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May 18, 2017

Cake Fail - if at first you don't succeed, go buy #happybirthday #newbook #boxedset #MFRWorg


I have baked for most of my life and especially so throughout my kiddoes younger lives. I even took cake decorating classes and always made sweet confections for family and friends.

And then there was yesterday. A cake fail.

I really wanted to bake a layer cake for #2’s birthday. So after I removed the finished layers from the oven and let them cool, I did what I always have done--run my spatula around the inside edge, set a plate on top of the pan and flipped it over. Half stuck. I was like OMG. I set a lot of the broken pieces on top, wondering if I could do something with the mess besides cake balls (not my fav). I eyeballed the second layer and repeat and flip and half stuck.

I was feeling jinxed.

I decided Whole Foods was getting a nice visit from VB because I wasn’t going to waste my time with another possible failure.

I dumped the second layer on top of the first. Put the clear glass cake dome on top and pushed the stand in the corner. I also ate the nice chunky pan remnants and they were totally yummy.
So what does cake fail have to do with my new short story, “Raving Beauty?”

Let’s take a peek at heroine Kelly Stinson who was coerced into representing Yahoo! Ranch Steakhouse in the Sommerville Chamber of Commerce’s pageant. As Kelly struts across the stage, let’s take a read:

Gently, my pal nudged me forward. Hearing the audience’s whoops and claps, I plastered a smile on my face and took a step. The heel of my four-inch stiletto caught in a sizeable indentation in the hardwood floor. With a fast prayer, I managed to correct myself before executing a major swan dive off-stage and strode with the confidence one could summon when thrust into a group of girls ten years younger and twenty pounds lighter.

         "Kelly is the owner of Creative Boutique which specializes in goods crafted by Sommerville locals. She loves to read, run, and misses her favorite companion, her kitty, Romper." The announcer bent toward the microphone. "How about a big Texas howdy for Kelly?"

         Using the skills I'd honed as an erstwhile fashion model in the golden days of college, I crossed the stage toward the podium, paused with hands on my hips. When the applause had died, I pivoted to move center stage. As my heel caught another divot, grace abandoned me. With a pop-pop-pop, my ankle bowed cockeye, and this time, my worst nightmare came true. I tumbled over the edge of the stage.

Landing flat on my flipside, I blinked vacantly at the acoustical tile ceiling. Somewhere in my stupor, I heard a chorus of gasps, a pounding of feet, and someone hurdling over the rows of chairs, launching to my side. A hand swept along my face and down my arm, pausing intermittently to compress. I fluttered my eyes once. Twice. When able to focus a third time, I stared into the grass-green irises of Ben Stewart.

LOL. I love this excerpt, especially because it brings back my good ol’ days of when I represented my friend’s moped shop in a recreational vehicle pageant. There is good news about that venture—no swan dive offstage.

Preorder Just You and Me boxed set featuring my romantic comedy short story, “Raving Beauty,” at:


 
True confession time: have you had a baking failure?
 



 

May 9, 2017

Guest Princess Tina Susedik!

Please give a warm welcome to our guest princess, Tina Susedik!

Speed Round (one word only answer):
Favorite movie:
Favorite book: A Knight in Shining Armor
Last book read: Missing : The Lady Said No by Jacquie Biggar
Favorite color: Yellow
Stilettos or flipflops: flipflops
Coffee or tea: tea
Ebook or paperback: Both
Pencil or pen:Both
Favorite song: Thank You by Led Zepplin
Streak or not: Not
Favorite dessert: Chocolate
Champagne or gin: Champagne
Paranormal or Historical: Historical
Ginger or Mary Ann: Mary Ann
Favorite TV show: None
Hot or cold: Hot
POV: Third
I'd die if I don't have: Wear a bra

One Line Blurb:

May 2, 2017

Michelle Miles: What's your inspiration?

I don't really have a lot to blog about lately. I'm kind of in a funk. My day job is a stressful mess at the moment and when I have that sort of disruption, it really messes with my writing chi.

So I look for inspiration elsewhere. I'm fond of gardens. I have a Pinterest board devoted to them. I constantly find fun and new pictures to pin. I found this one this morning:


It fuels my imagination. And then of course, there's the art by Anne Stokes. She's amazing!


I just love her dragons.

My awesome husband is in the process of building a deck for the gazebo I had to have. I have big ideas for it. It includes a curved flagstone pathway leading up to with purple ground cover planted between the stones. I bought lights for around the top. In my wild imagination it looks like this:


I'm not sure if it will turn out like this, but I hope it does. :) Pinterest and I are good friends. Can you tell?

So what fuels your inspiration? What makes you happy and sooths the soul?

April 27, 2017

A Texas girl dishes on life in the Rockies - High Altitude Gardening by Karilyn Bentley


What I want my garden to look like
You know those perfect gardens and manicured lawns you see around big cities? They're pretty, aren't they? Unfortunately, those aren't available where I live. I guess if you wanted to hire a bunch of people to dig up rocks and plant flowers you might be able to make a go of a garden. Until the next herd of deer or elk come walking through it the next day, eating everything you planted.

When we first moved here, I wanted to continue having a garden like the one I had in Texas. Nothing much, just some veggies and a few flowering plants. I love growing my own vegetables, although the insects would always manage to eat them, sometimes before The Hubster and I could. I was super-excited to try out  my hand at gardening in the mountains where there aren't the same doggone leaf eating insects. So we went to the local gardening store and bought a flowering plant claiming to be able to live to -20 degrees Fahrenheit and a plant of chrysanthemums. I was determined to have them live and bloom. My front flowerbeds were going to look awesome! Then a lady walked up, chuckling, asked if we were new to town. When I said we were, she responded with a thought so, those plants should be advertised as deer food, only the new arrivals try to plant plants. I laughed, but was determined to get them to grow, to spread, to smell and look pretty. To prove that lady wrong.

April 25, 2017

Guest Princess: Suzanne Pearson #InspirationalRomanticSuspense #NewRelease #PlottingPrincess

We are thrilled to have Suzanne Pearson as a guest Princess today on the blog!  

Suzanne Pearson was born in the Congo to missionary parents.  After graduating from high school, she and her family moved to Eugene Oregon, where she eventually met her husband.  She didn't start writing until she was an empty-nester, and had the idea to write about a missionary in the Congo who gets into all sorts of trouble.

Suzanne, get ready for your Plotting Princess speed round interview!  Ready? Set? GO!

April 20, 2017

Failed Beauty Contestant #tiara #romanticcomedy #shortstory

I can hear you laughing way over here. Yes, I’ve been a failed beauty contestant, not once, but twice.

The first time was in high school in a program hosted by my hometown’s fire department. The real reason I entered was the $500 scholarship. I wanted to go to college and $500 would pay for a few semesters of community college. So I entered, wrote the essay, borrowed a black swimsuit, wore a sweet long dress of eyelet.

And didn’t win. In all fairness, I was selected from the 24 original entrants to be in the final top twelve. That part was cool. Picture in the paper! The girl who did get the tiara looked 24 not 17 or 18. She really looked like a beauty contestant.

Sigh.

April 4, 2017

A Literary Mulligan

In the game of golf, a quick do-over is called a “Mulligan”—a chance to make a fresh start, or repair a bad beginning. During the past few months I have taken a Mulligan for my first three romances—the Dartmouth Brides trilogy of THE PURSUIT OF PLEASURE, A SENSE OF SIN, and THE DANGER OF DESIRE. 


I’ve done them over from start to finish—from the covers (by the brilliant photographer Jenn LeBlanc at Studio Smexy, and talented designer Patricia Pickyme Schmitt) to new epilogues. I took the opportunity to make the writing fresh by revising and re-focusing the narrative in a way that I simply wasn’t capable of when I first wrote those stories six years ago.

But the best part of going over these stories were the characters—impudent, rebellious Lizzie, shy, studious Celia, and larcenous, brilliant Meggs. Oh, what fun it was to revisit the young women who had first prompted me to write romance. It was like visiting with old friends I hadn’t seen in years—the conversation started right up where we left off.

March 30, 2017

A #NewRelease for you! Demon Cursed is out now! #urbanfantasy #darkfantasy

 I'm excited to announce that Demon Cursed, the third book in my urban fantasy Demon Huntress series, is out now! Yay! Gin Crawford and Aidan Smythe are back for another adventure.

Here's the blurb:
Gin Crawford, the world's newest demon huntress, just wants to enjoy a football game, but finds herself hunting a serial killer minion instead. When his victims turn out to be the local football star’s female fans, she must determine if the player has joined forces with the minion, but her efforts lead her deeper into danger. When her mentor, Aidan Smythe, is attacked, Gin resolves to go to any lengths to save him, even if it exposes her most tightly held secret. Minions and demons, however, aren't the only terrors she faces. Will she realize the greatest danger lies within—before it's too late?

And no blurb is complete without the excerpt:

March 7, 2017

@lsfabre #Motivating the #Villain #mfrworg #amwriting #amreading

In more than one of the many writing classes I completed, the instructor would note at some point, “the villain is the hero of his own story,” the antagonist has as strong a motivation as that of the hero. In the opponent’s mind, what’s behind his/her actions is as compelling and just and right—albeit sometimes quite twisted—as that of the hero or heroine’s. This point is usually followed with a reminder to give the villain a chance to explain his/her deeds. A number of ways exist to do this:


- The story can switch between the villain’s and hero’s point of view
- A character may share what they know of the villain’s life to describe events that shaped him/her into the antihero
- Giving the villain a chance to explain their world view to the hero—usually while holding the hero or heroine at bay with a gun, bomb, or other weapon and often as part of the climax

In the two recently released stories, I chose the third method for both.

In my recently re-released Russian thriller, Saving Hope, the villain is someone the heroine trusted, and she finds herself negotiating with him to save her daughter’s life. At one point, he explains his actions as:

“I thought I finally had all I wanted, but you ran away. When I saw you with Ahmed and those other men, I knew I had to fight for you, or lose you again. I was the one who told them about the FSB. It almost cost me my deal.”

February 28, 2017

A Texas Girl dishes on Life in the Rockies by Karilyn Bentley #TWRP

I'm trying something different today. Instead of talking about my dogs in the Tales from the Crate blogs, I'm going to talk about Life in the Rockies. Why? Because, almost a year ago, The Hubster and I moved our family of one dog and various fish, corals and other critters in a salt water fish tank (almost all of which died during the move, the fish and critters, that is, not The Kraken or the corals) from North Texas to the Colorado Rockies. Needless to say, things are a bit different up here, and I'm not talking about the Rocky Mountain High. So, in case you are interested, here is a list of things I've learned since our move. 


1. Altitude takes awhile to get used to. Become accustomed to gasping for breath while walking anywhere. Having an upper respiratory infection makes this worse (as a side note, don't go skiing with a URI lest you find yourself suddenly unable to breath while hurtling down the side of a mountain. Just saying).

February 16, 2017

Freaky Weather Follies #MFRWorg #whatsupinyourneighborhood #winterblues




When we think of winter in North America, we think cold—right? At least for most of us and even then, there’s the weird stuff like the blizzard a while back in Georgia. Usually, the days are cold here, the heater is on to warm my feet, a light wool sweater, long sleeves. When going outdoors, I add a coat layer, gloves, and a scarf.




This year has been so different. What I described above was the norm until we hit mid-Jan. But no snow or ice, just a scare. A big rain and little drizzle stuff. Since, we’ve been experiencing early Spring, despite the groundhog’s prediction. Leaves from the bulbs are pushing through the ground. The shrubs and fruit trees are budding. My early predictor is my flowering quince which has been blooming for three weeks now—with bees.
Doesn’t seem normal.

February 7, 2017

Michelle Miles: 1001 Movies

There’s a really cool book called 1001 Movies. I have it. Because I’m a dork like that. The book is 960 pages of Moviedom, complete with a handy checklist at the front.  (It also helped the cover has Indiana Jones on it – my first true love.)

I spent two hours perusing it. It’s jam-packed with photos, a little synopsis of each movie and opinions by contributions, starting with a silent movie released in 1902: Le Voyage Dans La Lune (a.k.a. A Trip To The Moon). I can personally say I’ve never laid eyes on this movie but there are some iconic pictures that are widely recognizable. The Moon with the missile-like spaceship right in its eye, for example. According to the book, the movie “represents a revolution for the time” and clocks in at only 14 minutes. But at the turn of the century, there weren’t movie theaters like what we have today.

January 31, 2017

February - The Month of Love

February is huge for me. I have four books coming out. Am I crazy? Yes, sometimes I honestly think I am. But I am so excited about this new series. 

When Krystal Shannon asked me for an original story to put in her autism box set, I thought I had no ideas. Then I remembered. Several years ago I wrote a short story called Return to Cupid, Texas and I decided to go back to that little town. Once I started writing, the ideas started pouring in and now this little seed has grown to six books. Return to Cupid, Texas will have new stories unfolding for the next three months. 


But wait...the month starts off with the next Kindle World I'm writing in. A science fiction adventure set in Magic, New Mexico - which is author S.E. Smith's world.

Touch of Deceit comes out February 2nd and there are no links because it's in a Kindle World and they drop everyone's books at the same time. If you enjoy witches and aliens, you'll like the story of Petuna and Jaqarg. A witch who wants revenge. An alien with a Secret. A magic mirror that reveals true love. Come join the adventure. 

January 19, 2017

Having a conversation @VickiBatman #foreignlanguage #makingfriends #MFRWorg





Recently, I was out of town with Handsome. While he was attending to business, I waited for him in the lobby. I stuck in my headphones to listen to Chris Botti and began embroidering a special gift. As he was ushered back, a man across the way said something like "you don't go?"

Since I wasn't sure I heard him correctly, I took out my earbuds and walked over to him. He was an elderly guy and having men in my life who couldn't hear well, I am a little sensitive in talking with people so they can hear. I said, "I'm sorry, I didn't hear you."

He pointed in the direction Handsome had gone and said, "Don't go?"


I must have looked puzzled. "No. It's okay to wait."

He asked, "You speak Spanish?"

January 3, 2017

Michelle Miles: Bring it on, 2017


Another year as come and gone and most of us are happy 2016 is in the rearview mirror. The celebrity world lost a lot of great entertainers this year and, well...it sucked. I’m still reeling after the deaths of Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds. It was like seeing my childhood flash before my eyes.

But I don’t want to dwell on that. I want to look forward instead of back and thinking about the future year ahead. We have just over 360 days to make it a great year.

I’m really not into making resolutions but I do like to set goals for the year. Last year my big goal was completing, editing and publishing IN THE TOWER OF THE WIZARD KING. I also wanted to re-release some of my titles that had reverted to me from a previous publisher. I’m happy to report I was able to release all five of them and relieved to be out from under that horrible publisher. You can catch all the REALM OF HONOR titles and WIZARD KING at your favorite retailer. *shameless plug*