Do you remember the old Ed Sullivan plate spinners? Yes, yes, I’m showing my age, but in my defense I was hardly out of diapers when I saw these unique performers. They’d get a whole string of plates balanced on thin poles and set them spinning. Then they ran back and forth jiggling the stems to keep the plates from wobbling off.


And this was considered riveting entertainment. What can I say? We were a simple people. However, I think of them pretty often, because they’re the perfect metaphor for everyone’s busy life.

For example, just in my writing life, here are a few plates I have spinning:

Click to pre-order!

Just finished the final, Final, FINAL copy edit for Once Upon a Plaid, my October 2014 release. A writer’s work isn’t done the first time we type “The End.” After we turn the manuscript in, our editor may want revisions, which means another pass through the story. Then the copy editor takes a swipe. We can either accept or reject their suggestions, but we need to be prepared to defend our choices. Then the final, formatted galley arrives. On this last pass, we can only correct typos–no rewriting allowed.

That was ok for this story. I love how it turned out. The inspiration for this one came from my sister, who served as a gestational surrogate for a childless couple last year. She went through a difficult pregnancy and then a harrowing birth to bring a beautiful set of twins into the world. We were all so relieved, and so thankful we live now when in vitro procedures and surrogates can make a childless couple’s dream come true. But it made me wonder how a couple in 16th century Scotland would deal with bareness during a time when a man needed an heir like he needed his right hand.

My current WIP is the second book in a new series called Order of the M.U.S.E. The Order of the M.U.S.E series—a trio of sexy historical romances with a psychic twist set in Regency England. It’s sort of  “Leverage” meets Jane Austen in King George III’s Court.

Order of the muse
Welcome to the Order of the M.U.S.E.

His Grace, the Duke of Camden, has recruited (some say ‘coerced’) gifted individuals from all strata of society to join his Metaphysical Union of Sensory Extraordinaires. Their purpose
is to protect the Crown from arcane weapons of a psychic bent. The duke fears that one such malicious object may have slipped by them and is responsible for King George III’s periodic descents into lunacy. There may be no help for His Majesty, but Camden intends to see that a similar fate doesn’t overcome “Prinny,” the Prince of Wales.

If you’d like to know when these books are available, please sign up for my newsletter!

The_Warning_Sign_(final)_@_300-72_dpi_low_resAnd lastly, I’m putting the finishing touches on a New Adult/Romantic Suspense story I’ve been noodling with for some time. It’s called The Warning Sign.

It’s about a deaf girl who unintentionally speechreads a hitman on his cellphone accepting a job. Since she’s the only one who can convince the police that the seemingly accidental death of an MIT professor was no accident, she is suddenly in the hitman’s crosshairs.

And unfortunately, the only cop she knows who might believe her is her cheating ex.

This is my first contemporary-set story and amazingly enough, I did as much research for it as I do for my historicals! The Warning Sign will be out later this summer.

So those are the plates I have spinning in my life now. How about you? What things are clamoring for your attention?


I’ve scored an ARC of Once Upon a Plaid! If you’d like an early peek at this book of my heart, just leave a comment to be entered in the drawing!

48 thoughts on “What’s New Monday…

  1. Susan Gorman says:

    Is the contemporary set in Boston?
    Sounds fabulous!
    Looking forward to Once Upon A Plaid!:)
    We had beautiful weather yesterday…..nice breeze on the deck.

    1. Mia Marlowe Mia Marlowe says:

      Yes, The Warning Sign is set in Boston and there’s a hair-raising chase scene set on the T! I knew the weather would turn pretty in New England as soon as we moved. Lovely summers up there.

      1. Susan G says:

        A chase scene on the T!
        Just like watching the 11 o’clock news on channel 5!
        Looking forward to reading this one ?

  2. Maria says:

    I’m very much looking forward to reading Once Upon a Plaid as I have loved all the books in this series. And I very much look forward to reading your contemporary as I enjoy your writing voice so much I’m sure I will love that, too. As for what’s on my plate lately, vacation and reading in between full-time reference librarian work, with writing reviews in between it all. But it’s all fun or I wouldn’t be doing it. Happy summer!

    1. Mia Marlowe Mia Marlowe says:

      You’re a very busy girl, Maria, but I’m sure since you’re a librarian you’re intensely well organized about all of it! My sister in law who’s also a librarian even alphabetizes the soup cans in her pantry. She says it’s because she’s lazy and doesn’t want to have to search long to know if she has what she wants. LOL.

  3. LauraL says:

    I also am looking forward to Once Upon a Plaid.

    My plates that are spinning this week are the preparations to host my garden club’s meeting this weekend … deadheading my roses, weeding the herb garden, and finding a tasty punch recipe, plus having to work like a regular person. 🙂

    1. Mia Marlowe Mia Marlowe says:

      I so admire gardeners, but have a bit of a brown thumb myself. My intentions are good, but my follow-through (weeding & watering) generally sucks.

  4. Sounds great, Mia! I can’t wait.

    1. Mia Marlowe Mia Marlowe says:

      Thanks, Kristan. I appreciate it!

  5. alisha woods says:

    finding a job

    1. Mia Marlowe Mia Marlowe says:

      Finding a job is a full time job in itself. Our #2 Daughter is between jobs right now and every day she gets herself up and out the door with a handful of resumes. I tell her keeping up her attitude is the most important thing right now. Good luck in your job search, Alisha.

  6. I love the themes behind all your spinning plates, Mia! And, yes, I too remember those from the Ed Sullivan show – gulp!

    1. Mia Marlowe Mia Marlowe says:

      I know it can’t be true, but it seemed like Ed had plate spinners on every week. Them and Topo Gigio, the little “Kees me good night” mouse.

  7. Martina Chees says:

    You know how that internet meme when girl is trying to explain to a boy how our brains work? ‘It’s like you have 20 tabs opened in your browser. All. The. Time.’. Yup, we’re champions in multitasking 🙂

    1. Mia Marlowe Mia Marlowe says:

      20 tabs. I like that. It is so true!

  8. Charlet says:

    That great!…..I remember the plate spinners also. Was glued to the tv wondering how they did it…LOL

    1. Mia Marlowe Mia Marlowe says:

      Well, they must have had a little indentation because I can tell you from experience that none of our plates would balance on a stick like that, let alone spin!

  9. catslady says:

    I must admit I’m partial to historicals but this sounds like a great series too. And I loved the Ed Sullivan show lol.

    1. Mia Marlowe Mia Marlowe says:

      I’m partial to historicals too, but I’m also addicted to storytelling. Once my deaf heroine started whispering her story to me, I had to tell it. Plus I got to put my little poodle mix Susie Bell, whom I lost in 2009, into the book as her hearing ear dog. 😉

  10. Robyn DeHart Robyn DeHart says:

    Oh Mia, your first contemporary sounds fantastic! And since I already love your historicals, I know it will be. My plates spin out of control and break on the floor all the time. 🙂

    1. Mia Marlowe Mia Marlowe says:

      Thanks, Robyn. I love your historicals too!

  11. Kate I. says:

    I’ve signed up for your newsletter so I can stay informed about your work. As a quarter of the blood coursing through my veins flows Clan Ross red, I’d love to check out ONCE UPON A PLAID!

    1. Mia Marlowe Mia Marlowe says:

      Thanks for signing up for my newsletter, Kate. My DH and I got the opportunity to visit Scotland in 2013. And yes, it was as magical as I’d imagined!

  12. bn100 says:

    too many books to read
    Did the hero in your NA book really cheat?

    1. Mia Marlowe Mia Marlowe says:

      Yes, my heroine’s ex really cheated on her, which is why he’s her ex. He regrets his cheating and wants her back, however, she meets a new guy. So besides solving the murder, part of the story is whether she’ll take him back or move on.

  13. Gretchen H says:

    That’s a great idea for a story. I can’t wait to read how you solved the heir problem! How cool for your sister to go through that; I would have loved to do it but my husband had too many concerns about it. I’d love to win a copy of the book!

    1. Mia Marlowe Mia Marlowe says:

      Your husband is right to be concerned. There are no guarantees in childbirth. My sister went through a very difficult birth with the twins. She scared us all half to death, but she has such a sweet giving spirit. She was thrilled to give those two little souls into the care of their loving parents.

  14. Cindy Kirk Cindy Kirk says:

    Love the cover of The Warning Sign!

    1. Mia Marlowe Mia Marlowe says:

      Me too, Cindy. It really captures the sense of the story.

  15. Quilt Lady says:

    I will have to say historicals are my favorite but your new book sounds really good. Whats on my plate right now it trying to get my hip fixed. I have a bad hip and having a lot of problems with it right now. They just keep telling me it not bad enough yet to be replaced. Headed back to the doctor next week to see what they have to say now.

    1. Mia Marlowe Mia Marlowe says:

      Ouch! Your hip issues sound painful. Hope you get some good news from your doc soon.

  16. Catherine White says:

    Would love to read this book. It sounds wonderful

    1. Mia Marlowe Mia Marlowe says:

      Good luck in the drawing, Catherine!

  17. Shana Galen Shana Galen says:

    Wow! All of those sound fabulous, Mia! I have quite a few plates spinning too. Don’t forget you just moved.

    1. Mia Marlowe Mia Marlowe says:

      And finished up a total renovation of our house. I’m still sort of hyperventilating over all that’s happened in our lives this spring.

  18. Anita H. says:

    Ohh, I’ve got a lot to add to my TBR list! 🙂 And I love the cover for Once Upon A Plaid!!!

    1. Mia Marlowe Mia Marlowe says:

      Kensington really does a great job with my cover art. Love my publishers.

  19. Ada says:

    Watching spinning plates is very fascinating. I’ve found over the years that the littlest things amuse me so! That’s why it’s a good thing I like to read to actually find things to stimulate my mind 😛 Looking forward to reading Once Upon A Plaid!

    1. Mia Marlowe Mia Marlowe says:

      Guess we can file watching plate spinners under “Small Joys.” Since moving to MO, I’ve added “Sitting on the deck listening to the cows in the pasture behind our house tear the grass” to my list. (Yes, it’s that quiet here!)

  20. Laurie G says:

    Interesting premise for THE WARNING SIGN! Quite a change from historical romance. Wow! that’s challenging with a deaf heroine. Best wishes!

    I finished my outdoor yard work now it’s maintenance. I still have indoor spring cleaning, hopefully lots of babysitting of my two grandchildren, lots of reading, lots of getting outside and enjoying the nice weather, biking, walking, canoeing, and family get-togethers.

    Next up, getting a rental ready for July 1. Last weekend we celebrated my mom’s 90th. I think we have something scheduled for every weekend in the summer.

    1. Mia Marlowe Mia Marlowe says:

      Guess I should say “hearing challenged” because with her hearing aids, my heroine does have some hearing, but she relies heavily on speechreading and can sign.

      Sounds like you have a full summer of fun planned. How lovely that you got to celebrate your mom’s 90th birthday!

  21. JoannaM says:

    Wow, sounds like you have a dozen spinning plates. I have a few of my own but nothing compared to what you have. I only need to sell my house and that will do for the rest of my Summer. I would love to get an ARC for all of your works. They all sound fascinating, but I’d be oh, so very happy if I’d get my hands in at least one of them 🙂

    1. Mia Marlowe Mia Marlowe says:

      Selling a house is no small plate to have spinning, Joanna. We were very fortunate to sell our Boston condo so quickly this spring, but in the past we have had houses that sat on the market for months. Are you doing some staging? Buyers really seem to expect that now.

      1. JoannaM says:

        yes and yes, it is hard work!! more than I imagined. I know it can be from weeks to months so now, we wait…

  22. sheryl says:

    I have just gotten back from my son’s yearly hand check up at the Shriner’s hospital in Shreveport, LA. I have housework to do, paperwork to fill out and send off and plenty of clothes to wash. I go back to work tomorrow, it just feels like my work is never done.

    1. Mia Marlowe Mia Marlowe says:

      Hope your son got a good report, Sheryl.

      Oh, yes laundry is the eternal choir. I’m firmly convinced there is a room in hell where they have to do all the ironing for heaven.

  23. Glenda says:

    Wow, I am really looking forward to your Order of the Muse series! That I’m dying to read Once Upon a Plaid goes without saying. 🙂

    The last few days have been filled with de-skunking the dog; taking my daughter to a 3 day college new student conference; de-skunking the dog again.

    1. Mia Marlowe Mia Marlowe says:

      OH! We used to bathe our dogs in tomato juice to de-skunk them. Of course, then they smelled like skunk AND tomatoes. LOL.

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