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July 28, 2016

Craftmaster - Finding old stuff in the parent's home #SOS #RB4U #MFRWorg #amcrafting

While cleaning out my parents’ garage with family, a brother in law unearthed a picture wrapped in white paper, rectanglular in shape. Passed to me to determine if giveaway or have siblings look at, I folded back the paper and squealed. My sisters came running. We found the crushed rock and gravel picture my mom had made.

This picture hung above the china cabinet in the dining room for many, many years. Then Mom replaced it with a homey scene. I guess I didn’t notice it was gone for a long while and when I did, thought she’d donated it (along with the horse head lamps).

Here’s what we found: 

The scene is Oriental, a pagoda and tree. This one is unique because the leaves are tiles as are parts of the pagoda. A braided piece was glued and pinned, then specifically marked gravel was put in the section. 


I did some online research and found these craft kits were made by Mosette in the fifties and sixties. The subject matter of the gravel ones crossed the span of popular television characters, animals, the Last Supper, to exotic dancers. Craft Master manufactured paint by number kits as well. Most were sold through hobby and five and dime stores. Over the last ten plus years, I’ve seen many finished pictures at flea and antique malls. One even had tiny lights in it.

Kits came in many shapes and subject matter. Here’s a link on:  eBay

When I took this picture home, I had no idea what I’d do with it. Then something went boing! And I knew I had to put it in my son’s old room with the new bedding. The coral and pink are exactly what the room needed to pop. I’m thrilled my mom’s picture found a home.

Were you a paint by number fan? Do you dig the mosaic pictures?

Coming soon-Temporarily Insane? Yup, Hattie Cooks is in another hot mess and Allan is tangled up too. It's a Bad Job. Wrong love. And murder. Releases on September 9, but available for preorder at: TWRP

What are you waiting for? LOL

July 26, 2016

Cowboys Are Better Than Navy SEALS

Last month at the Lori Foster Readers and Authors Get Together, Sharon Hamilton and I wrangled over whether or not Cowboys or SEALS are better. Even a very cute young man took my side and told Sharon that Cowboys were better than SEALS. Then two weeks later I see Sharon had written a blog at Happy Ever After Blog listing the top 10 reasons why a Navy SEAL is better than a cowboy. 

She’s thrown down the gauntlet and the game is onso just for fun, here are my 10 reasons why a Cowboy is better than a Navy SEAL:

10) Cowboys smell of leather and horse and a manly scent that makes you go awwwwSeals they’re all wet.
9) Cowboy hats shade their face and make them look mysterious. When a man tilts his head a certain way, you can’t see his eyes or know what he’s thinking.
8) Who needs to jump out of an airplane when you can ride like the wind on the back of your favorite steed. 
7) Cowboys don’t need all that fancy equipment that SEALS use. They are independent, strong men who use only what nature provides and their trusty six-shooter to save the day.
6. Some Cowboys wear boots made from swamp things, but the historical Cowboy boots were made from leather that protected him from rattlesnakes.
5. SWCC boat? Why would a Cowboy make his horse endure getting on a boat? But he can ride across a desert, swim a stream or climb a mountain. 
4. Tats? Historical Cowboys didn’t need tats? Contemporary Cowboys they can have tats, but it doesn’t distract or make them into the strong men they are. They don’t need a badge to show their bravery. It’s all in their walk.
3. If there’s trouble on his ranch  or someone is trying to steal his woman, he’s there to protect her. He takes care of his family and the people he cares about.
2. There are no secrets with Cowboys. SEALS are sworn to secrecy. 

And the No. 1 reason a Cowboy is better than a NAVY SEAL —A Cowboy can become a Navy SEAL if he chooses that lifestyle. 

Navy SEALS are fabulous men, great heroes, but they’re in constant danger and gone from home a lot. Cowboys are at home protecting and nurturing and caring for their ranch and family. 

So, Sharon Hamilton, Author of the Band of Bachelors, this is why Cowboys are better than Navy SEALS. Still, I would highly recommend you check out Sharon’s Navy SEALS, they are great heroes and wonderful stories. 

If you’re looking for a CowboyA quick read, I just released Ace’s Bride in Debra Holland’s Kindle World. Ace became one of my favorite heroes, because he’s such a sweet, gentle, yet strong hero. And yes, he’s a Cowboy.

The Past Collides With the Future Creating Mail-Order Bride Sparks

After being gone for years, Mick ‘Ace’ Anderson ordered himself a mail-order bride and returned home to Morgan’s Crossing, Montana. But everything has changed at home. His reason for ordering himself a bride is dead, his brother and father have both remarried and Mick is hiding his alter ego, Ace, the gambler from his family. If things couldn’t get worse, his mail-order bride is right out of the past he’s trying to keep hidden.

Emily Black, or Lady Melody as she’s known in the saloon, is running from a much too ambitious fan who wants to make her his own caged singing bird. Realizing the only way to escape her over zealous suitor is to become unavailable, she signs up with a mail-order bride agency. But imagine her surprise when the man who lifts the veil at her wedding is non other than the attractive gambler in the saloon where Lady Melody sang. 

Hiding from the past, can Mick and Emily start fresh or will the demons from the River Bottom Saloon follow them to Montana? And can the attraction they denied in Kansas City overcome their distrust and bring them together forever?

Available on Amazon Only Tomorrow!!

July 21, 2016

Saving Sarah Release - by Kathy Ivan


I wanted to share with the Plotting Princess readers that I have a new release that just went live. I was asked by Susan Stoker to participate in her Special Forces: Operation Alpha Kindle World launch. When somebody as hugely popular as Susan personally asked me to write a romantic suspense with paranormal elements -- well, I wasn't about to say no.  J
Saving Sarah is the result and I absolutely love this book. It has a curvy, spunky heroine and a sexy ex-SEAL hero!

Here's the blurb:
Haunted by memories of war and strangely prophetic dreams, Gaston "Ranger" Boudreau spends his time alone in the Louisiana bayou he calls home. When fellow SEAL, Matthew "Wolf" Steel calls in a favor, Ranger can't refuse—a Boudreau always pays his debts.

Writer Sarah Sloane is in New Orleans on a mission, to find her missing sister. Unsure what she'll uncover, she needs somebody who knows the city—but more, she needs a bodyguard who can keep her safe. One sexy former Navy SEAL might be just the person for the job.

As Ranger's dreams evolve, the dangerous search for Sarah's sister becomes a race against the clock. Can they find her before it's too late, or will their quest cost more than one life? 

NOTE: This is an Amazon exclusive, and is only available on their site.

There are also a lot of great authors participating in launching this Kindle World.  Check out their books too.  I'm sure you'll find a whole bunch of them that you'll want to one-click. 
Happy Reading!

Aaron’s Honor, Lindsay Cross:  

Awakening Aubrey, Shauna Allen:

Cowboy D-Force,  Elle James:

Finding Ayva, Elle Christensen: 

Freeing Falcon, Leigh Carman: 

Marking Mariah:  Liz Crowe:  

No Protection, Gennita Low: 

Protecting Beauty, MJ Nightingale 

Protecting Love, Maryann Jordan 

Protecting Maddie, Desiree Holt: 

Protecting New York, Lainey Reese: 

Protecting Us, Magan Vernon

Redemption for Avery, Jordan Dane:

Redemption for Misty, Anne Conley:

Rescuing Pandora, Kori David:

Saving Sarah, Kathy Ivan   

July 19, 2016

@sloanebcollins RWA is like Christmas in July #PlottingPrincesses #rwa16 #MFRWorg #ChristmasinJuly #amwriting

We’ve all heard of Christmas in July.  Several channels are running holiday movies, some shows have craft and cooking segments showing you how to make holiday foods and gifts.  For me, it really is Christmas in July, my favorite time of the year for another reason: the annual Romance Writers of America conference.

I’ve just returned from this year’s conference in San Diego, and I got so many presents!  Here’s my top 10 list of “gifts”:

1.      Rooming with my best friend and fellow Plotting Princess, Sasha Summers.
2.      Our hotel room faced the marina, so we had sail boats and water views! 

3.      Networking with 2000 other authors and industry professionals
4.      Free books!
5.      Cool weather!
6.      Fantastic workshops on so many topics, such as the craft of writing, the writer’s life, careers, etc.
7.      Did I mention Free books!
8.      Making new friends in my fellow authors
9.      Setting new goals for my writing career
10. Having my bestie help me figure out the ending to my work in progress, then adding in a surprise to really make the stakes even higher for my hero

Most of the workshops I attended are about the craft of writing.  I’m always searching for that One Big Secret that will give me all the answers I need when it comes to writing.  From almost every workshop I attended, I took away at least one tidbit that will go in my writer’s toolbox.  In a few of them, I took notes as frantically as I could, because there was a wealth of information provided by the presenter.

"Networking" with authors
I'm the type of person who avoids conflict as much as I can in my own life, so I have a hard time torturing my characters.  But in order to make a story interesting for the reader, conflict between the hero and heroine is what’s needed so when they finally get their “happy ever after”, it’s well worth the journey the author has just taken the reader on.  

My bestie and I worked out some surprises to add into the story that will help drive the conflict, and even though I wasn’t sure about it at first, I’m fully on board with it now.  And just today I figured out how to make the black moment for Nash something that will knock him to his knees.

So all of the above reasons are why the RWA conference is like Christmas to me. Now if the conference had just been THIS week, maybe I could have caught a glimpse of Sammy and Dean at Comic Con in San Diego.  Now THAT would be a great present!

Where's my present?
As much fun as I had, however, it was good to get home to my kitties and husband.

As a reader, do you go to conferences, and if so, what is your favorite part?  It can be any type.

Authors, did you go to San Diego? What was your favorite part?

July 14, 2016

Tales from the Crate - Moving Adventures with #Crazydog by Karilyn Bentley

Hello wonderful Readers! It's been awhile since I've posted on here and longer since I've written about The Kraken, aka Crazydog. Here's why: we moved to a different state. Yep, we no longer live in Texas, we are now official residents of cool, colorful Colorado.
mountains seen on hike
And how's The Kraken liking her new digs? Well.... now that is the real adventure.

July 7, 2016

#Movie Ponderings - You #Tarzan, Me Wish I was #Jane

Fourth of July weekend was the first time I've 'officially' taken off in a year. And you know what? I had a hard time not writing. Not that, at the moment, I have anything huge hanging over my head. But, after going and going every single spare minute, I found my mind didn't want to turn off.

My last Harlequin Western is in and I'm waiting on my edits. I hit send on my latest MS, The Wolf's Son, and was waiting on confirmation that my editor received it... And man, it was super hard to say bon voyage to that cast of characters. Nothing like writing tension-fraught yummy werewolves to make you excited about your writing for the day :) Nevertheless, I went from always writing to a full-on stop.

And my brain wasn't cooperating.

What could I do? Why find some good stories to savor to recharge my noggin, of course.

July 5, 2016

Michelle Miles: The Great Sir Dexter the House Cat

Meet Sir Dexter.

He's a Domestic Short Hair. I got him in 2011 from a rescue place.

Let me back up a little. On July 4th weekend in 2011 I discovered my cat, Sampson, had cancer. I was devastated because I had to put him down. I must have been real pathetic because the husband told me I could get another cat even though he is highly allergic.

So one day we were in PetSmart and there was a cat adoption going on and there was Dexter. Casually laying in the cage looking around, all calm. The description for Dexter was this:

Dexter was the friendly cat everyone knew but belonged to nobody in particular. He just strolled into town one day and made himself at home on the neighborhood lawns. Petted by all and fed on many a porch, the neighbors decided Dexter needed a chance to have a family of his own.

Dexter likes to lounge in sunny windows must of the day. He's happy to have some chin scratching and always ready for a snack. This is one laid back cat!

It's right on. I've managed to keep this description of him in a folder devoted solely to the cat-cat. I'm not sure why. Maybe I'm sentimental?