Wednesday's goings on, this week's Friday Five is
My Five Favorite Halloween Candies.

1. Reese's Peanut Butter Cups
2. Payday
3. Snickers
4. Butterfinger
5. Red Licorice

And a bonus:
Five Halloween candies I didn't like to see in my stash:
1. Black Licorice
2. Circus Peanuts (the big orange marshmallowy things)
3. Candy Corn
4. Taffy
5. KitKats

How about you? What's one Halloween candy you really like, and what's one that you don't?

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

World War One Wednesday ~ Fashions

While World War One waged on in Europe, women in the US were asked to sacrifice, scrimp, and save in every area of their lives. Meatless Mondays, Wheatless Wednesdays, Victory Gardens, scrap drives, knitting bees, as so much more.

Another area they were asked to conserve in was their dress. From the above pattern book page: This year above all others waste must be avoided and women must devote more than usual care and thought to the proper selection of patterns so that no material will be wasted. The dress you make and never wear is the really expensive one. Why experiment when Pictorial Review Patterns guarantee perfect fit, advance styles, the chic you so much admire in French gowns, and the saving of from one half to one whole yard of material.

Slimmer skirts, narrower sleeves, false pockets, all ways to conserve fabric and money during a trying time. Making your own clothing rather than buying off the rack. Making over dresses from the previous season. Dyeing a white dress pink one year, burgundy the next, anything to stretch the budget.

These practices stood these woman in good stead a decade or so later when the stock market and US economy crashed.

Are you creative about conserving? Are you a coupon user, a saver, a budgeter and planner?

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Whatcha Readin?

Since I've begun writing a new romance, I've been deliberate about reading more romances. I want to immerse myself in the genre, reading and noting all the places where my emotions are engaged and seeing how the author accomplished it. I want to get my mind and creativity settled into the romance genre.

I tend to read widely, lots of genres, especially mysteries. I read thrillers, some horror, westerns, historical, contemporary, whatever catches my eye. I also read a lot of non-fiction, history and biography.

But I find when I'm writing a new story, I want to read romances. I want strong heroes, intelligent heroines, compelling conflicts, and a sense of inevitability when it comes to falling in love. I know some writers shy away from reading their own genre out of a fear of copying the style or story line of another writer, but I can't imagine not reading romances while writing.

Some of my favorite romances were written half a century ago by New Zealand author Essie Summers. I just finished re-reading Winter in July a very satisfying story.

How about you? Do you read widely in your genre? When you are writing, do you still read fiction?

Saturday, October 20, 2012

How To Make An Author's Day! (week, month...)

My heart is full, my mind is blown. 

Multi-award winning and Pulitzer Prize nominee Mary Doria Russell, author of the novel Doc, an historical bio-fiction of Doc Holliday, posted this on her website:

A Bride's Portrait of Dodge City, Kansas by Erica Vestch (2011)
Those looking for a the softer side of life in Dodge City may want to check out this novel.  Combining romance and mystery, Vetsch tells the story of Adeline Reid, a photographer who has come to Dodge City to start a new life.  A life that is threatened when an old acquaintance shows up in town.  If you are looking for Doc Holliday in this story, you won't find him, and Bat Masterson is a mere name on a page.  What you will find, however, is an deeper look at the more genteel side of Dodge City.  Readers should expect a compelling mystery, an engaging romance, and a touch of that action for which the Wild West is best known.

To learn more about Mary Doria Russell and her novel about Doc Holliday, click HERE.

To read more about her and her other books, click HERE.

To purchase A Bride's Portrait of Dodge City, KS, the best price I could find online is at and you can find it HERE.

And for a limited time, the Kindle version of A Bride's Portrait of Dodge City, Kansas is available for just $3.79! You can find it HERE. 

Many thanks to Mary Doria Russell. I'm headed to to purchase Doc.  

Thursday, October 18, 2012

The Friday Five - Awwwww Style!

I need me some cute and cuddly today, so today's Friday Five is pictures of cuteness.


1. Crazy Cat Lady Starter Kit. :)

puppy Campbell

2. I'm a chocolate lover.

Momma and New Baby

3. How cute are they???

Sleeping Baby

4. Sweeeeeet!


5. LOVE!

I feel better. How was your week, and what makes you feel warm and fuzzy inside?

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

World War One Wednesday

Below are the top five fiction titles of 1917. I find it interesting to see what people were reading at a given time in history, because it gives me a bit of insight into what was going on in their heads, what was forming their opinions and shaping their views. I was pleasantly surprised to see that all these titles and authors were familiar to me.

A Princess of Mars (Barsoom...

His Last Bow (Sherlock Holm...


Understood Betsy

The Lost Princess of Oz (Oz...

The year I was born, the most popular book was "I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings" by Maya Angelou.

Google "Most popular books of ___________" and put in the year you were born. I'd love to know what was popular in the year of your birth.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Climbing the Mountain

This weekend I started the opening scene of my WIP. I didn't get a ton of words written, but I feel as if I've put my toe into the first crack of the rock face. 

The first line isn't great. I'm waiting for inspiration to dawn on a great, gripping, interesting, engaging first line. Since it hasn't come to me yet, I just went ahead and dove into the rest of the scene. For the first time, I breathed a little life into a setting. I made a name into a character, gave her something she wants, the reason she wants it, and what might keep her from getting it.

I love this process.

So, how about you? Where are you in the project you're working on?

Thursday, October 11, 2012

The Friday Five

fortune cookies

Thursday night, I was watching Leverage, and Parker quoted a fortune cookie: "A man with one watch knows the time. A man with two is never sure." 

In honor of Leverage and Parker, today's Friday Five is:

Five Funny Fortune Cookie Fortunes:

1. Confucius say: If you think you can sum up your whole life on this little slip of paper, you're crazy!

2. You will be hungry again in one hour.

3. Don't eat any Chinese food today or you will be very sick.

4. How much deeper would the ocean be without sponges?

5. Help! I'm being held hostage in a Chinese bakery!

Your turn. Make up a funny fortune cookie! And happy Friday!

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

World War One Wednesday

Hall of Mirrors at the Palace of Versailles

How did World War One end? Though the armistice/cease fire was signed on November 11th, 1918, it took six months of negotiations to hammer out the details of a treaty between Germany and the Allied Powers. (Other countries were dealt with, with individual treaties.) On June 28th, 1919, exactly five years to the day after the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand that started the War to End All Wars, the Treaty of Versailles was signed in the Hall of Mirrors at the Palace of Versailles, just outside Paris, France.

One of the most difficult points of the treaty called upon Germany (along with Austria and Hungary in their treaties) to accept the blame for starting the war. They were called upon to give up territorial concessions, as well as to make monetary reparations to those countries they had warred against. In addition, they were to disarm, and Emperor Wilhelm II would be tried as a war criminal.

None of these tenants of the Treaty of Versailles was enough to hamper Germany, as proved in just twenty years when Germany launched another military offensive that began World War II. Only a handful of years after Allied troops withdrew from the Rhineland (another tenant of the treaty) Hitler would march German soldiers against most of Europe once more.

Do you remember learning about World War One in school? Or, like me, do you feel your teachers glossed over this period of history in order to focus on the people and events of the Second World War? 

Sunday, October 07, 2012

Principles of Design - Shape and Form

garden wall 1

Awhile back, I started a series comparing P. Allen Smith's Principles of Garden Design with the design principles of creating a novel. The first principle of design we discussed was that of Enclosure. (Identifying and staying within the boundaries of your genre.) You can find that post by clicking HERE. 
The next principle of design is Shape and Form. Here's what P. Allen Smith has to say on the subject:

Shape and Form - The contour and three-dimensional qualities of individual plants or groups of plants in the garden, as well as the outline of a garden room itself.
  • Basic shapes stage the look of garden rooms.
  • Shapes have symbolic meanings.
  • Shapes convey "personality" that creates certain moods.
  • The arrangement of shapes in relation to one another defines certain styles.

When choosing plants for your garden, you consider things like size, color, flowering season, annual vs. perennial, climate, and much more to create the mood, look, and emotional experience you're looking for. 

So many comparisons can be made here to novel writing. Especially as I am plotting a new novel. When choosing characters, setting, word usage, pacing, and symbolism, you must consider your genre, your audience, your writing style, and the emotions you're hoping to evoke in your reader.

Shape and Form - The three-dimensional qualities of your characters as well as the pacing, word usage, and symbolism that give your story depth and richness.
  • Characters need to have shape and form, be three-dimensional, sympathetic, and interesting. 
  • Symbolism can add richness and depth to your story.
  • Word usage will convey the mood and tone of your scene/story/genre. 
  • Pacing and arrangement of scenes should move the story forward at the right clip for your genre.
So, what genre are you writing, and what mood are you hoping to create?

I'm writing an historical romance, and the mood is one of hope and happily ever after.

Thursday, October 04, 2012

The Friday Five

Birthday Cake

Today, October 5th, is my beloved husband's birthday. 

So I thought I'd share five memories I have of my husband.

1. One of the first memories I have of Peter is his 21st birthday. I didn't know him very well, but I do remember wishing him a happy birthday. (I thought he was pretty grown up at 21, since I was just 18.) 

2. I remember the first time I saw Peter. As a new freshman at Calvary Bible College who needed to have a Christian Ministry, I chose to work in the AWANA club of a nearby church. Peter was the game leader. I love a man in uniform, even that old gray and red one AWANA used to have all their leaders wear. 

3. I remember Peter holding our firstborn for the first time. He held her like a running back tucking a football close so he won't fumble. :) He immediately fell in love with that little girl. Makes me mushy inside just thinking about it. 

4. I remember Peter watching the Super Bowl of 1996 with his son. Of course James was five days old at the time. 

5. I remember the look in Peter's eyes when he asked me to marry him. He's been looking at me that same way ever since.

Happy Birthday, Peter. I hope we are blessed to share many, many more birthdays together.

Q4U - Best flavor of birthday cake?
For me, it's devil's food with chocolate frosting. 

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

World War One Wednesday - The Quilt

The Red Cross Signature Quilt, embroidered with the names of World War One veterans from Dodge County, Minnesota is all set to be presented, and we have a date and time!

Sunday, November 11th, at 3:30 pm, at the Dodge County Historical Society Museum in Mantorville, MN, my sister-in-law and I will be presenting the quilt to be added to the museum collection, and I'll be signing copies of A Bride Sews With Love in Needles, CA, which was inspired by my first visit to the DCHS museum.

Just before the presentation, there is an honor ceremony at the Civil War Memorial in Wasioja, just a few miles from Mantorville, at 2:00 pm.

If you're able, I'd love to see you at both places! Come to honor our American Veterans, and stay for the quilt presentation. Tour the museum, including the grave in the basement, see the lovely quilts and dresses, and visit with the DCHS board members and patrons.