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June 23, 2016

75 Years & Counting: My love for M&Ms #MFRWorg #chocolatecandy #RssosSisters #romantic comedy

Seventy-five years and Counting


Each Sunday after lunch, my family and I visited my grandparents. Our first stop was to my dad’s parent’s house, an old prairie-styled home on a street lined with others similar to it. While my parents chatted with my grandparents, my sisters and I climbed the trees in the parkway, jumped off the front porch railing, and sang songs. As we departed, my grandmother gave each of us a quarter and a package of M&Ms, sometimes plain, sometimes peanut.

And thus began my love for the coated chocolate candies with peanuts inside.
This year, M&Ms celebrates 75 years. Here are some tidbits:

1. Forrest Mars created his recipe during the Spanish Civil War, and patented in 1941.

2. M&Ms were first packaged in cardboard tubes

3. In 1954, peanut M&Ms were introduced

4. In 1954, the slogan "The milk chocolate melts in your mouth, not in your hand.”

For more information, go to: Inventors M&M

When my romantic comedy mystery, Temporarily Employed, launched a friend gave me this:

Why? Because my heroine loves M&Ms. Here’s an excerpt: about her chocolate obsession:

However, lately, my mind had been occupied with other significant matters, items like the necessities of life: Finding employment, paying overdue bills, and, more importantly, procuring much-coveted peanut M&Ms. Now, I was sure to get a stupid-stupid-stupid citation and missing taillights and bumper to add to the equation. At the rate things were headed, I’d have to ditch the chocolate and move in with Mom and Dad. My body shuddered.

Find Temporarily Employed at: Amazon

So Happy Birthday, M&Ms! Long may you reign and satisfy my chocolate needs.
What’s your favorite variety?

June 14, 2016

Guest Princesses: Angela Ackerman & Becca Puglisi - The Setting Thesaurus Books Are Here! #PlottingPrincesses #RocktheVault #WritersHelpingWriters #SettingThesaurus #MFRWorg

The Setting Thesaurus DuoIt is a writer's job to draw readers into the fictional story so completely that they forget the real world. Our goal is to render them powerless, so despite the late hour, mountain of laundry, or workday ahead, they cannot give up the journey unfolding within the paper-crisp pages before them.

Strong, compelling writing comes down to the right words, in the right order. Sounds easy, but as all writers know, it is anything BUT. So how do we create this storytelling magic? How can we weave description in such a way that the fictional landscape becomes authentic and real—a mirror of the reader's world in all the ways that count most?

 Well, there's some good news on that front. Two new books have released this week that may change the description game for writers. The Urban Setting Thesaurus: A Writer's Guide to City Spaces and The Rural Setting Thesaurus: A Writer's Guide to Personal and Natural Spaces look at the sights, smells, tastes, textures, and sounds a character might experience within 225 different contemporary settings. And this is only the start of what these books offer writers.

 In fact, swing by and check out this hidden entry from the Urban Setting Thesaurus: Police Car.
And there's one more thing you might want to know more about....

Rock_The_Vault_WHW1Becca and Angela, authors of The Emotion Thesaurus, are celebrating their double release with a fun event going on from June 13-20th called ROCK THE VAULT.

At the heart of Writers Helping Writers is a tremendous vault, and these two ladies have been hoarding prizes of epic writerly proportions.

A safe full of prizes, ripe for the taking...if the writing community can work together to unlock it, of course.

Ready to do your part? Stop by Writers Helping Writers to find out more!  

June 13, 2016

Pondering #Writing, #Birthdays, and #Thor

The last year has seen some incredible highs and devastating lows. On the up side, I think I'm stronger because of it. I know I'm abundantly blessed. I have a day job, a dream job, four awesome kids, and a tribe of amazing friends to keep me going. The days of, 'I'm bored' are long gone - which is a good thing. I like to feel accomplished. Even if I'm sometimes scrambling to get even part of what needs to be done. (How my two teenage sons, barely a week into summer vacation, proclaim boredom has already found them, I'll never know. Too bad they don't see doing laundry as a solid means of boredom prevention.)

I'm 42 years old today. 42. Not so old. Not so young. I'm thinking it's just right. I like me, so that's comforting. I mean, are there things I'd change - sure. I'd find my waist, for one thing. I'd worry less and laugh more. I'd churn out more pages in less time. I would have no idea what procrastination means (yes, this post should have been up at 5am). I'd be better friend/wife/mother/writer.

So I thought I'd share a Five Things I want to do or be better about before I'm 43 here:

June 7, 2016

Michelle Miles: It's Summertime!

You know how I know it’s officially Summer? It’s finally stopped raining (at least here in North Texas), school is out, Memorial Day is over, another birthday has come and gone and it’s June.

This weekend the husband and I were doing our weekend chores and I stopped to think how much it’s starting to feel like summer. With the early morning sun leaving slashes of light on the floor to the sounds of summer—baseball on the TV, lawn mowers, weed eaters, leaf blowers, the hum of the AC—it’s hard to believe we’re already in the sixth month of the year. Where does the time go? Does it speed up when I’m not looking? Or am I just so busy that I don’t realize the days are flying off the calendar?

At any rate, I can’t believe it’s summer. The rest of the year always seems to go so fast once we get into June and before we know it the holidays will be here. But right now I’m thinking about vacation and RWA Nationals and getting through the hottest months of the year (July and August) and writing. Lots of things are happening in my world—things I can’t talk about yet—but I’m going to be one busy girl this summer.

Plus I’m looking forward to re-releasing my Realm of Honor series on July 25 starting with the first three books.

May 26, 2016

Aliens and Witches, Oh My!

With over thirty books under my belt, I struggle to find plots that are new and different. There are only twenty plots in the world and I’ve probably written every one of them. As an author you have to start looking outside the box for ways to keep the writing fresh and interesting to not only your readers, but yourself. 

A close friend of mine, who writes science fiction and is very successful, was asked by Amazon to invite other authors to write in her world. I don’t have a science fiction following, but she asked me if I would be interested and I jumped at the opportunity. I’ve always wanted to write about funny witches and then I threw in an alien. Yes, this western historical/contemporary author was stepping out of her well worn box and writing about stuff she has very little knowledge of. Spacethat final frontier. 

What came out is a book that I absolutely love. I agreed to write this short novella in January and then in February, my life sort of fell apart. My loving, funny, 84 year old father became ill and I spent a lot of time with him and my mother until he eventually passed away. 

This book, which is supposed to be humorous was written in the hospital, while I sat with my father. If it had been typed on paper, there would have been places stained by tear drops. In the end, it’s become one of my favorite stories simply because I know the emotional place I was at while writing this story. And yes, it did come out funny - not sad. But the story also reflects the importance of family, no matter what planet you’re from.

May 24, 2016


16 All New SCORCHING HOT Romances from NY Times, USA Today, and International Bestselling Authors!!!

Don't Wait! Order NOW from:

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May 19, 2016

Everyone Knows an Ant Can't... Using the Senses when Writing #MFRWorg #Thursdayblog #amwriting

Lift a rubber tree plant! From the old song “High Hopes” (Frank singing You Tube) 

But we’re not here today to talk about an ant being strong. Have you ever just sat and watched an ant scurry about? Or watch a leaf by the toe of your shoe in great detail? And then note the colors, the smells -- truly becoming immersed in the object?

Or sitting in a coffee shop and seeing a hunky cyclist at a table tying his shoe laces bunny ear style. You make note of his pro-looking outfit. The sweat dripping from his forehead. His scruffy beard. (Oh my, I’m finding my imaginary guy desirable!)

Writing details is important because it relays senses to the readers and invests them emotionally.

The five senses are: Tasting, Hearing, Smelling, Feeling, Seeing. From “The Five Senses” by Dr.William K. Pediaopolis (Senses),  we have this definition: "A system that consists of a group of sensory cell types that responds to a specific physical phenomenon, and that corresponds to a particular group of regions within the brain where the signals are received and interpreted."

The five senses have to be incorporated into our writing. Otherwise, our work is boring, even lifeless, unresponsive. Who would want to read that?