Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Welcome, Vicky Batman



For this writer, the whole world is an inspiration, particularly what someone says. I hear a bit of dialogue, and my head goes bing! For example, #2son came into my office and said, “I have a theory about love.” 

I think my eyes popped out of my head. LOL.

I held up the one-minute finger, wrote down what he said, and went to “Mom mode.” (His girlfriend had just broken up with him, and he needed his mommy’s shoulder--figuratively). The minute he left, I typed the line in a word doc. The short story “Man Theory” flowed from my fingertips. That’s magic.

In Temporarily Out of Luck, the first paragraph is all about a comparison to rats. Rats??!! That does sound icky. My head reached back to a trip to the pet store with #2 son and his friend. I heard their giggles and saw them watching a tiny rat backflipping off the top of the exercise wheel. 

Still, why rats? Hattie Cooks’ life was derailed. She feels just like the rat flying off the wheel, landing in the shavings, dust itself off, and start over again. 

Sometimes, I felt like a small white mouse housed in a cage with lots of small white mice, whose playground activities involved eating, sleeping, and continually revolving on the exercise wheel. Just like one rodent friend—who I named Mr. Happy-Go-Lucky, having a field day back-flipping from the top of the spinning wheel—something happened. Unexpectedly, I found myself airborne. Not hurt, a sense of disappointment overcame me, plus a bit of confusion, and a whole lot of colorful adjectives too numerous to list. I, mostly known as Hattie Cooks, shook off the pine shavings and joined the rat race. Sometimes, life sucked.


Great job. What man? And murder.
 Newly employed at Wedding Wonderland, Hattie Cooks is learning the industry from a woman she greatly admires. When her former brother-in-law is found dead in his luxury SUV, all fingers point to Hattie’s sister, who is planning her own I Dos.

Detective Allan Wellborn is caught between a rock and a hard place—Hattie’s family and investigating the murder of a well-connected Sommerville resident, the same loser who was once married to Hattie’s sister. Determining who’s the bad guy—or gal—isn’t going to be easy and sure to piss off someone.

Can Hattie beat the clock to find out who murdered Tracey’s ex before she is charged with the crime and her wedding is ruined?



In my Book of Debts, I didn’t owe him one iota. However, I could hear my mother in my ear, trotting out a page from the “Right Thing to Do” lecture. What Stuart’s mom did broke all wedding protocol, and Allan doing his saintly thing told her he would help, which translated meant he desperately needed somebody else’s help.

“Fine. I’m in, but you owe me more, like a date to the”—I grasped on the first thing that popped in my head—“opera.”

“Opera? Since when do you like opera?”

I held back a giggle. “Since yesterday.”

Allan blew a huge sigh. “Done.” He paused. “Opera?”


Author bio: Funny, sweet, and quirky, Vicki Batman’s stories are full of her hallmark humor, romance, and will delight all readers. She has sold many award-winning and bestselling romantic comedy works to magazines and most recently, three humorous romantic mysteries. An avid Jazzerciser. Handbag lover. Mahjong player. Yoga practitioner. Movie fan. Book devourer. Cat fancier. Best Mom ever. And adores Handsome Hubby.


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Monday, June 7, 2021

It's One of Those Days

Some days writing sucks. The words don’t flow, the characters don’t talk to me, and I can’t see them in my head.

Some days being an author is discouraging. Your pitching fails and publishers say no thanks. Sales lag, reviews don’t come in, and the contests you’ve been waiting on award everyone but you (or so it seems).


This business is hard. And it is a business, despite the looks of scorn some of my less educated acquaintances give me when they hear what I do. Some days, like today, I’m ready to give up.


But I see others who have given up, and when I hear the news, my stomach clenches and I want to say, “No, don’t!” Because maybe, they’re giving up too soon. And maybe there’s something good coming right around the corner. That tells me I’m not ready, even if they are.


Still, it’s hard trying to justify doing this day in and day out for such little reward and such a lot of anxiety and discouragement.


So, if you’re an author going through this, you’re not alone. If you’re a reader, be kind and supportive. And hey, maybe throw a review our way (if we can write 300 pages, you can probably handle “It was entertaining.”).

Wednesday, June 2, 2021

Welcome Back, Pam Thibodeaux

 My Heart (still) Weeps…..


In 2010 I remarked to a gentleman how much I appreciated him. “I feel your love for me radiate through every fiber of my being and my heart weeps because I’m just not ready….”

My very next thought was…. that sounds like the title for a book! I started writing this story in 2011 and it took eight (8!) years to complete – it was just too up-close and personal to get through all at once.

Published August 18th, 2020 (eleven years to the day my husband passed away), My Heart Weeps parallels my journey through grief into new life. Even though you may learn to live -and even love again- after losing your soul mate, I’ve found (for me anyway) your heart is never quite the same and although I’ve moved forward (I don’t feel we ever completely “move on”) and am living life to the fullest, my heart still weeps. 

I guess it always will.


Fun facts about My Heart Weeps:

Yes, there really is a Utopia, TX. About 30 miles North/West of Bandera and as Melena works at the Crossed Penn Ranch in Utopia, I lived and worked at the Silver Spur Ranch in Bandera. SSR is not an “artists retreat” but a guest ranch. I worked in housekeeping and in the kitchen and even as a drag (back up) wrangler on trail rides.

The descriptions of the area are pretty accurate and drawn from memory. I’ve actually hiked in the Lost Maples Natural Area.

Deer are prominent in the Hill Country, especially rural areas like Bandera and Utopia. It is not unusual to see a huge herd in your yard. I’ve even seen children playing chase with them!

Horseback riding is one of my favorite things to do when possible. There really is nothing more soothing than the clip-clop of hooves on rock. Try it sometime.





Blurb: After thirty years married to the man of her dreams, Melena Rhyker is devastated by her husband's death. Relief comes in the form of an artist's retreat at the Crossed Penn ranch in Utopia, TX. She rediscovers a forgotten dream as her artistic talent flourishes into that of a gallery-worthy artist. Will she have the courage to follow the path she was destined to travel?


Garrett Saunders has been on the run most of his life. Abused and abandoned as a child, he escapes the clutches of a past filled with pain and shame and hides from his calling as a Native American healer. His years as a CIA agent aid in overcoming his childhood and honing his talent and skill as a fine art photographer. 


Follow their journey as two people who come from totally different backgrounds, but share gifts of gigantic proportions, find meaning and purpose in the Texas Hill Country.


Excerpt: With the energy of a wet noodle, she eased out of the sauna, rinsed the sweat off her skin, and tied the sarong around her waist. She tossed the damp towel over her shoulders, put on her sandals and headed to her room to shower and change. Fresh fruit and pastries left over from breakfast lay spread out at the buffet like a feast for the famished. Melena filled a plate and had taken two steps toward the stairs when Anne Penn entered the room flanked by a handsome hunk of man Melena hadn’t seen before.

“Hi, Melena. I’d like you to meet Garrett, our new part-time wrangler, part-time maintenance man.”

Eyes the color of Texas bluebonnets swept over her in a gaze as potent as a caress, then locked with hers. A dimple danced in the cowboy’s cheek when he tipped his hat and grinned. 

“Ma’am,” he drawled.

Melena tugged the ends of her towel together and down over her skimpily clad bosom, muttered a quick hello, and escaped. Racing up the stairs as fast as possible on legs that wobbled, she entered her room, all but dropped the plate on her nightstand, and sat down onto the bed.

Never had she felt the pure sexual punch of such raw masculinity in a single look.


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Author bio: Award-winning author, Pamela S. Thibodeaux is the Co-Founder and a lifetime member of Bayou Writers Group in Lake Charles, Louisiana. Multi-published in romantic fiction as well as creative non-fiction, her writing has been tagged as, “Inspirational with an Edge!” ™ and reviewed as “steamier and grittier than the typical Christian novel without decreasing the message.” Sign up to receive Pam’s newsletter and get a FREE short story!



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PS: In case you’re wondering, the gentleman who inspired the title and I are not together today. But I am forever grateful for the blessing he was in my life. He showed me I could, and should, love again. 😊