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December 12, 2017

DASHING ALL THE WAY: A Christmas Anthology

#excerpt #giveaway

Good morning all! I hope you are all well into the swing of the holiday season (Hanukkah begins today!) and full of good cheer. To do my part for comfort and joy, I’ve got a short excerpt from my Christmas novella, “Up On the Rooftops, in DASHING ALL THE WAY: A Christmas Anthology with authors Celeste Bradley, Eva Devon, Heather Snow and myself!



Now, my novella, “Up On the Rooftops” is set in London, 1811, features a very Scottish heroine the likes of which I’ve never before written—a widow!

While our Caledonia McAlden Bowmont not exactly the “merry widow” of cliché, she is a woman who is grown up enough to know her own mind, and to know what she wants and likes. And what she wants and likes is our hero Tobias McTavish—an accomplished former thief!

Here they are, spark to each other’s tinder:

He kissed her the way a man kisses a woman he wants beyond distraction—with heat and perhaps a little anger. But he was angry—angry that she tempted him so. Angry that he couldn’t stop himself from wanting her just the same. Angry that she kissed him like he’d never been kissed before—as if she knew she was the most precious jewel he would ever hold in his hands. 
But they were in too public a place. Anyone might come by—her mother, her step-brother Arthur, her step-father the viscount. “Come,” he whispered against her lips, and she came willingly, grasping the hand her offered her to lead her down a corridor to the first door that gave out into the courtyard, where the winter wind lashed against her bare arms.
Toby immediately turned back, determined to find someplace indoors.
“No.” Despite the cold, she was just as determined. “I think I know a spot.”
She led him at a run to the carriage house, which was well-lit on the alley side, with braziers put out to warm the gathered coachmen as they waited for their charges within the house.
But Caledonia Bowmont was as clever as she was beautiful, steering them toward the back of the carriage house, where the Meecham town coach was put up tight and snug. And best of all, dark and inviting.
She clambered in and immediately pulled out a thick, fur-lined rug. “This will keep us warm.”
“No,” he contradicted even as he wrapped the dark sable around her shoulders. “I’ll keep you warm.”
He drew her close to kiss her, so close she was almost in his lap. And then she was in his lap, with her arms wrapped tight around his shoulders, kissing him as if it were the rightest and best thing in the world. As if they had always meant to meet in a dark, velvet-lined carriage. As if he had always dreamed of kissing her wrapped in fur and delight.
She smelled of sweet orange blossom—sunshine in the dark of winter—and she tasted of wicked desire and sparkling champagne. Of brightness and light. Of happiness. Of possibility.
That was her allure—that was her danger.
Because she made him think of impossible things. 
She made him hope.


What are you hoping for this holiday season? Me, I just want my family to be all together, and for my sprigs to be home safe and sound from college. :) 


Let me know your hopes in the comments below to be eligible to #win an e-copy of “Up On the Rooftops,” along with the three other novellas in DASHING ALL THE WAY!

December 5, 2017

Michelle Miles: New Release!

I’m going to use this space for my shameless self-promotion.

On Friday, December 1, the second book in my Age of Wizards series released. ON THE HUNT FOR THE WIZARD KING is out for public consumption. I’m so insanely excited about this book. It took me nearly a year to write because these books are long and complex. But I’m happy with the way it turned out and I think readers will enjoy Sunnie and Caleb’s story.




I sort of kicked myself for ending IN THE TOWER OF THE WIZARD KING on a cliffhanger. I’m sure a lot of readers hated that but I…couldn’t…help…myself.

The second book has a real ending. I promise. Most storylines are wrapped up nicely except for one or two lingering ones that will make you wonder what happened to these characters. I’ve been toying with an idea for a third book.

I’ve built this large world where there are wizards and faeries and even a few dragons. I think I’ve figured out a way to cross-over my Realm of Honor series with the Age of Wizards series with a cool new twist.



I have so many stories swirling around in my brain, it sometimes makes it hard for me to focus on what to do next. I want to do EVERYTHING next and that’s pretty much impossible. HA.

Anyway, here’s a little peek at the book. Buy links are at the bottom.

As they made their way down, she saw the shimmering thing in the water. She hadn’t noticed it earlier that day. Had it been there before and she missed it? She couldn’t quite make it out but she knew it was something that didn’t belong there.

“What is that?” She pointed to it.

Caleb beat her to the edge of the creek. She paused next to him and peered down at the long silver staff with the glowing orb nestled in what looked like a silver dragon’s claw. The water sparkled around it, giving it an ethereal glow.

“Stay away from it.” There was something urgent and commending in his voice.

Touch it. Take it. Pick up the staff, Sunnie.

The words whispered in her head, the voice a dark and forbidding presence urging her forward. As though something reached down into her inner psyche and compelled her to do as it commanded. She dropped to her knees at the edge of the creek.

“What are you doing, Sunnie?”

Though she knew Caleb was speaking, she ignored him because the pull from the staff overpowered her senses.

Embrace the magic. Take the staff.

She pinched the bridge of her nose between her thumb and forefinger. Was she hearing things? Or was the voice really there?

Become who you are meant to be, Sunnie.

That time she was certain she heard the words in her head. She glanced up at Caleb but he merely stood there, almost like he was frozen in time. Sunnie glanced back at the silver staff in the water and noticed something very strange about the ripples. It seemed almost as though they moved in slow motion.

She heard a commotion that caught her attention and she saw the men on the other side of the creek. Two of them. One of them had the staff. Somehow she knew this was not the present. She was seeing something that happened in the past. It was only a brief image before it faded. The next image that came into view was of one of them falling backward into the creek, releasing the staff into the water.

“I must take it.”

She stretched out her hand but it was out of reach. Her knees dug into the soft ground as she reached toward it, her muscles straining. Her fingertips brushed the cool water.

“Don’t touch it.” Caleb’s hand landed on her shoulder and pulled her away from the water.

“I have to pick it up.” Dark need pounded through her with such a violent fury, she shoved off his hand and reached for it again.

“Sunnie, no.”

He practically tackled her like a defensive lineman pummeling the quarterback. He shoved her away from the edge of the creek, pushing her to the ground. His hands encircled her wrists like a vice as he held them in place over her head. His long lean form pressed against her, covering her, as he looked down at her.


iBooks | B&N | Kobo | Smashwords

November 14, 2017

Guest Princess Mary Morgan! #PlottingPrincesses #ParanormalRomance #TimeTravel #amwriting

Welcome to our guest Princess of the day, Mary Morgan!

Award-winning Scottish paranormal romance author, Mary Morgan resides in Northern California, with her own knight in shining armor. However, during her travels to Scotland, England, and Ireland, she left a part of her soul in one of these countries and vows to return. If you enjoy history, tortured heroes, and a wee bit of magic, then time-travel within the pages of her books.


Speed Round:
Favorite movie: Braveheart
Favorite book: The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley
Last book read: The Widow Clicquot by Tilar J. Mazzeo
Favorite color: Green
Stilettos or flipflops: Barefoot
Coffee or tea: Tea
Ebook or paperback: Paperback
Pencil or pen: Pen
Favorite song: The Celts by Enya
Streak or not: Not
Favorite dessert: Anything dark chocolate
Champagne or gin: Champagne
Paranormal or Historical: Historical
Ginger or Mary Ann: Mary Ann
Favorite TV show: Beauty and the Beast (Ron Perlman and Linda Hamilton)
Hot or cold: Cold
POV: Optimistic
I'd die if I don't have: Caffeine

One Line Blurb:
“You met them in the Order of the Dragon Knights, now journey to the realm of the Fae and witness their legends!"

Now on sale for .99cents!

Excerpt from QUEST OF A WARRIOR:

Putting a fist to her mouth to stifle the laughter, Ivy turned when the front door to the pub blew open. The cold blast of air lashed across her face, but she gave no care. Her mouth became dry as the man stood there blocking what little light remained in the sky. His silver-blond wavy hair whipped around his chiseled face shaded by a light beard. Yet, it was those eyes that bore into hers—holding her captive. Were they silver or ice blue? She blinked several times, and swallowed.

The giant stepped into the pub and closed the door. Ivy’s gaze traveled the length of him as he made his way past her to the bar. She couldn’t help but follow him with her eyes. He was sinfully dressed in all black—jeans, boots, leather jacket opened to reveal a black tee. He was magnificent.

“Sweet Brigid,” whispered Erin. “Have the Vikings invaded Glennamore again?”

The woman’s words snapped Ivy out of her lustful trance. She looked at her friend. “Vikings in Glennamore?”

Mac placed her coat over her shoulders and chuckled. “Do not fear they were banished many centuries ago. I’ll go see what the Viking wants. I’m sure he’s only passing through and needs a pint and some food. There’s nothing in Glennamore to raid.”

The room blurred, and Ivy brushed a hand over her brow. “Not a Viking,” she uttered softly.

Erin placed a hand on her arm. “Are you all right?”

Ivy lifted her head. The gorgeous man leaned against the bar as Mac made his way to him. “I said he’s not a Viking.”

Erin smirked. “You could have fooled me.”

The man straightened as Mac pointed a finger directly in Ivy’s direction.

Ivy was unable to move, the words tumbled free as if spoken by someone else. “He’s an ancient Celt.”

The stranger immediately glanced her way, shock registering across his face as if he had heard her spoken words.

“Good Lord, you’re as white as a sheet, Ivy Kathleen.”

She barely heard Erin’s words. The Celt moved toward her, a frown marring his handsome features. A tremor slithered down her spine as she lifted her head up to meet his gaze.

“Ivy O’Callaghan?” The soft burr of his voice brushed over her face, and she couldn’t determine if it was Irish or Scottish.

Her mouth stayed dry, making her unable to acknowledge the man’s question. Nodding slowly, she took a step back. Then the Celt smiled, and Ivy thought she would melt right there on the floor. How could anyone look that gorgeous?

Erin nudged her. “Forgive my friend, Ivy Kathleen, she seems to have lost her voice.”

Recovering her wits, Ivy replied, “Sorry. I’m done telling stories about my life in the States.”

The Celt arched a brow. “Not interested in your stories. Sean Casey sent me to inspect your repairs.”

“You know Sean?” interrupted Erin.

Smiling, the man nodded. “Most of his life. I’m Conn MacRoich.”

Find Mary Morgan at: http://www.marymorganauthor.com

November 9, 2017

The Holiday Dupe #Christmas #presents #holidayboxedset


Recently, I conversed with someone who shared his hilarious Christmas remembrance. Every December, presents were piled around his family’s tree in the living room, but no one dared to enter unless there was company or on Christmas. On Christmas Eve, the kids opened one present. Afterwards, off to bed because Santa was coming. On Christmas morning, they opened the rest.

One year, he realized the packages under the tree hadn’t changed from the night before. Nothing new had been added. Nothing from Santa. And then he had this realization: his parents had lied. He’d been duped.

Off he went to confront his mother who danced around the subject and finally explained how all things Santa worked.

When I was younger, my family went to Grandmother’s for Christmas Eve celebration with my mom’s family. It was a joyous event with good food and a gift from Grandmother.

After my family returned home and we were sent to bed with the admonition “better go to sleep so Santa can come,” my sister and I decided to watch for Santa. The hallway to the bedrooms had a small jog to our room where we hid. Lo and behold, we saw Mom and Dad emerging from the bathroom which opened to the hallway. They were carrying dolls and plastic musical instruments. After a while, no more parents. So we watched longer for Santa. Finally, sleep took over and we plopped in bed.

Imagine our surprise the next morning when we went to the tree and saw the gifts Mom and Dad had carried, but nothing different. That was when we figured out they were Santa.

We’d been duped – in a not-so bad way. LOL


At what age did you discover all things Santa?

So what is new? Why Season of Magic, a holiday boxed set, is now FREE at Amazon and other e-retailers. My romantic comedy story is Holiday Disaster (Christmas + Bad Plumbing = Holiday Disaster). Here’s a bit about our stories:

Noel Noel Noel by Merry Holly ~ Dumped and lonely, is it possible to find love at the local mall? Noelle thinks not, but a chance encounter with Chase Clayborne while Christmas shopping has her rethinking her rigid set of rules.

A Cinderella Christmas by Cara Marsi ~ Jessica Gallo no longer believed in fairy tales or happy endings. And she certainly didn’t believe she’d find her Prince Charming at Saks Fifth Avenue. Her Fairy Godmother thought differently.

Matchmaker Matchmaker by Bobbi Lerman ~ With Chanukah around the corner, is there enough magic left for a matchmaker to bring Molly's cynical heart back to life?

Yuletide Bride by Gerri Brousseau ~ The Dowager Duchess’s decree that her grandson must marry before Twelfth Night or relinquish his title and fortune sends him into a tail spin. Without any prospects and with only two weeks until Christmas will Stuart Nelson find himself destitute or will he find The Yuletide Bride?

Holiday Disaster by Vicki Batman: The week before Christmas and all is in disarray when a librarian experiences horrible plumbing issues and a Mr. Maintenance Man who isn’t nearly as jolly as Santa Claus.

 

Join all our freebie fun at: Amazon  Kobo

Find Season of Promises for 99 cents at: Amazon

Find Season of Surprises for 99cents at: Amazon 

Follow Season of Anthologies at Facebook: Facebook   

November 7, 2017

Michelle Miles: RHS Marching Band State Bound!

Excuse me while I have a Mom Brag Moment.

Most of you know my son is in band. He plays bass trombone. For the band kids, their summer is over at the end of July when they start practice for the upcoming marching season. These practices are intense, let me tell you.

Before school starts at the end of August, they are out there from 8-11 am and then 1-4 pm and every other day 6-9 pm. DAILY. Then school and football starts. By the end of September, there are competitions every weekend with practice after school almost every day.

These kids work so hard. They are so incredibly talented, too.

On October 28, they had Area UIL Marching Competition. It was cold that day and windy but the husband and I were there watching and freezing. They did great in prelims and made finals. So back we went that evening. We sat through all 7 bands that night and FROZE OUR BUTTS OFF.

But it was worth it. Richland High School was not only named Grand Champions, but advanced to UIL State Marching! The last time the band advanced was back in 2012, so this is a pretty big deal. Birdville HS also advanced. We’re hoping to see both school in the finals.

Their marching show is awesome. I love watching them perform. The band directors are incredible and its obvious they love their jobs (and the kids!). It’s proof that all that hard work has paid off and they have achieved something only 35 other bands in their division have achieved.

They perform Wednesday, November 8 at 3:45 pm in San Antonio. I’ll be cheering and watching via the live stream. A lot of hours of practice and rehearsal have gone into this show and I just know they’re going to kill it. Go Rebels! 


October 19, 2017

The last days of summer. The first day of fall. #autumn #monarchmigration #Halloween


Summer drags on forever in the state where I live. Oh, occasionally, we get a cooler breeze and then pop back to the nineties, then a cool front, and finally, we settle into fall. Used to be in October, we would have lots and lots of rain, especially during the State Fair. Trying to find a decent day to go was a challenge, but that has changed.

And like all things, will undoubtedly change again.

What is fun for us in October is to watch for the migration of the monarchs. Outside my kitchen window is a huge lantana. It's the plant that has tiny pink and yellow flowers in a bouquet. It will even grown after a car runs over it. Mine is about six feet tall and twelve feet wide. A friend from my old neighborhood gave it to me right after we moved to this house. She dug and dug and finally, it came up with a raggedy root. She didn't know if it would live and if not, she had another to pass on.

I stuck my piece in a hole, tossed water on it and let 'er rip. The plant took off. And has continued to do so. I've moved babies to other spots. 

Most years, bees and butterflies visit it. This year, we had a lot of monarchs. My son had just commented on how large it was and maybe I should cut it back. Then the visits began. Truly a joy! And other varieties of butterflies came too.

And as if on cue, another front passed through, bringing a burst of rain. The butterflies moved on. And fall came.

Do butterflies migrate through your neighborhood?


Do you pull out a book when you hear the pitter patter of drops on the leaves? Try these--Temporarily Employed and





Temporarily Insane, the Hattie Cooks mystery series.  

Find all the fun at: Amazon



October 17, 2017

#99cents #SALE on Demon Lore by Karilyn Bentley


Just in time for Halloween, Demon Lore, the first book in the urban fantasy Demon Huntress series, is on sale for $0.99 until October 26th!! This is the first book in Gin Crawford's adventure of becoming the world's newest demon huntress. There are three books in the series out now (Demon Lore, Demon Kissed, and Demon Cursed) with two more coming out next year. Keep reading for all the fun details!

Blurb:
Gin Crawford has enough problems dealing with her empath abilities. Finding out she's the world's newest demon-slayer is the last thing she needs. Unfortunately, when she slips on a mysterious bracelet she is given no other choice. On the plus side, her new gig comes with Tall, Dark and Handsome, a mage who may or may not have her best interests at heart. Thrust into a power-play between good and evil, Gin must choose a side before she becomes the next victim in the ongoing battle.

Excerpt:
      The evil man-thing stands on my porch, his lips turning in a menacing smile of death. I don’t need to touch him to know he wants me dead. Muscles freeze, trapping my breath in my lungs. Like a rabbit in view of a wolf, I’m immobilized, waiting for death’s blow. Time slows, his gaze locks on mine, trapping me in place.
     Move, move, move! My mind screams as the man’s fingers twitch.
     But the spike of adrenaline explodes into my limbs too late to stop the backhand blow slamming across my jaw.
     I superman it halfway across the living room. Land on the hardwood floor in a thud of pain-ridden limbs. My jaw morphs into a screaming ball of nerves. My head no sooner hits the floor than I hear the bracelet scream, a high-pitched wail quivering through my skin like vibrations from a tuning fork. The bracelet tightens around my wrist, cutting off the circulation, and then it loosens with a pop at the same time I hear the door click closed.
     Ohgodohgodohgod, I’m going to die. I don’t want to die. No, no, no, no, no. Pain and terror hold me crumpled on the floor as my mind crawls backward in time.
     But I’m no longer a child, fearful of fists and words, cowering on the ground.
     I’m a fighter.
     My head spins, but I refuse to lie on the floor waiting to be killed, so I attempt to stand. Evil Guy laughs as I ass-plant it. Laughs as a moan escapes my lips. He takes a step toward me, right arm drawn back for a hit. His fist hurls toward my face, but I manage to block it with my left arm. My right arm, the one with the bracelet, shoves forward, slamming into his chest.
     His black eyes widen, mouth open in surprise, his hands fluttering to his chest before dropping. I stare at my hand, stare hard, for I’m as surprised as Evil Guy. The bracelet had become a sword, a long, thin spike of metal extending from the silver links, straight into Evil Guy’s heart.
     A sword?
     Definitely a sword. The flat of the blade rests against the back of my hand, cool metal heating from the warmth of my skin. Small silver links circle around my palm, lending stability to the two-foot long sword.
     I’m not sure which scares me more, Evil Guy paying me a visit or the fact the bracelet performed a morphing trick.

Buy Links:

And if you like Demon Lore, check out Demon Kissed and Demon Cursed, the 2nd and 3rd books in the series. Enjoy!

Happy Reading!!


Where to find Karilyn:

October 3, 2017

Michelle Miles: How to become more productive in your daily life

I don’t often recommend products. When I do, it has to be something I truly, whole-heartedly believe in. I’m not a sales person (as evidenced by my own sucky book sales LOL) by any stretch. I’ve tried to sell jewelry and Avon but I’m…just…not cut out for that.

But there is one thing that has transformed me. Not just my writing life, but my life in general. I love to journal but sometimes those blank pages can be daunting. I love setting goals but I can never figure out how to achieve those goals. One of my big goals is to write full time, but I never really sat down to figure out what steps I had to do to make that happen. I mean, I know I need to write books. But how does that break down into achievable steps to get there?

One day I was skimming through my Facebook feed, as you do, and I kept seeing this sponsored ad over and over again. It hadn’t really stopped to look at it until one day, finally, I paused and really looked at the ad. It was for a journal, but a journal designed to help you reach you goals.



Huh. I was intrigued. I followed the link to the Facebook page here.

And then I ended up on their website.

September 19, 2017

Release Day! Bride, Texas

The Unlucky Bride!!!

What happens when seven authors get together and write a series about a town started by a jilted Bride. Come to Bride, Texas, where love cures broken hearts.

Flood waters and broken heartstwo jilted ex-lovers trapped in Bride, Texas

Laney Baxter’s ironic escape to Bride, Texas couldn’t be more fitting - considering she is a runaway bride! Unfortunately, her plans to hide out have her jumping from the frying pan into the fire when she discovers she is trapped with the one man who broke her heart years ago - Chase Hamilton! Now, she can only hope the rising waters recede just as fast before Chase uncovers the mystery of their past.

Chase returns to Bride, Texas to nurse a broken heart and re-evaluate his life. The family home along the river was supposed to offer him peace and quiet, not the last woman he ever expected to see again. When the river rises, trapping them together, Chase questions whether his heart was really broken or just his ego bruised.

Laney and Chase are forced to face some startling revelations - including the feelings they still have for each other. Can the two work through their tangled emotions before the river recedes, or will long hidden secrets tear them apart?

Available Everywhere! Click here!



September 14, 2017

Grounded in the Book World #setting #writingromance #amreading


Within the first few pages, readers want to know where the story is taking
place, what scholars call the setting. Setting draws a mental picture in the reader’s mind. It establishes whether the story is dark or light, small town,  big city, or country. What season of the year. What time of day.
One of my favorite romance authors is Emilie Loring who wrote stories back in the thirties and forward. While vacationing recently, I picked up Lighted Windows and written upon the first page is this:

Fifth Avenue. In that quiet hour before dawn when for a trifling interval the city dozes, it never sleeps. The gleaming asphalt, blanched to silvery whiteness by arc lights, stretched ahead illimitably between looming skyscrapers, phantoms of concrete and steel, brick and glass, shadowy and unread as the back drop in a pantomime.
Instantly, we know where the author is speaking of. The reader is transported to New York, and specifically, Fifth Avenue, a popular street, in the wee hours of morning when all is quiet.

Here are some sentences about setting:

September 5, 2017

Michelle Miles: Let's have some fun

Okay so. It's my day to blog and I got nothin'. It's been a whirlwind last month with the kid turning 16 (!!!) and marching band and everything else I have going on. So let's have some fun.

Here's a picture of my cat:


Caption it.

OR tell me a story about your favorite pet.

And go!

August 22, 2017

Yes, I'm Older, But I'm Not Dead Yet!!

This year when I attended the Romance Writers of America conference, I realized I have been attending these since 1991. Yes, for twenty six years I’ve been a member of RWA and attended their conference at least twenty times if not more in my lifetime.

But this time, when I looked at some of the same people who have attended year after year, I noticed how we are all aging. The only time I really feel old is when the body aches in a new joint or I’m short of breath or I can’t keep up. The rest of the time, I feel just like I did when I was sixteen. Hopefully a lot smarter than I was then, but the same age. 

That’s not to say that I don’t see the wrinkles around the eyes, the ones forming over my lip or that the girls don’t stand as high as they once were. But let’s face it, I’m not as young either. So that brings me to this month's post. 

Ten Things Not To Say to an Older Person

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.

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.

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!

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!