Raw Pumpkin Pie and November Notes

NaNoWriMo Update

Day 18. Word count is about 24,000. Yep, not enough words and I’m still calm. I’m pleased with what I’ve done so far and on November 30th, I am looking forward to being satisfied with what I’ve accomplished.

Latest release

The first book in the Ravenscar Shifter series The Last Storyteller by Michelle Dutton (my pen name for romance) is available for pre-order till midnight November 19th at a mere 99 cents. The 60 page shapeshifter romance novella will be released Thanksgiving week on Monday, November 20, 2017.

Click  the title for the deal: The Last Storyteller (available for pre order)

Pumpkin Pie Recipe

Check here for a raw, healthy pumpkin pie recipe. Full disclosure. About 2005, I shared Thanksgiving dinner with dear friends Barbara and Myron and their six-year-old son Dylan. I was in charge of the pumpkin pie. Since I was a raw food-ist at the time, I created a phenomenal pumpkin pie with an almond meal-ginger-date crust. As Barbara said, it was the healthiest thing we ate that day. Dylan ate two large slices, so it has a kid’s seal of approval. I have lost that recipe. Tragedy of tragedies. This year I will try to re-create it. If I’m successful, I’ll add update this post. In the meantime, try the link above for a Hallelujah Acres recipe.

Happy Thanksgiving! I am truly grateful for you.


Posted in Food, health, Uncategorized, WRITING | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Pre-Order The Last Storyteller and NaNoWriMo 2017

Although it is day nine of NaNoWriMo with late October/early November filled with doctors’ appointments, plumbers, marketing the anthology, publishing a new book in a series and writing book proposals, I’m surprisingly calm about my 1,838 total wordcount. Yes, you read that right. Yes, I realize it should be 15,000. No problem, I say.

Why am I not panicking? I asked a friend to choose the project. Fortunately she said I should write the Deluded Detective Book Three discovery draft. No plot, no problem. Yes, Plot girl just said that. The main characters, Pam and Dante, are old friends, both extroverts, both ready for action. I know they are on a road trip in a taco truck. I know they’ll be looking for a lost child. I have faith my friends will take over soon and I just need to type what happens.

Other news?

The first book in the Ravenscar Shifter series The Last Storyteller by Michelle Dutton (my pen name for romance) is ready for pre-order at a mere pittance: 99 cents. The 60 page shapeshifter romance novella will be released Thanksgiving week on November 20, 2017.

A squall is coming …

Miri abandoned her tribe of raven shapeshifters and the only man she’d loved when her sister betrayed her. Now, fifteen years later, she returns to meet the nephew Trey raised and to investigate Elise’s death. Had her sister flown into a squall to kill herself or had someone driven her to it? No longer the storyteller her people needs, she searches the story keepers’ treasures for answers before she must leave Trey again … until a storm threatens everyone she loves and everything she believed to be true.

The Last Storyteller is a second-chance romance and a sweet paranormal novella set in Central California.

Click  the title for the deal: The Last Storyteller (available for pre order)

If you like the book, I hope you’ll consider leaving a review on Amazon or Good Reads. Reviews really do help the author and readers!

Happy reading!


Posted in Uncategorized, WRITING | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

FREE Book and The Last Storyteller Cover Reveal

To introduce readers to Michelle Dutton’s romances, Amazon offers the historical suspense novel Lillian in the Doorway FREE October 28 to November 1st. The novel includes two excerpts: one from my first Abishag mystery Sinking Ships and the second is from the first book in the Ravenscar Shifters series The Last Storyteller. Sinking Ships is available for 99 cents at Amazon. The Last Storyteller will be available very soon. In fact, my next blog post will announce the date.

Until then, please pick up Lillian in the Doorway FREE for a limited time. Here is a teaser.

A pharmacist falls in love with his fake fiancée in a novel about orange ranches in 1920s California, gangsters, and finding a home.

And now for the cover reveal!

Michelle Dutton is the pen name I use for my romance line. For anyone who has visited California’s coastline, you might recognize this spot. The story takes place in central California in a raven shapeshifter community called Ravenscar that stretches from the beach to the Sierra mountains. A lot of action takes place on the beach, but throughout the novella, the characters sense “a squall is coming.” When you look at the cover, can you sense a squall coming, too?

Stay tuned for the book release. It’s coming soon!

Click on the title below for the deal:

Lillian in the Doorway (FREE for a limited time)

If you like the book, I hope you’ll consider leaving a review on Amazon or Good Reads. Reviews really do help the author and readers!

Happy reading!

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Foment and Feast for NaNoWriMo 2017

Food plan alert. Mine is in work. Is yours?

I’ve participated in how many NaNoWriMos? Ten, eleven or twelve? I’ve not finished a couple that’s for sure. I’m not traveling this fall, so I hope that bodes well for a successful writing month. I may even do something scary, like take a Scrivner class.

The National Novel Writing Month in November is a signature event for me. If I’m not planning one or editing a book that I wrote in one, then I’m probably in one.

This month was all about clearing the decks. I submitted a book proposal, marketed the anthology Murder, Mystery & Mayhem, prepared for the anthology’s launch party, and set up a Lillian in the Doorway giveaway that starts Saturday. And prepared for a new indie series launch.

Ravenscar Shifters is a series set in central California, in a community of raven shifters. I initiated the pre-publication tasks for The Last Storyteller—the first book (a novella) in this three-book paranormal series. Besides being paranormal/fantasy, it is also a mystery and a second-chance sweet romance. The cover is finished and I’ll post a reveal in a few days. The novella should be ready for pre-order on Halloween.

The second book, The Foreign Story Collector, a suspense romance novel with paranormal elements. Its release should be in December.

In November, it will be 50,000 words in 30 days. It’s almost a rule that you start November 1st with a fresh idea, a token stab at a few characters, and the barest outline possible.  See the website and/or Baty’s book for more information.

Foment: My 2017 NaNo? My writing life is stirring up trouble. I’d planned to write the third book in the Ravenscar Shifters series or the second book in the Orange Ranch Brides series or the third book in the Deluded Detective Mystery series. Yet I’d dearly love to finish my YA dystopia novel, finish the beta revision to my SF novel, and finish the Tunisian paranormal novella. I can do all three in thirty days. What to do…? Feel free to express an opinion. Should I be a starter or a finisher?

Feast: But the real preparation? Getting food in order so that I can concentrate on writing. First year it’ll be strictly plant-based vegan, and I’ll try to meet Dr. Greger’s Daily Dozen.

Breakfast: fridge porridge or power greens smoothie or vegan muffin with fruit

Lunch: hummus wraps or bean tacos or sandwiches with carrot-cashew curry spread and veggies on pumpernickel with broccoli slaw

Dinner: baked potato stuffed with chili or salad bowls or spaghetti with veggie sauce and power greens.

I hydrate with iced Trader Joe’s harvest blend tea.

Quick meal preparation is how you make novels!

Questions? Please leave your favorite NaNoWriMo recipes and prep plans here.

Happy noveling, Michelle

Posted in Food, Uncategorized, WRITING | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Murder, Mystery & Mayhem Anthology Launch

Looky here! An anthology you will not want to miss. Murder, Mystery & Mayhem!

I have been a member of the writers’ group Orange County Fictionaires since 1992. It has made me a better writer and a better friend to writers. It has produced such luminous writers as National Book Award recipient Neal Shusterman, New York Times bestseller Elizabeth George, and three time Edgar Award receipient T. Jefferson Parker.

We have published our first anthology— Murder, Mystery & Mayhem and it includes works by ten of our current Fictionaires members. The illustrious Jacqueline Diamond wrote the foreword.

My own short story, Last of the Skipjack, is a typical day in the life of an engineer—if she were the type to consider mass murder mere collateral damage to winning a submarine program for NASA. The following is an excerpt from Last of the Skipjack.

While I waited to be seated, I checked my phone. The exchange of Reynolds’ emails on the interplanetary telephony network exceeded my expectations. Maybe I’d collect five papers from the mayhem.

I ordered a side salad and water with lemon. I told the waitress that I’d just heard a rumor that Universal was negotiating with Ridley Scott for a new movie.

“The one about a capsule found in Titan’s methane seas? It carries a bloodied cipher that explains the real reason why Van Gogh died.”

If you are in the area, the anthology launch party will be Sunday, October 29, 2017 from 2 to 5 PM. There will be music, raffle prizes, and readings from the anthology by the authors. Limited number of books will be available and attending authors will be happy to sign them. A Stones Throw Winery, 29943 Camino Capistrano, San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675

Murder, Mystery & Mayhem is available for e-readers and in paperback. It makes an excellent Halloween gift! Check it out for yourself and your favorite ghoulies.

If you like the anthology, I hope you’ll consider leaving a review on Amazon or Good Reads. Reviews really do help the authors and readers!

Happy reading!


Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Lillian in the Doorway

Popular blogger and author Debra Young, reviewed my 1920s suspense romance. I’m thrilled, humbled, and dancing a jig.


Lillian in the Doorway by Michelle Dutton is Book One in the Orange Ranch Brides series, a charming sweet romance spiced with danger set amid the orange ranches and oil derricks of 1924 southern California. As Shakespeare wrote, “Oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive.” proves all too true for intrepid Lillian Spratt, on the run from Chicago gangsters, hiding in the sanctuary of Gilda Axtabal’s Boardinghouse in Fullerton, California. Lillian’s roommates at the boardinghouse think she should marry first and provide them with a proper parlor in which to meet gentlemen. They finagle a meeting between Lillian and the widowed German pharmacist Jens Schreiber, an honorable man with secrets of his own, devoted to his six-year old son Leo and doing his best to avoid the matchmaking efforts of his housekeeper and her friend the mayor’s wife determined to see him married to…

View original post 66 more words

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

August 2017 First Friday Breakfast with Author Greta Boris

On the first Friday of August 2017, we are having breakfast with author Greta Boris.

Greta Boris is the author of the 2017 releases, A Margin of Lust and The Scent of Wrath, the first two books in her 7 Deadly Sins domestic suspense series. She’s also the Director of O.C. Writers, a community of over 800 published and aspiring authors in Orange County, California.

She’s published articles on culture, health, and entertainment for a variety of national magazines including Victorian Homes, Zombies, 50 Scariest Movies, Exodus, and Women of the Bible. She’s also the author of the Amazon Kindle Bestseller The Wine and Chocolate Workout – Sip, Savor, and Strengthen for a Healthier Life.

She describes her work (and her life) as an O.C. housewife meets Dante’s Inferno.

For this hot August breakfast, I’m having a green smoothie with power greens, broccoli, mango, flaxseed, and chia seeds. Iced green tea. Greta, what are you having?

Hi Michelle! This morning I’m having a cup of cafe au lait, a flaky spinach and cream cheese croissant, and a veggie omelet. I might have a little champagne to top things off if I’m not too full

I can so see you having this breakfast in Paris! So tell us about your writing process from concept to draft to revision.

Since my series is based on the 7 Deadly Sins, I usually begin my planning by exploring all the ways the particular sin I’m working on impacts people’s lives. For instance, in the first book, A Margin of Lust, I tackled what we most often think about, sexual lust. I thought about the effect it has on married couples, families, or children of straying parents first.

But lust isn’t only about sex. Lust, in my mind, is an insatiable craving for something, often something that becomes an obsession. Some people lust for power, or money, or prestige. I tried to show all those elements in the book.

Next I get some kind of plotting done. Sometimes I walk my dog and dictate emails to myself about things that might happen.

Once I have a loose outline, I begin writing. This is always a one step forward, two steps back process for me. Each book takes four or five major revisions before I send it to my editor. Then she comes up with a couple more!

Tell us about A Margin of Lust. Why did you decide to write this particular one?  

If you’re going to write a 7 Deadly Sins series, why not start with lust? It makes for an eye-catching cover. Also, to one degree or another, I’m moving down the circles of hell in Dante’s Inferno. Lust, believe it or not, is punished in the first circle and treated pretty sympathetically. Pride, on the other hand, is way at the bottom and will be my last book.

Since each of the stories has a different protagonist but takes place in the same world and shares many of the same characters, I wanted to start with a story that anchored the series. I feel Gwen and Art, the couple this book revolves around, are kind of the mama and papa of my world.

What did you find fun/intriguing about writing A Margin of Lust, and what was difficult?

The whole story grew from a single scene that’s now about three-quarters of the way through the book. That’s what I wrote first, and it just flowed. Filling in what came before turned out to be the most challenging thing. I wrote and discarded a number of plot lines before I settled on the published version.

It’s not easy to show a flawed character, which is necessary for this series, and still have her be likable. Gwen, in A Margin of Lust, is very ambitious. She doesn’t always make the kind of decisions you or I would approve of, but she still has to be sympathetic. That took a lot of rewriting.

Tell us about your next project and when it may be published.

The Scent of Wrath is the second book in the series, and it’s in its final revision phase. It will be out in December. I’ve also written a short story available as a free download on my website, June Gloom, set in Laguna Beach which is where A Margin of Lust is set. And, last but not least, I’m in the early writing phases of The Sanctity of Sloth, out next year.

Thank you for visiting with us, Greta.

Thanks for inviting me to breakfast.

Dear reader, I hope you check out her book. Let me pour us another virtual café au lait before you rush off to Amazon to purchase A Margin of LustI bought four copies!

Sign up for Greta’s News and Views and you’ll get June Gloom, a Deadly Short, as a free PDF, Mobi, or EPub file.

Learn more about Greta Boris at:

Website: http://gretaboris.com

Amazon Author page: https://www.amazon.com/Greta-Boris/e/B00ADUFSD6/

You can order her books at your local bookstore or on Amazon by clicking: A Margin of Lust.

Happy reading!

Posted in Food, WRITING | Tagged , , , , | 6 Comments