Playing for Keeps

Author Diana Rose Wilson

This website is for Diana Rose Wilson and her upcoming events and releases of her books including the Forbidden Secrets series.

Happy Day After National Pizza Day

I apparently think with my stomach, and so I'm still in pizza bliss after having a massive overload of home baked pizza last night.  I hope those checking out the blog had an equally nice day/night.  It seems like it should be a bigger holiday than Valentine's Day.  

I love Romance, but not particularly the forced holiday that makes primarily men feel guilty if they don't go overboard with displays of affection.  I'm more of a: Romance every friggen day, girl.  

I have been negligent in my posting since my past Aug post, because we had a massively brutal fire here in October.  We luckily survived the fires and we're safe and whole, but it has rocked a lot of people I know. I haven't quite bounced back to the fun stuff of writing and fiction as my attention remains focused on real life events.  

I have noticed that a few people have been subscribing to the blog!  Yay!  So, I will try to be more active with at least some little things.  I am still working on my Science Fiction romance story and this weekend putting together the synopsis and pitch for it.  I'm looking forward to getting this and the sequel off the ground and see how readers like it.

Paying the Dragon's Price came out this week, I hope to hear how people like it. Dangerous Seduction, Heart Bound and All Thorns Eve will be released in the next few months.  I will have a release cover for Heart Bound around Valentine's Day.  Ooh, fancy, right?

Alright, that's it for now.   Thanks for reading!

Redshoulder -Aug 2017.jpg

A 'story' about scars?

As part of my ‘5 year goals’, I’m taking a creative writing class. Not only as part of the steps to get where I want to be, I thought it would be fun. So far it’s enjoyable and a little unsettling.  I’m being pushed out of my comfort zone to be more social and meeting people in class and reading my 'stuff' aloud. Ugh.  It also allows methe opportunity to have some structure in my writing. While I like my nightly routine, lately I haven’t been as dedicated to my work.  My latest assignment is to write something (Poem or prose) about the question: How Did You Get that Scar?

I instantly thought about Chaze and his scar and the story behind how he got it.  What say you, readers? Want to know how Chaze got his scar(s)? Or should I just write something fluffy or introspective about the scars in the soul we cannot see?  I’m not above some navel gazing and throwing down some super fluffy metaphoric nonsense about that or any number of little things.  HOWEVER—I’d spend the weekend on a mini Chaze story too. There’s no romance in that story though. Just want to warn all ya’all.

I thank you for responses. ;)  In advance.

27'ish days until An End to Summer! 

27'ish days until An End to Summer! 

Are they plans or plots?

I came across this article on the Harvard Business Review this morning that really got me thinking.  Here is the article.

You’re Never Done Finding Purpose at Work

Take a moment to review. I’ll wait.


As my previous post mentioned, I’m at a crucible moment right now and so finding this article couldn’t have come at a better time. 

The main take away for me is the exercise to evaluation of mindset about work.  The idea that there’s a Job mindset that focuses primarily on the cash, the Career mindset that is the goal of upward mobility and power and the Purpose mindset that is that achievement everyone wants to have. Feeling fully focused and rewarded by the work you’re doing. They say people who find that job will never work a day in their lives.  Right?

Anyway, it’s not my purpose to re-write that article, but you should read it.  I think I will keep a running tally on my temperature towards my multi-tiered jobs and use it to decide what’s best for me and really what I want in my future.

That leads me to the other article that is hyperlinked on the one above. I’m going to list it here so you (and I) have it.

From Purpose to Impact

It’s much longer than this but when I read these questions, it felt like a serious reality check.

  • What do you enjoy doing in your life now that helps you sing your song?

Anyone who is reading this blog likely knows me or has followed me down the rabbit hole as I’ve been writing and maybe even gotten caught up in the stories too.  There’s not even a hesitation for me to answer that question.  My writing is my song. 

It is what gives me the deepest, sweetest joy. 

When I finally allowed myself to write about characters falling in love and gave myself permission to be sappy and sentimental, and paint them in wild and fantastical lives, my life changed.  It has been the most enjoyable experience in my whole life.

As mentioned in my previous post, I have been struggling with my other life dream of getting a horse again. And last weekend a friend reminded me that the pretty copper pony is not the horse for me.  Reality check: In a real five year plan, is that a realistic goal? 

Those are questions for me, but I think other writers and readers might benefit from doing the exercises in the articles as well.  We can all use a little push towards a happier work + life equality.

Now, here are some pretty horses to look at while you ponder those questions.  Have a great weekend.

I photographed this horse at the Fresno Horse park and she inspired me to create Spear Eater.  Few things are more bad ass than a one eyed horse going crosscountry.

I photographed this horse at the Fresno Horse park and she inspired me to create Spear Eater.  Few things are more bad ass than a one eyed horse going crosscountry.

I like this series of shots.  The horse was a little uncertain about going over that big drop.  Didn't refuse though. 

Don't know about this boss.jpg
Don't know about this boss 2.jpg
Don't know about this boss 3.jpg

And just a couple more...because: jumping into water looks cool in still frame.

Woodwide - Aug 12 - x-country 3.jpg
Woodwide - Aug 12 - x-country 4.jpg


I realized as I was driving into work how much my life exists in a duality.  For example, in my work life, I have responsibilities in at least two specific areas.  Part of my time, I take care of my supervisor and the other half I handle budgetary work.  Sometimes while balancing those two very different expectations, my boss has me cover for her and I manage the calendar for her boss.  Then I come home and I balance creative writing with editing and marketing.

I have balanced these conflicting job responsibilities so long, I’m not sure how I’d cope with reducing my work level to a singular focus.  How much more effective could I be as a worker and human being if I were able to spend my waking time writing/creating?  Would I create more or would the vacuum of that much excess time/energy consume me?

About this time last year, my husband offered me a choice.  I could keep working, or quit and write full time.  I have yet to take him up on the offer of following my dream.  In part because the writer lifestyle would require some serious belt tightening. To be honest, dear readers, I am not much into belt tightening.  Besides, I love my job and the people I work with.  I have an opportunity where I work that many people would sacrifice for.  Walking away from this feels like shooting myself in the foot.  And although I have 10 books finished and contracted, I still don’t feel confident that I can do this writing thing.  My previous publisher went belly up and my new publisher…well…while that’s a topic for another blog post.

I can’t seem to cut the cord and just risk being a full time creative soul.  How can I turn my back on a consistent paying gig for something that likely won’t pay much more than a bottle of soda pop every week?  I think about how I will pay for all my marketing and when needed, an editor.  Right now, I could pretty much support owning a horse in full training for the cost of being a writer.  Which is fine with me because, like owning a horse, there are fulfilling things about writing and being published.  Sure, I wanted to earn some dollars from this writing thing, but in the place I’m at.  I have to pay for readers to notice me.  I think that’s how it goes right now in the industry.

I pitched my Sci-Fi story at RWA and it re-inspired me to complete my revisions and send it out. However, by the time I get home from the J.O.B. and do my marketing for the current published stuff and my social media’ing my leftover time is pretty limited.  If I take the plunge and write full time.  I certainly won’t have the $$$ to support the marketing for another book.  So, I circle back around to needing the full time job to support my writing habit. 

I’d like to think that having an agent would make things smoother but I thought having a publisher would take some of the weight off my shoulders too.  I wonder if the agent’s percentage would come out of my pocket if I’m in the negative with my marketing dollars.  That’s kind of frightening. (I have heard the arguments towards the good things agents can do for you.  My doubt is based on the experiences I’ve had so far in this adventure.)

Maybe it’s time for me to focus on the horse dream again.  Get that big red horse I’ve had my eye on for the past year and call this writing experiment completed.  Because of the shift in publishers and the year long pause button getting a new publisher, I’ve lost the readers I had who inspired me to continue along to tell them the stories of Ursa and Leo and all the other crazy stuff I cooked up.  So, might just be a 10 book chit for RWA and then I tap out.  I really do appreciate the readers who started me on the journey.  (And if you are one of those people who are reading this, I will send you a previously unpublished story!)

For now, I’ll continue to work and edit/market and polish up the Sci-Fi story and after the fate of that one is decided, I’ll see what steps to take. 

Attitude!  (These youngsters are so cute)

Attitude!  (These youngsters are so cute)



When writers aren’t readers - Searching for my tribe

I believed that I would find my people when I went to the Romance Writers of America conference. 

1) I’m writing romance.

2) I enjoy romance

AND 3) I’m with romance writers who are writing fantasy and science fiction. 

These should have been my people.

I expected to be welcomed in with open arms and talk about the stories/books that I love and that are important to me.  Instead, I found that their arms were already full.  It wasn’t easy to connect with anyone because they were already knitted into their cozy groups.  Unlike the other writer conferences I’ve attended, there wasn’t the equal footing for people who didn’t have a group to fit into.

Everyone was very nice, but despite that, I was on the outside of the bubbles, only peeking in.

Well, that made sense, I didn’t know anyone and although I expected to make friends as I had during the PNWA conferences, I understand it might take more effort.  Besides, maybe I needed writers who were writing closer to what I'm writing.

I thought I’d fit in better with the science fiction (fantasy) romance writer crowd. Surely they would be my people.  I heard throughout the conference about how the writers wanted to have the science-fiction romance group better distinguished.  Awesome! 

Me too.  As a reader, I want more of these books. (More bodice rippers in space please!)

I mentioned in my earlier post that I was going deep tracks on my Liaden costume and I was so excited to get into the costume and expected these sci-fi romance writers would totally get it and me. I even got the hubby geared up and excited about the event.

Except not a single person at the whole event knew who we were dressed as.

Even during the contest the MC had to ask us twice ‘Who are you trying to be again?’ (Ok, so maybe I failed with the details.)

Diana Rose Wilson Liaden Costume - 1.jpg

Even after explaining, no one knew the series.

At the ‘contest’ part of the show, the winners were a group in Star-Trek shirts and Orphan Black.  I wasn’t aware either of those shows were considered romance.  And to rub salt in the wound of my reader’s heart, they aren’t even based in written fiction.  So, we have TV based heroes/heroines, and these are the characters people know.  Even the women in their creative and very cool alien costumes got a backseat to the known quantity that of the popular, off-the-shelf, TV-show. 

Taking this cosplay seriously, man!

Taking this cosplay seriously, man!

To me, as a writer, this is a little sad.   Even if I’m able to write something seriously bad-ass, I will must struggle to get people to see/read my work. It (and yours) is competing against TV/Movies/video games/comics. This was a wake-up call as it should be for all writers.

 Here’s my question then:

Are we readers of the genera we are writing?  Or are we only writers? 

And: Where the heck is my Tribe?

90's Cosplay throwback

I promised I would send pictures of my 90’s Mercedes Lackey cosplay and I have found a picture.  It’s not so great quality but it's what I have.  Here it is. ;)

Oh, here's some details!

Oh, here's some details!

You can't even see the awesomeness of the embroidery and beadwork I did but-just imagine it's way cooler th

You can't even see the awesomeness of the embroidery and beadwork I did but-just imagine it's way cooler th

I think it was someone’s birthday and they were getting spanked but for the life of me I can’t remember.  This was a Dragon Con ‘pajama party’ event with a reading of Owl Flight before it came out and there were shenanigans in progress.  Being socially awkward as I was/am, I was just trying not to completely melt down like an uber dork. I’m sure I said/did something awkward and uncomfortable to those around me. Thank goodness I’m not plagued by those memories.  

I do recall being in the elevator with Mark Shepherd and I was so nervous I thought I was going to faint.  He was very kind but it had to be awkward for him.  Sorry Mark.


Hotty bodyguards.  

Hotty bodyguards.  

There was also this strange thing that happened that year at D*C, apparently there were death threats (?) and so ML and her people had two security guards with them.  It seemed perfectly reasonable at the time but looking back it seems really odd, particularly when you see pictures like this from one of the panels. 

And at the end of D*C they had an auction and I won this pretty necklace and the line edits of Winds of Change (Half of it anyway, somehow the organizer of the event tricked me and I never did get the full manuscript. Still worth it.  Used to dry my writer's tears for many years. Just kidding, we all know writer's tears are pure alcohol and must be bottled with care.)  

I wonder if she ever wonders: 'Where did I put that necklace.....?' 

I wonder if she ever wonders: 'Where did I put that necklace.....?' 

And now that I've shared my memories with you, I'm back to sewing for my latest obsession.  I'm not even going to Confluence where Sharron Lee and Steve Miller are attending. :P  I'll be in Florida, hanging out with Sci-Fi Romance writers at the RWA conference.  

I'm putting the jacket and vest lining in today and hopefully will have pictures soon!

Thanks for reading! I can't wait to meet more writers and discover new obsessions! 

Release Dates!

Wicked Masquerade: Forbidden Secrets Book 1

Release Date: June 29, 2017

eBook ISBN: 978-1-68299-251-7


Lies that Blind: SpiritBeasts Book 1

Release Date: July, 2017 (no date yet) 

eBook ISBN: 978-1-68299-239-5


Snow Mistress: Forbidden Secrets Book 2

Release Date: August 7, 2017

eBook ISBN: 978-1-68299-253-1


An End to Summer: SpiritLands Book 1

Release Date: September, 2017 (no date yet) 

eBook ISBN: 978-1-68299-247-3


Taiming the Brat: Forbidden Secrets Book 3

Release Date: October 19, 2017

eBook ISBN: 978-1-68299-259-3


Blood Feathers: Forbidden Secrets Book 4

Release Date: December 2017 (no date yet) 

eBook ISBN: 978-1-68299-248-7



Happy New Year - Happy New Books!

It's with a heavy heart that my first editions of Forbidden Secrets have gone off the market.   Just six months ago I was so happy to see Ursa and Leo out in the world and now they are gone.  It seemed like I was just getting readers into the world.  I hope if you are one of those readers that you'll hold on for a few months!

Not to fear though! Lies that Blind: SpiritBeasts, book 1 will be coming in July, 2016!  I know it's a bit to wait, but I swear it's worth it.  

I am also happy to announce that I'm working on several additional books and so far the new year has been full of adventures and I haven't even gotten out of my PJs!  Okay, that's a lie, I had a bubble bath earlier.

Alright, enough over-share!  As soon as I have a cover made for the LIes that Blind, the first SpiritBeasts book, I will display it for all to see!  

Happy 2017!  

A tales of loss and victory

In October, I was told my publisher, Ellora’s Cave, was closing their doors.

As a newly published author, I was pretty crushed.  I had a contract for eight books and only six of them were edited and only four of those were released at the time. While I could get my rights back, I was looking at starting all over again with rejections and the whole thing.  I adore my editor and my cover artist and they were losing their jobs too!  The whole situation was just bad.

My family had been circling like vultures just waiting for something bad to happen and here it was.  Even though it was no fault of mine, I carried the weight that I’d done something wrong. It felt as though I’d personally driven the publisher out of business.

I only told my husband and a couple close friends what happened. Then I wallowed in a pit of despair for about a week.  I did some soul-searching and I threw myself back into writing. My cover artist and then my editor contacted me.  All was no lost. I could self-publish! 

I finished two more books while the rights for two of the unpublished contracted books returned to me.  I submitted one of those books to an agent and was rejected right away. I submitted in a contest through twitter and got rejected by several editors there.  Good times.

When I reached out to my cover artist, she gave me the contact for a publisher she does freelance work for.  Long and short of the back and forth, I signed and sent my contracts to Torrid this morning for three of the books!  It’s a step in the right direction! Frankie and Christopher and Rev'Dawn and Nina have a home!  Yay! 

I think that this craziness that we call writing is a trial by fire.  It is not easy.  There are a series of hoops to jump through all the time.  I don’t know how other people handle rejection but I suck at it.  I realize that the worst part is being told ‘NO’. For those people who are writing and wrestling with their muse, keep at it.  Each step is a building block to the next step.  Your stories are important and should be read!

Movember Day 15

Oh, I know what you're saying to yourself  -- Where have you been? (I was last in NaNoWriMo *sorry*)

Welcome to DAY FIFTEEN of Movember!  This is the PRESIDENTIAL issue of the #PessimisticMoustache game!

(Forgive me in advance for my irreverence -- Lets play!) 

Amazing flying wing-chops!

Amazing flying wing-chops!

The Abe!  The first in our run of Presidential Facial hair.  My husband is also an Illinois guy and cannot grow a mustache for the life of him. 

The Abe!  The first in our run of Presidential Facial hair.  My husband is also an Illinois guy and cannot grow a mustache for the life of him. 

Grant looks like he wants to cut the camera guy.

Grant looks like he wants to cut the camera guy.

Hayes - now sure how he eats with his mustache over his lips. Wow, talk about flavor-saver. 

Hayes - now sure how he eats with his mustache over his lips. Wow, talk about flavor-saver. 

Garfield - Showing how to properly trim that stache-beard combo.

Garfield - Showing how to properly trim that stache-beard combo.

Arthur - Stache-chop combo is strong.

Arthur - Stache-chop combo is strong.

Cleveland - Droopy brush (Also, snazzy bow-tie)

Cleveland - Droopy brush (Also, snazzy bow-tie)

Harrison - Dignified Santa

Harrison - Dignified Santa

Roosevelt - Dignified Walrus

Roosevelt - Dignified Walrus

Tedster - Seriously - it's like two totally different dudes.  

Tedster - Seriously - it's like two totally different dudes.  

Taft - Perky Walrus

Taft - Perky Walrus

Taft is the last president that sported the facial hair.  All of our following presidents have been smooth faced.  

How are you going to play along?  Comment here or on twitter @dianarosewilson . Tell us which president you think has the best facial hair!  Please use the hashtag #PessimisticMoustache so everyone can all follow along.

Movember Day 4

Welcome to the fourth day of Movember!  Get out your notepad and get down with the #PessimisticMoustache game!

This one definitely needs a description! 

This one definitely needs a description! 

A little extra for today!

A little extra for today!

So, now how do we play this game?  After enjoying the images, lets take a moment to consider how best to describe his facial hair.   Comment here or on twitter @dianarosewilson .  Look for a poll later.  Please use the hashtag #PessimisticMoustache so we can all follow along.

Movember Day 3

Welcome to the third day of Movember!  Time for another round of the #PessimisticMoustache game to get you through your day!

I'm just not going to oversell it today.  It's going to be nice and easy for all ya'll

Feeling pretty!

Feeling pretty!

A helpful guide!

A helpful guide!

So, now how do we play this game?  After enjoying the images, lets take a moment to consider how best to describe his facial hair.   Comment here or on twitter @dianarosewilson .  Look for a poll later.  Please use the hashtag #PessimisticMoustache so we can all follow along.

Movember Day 2

Welcome to the second day of Movember!  How is that itchy upper lip?  I hope #PessimisticMoustache game will distract you! 


I know that the event for Movember is only in regards to the mustache, but I'm including all types of facial hair in my blog this month.  

Here is today's entry!


Fitting right?  Oh Leo, and your cute little pointy goatee!  There is a bit of a chin strap here too, but minimal.  I really like how stylish and groomed this one looks. 

Anyway, here is today's entry!  I can't wait to see what you come up with.  See below for extra shots!







So, now how do we play this game?  After enjoying the images, lets take a moment to consider how best to describe his facial hair.   Comment here or on twitter @dianarosewilson .  Look for a poll later.  Please use the hashtag #PessimisticMoustache so we can all follow along.

30 Days of Movember

Happy Movember 1!  (For more information *savages*, check out this link

Here is the team I donate to and follow! You can even join this team, another one, or make up a team yourself. (Maybe next year we will move into the team round. We'll see!)

I'm kicking off my Movember #PessimisticMoustache game with my favorite and the man who hung on my auntie's bedroom wall when I was growing up. (Yes, I am old.  But not so old that I had one myself.)

Not only does Tom Selleck have a stylish stashe but he is hairy as a damn bear.  What's not to like?  College humor even has a mustache style named specifically for his upper lip fuzz.  This is not the creepy solo-stache that haunts us from the 70's and 80's, he is a bar above

Nov 1-fun.jpg


I mean, just have a look. Simple but trimmed and neat.

 A Movember-man could really do worse than picking this style after the 30 day growth if you decide to keep i

This might have been one of the poster's my aunt had.  Actually, now that I think about it, he might have been leaning over that bad-ass Ferrari.  

Regardless, lets just have a moment to admire the chest hair, okay?  Unless you're pro-shave and then just continue your way down. No judgement.

It is a sad thing that most guys have to shave, wax and repeat these days.

"Cell phones? ....du'fuq?"

"Cell phones? ....du'fuq?"

*fans self*

*fans self*

smooth, like a baby's butt...

smooth, like a baby's butt...

We are so accustomed to seeing Magnum PI (Or Frank Reagan for you Blue Bloods fans) with a mustache that he looks weird without one.  I mean, borderline untrustworthy.   Still a cutie, but I might not let him babysit, that's all I'm saying.

(Okay, the dimples just kill me!)


So, now how do we play this game?  After enjoying the images, lets take a moment to consider how best to describe his facial hair.   Comment here or on twitter @dianarosewilson .  Look for a poll later.  Please use the hashtag #PessimisticMoustache so we can all follow along.

Thanks to Maria @authormariaberg for letting me hijack her game. :D  More later!

Update and new stuff!

So, I had a release party for Taming the Brat last night.  It was rather lackluster I'm afraid.  I obviously didn't do proper follow through with letting people know it was happening.  I am still getting a hang of this marketing beast.  It was a lot more fun when I was putting stories up and people were finding them and reaching out asking for more.  

I don't like bugging people but obviously I need to let people know what's going on and when things will be released.  

So, in the spirit of trying to get ahead of the train, on Sept 28, Blood Feathers is coming out!  I'll be giving away 10 copies of the ebook on the release date to those who turn out either on my facebook author page or on   There's a nice chat feature there.  6:00pm- 7:00pm PST.

So, go on over and get yourself signed up for the event.  You know you wanna. 

For those people who have been reading before the books were published, I am working on an Alexander story.  :D  I got myself pinned into extra days of the real job so my creative hours are still limited.  My hope is to have it finished by the end of the month!

Thanks for the support everyone who has reached out and continued to follow me and track down what's going on with the stories!


The Eagle Huntress

Not shocking if you're reading my books that I have a thing about winged-things.  When I saw the preview for Eagle Huntress I got really excited about a chance to learn more about this culture that has interested me for many years.  I'm all about girl-power too so of course I want to hear about a young girl getting her eagle training.  Here's the preview.

You Tube Trailer

Good stuff right?  Absolutely beautiful and just look at those wings. ;)  (Don't judge me!)

I shared the trailer around tweet-space and called it good.  This morning I got a nice tweet from  Adrienne Mayor  @amayor who shared this document with me and some others.  It's a clarifying view about the women in the community.  


Knowledge is power.  Thanks to Adrienne Mayor for this enlightening document and I'm happy to share it around.   I am still going to see the movie but will view it as it was intended - a dramatization. 


Life Lessons

Last year we went to Santa Cruz for a family reunion and I was deep in my story-research mode and took a bunch of pictures of surfers out in the water.   I was mostly randomly snapping pictures of the ocean full of surfers without any real focus.  

All the surfers in the bright blue sea

All the surfers in the bright blue sea

When I got home I found this one.  I love that this little girl is getting some early surf training.  

Sadly it's not in very good focus.  Look at the little surfer catching her wave!  

Copyright © 2016 - 2018 Diana Rose Wilson