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December 31, 2015

2016 What Kind of Year Will You Have?

In 2016 I’m going to hit one of those milestone birthdays! You know the kind that makes you cringe and yet I feel so extremely blessed to still be walking this earth. As you go through life there are some good years, some not so good years, blah years and really bad years. I rate 2015 as one of those blah years - not really great, but not really bad either. So I’m planning on 2016 being a fantastic year. 

So what am I going to do to make it a great year? I’m going to improve my attitude. It all starts with me. And that’s about the only New Year resolution I’m making this year. I know I need to lose weight, exercise more, work harder, yada, yada, yada. Been there, done that and the T-shirt is worn out. So this year my number one goal is to change my attitude and be more grateful.

How am I going to do that?

December 24, 2015


From all of us here at the Plotting Princesses, we wish you a very Merry Christmas and a most joyous and prosperous New Year!  

December 22, 2015

Reflecting On My Year - By Kathy Ivan

As we all get ready to celebrate the holiday season, and I had a post due, I decided to take a look at the changes I've made in 2015 and the impact they've had on me personally and my writing. I thought with the New Year just around the corner, I'd share these with you.  (As you can see, I brought snacks.)

1. Quitting the day job.

December 17, 2015

Best of the Best #MFRWauthor #RssosSisters #amreading #christmasbooks

I am often asked what is the best book/romance book you have ever read? I have to giggle--"Besides my own??"

I like to read mysteries, thrillers, cozies, romantic suspense, contemporary and historical romance. Naturally, I have read books that have stayed with me forever. Was it because of an aahh Calgon take me away instance? Or did I finish the book and instantly, reread it?

Only two books had me instantly rereading:

A Knight in Shining Armor by Jude Devereaux
Come to Grief by Dick Francis

Something about them had me wanting to experience the contents again. And to this day, I still consider them to be very special.

And then there are books that I periodically revisit, such as:

Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier.   

I first read Rebecca at age thirteen. For me, the book isn't a romance, but a thriller. Yes, there's a nice meet between the hero and heroine, but more importantly, the death of Rebecca. And that Mrs. Danvers??? She played with the heroine's and our minds.

Then there are authors whose works I really like and will consume everything they write:

December 15, 2015

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year @sloanebcollins #PlottingPrincesses #amwriting #fudge #traditions #MFRWorg

Christmas is my favorite time of the year.  I love the lights, the trees, the food, the traditions, and the spirit of the holiday.  I made the decision the last couple of years to not decorate due to lack of time and four cats who know no boundaries, and I really miss it.  The cats were restless last night, and I kept hearing things banging around in the kitchen so I finally investigated.  One (or more) had gotten a side drawer open and found a small Christmas tree ornament and was batting it all over the tile floor.  I hadn’t even realized it was in that drawer! 

Even though there are trees up and the store is decorated at work (my office is at the Neiman Marcus flagship store in Dallas), there are lights up in the neighborhood, and Christmas music is on the radio, it just hadn’t been feeling like Christmas is next week.  Until I got home last night and found that the annual Tin of Fudge and Cherry Mash had arrived.  My sister-in-law makes THE best fudge.  I ripped open the package, saw the gorgeous Christmas tin, took the lid off, and there it was.  FUDGE.  NOW it feels like the holidays have arrived.

December 10, 2015

Linda Steinberg on What's Your Happiness Quotient? 4 Things #MFRWorg #goodhealth #moneycan'tbuyhappiness #love

In the movie City Slickers, when Billy Crystal’s character Mitch asks Curly for the secret of life, the old man replies that it’s just one thing and you have to figure it out for yourself. 

It’s true that we’re all different, and we each have something special and specific that drives us. But we also all have common needs. The secret to a happy life? I believe it’s just four things.

December 8, 2015

#Sherlock's #Christmas Spirit @lsfabre #mfrworg

In “The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle,” a Christmas goose leads Holmes and Watson on a merry chase from one vendor to another to apprehend the stone’s thief and determine how the Countess of Morcar’s blue carbuncle wound up in the bird’s crop in the first place. (1)

The American public might be surprised to know that while a goose served as the Christmas bird in this story, many Victorians chose to feast on turkey instead. The American bird joined the Christmas tree and crackers to become part of British holiday celebrations during the 1800s. Although the turkey was imported into the country beginning in the 1500s, the Victorians introduced it as a replacement for the traditional goose. (2)

December 1, 2015

Michelle Miles: Christmas Traditions

Every year, the day after Thanksgiving we head out to find our perfect Christmas tree. This year, we debated on whether or not to get a fake one. I was sort of leaning toward fake and flocked (because I love alliteration) but neither my husband nor I could bring ourselves to spend upwards of $300 on a fake tree.

I know, I know. We could save it for future years. But the biggest problem with that is we have storage issues and I don't think we really want to rearrange the entire garage to store a fake tree. Or even put it up in the attic storage space.

This year, Friday was rainy and cold and windy. It wasn’t exactly the best weather to get out and look for a tree. We decided to hit Lowe’s first and see what we could find. All the trees were wet because it had been raining for the last twelve hours or something crazy like that. We wandered around in the garden section looking at trees and freezing our bums off. We stopped to chat with one of the workers there who had been loading trees most of the morning. Granted, it was midday and there weren’t many people out there but there were a few here and there looking for trees. We knew we only had about an hour before it started raining again to get the tree home.

Not finding anything we couldn’t live without, we headed back inside and looked at the fake trees again. But again… we just couldn’t pull the trigger on that. Back outside, and shivering we were heading out when suddenly…there it was. The perfect tree. We snapped it up and got it home before another downpour.

Isn’t it pretty?

November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving from The Princesses!

Happy Thanksgiving!

The Plotting Princesses are taking the day off to spend with our family and friends, but we didn't want to miss the opportunity to share some of the things that we are thankful for from this past year. We wish you all the blessings of the holiday and that you get to spend time gathering together with family and friends, sharing good food, good conversation and making memories to last a lifetime!

November 24, 2015

What am I thankful for this week? @sloanebcollins #PlottingPrincesses #Happythanksgiving #amwriting #MFRWorg

As I was deciding what to write about for today, I realized it’s Thanksgiving this week, and I have so much to be thankful for. (But honestly, where has the year gone?) 
This past year has been my first as a published author. It’s a dream I’ve had pretty much my whole life, since my parents gave me my first book.

I’m thankful to Soul Mate Publishing for taking a chance on me and my book, Love Redesigned.  There’s nothing in the world quite like holding your book baby in your hands for the first time, seeing your words brought to life.

The journey to publication isn’t always easy, and I’m very thankful to my critique partners.  They are there to bounce ideas around, brainstorm, tell me if I’m on track, or make suggestions if something isn’t working, and celebrate joys and commiserate over challenges.  Love you, Ladies!

November 19, 2015

Why write about Christmas? Five reasons I do!! #holidaystories #anthology #MFRWorg #RssosSisters

'tis the season...

Thanksgiving is almost under wraps and Christmas is fast approaching. I love to write holiday stories and so far, I've had six published. 

Why write holiday stories? 

1. The time of year is filled with excitement. We're rushing around to find the perfect gift. There are so many fun events to attend. How will we get everything done?

2. Bringing two people together romantically at Christmas is magical. What could be more romantic than bringing people into a relationship during the holidays? Don't we want all the best for everyone? I do!

3. The decorations are gorgeous!! I love setting out my vintage treasures, the smell of a Fraser Fir, the colorfully wrapped gifts. All add an ambiance that is unmatched and adds to the setting in the stories. 

4. The food (see fruitcake. LOL) is awesome. Some of us double dip with a second turkey. Some of us bake goodies galore. And some of us love fruitcake. We eat, we cook, we give and so do our characters. 

5. The F's: Family and friends. Nothing is more special than being with the ones we love. We laugh and share, hug and care. And each time we do, a glorious memory is created which sustains our soul. Our stories want this too.

Here's a sampling from four special stories:

November 17, 2015

Release Day!!!!!!


I AM SO EXCITED!!! Today is a special day for me, as it's release day for my holiday boxed set, Mischief Under The Mistletoe! I was honored to be asked to take part in this set with so many talented authors and said yes immediately.

The set includes 19 authors with 19 brand new stories filled with holiday cheer and stories of love and hope and romance. Because we are romance authors and there's nothing we love more than helping people find their happily ever after.



November 10, 2015

Working through Writer's Block @sloanebcollins PlottingPrincesses #Nanowrimo #amwriting @OneStop4Writers #MFRWorg

Last month I wrote about doing NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) in November, in which authors write a 50,000 novel. In a month. Thirty days. Yes, a whole book, or at least the start of a bigger novel.

All over the world, writers gathered up their notes, laptops, research, and set out on November 1 to begin their newest endeavors. And I was right alongside them. I had just attended a workshop on Scrivener the weekend before (if you haven’t heard of it, Scrivener is an AMAZING software program for writing. I’m hooked on it now!), so I was raring to go. I can set a target word count for the whole project – 50,000 words – and also a smaller target for sprinting (writing as much as you can in a timed interval).

Oops, got off on a side tangent. Back to NaNo. I did great writing for a week. I had a general idea of the scenes I wanted, who the characters are, what the goals, motivation, and conflict are for my hero and heroine.  Then this past weekend, I stalled. 

Every word was a struggle.

So I went back to the basics.  What’s my hero’s greatest fear?  I used the Characters Fears worksheet template on One Stop for Writers and dug deep into Nash, my hero.  And I came away with something golden.  A big fear he has, way down deep.   (Thank you, Angela, Becca, and Lee from OSFW!)

November 4, 2015

Release Day! IRON DEFIANCE, By Kelly L Lee

IRON DEFIANCE…. A sexy new release in the Four Realms Series
How far would you go for love? Would you defy your family? Your loyalties? Your sworn allegiance to your Queen? 
Amelee, a princess of the Seelie Court, is engaged to one man out of duty, but desperately loves another. She’s accepted her fate, willing to deny the deepest longings of her heart in service to her queen.
Arganos has secretly loved Amelee since the beginning of time, but she is Fey royalty and he is a hardened warrior, reviled by her kind for the sins committed by the God of War he serves. Though Arganos is prepared to sacrifice his own happiness to ensure Amelee’s, he refuses to intervene even though he knows her fiancé isn’t what he seems.
But when tragedy strikes, Amelee turns to Arganos, the forbidden war captain, instead of her fiancé for help. Fueled by Faery Court politics and a treacherous Queen’s rule, will the secrets they discover drive Amelee and Arganos apart forever, or will they defy everything for love?

November 3, 2015

Michelle Miles: From Halloween to Christmas in 2.3 Seconds

It’s hard to believe it’s November already.

You know what else is hard to believe? That Christmas decorations were in the stores in September. At Hobby Lobby, they started putting them up in JUNE. Really, Hobby Lobby? School hadn’t even started, for gosh sakes.

Hubby, kid and I were in the mall this past weekend – ON Halloween, mind you – and we noticed they were starting to put up Santa’s workshop. You know, where all the kids can sit on his lap and tell him what they dream of for Christmas.

You know what I dream of? No Christmas before Halloween.

October 29, 2015

#SherlockHolmes' #French Connection @lsfabre #MFRWORG #Vernet

In The Greek Interpreter, Sherlock Holmes gives two clues of his past. In addition to noting his ancestors were country squires, he also shares that art was in his blood, given his grandmother was the sister of Vernet, the French artist.

Some speculation exists as to which Vernet. Three generations of Vernets garnered patronage from both the French monarchy and Napoleon: Claude-Joseph Vernet (1714 – 1789); Antoine Charles Horace Vernet, known as Carle Vernet (1758 – 1836); and Émile Jean-Horace Vernet, known as Horace Vernet (1789 – 1863) (1). Simple mathematics suggests the most logical choice would be the youngest Vernet. For Sherlock and Mycroft’s mother to be between twenty and twenty-five at marriage, she would have to have been born between 1821-1826. Taking another twenty to twenty-five years or so for Sherlock’s grandmother to be born, means a birth date of about 1795 - 1800 or earlier, clearly putting her as a contemporary of Horace.

October 27, 2015

Who is ready for great holiday reads? Try the Season of Surprises #MFRWorg #RssosSisters #holidaybooks #historicalromance

There’s nothing like the

*Season of Surprises*
Princess Vicki here: I'm thrilled to be part of the Season of Surprises holiday anthology. Last year's Season of Magic was fabulous and now, we're back for more. I asked my fellow authors to share a holiday memory with me. Let's take a peek into their lives?

October 22, 2015

Tales from the Crate: #CrazyDog kills dog agility by Karilyn Bentley

The cutest puppy in the world
Have you been wondering what happened to our adorable puppy, aka The Kraken? It dawned on me the other day I hadn't written about her in a year. (Want to read about my puppy adventures? Try Here, Here and Here)  She's grown now, all 45 pounds of her. Still likes to eat the garden (currently asparagus, okra and tomatoes are her faves, but the poor kale plant is moving up on her list), snuggle with The Hubster, and catch bugs, toads, geckos, and the occasional baby bird. <shivers to think of that one> But her new skill is dog agility.

October 20, 2015

@SloaneBCollins What's in my Writer Toolbox for NaNo? #NaNoWriMo #amwriting @onestop4writers #MFRWorg

Authors everywhere are gearing up for NaNoWriMo – National Novel Writing Month – which takes place annually in November.  We are battening down the hatches, preparing meals ahead of time (unless you’re lucky enough to have a hubby like mine who does 99% of the cooking!), letting friends and family know we won’t be answering phones, and scheduling the DVR…all of this to get 50,000 words written in one month.  That’s right, a whole complete novel in one month!

For an author like me who is time-challenged with a crazy-busy day job, an editing job, and four cats, this is the month where I really push to spend every minute writing.  I’m a pantser by nature when it comes to writing – meaning I literally sit down in front of the computer and write by the seat of my pants.  It keeps the story fresh for me, instead of getting bogged down in research.

BUT…when it comes to NaNo, I need to have a pretty good idea of my characters, the plot, scenes I want to write, and that all important Goal, Motivation, and Conflict for my characters.  Now is when I use all the tools available to authors to get me prepped in time for November 1, so I can hit the ground running.

October 15, 2015

#Spooky #Halloween #Drinks and #Eats


4 cups apple juice

1- 15 ounce can pumpkin puree (not pie filling!)

2 teaspoons ginger paste (or fresh grated ginger)

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

1/2 nutmeg, freshly grated (about 1 tablespoon of ground spice)

1/8 teaspoon ground white pepper

1- 12 ounce can lemon-line soda (like Sprite)

Whisk together apple juice, pumpkin, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and pepper in a large pan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer and hold for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Slowly stir lemon-lime soda into cooled mixture. Strain and serve. (Recipe from Word Up, Nerd Up Blog, Photo from

October 13, 2015

@sloanebcollins Nature to Soothe My Soul #backtonature #PlottingPrincesses #amwriting #MFRWorg

About twice a year, I start getting itchy, twitchy, and b…er, witchy, and I know it’s time to get away from the city of concrete and back into nature.  I’m a country girl at heart, and I need the trees, mountains, lakes, oceans, and wildlife to keep me going.  There is such beauty on God’s earth, and so much that we still haven’t explored.  I once wrote a book for the Scrapbooking industry, and it’s all about reflecting on God’s wonders.  Alas, the publisher folded before it was published, but I pull it out every so often to reread it and remember how important it is to me to be in nature.

Last week my husband and I packed up the car, left notes for the kitty-sitters, and headed to Colorado for a week.  We drove straight through and reached Colorado Springs about six a.m.  We started our vacation with a lovely breakfast with my author friend Jennie Marts <waving at Jennie> and her husband.  We had a great time, and I’m so glad we had the time with them.

After stuffing ourselves with toffee pancakes (!!), we headed toward Mount Evans.  We followed the winding curves, stopping along the way to snap pictures of bighorn sheep, small lakes, and anything
that caught our eye.  If you’ve never been there, but plan to go, be warned of scary-narrow, winding roads that drop off into nothing except grass and rocks.  I think my heart was in my throat most of the way up…and back down.  We reached the top, but it was socked in with clouds and fog, snowing, very crowded, and I was dizzy from the altitude, so we stayed long enough to snap a picture to prove we had reached the top at 14,130 feet.

October 6, 2015

.@Michelle Miles: I'm Back!

Hello, readers!

After a long hiatus, I’m finally back as a Princess. It’s nice to be back amongst the crown-wearing gals!

I took a long sabbatical from writing. I did a lot of soul-searching to figure out what I was doing and who I was as a writer. I now know what the root of my problem was—I was really depressed about the state of my books that are currently held hostage by a publisher. Getting a check for less than $10—or a check not at all—was a huge blow to my writer ego. Because I poured my heart and soul into those books and I felt like they were slighted. I also felt like they were being served a great injustice by not making any money when I was SURE they were better books than that. I’ve requested the rights back to almost all of them—and have received rights back to one of them. Now it’s just a waiting game to see what’s going to happen.

And it hurts. A lot.

So putting all that aside was difficult at best for me. It’s never an easy thing to see your books sit and not earn money. Any books—not just the ones with a publisher but the indie ones too. I had to come to terms with that because I can’t be everywhere I want to be—I’m not MasterCard, after all. I’m a mom with a husband and a full time job. I had to stop and decide where my time was best spent and that was writing, not spinning my wheels marketing. I’m sure there is some value in that—blogging, ads, tweeting, etc.—but it stressed me out to the point I mentally shut down.

So I let it go.

September 29, 2015

Go Set a #Watchman, A Book #Review @lsfabre #MFRWAuthor

After all the hype and speculation about this “sequel” to To Kill a Mockingbird, I decided not to read it neither a sequel nor prequel, but as a standalone novel by a debut author. This freed me from making comparisons or having any expectations confirmed or crushed by the work.

This book is very much a literary piece, taking place over only a few days into Jean Louise’s (Scout’s) annual two-week visit to her hometown of Maycomb, Alabama. Currently twenty-six years old, she lives in New York City and returns each summer for two weeks to visit her family. Her father, Atticus, is getting old and has severe arthritis. His sister Alexandra lives with him and keeps house. Calpurnia, the African-American woman who had been the housekeeper when Scout was growing up had long ago retired. Atticus’s eccentric brother, a physician, also lives in Maycomb and has spent so much time reading Victorian literature, he appears to have lost touch with reality and what century he lives in. She also has a love interest, Henry, her father’s young law partner, who seems to be waiting for her to return and marry him.

The first third of the book provides her reflections on her life growing up in the small Alabama town, her relationship with her father and others in her life, and her assessment of race relationships in the South. At the third-way mark, she is confronted with an event that shakes her belief system to her very core, and the rest of the book involves her coming to terms with this reality.

September 24, 2015

Under the Princess Crown: Luanna Stewart & her new book Portrait of a Girl #romanticsuspense #MFRWorg #newbook

Born and raised in Nova Scotia, Luanna Stewart now lives in Maine with her dear husband, two college boys and two cats. When she's not torturing her heroes and heroines, she’s in her kitchen baking something delicious.

Speed Round:
Favorite movie: anything starring Cary Grant
Favorite book:  Little Women
Last book read: His Wicked Reputation by Madeline Hunter
Favorite color:  purple
Stilettos or flip-flops:  flip-flops
Coffee or tea:  coffee
E-book or paperback:  e-book

September 22, 2015

@sloanebcollins Tribal Units #familytribes #worktribes #amwriting #MFRWorg

I found myself thinking of tribes yesterday, and how I have been a part of several very different ones over the years. Tribes evolve over the years as your yourself grows and evolve. You leave one tribe, and become involved with another tribe. 

Your initial tribe starts with your immediate family. Once you hit school, you join another tribe. I think my first outer tribe was in 9th grade, with the three friends I was closest to. 

Then high school hit, and I had a few core friends. College brought a new tribe, both girls and boys (the brothers I had always wanted). I'm blessed to be back in touch with a few of those tribal mates now. 

Then my familial tribe expanded when I became engaged. Or I should say exploded, with 6 (SIX!) sisters. The first time I met them all was at Thanksgiving. I had my then-fiancé (now husband of 27 years) tell me about each of his sisters and their families. For two days I rehearsed the sisters' names: Dee, Kathy, Donna, Patti, Brenda, Melissa. Over and over again until it became a mantra: DeeKathyDonnaPattiBrendaMelissa. DeeKathyDonnaPattiBrendaMelissa. DeeKathyDonnaPattiBrendaMelissa. It was so interesting to become a part of this tribe - one totally different from the small family I had growing up. At family gatherings I like to sit back and watch them interacting with each other.  One of these days when I write about a big family, I’m sure I’ll use my experiences with this family as inspiration.  I love this tribe like they are my own sisters. 

A Canine Emergency

The other day hubby and I were getting ready to go to our grandson's soccer game, and I dropped one of my prescription medications on the floor as I was filling my Sunday through Saturday dispenser. A few minutes later, I got off the chair to retrieve it, and my dog Lola was there staring up at me.

And you guessed it. The pill was gone.

You have to know that it almost takes an act of war to get her to swallow her monthly flea/heart worm pill, so I questioned whether she really had gobbled up the darn thing or not.

But it was nowhere to be found.

Being a nurse, I knew my ten pound Maltese/Bichon mix would die unless I acted fast. And I also knew that by the time I could get her to the vet, it would be too late. So when I called, they told me to get hydrogen peroxide into her until she threw up. After seven syringe-fulls and no throw up, I panicked and called them again. They instructed me to keep shoving it down her throat. Three more syringe-fulls later, she finally threw up. Although there was no visible pill, I figured the peroxide had probably dissolved it.

Lola continued to vomit periodically for all that day and the next, but I'm happy to report that she's fine now. Quick action saved her life.

I guess the moral of the story is that you have to be as careful around your pets as you are around small children. I wondered how I could relate this experience to anything else in my life, and I came up with this.

I am a habitual procrastinator. Had I reached down and picked up the pill right when I dropped it, I wouldn't have this story to tell, and my little sweetheart wouldn't have had to go through all that misery.

So I made a vow to myself to work on this problem--to try to get better. Now I'm wondering how many fellow procrastinators I have out there. And if you are one, has it ever caused grief in your life? And if you aren't, any advice to those of us who are?

And just so you know, my newest book released last Monday. MISSION TO KILL is available in digital and print and will release in audio soon.

September 17, 2015

.@VickiBatman - The Big Goof and The Return #Longmire #MFRWorg #Netflixshows #RssosSisters #MFRWorg

I loved Longmire; so when in 2014, word filtered through that the superb Western had been cancelled at the end of three seasons, yep, that was just wrong

I was shocked! So were a lot of other folks. I began watching this superb show because it wasn’t about housewives, or chef cook-offs, or a badly behaving bridezilla. Nope, Longmire was about a sheriff, his staff, family, and friends who lived in a small Wyoming town. The series is based on the books written by Craig Johnson.

It seemed the viewer-ship was primarily the average age of 60 versus 48, that the "demographics" weren't there. What a crock!

But thanks to folks like the Longmire Posse...

September 10, 2015

@kellyleefiction To swag, or not to #swag. That is the question. #bookpromo

There's nothing quite like the release day of a book you've toiled over. Nothing quite like it, except when you have two of them release within two months. In July, Murdering Eve was released with a new publishing house, and just a few days ago, Battle Heat, the second book in the series, was also released.

But here's the kicker. Both of these books have been released before with a different publisher, and I've got literally boxes of "old cover" swag, like bookmarks.

September 4, 2015

@kellyleefiction #NewRelease Today!

Happy Labor Day Weekend
BATTLE HEAT…. A sexy new release in the Four Realms Series


The heart-pounding story of Holly, the reluctant assassin you loved to hate in MURDERING EVE — and Ares, the God of War who destroyed her whole world.

By Kelly L Lee

Holly Okeanos is alone, held against her will by the immortal that destroyed her people. Desperate for revenge, she vows to fight until her last breath to regain her freedom. 

September 3, 2015

#MovieReview #ManFromUNCLE

I love going to the movies. From buying my tickets to the smell of fake buttery popcorn and the faint stick of my shoes to the theater floors, I love the entire experience. I go in hoping to get completely wrapped up in the cinematic storybook I'm about to view.
Sometimes this is an epic failure.
But not this time.
I adored The Man From U.N.C.L.E.
Everything about it. The zippy dialogue. The setting. The costumes. The music - oh, the music. And the characters. Especially this one:
Yes, Armie Hammer is just about the most beautiful man in existence right now. But his character, Illya Kuryakin--for me--puts him in a new non-cape wearing class of superhero.

September 1, 2015

Under the Princess crown with #mystery author Nancy Haddock #crafting #BerkleyPrimeCrime #amreading #MFRWorg

Under the Princess Crown with

Nancy Haddock is an award-winning, national bestselling author. Basket Case is the first book in the Silver Six Crafting mysteries with Berkley Prime Crime. Her earlier books are La Vida Vampire, Last Vampire Standing, and Always The Vampire, and feature Gidget with fangs.

Speed Round:
Favorite movie: Father Goose
Favorite book: Way too many to name!
Last book read: Magic and Macaroons by Bailey Cates
Favorite color: Aqua
Stilettos or flip-flops: Flip-flops or barefoot
Coffee or tea: Both
E-book or paperback: Both
Pencil or pen: Pen
Favorite song: “Surfin’ USA”
Streak or not: Not
Favorite dessert: Coconut meringue pie

August 27, 2015

Under the Princess Crown with B K Nault & her book, The Kalideoscope #fiction #newbook #MFRWorg

The Princesses welcome author 

B K Nault writes both fiction and nonfiction (also as Beverly Nault). Empty-nested and downsized, she and husband Gary live full time in their RV they call Flight Risk - nicknamed “Fly.” Gary power-glides in "The Gnat" while Beverly safely explores new horizons on her Kindle, and banging the keyboard creating new worlds from her offbeat imagination.

Speed Round:
Favorite movie: Gone With the Wind
Favorite book: To Kill a Mockingbird
Last book read: How to Catch a Russian Spy
Favorite color: Peach
Stilettos or flip-flops: Flip flops
Coffee or tea: Coffee
E-book or paperback: E-book
Pencil or pen: Pencil
Favorite song: Moondance

August 25, 2015

Under the Princess Crown with author Gail Olmsted & Guessing at Normal #contemporaryromance #rockstar #MFRWorg

Gail Olmsted... a hopeless romantic, I am married to the love of my life and my favorite role is being mom to two young adults and three cats. I enjoy reading, boating, music and travel and am a college professor of marketing.

Speed Round:
Favorite movie: Goodfellas
Favorite book: Trinity (Leon Uris)
Last book read: A Thirty-Something Girl (Lisa Gott)
Favorite color: Orange
Stilettos or flip-flops: Flip-flops
Coffee or tea: Coffee
E-book or paperback: e-book
Pencil or pen: pen
Favorite song: Losing My Religion (REM)

August 20, 2015

.@VickiBatman - My first Lipstick #makeup #fashion #cosmetics #beautysupplies

Once upon a time...

I was very young--Big Surprise! 

Seriously, when I was younger, I was extremely shy. Painfully shy. My mom always said she could send my six year-old sister to buy milk in the convenience store over sending me. 

Thankfully, in my high school years, I grew out of that mess.

Around age ten, a new girl came to my elementary school. Her name was Joann and she seemed quite sophisticated to me. I was all skinny, ugly glasses, and --remember the shy thing?-- shy. Joann wore lipstick. One day after lunch, I said
it looked pretty on her and she passed me the tube. The lipstick was sorta purply pale colored. But I didn't care. By putting some on, I, too, would be cool and sophisticated like my new friend.

I passed it back; however, she told me to keep it. My insides went yipee!!!

After I walked home from school that day, my mom noticed the lipstick I wore. She asked me where I got it and being the obedient child I was, I showed her my gift. She took it away from me. Tears flooded my eyes. I wouldn't be cool any more. What would I tell Joann when I didn't wear it? Mom didn't care. No ten year old of hers would be wearing lipstick. 

I ceased being cool.

August 18, 2015

RWA 2015 Conference Memories @SloaneBCollins #RWA2015 #amwriting #MFRWorg #BFFs @sashawrites

Just a few short weeks ago I spent 5 days in New York City at the annual Romance Writers of
America annual conference.   I get just as excited about it as I do Christmas.  Every year I anxiously await the workshops to be posted, then I go through the list carefully deciding what sounds good.  Then, when the workshops are posted by day and time, I do it again.  Invariably and without fail, I end up with at least two for each time slot.  I make the final decision as to which to attend once I know whether it will be recorded or not.  Or, if the presenter is someone I want to hear in person. 
This is a time of fun, fellowship, friendship, motivation and inspiration.  I always come home rejuvenated and ready to write.  And this year was no different.

One of the best things at the conference this year: I met an author I’ve been a fan of for many years, one who hasn’t ever been at a conference that I’ve attended.  Jude Devereaux!  I met her at the

Literacy Signing on Wednesday night and was so excited to get my picture taken with her.  Then I attended the workshop she gave on Research on Thursday.  Would you believe she keeps a notebook for each book (as I do, actually) AND she writes in longhand!  The next day my BFF and I were waiting at the elevator on our floor, and who should walk up but Ms. Devereaux and her editor!  It’s the one time I was glad the elevators took a long time because we had her to ourselves.  So we chatted about various things, and it’s a memory I’ll always cherish.

August 13, 2015

Under the Princess Crown with L. A. Kelley & Second Chance City #MFRWorg #paranormal #newbook

L. A. Kelley lives in Florida where the heat and humidity have driven everyone slightly mad. In her spare time, she calls in Bigfoot sightings to the Department of Fish and Wildlife. They are heartily sick of hearing from her.

Speed Round:
Favorite movie: Star Wars
Favorite book: The Martian by Andy Weir
Last book read: Rain by Cynthia Barnett
Favorite color: Purple
Stilettos or flip-flops: Bare feet, baby
Coffee or tea: tea
E-book or paperback: either
Pencil or pen: pencil (as long as it has an eraser)
Favorite song: Shut Up and Dance
Streak or not: Not (The neighbors have complained)
Favorite dessert: Too many to list
Champagne or gin: Abstain
Paranormal or Historical: Historical paranormal
Ginger or Mary Ann: Lovey

August 11, 2015

5 Things I Learned When My Publisher Went Under @kellyleefiction #amwriting #myWANA #failure

There's nothing like the first time you sign a contract with a publisher. There's this heady sense of arrival. Of validation. Of overcoming your insecurity about whether anyone other than your mother or best friend will like your book. It fills your chest to bursting.
But what happens when that publishing experience isn't what you thought? (Hint: it never is) Or worse, when your publisher closes its doors forever? The latter happened to me, and after I stopped crying, drinking, and cursing….I settled down and learned some things. Important things. About the world of publishing, failure, the kinds of people I surround myself with, and most critically - myself.
If this has happened to you too, listen up.

Lesson #1: It's not because your writing sucked.

Image result for insecurityYou didn't cause this to happen. Your book did not singlehandedly sink an entire company. In fact, there are probably several (if not many) award winning, bestselling authors who signed with your publisher. You can bet something was happening with the publisher you didn't know about and couldn't have predicted – like poor leadership, crappy business model, or ineffective execution. But know this: as a rule, publishers don't fail because they signed bad authors. Generally, the writing community knows this (thank goodness), but the people in your life don't and it can be hard dealing with sympathetic eyes tinged with a touch of suspicion.

August 4, 2015

Under the Princess Crown with author Charlotte Copper & Strawberry Summer #summerfun #contemporaryromance #MFRWorg

Charlotte Copper lives in Stouffville, Ontario - that's in Canada, eh. When she isn't working at her full-time job, Charlotte likes to craft, read, go to movies, and, of course, write. Charlotte hopes to have all of her stories published some day because, as a romance writer, she believes in happy endings!

Speed Round:
Favorite movie: Aliens
Favorite book: Gone with the Wind
Last book read: Outlander
Favorite color: red
Stilettos or flip-flops: flip flops
Coffee or tea: nothing hot
E-book or paperback: e-book

July 30, 2015

Under the Princess Crown with Susabelle Kelmer #contemporaryromance #renaisancefaire #MFRWorg

Susabelle Kelmer writes spicy-sweet contemporary romance from the foot of the Rocky Mountains in northern Colorado.  Her debut novel, Fairest of the Faire, was released in June 2015.

Speed Round:
Favorite movie: A Walk in the Clouds
Favorite book: Dictionary
Last book read: Waltzing the Cat
Favorite color: Pink
Stilettos or flip-flops: flip flops!
Coffee or tea: coffee
E-book or paperback: paperback
Pencil or pen: pen
Favorite song: Chain of Love
Streak or not: nope
Favorite dessert: chocolate ice cream
Champagne or gin: Champagne
Paranormal or Historical: Historical
Ginger or Mary Ann: Mary Ann
Favorite TV show: Cardinal’s Baseball
Hot or cold: cold
POV: happy
I'd die if I don't have: writing

July 28, 2015

Dragon Knight's Axe by Mary Morgan #Review (by Karilyn Bentley) #amreading

I was on a blog tour recently for my newest release and landed on the blog of fellow The Wild Rose Press author Mary Morgan. She was more than happy to have me on talking about my dragons b/c she writes about dragons too. Awesome! Of course I was curious about her dragons, so I bought her most recent release, Dragon Knight's Axe and LOVED it!

This is the third book in the Order of the Dragon Knights but it's not hard at all to pick up and understand what happened in the previous books.

July 23, 2015

Under the Princess Crown with author Angela Hayes & her new romance, Love's Battle #contemporaryromance #MFRWorg #RLFblog

Please welcome contemporary romance author, Angela Hayes to the Princess Court.  She's a married mother of two who splits her time between bringing characters to life by computer, and yarn to life with needle and hook. You can find her at where she helps connect readers and the authors they love. Follow her at:,, and

Speed Round:
Favorite movie: Seven Brides for Seven Brothers
Favorite book: The Bride by Julie Garwood
Last book read: Shadows and Lace by Teresa Medeiros
Favorite color: Hot Pink
Stilettos or flip-flops: Flip flops
Coffee or tea: Coffee

July 21, 2015

@sloanebcollins What Makes a Hero Tick? #PlottingPrincesses #amwriting #AlphaHeroes #Supernatural #JensenAckles #JaredPadalecki #MFRWorg

I love reading books with Alpha heroes.  It’s much easier for me to write about female characters, and how they think, than to write male characters.  I’ve started watching TV shows more carefully in the hopes of figuring out how to best write men that SHOW what’s going on with them, what they are thinking, how they act, rather than TELL. 

I’ve come about 10 years late to the Supernatural phenomenon, and now I’m hooked (and I mean HOOKED).  Having loved Jared Padalecki's character on Gilmore Girls, Sammy immediately became my favorite.  But the more I’ve been watching the reruns, the more I see the internal angst that Dean (Jensen Ackles) has. I’m fascinated by their relationship on screen, and completely charmed that they are best friends in real life.

I started watching the reruns from 2009 a couple months ago, but am now watching the first season, and it's interesting to see how the characters have grown over the years.  So here's my take on it.

July 16, 2015

WOW 20 Beach Reads for Only 99 cents or Free!

How long is your To-Be-Read book pile? Mine seems to get bigger every day.  I admit I'm a sucker for a happy ending. Which is probably why I write romance. But I especially love a good summer beach read. Give me a goodhearted man, a strong woman, throw in a sunny beach, and I'm right there picking up a new book to add to my list. And who doesn't love a bargain!

Every once in a while we as authors get to participate in fun opportunities to bring great reads to our fans.  I am so thrilled to be part of a three day Summer Book Sale Extravaganza! Twenty authors of Contemporary Romance have come together and for three days from July 16-19, one of our books will be FREE or 99 Cents.  There's a little something for all tastes: Sweet, Sexy, Military, Sports, and so much more.

As for me, the first book in my Aloha Series—Aloha Texas—is only 99 cents for this sale event!  

Former US Navy diver Nick Harper is loving his new life as captain of a dive boat in Hawaii. Powerhouse attorney Kara Lynn O'Conner's world revolves around her small Texas town where life is easy and safe. Six year old Bradley Russell is about to change everything. 

Amazon | BN | iBooks | Kobo | Google

And here's a glimpse at the other books in this Summer Book Sale available now at most online retailer. Click on the book cover for more information.

July 14, 2015

The Perfect Vacation by Chris Keniston and Kathy Ivan

The Perfect Vacation – Chris Keniston and the Beach

My bucket list of interesting places grows longer every year. I'd love to walk the Great Wall of China.  I'd like to stand in the center of Timbuktu.  But I'd especially like to have lunch in an ocean restaurant in Bali.  Yes. I mean one of those places where the table and chairs are in the water. The crystal clear aqua blue warm water.
And if you can't tell, I am most definitely a beach person.  I love the ocean, the sand, the sound of the waves rushing ashore.  And have you noticed how the food always tastes better by the sea?  

My mother and I had the best ever Macaroni and Cheese in Bermuda. 

Now I know a lot of people love the mountains. Some of the views are mind boggling. A friend of mine recently sent me a photo from the Grand Canyon – also on my bucket list - that left me breathless.

Of course my biggest problems with mountains is they tend to come with other interesting and often frightening sights, like bears.