Monday, November 26, 2012

The Girl and the Dragon - published

Since I was last able to post, my story has been published:

The cover art doesn't seem to be correct there yet, but you can see it at the publisher's website, as well as read a sample and pick from various ebook versions to buy a copy from MIUP.

This is an exciting (and scary) time for me.  My first longer story with strong Christian themes to be published, and a rather highly personal story.  I started this book when I was about fifteen.  It took me a long time to finish it, including a break of several years struggling with depression when I couldn't work on it at all.  But I knew it was one of the things I wanted to finish in my life, and that I couldn't just give up no matter how worthless and hopeless everything in my life seemed.  Because I had to finish this story someday.

It was also highly cathartic, whatever its flaws.  I was able to use this story to figure out some things I needed to figure out, about my faith, about being myself, about not giving up, etc.  It sounds trite, I suppose, but this was a very important book for me.

I am so grateful for MuseItUp and my amazing editors and cover artist who helped me make this story better and bring it to life.  Words can't express...  They should be able to, because I am a writer, after all, but... they can't.  It just really means a lot.

If even one teenage girl reads this story and it means half as much to her as it meant to me writing it, I'll be very touched.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The Girl and the Dragon cover art

This is the cover art for my Christian YA fantasy story that will be released later this year from MuseItUp.  Isn't is great?? :)

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Peaches In Winter - sweet romance

What does author Jake Watterson need with a secretary?  Nothing, that’s what!  Until he meets Betty Ann….


            Betty Ann faced the secretary pool’s main desk. She wore her best flower-print dress—her only store-bought one. “Please, Miss Johnson, I’ll work really hard. I won’t lose my next job, I promise! It really wasn’t my fault I lost the first one. You’ve got to believe me.”

She had brushed her hair till it curled neatly around her shoulders, but her face felt pinched and small, ready to dissolve into tears any minute now. She dearly hoped she wouldn’t. She knew her boss thought her far too young already.

            In the background, the sound of typewriters clacking echoed from the back room. Nearby, a radio played, and the swinging sounds of big band music floated out. A telephone rang, and someone answered it. It was another busy day for the Jefferson Secretarial Agency, another busy day in 1957—for everyone but Betty Ann.

            Miss Johnson, an elderly woman with her glasses attached to a beaded string, sat behind a big oak desk and answered Betty patiently. “I’m sorry, Miss Keene, but whether it was your fault or not, most of our secretarial jobs require the ability to type—and type well. I don’t know how you graduated secretarial school without that skill, but apparently you did.”

            Miss Johnson adjusted her glasses and peered over them. “I don’t think I have to remind you,” she drawled, “that you don’t need to come in every day and ask for work. You were informed the agency would contact you as soon as we received a job offer for you.”

            “I-I know,” faltered Betty Ann. Her voice shook. “But—” I’m not going to cry, but I’ve got to find a job! I can’t go home yet; I just can’t.

            “It’s hard to be patient, I know.” Miss Johnson’s voice continued, not without sympathy. “It’s never easy waiting for a job, but maybe you shouldn’t. Take my advice, Miss Keene—go home. It’s going to be a long wait if you stay here.

            “You’ve got good qualities: you’re cheerful, pretty, and apparently you know everything there is to know about peach farming. It shouldn’t be hard for you to find a husband. Why don’t you go back to the country and marry a nice farm boy, because here in the city, we don’t need— Excuse me.”

            The phone rang. She broke off talking to Betty and answered it. She listened for a moment. A look of awe slowly overtook her tired features.

            “Yes. Yes, Mr. Armstrong. Cheerful, you say?” Her eyes flicked up to Betty with growing wonder. “I think I have just the girl.” She wrote an address down and nodded. “I’ll send her right over. Thank you for using Jefferson Secretarial Agency.”

            She hung up and looked at Betty Ann with a dazed, amazed expression.

            “Well, Betty, it looks like you have a job after all. Mr. Anderson is a publisher who wants to cheer up one of his authors. Apparently the man hates winter. Mr. Anderson wants to find him a cheerful secretary.”

            “Thank you!” Betty Ann clasped her hands together, a huge smile overtaking her face.

            Miss Johnson gave her the address, questioned her to be sure she would know how to find it, instructed her not to be late, and with a perplexed frown growing on her face, watched Betty leave.

            Betty left her coat in the agency cloakroom. It was ugly and worn and certainly wouldn’t make the best impression at her new job. She hurried to the address Miss Johnson had given her, checking the street signs, and following Miss Johnson’s instructions carefully.

            On the walk, she sniffed the air, smelled the heavenly aroma of fresh baked bread. Maybe she could risk spending nearly the last of her money. She hadn’t eaten yet today, and she’d need some energy for her new job.

            Her new job! Yes! She clasped her hands together and grinned up at the clear blue sky.

            She stopped at a bread store, bought a day-old roll, and crunched it on the way.

            Everything was going to be all right, she realized, walking with a little skip in her step, smiling up at the watercolor-blue sky.

            The wind was brisk, and she shivered. But it was only a short walk to the address, and she moved quickly.

            She spotted trees in the city park, their tall, empty branches making dark lines against the sky. Remembering something from her life on the farm, she headed over to them, beginning to hum happily.

* * * *

            Jake Watterson shuffled out of his bathroom, bleary-eyed and scowling, one hand wrapped around a mug of orange juice, the other scratching his chin stubble. He picked up the heavy receiver on what must have been its twentieth ring and snarled, “Yes?”

            “Jake, that you? Sounds like I woke you,” said his editor with unwholesome cheerfulness in his voice.

            And you sound really apologetic about it. “Well you didn’t. What do you want? I’m eating.”

            “Hire a cook again? Good for you. Listen, I just called to ask how your new book was com—”

            With a wordless growl, Jake slammed the receiver down.

            Within moments, the phone rang again. Jake ignored it for another twenty rings, by which time he had finished his orange juice and was starting to feel more human. He picked up.

            “What do you want, Matt?” he asked.

            “I want you to start working,” said editor Matthew Armstrong. “And I have an idea that might help.”


            “Listen, don’t get mad. I’m having a secretary sent over to help you.”

            “Matt—” Jake ground his teeth.

            “Hey, don’t interrupt. Let me fin—”

            “You know I don’t like giving dictation.”

            “—ish. I know you say you don’t like doing dictation—don’t interrupt—but I also know that for the past three years you haven’t done a lick of work in the winter months. Why, you haven’t typed a single word since October!”

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

In accepting the Liebster Blog Award, the recipient agrees to:

*Thank the person who gave them the award and link back to that person’s blog

(Thank you, Annie!!!) Thanks much to Annie, for nominating me for the Liebster Blog Award! Details here:

*Copy and paste the award to their blog.

*Reveal five snippets about themselves that readers may not already know.

  1. Yes, I do find it impossible to eat just one pistachio! (Or potato chip!) I figure the one isn't unhealthy, and I just don't keep the other on hand very often.
  2. My first pet was a hamster. After that, guinea pigs. (Rodents are wonderful pets, but they should live longer!)
  3. I can't (or won't) 'brand' myself as a writer, because I can't (or won't) decide which genres to stick to writing. I love to write all sorts of things! :)
  4. I'm chemically sensitive and have to be careful about avoiding perfumes and chemicals.
  5. I have "mild Asperger's." This means that sometimes I struggle with relating to people.

*Reveal the five blogs they have chosen to receive the award, commenting on their blog to break the news! To qualify, the blog must have fewer than 200 followers.

I will! :D I just haven't decided yet. :)

*Hope those people in turn pay it forward by accepting and awarding “The Liebster Blog Award” to bloggers they would like to honor.

Those With Guns
A Short Story by A.M. Roelke

Pages: 24
ISBN: 978-1-77127-003-8

Back Cover:

An ex-soldier living on a space station has trouble dealing with her memories of war. She blows off steam riding her illegal bike. One cop in particular outsmarts her, and she ends up sitting in jail, until one of her ex-soldier friends threatens to blow up the station if his demands aren't met. The cop lets her out of jail to help stop this and Jules's one-woman journey to stop her friend begins.

Also available on

I'm looking for reviewers for my short story, too. If you're interested, please contact me. Just let me know where you would post your review, and which format you'd like (PDF, EPUB, or PRC). Thank you!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Check out my cover art for "Those With Guns!!" It was done by Delilah K. Stephans. My short story should be out next month. Is it just me or is the way better art than I could ever possibly expect for a short story?? :D

About my story:

An ex-soldier living on a space station has trouble dealing with her memories of war. She blows off steam riding her illegal bike.

One cop in particular outsmarts her, and she ends up sitting in jail, until one of her ex-soldier friends threatens to blow up the station if his demands aren’t met.

The cop lets her out of jail to help stop this and Jules’s one-woman journey to stop her friend begins

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Writing from the point of view of an African American... when you're not

I've been wanting to write a romance idea that occurred to me. I think it would be amazing.

The problem? The main, POV character is African American.

I'm not.

At first I thought, "Okay, that'll work. I've written from a man's point of view, surely it wouldn't be any harder to write from another's woman's, even if she's African American and I'm not."

But then I started to wonder.

I don't want to do a rotten job or be cultural offensive. I'm not a genius, just a writer.

I always enjoy trying to write from under someone else's skin, imagine other people's experiences and viewpoints. But I can't know how well it will turn out, or even IF it will turn out.

Is writing this character something I shouldn't even attempt? Or should I try, and see how it goes?

Any advice for the process (or research I should do), if I do attempt this story?

Thursday, January 12, 2012

I read 69 books in 2011. My disclaimer is that some were re-reads and some weren't very long!


Finished Emma, by Jane Austen. I read it on my Kindle and it was wonderful!

Discovered Jim Butcher's Storm Front and sequels. :D :D

Read The Lady and Her Tiger, by Pat Derby. Intense non-fiction about animal training and animals in film. Fortunately, many things have changed.

Grand Sophy, by Georgette Heyer. I just love reading this famous author of Regency romance! :D I don't know how she can keep surprising me.

Read two new Alexander McCall Smith books. They are like warm chocolate for me. :)

One of my favorite re-reads was a Young Adult book called Lucy the Giant, by Sherri L. Smith. Lucy, a very large-for-her-age Alaskan teenager who lives with her drunken father, finds a new sort of family when she goes to work on a crab fishing boat with people who think she's an adult. But her old life follows her, and to really grow up she has to find a way to face it instead of running again.

Also re-read both beloved Watership Down books, a couple of Diana Wynne Jones fantasies (bliss!), some Jim Kjelgaard dog stories, any number of A. A. Fair mysteries (old but excellent, and very fast-paced!), and Three Men in a Boat, Jerome K. Jerome's incomparable comedy.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Recent stories:

Jackson Bluffs (space opera / sci fi / Mars related):

He Gave Me Coal (a Christmas romance, very short):

For those interested, this is what I wrote in my email announcement for Jackson Bluffs:

My story, Jackson Bluffs, by Alice M. Roelke, is up at Ray Gun Revival. :)

I wrote this story ages ago to go with my other Mars stories, which
were published in the old RGR years ago. I had sent this one to
"Space Westerns," however. They sent me an acceptance after a long
time, but never published it, so eventually I asked for it back.
(They're supposed to be back to publishing sometime next year, but in
the meantime I'm very glad my story found a home at RGR!) :-)

My other Mars stories are:

"Message to Mars"
"Evergreen and Always"
(a Christmas story)
"Sky Voices"
(All three of these are a bit angsty! The current one isn't.)

When I was younger I had a whole Mars-related timeline/universe in my
head and I loved playing with it, though I never seemed to get the BIG
one written! Some of this universe still persists for me and
influences my writing. Though I still don't know if I'll ever write
"the big one!" :)

Anyway, I'm very grateful that my fourth Mars-related story has a home
now, even though it's taken a few years. :)

And, after I talked with my mom about my short Christmas romance, I realized that I might have enough that didn't come through in the story (but that I thought had!), to create a whole novel out of it. And that would be an excellent Christmas present (belated, of course).

In other news, I am REALLY getting frustrated with my S-L-O-W connection and old computer access. I'm about ready to swear off both until I can do better!

In other-other news, I'm really getting somewhere with my Regency romance, "Laurie's Painter." It's over 30,000 words now. I love Regency, never thought I would be able to write it, but am feeling hopeful for this story to work out.

Also, I still can't get Blogger to stop turning my tags and titles into sanskrit, so once again, this entry is without. >:(