March 26, 2015

# A Book is Born – by Phyllis Middleton

Ten years in the making.  One story.  Many revisions.  Many more times it was shelved.  Yet still, I returned to a story that I wanted to see published. I wanted that story out there for others to enjoy and maybe some will hate, but it’s there for the reading. I wanted THIS story to be the first.

My baby.  My debut novel, NINE LIVES, TWO DOWN will be available to the public tomorrow – March 27th and it’s been on pre-order since March 20th.  Needless to say, I was over the moon when I saw the email from my editor announcing the pre-order. 

Double celebration!  March 27th  also  happens to be my birthday! Who knew fate would wait until my senior years to answer a dream.  What a weekend this will be – Life, Love, Laugh, and the Pursuit of Happiness!

I give you TWO excerpts from NINE LIVES, TWO DOWN, a Romantic Suspense/Thriller. Enjoy!

Excerpt One
Perhaps the road to their love life recovery would be rocky, but certain memories were never forgotten. He didn’t need any more prompting as his lips slightly brushed hers, gentle and slow, leaving her wanting more. A whole lot more. The simple touch of his lips ignited a fire she’d thought was long gone. Knowing what he could do to her, she wanted him in the most carnal way.
She whispered his name against his mouth. It was a plea for more. She craved the full kiss she had once known and with her hand moving up around his neck, her fingers sank deep into a thickness of dark hair and she pulled him down to her.
Hunger for passions they’d not had for a while took over. She melted against him as his arms tightened around her. Pure ecstasy surged through her as he deepened the kiss. His hands grasped her back and lowered to her hips. Beth welcomed his strength. Her body reacted with familiar flutters and twinges readying her for more of his attentions. She yearned for his touch in places abandoned long ago. She wanted him to take total control, to take her, and leaned into him to relay that desire.
He stopped the kiss to bring his lips to her forehead and it felt like the breath left her. She cradled her head against his chest. She listened to his heart as it pounded with renewed anticipation. With every breath, his chest rocked her gently. His moan matched her hunger for him.
“Oh God, Bethany. I missed you and from your reaction, I’d say you missed me too. Promise me you’ll never take off like that again.”
“I had good reasons for leaving.”
“There will never be a good reason for you to leave me again. I won’t give you up or give up on you. Remember that.”
Beth felt a chunk of that fear break off and disappear into nothingness. She was home. She was content. This was the healing she needed. With a finger under her chin, he lifted her head and kissed her. Hard, then soft and wet. A stirring in her abdomen signaled her to move closer, letting him know what she wanted. A moan escaped from deep in her throat.
Sam stepped back. All the way back.
What the . . .? She could barely accomplish a whisper. “You won’t believe how bad I want you right now.”
“Oh yes I would.”
“But not now. Not safe.” His own words were short and breathless.
Why did he have to be strong now? “Oh damn.”
Beth knew this was as far as they would go, but that didn’t stop her from making one last try. “Are you sure you don’t want to make out on the sofa for a while?”
“If I get you on that sofa, we’ll do more than make out.”
“Promises, promises,” she said, turning to go to the kitchen.
He moved so quickly, it caught her by surprise. He snatched her up into his arms, kissing her eagerly, like a man killing his thirst with water. His tongue parted her lips as he drew her closer. She felt the heat rising between them, and just as suddenly, he released her, leaving her gasping for breath and composure.
“Don’t play with fire, sweetheart,” he said with that blaze in his eyes she’d seen before. The light brown of his eyes had light flickers of yellow she’d swear were flames when he’d made love to her in the past.
“I need some water,” Beth said, her mouth suddenly dry, she drew in a deep breath.
“I need more than that. But water will do.”

Excerpt Two
“The note?” She turned her head to get a better look at the words.
“We drugged you. We watched you. We touched you and took pictures and you didn’t know any of it. When it’s your turn to die, you WILL know it.” Beth backed away from the note as if shot by electricity. “Oh, shit.”
Beth shivered from the tingling down her spine. She grabbed at her night shirt when she got to the part where she mentioned touching her. She looked at the note again. It said ‘we’. Who the hell is we? Isn’t it bad enough that I have a she devil after me, but now she has friends? Did they molest her? Rape her? No, she decided, she was okay there. She’d know it, wouldn’t she? She nearly threw up and checked herself. How easily they could have killed her. Oh, God, I could be dead right now and never heard them, felt them!
“I could’ve been killed last night. It would’ve been easier than drawing a target on me,” Beth said, wondering how she kept her voice under control. She thought about how fast the bullet could have given her a quick death. Would she have even felt it? “Zach, this isn’t good. This is really not good.”
She didn’t answer, her mind racing. Where? Where can I go without them finding me? Panic increased, making her heart race and her breathing faster. She needed to do something, anything.
“Beth! Listen to me.” Zach tried to get her attention.
“I’m here.”
“Are you listening?”
She closed her eyes and took several deep breaths. “Yes.”
“It’s a scare tactic. That’s all.”
“And it’s working very well.”
“Get yourself together.”
“Yeah.” Like I can do that. She took some more breaths. “My head is getting clearer now.”
“Good. Is anyone with you?” Zach asked.
For the first time, Beth remembered Sam. Her heart jumped to her throat. Had they killed him to get to her? She got up too fast and dizziness forced her to her knees. Using the bed post to keep her stable, she was half afraid to open the door. What if he was dead? But what if he was still alive and needed her?
Beth managed to get to the bedroom door and opened it to reveal an empty sofa and she frowned. Sam wasn’t there.
“Sam?” Her steps were hesitant, easing around a corner. Was he dead? Hurt? Were the bad guys still around? Her heart raced, pumping dread through her and making her face bead up with sweat. As she searched the living room, a paper caught her attention.

 NINE LIVES, TWO DOWN is available at Amazon. Here is the link:

March 24, 2015

#Reading #NancyDrew @kathyivan #MFRWorg


I've always been a reader, from a very early age.  I was one of those kids in school who when they got the reading list for the year had it finished in just a few weeks.  Books were my escape from life, from school, from everything.  They took me away to places I'd never get to see outside of their pages.  I got to meet people and make special friends, all between the covers of a book.

One of my fondest memories was when I was about seven or eight.  My mom loved to visit second-hand shops and used book stores and I'd often go with her.  On this one particular afternoon, she was browsing, and I wandered around the store, never too far from her sight but enough that I felt free to look at my leisure.  In my explorations, I found a tattered old cardboard box.  When I started digging, I found these lovely old volumes of books I'd never seen or heard of.  They all starred this girl called Nancy Drew.

Opening the first book, I remember falling under the spell of the story.  A girl and her friends were having adventures.  Solving mysteries.  They were having FUN!  Oh, I wanted those books so much, but I didn't have enough to get one of them, much less all that were in that box.  I was heartbroken, because I knew they'd be gone the next time we came in.  After all, these were special books, so everybody would want to read them. 

My mom came over to check on what I was doing and I showed her the box filled with books.  I can still remember her face to this day.  My mother loved to read, and she wanted me to love it too.  But I also knew we couldn't afford all those books.  Still, she told me I could pick out two of them.   I was so careful, going through and looking at the jacket of each one, seeing Nancy and her pals running from the bad guys, or sneaking up a staircase. 

I finally made my choices and handed them to her.  She walked up to the cashier with our purchases and they had a long conversation while I waited.  Finally, the cashier nodded and smiled at me.  Then she walked back to where the magical box of books was and brought it over to the counter and put a SOLD sign on the top.  You see, my mother wanted me to have those books so much, she made arrangements to come back and make payments so they'd hold the books for her. 

I didn't understand how big a sacrifice that was back then, though I do today.  My mother wanted me to have those books, not because they were a possession I had to have, but because she understood how reading could change my life.  We went back several times until I had all the books from that box and read them all over and over.  

Though my reading tastes have matured and grown since then, my love of a good story still lives on.  Though to this day, whenever I see a Nancy Drew book I have to smile, because it brings back this sweet memory from my childhood. 

My latest release is Relentless Pursuit, New Orleans Connection Series Book 2.

Google Play:

Kathy Ivan can be found at her desk every day, with a bottle of water on one side and a scent candle burning on the other.  You can follow her at or on Facebook at or on twitter at .  

March 19, 2015

@VickiBatman - The artwork of #LittleGoldenBooks , an exhibit #MFRWorg #RLFblog #childrensbooks

As the self-appointed cultural guide in my family, I’m always looking for something for us to do. An ad in my local paper’s weekend section featured an exhibit coming to town entitled: Golden Legacy: Original Art from 65 years of Little Golden Books
I had to go. I read and owned several of these books when I was little and even bought them for my sons.  I had to take advantage of this enriching opportunity and take Handsome. Handsome was reluctant. But I plied him with his favorite hamburger and off we went. Disapointed?  Heck, no!

The exhibition presented the most extensive public showing ever of original illustration art from the Little Golden Books which celebrated its 65th anniversary in 2007.  (I apologize for glare on some photos.)

March 17, 2015

@sloanebcollins *Next week I'll be older than my mother* #MFRWorg #RLFblog #birthday #bucketlist

Next week I’ll be 14 years older than my mother. Somehow, she’s perpetually 36. (Okay, who’s doing the math?)  Yes, I have a big birthday coming up.  One that has me going “how the heck did this happen?” 

So I've been doing some musing on where I’m at in my life, things I've worked for, things I've accomplished, and what I still want to do someday. Which has led to my bucket list.  It’s changed over the years, but some things have stayed the same, and I can finally check them off.

We went to Hawaii a couple of years ago, and I've been to Ireland, so check check. I still want to go to Scotland.

March 12, 2015

Thank you, Princesses! #MustRead #amwriting #romance

The Plotting Princesses is a group of many fantastic Texan authors of many genres. What most of our readers don't know is how wonderful it is to belong to this group of writers. I'm so thankful for the sisterhood we all have, not only in plotting out books and talking shop but in supporting one another throughout life.

March 10, 2015

author DC Thome is pretty crazy-he has a *collection* of polar fleeces! #authorinterview #MFRWorg #RLFblog

The Plotting Princesses welcome crazy man, 
DC Thome. 
Let's get to know more:

I live in Wisconsin. I’ve been a journalist, a screenwriter and a novelist. At some point or another, my wife Mary Jo has been my editor for all three media.

Favorite movie: It’s a Wonderful Life.
Favorite book: Goodnight Moon.
Last book read: Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh
Favorite color: Grey, but people find that weird, so orange. 
Stilettos or flip-flops: On who?
Coffee or tea: Coffee. 
E-book or paperback: E-book. 
Pencil or pen: Pencil. 
Favorite song: Linus and Lucy by Vince Guaraldi
Streak or not: Sure. 
Favorite dessert: Flourless chocolate cake with raspberry sauce.
Champagne or gin: Champagne. 
Paranormal or Historical: Paranormal.
Ginger or Mary Ann: Mary Ann. 
Favorite TV show: Gilligan’s Island. 
Hot or cold: Hot.
POV: Third-person. 
I'd die if I don't have: My collection of polar fleeces.

 In San Fernando Dreams, a disillusioned movie starlet finds herself falling in love with a twin—but which one?

March 5, 2015

Keeping Warm When It's Cold Outside

It's been cold recently. Has anyone else noticed that or is it just me?
I like the occasional cold spell now and then. But, I don't like feeling cold for long periods of time. So I've been looking into ways to keep warm.
Exercise. Um... Pass?

Cooking. The problem with cooking warm, delicious comfort food (especially when you have the above exercise regimen) is it tends to expand the waist... thighs... etc. And while I'm a fan of a more Ruben-esque female form, one must be careful.