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September 19, 2017

Release Day! Bride, Texas

The Unlucky Bride!!!

What happens when seven authors get together and write a series about a town started by a jilted Bride. Come to Bride, Texas, where love cures broken hearts.

Flood waters and broken heartstwo jilted ex-lovers trapped in Bride, Texas

Laney Baxter’s ironic escape to Bride, Texas couldn’t be more fitting - considering she is a runaway bride! Unfortunately, her plans to hide out have her jumping from the frying pan into the fire when she discovers she is trapped with the one man who broke her heart years ago - Chase Hamilton! Now, she can only hope the rising waters recede just as fast before Chase uncovers the mystery of their past.

Chase returns to Bride, Texas to nurse a broken heart and re-evaluate his life. The family home along the river was supposed to offer him peace and quiet, not the last woman he ever expected to see again. When the river rises, trapping them together, Chase questions whether his heart was really broken or just his ego bruised.

Laney and Chase are forced to face some startling revelations - including the feelings they still have for each other. Can the two work through their tangled emotions before the river recedes, or will long hidden secrets tear them apart?

Available Everywhere! Click here!

September 14, 2017

Grounded in the Book World #setting #writingromance #amreading

Within the first few pages, readers want to know where the story is taking
place, what scholars call the setting. Setting draws a mental picture in the reader’s mind. It establishes whether the story is dark or light, small town,  big city, or country. What season of the year. What time of day.
One of my favorite romance authors is Emilie Loring who wrote stories back in the thirties and forward. While vacationing recently, I picked up Lighted Windows and written upon the first page is this:

Fifth Avenue. In that quiet hour before dawn when for a trifling interval the city dozes, it never sleeps. The gleaming asphalt, blanched to silvery whiteness by arc lights, stretched ahead illimitably between looming skyscrapers, phantoms of concrete and steel, brick and glass, shadowy and unread as the back drop in a pantomime.
Instantly, we know where the author is speaking of. The reader is transported to New York, and specifically, Fifth Avenue, a popular street, in the wee hours of morning when all is quiet.

Here are some sentences about setting:
Temporarily Insane by Vicki Batman. I walked to the sofa table positioned in front of the picture window. Sitting on top were various brochures and today’s newspaper. The bold headline caught my eye, hooking me into reading further. The opening paragraph said something about a lead on a case involving an accountant who’d been found dead in Louisiana, apparently poisoned. Was the saying the only good accountant is a dead accountant true? iBooks

Adam by Chris Keniston. The sun rose higher in the sky, casting a warm light across the dry Texas dirt. More than looking for the dog, Adam searched for something the dog could use for shelter but there wasn't a blessed thing large enough to hide anything the size of the animal he'd seen moments ago. A few feet farther, Adam stopped to look back. He could no longer see the expression on the bride's face, but he could feel the intensity with which she watched him and the barren land around him. Probably jilted on her wedding day, definitely stranded in the middle of west Texas cattle country, yet her only concern was for an injured dog. Adam

Shattered by Liz Lipperman. “Out of my way,” he sneered, shoving her to the ground.
“Hey, mister, watch where—” Jenny slammed her mouth shut when he shot her a venomous look that sent chills up her spine. Chills that had more to do with the evil in his eyes than the temperature in the airport terminal.
Turning back to Villegas, the man with the birth mark pressed his gun into the Texan’s stomach, leaning his body in until his face nearly touched the businessman’s. Eyes wide and breathing faster, Ramón did a one-eighty around the room, as if deciding what to do next.
“Welcome to Costa Rica, asshole. We’re here to escort you to hell.” Amazon
Demon Cursed by Karilyn Bentley. “Is the ref smoking dope?” T asks, sloshing beer over the rim of his cup as he uses it to point at the field.

“Sure seems that way.” Clearly the refs were in cahoots to prevent us from winning.

The woes of being a die-hard football fan: seeing conspiracy theories at every call.

I glance over my shoulder, into the suite, where mage Aidan Smythe sits on a sofa, his feet propped on the coffee table, surrounded by empty beer bottles and cups. Smythe’s fingers fly across the keyboard of his laptop. Only my mentor would show up to a football game and perform Internet searches for demon activity instead of watching the game.

Mages. Impossible to understand. Impossible to slap out their crazy. Amazon

Saving Hope by Liese Sherwood-Fabre. Their boots echoed through the building’s narrow stairwell, then thudded on the courtyard’s frozen mud as they crossed to the corrugated metal container holding their prize possession —a dull green Lada automobile.

Yuri grunted as he shoved back the top to reveal the car. Once they’d settled inside, he played with the choke and the gas pedal for several minutes before the car’s engine finally whined to life. With a lurch, he steered the car out of the small garage and over the icy ruts into the Siberian night.

Only a few other cars’ headlights, resembling insects’ yellow eyes, flashed past them along the way. Amazon

Refuge for Masterminds by Kathleen Baldwin. Stranje House is an odd place at night when everyone is asleep. It’s as if the old Tudor manor is alive the way it creaks and the windows shudder. I tiptoe in the dark downstairs to the kitchen. Thin gray moonlight whiskers in through the windows and I breathe deep the lingering smell of baked rye bread and onion soup. But something yanks my attention to the window above the baking table. It might’ve been a wisp of fog, or an owl soaring by to catch a mouse in the garden, except it had seemed bigger. If I were prone to fanciful ruminations, I might’ve thought a phantom flitted past. Amazon

A MERRY DEVIL in Tempted at Christmas. The French had a word for it, of course, being the French and the damned enemy, though they were only a day’s sail away across the Channel. The coup de foudre they called it—the stroke of lightning, the moment of force when everything changed.

Everything had changed the first moment Matthew Kent had seen her, the long tall girl striding along the quay in the chilly dawn light. Though it had been more than a month ago, he remembered it as if it were that very morning—the air had crackled with charges of energy that had made it hard to breathe, his vision had sharpened and gone fuzzy at the edges all at the same time, and his legs had felt suddenly unsteady, as if he had stepped ashore for the first time in weeks, instead of in days. As if he had been struck by lightning. Author Central

Is there a book or author whose work you've read that evokes emotion in setting? Share with us!


September 5, 2017

Michelle Miles: Let's have some fun

Okay so. It's my day to blog and I got nothin'. It's been a whirlwind last month with the kid turning 16 (!!!) and marching band and everything else I have going on. So let's have some fun.

Here's a picture of my cat:

Caption it.

OR tell me a story about your favorite pet.

And go!

August 22, 2017

Yes, I'm Older, But I'm Not Dead Yet!!

This year when I attended the Romance Writers of America conference, I realized I have been attending these since 1991. Yes, for twenty six years I’ve been a member of RWA and attended their conference at least twenty times if not more in my lifetime.

But this time, when I looked at some of the same people who have attended year after year, I noticed how we are all aging. The only time I really feel old is when the body aches in a new joint or I’m short of breath or I can’t keep up. The rest of the time, I feel just like I did when I was sixteen. Hopefully a lot smarter than I was then, but the same age. 

That’s not to say that I don’t see the wrinkles around the eyes, the ones forming over my lip or that the girls don’t stand as high as they once were. But let’s face it, I’m not as young either. So that brings me to this month's post. 

Ten Things Not To Say to an Older Person

August 17, 2017

Finished the book. Want to read more? #lastlines #runtherace #memorablebooks

While the first line in a book...

hooks a reader into reading more, the last line determines how they will feel when they’ve finished. The protagonist has healed their wound, they’ve run their race and grown as a result. Mostly, we remember first lines and rarely, do we remember last lines. But we do remember how we feel when we finish. And sometimes, if the story is so compelling and we are overwhelmed by the emotions the story raised in us, we just might read that book again instantly.
Here's a famous one: “Tomorrow, I’ll think of some way to get him back. After all, tomorrow is another day.” From Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
‘It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to than I have ever known.’ A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
This month, the Princesses bring you last lines.

August 1, 2017

Michelle Miles: Never Tell Me The Odds

Whoa. It's August. Hard to believe July is in the rear view mirror!

It's been a hectic one. The kiddo started driving for reals and I have significantly more gray hair. I started a new job in June. Summer band camp started. School starts August 21! And so beginneth the crazy marching season. I'm gonna be a crazy person by the time football/marching season is all over but that is TOTALLY okay. You know why? Because I love it. I *love* marching season!!

Yeah, I'm a nerd.

And to prove it further, the IT folks over at the new day job know it's for sure because I have the Millennium Falcon on my desktop and Daenerys as my login picture. It's a great icebreaker. "You a Game of Thrones fan?" Well, duh. "AND a Star Wars fan?" Double, duh.

I have this really cool Medieval Star Wars art up on my wall in my cubicle and it garners all sorts of comments. It basically combines two of my very most favorite things: Star Wars and the Middle Ages.

I stare at it often.

July 20, 2017

Hook and Reel You In! Hooking a Reader #wantingtoreadmore #greatlinesfrombooks #RLFBlog

“It was a dark and stormy night.” That is the classic opening line of the novel, Paul Clifford, published in 1830 by English novelist Edward Bulwer-Lytton. Often this sentence is mocked as being over the top or melodramatic.
“Last night I dreamt of Manderley again.” From Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier and is often not thought of as setting the story up as a flashback.
So what is a hook? That’s usually the first line, or the opening line, in a story that is so compelling, the reader is hooked and keeps reading.

Sometimes, the first line is dialogue. Sometimes, not. Sometimes, the main character is in action and the story takes off with a bang. Sometimes, not. Whichever the hook is, this is the author’s opportunity to draw a reader in and ultimately, the reader will continue on reading way past bedtime into the wee hours.

Like you, I've picked up a book, flipped to the first page and read a little. That first part is what snagged me into wanting more.
I asked the Plotting Princesses to share the first three opening lines of their stories. Have fun!