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December 30, 2011

MY WISHES FOR YOU . . . by Kathy Ivan

This blog post really should have happened yesterday. Unfortunately, I have fried brain cells due to the flu and completely forgot I was supposed to do my New Year's post. So even though this is a day late, here it is. The sentiments still hold true—even if they are a day late.

With a bright and shiny New Year approaching in just a few days, most people are busy thinking about their resolutions; the things they plan to change about themselves or the things the want to do in the upcoming year. I've done that more times than I care to count. I start out with all the best intentions with my goals clear. I'm going to lose the rest of the weight I need to lose. I'm going to complete at least two manuscripts during the year. I'll work less and spend more quality time with family and friends. Don't we all promise ourselves we'll do those same things and more.

Then every year, before a few weeks are gone, so are those resolutions. Life interferes, work interferes, or in my case "laziness" interferes. :-)

So, instead of making resolutions this year, I've decided to make wishes. Not wishes for myself, but instead wishes for you, my friends.

December 27, 2011

Author Interview: Pri Ardis

Tell us about yourself. How long have you been writing? I started on comic books…yes, I’m a comic book geek. Then I became a full-fledged book lover ever since my parents took me to this cool thing called the “public library.” I picked up this awesome book called “Nancy Drew” and never looked back. In hindsight, my parents were smart to take me to the library. No parent could have afforded my voracious reading habit—which is why I’m fully onboard with the eBook craze.

I’ve been writing since I first opened a composition book on vacation in India over ten years ago.  Those long train rides can leave you a lot of time to come up with a great story. I remember finishing that first novel and having a stack of composition books to stare at. It was then that I realized I’d have to transcribe it all onto the computer. That second draft took a really long time.

Priya Ardis
How did you get from your day job to writing romance? Since I started writing before graduating from school, I’ve always had a day job and a night job (writing). I really don’t know what my life would be like without a work-in-progress. Maybe I’d take up video games. I’m fascinated by how far gaming has come—how complex the storyline and the graphics have become. I’m a computer programmer and a writer so the mix of the two in gaming intrigues me.

In my novel, I love to mix up magic with technology. After all, what is life without a few gadgets?

December 22, 2011



We at the Plotting Princesses would like to thank all the wonderful readers and writers who stopped by our blog and read the interviews/articles and left comments. We had a fabulous turnout for our first Christmastime celebration, and the generosity of all of the Plotting Princesses warms my heart with love and gratitude that I can call all of these lovely writers my friends.

Below is a list of all of the winners whose names were drawn at random. Since most people didn't leave their e-mail addresses, if your name appears below, please e-mail me at with your information—e-mail address and snail mail address so we can get your gifts to you right away.

December 20, 2011

Vicki Batman and a holiday gift!

Star in the Night

Every year, I go to a small town for their Candlelight Home Tour with four girlfriends for girl time ( 'cause we all know good girlfriends are the best psychologists), good food, peanut M&Ms, champagne cocktails, and most importantly, shopping. This special time kicks off the Christmas season for us.

Traditionally, after touring the final home, we head for The Enchanted Forest to see the Christmas trees, sponsored by local businesses. This time as I walked through the forty-ish trees, a beautiful, red, star-shaped tree topper entranced me. I pulled out my trusty Blackberry and captured it:

Isn't it gorgeous?

All of the sudden, my eye caught every topper there. I snapped pictures of those as well. Why stars on top of Christmas trees?

I found this wiki answer: A star on the top of the tree is representative of that star that led the wise men to Jesus.

December 15, 2011

Michelle Miles: Ugly Cancer, Pretty Words, Awesome Cause

My stalker-buddy, Vicki Batman, is amazing.

I should probably explain why she’s my stalker buddy. She and I attended RWA Nationals in Washington, DC. We were both president of our respective chapters and we somehow kept running into each other all over conference. I asked her if she was stalking me and the rest is history. We’ve been stalking each other ever since.

But back to the story. She’s amazing. She is generous and kind and giving. She goes out of her way to make everyone feel special and welcoming. She and I roomed at Nationals in New York City and had a blast. She talked me into being a Princess and boy am I glad she did.

It’s not just all those things that make her so amazing and special. It’s that she wrote a story to give back. She’s an author in the anthology, Lavender Dreams with her short story, “Taking Flight,” from MuseIt Up Publishing. All proceeds go to benefit cancer research. She wrote this story in honor of a friend who lost her fight with the ugly disease.

December 13, 2011

Author Interview with Kathy Bennett, A Deadly Blessing

Hi everyone!
I want to say a few words about our special guest today.
 Kathy Bennett and I became acquainted on March of 2005 when we responded to Clues-n- News e-mails to be critique partners. When we read each other's manuscripts, it was spooky over the similarities of our books. She went on to publish A Dozen Deadly Roses and Deadly Blessings is in the works to come to us.
I am so pleased that Kathy and I are much more than critique partners. We became friends who’ve weathered family crisis to job changes and overall life.  I treasure our friendship.
Please welcome Kathy Bennett…. Tell us about yourself. How long have you been writing?  I’ve written most of my life – although my early ‘works’ were newsletters for my family.  In the eighth grade, I did an assignment that the teacher read to the class.  I left the story with a hook and when the class moaned because the story was over, a writer was born.

December 8, 2011

Author Interview: Janis Patterson on The Hollow House

Tell us about yourself. How long have you been writing? Forever. I wrote my first book when I was four or so. As I recall, it was about a group of children who captured a lion which had escaped from the zoo. I hand printed about half a dozen copies, until I got bored and decided that writing new stories was more fun than ‘publishing’ them. In ‘real’ writing I started doing ad copy in my parents’ advertising agency when I was around twelve. Then in my teens I sold some short stories and confessions. I sold my first novel to the old Dell Candlelight Series back in 1979, which led me to being one of the original forty or so women who founded RWA in 1980.

How did you get from your day job to writing romance?  Not really sure I ever did. I did both for years, then quit to write for a while, almost starved to death, took part-time work sometimes. I quit writing altogether for almost ten years, since I had to earn real money to take care of my mother in what eventually proved to be her final illness. She was sick many years. I married for the first time and my mother died three weeks later. When my Navy Reserve husband was deployed to Iraq for the first time, I wondered what I would do with myself while he was gone. I had quit working then, as he doesn’t like me to work outside the home, and thought I might get a job. He said I should go back to writing, as it was the only thing I ever seemed to love doing, so I did, and here I am.

Who is your favorite author(s) and why?  Barbara Michaels, in any of her incarnations – Elizabeth Peters, Dr. Barbara Mertz. Her plots are stunningly intricate, her command and usage of language simply superb, her research impeccable – and all in an interesting, extremely enjoyable package! The woman is a marvel! (Long after I became a fan and had even sold a few books I was honored to get to meet her, and she’s charming. Oddly enough, we met through our mutual love of Egyptology instead of our writing careers.)
Tell us about your new book.

December 7, 2011


It's Christmastime with the Plotting Princesses. The fireplace has been lit and a crackling fire spreads a warm cheery glow. The stockings are all hung, filled with a multitude of goodies. The presents are wrapped and under the tree. White Christmas is playing softly in the background.

We think it's time for a celebration "Princess Style." In the spirit of the season, we feel it's better to give than to receive. So we're giving . . . and you lucky blog readers get to receive.

Beginning today, December 7th and going through December 20th, whenever you leave a comment on one of the blog entries, you will automatically be entered in a drawing to receive some fabulous prizes. We have some great writers lined up to blog throughout this timeframe and we're sure you'll love their posts.

December 6, 2011

What's on Your Christmas Wish List by Sylvia McDaniel

Yes, we are well into the Christmas season. Black Friday has come and gone and now we're on that roller coaster that takes us to the day the big man arrives. We're going to visit family and then take a quick, hopefully restful few days in the little town where I hope to someday retire. Pagosa Springs, Colorado. Nestled in the Rockies, it's cold and snowy, and we're going to go play for a few days. I will have a book bag with not only my notebook, but also my kindle. Can't wait to just rest, watch the snow and write.

So what are you doing as a writer/reader during this crazy holiday season to take care of you? How are you taking care of the writer? Are the holidays getting you off track and have you lost focus on the story you're working on? Are you keeping up with your daily page count?

As a writer, what do you want for Christmas? Don't give me the classic, cheesy line, a book contract. Yeah, we all want that. Do you have a wish list of presents and on that list, is something pertaining to writing? A list of books or a new Kindle, Nook or Tablet? A new reference book?

December 1, 2011


We've stuffed ourselves with all kinds of culinary delights over the last week, and if you're anything like me you ate way more than you should have and it's time to pay the piper. (Next step—visit to the gym, check.) Then there's Black Friday and all the hustle and bustle, fighting the crowds to find that perfect gift for your friends, family and maybe for that special someone in your life.

Just when you think things are going to slow down and you can finally catch your breath, it's time to decorate!

I think we each have our own sense of style. We dress a certain way. We like a certain type of art. Our homes are decked out with colors and furnishings that suit our tastes. But when it comes to decorating for the holidays, I always say . . . ANYTHING GOES!

November 29, 2011

Plotting Princess Vicki Batman: Holiday Countdown Time!

Holiday Countdown Time!

Halloween is long gone and Thanksgiving and Black Friday ended last week. The stores have had holiday decorations up for months. Christmas is around the corner.

I have traditions with my family, and the most important one is watching the movie "White Christmas" on Christmas Eve.

Back in the dark ages, television had only a few networks. No cable, no videos. Just television. And on Christmas Eve, our local station would air "White Christmas."

When my grandmother was alive, my family and extended relatives went to her house on Christmas Eve. When we returned home afterwards, my sisters and I would turn on the movie. We knew all the songs and sang along.

I carried the tradition into my marriage, and when my boys grew old enough, they viewed it with me. (And yes, they learned the songs too!)

Over the years, my family and I have added to our movie repertoire. There's the one with the kid and the BB gun, "A Christmas Story." "Millions," "It's a Wonderful Life," "Stalag 17," "Love, Actually." And "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer," "Charlie Brown Christmas," "How the Grinch Stole Christmas."

November 24, 2011


Thanksgiving's a rather special day for me. It's more than just stuffing my stomach full of delicious foods, watching too much TV, and napping away the afternoon. Thanksgiving is that time of year when I try to take a moment and reflect on what has happened to me; the good, the bad, and the ugly.

I'm always grateful when the good outweighs the bad and/or the ugly. I have so much to be thankful for this year. In the last two years, so much has happened to me as a writer. I had my first book accepted by Carina Press and published—a feat I was beginning to believe would never happen. I was asked to participate in a group of writers, meeting at a fellow writer's home (big thanks Vicki), to help be an encouragement to other writers as well as work on our craft, provide moral support and just generally be there for each other through all the ups and downs.

This group soon became known as the Plotting Princesses. We meet twice a year, have some terrific food, fun, do workshops, writing exercises, brainstorm works for each other—in other words we're there for every member of the PP's.

November 22, 2011

PLOTTING PRINCESSES: Elizabeth Essex on Danger of Desire

It’s all about Character. 


Today, I am thrilled to introduce you to my next release, THE DANGER OF DESIRE, coming on Nov. 29th from Kensington Brava.  This is the last of my Georgian period Dartmouth stories, although THE DANGER OF DESIRE takes place almost exclusively in London, England in the year 1799.  It’s the story of Captain High McAlden, whom we got to know as a secondary character in both THE PURSUIT OF PLEASURE and A SENSE OF SIN.

This book also introduces a new character to my readers, the heroine of the story, Meggs the pickpocket.  Meggs was both an easy and a difficult character to write.  Easy because I could all but hear her voice as I was writing, and difficult because she very well could have appeared to be an unsympathetic character—a conscienceless thief (at least according to the hero). 

So how could I make a character who was in direct opposition to a well-known, and well-liked, hero appear sympathetic to readers? How could I get them on her side?

November 17, 2011

Author Interview: She's here!!! Diane Kelly and Death, Taxes and a French Manicure

Hi, Diane and welcome to the Plotting Princesses. We are thrilled to have you here!!!

How long have you been writing? How did you get from a CPA to writing romance? I always enjoyed writing for fun as a child, but I began writing with hopes of publication in the fall of 2000, when I took a creative writing class at a nearby college.  So I’ve been writing for about eleven years, though I became much more serious about it during the fourth year.  Not coincidentally, that was the year my children were finally old enough to do a lot of things on their own and I was - finally!- free to devote more time to my writing. 

Years ago, I worked at one of the international accounting firms under a partner who was later convicted of tax shelter fraud.  I also worked as an assistant attorney general for the State of Texas under an AG who pled guilty to criminal charges relating to the settlement of the tobacco company lawsuits (he’d diverted funds to his cronies’ law firms).  With my employers repeatedly landing themselves in jail, I decided self-employment would be a good idea.  I’ve since worked as a self-employed tax advisor, which is surprisingly much more interesting than it sounds.  But I also realized that my experiences with white-collar crime would make interesting fodder for novels.  My fingers hit the keyboard and thus began my “Death and Taxes” romantic mystery series.

Who is your favorite author(s) and why?  I blog with a group of amazing authors, all of whom are among my favorites, probably because we have similar styles and tastes – Kathy Bacus, Amanda Brice, Christie Craig, Jana DeLeon, Kyra Davis, Angie Fox, Gemma Halliday, Robin Kaye, and Leslie Langtry.  My critique partners, Trinity Blake, Angela Cavener, and Celya Bowers/Kennedy Shaw are among my favorites, too!

November 15, 2011

Giving Your Characters Emotional Punch

By Michelle Miles

Writing emotion is probably one of the hardest things to learn. You have to do it in such a way that makes the reader believe that’s what the character is thinking and feeling and you have to make the reader feel it, too.

I write romance because I love seeing two people overcome impossible obstacles and odds to get together and have that happy ending. That’s what it’s all about for me. And, as we all know, romance stories are character-driven. I can suspend disbelief in the hokiest plot as long as the characters are unforgettable and the romance is timeless. Seriously.

I judge a lot of contests and in some of the entries I’ve read, the story is great, the pacing is fine, the plot is good. The author even has a good voice. But the characters are flat, flat, flat. You have to dig deeper and go beyond the physical description to make me want to cheer for your hero or heroine. It’s not just about how they look, it’s what they feel and how they feel it. You have to make me ignore my dirty house, the litter box that needs to be emptied, and the mounds of laundry to spend three hundred pages (or more) with your peeps.

How do you give your character that emotional punch?

November 10, 2011

Addison Fox: To Plot or to Pantz... That is the Question

My thanks to Plotting Princesses for having me here today!

So it’s hard to make a visit to the “Plotting” Princesses and not naturally think of plot while preparing a blog topic. In thinking about what I wanted to talk about today, I began playing with the concept of plotting and “pantzing” (writing by the seat of your pants) and how my process has changed somewhat over time.

While I’ve always considered myself a pantzer – and frankly, find the joy in writing the story the discovery of what’s going to happen – there is a roadmap. My publisher requires a synopsis/outline of the story, but I’ve got the freedom to veer from the outline where necessary as my story grows and develops.

November 8, 2011

Phyllis Middleton asks What's in your toolbox?


Writers do not only rely on our muse and imagination to write wonderful stories that intrigue and embrace our readers.  Our wits may be great to get the guts of a story onto paper, but sometime after that we have to face facts….they will need work. Our characters must be groomed, our settings redecorated and the plots require a compass for direction. So what resource is in your toolbox that you turn to for that help?  Here are some of my tools.

November 3, 2011

WHAT'S MY LINE? by Kathy Ivan

As writers and readers we are emotionally moved by words. Words make us happy. They make us angry. They make us think. We can be moved to tears, to laughter. We can even be moved to throw the book against the wall when it disappoints or angers us. But in every single case, without question, words make us FEEL.

Here are a few books that have memorable lines. I've put the book and author following it, but how many of you could have quoted the title and author even without the prompt?

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness . . ." (A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens)

"Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again." (Rebecca by Daphne De Maurier)

November 1, 2011


November, the month of turkeys, giblet gravy, CORNBREAD stuffing, cranberry sauce, family and football. Yes, that's right you can't have Thanksgiving dinner without a good football game playing later that afternoon when all you want to do is lie around and snooze off that tryptophan. Then there is always that one family member that you suddenly remember why you only see them once a year. So how many of you have had holiday disasters?

The first time I cooked a turkey, I left the paper bag of giblets and the neck inside the turkey. I also didn't put the turkey on to cook until about ten o'clock that morning, so we didn't eat until three that afternoon. Not my best planned meal. But I'll never forget the look on my grandmother's face when she pulled out that sack of giblets. She started to giggle and soon we were all laughing.

October 27, 2011

Vicki Batman on Lavender Dreams and her story, "Taking Flight"

The Traveling Monarchs

These past weeks, I have had a thrilling sight outside my kitchen window--monarchs are visiting on their way to their home in Mexico.

My family and I moved into this house sixteen years ago. The house needed a huge overhaul which we did a while back. But the yard was unbearable. (Think Teenage Wasteland. LOL.)

I am not the best gardener. I like to put things in the ground, toss some water in its direction, and yank out the weeds on occasion. Once, I read a local gardening column about the attributes of lantana. The biggest plus being "you can run a car over it and it still grows."

I was sold.

October 26, 2011

Shameless Self Promotion by Karilyn Bentley

Thank you for joining me for a session of shameless self promotion. Wolf Mates, my werewolf novella, is out now and the Princesses have happily allowed me on today to blog about it.

So, how did I come up with the idea for Wolf Mates, and what’s it about anyway?

The story starts back in 2008 when I won the Got Wolf? contest on The Wild Rose Press. My short story, "Werewolves in London," was published in an anthology. In the story, a female alpha played a small, but significant, role. Margie, the heroine in Wolf Mates, was born. But what was she like?

October 25, 2011

Angi Morgan on "Plotting? What's that??


I don’t know if I’ll ever become a plotter. The best stories I write…well, I have no clue what’s going to happen. Sometimes, when I re-read what my fingers type (yes, when I’m in ‘the groove’ I feel like they hit whatever keys they want), I get goose bumps and know it’s right. I wish those goose bumps happened each and every time…but they don’t.
I do develop characters. I attempt to discover their motivation and goals. Mostly because they’re needed in the synopsis. But I’ll grudgingly admit that it helps to have a clear picture of those two things as the story develops. It’s also easier to talk through the stalled parts of the story with other writers.

I always know the beginning scene and within the first three chapters jot down the ending line. Yeah, I may not know how the ending GETS to that line, but I normally keep it. Weird. Wired funky? I admit it, I’m a writer.

October 20, 2011

Author Interview: with our PP Gal--Liz Lipperman!

Liz Lipperman is one of nine children and grew up eating casseroles. She spent many years working as a Registered Nurse saving lives, before she gave in to her life-long passion of finding ways to kill people and writing about them. Born and raised in Ohio, she's lived in many places, including Saudi Arabia and Taiwan before finally settling down in a small suburb north of Dallas. When she’s not writing, she enjoys all sports, especially the NFL, traveling, and spending time with her four grandchildren. The first book in her debut cozy mystery series, Liver Let Die, releases October 4th from Berkley Prime Crime. Mortal Deception, a stand-alone romantic mystery will be available soon from Amazon. Check out her website for trailers and excerpts.

How long have you been writing? How did you get from a medical career to writing romance?  Funny that you asked. I audited medical records for the last 15 years of my career. In the 90's, I decided to get a Professional Arts degree, and took a creative writing class as an elective. With the enthusiasm from my professor, I decided to take a shot at doing what I'd secretly wanted to do all my life. I chased the romance genre for a lot of years and got a lot of dings in contests and from professionals. When I finally realized dead bodies were showing up in all my stories, I had to take a hard look at my writing. I am definitely a mystery writer, but my stories all have strong romances in them. So, as of right now, I am officially starting a new genre--romantic mysteries.

October 18, 2011

Worldbuilding Your Perfect Setting by Michelle Miles

Since I write fantasy stories and stories with unusual settings, I spend a good deal of time worldbuilding. Whether you’re creating an exotic city for your action/adventure or you’re making up a new fantasy realm complete with magic, worldbuilding is an important part of the story. I’m certainly no expert, but there are some tips I’ve picked up and to keep in mind when building your new world.

Set up the rules and stick to them. Ask yourself these questions: What are the exceptions? Is there magic? What are the rules of magic? Once you set up the rules, don’t break them unless you have a really compelling reason. Make sure it’s not a plot device and you’re breaking the rules because you can’t figure out how to get your characters out of a jam.

Study other cultures, past and present. By studying how other cultures live, their religion, their traditions, their exchange of goods and money, you can learn a lot about who they. How do they talk? Dress? Do they have any sacrificial rites? When do they worship? What do they worship—one god or multiple gods? If you know this, you can start building the foundation. Other things to consider: politics, military, art, marital customs, education, monetary system, sporting events.

October 13, 2011

Vicki Batman is discussing....

Changing Your Identity

 I don't mean changing your name to a penname; that's another topic. This one is about changing the names of your characters in your book.

I don't know about you, however, I belabor over what to name my characters. I admit, I am fond of certain names and prefer those.

So where do you go to find them? I've had recommendations to try baby naming books and the social security website which lists popular names by years. For example, here is the table I found on their site for 2010 (

October 11, 2011

PHYLLIS MIDDLETON: I have a Confession

I have a confession. I am the Great Procrastinator. Why? Well, I will think about that tomorrow….

Seriously, that’s my problem.

I am a person of full steam ahead in getting things done or absolutely nothing at all.  I doubt I have much of an in-between state. Generally, if it can wait, it will until it becomes that next highest priority thing to get done.

October 6, 2011


It's Temptation Thursday, so I thought we'd try something just a wee bit different today. I'm going to list a few snippets from books written by some of the Plotting Princesses that are already published and available. So, if you read something you like below, you'll be able to go and buy that book instead of having to wait. Instant gratification! Buy links are provided along with the excerpts.

Ready. . . set . . . here we go!

MAGICAL LOVER by Karilyn Bentley

His lids snapped open. “You’ve never done this?”

Uh-oh. He looked worried. Despite the shadows obscuring his face, she knew her virginity concerned him. After tonight it wouldn’t be a problem and there was no way she was stopping now. No way. He was hers.

ONE KNIGHT ONLY by Michelle Miles

October 4, 2011

Sylvia McDaniel: Witches, Goblins & Spooks--Oh my!!

Witches, Goblins & Spooks--Oh my!
Yeah!! October is here and everyone south of the Red River is doing the happy dance. After 70 days of over 100 degrees, we're finally starting to see the temperatures cool down and know that Fall is on the way.  And with the arrival of Fall comes the holidays. I love Halloween just for this reason. To me it's the kick-off to the holiday season.
While I'm a little old for dressing up and I haven't been to an adult costume party in a few years, I enjoy seeing my neighborhood kids all decked out in their costumes trick or treating. Even the older kids I enjoy seeing the costumes they created right up until about nine pm when I turn out the light and some of you just don't get the message. 
 We're done. Go home!         
As a writer, I feel like I get to dress up every day. I get to step into a different costume, make my characters experience the oddities of life and create their world. When I wrote historical romance, I enjoyed doing the research to see what a woman would wear crossing the Oregon Trail and what a Victorian woman wore during the late 1800's.  All I can say is there is no way I would wear all that clothing in Texas Heat.  I'd probably be arrested for indecent exposure as those petticoats would be tossed in the garbage and that dress would be ventilated or shorter.

September 29, 2011

AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Kerri Nelson and Courting Demons

 Hi, Kerri and welcome to Plotting Princesses! Let's learn about you and your new book, Courting Demons (btw, cool title!)

How long have you been writing? How did you get from a legal career to writing romance? I’ve been writing since about the second grade.  That was when I discovered my love of poetry, anyway.  But I wrote my first full novel as a senior in high school.  It has only been read by one other person besides me and she’s been sworn with a blood oath of absolute secrecy. 

But, seriously, I began navigating the road to publication about a decade ago.  Started taking classes, then joined RWA and various chapters, then attended conferences and finally caught my break in 2009 and now my main goal is to stay published with new material every year.

September 27, 2011

AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Karen Cote and Erotic Deception

Karen Cote

Tell us about yourself. How long have you been writing? I live in Southern California and I’m married to my best friend and promoter. I have a little black pug who is my critique partner (she gets jealous of my keyboard) and I began seriously writing in 2006.

How did you get from your day job to writing romance?  My husband’s wonderful belief in me (and his job-LOL)

Who is your favorite author(s) and why?  Too many to mention. Linda Howard, Rachel Gibson, Judith McNaught, Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Karen Rose are a few. They all have tortured heroes who need to be saved.

Tell us about your new book.
Blurb: Told she’d never have children…abracadabra, she’s pregnant. Would the man she loved disappear when he found out? 

September 22, 2011

Linda Steinberg asks: Are you a Horizontal Writer?

    Butt in Chair. Hands on Keyboard. We’ve all heard the advice, in countless workshops and articles. Seems pretty self-evident, doesn’t it? The only way to write is to write. Write crap now, and fix it later (or have your critique partners fix it). You can’t repair what’s not there.
     Who can argue with that? Workshop presenters usually offer disclaimers along the lines of, “This might not work for everybody. Take what you can use and discard the rest,” but I’ve never heard a disclaimer for BIC HOK. It’s so obvious, so basic. An essential first step.
     Except when it doesn’t work.

September 20, 2011

Entangled, a Paranormal Anthology

by Michelle Miles

I'm so excited to talk about the new anthology I'm in. It's a paranormal/Halloween anthology called Entangled. It's available as an ebook at B&N, Amazon, Smashwords and other fine online retailers. It will sell for $2.99 through October and then $3.99 thereafter.

I know most people don't like anthologies. But the thing that's unique about this one is that all the proceeds will go to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. Eleven of us have banded together to support breast cancer research with our writing. Authors4theCure includes award-winning and New York Times bestselling authors, as well as two breast cancer survivors.

BCRF-funded research has helped save lives and improved the quality of care and rate of survival for tens of thousands of breast cancer patients in the past decade. Their research has revealed that the "cure" is a mosaic made up of as many approaches to diagnosing, treating, preventing and surviving as there are different types of breast cancer. The anthology is also a mosaic made up of many stories donated for this worthwhile cause.

I hope you'll pick up Entangled, not only for the fantastic stories but for helping an awesome cause.

September 15, 2011



Pssst! I'm going to let you in on a little secret.

Are you ready? It's a big one.

Writers—are also—readers!

Long before we put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard, we read. And read. And read. At some point along the way, I'm sure most of us said . . . It can't be that hard, I think I'll write a book. (Or we read a book that didn't end the way we felt it should and decided we could do it better!)

No, this blog post isn't about writing. Today it's all about reading.

September 13, 2011

Birthday Wishes

Toooo meeee! I partied last Friday--thank you to all who so sweetly wrote me. Lol.
I love celebrating my birthday. It's the one day All About Moi. Presents, dinner, cards--nothing feels better. Right?

Definitely, there's nothing better than birthday cake and I'm pretty non-discriminatory. I love almost every kind of cake, especially the ones with lots of icing flowers and leaves. (I bet you're thinking get out the cholesterol medicine.)

September 8, 2011

PP Welcomes Alisha Paige: Silent Lucidity...Writing From Dreams

How do you come up with new ideas for your latest novel? I'm always curious to see what inspires writers. I'm a big dreamer..yeah, I dream big and I actually remember very vivid dreams. I've been known to wake up from a dream and jot down everything before I forget it. Have you done this?

Once I dreamed I was this teenage girl that moved to a new world (Early America) with my parents. I was very wealthy and our home was ready for us when we arrived, built with the best materials of the day. Servants were carrying my large trunk inside our new home. I watched from the windows, looking out at this foreign, new land as a very handsome man rode up on a horse. I'm watching all of this out the wavy oval glass of our front door. A bear approaches and the man pulls out a knife and spars with it. I gasp and know right then and there that I will marry this man one day. Then I woke up. Ahhh! How disappointing! I immediately wrote the dream down. I usually don't dream of other time periods. This was really odd.

Another night I dreamed I was the member of a wedding party. This is the weird ex husband was there too. After the wedding, there was a huge party in this hotel and we were all staying in two adjoined, very luxurious hotel suites. It was late night and everyone had crashed. In my dream, I wake up when I hear voices, whispers really and doors creaking open. I look over the shoulder of the person sleeping next to me..again, this was highly odd....I don't make a habit of sleeping with a herd of people...and I see all these men coming in, posing as waiters in white coats, pushing room service trays.

September 6, 2011

Plotting Princess Sylvia McDaniel: Plotting Made Simple

People think writers have a burst of brilliance and then we sit down at the computer and the stories pour out.  When the idea for a book comes along and it's a good one, you have to stop and think about what company would want to publish this idea. Is there a market for it? How did these characters get into this predicament? How do I get them out? Is there enough conflict to last four hundred pages? Do I like these people enough to spend six months with them?
I admit, I'm an anal plotter and I spend months plotting a book. Then I spend several weeks researching, picking out names, doing a story board before I ever sit down at the computer and put those first words on the page. I envy the ladies/gents who are pansters and just sit down and write.  I have blinking cursor syndrome when I try to write without my road map.

September 1, 2011


It's that time again. Welcome to Temptation Thursday. The first Thursday of each month here at Plotting Princesses we'll be bringing you little snippets from the current works in progress of several of our members, both published and aspiring authors. Every month will be a little unique with different contributors, new short stories, articles or books we are working on, to give you a taste of the variety of writing talents from the Princesses.

So sit back, grab your favorite beverage (and maybe some chocolate to go with it) and enjoy the ride.

UNTITLED—Elizabeth Essex
The toff limping out of Spring Gardens onto Cockspur Street was just the sort she liked, if she couldn’t have a drunk. Big man, but tired, he was, weariness stewing from his bones like the cold steam of his breath in the frigid, snowy air. And he was a gimp—heavily favoring his left leg—but without a cane or walking stick. So far so good. It paid to stay well clear of walking sticks.

I raced toward the woods. He wouldn’t be able to run me down as easily in there. The trees would hide me. After all, I am part forest. My eyes are green as leaves, my hair ash brown like bark, my skin pale as air. I am Welsh, a daughter of the earth. My mother used to say the spirit of these things, the soil and trees, the rocks and beasts, they call to us. “We are part of this land,” she would say. Only now, my mother lies silent, cloaked beneath the very earth she spoke of with such fondness.

August 29, 2011

The PPs welcome one of our own: KAT BALDWIN

Act it out loud!

You’re gutsy women inviting me to blog with you here on Plotting Princesses…
because you all know I’m a notorious Pantser.  Perhaps I can play the villain of the group.  Heh, heh, heh, picture me twirling my moustache (which won’t go away despite getting lasered.)

Originally, I’d intended to tell you about my fun Tween fantasy: IF WISHES WERE KISSES, which was scheduled to be released soon from, but my agent recently pulled the book and is considering it for traditional publishing possibilities.  We will see what happens.  She is a marvelous agent, so I bow to her judgment on the matter.

Plotting by Committee
I collaborated with another author on IF WISHES WERE KISSES, mystery writer, Andrea Sisco. Imagine if you will, two Pantsers trying to write a book together.  Yikes! It was a challenging process. Fortunately, Andrea Sisco and I have been friends for a very long time.  Even more remarkably, we stayed friends through the collaborative process.

We began the writing process by getting together in her hotel room for a brainstorming session and had a truly fun-filled, wild, crazy, brainstorming day.  It was sooo much fun.  I love brainstorming.

Andrea is a crazy blonde with more energy than a two year old on a sugar high.  She acted out scenes, jumped on the bed to illustrate our fairy heroine flying, she hid behind the curtains, and pretty much put on a one woman show.  I wish I had a movie.  But here’s her author photo. Note the mischief in her eyes. 

August 25, 2011

The PP gals welcome: author Karilyn Bentley

Tell us about yourself. How long have you been writing? Thank you for having me here today. I'm so excited! I've been writing since 2001 or 2002. I remember sitting in my then cube and thinking that I needed to find something to do so I could sit home and eat bon-bons. I had these stories running around in my head and decided to put them on paper. Still haven't found the bon-bons. :) But I have a bunch of nice, invisible friends that like to talk to me.

How did you get from  research coordinator to writing romance? Apparently, I'm an overachiever, as I think I already answered this in the previous question. :) If you must know, I did not start out writing romance. I'm not sure what you would call what I first wrote (it's hiding in the closet now), but although it had some romantic elements in it, it wasn't a romance. I hadn't read a romance in years b/c I thought them silly. Then I picked up one of Sherrilyn Kenyon's at a book faire at work and was hooked. Didn't realize it was a romance until I was partway in and it was so good I didn't put it down. Once I realized the genre had changed and had paranormal critters, I started reading all sorts of romance. Always heard that you should write what you read, so there you go. Romance story coming up. Of course, thinking of the story took some doing. :)
Who is your favorite author(s) and why? This changes, but currently my favs are J.R. Ward and George R. R. Martin. Maybe I have a thing for initials. Ha! I like JRW b/c her dialogue rocks and her characters are gritty and you just can't put down the book. My friends call them the crack series b/c we read them over and over and over, well, you get the picture.

August 23, 2011

Liz Lipperman: Looking for Plot in all the Wrong Places

Looking for Plot in all the Wrong Places
Okay, so I spent three hours in the dentist's chair recently getting three lower back teeth ready for crowns. It was only supposed to be two but my dentist found a huge crack in the third one.

Cha ching!

Anyway, I'm on FaceBook with my dentist and some of her very capable office staff, and I posted an update about how I was thinking about creating a character that looked like a few of them and torturing them with a dental drill. That led to a lively discussion involving a possible title.Death by Dentistry, Drill M for Murder, Nightmare on Route Canal, and Nitrous and Old Lace were a few that made the cut. It was fun for all of us until I realized on the weekend that the gum around the last tooth was probably infected. My first clue was that I cried every time I bit down on something.

So I called my dentist who was at a restaurant with her staff, and she phoned in an antibiotic RX for me. I'm sure my writing became a dinner table topic after that. Long story short, I had to go see her the following day and lo and behold, my sweet, girl-next-door dentist who looks more like she should be modeling swimsuits for Sports Illustrated than shoving both hands into my mouth, said she had a great idea for a book.