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Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Wednesday Spotlight with Celia Yeary

 Hello and welcome back to Wednesday Spotlight. After suffering a major heart attack, slight stroke and long respite, I’m slowly but surely making a comeback. My first guest is multi-published author Celia Yeary. Celia has graciously agreed to chat with me about her latest release

With a cascading waterfall trickling amidst a beautiful garden of pink roses, Sharon sits beneath an umbrella table, waiting for her guest to arrive. Blue birds chirp from lush evergreens, their melodic tweeting creating a summer symphony. A slight breeze blows through the undulating tree branches, stirring the sweet fragrance of roses, pine and earth. From inside, the doorbell rings, its chimes echoing through the garden.

Oliver, dressed in blue jeans, chambray shirt rolled up to the elbows to reveal his bulging biceps, cowboy boots and Stetson, sets the pretty pink roses he’s plucked from his garden on the table in a mint-green vase. Casting Sharon a wicked wink, he struts off to answer the door, humming a verse of George Strait's Baby Blue Eyes.

Seconds later, Oliver escorts Celia into the garden.

Sharon greets her guest with a warm hug while Oliver parades off to see about refreshments..But not before presenting Celia with a single pink rosebud.

For you, my sweet, fresh and lovely, just like you.

Sharon rolls her eyes and clears her throat. Ah, about that wine and appetizer, Oliver.

Oliver blows a kiss to Celia, pumps his biceps and glides through the sliding glass doors.

Sharon: He can’t help himself when he’s in the company of a pretty lady. Knowing your favorite flower is pink roses, he’s been fussing with them all week. Thank you for agreeing to be my first guest. How are you, Celia dear?

Celia: I am fine and dandy, dear heart. This summer heat just warms me up from head to toe, including my heart. Well, and Oliver didn't hurt, either. Everyone just complains and gripes about the heat all day, but me? I don't like to be at all cold, and I don't warm up from winter until mid-June. This is when I'm happiest.

Sharon: Smile. Then, good job we’re outside enjoying this gorgeous day.

Oliver appears, balancing a silver tray above his head. Beaming at Celia, he sets it down. The tantalizing aroma of coconut shrimp grilled to a crisp golden brown wafts through the air. Uncorking the bottle of merlot, Oliver pours a little in a glass for Celia to sample.

Celia: Ohhhh, Oliver! You do know how to make a girl swoon. The wine, Oliver, the wine. It's a perfect merlot, just the right bouquet…what am I saying? I don't know a thing about merlot!

Giddy with delight, Oliver fills Celia’s glass.

Sharon gawks at her empty glass. I wouldn’t mind a little bit of that red wine, Oliver, it’s good for the heart, I hear.

Oliver: What’s that, boss lady?

Scowling at Oliver, Sharon pours her own wine. Never mind, run along. Beams at Celia. So, what better time to have your book released than Independence Day. How very befitting. Tell us about Heart of a Hero.

Celia: I'm just so pleased you asked, sweetheart. This story is about a soldier hero who comes home from the Middle East War to Dallas, wounded and tired, hoping to have some down time to recover. But his fiancé, her mother, and his own mother and father have carefully laid-out plans for his future, and they run over him like an Army tank.

Sharon: Sounds intriguing. What major snags must Matt and Lauren overcome before riding off into the sunset?

Celia: Plenty, let me tell you, girlfriend.  Matt escapes from the trappings in Dallas just as he had to escape the terrorists' imprisonment with his buddies. You know what, Sharon? Matt found it easier to get away from the terrorists than it was to get away from his family. Their demands just about swallow him up. When he meets Lauren in the small Central Texas town of Bonner, he knows he has found true love. He keeps his life's problems from her, but she has secrets of her own, too.

Sharon: Ooo, the plot thickens. Now, your book deals with a hurricane. Have you ever had the misfortune of being caught up in the mayhem of a deadly storm?

Celia: Yes, more than once. I grew up on the High Plains of Texas, tornado alley, and we often had to protect ourselves. But as a young wife and mother, I lived in Houston when Hurricane Carla hit and swooped over the city. We boarded up our windows and road out the storm and the high water in our house. Scary, but you know? Storms sort of excite me, too. I know. It's weird.

Sharon: Shudders. You are a brave woman, Celia! Changing subjects, you’re a seventh generation Texan. I’ve heard the expression many times but am not sure of its meaning. Mind explaining, m’dear?

Celia: I don't mind at all. It means my ancestors go back seven generations in Texas—that's back to 1835 when Texas was a Republic, an independent nation, before statehood and before the Civil War. I suppose it only became important when my sisters and I applied to join the Daughters of the Republic of Texas (DRT) and was accepted. To us, it's a big deal. To others, not so much.

Thunderous applause explodes through cyberspace

Sharon: We are all duly impressed, girlfriend. So, tell me, what do you enjoy doing when not writing?

Celia: We travel some, but our heavy traveling years have gone by and we're more content to stay home. I work closely with the women of our church, teach Bible lessons about twice a year, and we have a list of mission-oriented activities we support. Our grandsons are very important, and we visit them twice a year because they live so far away. I volunteer a little in the community, and I meet with my writing group each Tuesday—"We're the Write Girls."

Sharon: Sounds like you do what makes you happy. Sadly, we’re just about out of time. Before you leave, my hobby is collecting legends or superstitions from my guests. Can you share one with me?

Celia: Mmmm, that's a difficult question. I'm not superstitious, so that's out. Legends? There's the story of Indian Emily, a young Apache maiden who is supposed to have saved the West Texas outpost of Fort Davis from a surprise attack when she alerted her lover, a young Army Lieutenant, that the hostiles were coming. I believe the story has been disproved to some extent, except there was a young Apache girl who was connected in some way to the Fort. Who knows? But it makes a good story!

Sharon: Sigh, oh, we of wistful heart. Thank you, I’ll certainly put it in my book of keepsakes.

Oliver materializes with dessert. With a sweeping bow, he presents a sinfully rich chocolate mocha pecan torte. He spoon feeds a bite to Celia before serving with coffee and ice tea. Barely able to stifle himself, he plucks his hot off the press copy of Heart of a Hero from beneath his shirt. He smiles a beguiling smile. If I might be so bold to ask you to autograph this for me, love?

Celia: Call me "love," and serve my favorite chocolate dessert to me, and I'll do anything you ask. Oh? Oh, you only wanted my autograph. Well…certainly.

Sharon: Thank you so much for a delightful visit, Celia. Best of luck with Heart of a Hero. Hope you sell millions.

Celia: Thank YOU, Sharon, for being one of the most gracious hostesses I've ever had. I thoroughly enjoyed myself.

Sharon: My pleasure, Celia. You’ve been most entertaining.

Celia Yeary is a seventh-generation Texan, and her life revolves around family, friends, and writing. San Marcos has been her home for thirty-five years. She has eight published romance novels, two “coming soon” novels, two anthologies, and published essays with a local magazine. The author is a former science teacher, graduate of Texas Tech University and Texas State University, mother of two, grandmother of three boys, and wife of a wonderful, supportive Texan. Celia and her husband enjoy traveling, and both are involved in their church, the community, and the university.
She meets with The Write Girls on Tuesdays at a local coffee house.

Celia Yeary-Romance...and a little bit 'o Texas

Matt Carrington escapes a terrorists’ prison while in the Army, but he has difficulty escaping the trappings of a demanding fiancé and his own parents. To get away to think, he meets pretty, girl-next-door Lauren Delaney, the kind of woman he desires. But his fiancé and his parents have other plans, and they determine to have their way—no matter what Matt wants.
Lauren Delaney is an independent young woman who quickly befriends the soldier hero who comes to town. Knowing he has another life in Dallas, she holds a secret, too. But she pretends neither have a problem in order to have the summer with him.
During the long hot months, a hurricane almost destroys the town. Matt and Lauren work with a team to save as many residents as they can, and in the process fall deeply in love. When the danger is past, the two lovers suffer from their own lies and misunderstandings. Can they find peace and happiness without hurting others? 

Note: After a long day of rescuing residents stranded by high water and working in the school gym where the refugees were housed, Lauren invites Matt to spend the night at her house.

Midnight arrived and Lauren was tired. She knew Matt was, too, but the wine and food had made them even more aware of each other. They had stayed at the table too long.
      “Maybe we should get some sleep, Lauren,” Matt said slowly. “Maybe I should go.”
      Lauren clasped her hands in her lap to keep them from shaking. She leaned forward to look straight into his eyes. “Where? Where would you go? You have no place, unless you want to sleep in the gym. Now, think about that carefully, before you become noble and go down there. You may stay here, Matt. I invite you to stay with me.” She waited with her breath caught in her throat.
      “Mmm,” he murmured, as he studied her face by the candlelight. “Where can I sleep?”
      Softly, she said, “I invite you to sleep with me, Matt.” She leaned forward and placed her small hand on his large one. “I want you close to me, all night long.”
      “It’s not right, Lauren,” he told her as he shook his head back and forth very slowly. “I don’t want to hurt you. You know I have to go back.”
      “Did I ask you to stay forever? Did I say ‘don’t hurt me?’ Matt, please, don’t make this a federal case.”
      Matt paused, remaining very still. “I don’t want you to feel guilty.”
      Lauren sat and gazed at him for a few moments and realized she was begging. So, she said nothing more on the topic. Instead, she stood and mumbled that she should blow out the candles on the hearth and mantel before her house burned down.
     As she passed him, he reached out and stopped her by placing his hand on her arm. His other arm came around her waist, and he slowly pulled her down to his lap. One knuckle caressed her cheek, and then his thumb swept over her full bottom lip. He placed his palm over the side of her face and leaned toward her ear to whisper, “Remember, I said at the river I wanted to make love to you, so it was my idea first.”



Sharon Donovan said...

A warm welcome for Celia Yeary

Hywela Lyn said...

Good morning Sharon, Celia - and Oliver!

Congratulations on your latest release 'Heart Of A Hero'it sounds like a lovely read and I loved the excerpt.

EA said...

Oh my! It's been too long since I've attended one of these parties. My hats off to both host and guest. The atmosphere is delightful and Oliver looks great in his vest and chaps. Celia, the book sounds intriguing. I found it humorous but ironic that Matt finds it easier to escape terrorists than his own family. Dear me, what does that say of his flesh and blood? Congrats, Celia. Thanks for the invite, Sharon!

Celia Yeary said...

SHARON--Good morning! Thank you so much for inviting me to your lovely place. The pink roses are fabulous--the fragrance is alluring.
You have done a fantastic job with my interview--I'll be around most of the day to greet guests.

And thanks, Hywela!

Gail Pallotta said...

Hi Sharon and Celia,
What a fun interview. Celia, I enjoyed learning more about you. I have a good friend who married a Texan, so I have some understanding of the Texas spirit. I wish you much success with your new book.

Celia Yeary said...

Hi, Evie--I'm very happy to see you. Thanks for taking the time to visit us, and reading the excerpt. I do appreciate it! Celia

Celia Yeary said...

GAIL--I appreciate your good wishes. Thank you for visitiing with me and Sharon today. Celia

P.L. Parker said...

Interesting post Celia. I lived in Texas for 2 years back in 1972-1974. Hated tornado season, scared the heck out of me. Congratulations on the release and much luck with sales.

Kathleen said...

Great interview ladies. Congratulations to you both!!

Debra St. John said...

Hi Sharon, Oliver and Celia,

Sharon, it's so delightful to have Wednesday Spotlights back. So glad you are feeling better and stronger each day.

Oliver, kisses to you my dear.

Celia, Congratulations on your latest release! What perfect timing for this week's holiday. Loved the excerpt. "Heart of a Hero" is going on my must read list.

I agree with you about the hot weather. I say bring it on. Here in the Midwest we wait all winter long for this time of won't find me complaining about the high temperatures.

Again, so glad to 'see' you all today. Have a wonderful celebration!

Sandy said...

Sharon, I love the way you set up your interview with Celia. How romantic. I was swooning over Oliver.

Celia, I learned so much more about you in this interview. Your story sounds wonderful.

Sandy said...

Sharon, I forgot, I'm glad you're making it back to good health again. Keep getting stronger.

Maggie Toussaint said...

First, welcome back, Sharon. We've missed you!

Celia, splendid post about you and your new book Heart of a Hero. I thoroughly enjoyed the excerpt.

Growing up in coastal Georgia, I too have lived through some hurricanes, and I know just what you mean about storms being exciting. My dad was a shrimper and I went with him down to the docks to check on the boats before Hurricane Dora hit in the 1960s. There was so much wind I couldn't stand up straight. I was scared out of my mind but so excited I could hardly breathe.

Best wishes to Celia and Sharon!

Linda Swift said...

Welcome back, Sharon! And it's so nice to see "our" Oliver again. And you couldn't have had a better first guest than Celia Yeary. What perfect timing for Heart of a Hero. I can't wait to read this book. I'm sure it will be another Celia Yeary page-turner. This was a wonderful interview. I've missed your interviews, Sharon. They are always such fun! Linda

Sharon Donovan said...

Good morning Celia! We are so honored to have you in the garden with us today. Pink roses are so pretty although I admit to being partial to the yellow rose, especially the sweetheart variety. Best of luck with Heart of a Hero, fabulous excerpt.

Sharon Donovan said...

Hi Lyn, dear friend, yes doesn't Celia's book sound great. Here comes Oliver with refreshments. Sit with us in the rose garden.

Oliver said...

Ladies ladies, such beauty in one garden. Help yourselves to red wine, sweet tea, coffee or I'll be happy to mix a cocktail of your choice. Here are coconut shrimp, chips and salsa and chocolate chips the size of ham hawks. What might I get you, Celia, my sweet?

Sharon Donovan said...

Hi EA, thanks for the warm welcome, I've missed these social gatherings. Grab a seat and some refreshments while Celia enchants us with her story.

Sharon Donovan said...

Hi Gail, thank you for visiting with Celia and I. Plenty to eat and drink. Enjoy

Sharon Donovan said...

Patsy, lovely to have you join the party, stay a spell. I was caught in the eye of Hurricane Bob in SC in 85 and was scared spitless

Sharon Donovan said...

Kathleen, hello m'dear. Come on in and join the fun

Sharon Donovan said...

Debra, great to have Wednesday Spotlight back in town. I agree, what fabulous timing for Celia's book and doesn't it sound great

Sharon Donovan said...

Hi Sandy, thank you, I really enjoy personalizing my interviews with my guests and Oliver butler, although good help is hard to find. LOL

Sharon Donovan said...

Maggie, always a pleasure. Celia has another winner. Sit and chat, eat drink and enjoy the party.

Sharon Donovan said...

Linda my dear, come on in. You know no party is complete without you. I agree, Celia is a wonderful and gracious guest. What can Oliver bring you?

Caroline Clemmons said...

Sharon, nice you're blogging again.

Celia, this sounds like another terrific book, although a departure from your historical romances. I look forward to reading it.

Sharon Donovan said...

Welcome Caroline, yes doesn't that excerpt draw one right in. Plenty to eat and drink, sit and visit with us.

Adelle Laudan said...

Good day, Celia. Welcome back, Sharon... and Oliver... c'mere l'il boy... hehehe

This is one of the best interviews I've seen in a very long time. Kudo's to you all.
I can always count on a little taste of Texas flavor when Celia's in the house. *wink
I wish you much success with the new title.

Sharon Donovan said...

Hi Adelle, thank you for your flattering words. Celia's lil bit of Texas draws me in every time. Dig in to the goodies and Celia will be back faster than the eye of a storm. wink.

Celia Yeary said...

Hi, P.L.--Oooops! I am way behind, but I had to go to the grocery store. Ugh.
Thanks for visiting me and Sharon today. We've had a really fun time with ol' Oliver. Celia

Celia Yeary said...

Thank you, Kathleen! Celia

Celia Yeary said...

DEBRA--oh, a kindred spirit for hot weather. Yay! I hope you do read Heart of a Hero. It begins in a small hometown cafe, and this ms was rejected because it begins in a cafe--long story.
But I didn't want to remove it--it's the only way the story worked for me,--plus the cafe plays more than one role. Thanks for visiting...Celia

Clover Autrey said...

Y'all are having too much fun during this interview. Gotta say the skyline of Dallas on the cover just tickles me. Although as a FW gal can't help throwing out that if Fort Worth is where the west began, that makes Dallas where the east petered out...

Celia Yeary said...

Thank you, Sandy--you can be sure you'll be entertained when Sharon invites you to visit. And Oliver, bless his heart--just knocks himself out to be extra special nice.
We're all happy Sharon is "back in the saddle again...." Wait, that's a Gene Autry song.

Celia Yeary said...

MAGGIE--and another storm lover. We built a big screened-in back porch, and when there's a lot of lightening and thunder, we like to sit out there--unless the wind is blowing rain across the porch. That doesn't work.
Thanks for visiting! Celia

Celia Yeary said...

Linda! My dear friend. Yes, we're very lucky to have Sharon back. The title of my book could be the title of a memoir about Sharon, herself--"Heart of a Hero."
Thanks for the sweet compliments. I don't know what I'd do without your daily emails.

Celia Yeary said...

Dearest Oliver--just bring some peach iced tea and another slice of the chocolate pecan torte. If anyone wants my recipe for this fabulous, extremely easy torte, just send me an email.You will love it--it's almost gourmet, but very simple. Celia

Celia Yeary said...

Hey, Adelle--be careful around Oliver. He can get a little wild.
Thanks so much for your kind, sweet words. Indeed, this is the best kind of interview--with a little party, too.

Sharon Donovan said...

Clover, welcome. Life is too short to not live it up and enjoy. So dig in to food and libations.
BLUSH, Celia dear, heart of a hero, how flattering. Oliver will bring you whatever your lil' heart desires. I'm sure we would all love this fab recipe. Send me a copy PLEASE

Oliver said...

Celia my lovely, a nice peach tea and allow me the pleasure of spoon feeding you this most decadent dessert. Wink

Mona Risk said...

Celia-your book cover is lovely and your excerpt is breathtaking. Heart of a Hero is going on my tBR list. I lived through hurricane Wilma in 2005 as it hit Fort Lauderdale and will never forget it. Best wishes for your book.

Sharon and Oliver, it's such a pleasure to see you so active and entertaining guests again.

Oliver said...

Mona dear, oh so lovely to see you. A cool drink or cocktail perhaps?

Celia Yeary said...

Thank you, Mona! I do appreciate it. Yes, the cover is very pretty--it's perfect, actually, for this story.I have high hopes for this one. Thanks for stopping by--Celia

LK Hunsaker said...

Glad to see you're doing well, Sharon!

Celia, a toast to your new story. :-)

Celia Yeary said...

Thanks, Loraine--and a toast to yours, too. We are a prolific bunch, aren't we?

Mimi Barbour said...

Hi Sharon,
Welcome back and god bless on your recovery!
Celia, your book sounds as delicious as your recipe!!

Celia Yeary said...

MIMI--thanks so much! Yes, we're all so grateful for Sharon's return and her good spirits. She is a doll, isn't she.
I appreciate your visit--Celia

Margaret Tanner said...

Hi Celia, Sharon Oliver and Co.
Lovely interview and such scrummy food prepared and served by Oliver. That man is a real find.
Your story sounds wonderful Celia, and so relevant to these troubled times in which we live.
I have to confess I have always had a soft spot for wounded war heroes.


Laurean Brooks said...

What a lovely interview! So refreshing, Sharon, I'm glad you are going full speed again.
I can see that Oliver is still up to his tricks, flirting with the ladies. I know: Good help is hard to find.

I could almost taste that cake. M-mmm!

Celia, your book sounds wonderful. I also liked your comment that it was easier for Matt to escape the terrorists than his own family. LOL.

Good luck and God bless you both in all your endeavors.

Sharon Donovan said...

Hi Mona and LK, so good of you to visit with Celia and me today.
Mimi, thank you so much. Heart of a Hero will be a best seller for Celia, for sure. Margaret, thanks for visiting.
Laurie, thanks for dropping in, girlfriend. You got it, Oliver is indeed up to his old tricks but I keep him around, wink

Sharon Donovan said...

A big thank you to Celia Yeary for being such a delightful and gracious guest. Best of luck with Heart of a Hero, hope you sell a million.
Until next time, may the luck of the Irish be with you wherever you go.
Love and Blessings,
Sharon D

liana laverentz said...

Sharon! Good to see you back, and in fine form! Celia, wonderful interview. Isn't Oliver precious? And that dessert...chocolate pecan torte...I hope you ladies saved me a piece!

Celia Yeary said...

MARGARET--I, too, have soft spot for soldiers--wounded or otherwise. I thank them in airports when I see one!
I have high hopes for this book--thank you for stopping by--Celia

Celia Yeary said...

LAUREAN--yes, sometimes families can be the biggest stumbling block for young adults. I got so involved with Matt and Lauren, I wrote this book pretty fast. Thank you! Once again, I appreciate your support and your thoughtful comments--Celia

Celia Yeary said...

LIANA--I'm glad you made it. I think everyone is so happy that Sharon is back in fine form--her sense of humor really is something! Celia

StephB said...

Sharon & Celia what a yummy interview. Oliver can serve me dessert anytime. hehe. Congrats on your new release, Celia!


Celia Yeary said...

Hey, Steph--I'm glad you're back! Hope you had a grand time on your vacation. And thanks! Celia

Mary Ricksen said...

Sorry to get here late. Any cake left Oliver? No, well I'll just have to suck it up.
Love you Sharon and Celia you go girl!!

Sharon Donovan said...

Liana, Steph, Mary, thanks for popping in and here comes Oliver with that yummy dessert.