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August 17, 2017

Finished the book. Want to read more? #lastlines #runtherace #memorablebooks

While the first line in a book...


hooks a reader into reading more, the last line determines how they will feel when they’ve finished. The protagonist has healed their wound, they’ve run their race and grown as a result. Mostly, we remember first lines and rarely, do we remember last lines. But we do remember how we feel when we finish. And sometimes, if the story is so compelling and we are overwhelmed by the emotions the story raised in us, we just might read that book again instantly.
Here's a famous one: “Tomorrow, I’ll think of some way to get him back. After all, tomorrow is another day.” From Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
‘It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to than I have ever known.’ A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
This month, the Princesses bring you last lines.
Temporarily Insane by Vicki Batman: He took a deep breath and said something I never-never, ever-ever thought I would hear, “Come on, sweetheart. Let’s get lucky.” Amazon

 
 
 
 
Demon Cursed by Karilyn Bentley: Nothing will ever be the same, but tomorrow dawns another day. Amazon

 
 
 
 
 
"The Case of the Tainted Blood" in Curious Incidents by Liese Sherwood-Fabre: "There are flasks of tainted blood for us to ferret out. The game's afoot." Mocha Memoirs Press

 
 
 
IN THE TOWER OF THE WIZARD KING by Michelle Miles: “Sean, what just happened?” Her breath plumed white. “Liam must have used the Time Sphere. He altered time.” Amazon

 
 
 
 
One Night with the Professor by Linda Steinberg: Leave it to a college professor to verbalize a paragraph of poetry when only three words were necessary. Leaning into his breath, Nora joined her soul with his. “I love you too.” Amazon

 
 
 
Hannah by Chris Keniston: "And one of these days I'll find the right woman, just don't get your hopes up it will be at the reception." "I don't care where you find her so long as she's not behind bars." At least that was one promise he should easily be able to keep. Website







Refuge for Masterminds by Kathleen Baldwin: He kisses me and I forget all the other games in the world. I forget Napoleon, and Ghost, and Daneska. I even forget to worry about the future. When we’re together like this, I believe anything is possible. Believing is a lot like trusting. And it is enough. Amazon






Question for readers: what book had you instantly opening it again and rereading?
 

 

August 1, 2017

Michelle Miles: Never Tell Me The Odds

Whoa. It's August. Hard to believe July is in the rear view mirror!

It's been a hectic one. The kiddo started driving for reals and I have significantly more gray hair. I started a new job in June. Summer band camp started. School starts August 21! And so beginneth the crazy marching season. I'm gonna be a crazy person by the time football/marching season is all over but that is TOTALLY okay. You know why? Because I love it. I *love* marching season!!

Yeah, I'm a nerd.

And to prove it further, the IT folks over at the new day job know it's for sure because I have the Millennium Falcon on my desktop and Daenerys as my login picture. It's a great icebreaker. "You a Game of Thrones fan?" Well, duh. "AND a Star Wars fan?" Double, duh.

I have this really cool Medieval Star Wars art up on my wall in my cubicle and it garners all sorts of comments. It basically combines two of my very most favorite things: Star Wars and the Middle Ages.


I stare at it often. You can get yours for only $15 from the artist. Buy it here.

I also bought THIS AMAZING SHIRT:



Because I'm a super Harrison Ford fan. Isn't it just brilliant? Get yours here.

So, pretty sure I've cornered the market on my nerdism.

What are you a fan of?

Michelle Miles writes contemporary, paranormal and fantasy romance and is a rabid Game of Thrones and Star Wars fan. Visit her website for a list of her books and where to buy.

July 20, 2017

Hook and Reel You In! Hooking a Reader #wantingtoreadmore #greatlinesfrombooks #RLFBlog


“It was a dark and stormy night.” That is the classic opening line of the novel, Paul Clifford, published in 1830 by English novelist Edward Bulwer-Lytton. Often this sentence is mocked as being over the top or melodramatic.
“Last night I dreamt of Manderley again.” From Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier and is often not thought of as setting the story up as a flashback.
So what is a hook? That’s usually the first line, or the opening line, in a story that is so compelling, the reader is hooked and keeps reading.

Sometimes, the first line is dialogue. Sometimes, not. Sometimes, the main character is in action and the story takes off with a bang. Sometimes, not. Whichever the hook is, this is the author’s opportunity to draw a reader in and ultimately, the reader will continue on reading way past bedtime into the wee hours.

Like you, I've picked up a book, flipped to the first page and read a little. That first part is what snagged me into wanting more.
I asked the Plotting Princesses to share the first three opening lines of their stories. Have fun!
Temporarily Insane: “Stop it, Hattie!” Trixie had some nerve. Her reprimand, the one which skewered a stabbing pain to my right eye, sounded terribly out of character, like she had little patience for me. Find Temporarily Insane at: Amazon
 
 
  
Demon Cursed: My stomach slams into a metal railing as surgically enhanced double D’s press into my back. Cheap beer soaks my arm. A not-so-feminine yell shatters my eardrums. Amazon
 
 
Saving Hope: Alexandra Pavlova jolted upright, her maternal senses snapping to alert. The garlic she’d placed about the room tinged each breath and settled on her tongue. For two days, she’d spoon-fed the girl warm broth and tea with honey and arranged garlic cloves to nurse her daughter through a bad cold.    Amazon
Hannah: “What the hell are you doing up there?” Not expecting her cousin Connor to be finished with the horses so soon, Hannah Siobhan Farraday almost teetered off the stone pillar at his bark. “Taking in the view.” Website
 

My Little Texas Tornado: "Say, you're that heiress, aren't ya?" "Heiress?" "To the winery." "Oh, uh, yeah. That's me. I guess I'm not used to the title." Colt grunted. Even covered in mud the woman was breathtaking. It never occurred to him that pushing someone into the mud could be so much fun. He'd like to try it again, without the element of danger involved. He laughed out loud at the thought. Amazon



School for Unusual Girls: “What if Sir Isaac Newton’s parents had packed him off to a school to reform his manners?” I smoothed my traveling skirts and risked a glance at my parents. They sat across from me, stone-faced and icy as the millpond in winter. Amazon






Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea: "At the Feast of Saint Allan in the tiny village of Bocka Morrow, it was said a girl could bewitch a man into loving her with one bite of a polished Allantide apple. Nessa Teague, being the daughter of the Rector of Saint David’s Church, and a quiet, dutiful sort of girl who never gave her parents a moment of worry, had never tried to bewitch anyone. Never picked or polished an Allantide apple. Never taken any part in the charming but heathen tradition. She had simply never believed in the power of enchantment.” Amazon


One Knight Only: Maggie Chase gripped the steering wheel until her knuckles turned white as she navigated the tiny car through a torrential downpour. The windshield wipers swished back and forth at a speedy rate—which, due to the pouring buckets of rain, turned out to be not so speedy after all. Her bright lights reflected off the sheets of rain and she squinted, as if that would help her see through the dark deluge. Amazon
 
One Night with the Professor: Desperate, Nora Pena stood in trepidation at the closed door of her history professor’s office. This was her last option. She had to ask Tremaine the Terrible for help. Amazon 
 


 
What intrigues you to pick up a book and read? The cover? The back cover blurb? Or the first page?
 









 
      

 







July 4, 2017

Happy Independence Day!

Photo Credit: Pexels.com

Happy Independence Day!

Here in the States, we're celebrating our independence. It's a day off for most of us. A day for BBQ and fireworks and family time. The kid, husband and I are grilling hamburgers and hot dogs. We are likely skipping the fireworks because it's 1000 degrees outside and the crowds...oh, the crowds. I have a big problem with a million people crammed within two square miles oohing and aahing at the sky. Don't get me wrong, I love the fireworks but I hate the crowds and the five hours it takes to get home from said fireworks.

So we're gonna hang at the house and stuff ourselves silly. There is even homemade banana pudding in our future. We're going to watch some baseball and feel 100% all American.

Photo Credit: Michelle Miles

Oh and before I sign off... the most patriotic thing I've done in my life was watching the lighting of the faces at Mt. Rushmore while singing God Bless America and the Star Spangled Banner. There was so much national pride bubbling up in me, I nearly burst. Totally serious, y'all.

What's the most patriotic thing you've ever done?

June 27, 2017

Release day for BETWEEN THE DEVIL & THE DEEP BLUE SEA

It’s release day for BETWEEN THE DEVIL & THE DEEP BLUE SEA, the prequel novella to my new Kent Brothers Chronicles and we’re going to celebrate with a GIVEAWAY! 


This enchanting novella was first released last fall as part of The Haunting of Castle Keyvnor anthology, VEXED. That anthology was one of four such books, each featuring four interrelated stories set in Cornwall, but Between the Devil & the Deep Blue Sea also stands alone to bring you a tale of smuggling,  adventure, and, of course, true love.

In Between the Devil & the Deep Blue Sea our hero, Lord Harry Beck falls…into enchantment.

June 20, 2017

Guest Princess Tena Stetler! #Plotting Princesses #ParanormalRomance #amwriting #amreading

Please give Tena Stetler a warm Plotting Princesses welcome!  We are so pleased to have Tena as a guest Princess today. 

Tena Stetler is a paranormal romance and cozy mystery author with an over-active imagination. Any given day you can find her at the computer with paranormal creatures gathered around her telling their tales. Her books spin the adventures of magical kick-ass women and the mystical alpha males that dare to love them.

Speed Round:
Favorite movie: Avatar
Favorite book: Witness
Last book read: Immortal Unchained
Favorite color: Red
Stilettos or flipflops: Flipflops
Coffee or tea: Tea
Ebook or paperback: Ebook
Pencil or pen: Pencil
Favorite song: Roar
Streak or not: Not
Favorite dessert: Chocolate
Champagne or gin: Champagne
Paranormal or Historical: Paranormal
Ginger or Mary Ann: Mary Ann
Favorite TV show: Scorpion
Hot or cold: Hot
POV: Third
I'd die if I don't have: Pizza

Blurb:

June 15, 2017

To Donut or Not? The Dilemma #noteatinghealthy #funfood


Did you know I’m a donut fiend? I LOVE them. A Lot. I especially love cake and buttermilk cake ones the best. I even like the small powdered sugared ones. (Big confession: Handsome and I pick these up as we head back from vacation. He has coffee. I have milk. LOL)

But I’ve learned over the years not to eat them too often because of additional poundage in areas I don’t need additional poundage.

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.

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*