Vacation Time :)

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I’m getting ready to leave on vacation tomorrow. Well, a working vacation. I’m headed home to beautiful Colorado for RWA (romance writers of America conference) in Denver. Of course, I’ll spend a few days in Fort Collins, too, with friends and family while I’m in the neighborhood. I can’t wait to get back to cooler, less humid air for a few days. This will be the first time since I moved to East Texas that I’ve made the 16 hour drive by myself. Not looking forward to that. I’ve got some audio books though, so I should be good.

I love RWA. It is so much fun to interact with other authors and learn about our business. This year is the first time I am also doing an Indie book signing. Since the conference is in Colorado, I have lots of friends who will be there to reconnect with. I can’t wait.

So what am I doing today in preparation? Besides working on marketing and book stuff and packing, I’m cleaning. What about you do you clean your house before vacation? It’s something I learned from my mother. She always made sure the sheets were changed, laundry done and everything was spick and span before we walked out that door. I’ve learned to agree with her. Trips are wonderful, but there’s nothing like coming home either. It always feels good to be back in your own bed and relax in your own space. There would be nothing worse than coming home to a dirty house (I’m guessing here because I’ve never done it!) Its so nice to fall on the couch and just relax for a few hours before heading back to work and regular life. So today, I’m cleaning liked crazy.

Anyway, I’d better get off the computer and back to my vacuum. Have a good week and if anyone else is traveling, safe travels. Enjoy your time away 🙂

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Character Talk Tuesday-Ethan Charm

Introduce yourself to our readers.

My name is Ethan Charm. I’m fifteen years old and going to be a sophomore at Mountain High School in the fall.

How long have you lived in Peakview?

Just about a year. My mom and I moved here from Nebraska last summer when she got the job managing Sam’s Hardware Store.

How do you like Peakview?”

It took me awhile adjust. At first I wanted to go back to Prairie where I was born and raised, but I soon discovered that life here in the Rocky Mountains could be pretty great. Especially after Mom and Jake got married and we moved out to his ranch. I love it out there. I’ve got my own horse, several cats, a dog, some goats. It’s the life.

What do you do for fun?

I’m a runner. I run cross country and track for the Mountain High Mustangs. Running is a sport that you have to practice all year long. I rarely take a break. I have asthma so I need to keep in shape. The altitude was hard when I first got here, but I’m hoping to do better this fall. I like to hang out with the other guys on the team and my girlfriend, Lindsee. I am learning roping now that I have my own horse. Maybe someday I’ll compete. Jake is also teaching me to fly fish.

It sounds like you keep busy. Anything else you want to tell us about Peakview?

It a great little town. Everyone is friendly and nice. If you love the outdoors and don’t mind snow in the winter, its a great place to live.

New Release-Mountain Cowboy

MC final cover front 2 - Copy (463x800)

The wait is over 🙂 Book ten of the Peakview Series, Mountain Cowboy, is now available at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B07DX7526t . You don’t want to miss this one. Here’s the blurb:

Thirty-six year old horse trainer, Tex Ranger, prefers horses to humans. His new job at the isolated Walker Horse Ranch is exactly what he’s looking for—no females to create drama in his life. He’s had enough of that.

Twenty-four year old, Mary Meyers, lives to travel. When a rock climbing accident in Central America forces her home to her parents’ ranch to recuperate, she can’t wait to heal and get back on a plane to her next adventure.

The sparks that fly take them both by surprise. They have nothing in common except their fear that falling in love will destroy their dreams.

But dreams change . . .

COME HOME TO PEAKVIEW, COLORADO WHERE EVERYONE HAS A CHANCE AT LOVE.

 

I know you are going to love the cover as much as I do. A special thanks to the amazing photography of Chad Chisholm, and the handsome cover model, Ken Mcnickle. Ken was one of Cosmopolitan’s 50 sexiest men in 2012. If he looks familiar, you may have seen him on season 33 on Survivor. Anyway, I was thrilled to have them do this awesome photo for my book.

Download your copy today, and I’d be forever grateful if when you’ve finished reading you’d go to Amazon and leave me a review. Your feedback is so important to my work.

Happy Reading 🙂 Jill

 

Character Talk Tuesday-Ethan Charm

Welcome, introduce yourself.

I’m Ethan Charm. I moved here to Peakview with my mom last fall. I’m fifteen and a freshman at Mountain High School.

What activities are you involved in?

I’m a runner, so I’m on the high school’s cross country and track teams. At first it was hard running at such a high altitude with my asthma, but I’m getting more use to it now. The elevation is much higher than where we came from in Nebraska.

How do you like Peakview?

It’s great. I’ve made a lot of friends. Everyone is very down to earth and friendly. I like being at a rural school. Now that mom and Jake are married, I love living on our ranch. We have so many animals. I love them all, but my favorite it my cat, Carrie. I was there the day she was born. She was the runt of the litter, but what she lacks in size, she makes up for in personality.

What are you doing for the summer?

I help Jake around the ranch and I’ve been working part time for Jerry at Heart’s Haven doing some repair work and trimming of trees and lawn stuff. I like it. It’s good to be outdoors in the mountains in the summer. In my spare time, I like to fish and hang out with the cross country guys. We have practices all summer, so running continues. I’ll go back to Nebraska for a couple of weeks with my dad, but I’ll be ready to come back. This town really does feel like home.

CHARACTER TALK TUESDAY-MELANIE DALTON

We’re here at Sophie’s Choice bookstore with the owner, Melanie Dalton. Tell us about how you came to open the bookstore.

It’s a long story. I came to Peakview with my daughter a couple of years ago in search of a father I had never known. He’d turned out to be none other than Howard Crandall. He hadn’t known that my mother was pregnant or that I existed. He and Sophie bonded almost immediately, and we decided to stay in Peakview and give the relationship a chance. I’ve never regretted that decision. Anyway, I found this old house. It was cheap and in need of repair. It seemed like the perfect place for a home and a business. Sophie and I lived upstairs until I married Hank and moved to our ranch. Along the way we adopted our foster daughter, Marissa, and a rescue dog named, Scruffy.

How’s business?

Great. This town really needed a book store. During the summer, the tourists keep us hopping. It slows down in the winter which is fine by me.

I see you’re expecting. When’s the baby due?

In September. We can’t wait. It’s a boy. Hank is so excited. It’s his first biological child, although he’s adopted both Sophie and Marissa. He’s a great dad.

What do you like best about Peakview?

That we’re all one big family. I’d never had that. My mom never stayed in one place for long, and we always lived in big cities. I’m so happy to raise my children in a place like Peakview. Finding this town was a dream come true for us. Stop by and see us anytime.

CHARACTER TALK TUESDAY–WILLOW HAYWOOD

I hear you’re a native of Peakview.

Yeah, born and raised. I grew up going to Peakview Elementary and Mountain High School, both about a mile from my current residence.

Tell us about your business.

My husband, Ryan, and I own Peak Adventure Camp. It’s a camp for disadvantaged kids. We get grants to paly for their stay. Lots of foster kids, kids who’ve been in trouble with law, or have behavioral issues. Most of them are from the Denver area. It gives them the chance to get away and have fun in the outdoors for a week. They ride horses, hike, fish and other age appropriate activities. We have kiddos as young as five and all the way up to eighteen.

Are you open year round?

Pretty much. We started out as a summer camp, but there was so much need. We got a grant and hired Penny Walker to work for us as camp manager, full time. That gave us the ability to do weekends throughout the year. It’s amazing. We’ve been able to add skiing and sledding in the winter. It’s so fun to see these city kids fall in love with the mountains. Our son, River, is almost a year and a half now. He loves all the kids and activity. It’s a great place for him to grow up.

Do you have other staff?

We have teenagers who live at the ranch fill time during the summer months. In the winter, we cut back. Some kids drive up from college in Denver, Fort Collins and Boulder to help out on weekends. Penny has a baby at home now too, so we try and give her a break every once in a while.

Do you keep in touch with the campers and track if you’ve made a difference in their lives?

Sometimes. Some kids we never hear from again. You always wonder if you had a positive impact. Others come back year after year, or are able to keep in touch through social media. We love those who do. Melanie and Hank’s daughter, Marissa, was a camper of ours. She was in a horrible foster situation at the time. Through meeting her while she was at camp, Melanie was able to become her foster mom, and later she and hank adopted her. She’s a great child. That’s definitely a success story. She even wants to come work at the camp when she’d older.

What’s the most important thing kids take away for Peak Adventures?

We’re all about positivity. We teach them to believe in themselves, to never give up, to be kind to other people and animals, and that they are in charge of their own destiny. I hope that take some of that home with them. That and we’re always here for them, if they need us.

CHARACTER TALK TUESDAY–

Introduce yourself.

Hi, I’m Sam Phillips. I’ve lived in Peakview for almost fifty years, I guess that means I’m getting old. My wife, Vickie and I live in the big white house on main street, right next door to Sophie’s Choice Bookstore.

What do you do in Peakview?

I own Sam’s Hardware. We sell a little bit of everything. There aren’t any big box store in our county, so we’re it. For the past year since, Kelly became the store manager, we branched out, carrying more household items and a greater selection of clothing. I’m an attorney and also run a law practice in Peakview. For years, I was the only attorney in town, but now Cindy Welch practices here, too. She’s been a great help now that I spend half of the year in Tumbleweed, Wyoming, my wife’s home town.

How long have you and Vickie been married?

We’re newlyweds, really. We’ve only been married a year. When my first wife, Alice, passed, I thought I’d spend the rest of my days alone, and then Vickie came into my life. Quite unexpectedly, I might add. In a short time, she’d turned my world upside down–in a good way.

Do you have any other family in Peakview?

My family has grown in the past year. There’s my Daughter, Nicole, and her new husband, Rick Brady. Now there’s Vickie’s son Hank, his wife Melanie, and their daughters, Sophie and Marissa. Melanie is pregnant, so there’ll be another grandchild soon. There’s also Vickie’s daughter, Gloria and her husband, Pete and their four boys in Tumbleweed. That’s the main reason we spend winter’s there. Oh and I can’t leave out my miniature Aussie, Marshall. He’s one on the family.

What’s the one thing you’d like us to know about Peakview, Colorado?

Its just a great place, full of wonderful, kind neighbors. I can’t imagine a better place on earth. Not only are the people great, but the scenery is spectacular. Our little community has grown a lot over the past few years, but the newcomers quickly become one of us. That’s just the way we are.