Parents Say the Darndest Things

On my most recent visit my parents took me to their favorite Chinese restaurant. We sat around the table, our stomachs ready to pop from all the food, and eyed the requisite fortune cookies. Who would be the first? See, with my family, there are rules for just about everything. Even when eating Chinese food.

Rule Number One: Each person must read their fortune aloud.

Okay, it’s been a while since I was home, but I’ll play along. I read mine. “Sing everyday and chase the mean blues away.” Little Mom pipes up, “In bed.” I glance at her. She smiles serenely. My sister reads hers. “Keep your eyes open. You never know what you might see.” My family says, “In bed.” The giggles start. Then Little Mom reads hers. “You will achieve all your desires and pleasures…in bed.” By this time I think my concerns for their sanity must be showing on my face. Finally my dad has his in hand, glances at me and announces that surely I must remember the other rule. Um, no, but I’m really wondering if my family members have lost it. Then I’m swiftly reminded of the second rule.

Rule Number Two: When reading the fortune we must always add the words ‘In Bed’ to the end.

My parents, who have celebrated over fifty years of marriage, hold hands, share a secret smile and giggle. They then asked for more fortune cookies to demonstrate their point.

Soon, a visitor shall delight you…in bed.
You will be rewarded for your patience and understanding…in bed.
It’s kind of fun to do the impossible…in bed.
You will be successful in your work…in bed.
You are a person of strong sense of duty…in bed.
It’s never too late to learn…in bed.
You will be happy with your spouse…in bed.
You will have a good fast car…in bed.
Good fortune is never late as long as it comes…in bed.

I’m sure you get the picture and can finish this one for yourself.

Whoosh! And here I thought I’d have to skirt around the hot scenes in my novel KNIGHT DREAMS.

My darling parents, non-digital readers, waited to read KNIGHT DREAMS. Finally! The print release came out this August. Granted, I don’t write Erotica, but I have to admit that I was a little skittish for my parents to read the hotter scenes. My anxiety levels increased when they proudly mentioned that several of their church friends are excited to read the book. Little Mom sat down and raced through it from cover to cover. She looked up at me and with that smile of hers, said, “Darling, we were young once. And besides, where do you thing you came from?” My dad hollers from his chair where he has been reading his own copy, “We had a good time practicing too. Still do.” Without missing a beat they say together, “Rule Two: Always add ‘In Bed’ at the end of your fortune. You’ll be glad you did.”

Oh lord, did they really say that? Judging by their Cheshire grins, I’d say yes, yes they did.

Each Breath, Each Moment

I’ve been thinking about the phrase ‘being in the moment.’ Recently, I spent a few days in Orlando, Florida and believe it or not, I didn’t chase after Mickey and Minnie. Seriously. Two mice, love and the power of the imagination.In Orlando. Sounds intriguing. But that wasn’t my focus.

Oh yes, I admit, I did go to Downtown Disney and play a bit at the House of Blues, but that wasn’t the reason for my trek across the United States. No, my adventure was for the love of romance.  Hmm. Now that I think about it, how many couples have a great relationship like Mickey and Minnie.

Mickey and Minnie

Mickey and Minnie

They worked through their issues and love each other no matter the distractions. So that brings me  back to why I’m learning about romance in Orlando. Why Orlando? Because Romance Writers of America had their 30th Anniversary Conference at Walt Disney’s beautiful Swan & Dolphin in Orlando.

And there, we talked about romance and finding the right words to portray each character’s story. How perfect. The conference was held at a place that celebrates one of the greatest partnerships known to modern man. Mickey & Minnie. It was the perfect unity of hope, love, passion, and adventure. Perfect.

And then those devilish, demanding thoughts arrived. They perched on my shoulder. What are you doing? Why did you do this? Why haven’t you done that? Who do you think you are?  Did you check your Blackberry? How about those emails. Do it. Do it while the speaker is talking. Do it. Do it, whether you are exhausted or not. Do it so that you look savvy, smart, with it, connected. Tweet it. Facebook it. Be the first to announce. Be the first to know…

Know what? I stopped my hand from stroking the Blackberry keys. I didn’t connect to Facebook or Twitter. I sat in the meetings and absorbed all that I could. I felt rejuvenated. Relief. My thinking cleared.  In all that extraneous chatter I just might have missed the beauty of the sunsets. I might have missed the honest words of the speakers. We are here to help each other. We share. We grow. We are. And there is balance. When we scatter our thoughts, our focus is dispersed, our light does not shine as brightly and we do not appreciate every glorious nuance that has been gifted to us in that moment.

I realized the panic of not doing was hampering the doing. I was not living in the moment. I was only surviving. I turned off my  Blackberry. I shut down the laptop in my room. Emails and networking were put on the back-burner. Afterall, isn’t the broth better after a day of stewing?

“The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, worry about the future, or anticipate troubles, but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.”
— Buddha

I can’t help but wonder if I’m the only one fighting to maintain balance. What do you do? Do you fight it? Do you follow Buddha’s advice?

Knight Dreams, Now available in PRINT

FINALLY! KNIGHT DREAMS is now available in PRINT! Check out an excerpt for the link below. Buy it now from all your favorite retailers. 

http://samhainpublishing.com/coming/knight-dreams-print

For king and country…or the love of one woman?

Knights of the Swan, Book 1

Wales, 1415

Terrwyn, the daughter of a dispossessed Welsh lord, is blessed with unusual talents. Her skill with a bow and cursed ability to dream the future, however, didn’t save her younger brother from conscription into the English army.

To honor a deathbed promise, she sets out to bring him home—and discovers that one of the king’s knights holds the key to locating her brother. Now she must stay close to her sworn enemy…and try to ignore the growing heat between them. A difficult task, when they wind up manacled together.

Sir James Frost, confidante to King Henry V, can trust no one, particularly the young Welsh maiden impersonating an archer within the ranks. With treason brewing, the last thing he needs is the secretive beauty chained to his side. The connection between them, though, becomes stronger than any links of metal.

When an assassination plot places their lives in jeopardy, James is torn between duty and the woman he loves. He must choose where his fealty lies…and Terrwyn must decide if changing Fate is worth the price.

Warning: This story includes steamy sex scenes with a hot knight who holds magic in his hands and a spunky Welsh archer who knows exactly where to place her arrows.

Coffee Time Romance & More gives 4 CUPS to Knight Dreams

This review comes at a great time in my life. It comes when I really need it. Thank you Cherokee! And thank you Coffee Time Romance & More!

“Knight Dreams is a tale that pulls you immediately into the plot, intrigue, and action-packed adventure. There were many times I thought I was right in the middle of the scenes. The dynamite characters are awesome. I could almost visualize Terrwyn as she shot her arrows when duty called. This story keeps the reader eagerly anticipating what the outcome will be, especially with James and Terrwyn. I found their love, sweet, and enjoyed the way their relationship developed. C.C. Wiley wrote a well researched, convincing story with great secondary characters that added just the right amount of gusto to the tale.” Cherokee ~  Reviewer for Coffee Time Romance & More       http://coffeetimeromance.com/BookReviews/knightdreamsccwiley.html

Knight Dreams receives 4 STARS ~ HOT from RT Book Reviews

I recently received my May, 2010 edition of RT Book Reviews and in it was an amazing review for my novel, KNIGHT DREAMS! FOUR Stars! HOT! And I have to tell you, what the reviewer said about my book actually brought tears of joy. Yes, I admit it, I wept. 

I won’t give away all the information. Yet. I’ll have to  check out what the timeline is for the whole review. It’s there in the magazine, but not on their website. 

How did I get this juicy, uplifting information already? I subscribe to their magazine. If you love reading romance fiction and don’t subscribe to RT Book Reviews you really need to take a look at their website and their magazine. http://www.romantictimes.com/

I’ve been a fan of their magazine for several years. I have to tell you, subscribing to RT Book Reviews is the way to go. There have been too many times that the bookstore ran out before I could get there. Having the magazine delivered early gives me extra time to look at all the yummy books to buy and read. 

Now, every time I see the title of my first book, KNIGHT DREAMS, listed by all those other amazing pieces of work, I’m thrilled and inspired. I’m going to keep reaching for my wildest dreams.

While I find out it I can post a snippet of the review, why don’t you head over to my publisher, Samhain Publishing, and read more reviews for Knight Dreams.  Let me know what you think. ~ C.C. Wiley

I’ve Been Thinking…

Where was I when I got THE E-MAIL for the sale of KNIGHT DREAMS? Hmmm…

Actually, I have two points of celebration. In the fall of 2008, a little over a year ago, I was in Indiana visiting my parents when I received the first e-mail from Samhain Publishing editor, Deborah Nemeth. That message was a blessing and brought joy into a rough, rollercoaster year. 

Reports of tumors, cancer, surgeries, and damaged relationships had arrived back to back in 2008. In fact, cancer was what brought me from California and to my mom’s side. The preliminary report said the surgeons had removed all of the cancer from my mom. This allowed us to break from the deep valleys, catch our breath, and wonder if chemotherapy and radiation was needed. While we waited, we remembered to add laughter to our tears and faith to our prayers.

It was during this valley that Deborah’s e-mail came. She loved my story! I squealed as I read those few words and did a happy dance. Breathless, I ran down the stairs to share the news with my parents. They knew how long I’d been writing. This was the third manuscript I had completed. They wanted their little girl to succeed and live her dream.

Then I read the rest of Deborah’s email. There was a BUT… ‘Would you be willing to make some changes?’ My stomach twisted. This story holds a special place in my heart. I wrote it while I was in the midst of my own personal heartache. It carried me away from my grief and brought me hope. It helped me dig my heels in and not give up.

Would I make some changes? I looked at Deborah’s edit notes and gulped. The first few pages were a sea of red! Are you kidding me? With some trepidation, I said, “Of course!” The next e-mails came with rapid fire and the task was set. I turned to my parents. Hope and pride burned in their gaze. It was time to celebrate!

This joy was just the beginning of my stay in Indiana. Word soon came that my mom did not need to have chemotherapy or radiation. And that celebration continues.

The second celebration came in the spring of 2009. After a few rewrite requests, I finally received the contract offer! This time, I was home…alone…when I saw THE E-MAIL in my Inbox. SQUEE! I dropped to my knees. I read the e-mail again and again and again! I laughed and cried and danced around the house. I called my husband, tearing him away from a meeting, and sobbed my news into the phone. I called my parents. Once again, their pride and love filled my heart. I called my writing friend and left an indiscernible message on her answering machine. (She soon returned my call, worried I had had an emergency and needed help.) I sent out e-mails to my children and friends. It was my writing group night and as I drove to the meeting, I cried and laughed. The joyful energy brought shivers through my body. I swear, if had been stopped by the police they would have thought I was high. And I was. I was high on persevering.

In October, 2009, KNIGHT DREAMS was released as an eBook by Samhain Publishing. Before I know it, August 2010 will arrive and KNIGHT DREAMS will be printed as a trade paperback. The view is beautiful from here. It’s also inspiring and intimidating at the same time. There is so much to do and learn. Although setbacks might come, it’s an exhilarating ride and I’m grateful I didn’t give up.

Look out 2010! I’m just getting started.

The Pen and Muse awards Knight Dreams 5 STARS!

Oh Happy, Happy Day! I’m doing the dance of joy!

This reviewer brightened my week, my month, my year, my life. Each sweet word brought tears to my eyes and fire to my soul!  

A bit of what Denisse Alicea, from The Pen and Muse, had to say:

What I liked: What didn’t I like about Knight Dreams? C.C. Wiley surely knows how to write historical romance. I found myself not wanting to leave Terrwyn’s world. The dialogue, scenery, and the plot are just amazing. I really loved how her character was written, she’s skilled yet she is cursed with a gift to see the future. Terrwyn’s such an honorable character and I loved the way she was just so hell-bent on getting her brother home no matter what the cost… This is a must read for those who love historical romances.” 5 STARS~ AMAZING!

Then to make it all that much sweeter, Denisse Alicea has an interview with Samhain’s Director of Public Relations, Lucia Carr. Be sure to click on the following link to read the book review for KNIGHT DREAMS and the whole interview. http://www.thepenmuse.com/2009/11/pen-interview-review-samhain-publishing.html

Please excuse me while I go into my happy dance.

God Bless!