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February 27, 2014

Bunnies and Plot Trails - By Kathy Ivan

I'm sorry.  Today's my day to blog and I totally spaced on the date.  So, since I didn't have anything ready, I've pulled an older blog post that I did for another blog and I'm going to post it here today.  It still applies to the way I think, so I hope you'll get something out of  it.


When I set out to write this blog, I stood at my back patio doors looking outside at my yard.  Within moments I noticed movement under the bushes along the fence line.  In our neighborhood, even though I live in a large city, we still tend to get several different "critters".  Some I don't mind seeing in the yard, some I mind quite a bit.  This morning, though, was one of the happier sightings.  Coming out of the bushes was a cute little brown and white bunny.  There have been several wild rabbits spotted on our street, so the sight of this one wasn't a big surprise.  Seeing a second bunny come hopping out behind the first, though, that was a bit more unusual.  So standing there with my first cup of coffee in hand, I eased the curtain aside and watched. 

February 25, 2014

Phyllis Middleton: Creative Multi-Tasking

There are several Plotting Princesses who love doing crafts and I am one of them. I don’t do them all the time, but when I get started on a new project, I keep going to for a while until I've made family and friends new little trinkets or something to wear. 

 For years, I've made jewelry.

 I so enjoy seed bead weaving.

 Lately, I've discovered Loom Knitting. Me! Knitting on a loom! I’ve always been able to crochet and make pretty things, but I packed those needles and yarn away for more than twenty years.  Then the new scarf craze hit and I crocheted a number of ruffle scarves. Those were my Christmas gifts for family and friends.  But let’s get real…there are only so many scarves I can do. 

February 21, 2014

Vicki Batman ~ Plotting Princesses' royal news

Royal News Forthcoming!
For the latest and greatest decrees from the PP gals, here's our February newsletter
(info about the Cupid Comes Calling Blogtacular, too):

February 20, 2014

What do Readers Want?

Weekend before last I spent in San Francisco with some of the biggest names in romance talking about how to increase our presence on Amazon and reach more readers. This conference was small, personal and so unique. It’s not often you can ask Belle Andre or Tina Folsom or Sara Fawkes about their success.  Not to forget Nina Lane, Delilah Fawkes, Courtney Milan, Cynthia Woolf and several other Best-selling authors that attended.
We spent the weekend discussing metadata, keywords, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Street Teams and all the other details that help sell our books. As we sat there, I couldn’t help but wonder if we shouldn’t be asking questions of our readers.
So I would like you to take the following unscientific, totally random for my own purposes survey. It’s only five questions, with a bonus round and someone (randomly drawn number), who answers will receive a free book just because they participated. The results will be tallied and shared with other authors.

February 18, 2014

Something to Entertain You

Today is my day to blog here at the PP and I've been trying to come up with a topic. First I was going to tell you about my weekend, but it was really boring.

And then I was going to tell you about the checker we had at the grocery store this weekend who was UBER annoying and shouted out things about the items we bought. (We were not amused.)

Since I've had neck and shoulder pain for the last few days, I'm not feeling so very creative. So...

I finally settled on a topic. Today, I shall introduce to you My Drunk Kitchen. It's wildly inappropriate and hilarious and I literally laugh out loud.

What to learn how to make pancakes? She'll show you how!


February 15, 2014


THANK YOU EVERYONE WHO PARTICIPATED AND LEFT COMMENTS. This blogtacular was so much fun! I enjoyed reading all the wonderful stories of how people met their true loves, and I loved hearing from readers about their experiences too!

February 14, 2014

Cupid Comes Calling: Favorite Romantic Era

Happy Valentine’s Day! Welcome to the final day of the Plotting Princess Valentine’s Day blog. I hope you’ve had fun reading all the romantic tales and commenting to get your name in the drawing for that $200 Visa gift card!

WWII is a wonderfully romantic era for me, perhaps because as it ended my parents met and fell in love.
It all started in a small town south of Dallas, when the Yates family rented a house down the road from the Hunts, my mom’s family. Often, they would drop by the Hunt farm and visit. I don’t know for sure, but my theory is that those visits became more frequent once they got a taste of my grandmother’s homemade biscuits, pies and cakes. Anyway, at the beginning of the war, my mom, Syble Hunt, was still in school and the youngest Yates son, Bobby, developed a boyhood crush on her. Bobby would save her a seat on the school bus each day. He kept telling Syble that she should meet Duane, his oldest brother who was a tail gunner on a B-17. Bobby was a sweet kid, but she didn’t pay much attention.

February 13, 2014

Karilyn Bentley: Cupid Comes Calling - Blind Date

By the time I hit grad school in my mid-twenties, I was single and tired of dating jerks. One morning I woke and decided enough was enough and there was nothing wrong with living the rest of my life by myself. I had friends, why did I need a man?

And that's when Cupid struck.

After an hour of bemoaning the latest dating mistake to one of my grad school buddies, she asked if I'd like to meet one of her friends. "He has long hair. You don't mind long hair, do you?" Of course not, all the better to run my hands through. <g>

February 12, 2014

What Do You Want Your Sweetie To Bring You for Valentine's Day?

Every month in my newsletter I ask my readers a question and have them respond. This helps me get to know them, and hopefully they learn about me as well, since I answer every single email. This month I asked them what they wished their sweetie would give them for Valentine’s Day. Some of their responses were so sweet and caring that I’m sharing them with you!
I wish my sweetie would just plan a trip and take me away.  For once, I don't want to be the one who does all the planning and the packing.” Kim
“I wish my sweetie would get me a pound of Alaskan King Crab legs and we’ll have a wonderful dinner.  I’m just not a red roses kind of girl.  Maybe this year-lol I've asked him for the last 33 years.  I should put a sticky on his car steering wheel I think.” Jai
Unfortunately, my sweetie has to fly over 1400 miles away on V day to go to his first sweetheart, his mom. I give him willingly to the woman that raised a good man, that needs him now, more than ever, being that he is her oldest boy.” Carla

February 11, 2014

Cupid Comes Calling: Book Babies and Birthdays

Today is a super special day. I mean, mega-important, stop-everything-you're-doing-and-savor kind of day. Because...
It's my hubster's birthday. He's turning the big 4-0.
But, like a very fine wine, he only gets better with age. I've been celebrating his birthday with him since he was 14... A lot of years ago, I know. And even though there are times we're more likely to growl at each other and cuddle, I do hope there's many more years to come.

It's kind of fitting that I'm celebrating his birthday AND my latest book release around the same time. Why? Well, I'm glad you asked. My latest book is
a Young Adult romance. (see the hubby's age when we met above) It's about a big-city girl moving to a small Texas town and falling for a pretty amazing cowboy.

NO, this is not auto-biographical. But it did make me nostalgic for those wrapped-up-in-each-other-because-the-rest-of-the-world-doesn't-exist passion. And, I admit, I did have a really wonderful time spinning a little of my teenage romance into Wyatt and Allie's love story.
I'm pleased to say, I think the book turned out pretty sweet! I'd love to hear your thoughts on it, if you read it.

Here's a little Cowboys & Kisses teaser for you!

February 10, 2014

Linda Steinberg ~ Cupid Comes Calling ... but sometimes, it's not the right time

Sometimes Cupid comes calling but it’s not the right time. Usually, he doesn’t come back.  But, fortunately for me, he did. 

Jim and I met in college. He was sitting across from me at the dorm cafeteria and I thought he was cute.  He had Elvis sideburns and a thick shock of sandy colored hair that swept over his forehead past his glasses. I was a senior, pretty much thought myself too mature to date anyone but another senior. So  I asked, quite cleverly, I thought, if he was a junior. “No,” he answered, in that laconic manner I have come to know and love. I breathed a sigh of relief. Then he added, “I’m a freshman.”

February 9, 2014

Barb Han - Black Hair and Dance Moves Caught My Eye

I was on the long road to finishing college (I worked my way through) and was about to turn twenty-seven. I’d gone out with friends to celebrate early. Sitting around the table at a nightclub, and being in between relationships, I realized I’d never dated a guy with black hair. In fact, I tended toward blue eyed, sandy-blond types. You know, Kens. I’d even dated a guy named Ken in high school. I know, Barbie and Ken. *gags*

While contemplating that thought, I made an announcement to my friends. The next guy I dated was going to have black hair. So, naturally, I look up and the first guy I see walking by the table has black hair. 

My friends laughed so hard, I took it as a challenge. 

February 8, 2014


It was the 1950’s. The decade of poodle skirts, car hops, Elvis, and Rock and Roll. My dad played the tenor sax in a big band for local dances around Fort Worth. The leader of that band was my mother’s uncle, Jimmy.
In the summer of 1952, when my mother was 15, she used to go to the dances where her uncle’s band played. When the band had a break, my dad came to sit at the table with his pal, Jimmy, and Jimmy introduced them. Mom says Daddy barely spoke to her. He was handsome, well-dressed, and older,(17) while she was a girl his mother considered “from the wrong side of the tracks”. Her parents were divorced, she moved from rented house to rented house every time her step-father lost a job, or her mother got bored.
In reality, Daddy was smitten from the first moment he laid eyes on her. But he was really shy. An only child of older parents, he grew up sheltered and his parents had very high expectations for his prospects. That fall he went off to Notre Dame. A year and a half later, he was home for Christmas break and Uncle Jimmy needed a date for his pal, (my dad) so they could double date, and called my mom. Mom says she had a big crush on Daddy, though he hardly spoke to her at all, but he asked her out for the next 2 nights! In mid-January he left for the spring semester at Notre Dame. And, though he returned to Fort Worth during the summer and Christmas breaks, he wrote to her from the Indiana university several times every week.
My mom has kept those letters all these years. His correspondence was fairly tame, detailing his daily life, but the progression of his feelings is there, though mostly subtle. Here are a few snippets.

February 7, 2014

Kathy Ivan: Cupid Comes Calling (But He's not Knocking Down My Door)!

I hope you're having fun visiting with the Plotting Princesses and reading all these wonderful stories about love, happiness and finding that "perfect one." Make sure you keep coming back and leave a comment to be eligible for the $200 gift card at the end of the tour.

I've loved reading all these stories of first meetings and happily ever after. Love and romance is a huge part of my life. After all, it's what I write every day. Bringing together two people. That spark of attraction. Eyes meeting across a crowded room. Sharing that first magical kiss.

Okay, time for my confession. I'm single, as in never been married. I've never made that perfect connection. Sure, there have been people in my life that I've loved and still care about. But that one special person, the deep heartfelt connection you know will last for all eternity? Um, hasn't happened for me (yet).

February 6, 2014

Cupid Comes Calling: When Long Distance Goes the Distance

Cupid has a sense of humor. Just ask my dear friend Marie. Her first date with Edward began with Catholic Mass. Her second threw her amidst 60+ members of Edward’s family, after which Edward’s dad pulled Marie aside and asked about her relationship with his son.

With a wry half-smile, she replied, “Define ‘relationship.’” 

It was a fair point. Months had passed between their first and second dates. More than that, Marie’s career had moved her 1,200 miles away from Edward.

This was the mid 80s. She and Edward were both employed by a Fortune 500 company as professional nerds engineers. From early on, their coworkers had sensed their potential as a couple—both of them super smart gaming geeks—and tried to set them up. But while Edward was all for it, Marie hesitated.

“He was scary,” she told me with a laugh. But a Star Trek convention came to town and their wily coworkers arranged for Edward to be the one driving Marie home afterward. The two talked all night about the many things they had in common, and he finally asked her on an official date.

The result was Mass plus dinner plus “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” (during which Marie laughed before the jokes happened because she saw them coming).

Immediately thereafter, Marie moved clear across the country.

February 5, 2014

Michelle Miles: Cupid Comes Calling ~ Love at First Faint

Welcome, beautiful readers, to the Princess Valentine’s Day blog event. I hope you’re having a swell time commenting on all the posts and getting your name in the hat for that $200 Visa gift card!

Our event is all about falling in love with that special someone. And of course falling in love with that special someone is all about how you met.

I’d tell you how I met my husband but it’s not exciting. We met at work, started dating, got married. The end! Okay maybe it was a little more exciting than that. I was actually dating a guy who was an owner of one of the PF Chang’s at the time. He stood me up on a concert I’d bought tickets for. My husband and I were friends at work (little did I know…) and so I asked him to go with me.

It was Loreena McKennit. October 9, 2007. Not that I remember all that well…

We had a great time and the rest, as they say, is history.

So now let’s take a step back in time for a tale of real romance. The year was 1954. It was summer. Location: Lobo Theater, Monahans, Texas.

February 4, 2014

Vicki Batman ~ Cupid Comes Calling: Not That Guy!

Cupid Comes Calling: Not that Guy!

I was supposed to go to see the new Bond flick with a friend, only he'd had a little too much fun-in-the-sun. This I found out when I checked in with him on what time we wanted to go for the show. His doorbell rang as I was about to leave. My friend answered and there stood…his co-worker, a tall, thin, dark-headed young man. In a flannel shirt.  In May.  After we were introduced, the co-worker said, "Sorry, I'm interrupting." I said, "No, I was just leaving."

I explained about the movie, and all of the sudden, my friend said, "You take her." I was mortified, and said, "Our friend has had too much fun today. Ignore him." The co-worker said, "I'll go." Before I knew it, all was arranged.

I kept thinking I was being nice. And I was. I paid for my own ticket, did most of the talking. Afterwards, the co-worker dropped me off in my apartment's parking lot. Ooookkaaayyy. A nice escort to my door would have been kind, but no.

February 3, 2014

Cupid Comes Calling - Kelly L Lee

Hey everyone! I'm honored to kick off the Cupid Comes Calling Blog Hop. The first story about meeting a "forever love" that flashed through my brain is a real-life account directly from my grandfather. One of my favorite things would be to climb up on his bed while he watched TV in his recliner in the bedroom. I'd ask him, "Big Daddy, tell me the story of how you met Big Mama."  (Yes, I really called them Big Mama and Big Daddy, and yes, I'm from the South.)

Anyway, he would grin really big, kick back in the chair, and tell me this story....

I was 18  years old working as a supervisor on the fifth floor at Swift & Co.  in 1930. I remember walking down to the other end of the building, I don't remember why, and that's when I saw her. She was standing at this big industrial sink peeling onions. Tears streamed down her face. I joked years later that she was crying when I met her, and I've been crying ever since! Anyway, I'd seen her around, and never paid that much attention but this time, there wasn't anybody else near us.

Well, I walked right up to her and said, "My name is Claude Adams. I've seen you around here, and I've been meaning to ask, would you like to go to the picture show with me some time?"
She wiped her eyes with her sleeve and cocked her head to one side, and asked me, "What  was your name again?"
I replied, '"Claude Adams."
She nodded once and politely said, "I don't think so, but thank you just the same."
I thanked her anyway, and went on my way.

February 2, 2014

Vicki Batman ~ Plotting Princesses' February Newsletter!!

Royal News Forthcoming!
For the latest and greatest decrees from the PP gals, here's our February newsletter
(info about the Cupid Comes Calling Blogtacular, too):

February 1, 2014

Vicki Batman ~ Plotting Princesses' February News!!

Royal News Forthcoming!
For the latest and greatest decrees from the PP gals, here's our February newsletter
(info about the Cupid Comes Calling Blogtacular, too):