Romance Writers’ Weekly #lovechatwrite

This week we have been asked to write a short flash fiction story containing the words, house, umbrella, and ice cream. Here goes:

Mary’s mood matched the weather. Gray and depressing. She’d finally gotten a day off from work, and she was stuck inside with her four-year-old son, Noah, watching the rain pour down. He wasn’t in a much better mood than she was. Last night, she’d promised him a day at the park. That was before she’d seen the weather forecast. “Mom, I want to go get ice cream.” “It’s too cold for ice cream.” “Why?” (His favorite question these days). “Because ice cream is for warm, sunny days.” “But I want to walk to the ice cream store,” his voice reached a high-pitched whine. “It’s raining.” “I like rain.” Mary sighed. Logic never worked with a four-year-old. She glanced out the window. The rain had not let up. “Pleeeease,” His small voice said. Oh, what the heck. Her day couldn’t get any worse. “Go get your rain boots on.” Yay!” She stepped into her own boots and grabbed their raincoats and a large umbrella out of the closet. “It’s an adventure,” her son yelled. As they stepped out of the house, the rain pelted down on the umbrella. She struggled to keep it over both of their heads. That lasted about halfway down the driveway. “Look, Mom a puddle.” Before she could stop him, her son ran ahead and jumped with both feet into a huge puddle at the end of the driveway. He giggled, and it was contagious. She couldn’t help laughing with him. They walked the four blocks to the ice cream shop, with Noah hitting every puddle along the way. Once inside, he spent several minutes pretending to consider all thirty flavors before ordering strawberry, like always. She smiled as they sat dripping at a small table and enjoyed their treats. The walk back was much the same as the one there. Noah found even more puddles to jump in, and when they reached their block, he even convinced her to jump in some with him. By the time they walked back in the house, they were both soaked to their knees. “Did you have fun?” she asked, taking off their wet boots in the mudroom. “So much fun!” She had to admit, she was in a much better mood now. Sometimes you just needed to think like a toddler. Now hop on over to Jenna Da Sie’s blog and see what she wrote at https://jennadasie.com.

Romance Writers’ Weekly #lovechatwrite

The week we’ve been asked to answer the question– If one of your books could be made into a movie, which one would you pick and what actors would you like to play your characters? This is a hard question for an author. I’d love to see all 30 of my books made into a movie. I can see them play out in my head πŸ™‚ I’ve gone over and over each of them to try to decide. I guess if I can only pick one, then I’d have to go with the second book in my Peakview Series, Breakfast for Two. The reason I chose this one is that this is Violet Crandall’s love story. For those of you who haven’t read my books. Violet Crandall is the owner and operator of Violet’s Cafe in the tiny town of Peakview, Colorado. But more importantly she is unofficially the county’s match-maker and gossip. Many residents have been known to say “Who needs a newspaper where we have Violet!” Violet credits herself for almost 100% of the town’s marriages. Because she is so sweet, she is by far my reader’s favorite character, and she appears in every book that takes place in Peakview County, that’s three series and 26 books! As far as who I’d want to play her since she’s in her 60″s, I’d have to say someone like Andie McDowell or Annette O’Toole. Feisty yet loveable. As for her love interest, Howard Crandall, I’d pick Harrison Ford or Richard Gere. Hey, if you’re going to dream, dream big.

Now hop on over to Jennifer Da Sie’s blog at https://jennadasie.com and see what book and actors she’d pick πŸ™‚

My new Christmas Novella, Christmas in the Montana Pines, is now available for pre-order. Click this link to get your copy ordered today https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0CH5KP3TP

Romance Writers’ Weekly #lovechatwrite

This week we have been asked to answer this question: Tell us what other author writes books most similar to yours and why? If I want to compare myself to well-known authors, I would say that my books are similar to those written by Robyn Carr and Roxanne St. Claire. Robyn’s Virgin River Series, in particular, centers around the residents of the small town of Virgin River. All of my series are based in small towns with citizens who feel like family. Roxanne’s Dogfather and Dogmother series all have dogs who play a major role in her stories. Many of my books also feature dogs or cats that help to bring the hero and heroine together. Also both of these authors write similar heat levels to mine. Now hop on over to Leslie Hachtel’s blog and see who she writes like at https://lesliehachtelwriter.wordpress.com

I have a couple of deals for you today. First, my novel, Come Home to Love, is free for your kindle until Friday at https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07T6B6M67 also, my new Christmas novella, Christmas in the Montana Pines, is now available for pre-order for only $2.99 at https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0CH5KP3TP

Romance Writers Weekly #chatlovewrite

This week we have been asked to answer this question. What is one article of clothing that someone could wear that would make you walk out on a date with them? This one made me pause. I could get political here. There are many articles of clothing I’ve seen recently that would cause me to run, not walk, out. But I won’t. I try not to mix politics with my writing. You are all entitled to your own views and opinions. So absent that, I would say a guy wearing a tanktop, what we used to sarcastically call a wife-beater shirt back in the day. I’ve never seen a guy who looks good in a tanktop, not even the most fit, young, in-shape ones and men my age, well, let’s just say it’s a very bad look. They always remind me of my dad back in the 1950’s. He worked in an office that had no air-conditioning, so he wore “undershirts” what we would today call a tanktop, under his dress shirts and ties, but never alone. Anyway, that would be a deal breaker for me. How about you? Anything that you can’t stand? Now hop on over to Jenna Da Sie’s page and see what she has to say. Happy Reading, Jill

https://jennadasie.com

Romance Writer’s Weekly #lovechatwrite

I hope everyone had a wonderful, long holiday weekend. My was nice, with a couple of barbeques fit it and a little time at our swimming pool when it opened. However, in writer world, we really never get holidays, so much of my weekend was spent working on my next book.

This week we have been asked to write about this topic: The secondary characters (friends, family, colleagues, etc) in a romance novel can greatly influence the story. Describe a secondary character you’ve written that you can’t forget. So, as an author most of my secondary characters are thought out before I begin to write a story. They are strategically placed in a story to either introduce characters who will star in an upcoming book (since I write series) or characters who will either help or hinder the romance such as a character’s child, best friend, former lover, etc. Then there are incidental characters, think a waitress or a store clerk, who a character interacts with. They are not planned and usually play a bit part in one scene. That’s how my favorite secondary character, Marissa came to be. In my novel, Colorado Cabin in the Pines, the third book in my Peakview Series, my heroine needed a reason to stay in the small mountain town of Peakview other than falling in love with the hero. She was a school teacher on summer break, so I created a mountain adventure camp for disadvantaged youth were she could work. Her first day on the job, she was supposed to help get the new campers up on their horses. To put some life into the scene, I had her reassure a small girl sitting off by herself who was afraid of the horses. During the conversation, she asked her name, and she said Marissa. She was only intended to be in that one scene. But I instantly fell in love with her, and she ended up taking on a larger role and even helping to get the hero and heroine together. At the end of the summer when my characters fell in love and started their happily ever after, Marissa, like the other campers, went back home to her not-so-great foster home. Boy, did I get unhappy emails from readers, although my main characters fell in love at the end, as always, everyone wanted to know what happened to Marissa. So, in my next book, Colorado Wrangler, my heroine becomes her foster mom and the hero and heroine end up adopting her after they get married. She developed such a great personality that she appears somewhere in all remaining 7 books in the series πŸ™‚ She’s my favorite because she was so unexpected, even to me, the author. You never know where characters will take you.

Now hop on over to Jenna Da Sie’s blog and learn about one of her secondary characters at https://jennadasie.com

In case you missed it, my latest novel, Montana Pines Spring Forward, was released late last week. Get your copy here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0C4K33CWS

Romance Writer’s Weekly #lovechatwrite

This week we have been asked the following question-If you could time travel, what period of time would you choose and why? I had to think about this one. I’m not a huge fan of the whole time travel genre. At first I thought about the old west, which has been romanticized in movies and on TV, but in actually, it was a very hard life without any modern conveniences, so I decided, no. So, my answer, if I were to go somewhere for a few days or weeks, would be the 1950’s when I was a child. My favorite thing about the 1950’s? No air-conditioning. Don’t get me wrong, my home is air-conditioned and I enjoy a nice, cool office to write in and a cool bedroom on hot summer nights, but here’s what I liked. Growing up in a mid-west city we also didn’t have microwaves or take out food. Women cooked dinner in the oven every night, further heating the already hot homes. So when dinner was done, everyone, I mean everyone from age one to one hundred headed outside. It was just too hot to stay inside until the sun went down. Kids played and rode bikes, parents gardened and mowed their lawns, old people sat on their porches and sipped iced tea, while groups of neighbors congregated and shared their lives. No one had tiny screens to look at instead of carrying on conversations. We all knew each other-everyone on our city block. Even as pre-schoolers, our parents didn’t worry about us riding our bikes around the block alone. No one bothered us, instead everyone said hello. And when we were lucky, older neighbors would invite us up onto their porches for warm, fresh out of the oven baked cookies or to share the stash of popsicles they kept just for the neighborhood kids. I knew everyone. It’s been 56 years since I lived in that home, and I can still picture who lived in every house and tell you all their names. The sense of community was awesome. Recently, as I walked my dog around the block on a nice, summer evening, I didn’t encounter one other soul. Instead of the sounds of laughter and conversation, the only sound was that of the air-conditioning units clicking on and off beside closed up houses. I miss those times of socializing. I won’t be turning off my air-conditioning this summer or giving up my cell phone, but sometimes I long for those simpler times.

Now, hop on over to Leslie Hachtel’s blog and see when she’d travel to at https://lesliehachtelwriter.wordpress.com

In writing news, you can now pre-order my new novel, Montana Pines Spring Forward, at the following link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0C4K33CWS

Romance Writer’s Weekly #lovechatwrite

The week we are answering the following question-Give three tips that motivate you to write when you don’t feel like it. Let’s start by saying that I love to write. I feel very lucky that I’m able to make a living doing something that I love. But, right now at the beginning of May, is probably the hardest time of year to get motivated. Here in Colorado where I live, we’ve had a long cold winter, followed by March and April which switch between warm days and more snow. Then May comes and the majority of days are warm and sunny. All I want to do is be outside whether it’s sitting on my patio with a cup of tea, taking a long walk with my dog, or planting and working in my yard, it feels so good to be outside again. And there’s the problem–it’s hard to force myself to sit inside and write. So what motivates me? First, I would say just reminding myself that I have faithful readers who expect a new book from me every few months and I don’t want to let them down. Second, I have to remind myself that I only have a yard to enjoy because I can pay my mortgage and other bills. I get motivated, because I need to write to survive. If I don’t write, I don’t eat! And finally, I get motivated by sitting down and getting back into whatever story I am writing. I want to see what happens to my characters and how they find their happily ever after as much as my readers do, maybe more. So, I sit down and let my characters take me on a journey with them πŸ™‚ There you have it–how I get motivated. Now hop on over to PG Forte’s blog to see how she gets motivated at https://rhymeswithforeplay.blogspot.com

Also if you’re looking for a feel good Western Romance, the first book in my Peaktop Dude Ranch Series, Peaktop Dude Ranch Homecoming, is free for your kindle this week at https://amazon./com/dp/B08W4MS2TY

Romance Writer’s Weekly #lovechatwrite

This week we have been asked to answer the question-What cheers you up when you are feeling down. It’s an easy answer for me, or actually three answers-my three guys. My first guy is my significant other who I have been with for 28 years πŸ™‚ Whenever I’m having a bad day all I have to do is spend time with him. He seems to always know just the right thing to say to cheer me up and make me feel good about myself. He’s my biggest fan. Next, is my three and a half year old grandson. He stole my heart the day he was born. He is so full of energy and joy of life. It is impossible to be in the same room with him and feel down. And when he says “Grandma, I love you so much!” my heart melts. Last, but not least, is my roommate, companion, and world’s best dog, my toy Australian Shepherd, Merlin. That little guy can make me laugh and cheer me up no matter what. He is hyper in tune with my moods and always knows what I need–a hug, a kiss, snuggles or play time. He’s the best.

What cheers you up when you are down? Hop on over to PG Forte’s blog and see what cheers her up at: https://rhymeswithforeplay.blogspot.com and check out her story in the second chance romance collection at https://books2read.com/lovhteisintheair

Romance Writers’ Weekly #lovechatwrite

Today on our blog hop we have been asked to write a short story using the words, Spring, Orange, and Park bench so here goes.

It was the last week in March and theoretically it was already spring, but on the mountain side outside her Colorado home, remnants of winter snow still remained. It had been a long winter. Not only because of the greater than average amount of cold and snow, but Heather had been dealing with several personal crises over the past few months. She had to get out of the house. So she bundled up in her down jacket, pulled on her snow boots, and stepped out in the bright Colorado sunshine. It was almost blinding as it reflected off of the white snow. Her small dog pulled on the end of his leash, obviously as excited as she was to get out of the house. They walked along the shoveled sidewalk to the park which was only a few blocks away. Bright orange cones blocked the entrance to the dirt road that led into the park. It was too muddy for a car to pass, but walking would be fine. she walked around the cones and headed up the path. In the summer the path was as busy as a city sidewalk, crowded with runners, hikers, kids, dogs, and all ages of people enjoying the great outdoors, but today, there wasn’t another soul in sight. She walked a ways to her favorite park bench, and brushing off the snow, sat down. It was so quiet–the only sound was the breeze whistling through the pine trees. A few birds chirped, signaling that spring was indeed on its way. A time of new beginnings and renewal. It happened every year, and it would happen in her life, too.

Now hop on over to Brenda Margriet’s blog and read her story at https://www.brendamargriet.com/blog and check out her newest novel at https://books2read.com/StrictlybytheBook

Also, you can download a Kindle copy of my first novel, Colorado Sunset, free for a limited time at https://www.amazon.com/dp/BOOUNP0GTW

Romance Writers’ Weekly #lovechatwrite

This week for our blog hop we have been asked to answer – Dogs or Cats? Or other choices. Please include pictures. How does that help your writing.

I have to say dogs. Not that I dislike cats, in fact, I’m almost 70 years old and I’ve always had at least one cat, sometimes 10, for my entire life until 6 months ago when my beloved 17 year old cat, Kona, passed. That being said, I’ve also had at least one dog in my life since I was 8. As a small child, we had cats. They were okay, but they weren’t much fun to play with. Growing up in the 1950’s, all I wanted was a Lassie in my life. Finally, when I was in second grade, I talked my parents into getting me my first dog. His name was Rebel. He wasn’t a Collie like Lassie, but he was the next best thing for our small house and yard-a Shetland Sheepdog (otherwise known as a toy Collie πŸ™‚ He instantly became my best friend, going everywhere with me, except for school. Trust me, if I could have take him to school I would have. He made it almost through high school with me. After living my freshman year of college in a dorm without a dog, the next year I moved off campus and got my second Sheltie, Violet, who stuck her feet in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans on our travels together in the first year of her life. Once I had kids, we had several other breeds of dogs for my kids but I always had a Sheltie. Also, numerous cats and kitten. My last Sheltie, Laddie, passed in 2018, and I got my current best friend, Merlin, a Toy Australian shepherd. He is 5 now and the love of my life. But enough about dogs and cats, the other love of my life are horses. I got my first horse, Mike, when I was thirteen, and we moved to the country. I ended up with four horses when I graduated from high school. They were a huge part of my teen years and also hold a special place in my heart. I no longer have horses, but I get up into the beautiful Colorado Rockies and ride whenever I get the chance.

How does that help my writing? I write romances, and I haven’t writtena single book without an animal of some kind. Some have played large roles in my stories. My characters almost always have a dog or a cat. And, of course, since I write western romances about cowboys, there are horses, lots of horse. My own experiences with these animals shine through in their personalities and abilities to comfort and heal. Pets, of any kind, are the best!

Here’s some recent pics-

Now hop on over to PG Forte’s blog at http://rhymeswithforeplay.blogspot.com/ and see what animals she likes πŸ™‚ And check out her romance in Love is in the Air at https://books2read.com/loveisintheair