Thank you!

Thank you for all the support you've given the Climbing Rose Young Adult line of The Wild Rose Press. Our stories are still available on The Wild Rose Press website, however, since we aren't publishing new stories, our blog is no longer active. We thank you again for the time you spent with us and invite you to visit our Climbing Rose bookstore.

Free Reads!

And to end the month with a BANG, we have not one, but two, free reads. Judith Graves and Denise Gwen have teamed up to bring you two dance-related stories:

Denise Gwen's How to Get a Date for the Prom

My sister--can you say, Bridezilla?--is getting married tomorrow, the whole family's freaking out about the wedding, and nobody seems to care that my prom is a week away. I don't have a dress, a date, or a plan--but maybe a cute groomsman will solve all my problems?
Judith Graves Old Flames Die Hard

My boyfriend, Travis, split town--a senior year hit and run. I almost didn’t recover. Evan drew me to life. We were even going to the Harvest Moon dance together. Tonight. So why didn’t I tell Travis to drop dead, when he called, asking me to meet him…at the graveyard?
To get these fun free reads, sign in to join our Yahoo! Reading Group. (Be sure you have your parents' permission to join if you're under 18.)

Here's a bit of info about today's special Prom Mania authors:

Denise Gwen says: I've been writing, off and on, for nineteen years. I took a few years off when I had my kids, but I missed writing so much I started back up again, in earnest, in 2000. A few close calls, a few near misses, and with every rejection, I knew I was getting just a little closer to my goal of getting published. Visit Denise at her website.

Check back in August for Denise Gwen's House of Wacks.

Judith Graves loves tragic romances, vampires, werewolves and all things a bit creepy - thankfully her sidekick, and lick-the-boogy-man-to-death labrador retriever, Weeping Willow, is always nearby. Judith cooks up paranormal fiction served with a slice of dry humor on the side. Visit her at website or check out her Wolfy Chicks blog.

Look for Judith Graves' Under My Skin in 2010

And don't forget: Stop back tomorrow to find out the winner of Kitty Keswick's charm bracelet.

Prize Winner for May 24

Donna B is the winner of this week's prize, an electronic copy of Perivinkle Way by Nancy Lindley-Gauthier. Congratulations, Donna! Please contact me at so we can send your prize.

Friday Quiz - Kissing 101

We promised you some kissing tips this month, so here they are. One of my favorite comes from, Freaksville, by Kitty Keswick (right) when Kasey is instructing her BFF before Gillie’s first kiss:
“Okay, listen up. I’m going to tell you what to do. When the G-man goes in for the kill, relax your lips. As soon as his lips touch yours, open your mouth a little and whisper waterslide.”


“Yeah, I read it somewhere. Follow his lead. He will most likely be as nervous as you. Oh, and don’t freak out if he french kisses you. Europeans are really into that. Make sure you brush your teeth and carry lots of breath mints. Most importantly, relax and don’t think about it. It’s fun.”
Now are you ready for a little kissing fun? Here’s our kissing quiz:

Only 2 more days until we announce the winner of Kitty Keswick’s charm bracelet. Here’s one more chance for you to comment:

What was the best advice on kissing you ever received? Share a kissing tip, tell us how you scored on the quiz, or just comment on any of our Prom Mania blogs. Each comment, nets an entry in our drawing. Winner will be announced June 1st.

Coming Next...Stop back tomorrow for the two final days of Prom Mania and your last chance to win our Guess the Authors quiz. We’ve given you some clues throughout the month, see if you can put them all together.

Periwinkle Way

Prom Mania month is almost over, so today we're segueing from fancy-dress prom to kick-back-on-the-beach fun. We're featuring an excerpt from Nancy Lindley-Gauthier's Periwinkle Way.
Here's the story:

When teenager Robyn looks up from snorkeling, she thinks she can see dolphins leaping in the distance. It is a beautiful place, a little beach just off beautiful Captiva Island, Florida. There are shells and wildlife. A swim across this natural, untamed beach is her one goal, the one plan she held on to through her whole, week-long vacation. It will be a wonderful, never-to-be forgotten experience, she is sure. And, Robyn's younger sister Rue is, like always, spoiling everything.

In a perfect piece of bad timing, a motorboat chugs up the beach, with a way-above-average cute guy preparing for a swim. Will his arrival makes things better or worse? Jump right in--the water is fine!

Sounds pretty good, so far, huh? Here's an excerpt:

Several moments passed before Robyn realized they were all swimming but getting no nearer the beach. In fact, the jagged tip of rock that marked the western-most edge of the little island was somewhat to their right, now.

"It's an undertow," she said in horror.

"No," Mike corrected. "It's not pulling down, is it? It's a current, that's all, taking us along the other side of the island." He sounded determined and sure.

Rue gasped. "What to do?"

"Swim," Mike said. "Keep swimming. We're going to be pushed toward the beach on the other side of the island in a minute. Don't panic, don't worry," he kept on, assuring and urging, in between the small waves. He gasped and sputtered a few times when he mistimed his urging, but he didn't stop. "Stay together, look toward that beach..."

Robyn could have swum faster, but tried to stay beside her sister. Her arms were aching.

Come back tomorrow for our Friday quiz to win an e-copy of Periwinkle Way to find out what happens to Robyn, Rue and Mike!

And leave us a comment any time for the rest of the month--tell us about your prom experiences, good or bad--to be entered in one of our drawings!

Coming Next...Our final Friday quiz!

Forget the Prom

Today, after nearly a month of We love the Prom! Prom Mania, we offer a view from the other side. Meredith offers her (non) memories of the prom. Go Meredith!

Prom? Who wants to go to the prom? Not me. Whenever a guy headed my way, looking as if he might pop the question, I went the other direction. I was friends with lots of guys, actually more guys than girls. But most of them knew how I felt about getting dressed up and acting fancy. My BFF Lindsay was about the only girl I hung out with most of the time. We both loved basketball. I mean lived, breathed, and slept it. I squeezed in my homework during classes or at lunch so we could hit the courts after school and stay until my curfew, with only a quick break for dinner.

I lived for the weekends, when I played non-stop on Saturdays. On Sunday afternoons, we often headed to the city to rough it up with some of the tougher inner-city dudes. They conditioned us to play better and stronger.

The first time we showed up, they ignored us, but finally I got annoyed and challenged their best player to a little one-on-one. After I stole the ball from him for the third time in a row, he called a halt and picked me for his team. After that, they looked forward to us coming. At first they went a little easy on us, but once they realized we could mix it up with the best of them, they played harder, and it really improved my skills.

So, what’s all this have to do with the prom? Zilch. Absolutely zilch. ’Cos in my mind, proms are a waste of time. I’d rather be playing basketball. In my junior year, prom night and the annual three-on-three basketball tournaments fell on the same night. Guess which one I chose?

If you said the tournament, you’d be absolutely right. It was a no-brainer. At least for me. Sure, I probably broke some poor guy’s heart, turning him down for basketball, but if he was as in love with me as he claimed, he’d have come to cheer me on.

Senior year was even better. I had seven guys ask me—that wasn’t the “better” part. I felt bad about saying no without even telling them why. But my mom had given me permission to stay out all night on prom night, and I planned to take full advantage of it. Lindsay’s mom would be out of town that weekend, so we prepared for the best night of our lives. We splurged—not on a limo, not on a gown, not on a salon—but on a pass to an all-night gym! Thirty hours straight of basketball was my dream come true!

Thanks, Meredith! What a great (non) prom memory!

Coming Next…An excerpt from a fun story by Nancy Lindley-Gauthier

More Prom Memories!

Hope everybody is paying attention to these author memories and prom pix. We don’t have any winners yet for our Guess the Author quiz, yet so put all the Prom Mania clues together - leave a comment on the Author quiz post - and win our prize!

Here's a prom memory from author Christine Marciniak:

My high school class always lost spirit week. We were not the-get-out-there-and-party crowd, I guess. In fact, our prom committee almost forgot to book a venue for the prom, so we ended up having it on a Tuesday night.

We had a bunch of kids going together in a limousine. The mother of one of the girls was in the hospital, so we asked the limo driver to take us there before taking us to the prom. It was so cool to walk through the halls of the hospital in our prom gowns and with the guys in tuxes. You could see people smiling as we walked past their rooms. And, of course, the girl’s mother was thrilled that she was able to see us all.

The dance was fun too, but honestly, the most memorable part of the night was stopping by the hospital first. It just felt good to make people happy like that.

Christine Marciniak is the author of When Mike Kissed Emma due out August 19. Visit Christine at her blog, the simple and the ordinary.

Coming Next…Proms--Who needs them?

This Week's Prize Winner!

Eve is the winner of this week's prize, an Under My Skin bookmark from Judith Graves. Congratulations, Eve! Please contact me at so we can send your prize.

Terry Lee Wilde's Teddy Bears--Dressed for the Prom

Terry Lee Wilde, author of the fabulous Climbing Rose paranormal, Deidre's Secret is here today to share her prom experiences (sort of!):

Alas, I didn’t get to go to the prom, but instead my dad came to the high school I had just enrolled in at Beaverton, Oregon, after we’d moved there from Merritt Island, Florida, and pulled me out. Took me to Portland Community College and there, I took the entrance tests to go to college for my last two years of high school to earn dual credit for high school and college. So I missed my prom, but I never regretted it.
I did go to a military ball when I was at West Texas A & M, but that’s another story. :-)

So instead, I wanted to show off my award-winning bears who get all dressed up for fancy occasions.

Dressed in blue chiffon, Missy, the gold mohair bear is ready to dance the night away.

Sugar Plum bear, wearing a wispy pink costume for hot weather, is also a golden mohair, and is ready to sip some cool punch with her hot date.

Angel, a distressed white mohair bear, is all decked out in a white eyelet embroidered dress. Flowers are essential for any of the young ladies.

And I’ve even included the costumes of a 16th Century German couple, and what they would wear to such a gala event, if they had prom events.

Whatever you wear, have fun at the prom! Take lots of pictures, and cherish the memories! In each of my young adult books, I realized I have a recurring theme—the girls want to go to the dance with the boys of their dreams. :-) Maybe it is a secret wish that I could have gone after all!

From Deidre’s Secret, Deidre’s secret longing:

For an instant, she wanted to ask him out to the Valentine’s dance. Just for an instant. How would he view her if she asked him?

She squashed that notion really fast. He wasn’t really interested in her or just being nice. He was snoopy. He wanted to know her secret.

So would you ask a boy to a dance if he couldn’t get up the nerve to ask you? :-)Terry Lee Wilde

Thanks for sharing your wonderful bears with us, Terry!

So everybody, which bear do you think looks best? Leave a comment voting for your favorite and you'll be entered in a drawing for our next prize!

Coming Next
...Another prom memory and more clues to win more prizes!

Summer Lovin'

Just in time for summer, it's a fun anthology from six of our Climbing Rose authors called Summer Lovin' Here's a sneak preview of the great stories:

From Dara Edmondson, Society Girl

Country club pool boy Nick Martinez comes to the rescue of socialite Vanessa VanHorn. Although she feels an instant attraction, her friends and family will not approve. When she learns her loved ones all have ulterior motives for scuttling the relationship, she bucks their wishes and sets out explore love's possibilities.

From Laurie J. Edwards, Summer Storm

Sixteen-year-old Paige nearly drowns trying to rescue a Pomeranian trapped in the floodwaters that sweep through her town. Chase, the hottie who saves her, wants to help her and her mother, but Paige won’t accept charity. Worse yet, can she risk him unmasking the family secrets she’s kept hidden?
From Mona Ingram, Sandcastle Daze

Carolyn Butler is confused. Why is Todd Keating suddenly paying attention to her, especially when he's practically ignored her all year? Well...there was that one dance at graduation, but since then they haven't spoken. He's good-looking, has a great truck and his family practically owns the whole town but she's not even sure she likes him. So why is she looking forward to seeing him again tomorrow?
From Kimberlee R. Mendoza, Wish Upon A Rock Star

Robin Moss is a big time Reconcile fan. When she finally has her chance to meet the lead singer, Brody X, she chokes. Then on summer vacation in the middle of nowhere at the Lake Oasis Spa & Resort she meets the owner's son, Jake Scott (a.k.a. Brody X). Only she doesn't know it's him. He's changed his appearance and is using his real name.

At first Jake is suspicious of Robin, because she's a big fan of his band, but when he realizes she has no idea who he is, he decides to get to know her. They have amazing chemistry but when she finds out the truth, she's furious. Can she find a way to forgive him?

From Sydney Shay, Saddle Up, Sweetheart

What happened after their New Year's Eve kiss?

Russ and Natalie flirt, but now that she's works at his family’s Lucky Lake Ranch, a romance grows. While Natalie aims for their life together, Russ only thinks of work.
Their future may be planned for them. His father gives Natalie two weeks notice, making her last day the Fourth of July. Does Russ love her more than Lucky Lake? Natalie's determined to find out and is ready to change his mind if he doesn't.

And last but certainly not least, from June Sproat

Caroline Jane Edmonds, CJ to her friends and family, has the perfect summer planned. She calls it the TSL summer: tanning, swimming and love, and not necessarily in that order.

But when the first day of summer rolls around, CJ’s plan gets pulled out from beneath her when her father decides she needs a summer job. He even picks out the job: working at the miniature golf course and driving range for the park district where he is the director.

Now all she has to do is combine her ideal summer plans into her new job and she’ll have a hole in one--otherwise her whole summer will be way below par.

Perfect, just perfect!

Great-sounding stories! Pick up your e-book copy of Summer Lovin' today (and a print copy on July 10) And leave a comment today to be entered in a drawing for a special prize from the Summer Lovin' authors.

Coming Next...Our Friday quiz (on Saturday!) Stop back tomorrow for a fun peek at Teddy Bears Dressed for the Prom. All you have to do is vote for your favorite one to be entered in a drawing for our next prize. And keep commenting to win the charm bracelet from author Kitty Keswick.

The Wrong One - a Prom Horror Story!

Today we have another prom horror story (plus a hint for our Author Prom quiz!) from author Laurie Larsen. Here's her story:

Lori and I wanted to double date to the prom – one of the last high school things we’d do together before heading off to colleges in separate states. Problem: neither one of us had a boyfriend. But we each had several male buddies so we were determined to snag someone willing to spend the big bucks on a tux and dinner out. Lori was immediately successfully when she asked a nice guy named Jeff and he accepted. I was shyer than Lori and had a little harder time figuring out who to ask, not to mention, how.

My part-time job held the most promising prospects. I worked at the local Steak n Shake restaurant as a waitress, and had become friends with three potential prom dates there: Greg, the bus boy, who was a lot of fun, but several years younger than me; Bert, who made milkshakes and freezes, who was quiet but nice; and Marc, the grill guy. Of the three, I was most interested in Marc. He was cute, nice, fun, and made my heart beat a little faster. I really liked him, and in my imagination I pictured our prom date being the beginning of a summer romance. My choice made, each night I worked with him I made the effort to flirt and smile and get him to see me as more than just a waitress he worked with. Unfortunately, my shy nature cost me my first pick at a prom date: a more assertive girl named Amber asked Marc, and I heard through the grapevine, he accepted.

Darn! Back to the drawing board. I decided Bert was my guy. I cornered him in the break room one night and asked if he’d go to prom with me. He immediately agreed. Great. I knew we’d need to coordinate our colors and plans, but as far as I was concerned, it was one night of our lives together. Little did I know, Bert had different ideas. He evidently had been harboring secret feelings for me and had been as shy as me, if not shyer, about revealing them. He took my prom invitation as an open door to kick into high gear. His plans for Prom Saturday included meeting early in the morning, driving two hours to an amusement park to spend a few hours on the rides, then out to the country to ride horses on a trail ride, then back to town to quickly throw on our prom clothes, eat out, then head to the prom and after-prom. My head spun with the implications of such a busy day!

Freaking out, I got Lori to explain to him that for a girl, prom preparation takes all day long – bathing, getting her hair done, taking time with her makeup. Not running helter skelter from one activity to another, leaving only moments to wash off the horse smell and throw on a gown. He got the message. On the night of the dance, he presented me with a gift: a big bulky watch with an alarm that told time in four different time zones and played “The Yellow Rose of Texas.” I accepted it, bewildered, but didn’t wear it that night. To Bert, that must have been a prize gift to present to his new lady love. It just made me feel darn uncomfortable.

We had a great time at prom, the four of us. Bert was the perfect attentive date, a gentleman to the nth degree. But I realized afterward, I had a problem. I didn’t have the feelings for Bert that he evidently did for me. I wanted to feel for Bert what I felt for Marc, I really did. It would’ve made the summer an exciting, memorable one with the promise of young love. But I just…didn’t. So a few weeks after prom, I returned the watch to him, tried to tell him what a great guy he was…. Just not the one for me. I’d broken his heart and regretted it deeply. Now, thirty years later, I realize it’s just one of the lessons of life.

Laurie Larsen is the author of The Chronicles of Casey V. due out on July 15. For more about Laurie and her other books with The Wild Rose Press, check out her website. Thanks, Laurie!

Coming Next… A fun Climbing Rose anthology-- Summer Lovin’ --and a special prize from the authors!

I Was A Teenage Alien

Author Jane Greenhill's cover image for I Was a Teenage Alien is getting some great publicity. The cover art just happens to be featured in a Wal-Mart ad (right). Look closely at the pictures. Jane's heroine, April, is wearing a butterfly necklace, while the Wal-Mart picture is advertising necklaces at their photo shop. Check it out to see if Jane's cover art is in your local store ad. And leave us a comment if it is. Anyone who comments from now until the end of the month will have their name entered in the drawing for a charm bracelet from author Kitty Keswick.

Jane is also the author of Vortex to the Objiway. And the fabulous cover art for I Was a Teenage Alien was done by Kimberlee Mendoza, another of our talented Climbing Rose authors.

Coming Next
...Author Laurie Larsen shares her prom “horror” story

Toilet Paper, Duct Tape, or Trash Bags Anyone?

Need money for college? Enjoy being creative? DUCK brand Duct Tape has a $3,000 scholarship every year for the best prom outfit made of duct tape. Check out the rules at Stuck at the Prom. Then get busy sticking together the dress of your dreams. But hurry--contest ends June 8. And feel free to post your pix on our site, we’d love to see them!

Check out DIY Fashion and lovetoknow for the how-to on making prom dresses from duct tape.

And would you believe trash bags make elegant prom gowns? How are these pictures or this article for plastic-y inspiration?

Or what about toilet paper? These are wedding gowns but they could be adapted into elegant (if slightly fragile!) prom dresses.

Coming Next
...Our Teenage Alien becomes a model

Another Prom Horror Story!

Did you like our Prom Horror Quiz? Then you might be interested in this memory from author Christine Marciniak (and it's also a clue for our Author Prom quiz!):

We were convinced that our junior prom night was going to be fraught with disaster. I mean, how could it not be? After all, we were the Class of 1984, and Friday the 13th was Prom Night. With that many horror movies in one sentence, we didn’t think we stood a chance.Luckily, the prom was disaster and horror free!

Christine Marciniak is the author of When Mike Kissed Emma due out August 19. Visit Christine at her blog, The Simple and the Ordinary.

Coming Next…Win $3,000 for being creative!

One Girl, Five Guys, No Date - The End!

I Was a Teenage Earthworm
by Bonnie Doerr (written when she was 16!)
Reprinted from the South Wind, May 7, 1965

Part seven in which I wonder and wait for the perfect prom date.

Finally, after coming down from where they had bravely ventured, the guys rejoined me on the ledge. We were ready to scale the cliffs we’d descended and return to the world. It took fifteen minutes just to get me back up the closest rock face. The rope was again fastened around my waist. Each time I was ready to climb a few inches I yelled, “About one foot slack,” and then put my knee in another position while clinging desperately to the ropes as the boys pulled me upward.

After we made it over the cliffs we took a different exit route. This time we had to crawl uphill flat on our stomachs over sheer ice. This was no easy trick. This crawl-way abruptly stopped about ten feet above the floor of a small room. The only way to reach the floor was to climb down a log. Hesitant to begin, and with no idea where to put my feet, I decided to slide down. This would have been fine had I not caught my clothing. To this day, I don’t know how I got down that log.

I felt like an escaping convict. I had only one ice-coated rock cliff to climb and I was finally free. Did that ground ever feel good! The air was sweet, but the sun was the most precious sight of all. We had been caving for two hours this time.

I took a good look at myself and felt like crying, only I was too cold and beat. I was covered with mud, my hair was stringy and filthy, my legs were black and blue, and my hands were ruined, even though I’d worn gloves. Who had I been kidding? Me, prom material? This was no way to interest a guy in a date.

We quickly changed clothes, packed our gear, and started home. I slept the rest of the day and could have done so the entire week. I’d discovered muscles no physician knew existed. Climbing steps was murder; getting dressed was a family project; I limped for two days; and an insect on my knee made me scream in pain.

When I wasn’t sleeping, I hovered by the phone waiting. Wondering. Which of the brave spelunkers would be bold enough to make the call? I waited through the painful weeks ahead. Finally… an invitation. Had the ghastly experience been worth it?

Absolutely! I got my story. But no date. Not with a Spelunker anyway. With a wonderful boy from the other side of town who had never, ever seen, and never, ever would see me without my Villager skirts and sweater sets and an Aigner bag slung over my shoulder—except on prom night!

Coming Next
...Another Prom Horror Story (a short one this time) and another clue for the Author Prom Quiz…!

This Week's Prize Winner!

I have a beautiful paint is the winner of this week's prize. You have your choice of a Climbing Rose T-shirt or a $10 Wild Rose Press gift certificate. Please contact me at to let me know which you prefer.

One Girl, Five Guys, No Date - Part 6

I Was a Teenage Earthworm

by Bonnie Doerr (written when she was 16!)
Reprinted from the South Wind, May 7, 1965

Part six in which I nearly lose hope at the end of my rope.

Whitings Neck cave is entered through a sink hole unlike Molers. One must lower oneself through the opening and then crawl in. The first obstacle was a fifteen foot cliff. Nate climbed down a rope fastened to a stalagmite and waited at the bottom while I was lowered. This was a unique experience, especially since I couldn’t see the bottom of the cliff.

After crawling for fifty feet and then walking one hundred thirty feet, we came to another cliff. This one was forty five feet down. Again Nate went first. Naturally, the boys scaled the cliff, but again I had to be lowered, banging into the rock with every inch of rope they loosened. I could feel my bruises building.

The guys told me one thing that day that proved to be absolutely true. Whitings Neck was much prettier than Molers. It is beautiful, except for the hundreds of names all over the walls and ceilings. (Note: We did NOT scar the cave with our names.) The natural formations are magnificent.

At the bottom of this cliff was another flooded passage. I had changed into a pair of George’s dry coveralls an hour before and did not intend to get any wetter than necessary. The only way to prevent it was to put shoulders on one wall and feet on the other, then inch along, alternately working your shoulders and feet. We did this a distance of over fifteen feet.

We reached a point where we had to swing over to a twelve inch wide rim on the edge of a different cliff covered with flowing water. Here I stopped. I refused to climb this completely vertical, soaked, slippery cliff. My shoulders and arms could take no more.

There I waited. For a very long time I stood on that narrow ledge looking down at the water ten feet below. Alone, with nothing to hold on to but my heart. Much the way I expected to feel on the night of the prom.

END Part 6

Coming Next...Was getting the story worth it? Do I go to the prom? Tune in for the final episode, which includes a photo of me with Spelunkers, Inc. -- five fabulous guys.

Friday Quiz - When Proms Go Bad

You’d Think The Right Dress Would Be the Least of Your Worries

No matter what’s at stake: a gym full of vampires, a stalker, a bunch of over-dressed zombies – even these horror flick heroes/heroines take time to stress over their prom ensembles. Think you can relate? Then take our paranormal prom challenge.

All you have to do is match the quotes to the movie posters and post your answers in the comments section. Answer all correctly and be entered in a drawing to win.

Quote 1:

Character 1: You got a C-plus? I can’t believe I cheated off you.
Character 2: Excuse me for not knowing about El Salvador. Like I’m ever going to Spain anyway. Ooh! [Sees dress on rack and holds it up in front of herself]. Mmm.
Wouldn’t I look just edible and nutritious in this?
Quote 2:

Character 1: Alice lent me the dress and the cast is… [Fades off uncertainly]
Character 2: [Grinning] Perfect.
Quote 3:

Character 1: Red. I might have known it would be red. [Referring to prom gown]
Character 2: It’s pink, Mama.
Character 1: They’re all gonna laugh at you.
Quote 4:

Character 1: As fellow prom queen nominee, I want to wish you luck tonight. You're gonna need all you can get.
Character 2: You think you got it all wrapped up, do you?
Character 1: [Snearing at Character 2’s cleavage revealing dress] Well, they're certainly not propped up and on display like yours. That's for sure.
Quote 5:

Character 1: I wish it was a corsage. [Guy hands girl an ax]
Character 2: [Girl just smiles– her face spattered with blood]

Today's quiz is compliments of Judith Graves, author of the upcoming Climbing Rose paranormal Under My Skin. Post your answers in the comments section to be entered to win this fab cross bookmark.

Coming Next...One Girl, Five Guys, No Date - Part 6 of our fun free read from Bonnie Doerr

One Girl, Five Guys, No Date - Part 5

I Was a Teenage Earthworm
by Bonnie Doerr (written when she was 16!)
Reprinted from the South Wind, May 7, 1965

Part five in which having reached Molers end, we at Whitings begin.

Dick—yelling. In the background, the sound of rushing water. He yelled again. “Come see. The waterfall!”

Waterfall? Relief. This had to be the one I’d been anticipating.

Dick had to be crazy if he expected me to wade through that water. But he was right. Look where I was and with whom. Sure I was after a story. But I also had the big dance in mind. You couldn’t blame a girl for trying to make the most out of an opportunity. So I waded through that flooded five-foot passage for fifty or more feet listening to the roaring water grow louder. By this time I was used to letdowns, but was not in the mood for practical jokes. Though perhaps I deserved the one I got. Dick’s waterfall was a monstrous one-foot-high deluge pouring out of a hole in the wall into our passage.

Having found the highlight of the journey, we went back through the cave as we had come in. We hadn’t seen daylight for three hours.

It was 11 a.m. when we returned to the car to remove our soaked, muddy, and frozen stiff outer clothing. Once we returned home, most of us planned to throw out our hopeless socks.

We gobbled lunch in the manner of a pack of half-starved wolves. I cannot remember ever being that hungry in my life. As I ate, I remembered Dick’s words, “You’ll lose about ten pounds,” and I thought maybe all this pain would be worthwhile after all. But wasn’t he the same guy that said there was nothing to fear? You guessed it. I’d still need a larger size prom gown than I’d hoped to wear. I was to be once again disappointed.

Under the impression that the worst of the day was over, I rode to the Whitings Neck Cave with a light heart. Oh yes, another false impression. Was there a conspiracy against me?

END Part 5

Coming Next...I dangle blindly over a 45 foot cliff. Already bruised, will I bang to the bottom with no more serious injuries? Stay tuned…

May 13 Winner!

Congratulations to our winner for today!

In celebration of next week's release of Summer Lovin' commenter Krunal Patel won a special gift from author June Sproat.

Krunal, please send your contact information to me at, and we’ll get your prizes sent out immediately.

Keep those comments coming this month--every comment is a chance to win a great prize!

One Girl, Five Guys, No Date - Part 4

I Was a Teenage Earthworm
by Bonnie Doerr (written when she was 16!)
Reprinted from the South Wind, May 7, 1965

Part four in which Dick disappears and fuels my worst fears.

I slipped. I slid. I wanted to cry. No, I wanted to die. But Dick took charge. Told me where to put my feet, what to hold onto, and gave me a hand to lift me over the muddy cliffs. Often I was simultaneously pushed from below. I was a real pain in the… and losing ground rapidly as a possible prom date.

After spending about one more hour in these tiny passages I became increasingly disappointed. I’d expected more than mud and rock. Finally, in the distance we heard echoes of water. Falling water. Where was it coming from? Where was it going?

We emerged into a room 135 feet long and 20 – 30 feet wide. Gorgeous, if only because we could stand. There were several stalactites and one or two stalagmites. Somewhat better than muddy walls. Where was the waterfall I’d been promised? I said nothing. Potential prom dates shouldn’t whine. Perhaps the echoes of water drops descending from six feet above counted. But disappointment changed to irritation. Learning it would be more than another hour until we emerged didn’t help.

We passed under the “falls” and continued deeper. I now heard continual conversation among the guys about lakes. We were extremely warm and covered with perspiration at that point. The guys seemed to think getting wet would feel good. Perhaps at the time it might, but I could see them soaked clear through and exiting into 30 degrees F. Then they’d be sorry.

It soon looked like we’d all have to do that very thing. At first I was only wet up to my ankles. My sneakers and white socks were flooded with mud and water, and so my footing was faulty. But I managed to make it safely to points where Dick would tell me to wait while he branched off into a different passage. The last two in the line, we repeated that pattern about every fifteen minutes.

“Wait here,” he said again, as he plunged into what he termed a lake, but I called a flooded sewer. He slogged through increasingly deeper, muddy water. It had reached his waist when he disappeared around a corner. The next thing I heard he was yelling.

END Part 4

Coming Next...A rushing sound ahead sends chills down my spine. Will we drown in this wormhole? Stay tuned…

One Girl, Five Guys, No Date - Part 3

I Was a Teenage Earthworm
(Reprinted from the South Wind, May 7, 1965)
by Bonnie Doerr (written when she was 16!)

Part three in which I must decide: escape with my life or hang on to my pride?
As I climbed over the rocks just inside the cave entrance, it became obvious that I needed sure feet. My too long boots were burdensome, so I left them by the entrance and proceeded with only a pair of sneakers on my feet.

Dick led the way, followed by me, Dan, Nate, and Roger, with George bringing up the rear. We traveled for 1,500 feet, sometimes walking, but mostly crawling. The passageways we crawled through were, at their largest, four feet wide and four feet high. When I’d asked if we’d ever have to crawl the answer had been, “Maybe once or twice.” Two thirds of the morning we spent in Molers Cave we were on our hands and knees or flat on our stomachs. Nate gave me a pair of knee pads, but the bruises formed early. The floors of those “sewer passages” are solid rock.

Our lamps lit the caves bright as day, so I had no darkness to fear. However, there were plenty of other concerns like: falling into crevices, getting lost, getting stuck; bats, spiders, rats; running out of fuel, slipping off cliffs, stepping into bottomless water holes; sliding down a cliff and not being able to get back up; and the big fear itself—claustrophobia. And Dick had said, “There’s nothing to be scared of.”

All I could see were brown, stone walls, floors, and ceilings; muddy cliffs and crevices. Where were the stalactites and other formations I’d always associated with caves? Did I really want to keep going?

Should I maintain my feminine dignity, or forget the whole potential prom date thinking and try to keep up with the boys? It was a little late for that concern. I had no choice. I crawled on and did my best not to fall behind. But despite my best efforts, I would not have made it out alive if one of the guy’s had not been in the right place at the right time.

END Part 3

Coming Next...A muddy lake. No way around. Will I take the plunge? Abandoned in a cave! Stay tuned…

One Girl, Five Guys, No Date - Part 2

I Was a Teenage Earthworm
(Reprinted from the South Wind, May 7, 1965)
by Bonnie Doerr (written when she was 16!)

Part Two in which gas is found, but more problems abound.

At last we discovered a station that was just opening for the day, but our problem was not solved. George could not locate the key to his tank. After much emptying of pockets, dumping of bags, and rummaging under seats and in the glove compartment, the key was found. Not the end. The tank cap was frozen shut. Money was pooled. A spray can was purchased, and for the first time we appreciated the TV commercial jingle "My advice sir, get De-Icer."

Next, I expected a blowout, but was rewarded with only a broken radio knob which meant that the radio was going to be on the entire day. It wouldn’t turn off or switch to a working station. The dial stayed right where it was and buzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzed.

We arrived at Molers Cave around 7:30 with frazzled nerves and went straight to the farmhouse for permission to enter the cave. There was little to lift the spirits in this experience either. The farmer’s wife made us sign a paper that released her from any responsibility in case anything should happen to us. Like what?

After receiving curious glances from the cattle as we drove through the fields, we stopped and began to prepare. We each pulled on outer clothing, filled our carbide lamps, first with water and then carbide. Next we put on boots, gloves, and helmets. All this was quite a trick as the temperature was 20 degrees and my fingers were frozen stiff.

I felt like a reject from a rummage sale. My outer trousers were my father’s, my sweatshirt was my brother’s (also a spelunker), as were my helmet and my lamp. My two–inches-too-long boots were Dick’s and my gloves were Dan’s. Could anyone imagine the likes of me in a prom gown?

We trudged to the junction of two ravines to find the cave’s entrance . The opening is fifteen feet wide and high enough that one can duck to enter. I was extremely anxious to get inside because the boys told me the interior temperatures range from 50 degrees F to 64 degrees F. Finally, we entered and I breathed a sigh of relief to see the large open space before me. I could walk! I would thaw. Heaven. Major jumping-to-conclusions mistake.

END Part 2

Coming Next...I had no idea what would happen. Panic in Molers Cave! Stay tuned…

Special Drawing on May 13

We'll be holding a drawing on Wednesday at 1pm (EDT) for everyone who leaves a comment on any of the Prom Mania blog posts. The prize? A special gift from author June Sproat.

One Girl, Five Guys, No Date

Today, I'm happy to post a fun free read from Bonnie Doerr. It's based on a true-life experience of hers and she'll be sharing it throughout the week. Take it away, Bonnie!

Dear readers, you have made your Climbing Rose authors a bit nostalgic with all this Prom Mania. I am reminded of an undeniably original fashion statement that won me an early spring day alone with five guys. What odds! A prom invitation was sure to follow.

Stick with me as I dig deep in the archives of the 1960s and pull out a true tale of daring and intrigue. A story from a time when it was scandalous to be seen in anything but coordinating skirts and sweater sets. Nevertheless, it was a time when I boldly risked my reputation by donning a coal miner's coveralls, and then, throwing all caution to the wind, accessorized them with a carbide helmet lamp and a coil of rope over my shoulder. No glamorous fashionista, I was a journalist who believed in total immersion in my stories. While other girls were primping for the prom, I was gathering equipment for a daring assignment alone with five guys--in a cave...

I Was a Teenage Earthworm
reprinted from the South Wind, May 7, 1965
(Names have been changed to protect the innocent.)

"Sure! Of course I can be ready. Six o'clock on the dot. No, you won't have to wait. Not for me!" These were the words I had spoken Friday to George, who was to take me and four others: Nate, Dick, Roger, and Dan) spelunking the next morning.

Have you ever eaten your words?That is all I had for breakfast Saturday morning. I had forgotten when I spoke to George that I would not be coming home until 1 a.m. When I arrived home at 1:15 am, I was so beat that I must not have known what I was doing when I set my clock for 5 a.m., but forgot to turn the switch to automatic.

I awoke to the sweet alarm of the doorbell, sat straight up in bed, and began screaming, "What'll I do? What'll I tell them?" My father groaned from the next room, "Just tell them you can't go. Anything to make them go away and stop ringing the bell."

I ran to the door and stuck my head around the edge, shocking Dan with my 6 a.m. beauty, and humbly said, "I forgot to set my alarm. You just woke me."

I waited for some snide remark about being a typical female and they should have known, but only heard, "Well, we have to go in town after Roger. We'll pick you up on the way back."

Great. I had 15 minutes at the most to clean up, dress, pack lunch, gather extra clothing, and assemble my equipment. Heaven knows how I did it, but I made them wait only 3 minutes upon their return.

Finally we were off. The fun and excitement began as soon as we got on the road. At 6 a.m. there are few gas stations open, and George discovered he was traveling on his spare tank with the warning signal blinking.

END Part I

Coming Next...Would it be five guys and me stuck in the middle of nowhere West Virginia? There were NO CELL PHONES in 1965. Terror in the wilderness! Stay tuned...

Prize Winners for May 8

Congratulations to our two winners for May 8!

Commenter Melanie Mastracola won the packet of beauty products from Salon du Savon.

Commenter Kate won an e-copy of “Summer Storms” by Laurie J. Edwards, one of the stories in the Summer Lovin’ anthology coming out May 22.

Kate and Melanie, send your contact information to me at, and we’ll get your prizes sent out immediately. (Melanie we’ll need a mailing address; Kate, an e-mail address.)

Keep those comments coming this month--every comment is a chance to win a great prize!

Friday Quiz--Guess the Author!

Check out these back-in-the-day prom pictures of some of our authors. Compare the prom pix to the up-to-date photos on our Author Bio page. Can you tell who’s who?

Post your guesses in the comments section. For bonus points, guess the year (or decade) the prom photos were taken. Points will be totaled as follows:

1 point for each author you name correctly

2 points for the correct decade (50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, or 90s)

5 points if you are within 2 years of the date

10 points for the correct year

For example: If you guess 1952, but the prom was held in 1954, you’ll get 5 points. If you guess 1967, but the prom was in 1963, you’ll get 2 points.

Answers must be posted by midnight EST on Thursday, May 14. Winners will be announced around 9 p.m. EST on Friday, May 15. And be sure to come back on May 15 for our next quiz.

HAVE FUN!! And while you’re on our Author Bio page, check out the great books our authors have written. Some will be offered as prizes throughout the month.

Coming Next...Check back Sunday for the beginning of a free read serial by Bonnie J. Doerr, How Not to Snag A Prom Date!