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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.

Just one bite….
Nessa Teague has never believed in the magic that swirls around her village like a fine Cornish mist. She’s never had need of it. Until the day Lord Harry Beck returns to Bocka Morrow and Nessa realizes there is nothing, including the blackest of magic, she won’t do to have him for her own.

and he could be hers.
Harry Beck has left the Royal Navy only to find himself shoaled upon the rocky coast of Cornwall, where smugglers haunt every cove and treachery fouls the waters. His best hope to find the traitor selling secrets to the French is to charm the vicar’s observant and intelligent daughter, Nessa Teague. 

But in a place where loyalty runs deeper than the deep blue sea, they’ll need more than charm to uncover the secret plot that threatens their country, and shakes their faith in the power and magic of true love.



Here’s an excerpt to whet your reading whistle:

Cornish Coast
October 1811

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.
But that was before her Harry had come back. After twelve long years, during which Nessa had pined and longed and never once forgotten even a single moment she had spent in his company, Captain Lord Harry Beck had come back to Bocka Morrow. 
And there was nothing, absolutely nothing, Nessa Teague might not do to have him.
“Gracious!” whispered her mother, drawing Nessa close to prevent her from greeting the slow-walking, tall man in weather-beaten blue. “What does a king’s officer think he’s doing in Bocka Morrow, walking about the village as bold as you please? He’s like to have his throat cut.”
“He’s not a Revenue man, Mama.” Nessa kept her voice low in the vain hope that her mother would do the same. “He’s Royal Navy, can’t you see? It’s Captain Beck. He’s come back.”
“Lord Henry Beck?” Her mother shaded her eyes to take a second look at the man making his slow way up the narrow village street. “I’d never have recognized him. He looks…”
Magnificent. Heroic. Hurt
“…far older than he ought. If, indeed, that is Lord Henry.” Mama dropped her hand along with her regard. “He’s nothing to his brothers, certainly. I saw the young Viscount Redgrave with the marquess, in his carriage on his way up to Caste Keyvnor. Fine figure of a young man.”
Aye. Nessa could not take her eyes from him, afraid he might disappear for another twelve years. Afraid she might blink and find he were nothing more than a shadow on the surface of the sea—another ardent, imagined daydream. “He’s been injured, Mama.”
“Viscount Redgrave?” 
“No. Captain Beck. In the Battle of Lissa, last spring.” Nessa had kept track of him as best she could from her backward, hidebound village on the frayed coast of Cornwall. “And again, in another action in which his 36-gun frigate, the Lively, took two French fifth rates of 40 guns.”
“Gracious, Nessa!” Mama tutted. “I don’t like this talk of ships and guns.” Her mother’s tone said what her words did not—that ships and guns were not a suitable topic of conversation for respectable young ladies. As if they did not live in Cornwall where the sea, its bounty, its opportunities, and, most importantly, its ships, were not of certain concern to all. “Wherever have you been hearing such tales?”
Nessa heard tales of Lord Harry everywhere—she only had to listen. The fisherfolk along the quay talked, the newspapers that came from Truro celebrated, and the publican at the Crown & Anchor gossiped. “He’s a hero.”
“Well, I suppose he ought to be, for his family’s sake, if nothing else, since he’s the Marquess of Halesworth’s spare.” Her mama turned the corner sharply, hauling Nessa along with her. “But he’s nothing to us anymore.” 
Nothing to Nessa, she meant. 
And Nessa could be nothing to him. Because she was nothing but a local rector’s middle daughter, who had been the unlucky age of thirteen years old when Lord Harry had left her father’s tutelage and gone off to the Royal Navy. She was just a nobody, who wasn’t supposed to gossip, wasn’t supposed to read the newspaper, and wasn’t supposed to pine after a man so far out of her reach as the Marquess of Halesworth’s spare for twelve long, lonely, unrequited years.
And she certainly wasn’t supposed to polish up an Allantide apple with the single-minded intention of enchanting Lord Harry Beck into discovering that she, Nessa Teague, was his one and only truest love.


Giving away a copy to a random commenter: What is the craziest thing you’ve ever done to try and win your true love?


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:
Years ago a sacred ceremony at the Dragon’s Moon Coven, turned deadly.
Excerpt from A Warlock's Secrets: 
Inside the house, a shadow passed by the huge bay window. She held her breath. Am I really going to go through with this? 
Walking up the steps to the house, she paused. Why would he leave such an expensive car sitting out when he had a four-car garage?  She was stalling. Straightening her shoulder's she used the brass doorknocker. There was no answer. She knocked again.
The heavy oak door creaked open. Tristian stood shirtless, his abs rippled as he raised one muscular arm to lean on the doorframe. The skintight blue jeans hung low on his hips and his hair tousled as if he'd not been awake long.
When he stared at her, with those huge blue-gray eyes, tingles careened up her spine. She covered her mouth in case drool pooled in the corners her mouth.  He was one sexy male. She sucked in a breath and opened her mouth to speak but nothing came out. A brow arched, he peered questioningly at her then twisted to glance backward into the house. The sunlight streaming through the doorway accentuated several scars across his chest, rib area and a healed slash across his back. Who gets those kinds of battle scars and lives to tell the tale? Not going to ask. Maybe this wasn't such a good idea after all.
The corner of his mouth curved up in an inviting sexy-as-hell grin.  "Good morning, Hannah.
What a surprise."

Find Tena Stetler at: http:www.tenastetler.com
Find A Warlock’s Secrets at:  Amazon


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.

As time has passed and my kiddoes have grown and moved into their own lives, there isn’t anything I really need. No jewelry. No fancy dinners.
But what I really enjoyed and cherished most of all: a walk on a Sunday morning to our local donut shop.
Some years, this is easier to do than others. Kiddoes have plans. Handsome and I might be traveling. Or we have icky weather. But when the beautiful collision of people and time happens, we chat and ramble our way to our favorite destination.

After our Mother’s Day trip this year and the kids had gone, I turned to Handsome and said, “This is what I want every year. For my birthday. For Valentine’s Day. For Mother’s Day. A walk on Sunday morning for donuts.”
He said, “Me, too.”
By the way, my heroine from "Raving Beauty," featured in Just You and Me boxed set, has a huge affinity for Dee's Delicious Donuts. hehehe


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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*