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May 30, 2013

Interview With a Cowboy

Hi everyone. Since I’m just a writer and let’s face it, books are almost always more interesting than my life, I brought along a Texas cowboy, Dylan McKeon, to chat with you today.  Dylan is the sexy hero in Rocking Horse Cowboys.  I’ll start out and ask him a few questions to make him feel comfortable, or not.  Then  we'll open it up for everyone to jump in and ask him a few of their own.

Hi Dylan and welcome to The Plotting Princesses.  We’re happy you could join us today.  Feel free to put your cowboy hat on that table and relax.  Don't let all us ladies intimidate you.  I must say, your cover is getting oodles of positive attention these days.
Dylan:  Really?

Me:  Seems there’s just something about you Texas cowboys.

Dylan:  You got me on that one. Pretty routine life.

Me:  So, let’s get started.  When you were a child, what did you want to be?

Dylan:  A cowboy like my dad. Then by the time I reached high school, anything but.

Me:  Didn’t want to be a cowboy or didn’t want to be like your dad?

Dylan:  Neither.

Me:  Okay...and now?

Dylan:  I’ve tried pretty much everything else. Ranching’s a living. It’s what I do.

May 28, 2013


I hope everybody had a wonderful holiday weekend and spent a little extra quality time with family and friends. Memorial Day is the official start of the summer season and I thought what better way to start off the Princesses summer blog than with a little writing exercise. LOL
So, let’s all put on our creative writing hats and do a bit of writing today. I’ll start you off with a few sentences, just to get the ball rolling.

May 23, 2013

PP Guest: Amazing, award-winning author, CARA MARSI & Franco's Fortune

The PPs welcome one of Vicki's TRUE friends today. She's an amazing award-winning author and loves to write short fiction-CARA MARSI!!!

How did you get from your day job to writing romance?  I fled my fabric-covered cage a few times, but they found me and brought me back. It wasn’t easy, but I finally managed to escape the corporate world for good. I wrote for years while working fulltime. Reading and writing romance fed my soul and kept me sane.

What are your three favorite books of all time? Green Darkness by Anya Seton; A Knight in Shining Armor by Jude Deveraux (Vicki's too!!!); Captains and the Kings by Taylor Caldwell.

Morning, afternoon, or evening person? Afternoon. I pretty much stumble around in a daze in the morning until I’ve had a few cups of coffee. Then I exercise, do email and promos, and finally in the afternoon my mind is sufficiently free to allow my imagination to take hold and I write.

Music--with or without? What kind? Without. I don’t like distractions. However, my Australian cousin Luciana’s partner Michael is an international tenor, and he made me a CD of him singing opera. When I’m stuck on a scene I like to listen to Michael.

First or third POV? Mostly third, but I enjoy writing first person also. I’ve published around a dozen short stories in the confession magazines, all in first person.

May 16, 2013

Vicki Batman on: Indy has it right-I Hate Snakes

Indy has it right-I hate snakes

On my way home from the craft store, I drove past the apartment complex I lived in with my BFF when we were free and single gals. The complex has been torn down and a huger new one is going up. Seeing the spot brought back a memory.

Once upon a time, we used to have a big parties and invite everyone we knew. Sometimes, the only place to stand was on the fireplace hearth. One year, her co-worker's boyfriend showed with a boa constrictor dangling over his shoulders.

The reptile was not invited.

I suggested he stay out by the pool with his "buddy" for the party. He did.

But that got me to thinking about other close encounters of the slinky kind.

May 14, 2013

The Wanted Bride

What if you found out five minutes before you were to walk down the aisle, that your best-friend is pregnant by your fiancĂ©? Everyone is seated in the church, the music is playing and then your best friend turns to you and says, she’s pregnant. What would you do?
In my new book, The Wanted Bride, Valerie Burrows runs out the door jumps into the fiancĂ©’s vintage Corvette to escape. Except the car breaks down in downtown Dallas.  I won’t tell you how Valerie reacts, but there is a reason this book is called The Wanted Bride.  It’s what everyone feels like doing on a really bad day, but doesn’t. Except Valerie has reached the end of her limits and she gets her revenge.
If you like sassy heroines and tales of women who change, then you’ll enjoy The Wanted Bride.  Here’s an excerpt.

May 9, 2013

Honoring Mothers Around the World
Liese Sherwood-Fabre
While living in Mexico, I stopped at a store one morning on the way to work. At the check-out counter, the clerk asked me if I were a mother and then wished me a happy Mother’s Day when I told her I was. Taken aback, I thanked her and went on to the embassy. Sharing the incident with a colleague, I realized how the celebration differed from that in the US. In Mexico and some other Latin American countries, the date for celebrating motherhood doesn’t change. It is always May 10 and can fall on any day of the week—unlike in the US where it is always on a Sunday. Outside of church, the chance of non-family members in the US acknowledging your role as a mother is much lower.

When we moved to Russia, I learned about International Women’s Day—celebrated on March 8. This is Mother’s Day and Valentine’s Day all rolled into one. In our office, the men took up a collection and gave all the women flowers. My husband’s company lined up all the women, and the department heads congratulated each woman individually. Outside of work, restaurants were crowded with patrons and flower stalls sold out.

Regardless of the country, almost all recognize and honor the importance of mothers and women to the family and society, and although awkward at first, I’m now appreciative of the support those outside my family have shown.

So to mothers everywhere—whether you celebrate on May 10, March 8, May 12, or some other date—I wish you a happy day and thank you for all you do for your families!

What about you? When or how will you honor the mothers in your life?

Leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of  my debut novel Saving Hope, describing one mother’s efforts to save her child.  You can read more about this book at Musa Publishing.

May 8, 2013

Princess Lipperman: Seeing Ghosts

Today is the official release date for HEARD IT THROUGH THE GRAPEVINE, the first book in my new series from Midnight Ink titled A Dead Sister Talking Mystery. I thought it was the perfect segue into talking about ghosts and supernatural things that have happened  to us. First, I'll give you the blurb so you can get a feel for the story.

Sisters Tessa and Lainey Garcia weren’t on speaking terms. But now that Tessa’s dead, her wisecracking ghost is making up for lost time.
Lainey Garcia left Texas nine years ago after her sister Tessa married the only man Lainey ever loved. So when Tessa’s house explodes, the last thing anyone expects is for her to appear to Lainey . . . as a ghost.
Formerly a part owner of the biggest vineyard in the region, Tessa’s got the goods on every fake, floozy, and two-faced liar in town. But Tessa doesn’t know who killed her, and she asks the remaining Garcia girls to uncover the truth. Setting out to fulfill their sassy sibling’s wish from beyond the grave, the sisters discover a mile-wide list of suspects who wanted Tessa dead. Learning the hard way that killers don’t like snoops, Lainey fears she’ll be the next Garcia sent to the big vineyard in the sky.

May 7, 2013

Report From RT13

This past week I attended my first Romantic Times convention in Kansas City with my fellow Princess Sylvia McDaniel. RT has always been billed as a readers convention, where avid fans of romance can meet the authors whose work they love, but in recent years the con has added a craft track for writers as well. 

All in all, I had a wonderful time. I found the vibe at RT to be playful and exuberant. There were parties and games and all sorts of give-aways. There were dress-up parties of every sort, from the Western Saloon Girl party I co-hosted with a fabulous group of historical writers, to Steampunk and Regency Soirees, and a Vampire Ball. Writers and readers wore a variety of costumes throughout the week, competing for prizes for the most elaborate and convincing get-ups. 

Despite all the cos-play, I did manage to learn a thing or two professionally. As a whole continues to be a dynamic, rapidly changing industry, and that no one approach (traditional NY publisher, independent small publisher, digital publisher or self-publishing) is best, nor desirable. The authors who seemed the most content and confident, were those who are publishing their works across all formats (trad and self), at a variety of price points, and in a variety of lengths (collections of stories, novellas & novels). 

There were some genres that are ‘hot’ (hello “New Adult!) and some genres rumored to be losing steam (Urban Fantasy and especially Historical always seems to be rumored to be ‘dead’ when the NYT and Amazon lists clearly show both are alive and well.)


But the greatest common denominator is that those authors who are the most successful, across a variety of publishing formats, are those writers who are passionate about their genres, and deliver GREAT stories to readers. 

For me personally, the highlight of the week was the huge author signing that took pace on Saturday. There were hundreds of authors, thousands of readers and hundreds of thousands of books! I sold books to readers who had never heard of me, and I sold books to readers who had loved my previous books, and I even managed to sell a book to a reader who took the time to find me, and tell me that she didn’t like one of my books! (She didn’t like that she had to “wait until France for them to have sex” in Almost A Scandal) But the loveliest moment was when I had the honor of signing a copy of my debut novel, The Pursuit of Pleasure that an avid reader brought from home with her.  

The best ‘takeaway’ from the conference is that I made new friends (just like we were supposed to do when our moms sent us off to school at the beginning of each school year). I made new friends who are authors, I made new friends who are readers. I connected with both authors and readers who are my friends on Facebook. I reconnected with old friends I only get to see once or twice a year and deepened those friendships.  

All that socializing may seem like a frivolous waste of conference time, but writing and publishing can be a fraught, soul-crushing business, and the people who are going to see us through it are our fellow authors. Gather your friendships close and cherish them. And then form a group like the Plotting Princesses. :)



May 2, 2013

PP Blog: welcomes L B Joramo & The Immortal American. Intrigued?

The PP is sharing a tiara with L B Joramo, author of The Immortal American.
Intrigued? We are. Let's get to know her.
How did you get from your day job to writing romance?  Well, technically I don’t write romance. But I have two pseudonyms that say otherwise. Sshh! Don’t tell. As for me, L. B. Joramo, I write historical fiction with strong elements of romance and paranormal activity.

I’ve been making books since I was six. I glued together some construction paper with my crayoned stories and that was my first book. I couldn’t stop there! So I’ve been writing ever since. When I went to college though I didn’t go for the obvious English or Literary degree. Instead, I got a degree in sociology. I love studying people, and sociology was the best way I could discover all their niches. I kept writing my stories through all of that. It was after I applied to graduate school that I was allowed to read my philosophy professor’s letter of recommendation. He wrote that, yes, I’d make a fine graduate student, but he hoped I would become a writer one day. Then it hit me how many of my professors and teachers over the years had tried to support my writing. I don’t know why it took me so long to see that. Up until then I knew I wanted to write, but to call myself a writer . . . I really didn’t know if I was that brave or not.  After I had my son, I knew I had to be. If not for myself, then for him. I had to show him that people really could pursue their dreams. I slaved over the craft of writing for years. I took classes, read books, got critique buddies, went to workshops—you name it, if I could afford it or had the time, I would do it. I don’t think I really slept for a few years there. I would work, be a mom, all the while trying to write really well. I had always entered contests, but after a couple years, I started to win them. I had always tried to query agents, and it was about that time that they started getting more interested in me. When a publisher wrote me an email saying he thought I had massive potential and that he’d like to publish me it was too surreal. It also happened to be the day or two days after my mother had died, so it was an odd time too. How I wanted to call her to finally tell her the news. I still do.

I haven’t quit gotten away from my day job yet, but my published life has just gotten underway. Wish me luck to fulfill the dream of making enough money with my writing to quit my day job!