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!

I’m very thankful to be a member of Romance Writers of America.  It’s an incredible organization and advocate for authors.  My local chapter, Dallas Area Romance Authors, has been a joy to belong to. I’ve made some lifelong friends here, and I am so happy to be a part of such a well-respected and vital chapter.  The members are supportive, encouraging, and willing to share knowledge, the ups and downs every author faces, and share in joys and successes.  In fact, two of my BFF’s I met in DARA!

I have wonderful friends and family who bought and read my book.  MY book!  Thank you all for your love, support, and encouraging words!

The Plotting Princesses are another group I am so thankful to be a part of.  Since I first heard about this dynamic group of authors, I wanted to be a part of it.  From brainstorming to plotting, supporting, encouraging, and sharing, these are exceptional women, and I love all of you!

Candace Havens, author/editorial director/entertainment reporter (yes, she does all those jobs!), took me under her wing to train as an editor for Entangled Publishing.  It’s been a fantastic journey, and I have learned so much from her.  Learning how to edit books also turned my own writing around, and I’m ever thankful to her for being such a great teacher, editor, and friend. You’re awesomesauce and amazeballs!

Thank you to the fans who have read my book and keep asking for more in my little French world.  I promise I’m making writing more or a priority!  

I’m so thankful to my author friends who have answered all my questions, even the silly ones, about booksignings, tracking sales, and release day parties, even right down to “what size ‘Autographed by the Author’ stickers should I get?”  Your help and guidance is very much appreciated!

Most of all, I’m thankful for my husband and children…er, kitties.  Joe keeps me fed, encourages me, listens when I gripe about a plot point not working out, and doesn’t mind when the dust bunnies get to be as big as one of the cats. You’re the best, and I’m so glad we met at the Nut House!

What are you thankful for this year? Anything special you do to celebrate Turkey Day?

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.