Spotlight on Vicki Batman

I’m happy to welcome award-winning author Vicki Batman. Today, Vicki shares her writing journey and latest release, Sommerville Days.

Here’s Vicki!

*Waving* Hi, everyone! So nice to see you today. Thank you, Joanne, for hostessing me on your blog.

Some writers have always known they wanted to write. Some studied creative writing. But that isn’t my story. I wrote poetry and good papers. Did that qualify me to be a writer?

When #1son was two, Handsome and I went into a used book store where I looked for an author I discovered, Dick Francis. I loved his books, and when Handsome asked me why, I blurted out, “I wish I could write like him.”

But I didn’t. I know I didn’t have the courage to try and was missing the tools to try.

Years later, I traveled with girlfriends for a weekend of fun. On the way home, one suggested playing her version of car games. We groaned but agreed to play. Her first question was, “Pick one. Tom Jones or Englebert Humperdink.” Her next question was, “Write the opening paragraph of a book using the word window.”

I had nothing. I mean nothing, nothing. My friend knew I wanted to write (and I now believe this was her way to push me to try). That day, I admitted I had nothing, and she suggested emailing something later.

Two days later, I sat down at the family computer and wrote. I wrote and wrote for two days. I revised. Finally, I asked her to meet me for lunch, where I handed her a disc (yup, ancient tech). She took it home, read what I’d done, and said, “Keep going.”

So I did. (My friend fully takes credit for the push, too.) I learned how to make my work better and did revision after revision until the story received an award.

I’ve written two romantic comedy mysteries, Temporarily Employed and Temporarily Insane. Temporarily out of Luck is coming soon. I’ve sold about thirty-five short stories and essays. I’ve combined shorts into a collection, one of which is Sommerville Days.


Love blossoms in the small town of Sommerville in these heartwarming tales, filled with fun and forever possibilities.

Raving Beauty: What if the love of your life was in front of you all along?

Store Wars: The competition is heating up when Janie’s old flame returns to town and is running his family’s store. Could following dreams break her heart?

San Diego or Bust: When a young woman plans a romantic getaway with her boyfriend, disaster strikes. Is her Mr. Right the right Mr. Right?

A review: Vicki Batman has a clever endearing way of making each of her characters seem like someone you might know and can relate to in each situation. The stories are witty and warm and keep you rooting for the happily ever after ending.

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Vicki Batman has sold many romantic comedy works to magazines, several publishers, and, most recently, two humorous romantic mysteries. Along the way, she has picked up some awards and bestsellers. Avid Jazzerciser. Handbag lover. Mahjong player. Yoga practitioner. Movie fan. Book devourer. Chocaholic. Best Mom ever. And adores Handsome Hubby. Most days begin with her hands set to the keyboard and thinking, “What if??”

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10 Fruitcake Tidbits

I’m happy to welcome author Vicki Batman. Today, Vicki shares interesting tidbits about fruitcake and her latest anthology, Whispers of Winter.

Here’s Vicki!

Since my story, The Great Fruitcake Bake-off, is in a holiday anthology, Whispers of Winter, I thought I’d share ten tidbits about fruitcake. I know many of you are naysayers and some are devotees. I love it. My favorite is chocolate dipped—tastes like candy!

1. The name “fruitcake” originated in the 1500’s.

2. Fruitcake goes way back, to Roman times.

3. Early ingredients included pomegranate seeds, raisins, and pine nuts.

4. The British added dried fruits in the 1400s.

5. The Victorians served the cake at tea time.

6. Mail order fruitcakes began in 1913.

7. Alcohol makes the cake edible for many years.

8. Manitou Springs, Colorado, hosts the Great Fruitcake Toss on the first Saturday in January.

9. 47 percent of people received a fruitcake as a gift and threw it away.

10. An ornate multi-tiered fruitcake was at the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton.


History of Fruitcake

Logline – The Great Fruitcake Bake-off

When a five-time champion Samantha Greene teams up with her new neighbor, Dixon Roberts, for The Great Fruitcake Bake-off, they discover baking a prize-winning entry is complicated, bad guys are plotting to take the crown, and first prize isn’t just about a ribbon.


“I’m not entering this year.” I pinned an unbreakable stare on Bethany, my co-worker and long-time friend who lived in the same apartment complex as me. Standing firm, I crossed my arms. “Period.”

We’d arrived early for work and were piddling over coffee in her cubical like we always did before diving into the nuts and bolts of company business. She rolled her eyes in the “I’m so not believing this” fashion and tweaked the Santa garland decorating her cube’s walls. “Why not, Samantha? You should be proud to be the five-time winner of The Great Fruitcake Bake-off. You’re a-a”–her words trailed off as she searched the ceiling for the ultimate in descriptive–“legend.”

I dropped my arms to twitch my black skirt in place, then I tucked my shoulder-length hair behind my ear. I let loose a long exhale, “Is being a legend in the fruitcake world a good thing?”

“What’s your point?” Bethany asked.

“Alright already, it’s exhausting. Finding the perfect recipe, then bake and exhibit it. The tension comes close to killing my holiday enjoyment. Besides”-–I shoved my finger in her direction—-“shouldn’t the love be spread? Shouldn’t somebody else win the Bake-off?”

“Oh, by golly, Sam.” Bethany’s hands covered her eyes. A few seconds passed, then she clasped them to her chest, inhaled, and composed her annoyance before saying, “We’re talking fruitcake here. It’s not groundbreaking like-like the Declaration of Independence. Or the Pyramids.”


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Preparing for a Wonderland Adventure

May 1997

I was in the thick of my teaching career and very much involved in the extra-curricular life of the school. So, when admin asked for volunteers, I agreed (along with four other teachers) to accompany a bus-load of students to Canada’s Wonderland, the 330-acre theme park located in Vaughan, Ontario about 40 kilometers (25 miles) north of Toronto.

It would be my first time visiting the theme park, and I was determined to go on a few roller coaster rides. Having shied away from the experience during my childhood and adolescence, I knew it was now or never. To ensure that I wouldn’t back out, I shared my goal with colleagues and students.

Continue reading on Vicki Batman’s blog.

Still Loving My Vintage Purse

I had always associated vintage clothing with the early part of the twentieth century, but recently I discovered that clothing from the 1920s to twenty years before the present day is considered vintage.

I imagine the same applies to purses.”MsoNormal”>I purchased my first “grown-up” purse during the summer of 1977. My mother had hinted that I needed to upgrade my wardrobe in preparation for my first year of teaching: suits, pumps, an LBD, and an evening purse.

So, together we went on a mini shopping spree that included a stop at Birks in downtown Sudbury. One of North America’s most prestigious jewellers since 1879, Birks was the Go-To stop for diamonds, pearls, fine jewellery, watches, and the perfect gift for almost any occasion. Receiving a gift beautifully wrapped in their trademark blue boxes would automatically elicit oohs and aahs at birthday parties, showers, and other festive events.

Continue reading on Vicki Batman’s blog.

Top 10 Places to Travel

I’m happy to welcome author Vicki Batman. Today, Vicki will share her favorite cruise stops and a romantic short story from the anthology, Just You & Me.

Here’s Vicki!

I love to visit new places, especially on a cruise! No packing and repacking, someone cleans, someone cooks, someone takes you to nice places to visit.

I’d always wanted to go on a cruise and then my sister told me her hubby was taking her for a BIG birthday. I said I wished I could go. She called him up and he made the trip happen. Since, I’ve been addicted to this special way to travel.

1. Alaska – for the majesty of the mountains meeting the sea

2. Italy – duh, the food, and yes, there are great spots to see

3. Greece – sitting on a wall in Santorini on a glorious sunny day and people watching while having a gelato

4. Sardinia – swimming in the Mediterranean and good local food

5. Malta – their fireworks for our Fourth of July

6. Sicily – tomato everything

7. Gdansk – an absolutely charming Old Town and chocolate croissant

8. Stockholm – besides the ABBA Museum, Old Town and just walking around

9. Rhine River castle day – Castles here and there and everywhere. Sitting on the top deck and narration about the area while sipping a nice drink with snacks

10. Lucerne – one of the best towns ever. Surrounded by mountains, old town and shopping. Girl in a dress and heels riding a bike!

I’m fond of people watching and soaking in atmosphere. I don’t even do this enough at home!

Where do you like to travel?

I’m especially excited to share “Raving Beauty,” a romantic comedy short story from the Just You and Me boxed set:


A reluctant beauty contestant falls for the doctor treating her, only to discover the one she really loves has been right in front of her eyes the whole time.


“I can’t believe I let your loony brother, who’s tormented me all my life, talk me into this.” With my eye on the teenage competition, I tugged the leg opening of my swimsuit into place to better cover my hip. “Just because I did some modeling in college doesn’t make me a pageant diva. Back then, I was incredibly skinny, and clothes fit easily.”

“Daniel’s a rat. He took advantage of your third or was it your fourth margarita, Kelly?” Maggie Ackerman, my best friend and roommate, adjusted the scarlet satin sash draped across my body. Glittery stick-on letters spelled out Miss Yahoo! Ranch Steakhouse. “Hold still.”

With an old-fashioned teasing comb, she picked my brown hair into place at the crown of my head. The eerie suspicion I resembled a scary dame with Big Texas hair from the television show, Dallas, caused me to avoid looking in the mirror.

“Close your eyes.” She hit me with super freeze-it hairspray. “Now, that ain’t goin’ nowhere.”

My personal stylist needed to work on her aim, preferably with both of her eyes open. I spit-wiped the sticky spot on my right cheek. I hope nobody I know sees me like this.

“There.” The scrunch of her nose reflected how pleased she was with herself. “Feeling better?”

Like a slab of beef.

Pre-order Just You and Me

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That Hippy Bag

breast cancerI hadn’t planned on spending Day 1 of Life after Breast Cancer Diagnosis in a mall, but my friend Karen insisted. “Once those chemo appointments start, you’ll have no time to shop. Get everything now, and you won’t be scrambling later.”

As we walked through the mall, I mentally planned my shopping list: nightgowns, pajamas, a new robe, comfy day clothes. I was surprised when Karen pointed to my black, leather purse. “You’ll need a larger bag for when you start your treatments. Something more durable that’ll hold its shape.”

I started to argue and then stopped. After all, she was the seasoned warrior who had already traveled this path.

Continue reading on Vicki Batman’s blog.