Friday, January 20, 2012

C.H. Admirand: I Will Conquer Or Perish

Western romance author, C.H. Admirand, is visiting with us today with her hot new contemporary romance series, The Secret Life Of Cowboys: Dylan.

One of the misconceptions about authors is the idea that they just sit and write their stories with ease and get paid big bucks. Cushy job, eh? Ask any author about that and you'll liable to reduce them to tears—of laughter. Getting published is hard, no matter how good your story is. Once you're published then comes the deadlines, the edits from hell, whole chapters, perhaps even several chapters need to be rewritten, the editor doesn't like the ending, the middle, the beginning, or the character or his/her name. Yikes!

C.H. talks a bit about her journey and her life of ease.

Welcome, C.H., I'm so glad to have you visiting!

Thanks for inviting me to blog today, Sia, it’s so wonderful to be here. It took me a bit of time to decide what to talk about today because I think my characters are far more interesting than I am. After attending Lora Leigh’s RAW in October, I know that readers do like a glimpse into the life of the author.

For those that don’t know me, I’ve been writing for the Library Market and Small Press for the last twelve years. I was delighted to publish my first book, The Marshal’s Destiny, in 2000, and devastated when I didn’t sell the second book in my Irish Western Series. More than once, I tried to quit, but the voices of characters demanding to have their stories told wouldn’t let me.
Nora Roberts is one of my heroes; it was her article in The Writer’s Digest that kept me going, she said that writers need the 3 Ds to succeed: Drive, Discipline, and Desire… To that I add Determination. While I wrote, I attended workshops and conferences, honing my craft—you cannot improve if you stop writing. But I also dug deep and kept my Purcell ancestor’s motto where I could see it every day: Aut Vincam, Aut Periam–translation: I will either conquer or perish! So I kept writing, submitting, receiving rejections, and six years later, I not only sold my second book, but five more!

I met Deb Werksman by chance at the NJRW Conference a few years ago after an unplanned trip to a ladies club during RT Booklovers Convention in Houston and a lesson well-learned—that I’m not the ladies club type—but helped me come up with the plotline for my hot cowboy trilogy and deal with my embarrassment at the time. I was there physically, but my mind was in the fictional town of Pleasure, Texas that my mind had just created. It was a blast writing about the Garahan brothers: larger than life, tall, dark, and gorgeous Texas cowboys.

This year had a really rocky start: our three-month-old grandson was hospitalized with a respiratory virus, but is finally home and recovering beautifully. The dog we adopted (after losing our 12 year old family member, Ginger, the day after my December 15th deadline) had fear/aggression issues and bit my husband and one of our sons. Although she didn’t break the skin, combined with the reality that she was terrified of my guys (they all wear black leather jackets and boots—and are not quiet), had us seeking help from a professional dog trainer (a first for us after 28 years of raising dogs) to evaluate the dog. She didn’t recommend having the dog around children, a red flag for us with our new grandson, and stressed that although the situation could be managed with her guidelines; the dog may not change and might always be afraid of my guys. She felt the dog showed bite inhibition by not breaking the skin, which is a good thing. We gave it a week, but the dog only grew more aggressive and fearful. It broke my heart, but after consulting with the trainer again, I called the shelter and they agreed that it would be best to return the dog before the situation escalated.

So right now, I’m surfing the internet for dogs in need of a good home when I should be working on the revisions for my November book. It’s hard to explain why I can’t seem to focus now that Ginger is gone, but at odd times, I hear her moving around the house and racing down the stairs when I open the door to feed the birds…it’s all in my head…or is it in my heart? I guess I won’t be able to concentrate until we fill that empty void in our lives with a dog that wants to be a part of our family.

I’m struggling, but optimistic that we’ll find the right dog for our at times busy (aka loud) and other times quite (aka tomblike) home. I need to get back in the groove because 2012 is going to be beyond busy for me. Dylan book two in The Secret Life of Cowboys, just released January 2nd, Jesse, book three, releases July 2nd, and A Wedding in Purity, the first book in my new Small Town USA series, releases in November. Then there are the 2nd and 3rd books in the Small Town series that are due in May and September…good grief I’d better get my head on straight now!

Thanks for letting me ramble on today, Sia. 

  • For animal lovers out there, how have you coped with the loss of a furry family member? How long did you wait before filling that empty void in your life?
Meet Jamison, aka Jamie January 14th
As CH mentioned, she has a new furry baby. I asked for some pictures and she provided these. Isn't he a darling?



There was nothing he couldn't tame...

Dylan Garahan might be an old hand at lassoing fillies, but one night at the Lucky Star club, and he ends up wrapping his rope around someone that even his formidable strength can’t tame. She’s wily and beautiful… and she’s his new boss. Dylan’s had his heart broken bfore, but even an honest cowpoke has to wrestle with temptation…

Until he got his lasso around her...

Ronnie DelVecchio might be fresh off the bus from New Jersey, but she’s a hard-edged businesswoman and has had her fill of men she can’t trust—although she might consider getting off her high horse for that big handsome rancher with a Texas drawl. Excerpt (on amazon)


C.H. Admirand was born in Aiken, South Carolina. She has published 9 bestselling novels for the library market. Her Secret Life of Cowboy series, published by Sourcebooks Casablanca includes Tyler (available now), Dylan (in stores January 2012) and Jesse (in stores July 2012). She lives with her husband, who is the inspiration for all of her heroes’ very best traits, in northern New Jersey. For more information, please visit or follower her on twitter, @chadmirand


~Sia McKye~ said...

Glad you could be here today, Ma'am.

I've lost furry family members. I couldn't replace them, who can. It takes time to open your heart to and new animal.

Not long ago, I lost several Dane pups to Parvo. Someone had been to another kennel and came straight to mine and unfortunately, brought the parvo to mine. Keep in mind, my pups were current on their shots--I always vaccinate! Apparently this was a different strain and pups aren't immune, even with shots, until several weeks after their final round.

It was heartbreaking. Out of a litter of 8 I lost 6, including my Stryker. I delivered them. Was their with their first breath. I wrote a poem about it and it's in the tab above My Writing. I still feel a clutch to my heart when I look at Stryker's pics. I didn't breed my Danes for two years.

I'm sorry to hear about Ginger. You'll fall in love with another sweet personality. You'll know it when you find him/her.

Goa said...

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Anonymous said...

I don't try to replace my furry children. How does one replace the personality or damned cute looks?

11, was a year of pet loss. 3 cats, Miss Kitty was 14 and one very precious dog, Macy, 12.

I still miss the Akita we lost in 05.

But a pair of tawny eyes bright and shining with intelligence grabbed my heart a few months ago. Cuz we weren't going to get another dog. Yeah, that worked well. His name is Gunner, and we're both in love. smile

~Sia McKye~ said...

Thanks, GOA!

Sherilyn, he is definitely a darling, too. I remember when you lost Macy.

No, you can't replace the personality, but you help fill the void they left, as Gunner has with you and hubs.

I lost two beloved cats, Sir Feds in'98 and my Xena in '06. It's awful to lose family members--four or two legged.

welcome to my world of poetry said...

A most wonderful post , I can always expect an interesting read here, to day was no exception.


Tonya Kappes said...

Hugs C.H! I love our furry children almost as much as I love my human children;) As I type this, my furry guys are next to me, while my others are getting ready for school.
We did get another dog when one passed away. It was to help the other dog cope *wink, wink*
Goog luck on your search!

C.H. Admirand said...

Hi Sia - thanks so much for inviting me today...I'm LOVING the music on your blog.

My daughter competed in Irish Step Dancing for 12 years, it brings back wonderful memories:)

I cannot even begin to imagine how heart rending it must have been to lose so many puppies--even though you did everything right and had them vaccinated.

We'd been consumed with the void Ginger left behind...but that cannot begin to compare with your loss. I'm so very sorry.

I do have good news, Jameson (aka Jamie) a black lab mix adopted us a week ago. We weren't going to adopt again so soon after our experience...but there was a PetValu store that was going to have dogs from a local agency that fosters dogs rescued from a high kill shelter in Marietta, GA.

They had puppies...who can't fall in love with a puppy sitting in a cage looking at you saying..hey take me home?

When they let him out of the cage, he showered my youngest son (23) with kisses, then moved to our oldest son (27), my hubby and many lavish kisses and then he settled in my hubby's lap. I knew we'd be taking Jameson home.

He's found a place in our hearts that needed the balm of healing only a furry face with an underbite, black lips and big dark eyes can provide.

Thank you again for letting me pour out my heart. I'm late for Jazzercise class, but I'll be back and respond to comments.

Jo said...

We lost our last dog some years ago and hubs swore never again. In fact we now live in an apartment and its not really a good idea to have pets here. I do miss having a dog, but have learned to live without.

heather said...

My entire life I have always had a dog. Someone to talk to, go on a walk with and to cuddle with when I go to sleep. Diesel was a lab mix and a great dog that I had since I was a little girl. Once I turned 16 and bought a truck he went every where with me. When I was 3 months pregnant with my son when Diesel was hit by a car and took off and I never found him. Even though I still cried thinking about him and missed him so much, I wanted a dog for my son.
I got Wishbone, a jack russel terrier who loves to play fetch andwas a perfect best friend for my son, Jesse. Jesse learned to throw a ball before he could sit up by himself. So it was a very sad time when Wishbone started going blind in both eye's when Jesse was two. Now we have one dog, Bosco a pug mix who is very protective on Jesse and myself. He was my sister's dog but I started to take care of him when she was working all the time. I actually got him before I even got Diesel but he's still going strong :)

C.H. Admirand said...

Hi photos of your restaurant. I've traveled the world over in my mind since I was old enough to hold a copy of National Geographic parents saved every issue from June 1955 when they received it as a wedding present. It was a wonderful way to spend time.

Thanks for stopping by today. Sia's blog is amazing...then again, so is Sia :)

C.H. Admirand said...

Hi Heather - You're right, they cannot be replaced. Each one of our dogs has had a distinctive personality. I'm sorry for your losses.

We got Jake the tri-color Beagle our first Christmas - he was a lover and a rascal and sooo patient as each of our kids learned how to stand using him as their balance point and put up with tiny fingers in his eyes, ears and nose. He had lung cancer at the age of 7. :(

Then we got Sam a red & white Beagle -- a female this time --she was the escape artist. She got out of our fenced in yard 17 times that first year. She had pancreatic cancer at the age of 9. :(

Then there was Ginger our German Shepherd/Rotweiller/Doberman mix- we rescued her from our shelter. She was the best dog, loving, and so smart...she was 12 when the vet told us she had a mass on her spleen that ruptured.

Did you know that 1 in 5 dogs has cancer? Scary statistic.

Thanks for visiting today.

C.H. Admirand said...

Hi Yvonne - I'm glad you think so. After I wrote it I thought that it would be too sad.

But those of us that love animals and have them as part of our lives and families can relate and have had similar experiences that only another animal lover would understand.

C.H. Admirand said...

Hi Tonya - thanks. It's true we do love them as much as our human children...well our kids aren't really kids anymore, but our sons still live at home--or use our home as a place to sleep and raid the fridge now and again. LOL.

Thanks for stopping by!

C.H. Admirand said...

Hi Jo - you know we said we were never getting another dog when Sam died--it was such a hard time having just lost my dad that losing Sam nearly did me in.

BUT...then my sister said she was going to the shelter to look at dogs...funny thing I was the one who left there with a puppy...and now 12 years later we have Jamie...another puppy.

I've learned to never say never.

C.H. Admirand said...

Hi Heather - I know. I started thinking about how long I've had a dog in my life...counting growing up there were 2 years that I didn't have one...if I tell you how long I have had a dog then you'll know how old I am. LOL!

Aren't they amazing? Even as I'm writing this, my oldest son just got up (he's on the night shift) and was just riling Jamie who started to do the puppy-biting I'm too excited thing...I guess a boy is never too old to rile a dog.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Sorry you had to return the dog. But with bite and men issues, it just wouldn't have worked out.

C.H. Admirand said...

Thanks, Alex...we did try to make it work, but then we realized that it was getting worse and it wouldn't have been good for the dog or my guys.

Now, little Jamie is waiting when the guys come home and showers them with kisses and thrives on the attention.

We did give the shelter as much info as possible about how the dog reacted under different situations and gave them our recommendation that she only go to a home that was very, very quiet with one or two men.

The last time I looked on-line at petfinder, they had not updated her information at all. I'm hoping they realize that we only had the dog's best interests in mind.

Thanks for stopping by!

~Sia McKye~ said...

Oh, I glad you and Jamie came together! Sounds like a perfect match. Labs are great family dogs.

You should send me a picture and I'll put it up on the article. I'd love to see his cute self. (siamckye at gmail)

Shirley Wells said...

I managed without a dog for a whole 3 months. Hated it.

We rescued a dog with aggression problems too and had to return her to the pound. Very sad. However, she ended up in a suitable home and we rescued another who was 8 at the time and is still going strong at almost 15.

A great post by the way!

Susan Roebuck said...

Loved to hear your history C.H. but sorry about your grandson and hope he's recovered. What a shame about your dog too. Let's hope you sell a million in 2012 with Dylan (which looks great). Sia did you say authors write their stories with ease and make big bucks? Then I'm doing something very very wrong :-(
Thanks for a great post.

C.H. Admirand said...

Hi Sia...thanks :) We were just at the vet last night and then again this am...poor thing has hookworms so I just gave him some medicine, he took it all followed by a treat :)

Check your inbox...I'm sending a pic of Jameson aka Jamie-Boy :)

C.H. Admirand said...

Hi Shirley...I'm not sure how you lasted that long...I couldn't. But it is good to hear that I'm not the only one who encountered the fear/aggression problem. It was a first for me, but makes sense if a dog has been mistreated.

It is great to hear that the dog you had a similar experience with found another home. I have to call the shelter to find out if the dog we had to give back was adopted yet...we only had her for such a short time 2 1/2 weeks...but at least the shelter got a sizeable donation--our adoption fee.

It's great that you adopted another dog and still have him. :)

Thanks for visiting today!

C.H. Admirand said...

Hi Susan - our grandson, Jack (aka Handsome Jack) is doing great! He's off the nebulizer treatments and eating like crazy :) He only lost about a pound in the hospital, but you could see it in his face. He's 3 1/2 months old a such a charmer. :)

BTW...I don't think it is sooo easy being an author...or am making the big bucks...yet! LOL. My next goal now that I've finally made it to mass market from the library & small press market is to hit one of the "lists" USA Today, NY Times or final in the RITAs :)

Lofty goals, but hey if you're going to dream - dream big - and NEVER give up, you never know how close you are to reaching your goal :)

Thanks for visiting today!

~Sia McKye~ said...

Susan, that was definitely a facetious comment on big bucks, lolol!

thanks for stopping by. :-) Loved your post with Alex!

~Sia McKye~ said...

Aww, he's such a cute pup, CH! That little face just grabs you. No wonder he came home with you!

~Sia McKye~ said...

Shirley, hubs says he could easily live with out animals now. I just look at him like he's lost his mind. I can't.

I was on a speaking gig and took in a two week class. No pets were around except a snake. I like snakes,but not as a pet, but I missed my furry critters so much.

C.H. Admirand said...

Thanks, Sia;)It's his black lips and underbite that got to all of us. LOL!

~Sia McKye~ said...

Just looking at him in these pictures you can see a bit of his personality.

He's going Goth, lol!

Oh, and I'm glad you like the music. I had to have a sample of bagpipe marching music. I was in a competition pipe band for a few years. But I love Fiddle reels and such.

Gotta dash out on an errand before hubs gets home. Catch you in a bit.

VA said...

Wow! You all are the persevere sort. As a child we lost four pets I recall--two killed by neighbors, one ripped apart by dogs, and another accidental (I hope) poisoning. I seem to be the one that find the dying as I did with the last two above.

Needless to say as an adult I have yet to overcome it and get another. I have a hard enough time when I kill a plant. That said I have been contemplating a goldfish.

C.H. Admirand said...

Thanks, Sia. :) You played in a pipe band? That's very cool. Some of our favorite competitions were the outdoor ones that had pipe and drum bands competing, too. :)

C.H. Admirand said...

Oh, Va...I'm so sorry to hear about your loss. How awful for you. I don't know that I'd would be able to get past a memory like that either.

Jo said...

VA Whatever you do, don't buy a fish, they don't last five minutes before they go belly up.

~Sia McKye~ said...

Yep. Tenor drummer at your service, Ma'am. My brother too. I got quite fancy with my twirls, until one competition where the wind was blowing just right and poof, the stick ended up on the guy behind me...I heard a pithy curse behind and one from my brother and with a flip came extra stick and we marched on without missing a beat. Course you continue making the correct movements but still. We did entertain the judges with that one, lol! After that, I kept them tethered to my wrists and wasn't so cocky.lololol!

We competed at the highland games. I love the whole atmosphere at the games.

Jo said...

Completely off topic Sia, I wondered, do you celebrate Burns Night?

~Sia McKye~ said...

Jo, not really, altho I have when I was with my group in California. They did the whole dinner a few times. My brother and I did sing A Man's a Man for A'that and a couple of pipers played. For me, it was fun now and then but it's a bit of an affectation. I'm American of strong Scot and a few Irish decedents, not Scot by birth.

I do love Burns poetry, though.

The Golden Eagle said...

Great post. :)

Jameson is so cute!

Thanks for coming by my blog, Sia.

Renee said...

I don't think you get over them, you just accept the memories. I think when you add a new pet you just grow more love.

Talli Roland said...

Big hugs, CH! It's so so hard when a member of your family passes on.