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January 20, 2016

I'm so excited, I could scream! #newbook #RssosSisters #MFRWauthor

Lately, I have written about everything except for my new book. Yup, The Wild Rose Press will be publishing Temporarily Insane, my second romantic comedy mystery, featuring my always job searching heroine, Hattie Cooks, and the hunky detective, Allan Wellborn.

Here's a blurb: No man. Bad job. And Murder. Hattie Cooks is still searching for her dream job and one might be the Big Apple, far away from friends, family, and Allan Wellborn. In the meantime, she finds temporary employment at an accounting firm where two auditors turn up dead.

Detective Allan Wellborn dumped Hattie for Blonde Bimbo who coincidentally is employed at NLB where fishy things are taking place. When Allan interviews Hattie, he must determine why all signs point to her as a possible suspect.
Can Hattie find out who is murdering auditors before she’s arrested?

Pretty much fun--right? So here's an excerpt:

January 19, 2016

Escaping the daily grind @sloanebcollins #PlottingPrincesses #Escapism #PearlsPerils #amreading #MFRWorg #scrapbooking #feedmysoul

I'm pretty much a loner, and need to escape the daily grind of a big city and a demanding day job. So when I'm taking a break from writing (or have the dreaded writer's block), I find other ways to feed my soul.  I don’t usually play a lot of games, and was never into video games, but lately I’ve been playing a game on my iPhone called Pearl’s Perils, a hidden objects game.  But it’s not like any iPhone game I’ve seen before. This is the official description from the Facebook page:Get swept back to the romantic and sordid 1930’s along with our trailblazing heroine, Pearl Wallace, ace pilot and world explorer. Pearl’s glamorous social life grinds to a halt when her father mysteriously dies and she inherits a strange island filled with perilous secrets. Journey with Pearl and her deliciously sarcastic best friend, Iris Hillman, as they travel the world, uncover a global conspiracy, and navigate a chilling mystery you won’t soon forget!” 

The story line is fun, and the artists are truly talented. The scenery is lush and beautiful, and true to the time period of the 1930’s.  The story takes place on Artemis Island, and in Paris, New York, and Russia.  While following Pearl on her journey and trying to solve a mystery, you earn coins, cash, and energy, but you also get to build and design your own Artemis Island. That’s the most fun part to me.  As the story progresses, you earn, badges, coins, and cash to help you purchase decorations and buildings.  I usually play the game on the train commute to work, and before I go to sleep. It’s my chance to escape the daily world and go to a romantic era and location, and design a place I’d love to live. 

I used to do cross-stitch, then for many years I was hooked on scrapbooking.  I still have all my supplies, and keep all my photos and memorabilia so I can get back to it when I have spare time. I like to do a scrapbook for each vacation, so I've got stacks of boxes, one for each trip, ready to go.  So until I can actually work on those scrapbooks, I've been doing shadowboxes for each vacation.
This one from Hawaii is still a work in progress, but I'm almost done!

Books are my other choice of escapism.  Historical Romance, Contemporary Romance, and Cozy Mysteries are my favorite genres.  In books, I can go anywhere I want.  I think part of why I love Cozy Mysteries so much is they take place in small towns, and have a cast of characters the reader gets to know and love.  And there’s usually a theme to each series: knitting, cooking, sewing, magic, crafting. 

I just realized as I was writing this post that I tend to lean toward small towns even in my choice of escapism: the small towns of Cozies, and the island in iPhone games.  I’ve always wanted to live in a small town.  Life seems so much simpler.  You don’t have a long commute, have to deal with strangers every day, there’s a slower pace, and a sense of community that is lacking in a sprawling big city. 

My husband and I prefer to vacation in places where we can get back to nature.  We might venture into a big city for a day, but we don’t stay very long, and would much rather be out among the mountains, forests, coastlines. 

So until we can build our cozy little cabin on the outskirts of a small town in the mountains, or a forest, or on the coast of Maine, I’ll keep reading my favorite genres, designing an island of my own, and remembering vacations in shadow boxes.

What ways do you escape the daily grind of life? Books? Movies? Games?  What are your favorites? 

January 5, 2016

Michelle Miles: The Great Declutter of 2016

I’m sure we are all aware by now that it’s a brand new year. I, for one, was glad to wave goodbye to 2015 and welcome in 2016 even if I was feeling somewhat under the weather for the holiday.

But it’s a new year and that means new goals and new adventures. I have deemed this year as the Year of Decluttering. I have reached my limit of Crap I Don’t Need Anymore and so I’ve begun to really downsize. My first order of business was to actually declutter the Christmas tubs. We have fifteen or something absurd like that. I ditched everything that was broken or not in use for the last five years. The only thing I really kept was the kid’s artwork over the years.

I told the husband I wanted to go through the pantry and get rid of stuff that was expired and donate the stuff that wasn’t that we were never going to use. He handled that quite nicely and we did purge a lot of stuff.