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December 31, 2013


It's the ending of the old and the beginning of the new.

The Plotting Princesses would like to thank you for spending 2013 with us, sharing the laughter and the tears, the ups and the downs. We've gone through a few growing pains along the way, and celebrated some milestones. Through it all, you've been there.

So we wish a very happy, prosperous and healthy New Year for 2014.

So slip on your tiara and come back and join us in the New Year. We'll continuing sharing all our new and exciting news, events, book launches, and other things along with a few surprises along the way.

Happy New Year!

December 27, 2013

New Release After the Moon Rises by Karilyn Bentley

I'm excited to let you know that my werewolf anthology, After the Moon Rises, is now available on Kindle! After the Moon Rises features two novellas, Werewolves in London and Wolf Mates, two stories about the Flying Fur Dude Ranch werewolf pack.

Werewolves in London:
Werewolf Vonda Diaz has sworn off men, until she meets sexy rancher, Tom McGowan. Try as she might there is something about him she can’t ignore. Determined to keep their relationship professional she finds herself unable to keep her distance. Since his wife died, Tom has no interest in dating, but one look at Vonda and passion ignites. There is something different about her that draws him in. What he can’t understand is why his dog finds her so fascinating. When Tom’s daughter is kidnapped, the two join forces to save her, not realizing the quest will unlock hidden mysteries. Will their budding love survive the secrets they discover or will those secrets tear them apart?

Wolf Mates:
Margie McLean loves her life just the way it is. As the single Alpha of the London, Montana pack, she leads her wolves and makes her own decisions. When she stumbles upon an injured wolf she has no idea that her quiet life is about to take a dramatic turn.
Zane Moskos never imagined that the mission his tryranical alpha sent him on would lead him to his mate. Now he is faced with the choice of defying the man who holds his sister hostage or losing the woman that fate has decreed is his.
In order to save his sister and gain his freedom, Zane must convince Margie he can be trusted. Can they work together or will the passion they feel overwhelm them both?

After the Moon Rises


December 26, 2013


As we come to the end of 2013, I want to take a moment to look back at this year and what we've accomplished.

As a group, the Plotting Princesses has grown, not only in size, adding a few new members, but also in our social media outreach. We have the blog site (of course we do, here you are visiting with us). We have the Facebook page, the Pinterest page, and we've even started a marketing branch of the Princesses, to help with promoting books the Princesses are writing. We've even got our own street team, "THE COURT."

Each Princesses continued writing throughout 2013, sending work out to agents and editors. Some entered contests. Many Princesses had multiple books come out, with more available next year.

December 24, 2013

Plotting Princesses ~ guest author Terri Rochenski of superb historical: Alone No More.

The Plotting Princesses welcome
Terri Rochenski!
Hey, Terri: let's get this party goin' with some questions.

How did you get from your day job to writing romance?  My day job ended when baby #1 was born. I drove back into writing due to the fact that I lived in the middle of no-where-land, NH, 20 minutes away from the nearest store.
What are your three favorite books of all time? Oh boy. I’ve been asked this many times & I’m sure I answered differently each one. I’m going to cheat since I can only think of series – Wheel of Time (Robert Jordan), anything by Lisa Kleypas and Roni Loren.

Morning, afternoon, or evening person? Morning. I struggle to keep my eyes open after 9pm.

Music--with or without? What kind? When writing, without. While in the car/working around the house it would be Bryan Adams, Bruno Mars, Rascal Flatts, or classical.

First or third POV? I enjoy reading both as long as they’re written well. I’ve done & enjoyed both.

How's tricks? Do you juggle multiple projects? I’m a one-story-at-a-time kinda gal. My brain can only handle so much!

December 20, 2013

Watergate Salad

This is my kids' favorite addition to every holiday meal. My mother used to prepare it, and since she passed, I carry on the tradition.


1 can (20 oz) of crushed pineapple (do not drain)
1 package (3.4 oz) of pistachio pudding mix
1 cup mini-marshmallows
1/2 cup of chopped pecans
3 cups of whipped topping

Mix the first 4 ingredients together, then fold in the whipped topping until thoroughly blended.

Refrigerate 1 hour and serve.

Purchase your copy at: Amazon, B&N, Kobo

Learn more about Liese Sherwood-Fabre at

Plotting Princesses ~ share cake and holiday stories!

Happy Holidays!!

The Plotting Princesses are all about cake. It's quite royal and mass quantities are consumed when we party. We asked Vicki to post her favorite cake recipe.

Chocolate Dipped Fruitcake
Ingredients: one good quality fruitcake, chocolates used for melting and making candy, a sharp knife, wire cooling rack, waxed paper.
Put a sheet of waxed paper under the cooling rack (to catch the dripping chocolate). Cut the fruitcake into bite-sized chunks. Melt the chocolate according to directions. Spoon or dip fruitcake chunks in chocolate. Set on cooling rack to set. Once cooled, store in a tin container or plastic storage bag.
Easy peasy!

The Plotting Princesses love the holidays so much and several of us have holiday stories. Perhaps, one of these will tickle your fancy:

December 19, 2013

Happy Holidays! The Plotting Princesses are all about cake and...

Happy Holidays!!

The Plotting Princesses are all about cake. It's quite royal and mass quantities are consumed when we party. We asked Vicki to post her favorite cake recipe.

Chocolate Dipped Fruitcake
Ingredients: one good quality fruitcake, chocolates used for melting and making candy, a sharp knife, wire cooling rack, waxed paper.

Put a sheet of waxed paper under the cooling rack (to catch the dripping chocolate). Cut the fruitcake into bite-sized chunks. Melt the chocolate according to directions. Spoon or dip fruitcake chunks in chocolate. Set on cooling rack to set. Once cooled, store in a tin container or plastic storage bag.
Easy peasy!

The Plotting Princesses love the holidays so much and several of us have holiday stories. Perhaps, one of these will tickle your fancy:

December 17, 2013

Michelle Miles: Christmas Goodies

I love to bake, especially around Christmas. I like making special treats and then packaging them up and giving them away (much to the dismay of my husband – who loves the treats as much as I do. But hey, if I didn’t give them away, we’d be 300 pounds!). Anyway…this year I decided I was going to be proactive and start baking ahead of time. That way I wouldn’t kill myself the week before Christmas trying to get it all done.

I’d been reading up on how to freeze cookie dough and baked cookies. I had no idea it could be done. But I discovered that most cookie dough can be frozen for up to 3 months before baking. Cookie dough that freezes well: chocolate chip, sugar, peanut butter. I also have this recipe for chocolate crackle cookies. You have to refrigerate the dough for a certain amount of time before baking. I ran out of time that day and ended up freezing the dough. I made the cookies the following weekend then froze the cookies in Ziploc containers. You put wax paper between each layer and it’s wonderful and beautiful.

December 11, 2013

Opening Lines: Hooks, Grabbers, and Zingers – Reader Candy

What’s in a powerful opening line? 

Everything. Tone. Voice. Character. The promise of the story.  Everything.

Example: I only need to repeat the phrase, Call me Ishmael, and you will automatically breathe salty air, feel wet wooden deck beneath your feet, and visualize the irascible Captain Ahab and an illusive whale named Moby Dick. First lines tell us whether we’re sitting down to a fudge brownie sundae, or a lobster slathered in lemon butter.

Like most readers, before I consider buying a book, I peruse the first lines. If the author doesn’t have me at hello, they won’t have me ever.

Here are three of my favorite opening lines:

There was a boy called Eustace Clarence Scrubb, and he almost deserved it.

Bartholomew Lampion was blinded at the age of three, when surgeons reluctantly removed his eyes to save him from a fast-spreading cancer; but although eyeless, Barty regained his sight when he was thirteen.

On the second Thursday of the month, Mrs. Dombrowski brings her dead husband to our therapy group.
– STORYTELLER / Jodi Picoult   #1 bestseller of 2013

Strong first lines really are reader candy. If there is a chocolaty, taste-bud -extravaganza in the first few lines, I’m sold. Why? Because those first lines convince me there will be more deliciousness deep inside the book.

Share your favorite opening lines with us. We'd love to hear.

Here are some yummy first lines from the Plotting Princesses for you to sample:

December 10, 2013

Adele Downs ~ Looking for a new treat to bake? Try Cupcakes with Zing!


--CONTEST ALERT! -- Leave a comment for author Adele Downs and be automatically entered to win a firefighter themed Christmas ornament for the holidays. USA and Canada mailing addresses please. Follow Adele’s blog tour for multiple chances to win. Weekly winners announced on Adele’s blog Saturdays through December. 

Are you looking for a holiday baked goods recipe that’s different from the rest? Jamey Tucker and Heather Longhurst, the hero and heroine of SANTA TO THE RESCUE, decided to kick off the holidays with Margarita Cupcakes for the Appleton Fire Station firefighters. These decidedly untraditional, but delicious, cakes were such a holiday hit that Jamey and Heather decided to make them every year.

You and your family might enjoy these fun confections too. Here’s the recipe, courtesy of Sauza® Tequila. Posted with permission.

December 6, 2013

Donate A Book to the Child of A Fallen Warrior at Snowball Express

Donate a Book to The Children of our Fallen Warriors at SNOWBALL EXPRESS to be delivered on December 14, 2013 in Dallas, Texas! DEADLINE IS FRIDAY DECEMBER 6TH, 6 PM CST!


Tennessee is a miracle kitty who was found in a field by farmers. She wasn't expected to live but the kindness of strangers kept her alive. She was bottle fed and loved by many. This is the true life story of a cat who survived against all odds to become an amazing therapy cat for Veterans and children. Journey along with Tennessee and discover what sharing love is all about!

December 5, 2013

Vicki Batman ~ Launch Day!!! The Great Fruitcake Bake-off

Happy Launch Day!!!
Today, I celebrate the launch of my funny holiday romantic comedy:

The Great Fruitcake Bake-off

 I wrote this one for all of you fruitcake naysayers. I love fruitcake, especially when dipped in chocolate.

Here's a blurb:
To defend her five wins, Samantha Greene, has to find a new entry for The Great Fruitcake Bake-off and teams up with new neighbor, Dixon Roberts, only what they discover is baking a award-winning entry can be complicated, bad guys are plotting to take the crown, and ultimately, first prize isn't just about a ribbon.

Are you teased? Here's more—the excerpt!

December 3, 2013

Die Hard A Christmas Movie?

Die hard.jpgYes, my husband insists that every year we watch Die Hard. This is our annual Christmas movie and while it is rather gruesome, I have to say I still love the message. This man loves his wife and would do just about anything to save her and restore their marriage. Even fight supposed terrorists. So I was surprised to see it’s number 6 on the Rotten Tomatoes Holiday Movie List

My favorite Christmas Movie is the classic Jimmy Stewart, “It’s a Wonderful Life.” The line I will never forget from that movie is “When a bell rings an angel is receiving his wings.” That one grabs my heart and squeezes it every time. Whoever the screenwriter was, he knew just how to grab your emotions and rip them apart. I still tear up when he goes back and sees how the town would have been if he hadn’t lived. Love the concept and one of these days I want to write a modern version of that storyline.

November 30, 2013

Plotting Princesses ~ holiday newsletter issue. Check out great stories, links, and fun!

Our 2013 Plotting Princesses newsletter is packed with all kinds of goodies:
Holiday releases!
New releases!
Street Team information!
Blog Talk Radio!
Great Articles!
with lots of links and information.
Click here:

November 21, 2013

Vicki Batman ~ Shop-a-rama Begins!

Shop-a-rama Begins

Five Weeks! FIVE WEEKS!! Til Christmas.
Let the shopping begin.

Or if you are like me, you shop year round and probably overbuy. Lol. I stash boxes and bags in a secret spot until one day, when I really need to verify what I bought everyone. I sort it into piles, label a shopping bag with a name, and put that person's gifts in the bag until Wrap-a-thon Day.

My secret spot has so much in it already and I've hardly begun. I have a stack of pages from catalogs by my monitor to buy things on line. Online shopping maybe easy, but when there's a stack—I see an hour or two-ish in my future.

November 19, 2013

Michelle Miles on Thanksgiving: The Forgotten Holiday

I love Halloween. But not for the gore and gross stuff. I love it because it’s FUN. Because the decorations are fun and it’s officially FALL in my book.

What I don’t love is that Christmas decorations start to creep into the stores before Halloween is even over. I’m sure you’ve noticed this disturbing reoccurrence. It seems like it gets earlier and earlier every year. For Christmas and then for Valentine’s. There will be chocolate hearts on display by January 2 – you watch.

But I digress. It seems like we jump from Halloween to Christmas. We start the Christmas shopping madness earlier and earlier every year. This year, we get the added bonus of having stores open ON Thanksgiving morning. Before we know it, stores just won’t CLOSE for Thanksgiving.

November 14, 2013

The Scandal of Holiday Creep

The holiday creep is back. No, not that guy who hangs out at my local hardware store and offers to carry my bags for spare change (yes, I’m a softie and I always let him), but the slow push to make the purchasing period for the December holidays of Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanza begin well before the first frost is on the pumpkins, or the hay is in the barn. 

The signs are everywhere: red and green decorations in the local chain stores; advertisements on the television with bright red cars plowing their merry way through the snow; gorgeous magazine layouts with tips for holiday decorating; and stacks and stacks of catalogues jamming my mailbox. And just last week, while empty candy wrappers from Halloween were still blowing across the lawn, the neighbors had a professional company come install their Christmas lights. Me? I haven’t even ordered a Thanksgiving turkey! 

My first reaction to this year’s holiday creep as a mom and harried head of household, was the frostiest of cold shoulders—I’ll get to the holidays when I get to them, and not a minute sooner, thank you very much! I will not be made to feel guilty because I am not out on a buying or decorating spree, instead of sitting at my desk writing the books my readers count on. 

But then I had a terrible revelation—I’m part of the problem! I have a Christmas e-novella, THE SCANDAL BEFORE CHRISTMAS, which became available in mid-October. 

November 12, 2013


Do you have a Notorious Aunt?

This week I am launching my award-wining Regency romantic comedy as an eBook. LADY FIASCO was voted best Traditional Regency by the cataromance readers, and won 2nd place in the prestigious Molly. It’s book one in the series, My Notorious Aunt.

It about and unusual heroine. Fiona Hawthorn grew up running free. Without a mother to restrain her, she spent her days riding her horse neck or nothing across her father’s fields and swimming like a sea nymph. But in a sitting room she’s bound to overturn the teapot or accidentally trip the footman. Her notorious Aunt Honore decides to takes the hoyden in hand, but amidst the strictures of society, Fiona is a fish out of water.

When she was younger, Lord Wesmont was her hero. But he came home from fighting Napoleon a hardened man. Nothing can breathe life back into his cold heart, nothing except, perhaps, the love of an unusual young woman who regularly turns his life upside-down. Can a lady with a reputation for disaster, stumble into love?

November 7, 2013

Karilyn and the Flat Tire by Karilyn Bentley

 #car problems #flat tire

I've got to admit I'm recycling this story. It's a couple of years old but still cracks me up. Hope you enjoy!!!

Growing up my dad owned an auto salvage with his dad and brother. I used to spend summer days out there learning all sorts of things. Mainly my twin cousin and I would take the Green Machine - a Pinto minus the hatchback, the hood and the doors - and drive it up and down the rows in between wrecked cars. Our fathers, who were supposed to be watching our 12-year-old selves, thought this would be a safe activity, considering we couldn't really damage the GM and the rest of the cars were already wrecked. The GM didn't go very fast and supposedly taught us how to drive (if you ever saw Cousin drive, you'd think twice about this assessment).

Little did they know what we did with it.

At the time, Dukes of Hazzard was a really big show (I've dated myself, haven't I???). Not the cheesy movie either, but the real Mccoy, with Bo and Luke Duke. Hoo-wee. Gotta go get my fan. Okay, I'm back. Anyhoo, since the Dukes could leap into a traveling car, Cousin and I figured we could too. So one of us would hop behind the wheel of the GM, gun the puny engine until it whined in protest and the other one would run as fast as her legs could carry her and leap, mostly gracefully, into the car. The driver would then tell the other how fast she could run.

Lots of good old-fashioned fun.

November 5, 2013

Is Black Friday Out of Control?

It’s November, and already the black Friday buildup has begun.  Amazon is advertising Countdown to Black Friday deals. I signed up for an ad from Book Blast for their Holiday advertising. Put your tennis shoes on and be prepared for the holiday races to begin. 

Our family is small, and we have to travel to San Angelo to spend Thanksgiving with my parents who live about thirty miles out of town. There are main roads into town, but at night or early in the morning you have to watch for deer. In the past, on two separate occasions, my parents have hit deer crossing the road at night, which does considerable damage to your car. When we drive out to their place, my husband, and I are always watching for those rascally deer who run right in front of you. Once we’re there for Thanksgiving, we usually don’t go anywhere in town until it’s daylight.

Plus, I find it very hard to get up at three in the morning and go shopping just so that I can get some great deals. I’m snuggled up under the covers, dreaming of Ryan Gosling and how I can persuade him to appear on my next book cover. But a lot of people enjoy this early morning shopping spree. I know women who pour over the sales ads and plan their shopping excursion.

November 2, 2013

#PlottingPrincesses ~ 2013 Holiday Newsletter issue is packed with goodies

Our 2013 Plotting Princesses newsletter is packed with all kinds of goodies:
Holiday releases!
New releases!
Street Team information!
Blog Talk Radio!
Great Articles!
with lots of links and information.
Click here:

October 31, 2013

Halloween History

Halloween, A History Snippet
by Phyllis Middleton

I thought about what to write today. Costumes? Parties? Treat…yum?  Once I started researching Halloween, I decided to pass along some of the bits of interesting history the internet was able to provide.

Straddling the line between fall and winter, plenty and paucity, life and death, Halloween is a time of celebration and superstition. It is thought to have originated with the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, which is seen as 'autumn's end' and the beginning of winter. Samhain is pronounced (depending on where you're from) as 'sow-in' (in Ireland), or 'sow-een' (in Wales), or 'sav-en' (in Scotland), or (inevitably) 'sam-hane' (in the U.S., where we don't speak Gaelic). During this festival, people would light bonfires and wear costumes to ward off roaming ghosts.

October 29, 2013

Do You Believe in #Ghosts? by Karilyn Bentley

#ghosts #Halloween
(Image courtesy of digitalart/

Tis the season for spookiness and things that go bump in the dark. I don't know about you but I love fall. Here in Texas, it usually doesn't get very cold this time of year, but it does cool down into the 70s, which makes for great trick or treating weather. And seeing all the Halloween decorations around my neighborhood makes me think of the more spooky side of the holiday.

Yep, I'm talking about ghosts. Do you believe in them? I do. Maybe not the way they're portrayed in the movies, but I do have a healthy belief in otherworldly spirits. Perhaps that's because as a child I used to be able to see the occasional ghost or feel their spirits haunting certain houses. But my favorite ghost story really isn't mine, it happened to a colleague.

October 24, 2013

#Plotting Princesses welcome E E Burke who's romancing the railroads

Today, we welcome guest author E.E. Burke, who writes sexy, suspenseful historical romance set in the American West. Her writing has earned accolades in regional and national contests, including RWA’s Golden Heart. She recently released Her Bodyguard, the latest book in the series Steam! Romance and Rails. 

Steam! Romancing the railroads…

Something about railroads calls to my romantic nature. Maybe it’s the passion and excitement of a long-ago era when America expanded its boundaries as fast as men could lay track. I wanted to give readers a glimpse into that exciting time period, and that’s how the idea came about for the series Steam! Romance and Rails.

Both books in this series are set against an actual construction race between two railroads with long names that were dubbed “The Katy” and “The Border Tier.” Passion’s Prize focuses on The Katy’s story. Her Bodyguard follows the troubled Border Tier and a woman embroiled in a bitter war between the railroad and rioting settlers. 

October 22, 2013

Prepping for the Holidays!!!

Fall is in the air – that lovely little nip at your nose and toes. The way the air swirls in your lungs, colder than normal and invigorating. I love fall and the promise of the coming holidays--holidays and meals and parties. Since my house is frequently hosting said meals, I thought I’d share two of my absolute favorite holiday staples.

One is Sweet… and so loved that it inspired one super sexy scene in my holiday romance Hollywood Holiday!

Gingerbread Men Cookies1 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup shortening
1 ½ cups dark molasses
2/3 cup water
6 cups Gold Medal flour
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground allspice
1 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp ground cinnamon

You can (my mother has) burn up your mixer with this, so please:
Mix brown sugar, shortening, water & molasses together. STIR in remaining ingredients. Refrigerate at least 2 hours.

October 17, 2013

Vicki Batman ~ Fall is in the air! Michelle Miles isn't the only crafty girl out there. lol

Fall is in the air!

Michelle Miles may be a crafting genius with her pumpkins; however, I am crafty sometimes, too.  I'd gone to the grocery store and thought I'd peruse the Halloween/Fall aisle cause—you never know. And lo and behold, something did catch my eye: a candy carrier. Since the boys are grown, I don't need candy sitting around because I'd buy chocolate (tried the caramel Milky Way yet??), and I'm like most red-blooded girls, I'll eat every freakin' piece so it isn't wasted.

For this door decoration, all I did was loop ribbon over the handle to hang from a tack on the top of my door. I tied a festive wire ribbon into a simple bow with florist wire, then wired it onto the handle of the candy carrier. Here's Ethel:

October 15, 2013

Michelle Miles: Getting Crafty for Fall

Fall is my all-time favorite season. And it’s a very short season here in Texas. You blink, you miss it. But there’s something wonderful about the season. It’s when the weather starts to change. We get a little rain and cooler temps. Well, sometimes. It’s still been hot here and by hot I mean 80+ degrees. THIS is unacceptable fall weather in my opinion.

But when the calendar hits October 1, I’m all about getting the fall decorations out. I confess I started a little early this year. I couldn’t help it. I got these super cool blinking eyes that go in the window. See, I like “cute” and “fun” Halloween decorations. Not gory and gross. We’re the house that the little kids love to come to because it’s cute and fun. I put out the fog machine, too, to give it some ambiance. This year we’re trying to figure out how to get more fog.

Anyway… I have lots of fall décor. We buy new stuff every year to add to the collection. I LOVE decorating with these fall colors. This year, I decided I wasn’t going to carve any pumpkins – first time in about six years. Instead, I bought fake ones to decorate. And I had a great time doing it, too!

Check out this chevron pumpkin I made:

October 10, 2013


It's been a while since the Princesses shared our current books with you. So here you go, in one handy, dandy, all-in-one list: The current releases for several of the Plotting Princesses. Included is a short blurb about the story, the cover and (of course) links to buy the books!


The Reluctant Santa by Sylvia McDaniel

Blurb: Since his mother abandoned him on Christmas Eve never to return, Colin McDermott has hated Christmas and sworn never to have children. But this year two angels are giving him everything he didn't want. A Santa suit, a child and a chance at love again. This is his last chance to learn the true meaning of Christmas.

Buy Link: Amazon

Losing Cassie (Destiny's Desire Series #2) by Kathy Ivan

Blurb: Welcome to Destiny's Desire Lodge, where The Fates can manipulate the threads of life at their whim and the Fate-Keeper battles to unite the predestined souls of true love.

Firefighter Jake Stone lost the love of his life when his high school sweetheart disappeared. The arrival of a mysterious letter promising answers draws Jake to Destiny's Desire.

Cassie Daniels has been running for seven long years. At Destiny's Desire she might finally have a chance for a happy future, if she can face the evil from her past.

When Fate and Destiny collide . . . can Love survive?

Buy Links:
B & N

October 8, 2013

Christina Tetreault: Where do Ideas Come From?

Where do I get the ideas for my stories? 

Now there's a question with no single answer.
Ideas for my stories come from any number of places.  Sometimes, I draw from places and events in my own life.  In fact, I made the Sherbrookes, the wealthy family featured in my series, from Newport because I got married in one of the grand mansions down there and always wondered about the people who originally built them. 
Another example of when I pulled from my own life can be seen in book 3, The Billionaire Princess. When I started that book, I had just returned from a trip to Virginia Beach with my husband. Then I decided that I wanted Sara and Christopher to go on a camping trip, and since Virginia Beach was so fresh in my mind it made sense to send them there. 

Other times, I get ideas from pictures.  While writing book 4, The Billionaire's Best Friend, I found a picture of a male fitness model that fit the way I pictured the hero, Nate Callahan.  Since the model had a tattoo, I just had to give Nate one too. 

October 3, 2013

Elizabeth Essex: Buns and Roses Literary Tea

Buns and Roses
Literary Tea for Literacy

After a long summer spent with my nose to the writing grindstone, I’m ready for a little fun. And a little hat wearing. 

This Sunday will mark the third year that I have participated in a local charity event known as Buns & Roses Tea to benefit the Richardson Adult Literacy Center. Literacy is a cause that is near and dear to most writers’ hearts—without a literate population, we have no readers. This years Buns & Roses will feature 25 authors, it is a wonderful afternoon full of fun, meeting readers and making new friends. And I’ll have my own fan-girl moment—this year's acclaimed historical romance author, Cathy Maxwell, will deliver the keynote address. 

October 1, 2013

Why Can’t We All Just Get Along: Readers versus Writers

There has been so much discussion lately about readers trashing writers that I wanted to take today to jump in and say how much I appreciate my readers. Without you, I would still be writing, but there would be no one who relates to my point of view. No one who enjoyed my characters and my story. I need you.
Let’s face it, a writer can’t help but put a big chunk of herself in a novel. I have received some of the nicest reviews and yes, they affect me emotionally. I’ve had readers make me feel wonderful with tears of joy and occasionally comments that left me frustrated.

As a writer, I want to spend my time focusing on the next story, not on whether or not the book was formatted correctly or even whether or not all the commas are in the right spots. (I hate commas, I truly do.) I’m interested in getting the movie that is playing in my head down on the page. I pay people to format the book correctly, and I pay a free-lance editor to make certain all those pesky commas land in the right spot.
When Amazon sends me a notice saying someone said there is an error on page 1374, I take it seriously. I make the changes and upload the book again. But there is a small part of me that wonders…did you do this when it was a New York Publisher?

September 26, 2013

Top 10 Blogging Questions for YOU

Hello, again, everyone.

Last time I blogged, I questioned whether blogging was on life support. You all responded with a resounding NO! I also told you what I like to see when I'm reading the blogs I personally follow, but I'd like to find out what YOU want to see when you're reading a blog.

What are you looking for? Here are my top 10 questions just for you.

1. Do you prefer more info on writing and craft-related topics or do you tend more toward reader-related stuff like posts on our dogs, vacations, wedding anniversaries, etc.

2. Do you prefer group blogs or are you looking more for individual blog site?

3. Do you follow blogs by your personal favorite authors or is most of your blog reading outside of the author/writer sphere and into other areas of interest?

4. How often do you like to see a blog published? Once a week? Twice a week? Every day?

5. Do you like to see authors post excerpts and/or upcoming scenes from their books? Do you like seeing a separate post whenever a new book is released?

6. Do you prefer an interactive blog where we do things like round robin writing where you as the reader get to participate or would you rather read what others have written?

7. How long do you think a blog post should be? 250 words? 500 word? 1000 words?

8. Do you like blogs to hold contests/giveaways (i.e. copies of books/e-books or gift cards—I'm not talking about huge prizes here those are usually handled outside the regular scope of blogging)?

9. Do you like having guest authors visit and answer questions about their books and where to get but or do you just skip over it when you see a guest author posting?

10. Finally and here's the big one: What would you like to see on the Plotting Princesses blog that we're not currently doing.

Here's you chance. Tell us what we can do to help make the site better, improve the content and keep you coming back every Tuesday and Thursday to spend your time with us. Let me know in the comment section.

Kathy Ivan writes hot sexy romances with lots of suspense and a dash of paranormal. She currently lives in Texas, where she'll do just about anything to avoid the heat. She's currently deep in her writing cave, plotting her next suspense-filled adventure. Her latest book, Losing Cassie, is available now.

September 24, 2013

Chris Keniston ~ Road to a Book

Road to a Book

I remember the frustration at reading another bestselling author tell the story of inseparable childhood friends who drifted apart through the years and reunited after some personal crisis.  As a woman who has maintained friendships with her best friends from school through the decades and across the states, I felt cheated.

So, fingers at the keyboard, I decided to write a book about women whose friendship withstood time and distance.  Since I am a total pantser (an author who writes by the seat of her pants), all I knew at this point was that I had to have:  at least three friends, a problem, a handsome hero, and a solution that will take 100,000 words to find!  Oof I typed!

And typed.

The fun thing about being a pantser is I'm as anxious to finish a book as my readers because I don't know how things will end until I get there. After months of typing, the input of many a critique partner, beta reader, advisor, editor, and even the occasional bark of approval from my four legged supporters, a book was born.

First title. All for One.  Seemed fitting to follow the Three Musketeers, plus one.  And the book finaled and won contests under that name. But alas, those in the know insisted the title was too boring. So we moved on to the second title: When the Bough Breaks. Seemed fitting to have a lullaby verse. With that title the book finaled in the prestigious Golden Heart contest.  But alas, those in the know insisted it was still not right. Sigh.

Finally, I turned to my Plotting Princess friends. After all, the book is about friendship, support, and happily ever after. And the third and final title: The Champagne Sisterhood. (Tthank you, Liese.)

September 19, 2013

@VickiBatman ~ Does Music and Memories go Hand in Hand?

~And I Love Her~

Music and memories go hand in hand. The other day, I clicked on an easy-listening iTunes playlist I'd created, and the Beatles' song, And I Love Her, came up.

Once upon a time, I was a young single chick and was intrigued by several guys. I went on a casual night out with a friend I had stirrings of feelings for. I think he did too, but was afraid to act on them.

So we went to a show, and afterwards, we drove around town with the windows down. I pushed my long hair out of my eyes and let the moment take me away. At the end of the evening, this song came on. He turned to me and sang the whole thing. I part of me wanted to believe this meant more than just singing a song. But I'll never know. He didn't kiss me good night or utter another word. He dropped me off and drove away.

Not long after, I met another who chased me until he caught me. He couldn't and can't sing well, but he tries. LOL

Obviously, this was a strong memory because I remember it blanket-blank years later. And hearing the song makes me wonder whatever happened to that boy and a bit wonders what might have been.

Do you have a song that holds special memories for you?

Vicki Batman has had too much diet Coke today and switched to water while reminiscing over old tunes. Find her at: OR at Find her funny short story collection, Little Birdie Who…and Other Stories at: Amazon -

September 17, 2013

Michelle Miles: The Slobs of America & Haute Obscure

I was watching a CBS Sunday Morning episode a few weeks ago and they had a spot about how America has turned into a bunch of slobs. I admit I was riveted to the piece because I couldn’t agree more. When did it become okay to wear pajamas and slippers to the grocery store? Or ripped up jeans?
And, along the same lines, there was a photo posted on Facebook of a woman wearing jeans that looked like they’d gone through a paper shredder. I think the comment was something along the lines of how silly she looked and how “fashion went wrong.” The woman also wore one of those tank tops with her bra straps hanging out.
This is a pet peeve of mine. I detest seeing women or girls running around in public with their bras and bra straps showing. This is not a peep show, ladies. It’s not sexy or cute. Please cover up.
And I dislike short-shorts, too. For the very obvious reasons that your butt cheeks hanging out is also NOT CUTE.
And PJs at the store? Come on.
There’s a college course at Notre Dame taught by professor of history and master dressmaker, Linda Przybyszewski, called “Nation of Slobs: The Art, Ethics and Economics of Dress in Modern America.”
The professor is quite passionate about teaching the proper form of dress and is very quietly trying to remove the slobs of America. I applaud her. I applaud that she makes every stitch of clothing she wears and that she uses vintage 1940s and 1950s patterns to do it.

I would totally take this class. I would love to see all her vintage patterns.

September 12, 2013

Social Media by Karilyn Bentley

#writing #social media

I love this sign! And what does it have to do with my blog today? Um, nothing much, but it cracks me up and is so true. Rather reminds me of a product I used to use, a shower cleaner where a bottle of cleaner went in a battery-powered holder. Push a button and voila, spray comes out and cleans your shower. Since this meant less work for me, I bought one as soon as it came out. Pretty soon I started noticing a warning on the bottle: This is not a body wash. Nah, REALLY? Can you picture that? Someone jumping in the shower, pushing the button and thinking the chemical cleaner would clean their body? Cracks me up. And what about the Do Not Use In Shower tags on hairdryers? Didn't we learn that electricity + water = very bad in Kindergarten?? Stupidity knows no limits.

Anyway, on to my take on social media. Does it help? Of course it does. Can you find readers in social media land? Sure you can. But this blog is for those of us who get shivers when we think of getting out there and marketing and promoting. Now, I know I'm not the only author out there that has to suck it up and promote even though I'd rather be reading or writing or even hand scrubbing the shower. Lots of other things to do besides try to come up with ideas for social media. And there are plenty of blogs, etc. about what to share/write about in online digital land.

September 10, 2013

Linda Steinberg: Why I Joined the Revolution


There’s a revolution going on in the publishing world. In just a few short years, e-book sales, especially in the romance genre, have climbed to almost fifty percent of the market. Brick and mortar book stores are closing, and those remaining are limiting their book shelf space. And authors are proudly publishing their own books.

When I first started writing, self-publishing was called ‘vanity’ publishing. If a writer was desperate enough to see her name on a book cover, she (or he) could pay to have their book printed, and sell it out of the trunk of their car. But these writers were not considered ‘real’ authors. A ‘serious’ writer waited months, years, to hear back from some New York publishing house hoping to win the brass ring—a publishing contract.

I was one of those few. I sold the first book I ever submitted to the first house I sent it to. Lucky? Absolutely. Sure, I had a good book. But I was also in the right place at the right time. A new line was opening, and I just happened to have a book that fit it.

September 5, 2013

#PlottingPrincesses welcome author Jaye Garland who takes us to THE 25TH HOUR

The Plotting Princesses welcome special guest,
Jaye Garland, for an author interview today.
Take it away, Jaye!

How did you get from your day job to writing romance?   The writing bug hit me when I was a young, stay-at-home-mom, but it didn’t take long to realize I had a lot to learn about getting the story that was in my head down on paper in such a manner that it made sense to the reader. Time passed. The kiddos grew up and one day the Hubster and I found ourselves living in Saudi Arabia. (Houston area is home, and he’s in the oil business.) I turned my time overseas into my very own graduate program on writing. We didn’t have Internet access the first four years, so those How-To books were my lifeline. When we repatriated, I came home with about 12 manuscripts in various stages of completion—and one full manuscript. Then, it was back to the day job. So, I kind of did things in reverse.  

What are your three favorite books of all time? Without getting preachy, The Bible is a solid foundation for a good lifestyle. And, the stories are phenomenal.  The novel that got me hooked on Romance is The Flame and the Flower by Kathleen E. Woodiwiss. You know it’s a good book if you get to read it free, and then go out to buy your own copy. I just finished the ARC for Susan C. Muller’s The Witch on Twisted Oak-- “Could-Not-Put-It-Down.”

Morning, afternoon, or evening person? When left to function on my own schedule [no day job, kids, etc.], I tend to get seriously involved in my personal projects [writing and all that’s related to it] mid-afternoon, and have been known to stay up till 3-4 AM.

Music--with or without? What kind? When I’m cleaning house, I want music--the sound tracks of Quigley Down Under, Medicine Man, and The Last of the Mohicans. When I’m writing, I need vast quantities of solitude.

First or third POV? Third, for both reading and writing. I like the full range of perspective from both the hero and heroine.