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  • 10/04 - Michelle Miles
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October 20, 2016

My Great Hunter or Why Aren't the Squirrels Scurrying? #MFRWorg #Rssos #pets #dogs

My Great Hunter


I had no idea when Handsome adopted Champ and Jones, our malti-poos, that Jones would turn out to be such a huge hunter.

We’ve had the poos now for five years. And during this span, Jones has brought us squirrels. Yep, those fast critters are not fast enough for him. Jones loves to do run-run-run, a kind of lap thing, in the back yard. He is so fast when doing them, he even tilts aside.

Jones would be a good running buddy for someone. Sadly, I'm not a good runner.

Champ pitter patters. He’s smaller, more Maltese than Poodle. He has the short legs with a little bend in them. He likes to fetch “Squeaky,” an Army green flat cat. He leaps off furniture and scampers like a sheep. But not nearly as fast as Jones.

When I held yoga in the garage apartment, one lady came in late and asked if the dogs had a brown squeaky. My head went hmm because you never knew when they'd change from one to another and possibly, they had changed without me knowing. But upon returning to the house and passing their doggie bed, I saw the truth. A squirrel.

A month ago, Jones caught another squirrel. I had my hands in sudsy water and heard high-pitched squeals. Running outside, I saw this one still alive. I slid a newspaper plastic wrapper over my hand and up my arm, picked the creature up by his tail and set him in the grass beyond the breezeway gate and out of Jones’ reach. Instantly, the little guy flipped and crawled into the lantana.

This past week, Jones caught another, only I wasn’t there to rescue it. Then he caught two small ones. I went to the garage with garbage and saw him on his bed with the two, all laid out neatly, side by side. I dispatched them, thinking that’s what I’d heard squealing.

An hour later, another. Sigh.

With all the scurrying going on because it's fall, I almost dread going outside and finding more bodies. I’m sure there is a way to teach Jones not to catch animals. Any tips for helping me?

Pets are a lot of fun! Hattie Cooks loves cats, but can only have a beta in her apartment. Find out more at:



October 13, 2016

Elizabeth Essex's Scandal's Daughters: Release celebration & GIVEAWAY!

Greetings and salutations, people of Princesslandia! 
I have a small treat for you this morning—an excerpt from my newly released novella in the anthology Scandal’s Daughters, which released last Thursday, Oct. 6th.

Scandal’s Daughters is a compilation of five stories that all start with a scandal: Christi Caldwell’s “Only for Her Honor,” Eva Devon’s “Sleepless in a Scandal,” Anthea Lawson’s “A Lady’s Choice,” Erica Ridley’s “Lord of Chance,” and my own contribution, “A Fine Madness.”

“If adventures will not befall a young lady in her own village,
she must seek them abroad.” Jane Austen 

Miss Otis regrets…

The entirely of Miss Elspeth Otis’s inheritance from her wastrel father is a battered old trunk with some scrawled-upon foolscap sheets. Nothing that could free her from a stifling life with her fusty maiden aunties in a musty old cottage in a misty corner of Scotland. Nothing that will give her the life she’s always dreamed of—a life full of kindness and kisses and love. Or will it?


Mr. Hamish Cathcart wants more than anything to avoid the hasty marriage to a brewer’s daughter his father, the earl, has arranged to revive his fortunes. Hamish’s only hope is his failing publishing company, whose only asset is a scandalously banned book by an infamous, but unfortunately deceased, author. But when a new novel written by the same man lands on Hamish’s doorstep, he’ll go to any length to secure it—any length but love.


Here’s an excerpt to get you started:

Twelve Mile Burn Village
Midlothian, Scotland 
June, 1792

Such an ugly, unforgiving word. Full of pity and dismissal, and nothing like the life Elspeth Otis had always dreamed for herself. Nothing.
She looked at the birthday present in her hands as if it were a spider, when, in reality, it was only a silly lace cap, delicate, frilly and handmade. But Elspeth felt its uneasy touch settle upon her skin like a stray cobweb stretched across the garden, unseen and unavoidable. And somehow, inevitable. 
Time had flown with such cruel speed that she had somehow passed straight through the years of great danger, to arrive at this time even more desolate and desperate. Because the present of the cap meant that she had, on what otherwise ought to have been a most pleasant day—her four and twentieth birthday—irrevocably joined her spinster aunts on the shelf. 
Only women of a certain age wore caps. And unmarried women who put on caps were all but saying they had given up all hope of ever finding their true love. Given up believing such a man even existed.
Elspeth did not want to give up hope, but the plain truth was that she hadn’t much chance for finding true love, living with her aged aunts—the sisters Murray, as they were known—in a tiny, thatched cottage, at the bitter end of a lane, in a forgotten village at the edge of the world. The idea of finding true love seemed as far-fetched as finding a pot of gold hidden in the garden.
“Put it on,” urged Aunt Isla.
Elspeth held the fine lace creation up to the light and attempted to make appropriately admiring sounds. “So very pretty,” she managed. Really, it was pretty—fine and delicate and exquisite as spun sugar. And yet she could not bring herself to put it on her head. 
She racked her brain for a suitable excuse. Anything would do—anything that wouldn’t hurt any finer feelings or seem ungrateful. Anything.
A sound came from without—the jangle of harness and the creak of cartwheels on the rutted track running up to the cottage.
“Someone’s in the lane.” Which was both a mercy and a true diversion—normally no carriages stopped at Dove Cottage. But Elspeth meant to make the most of the distraction, even if it were just a drover who had lost his way. 
Anything to put off the inevitable. 
She pushed the lace cap deep into the pocket of her practical quilted skirts and bolted for the door. “I’ll just have a wee look, shall I?”
“Elspeth!” Aunt Isla remonstrated. “Have a care!”
This was Elspeth’s task in life—to have a care. To never call attention to herself, nor give up her guard against her tainted blood. To keep vigilant against all manner of mischief or mischance lurking within and without. To keep safe, and quiet, and not—under any circumstances—to be herself.
“Don’t rush,” Aunt Isla continued to instruct. “Why must you always rush?”
Elspeth rushed because she was trying to outrace the dreadful dullness of her life. But also because a clarty, mud-splattered dray was drawing up beside their gate, and the driver was looking meaningfully at their cottage. 
She was down the path in a trice, despite the dreich, dripping June weather. The Aunts came hard behind, hovering in the doorway to listen to every word, so Elspeth was rather more careful of her diction—no scaffy, vulgar Scots cant for the genteel sisters Murray—than her skirts. “May I help you?”
“Deliv’ry fer Miss Otis,” bawled the driver over the chitter of the rain, shooting his thumb over his shoulder at the large tarpaulin-covered mound in the muddy well of his dray.
“There must be a mistake. We’re expecting no deliveries.” Aunt Molly called from the doorway, waving her arm to shoo the nuisance of a mon away from the gate, as if he were a large, mud-splattered midge.
But the dray mon was stout of heart as well as of girth, and assessed the situation with one squinted eye. His gaze pegged square on Elspeth. “Ye be Miss Otis?”
“Aye. I am.” Elspeth stepped forward into the rain, not caring if she did get soaking drookit—she was as stout-hearted as any other Scots lass, and she was more curious than she was afraid of catching cold. “What is it you’re delivering?” She went on tiptoe to peer over the side. “From whom is it sent?”
The driver heaved his bulk down onto the lane. “Frae Edinburgh,” was his terse answer. “Sn’ Andrew’s Square.”
“Nay!” Aunt Isla gasped. 
His words doused her aunts more effectively than any downpour—they shrank back into the doorway, as if the dray might contain some great calamity instead of what was undoubtedly some commonplace item—for nothing outside of commonplace ever occurred in their village. 
The driver barely raised a bushy brow. “A trunk, it be,” he went on as he began untying ropes and peeling back the tarpaulin to reveal the most battered, unprepossessing, commonplace old trunk Elspeth had ever seen. “Where d’ye want it?”
“I’m not sure.” Besides the fact that Elspeth could not imagine how or why she should be sent a trunk from Edinburgh, her aunts’ reactions told her they would be loath to allow the thing into the cottage. “D’you know what it contains?”
“Iniquity!” Aunt Isla’s thin voice was sharp with frantic accusation. “She needs nothing from that huzzy. Nothing, I tell you! Take it back, take it back.”
Elspeth had rarely heard such invective from her aunt. “What huzzy?”
The Aunts exchanged one of their long moments of silent communication before it was somehow tacitly decided that Aunt Molly would answer. “That Wastrel’s sister,” she said at last, pursing her thin lips in distaste. “She has a house, so we are told, on St. Andrew Square in Edinburgh.”
That Wastrel being her late, unlamented father. Of whom Elspeth was never to speak.
“Den of vipers,” Isla added in a fervent whisper. “All of a piece.”
A piece of what, Elspeth did not ask. She was too busy overcoming the curious shock of learning she had any other kin in the world besides the two elderly relations in front of her, let alone a woman who lived so close as Edinburgh. The metropolis was a little over twelve miles to the north and east, but for Elspeth, who had never been allowed to venture farther than the next wee village, it might as well have been the farthest reaches of the heathen Americas.
“Why in heaven’s name did you never tell me?” 
“Because a more scandalous, scarlet woman of Babylon never lived,” was Isla’s fervent opinion.
“We thought it best,” was Molly’s more decorous judgment.
“But she, this scarlet woman”—and if a lass were to have an unknown relation, how intriguing, and somehow inevitable, that she should be a scarlet woman—“has known of me? Well, clearly she has”— Elspeth answered her own question—“for she has sent me a present. On my birthday. But how strange that she should never have written me before.”
Another fraught, stony-faced look passed silently between the two elderly sisters.
“Aunt Molly?” Elspeth faced the eldest of the two. “Do you mean to tell me she has written to me previously?” 
“We thought it best,” Molly repeated, “to keep you from the influence—”
“The iniquitous influence,” Isla amended.
“—of That Wastrel’s family.”
Elspeth braced herself for the lecture she knew would be coming following the mention of her long-dead father. John Otis had done three things to earn the sobriquet of “That Wastrel”. First, he had fallen in love with her mother, the Aunts’ lovely youngest sister, Fiona, which had led to pregnancy, Elspeth’s birth, and shortly thereafter, her mother’s untimely death. Secondly, he had written a book so scandalous, licentious and popular that it had subsequently been banned from publication. And lastly, he had, in his grief over his young wife’s death, slowly drunk himself to death, leaving his only daughter to the tender care of the only family she had left in the world—her devoted, but strict, spinster aunts. 
“We wanted to wait until you were older,” Aunt Molly tried to explain.
“Old enough to know better,” Isla added.
Well. She was certainly old enough now, wasn’t she, now that she was a dashed spinster?  
“Aye, there be a letter, too.” The dray mon slapped a thick, expensively papered letter with Elspeth’s own name written in an elegant scrawl across the front into her palm. 
“Michty me.” Elspeth gave vent to her frustration with forbidden Scots cant. “What else have ye twa been keeping frae me?”

Have you ever left you home to seek adventure abroad? Let me know in the comments, and one lucky commentator will be chosen at random to win an e-copy of Scandal’s Daughters.

October 4, 2016

Michelle Miles: Another Knight Releases + Giveaway!

Another release! I'm so excited to have the fourth book in the Realm of Honor series up and available for sale. It's been a long, hard road to get these books back from the publisher.

This is one of my favorites. But then, I love all the books in that series! I enjoyed writing these books from the first one to the last one. When I was in the middle of writing then, it was one of my happiest writing times. I had a difficult day job, so when I sat down to write it was an escape to the Otherworld. I was lost in the story from the moment I start writing until I called it quits for the night. There is still something magical and dreamy about the books for me as I read through them again. I hope you find that same feeling when you read the book(s).

Here's the Blurb:

Book 4 in the Realm of Honor Series

Will the knight of Princess Allanna's heart be able to save her from a dark lord's evil plan?

By the king’s order, Princess Allanna is betrothed to Lord-Regent Marath, an Elven noble with an evil agenda who’s manipulated his way into royal favor. Marrying him will be a fate worse than death, especially when Allanna yearns for the sexy and irresistible Sir Drake—the knight who holds her heart. A knight she is forbidden to love. She flees her family to be with Drake, giving up everything she knows for him.

Enraged at her defiance, Marath summons a mage to kidnap and kill Allanna. Drake, determined to protect the woman he loves, will stop at nothing to see her safe. Their desire for one another burns hot and nothing can keep the two lovers apart. Nothing but Marath’s evil plan to do away with the Fae and separate Drake and Allanna forever.

And an excerpt:

His mouth moved to her throat. Her skin burst into flame as he made his way around to her earlobe and nibbled. This was what she dreamed of, what she wanted. Now that it was finally happening, her mind exploded with more possibilities. Little pinpricks of light pierced her vision as her eyes fluttered closed. Heat flooded her body and pulsed dampness between her legs, making her feel things she never expected. And, oh gods, she loved the velvety feel of his mouth.

“Sir Drake...”

“Aye?” His breath wafted over her skin, sending heated chills over her.

“I...came” Oh gods, she couldn’t think. Her mind wouldn’t form the words. She knew what she wanted to say but how to say it was another matter. And her tongue swelled into a thick, useless muscle.

“To?” His eyes glinted almost as though he knew what she wanted to say.

Oh, bollocks. “To kiss you back.”

She swept her tongue over his lower lip then sucked it gently between her teeth. He groaned again. His body felt good under her hands, the way his chest curved and the sprinkling of coarse hair. The tips of her fingers trailed down his corded abs to the edge of the waistband of his breeches and halted. She couldn’t go forward even though she wanted to. Fear clasped her, made her stop. She knew what she wanted to do yet she couldn’t force her hand to move. Breaking the kiss, she dropped her head to his chest, inhaling the deep, masculine scent of him. A woodsy scent. Something that was inherent to him. Mayhap because he was human. She didn’t know.

He stroked her hair as he held her and then dropped a kiss on the top of her head. It was then she remembered his wound and bolted upright. “Did I hurt you?” Her gaze landed on the bandage on his side. She was relieved to see there was no blood.

He chuckled. “No, princess. You didn’t. You couldn’t.”

“I meant your…your wound. Is it better?”

“Almost healed like Turin said.”

“That’s good.” Her gaze flickered over him and she blushed when she saw the hardened length between his legs. The length she had stopped herself from running her fingertips over.

“I came to check on you,” she said. “I’m glad you’re better.”

“Is that the only reason you came?”

Could he read that on her face? Was she so transparent? She bit her lip again.

“Ah, you really shouldn’t do that.”

“Do what?”

“That.” His gaze fixed on her lips.

“Why?” She blinked.

“Because I like it too much.”

A smile tugged at the corner of her mouth. Her confidence soared. “You like it?”

“Aye, I do.”

“And what would happen if I did it again?”

“You really shouldn’t do it again.”

“Shouldn’t I?” She did it again.

He reached for her and dragged her to him. “Are you trying to torture me?” He said it against her mouth, his breath mingling with hers.

“No. Am I?”

“You are.”

“Should I apologize?”


“Do you intend to do something about it?”

He growled.

“Is that an aye?” She grinned, enjoying teasing him.


“Do you want to deny me again?”

“I will not take what does not belong to me.”

“I do belong to you, Drake,” she whispered. “I’ve already given you my heart. Isn’t that enough?”

She could see the flash of pain in his eyes before he regained his composure. “I wish it were, princess.”

“What more do you require of me?” she asked.

“I require marriage vows. You are too precious to me. I would not ruin your innocence.”

“Oh, Drake. It wouldn’t be ruining my innocence. I give myself to you freely.” She pressed her hands against his chest, slid them upward to his shoulders. “I’m prepared to love you. Here. Now.”


“Please don’t deny me again.” A moment of indecision flashed through his eyes and then he pulled her tight against him before he pushed her to the mattress. His body pressed against hers. Her breath caught in her throat as she looked up at him, into those deeply penetrating eyes. Was he going to forget all that he was? Would he make love to her here? Oh gods, she wanted him.

“I do not deny my feelings for you,” he said.


“You are still chaste. And I’m still a knight.”


“I’m still a knight but by Saint Mary you drive me mad.”


“You challenge my honor with every flutter of your lashes.”


“And with every flutter, I find you harder to resist.”

His mouth covered any retort she had. She was conscious of every touch. Every movement. He leaned on his good side, kissing her. His hands slipped over the curve of her body, over her small breasts and flat abdomen. Flames followed by a warming shiver swept over her.

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September 29, 2016

Tales from the Crate - The Kraken gets a puppy! by Karilyn Bentley #crazydog #puppies #amwriting

I'm happy to announce the arrival of the newest addition to our family: The New Puppy!

Our new puppy!

Isn't he adorable? We thought The Kraken needed a playmate since we moved and she no longer goes to doggie daycare or agility. And what did she think of our gift to her?

She was rather ambivalent the first day. She did not appreciate us touching the puppy or the puppy trying to touch her. Nope, not at all. 

But the second day she decided to play nice. More like play fight. Then all was right with the world as long as Puppy avoided touching her when she wanted to sleep. 

Now they play A LOT!

September 20, 2016

Release Day for VEXED: The Haunting of Castle Keyvnor: "Between the Devil & the Deep Blue Sea" by Elizabeth Essex

Greetings and salutations to the Princesses! 

I hope you'll join me in celebrating the release day of VEXED: A Haunting of Castle Keyvnor, A Regency Romance Collection of twelve inter-related stories. My contribution to this brilliantly collaborative effort is the novella “Between the Devil & the Deep Blue Sea.

The collection consists of four volumes: VEXED, BEDEVILED, MYSTIFIED & SPELLBOUND, and each volume contains three meaty novellas all unified by a central theme: the protagonists have all gathered at Castle Keyvnor in the Cornish town of Bocka Morrow to hear the reading of the late Earl of Banfield’s will.

Now with twelve different authors, you can be assured that there are twelve unique voices telling the stories, but we worked hard to keep our plots interrelated, so that different characters interact with each other and exist in the same physical place—the haunted Castle Keyvnor.

My story doesn’t dwell on ghosts and haunting, but deals with the powerful magic of love, and its consequences. At the start of “Between the Devil & the Deep Blue Sea” my heroine, Nessa Teague has never believed in the power of magic. She’s never taken part in the charming but ancient local festivals. Until Captain Lord Harry Beck comes back to Bocka Morrow after years away in the Royal Navy, and she realizes that there is nothing she won’t do to have him for her own true love. Nothing. Not even magic.

September 13, 2016

Michelle Miles: Who's ready for fall?

I don't know about you but Labor Day, for me, is the official end of summer. The kids are back in school, high school football is in full swing, the hockey season is on the horizon and cooler temps are on their way. All the stores have fall d├ęcor out and I LOVE IT. It's by far my favorite time of year.

It's also the time of year I lament I live in North Texas and it's still hot until like September 30. It's rare we get cooler temps around here until at least October. Or rain. Or the fall colors that I love so much in nature.

September 9, 2016

BSP: It's Launch Day!!! for Temporarily Insane #MFRWorg #Rssos #TWRP #RB4U

It’s Happy Launch Day!

I'm blushing and bursting with pride to announce my second book in my romantic comedy mystery series, Temporarily Insane, is now available.