Here is my interview with Tambra Nicole Kendall

Here is my interview with the lovely, Fiona Mcvie!


Name Tambra Nicole Kendall

Age Almost 51

Where are you from Pasadena, Texas

A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc  

I live in a small Texas town with my husband and our two furbabies. I love how quiet it is here and the wildlife. But not the snakes. I hate snakes. And spiders. In the two-and-a-half years I’ve lived here I’ve seen: deer, possum, raccoon, armadillo, coyotes (I love to hear them howl!), owls.  A negative of living in the country: Late last year I had my first snake encounter. I was bringing stuff in from the car and I couldn’t make this in one trip. This wasn’t an issue until I got close to the front porch. A bucket was turned on its side and there it was coiled up and watching. *full body shiver* I made it into the house and thought I…

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Subplots and Sugar Wafer Cookies

I got you at sugar wafer cookie didn’t I? They come in vanilla, chocolate and strawberry. It came to mind these little treats are similar to subplots. Delicate sugar enhances the flavor of the thin layers of crunchy shell. When writing a subplot you want it to build up, relate to and add to the main plot.


Subplots have their own story questions just as the main story does and its own arc as well. They add complications to the main story line but not detract from it. Without subplots you don’t have a novel. If you have trouble understanding subplots think of it this way:  they’re like the thin delicate layers of a sugar wafer cookie. Every layer is a subplot, all working together to bring you that sweet, melt-in-your-mouth crunch. Wait a minute, I mean the subplots are carefully and seamlessly woven through the story.

Each of the subplots relate to the main characters, tell a parallel love story of secondary characters, foreshadowing or can be used as a flashback. A word of warning about flashbacks – use flashbacks with caution, they jerk the reader out of the story and slow the pacing to a crawl.

You can’t just stick any story thread in anywhere. Like when you test spaghetti, throwing it at the wall to see whether or not it adheres. Planning is needed for subplots as much for the main plot. The subplots also serve another important purpose: they keep you from having a sagging middle. Remember though, not all subplots run the entire length of the book. Some end, others pick up where another left off and a few stay until the end. Hopefully, the visual of the cookies can help when you’re crafting subplots.

James Scott Bell, kindly gave me permission to use this information on the number of subplots in a novel.

James Scott Bell

A subplot is not merely a plot “complication.” A subplot has its own reason for being, and weaves in and out of (or back and forth with) the main plot.

That being so, here is my formula for the maximum number of subplots, by word count, you can have in your novel (a novel being a minimum of 60,000 words).
60k words: 1 subplot (e.g., in a category romance, you might have the female Lead plotline, and the love interest plotline, which intersect)

80k: 2-3

100k: 3-4

Over 100 k: 5

There is no 6. Six subplots is too many for any length, unless your name is Stephen King.

I think if you have more subplots than suggested number mentioned above, they will either overwhelm or detract from the main plot. I hope this blog post has helped you understand what subplots do and how they’re used in novels.

Thank you for stopping by!

All my best, Tambra Nicole Kendall

The Magic Pattern Book Giveaway from Chronically Vintage

My vintage loving friend, Jessica Cangiano is having another giveaway on her blog. I know some of you out there sew like I do. I can do basic stuff and a bit of upcycling/refashioning as well.

Through Jessica, I learned about Amy Barickman who is a wonderful author and fabric designer. I would love to add this book to my sewing nook!

Anyway, here’s the scoop from the lovely Jessica:

March 12, 2015

GIVEAWAY: Win a copy of The Magic Pattern Book by Amy Barickman

Earlier this year I had the great pleasure of reviewing and giving away a copy of the book Vintage Notions by author, entrepreneur, and esteemed sewer, Amy Barickman and today’s I’m delighted to be teaming up with Amy’s publisher again for another exciting book giveaway.In connection with Vintage Notions, I was sent a copy of The Magic Pattern Book, which was also written by Amy. Not being a sewer myself, I will admit, a wave of panic washed over my soul when I heard that this book was en route. How, I wondered, would I explain or properly access the integrity and merit of a book about sewing, when it’s an art that I only know the very basics (think high school home ec level) of myself?

Thankfully, all it took was flipping through the pages of this lovely hard cove book to instantly put my mind at easy. Much as how Ms. Barickman centered Vintage Notions around the work of famed home economics leader Mary Brooks Picken, so too did she turn to the Women’s Institute for inspiration with this book. Even the title itself comes from the term “magic patterns” that was coined by the Institutive in the early 20th century (so-called be it was nearly magical how one pattern could create so many different garments when altered a touch or done up in a different fabric). Though it should be noted that patterns contained within, which are of a fairly beginner level and thus ideal for sewers with a wide range of skill levels, are not vintage themselves nor intended to create vintage style fashions.

Chalked full of clear, beautiful photographs and illustrations, this helpful, well laid book presents readers with a series of six different sewing patterns (in sizes small to XXL) as well as six different variations and six assorted fabric suggestions for each (the patterns come on a CD that is included with the book, but can also be downloaded from the web, if desired). Thus The Magic Pattern Book, which was released in 2014, aims to provide readers with the ability to make a whole wardrobe thanks to the fact that between all these options, one can, in theory create 216 or more different garments.

Though that may be a bit of a stretch (being a complete wardrobe, I mean), particularly depending on your personal style, it does unquestionably provide readers with a wealth of different, straightforward, engaging sewing patterns and variations on all of them that could easily help just about anyone enhance and grow their wardrobe and skills at the same time.

While I don’t foresee making any of the lovely modern – but generally quite classic – fashions or accessories in this excellent book anytime soon (again, I’m not a sewer), I was still able to enjoy it cover to cover, learning more about both sewing and garment construction in the process. As a passionate fashionista and more recently as an Etsy vintage shop owner, I find these points to be invaluable and loved the take away lessons I picked up from The Magic Pattern Book for this and many other reasons.

I know that scores of you are sewers and that is a huge part of the reason why I agreed to read, review, and giveaway this wonderful book. I love being able to provide one lucky reader the chance to win a copy of The Magic Pattern Book, and if you’d like to try to be that person, please read on for the details of this giveaway.

How to enter

Definitely free to do as many of the following seven things as you’d like to gain entry in this giveaway. I just ask that please ensure that you leave a separate comment for each method that you enter with, so as to increase your odds of winning.

1. Leave a comment on this post letting me know what you might like to sew first from the book (the options are a dress, a tank top, a cardigan, an accessory such as a hat, a skirt, and a coat), if you win.

2. Blog about this giveaway on your own site, linking back to this post.

3. Like Amy Barickman on Facebook and post about the giveaway on your own Facebook page.

4. Follow Amy on Twitter and tweet about this giveaway, including the hashtag #TheMagicPatternBook in your tweet.

5. Sign up to follow Amy’s blog by email (you can do so at the top of the right hand sidebar).

6. Follow, or be an existing follower, of Chronically Vintage on Instagram.

7. Like, or be an existing follower, Chronically Vintage on Bloglovin’.

Giveaway details

This giveaway is for one copy of The Magic Pattern Book by Amy Barickman. It is open to readers from Canada and America, at the request of the publisher (apologies to my wonderful international readers), and will run from today (March 12, 2015) until Friday March 20, 2015.

Once the giveaway has wrapped up, I will select a winner using a random number generator and announce that person’s name on Facebook and/or Twitter shortly thereafter. If doing so is possible, I will also try to contact the winner directly by email or Facebook private message to let them know that they won and to obtain their address, which I’ll pass along to the publisher who will send your prize to you directly.

Hello, I’m Tambra and I Have a Pinterest Addiction

I love Pinterest and can easily burn an hour or two there. If you go my spot you’ll quickly learn: I love Doctor Who, cooking, art crafts, Cairn Terriers, Fantasy/Steampunk and Vintage clothing and DIY stuff. I’m making boards for my books with how I see my characters or anything related to my stories, and that’s been something I’ve never done before.My Pinterest spot:

I have Celiac, so I’m always open to good and easy gluten free recipes. There are some really nice recipes. In the future I’l love to try out some of them. I need to narrow the category down and choose.

I’ve found some Etsy vendors and bought some products.

I need to make a folder on my computer for all the information I want to keep on DIY natural cosmetics and household tips. Some form of organization to store all of this luscious knowledge. How do y’all manage your Pinterest goodies ? I’d love to hear what works for you!

All the best! Tambra



Vanilla Cake

When my husband and I go to San Antonio we stay at Chicken Paradise Bed and Breakfast. We learned about The Little Aussie Bakery from the owners Anne and Joe. Having Celiac can make things difficult at times. Chicken Paradise is the only gluten free B&B in the state of Texas (that I know of.) Our first trip to Little Aussie Bakery and I spied this beauty in the case. The next time we’re in San Antonio and at the bakery, I want a slice. I can tell you The Little Aussie Bakery has amazing pizza. The lemon cookies and the Anzac Bikkies are melt-in-your-mouth. I stock up on the cookies. Little Aussie Bakery also ships most of their items so take a look at their website. Don’t forget, if you’re in San Antonio to stop on by. My husband doesn’t have Celiac and he enjoys the Little Aussie Bakery, too.

The Little Aussie Bakery & Cafe

A classic. THE classic! Free of gluten, dairy, soy, corn, and fructose, this version is au natural and oh so delicious.

Cup Cake 2

Makes 24 cupcakes or one 2-layer cake

To prepare:

1. PREHEAT oven to 350ºF.

2. GREASE two 9” round cake pans or line 24 muffin cups with paper liners.

3. In a large mixing bowl, CREAM to a fluffy mixture that’s pale in color:
-1 ½ Cups Sugar
-1 Cup + 2 Tbsp Butter (we use EarthBalance Soy-Free)

ADD to this mixture, one at a time, beating well after each addition:
-6 eggs

4. In a separate bowl, blend together:
-3 Cups All-Purpose GF flour (Little Aussie Bakery Brand)
-1 tsp Guar Gum
-1 tsp Salt
-3 tsp Baking Powder

5. ADD half this flour mixture to the egg mixture, BEAT until incorporated fully. Then BEAT in:
-½ Cup Milk (we use coconut milk to be…

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A Country in Crisis—How Pop Culture is Devaluing Men AND Women

I love Kristen Lamb’s blog and I hope you will, too. This is such a wonderful, thought provoking post.

Kristen Lamb's Blog

Meet the "Facelessbook Friends" Age and Invisibility

Back when I was in sales, we had a saying, “Say it once. Say it twice. Say it three times. Say it four times. Say it five times and they will believe.” Traditional marketing has hinged on this tenet for generations. The more people see product, an idea, etc. the better chance it will become “sticky” and meld into the collective consciousness.

This is also the foundation of any dictatorship, a concept those of us in political science called a “Cult of personality.” Propaganda is powerful.

Last post, I blogged about how seemingly innocent ads and blogs are anything but. Yes, I agree, some 20-something telling women over thirty they shouldn’t wear sparkles or eyeshadow shouldn’t affect how I feel about myself and frankly? It doesn’t.

She can go pound sand.

The problem is when an idea or attitude becomes SO pervasive that it translates into a…

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Chronically Vintage: Vintage Notions by Amy Barickman: Book Review and Giveaway


Hi y’all!

I’m passing along this wonderful post from my sweet friend, Jessica Cangiano of Chronically Vintage.

Some of you probably aren’t surprised I do more than write. Watercolors, sewing, art crafts and I’m dipping my toes into the water of digital art. From the time I was a little girl, I loved antiques and vintage items. I’m very excited about this book since it’s also historical.

I hope you enjoy the article!


Chronically Vintage: Vintage Notions by Amy Barickman: Book Review and Giveaway.

A New Year: What will you write on your life pages this year?

There’s nothing like the feeling of a brand new year. January is like crisp like new fallen snow or the scent of pine trees riding a brisk wind. Many people don’t make New Year’s resolutions, but I think a good portion of us do pause and review the passing of the old year. Life isn’t static. It’s fluid and we must adapt. Attitude and how you look at the world makes a big difference.

I used to always put others before myself because I craved their acceptance and love. It took many years crawling out of a terrifying, dark place to discover I like myself and I am worthy of being loved. With this acceptance came a sense of peace that I’d never experienced before.

Sometimes the family you were born with manipulate and use you for their personal gain and amusement. This isn’t love and its unacceptable behavior. Love doesn’t stomp a person into the ground or control a person’s every move. You are worthy of love and respect. Perhaps 2015 will be the year for you to drop the negative, defeatist ways and move toward peace. It’s damn hard physically, mentally and emotionally. Taking baby steps and learning proper boundary setting skills isn’t easy. I’m speaking as the voice of experience and I’m continuing to learn this life skill. I can say all the struggle, pain and tears have been worth it.

Our minds consider may go over what worked professionally and socially to reach the goals set both long and short.  The heart celebrates the numerous blessings bestowed by the Creator of All Things. (To me, this means God. To you it may mean something else or nothing at all.)

When you fight a multitude of chronic illnesses, adapting and learning new ways to live is vital. When you’re a creative person even more so. You find a way to express the beauty bubbling just below the surface. I know there are days when you feel ragged and threadbare. Physical and mental exhaustion take their toll. Some days curling into a fetal position and crying is all you can do. Don’t dwell there. After the tears have fallen, dry them and re-plan.

Being given another day to see the sun rise and set, to accept love and be loved, to write, create and share. I don’t take any of this or each day for granted. I don’t blame others for the physical limitations I have. It is what it is. The choice in how you deal with what you’ve been given is up to you. In many ways I’m stronger because of all I’ve had to endure. There have also been opportunities to help others along the way. I never would have had the chance to do so otherwise. I pray their lives were made better by the connection we shared.

A compliment, a word of encouragement to someone doesn’t cost a thing. Consider what you can do and accomplish in 2015. From what I’ve observed, the people who accomplish the goals or resolutions they made on January 1 are reachable, not impossible. Why would you list the impossible, setting yourself up for failure?


Use this New Year to write the book you’ve always wanted. Learn painting or photography. Take some classes, online or at your local college. Share your skills by donating some of your time to organizations or to a local school. Make the world a better place.

Life is a gift. We are here for such a short time. Twelve bright, shiny months await. What will you write on your life pages this year?

Tambra Nicole Kendall: New Workshop at Savvy Authors in January 2015


I’ll be teaching a month-long workshop, Weaving Together Characterization and Plot at Savvy Authors. It’s from January  15,2015 to February 8, 2015. Characterization and Plot aren’t separate and somewhere in the middle they muddle together to form a story. If your characters are weak, unmotivated and flat, the reader/agent/editor isn’t going to care.

A predictable plot likewise will make the reader/agent/editor feel like they’ve wasted their time. Learning how characterization and plotting affect each other plus other methods such as GMC, the difference between plot and story, and how to avoid a sagging middle are areas addressed in the workshop.

Understanding and learning these areas of writing can help when you’re editing. How? By having the knowledge to identify specific character issues and plot problems you’ll know what to do and how to fix them while saving time in the whole writing process. Let me point out, if you’re at the beginning stage of your writing journey this is something for you to work toward.

I have taught genre fiction creative writing online and on site at my local college since 1994. In the past, I was a content editor for a few e-publishers and small press. Teaching is something I enjoy and my goal is to share some of what I know to help other writers.

I do hope you’ll join me for this workshop at Savvy Authors. If you know anyone who would be interested please pass this information along.

Savvy Authors is a wonderful writer’s resource. I taught for them a few years ago and I’ve taken some amazing workshops there too. They offer a wide range of topics, price ranges and time lengths. Here’s the link:

If you click on the calendar in the upper right when you reach the workshops, click on January and scroll down until you reach January 12. My workshop is the second one I believe. There is a place that says register.

Start off 2015 by taking a workshop that will help you reach your writing goal. Characterization and plotting are essential elements of fiction writing.

All the best! Tambra Nicole Kendall