Search This Blog

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?