Author Archives: Michelle

Writing Process Blog Hop

Wheeee, it’s my turn on the Writing Process Blog Hop!  Last week I got tagged by awesome reviewer Petra Grayson.  Her blog is full of reviews, recipes and other fun tidbits and can be found at  Check it out!


What am I working on?

It feels like I’m really busy, but after seeing all the balls the other folks on this blog tour are juggling, I feel bad for complaining.

Just finished edits on the next Ylendrian novel, Peripheral People… the story of a psychic serial killer IN SPAAAAAACE.  Once the copy edits are completed, it’s on to the publicity push.  I’m really excited about Peripheral.  It was definitely one of those blood, sweat and tears projects, so it makes me feel very protective of it.  I think West and Corwin’s relationship is one of the best Reesa and I have ever written, and the plot itself is so intricate and deep that I feel incredibly proud of us every time I think about it.

I’m also working on two short stories in my Playa Escondida paranormal series: “Beach Patrol” and “Native Species”.  It seems like I’ve been plugging away at them for forever.  Here’s hoping there’s an end in sight, if only because I love my town, and I want to keep exploring it.  I mean, seriously, who doesn’t want to live in a coastal Florida town where a weregator runs the local used car dealership and a mysterious little girl and her lemonade stand herald town disasters?

Reesa and I are also working on a sequel to The Slipstream Con, with a working title of Inside Job.  We had too many requests for more Kellen and Vanya and Tal to refuse!  And not to give too much away, but Heston might be making another appearance, just to keep our trio on their toes.


How does my work differ from others of its genre?

Because I’ve written it.  Not to sound conceited, but I think that’s true.  Every single person has their own writing style.  You can try and copy the style of a writer you admire, but your own personality is always going to come through.  This is a good thing.  I know I’d read a whole lot less if everything I picked up sounded the same.

Along this same line, I believe that every character I write has something of me in them.  Even the evil ones, believe it or not.  Well, okay, so Heston isn’t really evil… he, uh, just lacks those boring societal morals.  But, hey, he and I share a liking of Hawaiian shirts.


Why do I write what I do?

I write what I love to read and I love to read romance.  Life is about relationships, and I’m fascinated by that.  How do they develop, what wild-n-wonky things happen along the way, how does it all work out in the end?  Closely tied with this is the fact that I only read and write happy endings.  The way I see it, there’s enough bad shit in the world… all you have to do is turn on the news to realize that.  Books (my own and others) are an escape for me, and I want sunshine and ponies and fluffy kittens!  Now having said that, I’m a-okay with a heavy dose of angst and misery getting to that HEA, but it’s got to be there.


How does your writing process work?


If I’m writing with Reesa, she’s the awesome idea person.  She’s all over the “what-if” side of things.  I love the conversations with her that start “Hey, I was thinking…” because it means there’s a great story seed.  On my own, a lot of inspiration comes from anthology calls.  I’ll see one with a publisher I like and think “Oooh, that sounds like fun” and then I’ll let it percolate through my brain (unfortunately the image I always get is a septic field percolating!) and hopefully come up with an idea.


I’ve learned through hard experience that I’m better off with some kind of, if not an actual outline, at least a roadmap pointing me in the direction I need to go.  I had a lot of years of viewing myself as a “pantser”, mainly because outlines made me think of high school English and Roman numerals and indents that seemed totally random.  Then Reesa and I hit the last quarter of Peripheral and realized if we were going to finish, we needed to have a plan.  We put together a rough outline that kept us on track, and voila!  There was something very comforting about reaching a point in a chapter and instead of sitting there staring into space wondering what the hell was supposed to happen next, I could look at the notes/outline,  sigh in relief,  and keep writing.

Right, so when I’m co-writing, that’s how things fall out.  When I’m on my own, there’s a whole lot of knowing where I want to go and not a freaking clue how I’m going to get there.  Case in point?  “Beach Patrol”.  Gotta get rid of a demon and set up a possession.  Crap, I have NO idea how I’m going to do that and make it both true to the town and interesting-n-different.  Where’s that road map?  I don’t even need all the highways filled in.  Just give me a compass rose so I know I’m headed in approximately the right direction!  I’ll muddle through the rest on my own.

Thank goodness I stick to short stories since I think a novel on my own might kill me.  That would be why I’ve got about five winning (50,000 word) NanoWrimos sitting around unfinished and with plot holes big enough to drive a truck through.  The thought of having to rewrite huuuuuuge vast expanses of prose so that they’re not only coherent but move in a logical, linear pattern and actually GO SOMEWHERE makes me want to sob.  Loudly.  And continuously.

Up next week you need to be looking for Connor Wright and Reesa Herberth!

  1.  Connor has written such wonderful stories as First Flight and Tobias’s Own Adventure. Connor is a firm believer in the “what-if” school of writing, which has led to some fun and fantastic stories that magically appear out of the great Northwest.       Connor can be found at
  2. Reesa Herberth has written such incredibly diverse stories as “Fin de Siècle”, The Balance of Silence, The Slipstream Con, and “The Wishing Box”. Her love of science fiction provides a strong foundation for her writing. Reesa can be found at

Suspicious Activity!

There seems to have been quite a bit of suspicious activity recently in Playa Escondida, enough so that it’s come to the attention of the press.  To that end, I’m reprinting an article that appeared recently under the topic of bizarre Florida.


What’s Up with Playa Escondida?


Playa Escondida (PE to locals) is a town of natural beauty, Spanish Colonial history, and quirky characters.  If the rumors are true, it’s also home to an inordinate amount of strange occurrences.  Residents are notoriously close-mouthed when it comes to discussing the town’s supernatural reputation, but there’s no way to completely cover up the truth.

The town’s founding is shrouded in mystery, buried in a past filled with blood and death, in-breeding, and a schism in the local church.  What ghosts roam the beautiful beaches after all the tourists pack up for the day?  How do four generations of local families claim to have bought their first cars from the same man?  Why do white ibis with hauntingly human eyes walk the shoreline?  Who is the little girl with the lemonade stand whose rare and fleeting appearances always portend a disaster within the town?

While researching this article, no one at the local historical society thought it was odd to have a sealed annex.  Sealed not with dead bolts or even cipher locks, but with a steel box containing a small, stained ornamental knife.

Amongst the normal neighborhood watch flyers, the sheriff’s department sometimes distributes pamphlets about home security that include such recommendations as “lay a line of salt across your threshold on the night of the full moon. Some local wildlife is notoriously anxious to come inside on these nights, and basic pest control is much simpler than the lengthy process of extraction.”

After all this, I think we’re forced to ask once again, just what is going on in Playa Escondida?

Is PE a haven for the supernatural? A magnet for creatures outside the realm of the mundane? Asking a resident will get you nowhere–to them, PE is simply home. If there are a few more ghost stories than average; if nobody ever seems to recall exactly when they decided to plant rosemary at the corners of their garden; if, infuriatingly, nobody who lives there seems to think there’s anything strange going on that’s worth discussing with a respected paranormal investigative team, then we have to ask–what are they all so determined to hide?

It’s Time for Some Wishes!

“If Wishes Were Coffee” releases tomorrow!  And before I do anything else, I want to thank Less Than Three Press for making this happen.  Can I say how awesome they’ve been to work with?  Megan and Samantha are the best of all worlds… professional, friendly, highly-skilled, responsive.  In short, everything you could ask for in an editorial team.  And best of all, they set up a blog tour for me!


Starting today, you can get an inside scoop on the writing of “Wishes”, interviews with the characters, and an expose article on the deep, dark secrets of Playa Escondida.  It’s exciting, it’s funny, it’s everything you could WISH for!  *insert laugh track here*

Right, so without further ado, here is where you need to be visiting this week.  You know, after you buy your copy of “Wishes”.  Enjoy, leave comments, share the links!

Monday, September 16:  With What I Most Enjoy

Tuesday, September 17:  Babes in Boyland

Wednesday, September 18:  Pants Off Reviews

Thursday, September 19:  World of Diversity Fiction

Friday, September 20:  It’s Raining Men


Buy here!


Comment here for a chance to win your very own copy, personally delivered to your inbox in a flash of magic!

Wanna see something pretty?



I love it!  It captures the whimsical, sweet nature of the story perfectly.  So excited to be working with LT3 and London.

Huh, where did the last hour go??

Kitten Cam  This site is EVIL!  It has the evil cuteness of a thousand burning suns!


Okay, so that metaphor isn’t the greatest.  Let’s just say that the kitten cuteness here will pull you in and suck your brain dry.  Or if not suck your brain dry, suck up every bit of your free time and then some.


Go.  Look.  Come on, you know you wanna.

What do you read?

I’m going to take a chance and say some controversial things here.  Feel free to disagree.  Feel free to think I’m shallow, one of the dirty, uneducated masses.  It’s all cool.


I don’t read literature.  I find people who say they only read literary fiction pretentious, but that’s okay because I’m unlikely to be hanging out with them.  Me?  I read books.  Books that tell awesome stories about fascinating people.  And if these stories happen to have prose that sings down the heavens, that’s great, but it’s not why I read.  I’m looking for a lot more than that.  If you can’t suck me into your story, make me care, then it doesn’t matter how many fancy words you use, how perfect your use of literary allusion is… it’s not a story, it’s a bunch of prose.


I’m going to go even further out on a limb here and say that I want a happily ever after.  I know there are a lot of folks out there (probably the same ones who only read literary fiction) that say the HEA is a cheat, that it’s unrealistic.  You know what?  I.  Don’t.  Care.   If I want depressing realism, I’ll turn on the 6 o’clock news and find tons of people that bad things have happened to with no hope of it ever getting better for them.  I have a very limited amount of free time in my life and I want to read stories where bad things can happen, but in the end it’s all okay.


What about you?  What do you read?

Come see us!

FBF Loves Romance

What’s Michelle Reading?

Due to a long weekend in St. Augustine that involved a plane flight, I’ve had more of an opportunity to read than in what seems like forever.  Day to day, the most I can do is grab ten minutes during my fifteen minute lunch break.  Better than nothing, but still not enough.


So on my wonderful long weekend, I…

Gravedigger's Brawl

Read straight through Abigail Roux’s “Gravedigger’s Brawl.”   Great story!  The perfect mix of scary and sexy, good characterization, good dialogue.  Seriously, who wouldn’t adore Wyatt?  And I loved seeing Richmond in a story, what with being a seventh generation Virginian and all that.


Almost finished Jonathan Bloom’s “American Wasteland.”  Harder read, if only because of American Wastelandthesubject matter.  Don’t even want to think about how many times I’ve cleaned the fridge and dumped out food that I enjoyed/had every intention of finishing, but just never quite did.  Given that my grandparents brought me up to NEVER waste food, this is an uncomfortable subject for me.  After reading, I’m shocked at how much is wasted before it even reaches consumers.  Food for thought and all that (ha, ha).


Pit and the PendulumJust started and can’t put down John Betancourt’s “Pit and the Pendulum.”  I had the pleasure of meeting John at last year’s RavenCon… very cool guy!  I enjoyed interacting with him so much that I picked this up, despite never having been a mystery person, and I’m so glad I did.  “Pit Bull” Geller is the perfect damaged hero, and John’s mixed humor and drama in just the right measures.


I’d love to keep reading at this pace, but with deadlines coming up and editing to be done, it’s not likely.  Maybe I should book another flight somewhere…

“If Wishes Were Coffee”

Less Than Three Press will be publishing “If Wishes Were Coffee”!


I wrote it for their submission call If you’re reading this but the story took off on it’s own and strayed a bit away from the guidelines.  But imagine my huge beaming smile when they contracted it as a stand-alone short story!  Just completed first round edits and cover art request and I have a release date of September 18.  Yaaaaay!


The story takes place in my perfect, imaginary little town of Playa Escondida in northern Florida.  I’m thinking I’ll be visiting there again in the not-too-distant future.  I mean, there’s a haunted stretch of beach resulting from the wreck of a Spanish galleon in the 1600s, and that has to get into a story somewhere, somehow!


This story has a wee connection with “Enchanted Grounds” (Dreamspinner Press) in that there’s some sibling cross-over.  What can I say, I have a thing for coffee shops and magic!