Petit Fours » A group blog of authors writing in different genres

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Welcome Award-Winning Author VICKI BATMAN !

  Panty Hose – Just kill me now Once upon a time, I wore panty hose with no problem, just part of my everyday business attire. But when I left the full-time working profession to care from my sons, they went by the wayside. And that’s when I began to detest them. Maybe this was […]

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Marilyn Baron - October 22, 2014 - 3:47 am

What a great post. I love the excerpt, too. I also wore panty hose all of my working life. Hated them and you’re right, they used to fit and now they don’t and they usually have a run in them right out of the package. My two daughters never wore panty hose and they can’t understand why I do. Now that I work out of my house I only wear them to visit clients or when I have an occasion to dress up. But, hearing my daughters’ voices in my head, lately I’ve stopped doing that, except I feel underdressed when I do. But no one in the younger generation wears them. I can understand why they’re the weapon of choice for serial killers.

Maxine Davis - October 22, 2014 - 10:24 am

Panty Hose! Joe Namath can have them! Alright, I think I just let my age give a shout-out! Hate them. Don’t wear them. Hope never to wear them again. On the way home from work one afternoon – and I remember the place on I-75 where it happened, I was hot, traffic was at a crawl and I peeeled off my panty hose while the truck driver next to me road and watched. I thought he’d moved on. Didn’t care. They are miserable!

Vicki Batman - October 22, 2014 - 10:46 am

Hi, Marilyn: LOLOL I love that last line about weapon of choice for serial killers. LOLOL

Hi, Maxine! Your experience could be the excerpt I needed for my book. Did you ever have a dud pair and ended up cutting them off? Thank you so much for posting today.

D'Ann - October 22, 2014 - 11:10 am

Hate, hate, hate them. Thankfully, horses and dogs don’t care what I wear.

Patricia Yager Delagrange - October 22, 2014 - 11:21 am

Funny post, Vicki. I remember wearing panty hose and I never, ever liked them. When I was a teenager we had to wear the garter belt with the clip thingees to hold up the hose, but you may be too young to know about that. Those segued into panty hose but I still felt like they were a hassle and always stretched and fell down, etc… Hated them! So, then I too had kids and the hose went by the wayside and frankly I see most women not wearing any sort of hose these days. When I go out I wear bare legs with heels or whatever. Never again, I say.

Doreen Jensen - October 22, 2014 - 11:26 am

Times change: When I was able to ditch the garderbelt and stockings for pantyhose I felt liberated(well it was the 60′s)-As I said times change–Then I went to pantyhose with the crotch out–looked like garter style but healthier than regular pantyhose– Then couldn’t get them, was told no-one wanted them as they were ugly–finally found them –stagshop–triple the price -because now they are “sexy”– times change. Now its knee-highs or nothing.
Loved your post–well said.

Vicki Batman - October 22, 2014 - 11:49 am

Hi, D’Ann! and I’m thinking horses and dogs are way smarter.

Hi, Patty! I agree with you–never again! And thank you for the youngster compliment. I may recall… lol

Hi, Doreen! Isn’t it funny how the market changes? I’m pretty sure I read women drew stocking lines up the back of their legs to simulate wearing hose during war times. I don’t even do knee-highs. Barely socks. lol Thank you for saying so and posting.

Melissa Keir - October 22, 2014 - 8:47 pm

I officially hate panty hose. I used to have one brand that I liked that wasn’t too expensive (yes they cost an arm and a leg) and fit right… but *sigh* those brands are long gone.

Walt Mussell - October 22, 2014 - 8:58 pm

This was funny (and I have no clue on panty hose issues).

Vicki Batman - October 22, 2014 - 9:33 pm

Hi, Melissa! Yeah for joining the club. *waving our hate panty hose banner wildly* I wouldn’t know about fit or anything. I think I have one pair.

Hi, Walt! Thank you for the funny compliment. That means I did a pretty good job if you thought so. And that’s okay, you don’t have to know about panty hose. LOLOL

Jeanie Jackson - October 22, 2014 - 10:22 pm

I can related to the panty hose, and yes the garter belt and panty girdle with the thingies. I have to check out this book. Sounds like my kind of girl.

Confessions from the MOB

By Marilyn Baron                       Just like the character, Julie, in my new, humorous coming-of-middle-age women’s fiction, Stones, I am planning a wedding. They say life imitates art, which may be true because my character is planning her son’s wedding and I am planning my daughter’s […]

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Sandy Elzie - October 21, 2014 - 1:03 am

Hi Marilyn,
I can’t wait to go on vacation so I can have time to read your book. MOB??? Oh yeah. I shopped and shopped and then ordered a designer dress. It arrived, but wasn’t the size they ordered. They had to reorder and it arrived two days before the wedding…barely time enough to alter the length.

Marilyn Baron - October 21, 2014 - 6:44 am

I was surprised how far in advance you have to order the dresses because they’re made overseas. My next stop would have been to a department store but they might not have had the size I needed. I’m glad you got your dress in time but that was cutting it close. That was aggravation you don’t need when planning a wedding.

Diane Burton - October 21, 2014 - 8:06 am

I’ll preface my comment with I HATE SHOPPING. However, I was the MOG in August. Dress shopping? Yuck. But I found the perfect outfit in an exclusive (read “expensive”) shop that caters to women of a “certain size.” Unfortunately it wasn’t in my size. Since it had to be specially ordered, I had to pay up front and it was mine–whether it fit or not. I dithered about that for a week before my hairdresser suggested a department store where she’d found a dress for a wedding. They had one for me. I liked it, it was flattering, and half the price of the other one. Surprising what you can find. Funny thing, though, the MOB wore the same color. Bride didn’t mind. Interestingly, at my daughter’s wedding, the MOG and I wore the same color. Navy blue is popular in August as well as November.

Loved STONES. Enjoy the wedding.

Lynn Crain - October 21, 2014 - 9:11 am

I’ve had the very same dilemma myself. It’s always interesting to see just how the bride wants things to be. LOL!

Looks like a great story, Marilyn. Here’s wishing you many, many sales.

Marilyn Baron - October 21, 2014 - 9:15 am


It’s funny you wrote about women of the certain size and my novel Stones is about women of a certain age. I love Navy, not sure it goes with powder blue. A friend of mine who was Mother of the Groom wore a long navy dress and the bridesmaids dresses were navy too and it looked beautiful. I didn’t think anyone would have a problem with a MOB or MOG dress that was the same or similar color as the bridesmaid dresses as long as they blended. The dress I bought happens to be my favorite color so I was happy. I loved the store where I bought the dresses but would have been happy to get it at a department store if I could find my size Thanks for commenting and making me laugh.

Marilyn Baron - October 21, 2014 - 9:18 am

Thanks for commenting. I don’t think my daughter would care what color my dress was as long as it didn’t clash with the bridesmaid dresses. I don’t think she’d even care then but it does look nice in the pictures if everyone wears colors that look good together. I sent a picture of my dress to the future mother-in-law so our dresses wouldn’t clash. Thanks for your good wishes about the book.

Maureen Bonatch - October 21, 2014 - 10:37 am

Love the excerpt (and lol over Barnyard :) Sounds like a great story!

Marilyn Baron - October 21, 2014 - 11:48 am

Maureen, Thank you for your comment. I’m glad you liked the excerpt.

susan coryell - October 21, 2014 - 1:00 pm

Marilyn: I loved STONES and I have 3 married kids – 2 sons and a daughter. Shopping for Mother of-Bride/Groom was hard for me for all the same reasons you pointed out. I ended up getting two of the three from catalogs and for the THIRD wedding I actually borrowed a lovely long linen yellow dress from a neighbor. Don’t forget the accessories! Loved your post and good luck with STONES.

Marilyn Baron - October 21, 2014 - 1:20 pm


I’m so glad you enjoyed reading Stones. The yellow linen dress sounds beautiful. I love yellow but don’t see many dresses in that color in the stores. I think my daughter is going to use a lot of yellow roses in the wedding. Catalogs would be hard for me because how can you tell your size and then when the dress comes in it would have to be altered. I’m all about the accessories. I’d love to borrow some of the jewelry mentioned in the book, especially the emerald necklace. Thanks for your comments.

Connie Gillam - October 21, 2014 - 4:00 pm

Congratulations to your daughter, Marilyn.

Only two of my three children are married. One eloped and the other had a small (read inexpensive)wedding. This daughter was playing to go to the Justice of the Peace. I said I’d plan a quick small wedding for her. (My SIL was shipping out to Afghanistan.) I was so busy shopping for food and getting the house ready, I didn’t have time to shop for me. I had a lovely red dress that served the purpose.

M.J. Schiller, Romance Author - October 21, 2014 - 4:20 pm

I have a friend planning a wedding for her daughter and it’s such a production these days. We’ve been out of the wedding scene for a while so I hadn’t even heard of candy bars (other than the Snickers and Milky Way variety) and there seems to be a lot more thought going into favors, and decorations, etc. I don’t know if I’m up for that yet! Your book sounds great. I love a little wit thrown in! Best wishes for the bride and groom and Stones!

Marilyn baron - October 21, 2014 - 4:24 pm

I’m sure it was a wonderful wedding and the marriage is the important thing. And you always look good. Thanks for commenting.

Marilyn Baron - October 21, 2014 - 5:12 pm

Thanks for commenting. Production is exactly the right word for what this wedding is. I’m sure I don’t even know half of what is involved. We’ve made the major decisions, but there are so many details to think about. Thanks for your good wishes about the bride and groom and Stones.

R.T. Wolfe - October 22, 2014 - 7:58 am

Ha! Love it!
-R.T .Wolfe

Marilyn Baron - October 22, 2014 - 11:28 am

Thanks for commenting.

What I Learned at the 2014 Moonlight & Magnolias Conference

By Pam Asberry I got step-by-step directions on how to create an author website on WordPress. I heard some great tips on how to write for the young adult market. I learned how to create great characters and how to add more conflict to my stories and how to revise them once they are finished. […]

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Marilyn Baron - October 20, 2014 - 5:23 am

Don’t give up on your dream. Your post proves you are a great writer. It was so well written. And you finaled in the Maggie’s! You could start by finishing the book you finaled with. New Adult is popular and you can mention the Maggie final in your query letter. Or start something new that will hold your interest and help you find your voice. Im glad you’re feeling better.

Pam - October 20, 2014 - 9:04 am

Go Pam go! This is more than a post, it’s a manifesto! You can do this! And as a panster myself, if you ever want to share how you got over it, I will be here for you. :)

sandra Elzie - October 20, 2014 - 9:28 am

Now that’s the attitude it takes to reach your goal. Atta Girl!!
BTW, I was so sorry you were sick and MIA for most of Saturday’s events. I wish you the best in the health arena…and in your dream/goal of writing for the “tradionally published” market.

Susan Carlisle - October 20, 2014 - 11:35 am

I have all the faith in the world that you can do it. I fully expect you name to be up in lights or at least in black and white of the NYC Times list. I look forward to that day.

Connie Gillam - October 20, 2014 - 12:31 pm

You’re a talented and creative individual-that’s a given. Making time for your writing can be as simply as writing 15 minutes before turning out the lights or setting the alarm 15 minutes earlier in the morning.

You can do it! And you have a support team-PFHT.

Pam Asberry - October 20, 2014 - 6:58 pm

Thanks to all of you for your votes of confidence! I sincerely hope to make you proud!

Tanya A. - October 20, 2014 - 7:43 pm

Pam, thank you for sharing your M&M experience. This is a great post, and I’m sure you’ll take the positive thoughts from M&M and push forward to fulfill your goals and aspirations. It sounds like you’re formulating a plan to finish stories and submit them. That’s a huge step. With the encouragement of the people you met at M&M and your fellow chapter mates (I’m proud to be a GRW member myself), you have a lot of people rooting for you to make your dreams a reality.

Walt Mussell - October 20, 2014 - 9:36 pm

Pam, don’t give up your dream. And you point out something very important about this past M&M, there was so much to do that there didn’t seem to be enough time.

Day Trips in Georgia – Andersonville

by Sandra Elzie What can be said about the Civil War that hasn’t already been said before?  It started with each side expecting to win in a very short period of time and return to their homes…and ended up being a long, drawn out, war with hundreds of thousands of men maimed and killed.  Brothers […]

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Marilyn Baron - October 17, 2014 - 2:09 am

Great post. I’ve never been there but would like to go.

Connie Gillam - October 17, 2014 - 9:47 am

My husband takes a group of students from his Viet Nam history class to Andersonville every year. In addition to the Civil War the museum has displays on all the conflicts since the Revolutionary War.

Piper - October 17, 2014 - 9:54 am

That’s it. I’ve got to get down there. Great post Sandy!

Walt Mussell - October 17, 2014 - 10:32 pm

This sounds like a great day trip. My kids love history.

sandra Elzie - October 18, 2014 - 12:28 am

Hi Marilyn,
It’s not all that far…just a couple of hours for you, so maybe you can make it down.

sandra Elzie - October 18, 2014 - 12:30 am

Hi Connie,
I found Andersonville very interesting…and sad. It’s a good lesson, I think, for kids to learn about an internal conflict in our country that cost so much…not only in lives, but in morale, property, etc.

sandra Elzie - October 18, 2014 - 12:31 am

I think you’d find it very interesting. I spent almost $100 in the bookstore, so be careful. :)

sandra Elzie - October 18, 2014 - 12:33 am

Hi Walt,
Hope you get your guys down one of these days to see it. There’s a lot about it that I didn’t go in to that they’d probably find very interesting if they love history.

Thank you all for dropping by.

Heart 2 Heart

by Carol Burnside Introducing… Heart 2 Heart, a short story collection by Carol Burnside. Ten flash fiction to long short stories in three sections! Cover art for Heart 2 Heart by CCR Book Cover Design. – See more at: Heart 2 Heart, a short story collection by Carol Burnside. Ten flash fiction to long […]

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Marilyn Baron - October 16, 2014 - 5:28 am

What a great concept and I love the cover and headline. Best of luck. It was great seeing you at M&M.

sandra Elzie - October 16, 2014 - 7:54 am

You’ve been busy. Congrats on the upcoming release and wishes for great success. (great cover, btw)

Connie Gillam - October 16, 2014 - 10:17 am

I’m in awe of you, Carol. Congratulations on the compilations.

Carol Burnside - October 16, 2014 - 4:47 pm

Thanks, everyone! It’s been a whirlwind.

Loved seeing all of you at M&M.

Walt Mussell - October 16, 2014 - 10:19 pm

What’s good about short stories like this is the ability to read them between half-innings at a baseball game.

Piper - October 17, 2014 - 9:55 am

I’m with Connie. I’m in awe of anyone who can write flash fiction. Congrats!

October Release – WATCH FOR THE DAWN

  FROM CYBER DUST TO PUBLISHED By Sandra Elzie/Sandra McGregor How many of us have written stories in the past that we hope will never see the light of day? Come on, at least a few of you must know what I’m talking about. We wrote them in the beginning of our careers and thought […]

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Marilyn Baron - October 15, 2014 - 4:44 am

I love your new story concept and the cover and the fact that you dusted it off to see the light of day. And I love the giveaway. I won one of yours before and it was so nice. I’ve written serial killers on a college campus in my novel Homecoming Homicides and it even scared me. It’s like going to the dark side. I had a cute dog in mine too. Most of my stories feature my late dog, a Bichon Frise.

You are encouraging me to dig out one of my own stories, a paranormal, that is hidden in my computer.

I also like the fact that today, we as writers can go from dark to light.
Best of luck with the new book.

sandra Elzie - October 15, 2014 - 6:28 am

Hi Marilyn,
Hope you enjoy using the Flash Drive you won on the McGregor blog. I also hope you read and enjoy Watch For The Dawn. Yes, it’s an exciting time for writers. I have several other old, dusty stories that I thoroughly enjoyed writing that I might bring to the light of day sometime. Stay tuned !! :)

Piper - October 15, 2014 - 7:47 am

Congrats on your release Sandra! I love the look of the ornaments–so historical. Thanks for showing the way in excavating your work. I have some contemporaries that may see the light one day–I’ll have to think about it!

Maxine Davis - October 15, 2014 - 7:58 am

Sandy, this sounds like a book I will definitely read. Good luck on, yet another, release this year. Way to go!

Connie Gillam - October 15, 2014 - 12:13 pm

Congratulations on your new release, Sandy.

I’m overhauling a previously written thriller that I hope will be ready by the first of the new year.

Carol Burnside / Annie Rayburn - October 15, 2014 - 2:49 pm

Congrats on the new release, Sandy. It’s fun to dust off dusty stories, make them better and release them. Best of luck with your book launch!

Walt Mussell - October 15, 2014 - 9:11 pm

Sandy, I don’t think never see the light of the day should be the issue. I think it’s now that it can see the light of day, when we think it’s ready.

sandra Elzie - October 15, 2014 - 9:14 pm

Hi Piper,
Sure hope you share your other stories with us some day.

sandra Elzie - October 15, 2014 - 9:15 pm

Hi Maxine,
Thanks, I hope you enjoy it. It’s already showing great sales, so hope everyone likes it.

sandra Elzie - October 15, 2014 - 9:16 pm

Hi Connie,
A thriller? I can’t wait!

sandra Elzie - October 15, 2014 - 9:16 pm

Thanks, Carol. I have a couple of other dusty ones that might…..just might….see the light of day sometime.

sandra Elzie - October 15, 2014 - 9:18 pm

Walt, what a wise thought. You’re right. This is this particular book’s time for release. :)

Trudy - October 15, 2014 - 10:24 pm

I’ve been waiting for this one because I love dogs in stories. This has been sitting on my Kindle bookshelf for days waiting for me to finish Behind Door 2.

sandra Elzie - October 15, 2014 - 11:11 pm

Hi Trudy,
Sure hope you enjoy Watch For The Dawn…and Rusty, the canine wonder. :) Yes, I know you love dogs…don’t you have four of the little critters? Anyway, thanks for dropping by.

Your Character’s Emotions by Constance Gillam

    The key, in my opinion, to a great reading experience is to establish an emotional connection between the reader and the characters. I struggle with bringing that emotion to life on the page and would be interested in how others do it. How do you as the writer tap into emotions? Sometimes I use music […]

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Marilyn Baron - October 14, 2014 - 5:40 am

Music is a great way to tap into emotion.

Piper Huguley - October 14, 2014 - 8:18 am

It’s hard to get music to tap into emotions for historical characters, but I often find that the words of a song can be very expressive in tuning in to that character’s feelings at just that particular moment.

Sandy Elzie - October 14, 2014 - 9:38 am

I close my eyes and spend a few minutes thinking through the ENTIRE situation my character is in. For instance, I was writing my hero being furious beyond words with his father and…with the control of a military soldier…he executed a turn and left…but I wanted something more. After thinking about it, I added that his father’s demands for him not to leave faded as he strode down the hall and exited the back door. It took putting myself literally in his skin to realize that he was distancing himself not only physically from his father, but from his father’s verbal tirade. When he stepped outside and quietly closed the door, it was finished.

Pam Asberry - October 14, 2014 - 10:18 am

For my NaNoWriMo novel I am filling out character worksheets. I am hoping that knowing more about them will help me tap more deeply into their emotions.

Connie Gillam - October 14, 2014 - 12:10 pm

I agree with you, Marilyn. The trick is finding the right music for your character.

Carol Burnside - October 14, 2014 - 12:14 pm

When I’m writing, I have to step into the character. I have an empathetic stream a mile wide, so it doesn’t take much to put me in their shoes, especially with their backstory reminding me how they would feel. After that, it’s a matter of body language and judging how they’d react to the situation.

Connie Gillam - October 14, 2014 - 12:19 pm


I think you can do it for historical stories. You’d select classical instrumental pieces rather than a piece with vocals that express contemporary sentiment.
But you’re right, a music can only speak to the character’s emotions at that particular moment or scene.

Connie Gillam - October 14, 2014 - 12:23 pm

That’s a nice touch, Sandy. I could feel that scene.

Connie Gillam - October 14, 2014 - 12:24 pm


Using music as a way of tapping into their emotions should be very easy for you.

Connie Gillam - October 14, 2014 - 12:28 pm

Carol, you are so lucky. Send some of that empathic ability my way.

Piper - October 14, 2014 - 2:59 pm

Maybe for a certain type of historical Connie, but classical music does not take me there for mine. To me, it’s more difficult to tap into the emotions of the characters–hence my use of contemporary music that expresses the same emotion. I’m transported back into the time period far easier–I don’t need the music of the time period for that.

Maxine Davis - October 14, 2014 - 4:02 pm

Music helps – sometimes classical with ocean sounds o sounds of he woods. I like having the “movie’ play in my head” and “seeing” what happens.

Connie Gillam - October 14, 2014 - 4:22 pm

You’re so right, Piper. I was focused on the historical part not the fact that classical music would not fit 19th African American life.

Connie Gillam - October 14, 2014 - 4:24 pm


Background music can clear your mind so you can visualize better.

Tanya A. - October 14, 2014 - 8:03 pm

Connie, Thank you for making me think about how music can help create emotional strings that help that character resonate with the reader.

Sometimes this is hard for me since I’ve had characters who go places where country music is played while I love alternative and big band music. But I can definitely see how music can help not only provide a positive environment for the author to write but also provide characters with more endearing qualities and more sensory opportunities (hearing the music and any touching during dancing).

Thanks for the thought provoking blog.

Connie Gillam - October 14, 2014 - 9:24 pm

Thanks, Tanya for commenting. I’m glad the blog helped you and your writing.

Walt Mussell - October 14, 2014 - 10:18 pm

Since I write a lot of Japan-related stuff, I tend to use music on Japanese classical instruments as a way to keep myself going when I’m writing. It helps.

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