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

Masthead header

A sophomoric proposition–The Mayor’s Mission

By Piper Huguley I first learned about the Greek meaning of the word “sophomore” when I read Betsy in Spite of Herself as a YA reader. Betsy is about to enter her second year of high school and she learns that the word breaks down to mean sophos, which means wise and moros which means […]

View full post »

Carol Burnside - December 10, 2014 - 3:32 am

I’m looking forward to The Mayor’s Mission, Piper. Love the cover.

Marilyn Baron - December 10, 2014 - 6:59 am

Good luck on the new book.

Piper - December 10, 2014 - 7:39 am

Thank you Carol!

Piper - December 10, 2014 - 7:39 am

Thank you for the good luck Marilyn and for stopping by!

Sonali Dev - December 10, 2014 - 7:56 am

Hi Piper! I loved this. I think the word I’d use is ‘courage.’ Good luck, may your niche thrive and grow, darling!


Piper - December 10, 2014 - 8:06 am

Awww, thank you Sonali! I’ll put that right in there with risk. Thank you for stopping by!!

Connie Gillam - December 10, 2014 - 9:38 am


I’ve also thought about having a couple’s story continue through a series and it’s a challenge. (at least for me)

Good luck with The Mayor’s Mission. My kindle’s warm and ready. Btw, it’s nice to have a niche.

Maxine Davis - December 10, 2014 - 9:58 am

Piper, I do like the cover and wish you the very best!! You are right, and realistic. People did not live near as long years ago.

Louise B - December 10, 2014 - 10:27 am

Piper, I thought of three mystery series which followed the couple through childraising and their love while solving crimes. Elizabeth Peters’ Amelia Peabody starts with the Crocodile on the Sandbank and Anne Perry’s two with Thomas and Charlotte Pitt (starts with The Cater Street Hangman) and the William Monk series (begins with The Face of a Stranger.) All of these are long series, but I think you’re correct, I can’t recall any romance series.

Elaine Manders - December 10, 2014 - 11:49 am


I’ve lamented this same problem to you I think, continuing the second book with the same characters. I’ve decided to do it though I doubt I’ll ever find a publisher who’ll take that risk, so like you, I’ll have to self-publish.

Your mention of people dying made me think of Janette Oke’s series. Marty and Clark lived as minor characters into their 90s. I don’t think they ever “died”. Also, Lauraine Snelling’s first series had the hero of book one dying and the heroine marrying another, but her books were more women’s fiction than romance.

Piper - December 10, 2014 - 4:03 pm

Hey Connie!

It’s a challenge because everyone thinks that the romance ends with the wedding. Ha! Thank you so much for your good wishes and for stopping by!

Piper - December 10, 2014 - 4:05 pm

Thank you. I couldn’t believe the hit I had to take in the comments of that review! People die! I guess characters don’t….Thank you for stopping by!

Piper - December 10, 2014 - 4:06 pm


Thank you for your examples. They are mysteries, though and I think that’s where all of the romance people would draw the line. I’ve even been told that if I do this, people would question the validity of the HEA in The Preacher’s Promise. I think some of these people aren’t married…..thank you for stopping by and commenting!

Piper - December 10, 2014 - 4:08 pm

Ahh, yes, I just read those Lauraine books, Elaine. I don’t remember being devastated by the first husband dying…wow. And you continue to carry on as well with your couple. They have issues to work out and I’m sure you will help them to do that. Thank you for stopping by Elaine!

Amy Patrick/Amy DeLuca - December 10, 2014 - 4:43 pm

I think “risk” is a great word, and when you’re true to yourself as a writer and true to your characters, your core readers will find you and love it. Congratulations on your upcoming release Piper!

cilla - December 10, 2014 - 7:26 pm

Ms. Piper.. I love this. I always learn something new from you. Cannot wait to read this also :-)

Piper - December 10, 2014 - 8:29 pm

I like the slant you put on it Amy, thanks! I appreciate that you came by and commented today!

Xzanthia - December 10, 2014 - 9:01 pm

I’m really looking forward to reading The Mayor’s Mission, I was just checking Barnes and Nobel yesterday to see if it was out.
Love the cover for your new book also. It’s really nice to read about African Americans in a historical romance, that’s what caught my attention to begin with.
Good luck Piper on your new book release.

Piper Huguley - December 10, 2014 - 9:03 pm

Thank you Xzanthia, and I hope you aren’t the only one! I’m still thinking about B&N as an outlet, but I will let you know. Thank you for your kind words and commenting!

Tanya A. - December 10, 2014 - 11:24 pm

Piper, I just finished The Preacher’s Promise, and I am very much looking forward to The Mayor’s Mission. I know you’ll rise to meet the challenge of capturing the story well, even when it brings me to tears.

That was an interesting question you raised about married romance sequels where the main characters stay the same. Of course, cozy mystery writers have done this from Agatha Christie’s Tommy and Tuppence who aged and had children while still fighting crime and staying romantically involved to Charlotte MacLeod’s Sarah and Max and now even J. B. Stanley. I’m also thinking of the Nick and Nora Charles’ movies series with Myrna Loy and William Powell. But it is hard to think of a romance series. I know you’ll do this new niche proud with your trilogy.

Piper - December 11, 2014 - 7:30 am

Thank you Cilla! I think WordPress swallowed my previous comment, but I’m so glad you commented today!

Piper - December 11, 2014 - 7:32 am


Thank you so much for your kind words. They mean a great deal coming from a writer of your caliber.

And see? It’s mysteries that seem to have no problem doing this. It’s the romance idea that you don’t see the couple again…still nervous….thank you for your kind words and for stopping by!

sandra Elzie - December 12, 2014 - 5:24 am

You might say that Nora’s MacGregor series carried the same hero/heroines through various stories about the family, but, like you said, there is always a new love story brewing and budding.

Good luck on your series.

Lakota Moon Rising: Cover Reveal! by Constance Gillam

Several reviewers of Lakota Dreaming mentioned they would have loved to have seen more of Julia and Sunkawakan Iyopeya’s (Trades with Horses) story. I thought, how hard would it be to write a historical novella based on two characters I knew so much about? I could whip out the rough draft in thirty days, edit […]

View full post »

Marilyn Baron - December 9, 2014 - 12:26 am

Great cover. Best of luck in finishing the book.

Piper - December 9, 2014 - 8:36 am

Looking forward to it, Connie! You can do it!

Connie Gillam - December 9, 2014 - 8:51 am

I forgot to mention that I’m giving away a $10 Amazon gift card to a lucky commentator.

Connie Gillam - December 9, 2014 - 8:52 am

Glad you liked the cover, Marilyn. Kim does a great job.

Connie Gillam - December 9, 2014 - 8:53 am

Thanks for the encouragement, Piper. I hope you’re still available to look at the novella when I finish.

Maxine Davis - December 9, 2014 - 9:23 am

Connie, I will buy it. I love historical that includes the American Indians – I would also buy it for the cover.

Walt Mussell - December 9, 2014 - 10:41 am


That is an absolutely awesome cover!!!

Piper - December 9, 2014 - 11:29 am

Of course Connie! This is a good time for me as well, now that the term is over. :)

Connie Gillam - December 9, 2014 - 11:53 am


Thanks for your support, and I’m glad you like the cover.

Connie Gillam - December 9, 2014 - 11:55 am

Glad you like the cover, Walt. Kim Killion did a great job.

Connie Gillam - December 9, 2014 - 11:56 am


I’m hoping I can finish it before your winter term starts.

Piper - December 9, 2014 - 12:09 pm

No worries Connie,

Even if you don’t, school won’t get really moving for me until mid-February. You’re fine!

Carol Burnside - December 10, 2014 - 3:27 am

Excellent motivation. You can do it, Connie!

Connie Gillam - December 10, 2014 - 9:24 am

Carol, if you were only here, so I could touch you for some of your publishing mojo.

sandra Elzie - December 12, 2014 - 5:20 am

Love the cover, Kim did a fantastic job….now the rest is up to you, right? (Or is that “write?” ) :)

Good luck! Can’t wait to read it.

It’s for me!

By Susan Carlisle   I’ve been sewing just a few years longer than I’ve been a romance reader which means most of my life. I started on my mother’s machine and on my twenty-first birthday I received my own machine which is the one I still use. Let’s just say that machine has given me […]

View full post »

Carol Burnside - December 8, 2014 - 2:53 am

I’m envious! Learning curve, yes, but what fun. Merry Christmas to you, Susan. :-D

Marilyn Baron - December 8, 2014 - 5:21 am

I can’t sew or embroider but I can just imagine all the things you can embroider for your grandchildren. What a great gift.

Sia Huff - December 8, 2014 - 8:53 am

What a wonderful gift for you. I know everything will be beautiful, after your learning curve. Enjoy!

Connie Gillam - December 8, 2014 - 9:14 am

Merry Christmas! It’s good to reward yourself with something you truly want.

As for sewing, I didn’t have the patience.

Debbie Kaufman - December 8, 2014 - 9:42 am

Oh, how fun! Glad you finally got one. I bet it’s hard to restrain yourself while you are learning :)

Maxine Davis - December 8, 2014 - 10:03 am

Susan, I love to sew, but seldom do any more–mostly patch work and ripped seams. But even to do that, I think I’m going to have to buy another machine. Mine is so old, they said they could only oil it and the stitching/bobbin isn’t right any more. Oh, well, I’ll give it a few more tries before I get another. But BIG congratulations on your new embroider machine. I’m sure you’ll spend wonderful hours and have gorgeous outfits for you and the Grands!

Piper - December 8, 2014 - 10:32 am

Have a wonderful time with your embroidery machine. The emblems, etc. will look beautiful!

Susan Carlisle - December 8, 2014 - 11:44 am

Thanks for all the encouragement. I look forward to showing off all my work.

sandra Elzie - December 11, 2014 - 9:04 am

I know you’re going to have a lot of fun playing with this new machine. I had one in California, but sold it when we moved. I still haven’t replaced it. (No time to use it.)

Peanut Butter Blossom – Flourless, yes Gluten Free – Cookies by Sia Huff

I’ve always been a baker and loved creating yummy treats. When I discovered I needed to go the gluten free route for my health, baking without wheat flour became quite a challenge. I’ve made a few recipes that have gone straight in the trash, but these peanut butter cookies are delicious. Great texture and easy to make. One batch […]

View full post »

Maxine Davis - December 5, 2014 - 10:28 am

Hi Sia, Thank you for the recipe! I love the look of your cookies and I am going to make some very soon. Doubt there will be any left over to freeze for Christmas! I think of you so often – I see so much gluten-free at the grocery store and, believe it or not, the bakery! I hope you find lots of things you like!

Sia Huff - December 5, 2014 - 10:51 am

Thanks, Maxine. They don’t last long in our house. I appreciate the thoughts. Is it a local bakery on your side of town? Hopefully, I could find a chain up here.

Marilyn Baron - December 5, 2014 - 5:12 pm

These look great. I’m not a baker at all but they don’t look very difficult. Thank you.

Sia Huff - December 5, 2014 - 6:47 pm

They really are easy to make and tasty. Your welcome, Marilyn.

Walt Mussell - December 5, 2014 - 10:23 pm

That looks absolutely delicious!

Maxine Davis - December 7, 2014 - 9:54 am

Sia, I went to Publix on Bass Rd yesterday. I wanted some “homemade” cookies. In the cake mjix section, they had a few different brands and kids of gluten-free cookie mixes and I think a cake mix. Good luck. Let me know if you want me to bring you some to the Dec. meeting.

Sia Huff - December 8, 2014 - 8:50 am

Thanks Walt.

Debbie Kaufman - December 8, 2014 - 9:44 am

Wow, I’ve made easy pb cookies before but never without a flour binder! Printing this one out. Yum!

Piper - December 9, 2014 - 11:31 am

I can’t imagine Christmas without these cookies. How wonderful there is a version that is gluten free. Thank you for sharing this recipe!

sandra Elzie - December 11, 2014 - 9:03 am

Thank you so much for the gluten-free recipe. I have a friend who has issues and this is perfect for her. Merry Christmas!

NEW! Nobody’s Baby by @Carol_Burnside (Excerpt and #giveaway)

Nobody’s Baby She was the incubator, nothing more until the parents died tragically. Now she’s having Nobody’s Baby. For Kate Morissey, becoming a surrogate seems like a great way to refill her tuition account and get the education she’s always wanted. After putting her life on hold to raise and educate her two brothers, she’s […]

View full post »

Marilyn Baron - December 4, 2014 - 3:52 am

Great excerpt. Best of luck with the new release.

Carol Burnside / Annie Rayburn - December 4, 2014 - 7:22 am

Thanks, Marilyn! I’m traveling to DC today so will check in sporadically, y’all.

Maxine Davis - December 4, 2014 - 8:44 am

Carol, As always the book sounds great. Can’t wait to read it. Beswt of luk with the release.

Connie Gillam - December 4, 2014 - 10:17 am

Just the baby on the cover guarantees a good read. Best of luck with this release, Carol. I know it’s been a busy and productive year for you. As I’ve said more than once, you’re my idol!

Carol Burnside - December 4, 2014 - 2:12 pm

Thanks, Maxine. Happy reading!

Carol Burnside - December 4, 2014 - 2:13 pm

You’re sweet to say so, Connie. Most of what I released this year just needed editing, so 2015 will be a whirlwind, concentrating on writing and releasing. Perhaps not so many releases, but a lot more writing.

sandra Elzie - December 11, 2014 - 9:01 am

Hi Carol,
I’ve downloaded your book and can’t wait to find the time to read it. It sounds like a great premise.

A “Launch” of a New Story

By Walt Mussell I happy to announce that I have a new short story out. Back in October, I received an e-mail, asking if I wanted to participate in a Kindle Worlds’ launch for Stephanie Bond’s Body Movers series. It left me confused. Body Movers? I’m familiar with that. Stephanie Bond is one of my […]

View full post »

Marilyn Baron - December 2, 2014 - 2:41 am

I’ve heard of fan fiction but don’t know much about it, but I love Stephanie Bond’s books. The concept sounds great and I love the short story genre. Your new novella and the one set in Japan sound amazing and I’m looking forward to reading them. Best of luck on the launch.

Walt Mussell - December 2, 2014 - 5:51 am

Marilyn, fan fiction has been a learning experience, but it is a fun one. Thank you.

Maxine Davis - December 2, 2014 - 7:58 am

Congratulations, Walt. You’ve been busy! I, too, have hear of fan fiction, but did not know anything abut it. It does sound fun and best of luck on your upcoming books!

Walt Mussell - December 2, 2014 - 9:39 am

Maxine, thanks. I’ve written about 15k in the last ten days, finishing the first draft on the Japan-based story. It’s as close as I’ll ever get to NaNo.

Cathy Perkins - December 2, 2014 - 10:57 am

Joining the ranks of people who aren’t familiar with fan fiction – congratulations on being selected to write for Kindle Worlds. What fun that you’re writing from Wesley’s point of view, since much of the series (naturally) focuses on Carlotta. I can see how fan fiction enhances and expands a series “world.”

Stephanie Bond - December 2, 2014 - 11:10 am

Walt’s short story REVENGE IS A BODY BEST SERVED COLD is a GREAT example of fan fiction because not only does it fill in between the regular Body Movers stories, but it sets up a situation he can spin off into his own series within the series–it’s brilliant!

Walt Mussell - December 2, 2014 - 12:10 pm

Cathy, when I started it, I was a little ignorant of fan fiction myself. When I started, I realized there are very few places where I’d feel comfortable doing this. While writing the initial story, I re-read the first three books in six days to get a feel for it as well as to ensure that I wasn’t making any mistakes.

Also, it’s easier for me to write from Wesley’s POV (being a guy). In the Japan book, I spend a lot of time in Carlotta’s POV, which I’m learning to deal with.

Walt Mussell - December 2, 2014 - 12:13 pm

Stephanie, thanks for stopping by and for your comments. Given how much I’d admire your work (as well as how much I’m waiting for the next installments in both your Body Movers series and your Voodoo series), I’m happy to be part of the launch.

Robin Kaye - December 2, 2014 - 12:16 pm


I started out writing fan fiction–I wrote a modern-day telling of Pride and Prejudice with a twist of Persuasion. I loved it but quickly learned that Jane Austen is hard to compete with…as is Stephanie Bond. I give you big props for pulling it off. I can’t wait to read it. I’m off to download it, and then finish my copy edits… your story will be my reward for getting my copy edits done. My editor thanks you!

Cynthia Cooke - December 2, 2014 - 12:17 pm

Hi Walt!!
Very exciting!! Wesley is one of my favorite characters–a rebel after my own heart. Your story sounds awesome. Can’t wait to read it. And to see what you do with a time-traveling Carlotta in Japan! :)
Best of luck!

Walt Mussell - December 2, 2014 - 12:31 pm

Robin, I know Stephanie’s hard to compete with. (I’m nowhere near as funny as she is.) Thank you for picking it up.

Walt Mussell - December 2, 2014 - 12:37 pm

Cynthia, I like Wesley, too. He’s got a good side to him, even though he has a lot of growing up to do. I write part of my Japan work from Wesley’s POV, and I’m making him as headstrong as my younger son (since he’s a 9-y.o. in the Japan series).

I am really looking forward to how the Japan book turns out, though I feel I spend a lot of time trying not to get to into the details of the settlement itself.

Thank you for stopping by.

Debbie Kaufman - December 2, 2014 - 12:52 pm

Yeah, Walt! I’ve never read or written fan fiction, but I am a huge fan of Stephanie Bond’s Body Movers.Definitely taking time out to read your story!

Wendy Etherington - December 2, 2014 - 12:58 pm

So excited to read the story, Walt! I think Wesley is awesome! Since I’ve known Stephanie for longer than either of us want to admit, I know for certain she has no teenage offspring running around the world, yet she gets this teenage boy so spot on in the Body Movers books. It’s amazing. I’m glad you’re focusing on him. It should be interesting from a male perspective.

Connie Gillam - December 2, 2014 - 2:06 pm

Congratulations, Walt!

My daughter writes fan fiction so I’m familiar with it. I’ve also read Stephanie’s Body Movers series and loved it.

Good luck with your story. Great title, btw.

Walt Mussell - December 2, 2014 - 3:00 pm

Debbie, thank you. I think everybody who reads Stephanie’s Body Mover series becomes a fan. I’ve even managed to generate one new one. My mother plans on buying some of Stephanie’s work, just so she understands where the story is going.

Marissa Garner - December 2, 2014 - 3:02 pm

Congrats, Walt! Sooo happy for you. What an honor to be CHOSEN to write for the launch. Just got my copy and can’t wait to read it!

Carol Burnside - December 2, 2014 - 3:20 pm

I’m familiar with fan fiction. So happy for you Walt. This is great exposure and experience! I look forward to reading it.

Walt Mussell - December 2, 2014 - 4:12 pm

Wendy, as the only male in the Body Movers launch group, I feel a big responsibility to my gender. :-) However, as a father of a teenage boy and a future teenage boy (very soon for my younger son), I identify with the POV better.

Walt Mussell - December 2, 2014 - 4:22 pm

Connie, thanks. I was a little worried about the title as I didn’t know if I could incorporate a Star Trek phrase into the title of my story. However, one of the other launch authors knew that the phrase was a couple of centuries old, so it worked out.

Walt Mussell - December 2, 2014 - 4:22 pm

Marissa, thank you. I hope you enjoy it.

Walt Mussell - December 2, 2014 - 4:26 pm

Carol, thank you. I’m still in a bit of a learning curve, but it’s a been a great introduction into how I might do my other works if I decide to go the self-publishing route.

Livia Quinn - December 2, 2014 - 6:09 pm

Oh, Walt I’m so excited for you. You’ll do FINE! Can’t wait to read this.

Walt Mussell - December 2, 2014 - 7:55 pm

Thanks, Livia! I hope so.

sandra Elzie - December 11, 2014 - 9:00 am

Hi Walt,
I’m back in town now…and very late to the party, but I had to comment on your new release. Fantastic! I can’t wait to read it.

I just clicked over to Amazon and bought it for my Kindle. Can’t wait to read it.

Best of luck on the next one.

Countdown to Gift-Giving: Five Favorite Homemade Gifts to Give

By Debbie Kaufman Whatever holiday you celebrate, it’s gift-giving season.  Some of you, and I really, really don’t want to hear it, have already finished all your shopping.  Every year I tell myself that I will join the ranks of you virtuous early planners and finish before the holiday rush… Yeah,…nope, didn’t happen this year […]

View full post »

Walt Mussell - December 1, 2014 - 7:44 am

For writers, I’m still looking for chocolate (and a coffee cup that says “Don’t annoy me or I’ll put you in my next book.”) :-)

My wife is very creative and has made a number of gifts over the years, particularly paintings and origami. A lot of work goes into what she does, but her gifts hold even more love.

Marilyn Baron - December 1, 2014 - 8:53 am

Thanks for suggesting ideas for the non-crafty, non-sewers. I love the journal idea for writers.

Debbie Kaufman - December 1, 2014 - 10:35 am

Walt, I recall seeing some of your lovely wife’s work. She’s definitely got the “art” gene! As for that coffee cup, quite doable. Check out pinterest! Even my hubby uses Pinterest these days to aggregate ideas :)

Debbie Kaufman - December 1, 2014 - 10:36 am

Marilyn, I don’t sew either. I actually liked several other journal ideas that involved using a drill and cord for binding or a more decoupage-like idea.

Carol Burnside - December 1, 2014 - 2:00 pm

All excellent ideas, Debbie. I bet your family has a great Christmas!

Debbie Kaufman - December 1, 2014 - 2:13 pm

Thanks, Carol. You just can’t beat the gift of time!

Connie Gillam - December 1, 2014 - 5:54 pm


You and my sister must be on the same page. She’s also talking about us going to Snow Mountain at Stone Mountain Park. I know the grandkids will love it. Me??? I’ll go just to see the little ones faces.

Debbie Kaufman - December 1, 2014 - 6:38 pm

Hey Connie! I think the tubing will be fun, but as for the rest of it, I’m with you :)

Maxine Davis - December 2, 2014 - 7:52 am

The gifts all soujd great, Debbie. I’ll have to try some of them. Thanks

Debbie Kaufman - December 2, 2014 - 12:47 pm

Welcome, Maxine!

F O L L O W   U S
R E C E N T   T W E E T S