Hi everyone. If you haven’t noticed I’ve been silent for a few weeks. Lots of fun family time and travel have been going on in my life, but now I’m back 🙂 This week for our blog hop, we have been asked write about our favorite scent and what it evokes for us. This was a hard one as I have lots of favorite scents, but if I have to choose one, I think it would have to be the smell of pine trees, especially after a rainstorm. As many of you know, I write western romances centered in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, Wyoming, and Montana. The smell of pine always brings me back to those mountains. It brings back wonderful memories of times I’ve spent in the mountains on horseback or hiking trails. It evokes a sense of peace and calm and that all is well in this sometimes crazy world of ours. If you want to experience the mountains for yourself even if you’re somewhere else, check out my Peakview Series which takes place high in Colorado.
The week on our Romance Writer’s Weekly blog hop we’ve been asked to share one of our favorite reviews of one of our books. I’ve been blessed with many wonderful reviews on my books over the years. I’m always humbled when a total stranger is touched by what I write and takes the time to share it in a review. There were so many I could have picked from, but I decided on this one from last summer when I decided to write a story, Peaktop Dude Ranch Aflame, about the wildfires that have been devastating our west in recent years. The cover is an actual photo of a Colorado Wildfire descending on a Dude Ranch. Fortunately, as in my story, by some miracle the ranch was spared.
“Another outstanding book by Jill Haymaker! Everytime I think that she couldn’t write another one as good as the last, she proves me wrong. As the terrible fires continue to burn in the West, this book was extremely timely. It touched on the fear and anxiety that all the characters felt in the face of a fast moving wildfire. Their town, businesses and loved ones were all effected. Jill has a way of making you feel like you’re right there experiencing the same feelings as the characters. Then there was a touching love story that intermingled throughout. I truly feel this is one of her best, but I always feel that way when I read one of her books!! Thanks Jill, it sure felt good to be back in Peaktop again!”
What if your stepmother and stepsister sold you to a Sultan’s Harem?It is 1708 and Lady Shera Everton wakes up as a captive on a ship headed to Morocco. Shera meets a man named Kincaid, who is disguised as one of the Sultan’s soldiers. He intends to find his sister, Catherine, who was also captured, and make her kidnappers pay.He is immediately captivated with Shera and to protect her, Kincaid, known as Kemal, disguises her as one who has been scarred. The Sultan rejects her and she is safe from his bed, but still a captive to be ransomed. Shera must find a way to escape and confront the people who betrayed her. When her partnership with Kincaid turns to love, the two must face constant danger to endure. But will they ever be free?
This week on our blog hop we were asked to compare the relationship with the characters in your book with real life relationships. How do they differ and how are they the same?
Tough question. I suppose in fiction or real life every relationship is unique in some ways.
The most glaring way they differ would be that I write romance so there has to be a happily-ever-after. No matter how bad things get, you know there is light at the end of the tunnel. In real life, I think we are often flying blind with no idea if any given relationship will last forever or end tomorrow. Oh, we build trust for someone over time and have a pretty good idea about the future, but things change. No one goes into a relationship expecting a bad ending. I used to be a divorce attorney and let me tell you I got to be an expert in shattered dreams. Also, being a female, I’m aware that my relationships are written from a female perspective. My heroes may not be the same as if they were written by a man. I try to be realistic, but let’s face it, I’ve never been a man.
But how are they the same? Both in my real life and books, characters experience ups and downs, good days and bad, times they are happy and times they just want to run and hide. Both types of relationships are filled with emotion and self-doubt and require work to make them succeed. Both also can be very rewarding. They say you write what you know so I suppose there is a little of me in every one of my heroines and probably my heroes, too. My own relationships pop into my stories, I’m sure. After all, we all just want to see those happy endings for characters and the people we care about. I believe love always wins 🙂
check out my Peakview Series for heartwarming stories filled with the power of love.
This week on our Romance Writer’s Weekly blog hop we have been tasked with sharing 5 facts from our work in progress or newest release. Since Montana Pines Winter Romance just released last week I will share 5 facts from that book :
Number one: This book is the first book in my new Montana Pines Series. This is my fourth series. The first three all take place in the mountains of Colorado. Although I have now “moved” to a new state, you will find the same type of heroes-cowboys and rugged mountain men with big hearts.
Number two: At least one character from each of my first three series have ties to my new town of Pine Meadows, Montana. I hope readers will enjoy catching up with favorite characters.
Number three: My heroine, Haley, has been let down by everyone she has ever loved. Trust is hard for her.
Number four: My hero is quite the ladies man. It will take a special woman to get him to settle down.
Number five: I love to include kids and animals in my stories. This one includes an adorable four-year-old boy and a cute kitten.
Please hop on over to Andie Fenichels blog at http://asfenichel.com to read her fun facts. Also it it release day for a new box set of historical romances, Secrets, Scandals, and Seduction, of which she is a part. You can purchase it here: https://books2read.com/u/4joPNj
Thus week on our Romance Writers’ Weekly blog hop our topic is: How did you get started in your career, how did you get to where you are today and what’s next for you?
I started writing novels almost by accident. I had been practicing law for many years when I became friends with another author in my office building. She had just started writing her first novel and was so excited. I spent a couple of years following her writing journey and sharing in her joy of writing. One day, when I was especially discouraged with the practice of law, she suggested I try to write a novel. I laughed. I knew nothing about writing fiction! But I sat down a couple of days later and started my very first romance. I loved it. It was so different from the formal legal writing I was used to. I guess you could say I never looked back. I split my time between writing and practicing law for about four years before I took the plunge and transitioned to writing full-time. I’ve never regretted the decision. Today, is the release day for my twenty-sixth novel. Writing romance and happily ever after is something I truly enjoy and hope to be able to continue to do for the rest of my life. I have found my calling 🙂
How did you get started in your career? leave a comment and then head over to Jenna’s blog at https://www.jennadasie.com to see how she got started, too 🙂
This week our Romance Writer’s Weekly blog hop topic is: Memorial Day Weekend is coming up. What traditions do you and your family have? Will you start any new ones?
When I was a child, I remember my family getting together with my parents’ friends and their kids for Memorial Day and having big picnics and barbeques. It was always fun. As an adult, I seldom had jobs where we got Monday holidays so it wasn’t something I really celebrated. Now as a full-time author, I pretty much work seven days a week. Holidays mean very little to my schedule. This year in particular, the first book in my new Montana Pines Series is set to release on May 31st, the day after Memorial Day. I have to admit when I set the release date, I didn’t even realize that it would fall that way, since Memorial Day is later than usual this year because of the way the day falls on the calendar. So, I’m sad to report that I will be sitting at my desk all day working on last minute promotion and advertising for the release. If you are doing something fun and festive, let me know in the comments so I can live vicariously through you 🙂 #lifeofawriter
When you’ve commented hop on over to my friend, Brenda Margriet’s page and see how she celebrates the holiday. https://www.brendamargriet.com/blog And check out her latest novel here:
This week on the Romance Writer’s Weekly Blog Hop here’s our topic-What is the one thing that immediately sends you back to childhood? Is it a food, a scent, a swingset?
I had to think about this one. I have many varied, great memories of my childhood. Vacations with my family, Christmas mornings, participating in many outdoor activities with my brother and parents. When I saw “a scent” I immediately thought of the smell of burning leaves in the fall. My dad built a homemade fireplace at the rear of our back yard. In the summer he placed a grill in it and used it to cook hamburgers and hot dogs. We loved to roast marshmallows over the open flames. But the best of all was in the fall when we’d rake up all the leaves from our yard’s big trees, then we’d stuff the in the fireplace and light them. We’d stand around to keep warm in the cool, autumn evening air. The scent was heavenly 🙂 This was 60 years ago. Of course, today most cities have bans against outside burning of leaves. Here in Colorado where I reside, there is always a danger of wildfires, and no one is allowed to burn their leaves in their backyard. Still, that scent brings back memories of a happy, simpler time and of bonding with my family. Here’s a photo of Dad building the fireplace in 1954 with the help of my kitten, Pumpkin:
How about you? What brings you back to your childhood? After you’ve commented, hop over to Jenna Da Sie’s blog at https://jennadasie.com to hear her memories?
This week on the Romance Writer’s Weekly Blog Hop here’s our topic-
What is your favorite game? Is it because you usually win or because it challenges you every time?
My family is big on playing games. As a kid I remember playing monopoly, scrabble, clue and many other board games. When my children were growing up, on top of the individual presents each Christmas, I also always bought a “family present” which was labeled under the tree to everyone. It was always a new game. We would spend much of Christmas afternoon trying it out. Some were great, and others not so much, but it was always entertaining. We continued this tradition well into their twenties. To answer the question, I think my favorite is Trivial Pursuit, and yes, it’s because I’m good at it and can almost always win. I’ll admit it-I like to win! A lot. My usual calm demeanor goes away when a game comes out, and I get very competitive. For some reason my brain has an infinite capacity to remember silly trivial facts. I have no idea why I can remember small insignificant things when half the time I cant remember why I walked into the kitchen or where I put my phone!
Anyway, I do enjoy a good game, especially with people who like to have fun and aren’t sore losers. There’s nothing worse than someone who gets mad when they lose. As competitive as I am, I always remember it’s just a game and am the first to congratulate someone else if they win. Let’s just hope it doesn’t happen often.
Atlas Beach is experiencing a retail renaissance and CarlyMeyer is determined to be part of it. But she and her sandwich shop, The Lunch Box, are struggling to stay afloat. Luckily, help is on the way thanks to the Chamber of Commerce’s innovative mentoring program—partnering successful Atlas Beach business owners with some of the newer start-ups. Too bad the mentor assigned to her is the delectable—and highly annoying—Tino DiLuca.
So, my smartphone was starting to die a painful death as they all seem to do after a year or two theses days. We keep paying more and more for phones that last less and less time. I bit the bullet and ordered a new, latest model, which amazingly was delivered right to my front door less than 24 hours later. I was ecstatic, and paused my writing to activate my new phone. The postage stamp sized instructions that came with it said it would take around 15 minutes to activate the new one. It was lunchtime and I had 15 minutes to spare. I carefully turned on both phones, set them next to each other, followed the prompts and waited for the magic to happen. Little wheels turned, it looked like it was proceeding–then it stopped. I waited the 15 minutes, then 30 minutes, then an hour–nothing.
Meanwhile, the battery on my old phone died (the reason I needed a new phone) and the process came to a screeching halt. After plugging it back in, I tried again, same result. Okay, I must be doing something wrong, I needed help. Usually when my old, tecnologically challenged brain needs help, I reach out to some nice service representative to walk me through the process, but it was then I discovered that my old phone had been de-activated, but the new one had not been activated yet. Great. I felt like I was stranded on a desert island. In desperation, I turned to my computer and tried the “chat” option. I knew I would be talking to a bot somewhere, but I was hopeful. No such luck. Before they would address my problem, they said they needed to verify my identity. I typed in my user name and password and was then told I needed a verification number which they would text to me at my phone no. When I tired to explain that I didn’t currently have a working phone so they couldn’t text me, I got in an endless loop of standard responses like “would you like to buy a new phone?” and “Did you forgot your password?” I did what any rational person would do and resorted to tying my questions in ALL CAPS for effect. Of course, the bot didn’t care.
I wasted another hour, and finally decided, I’d have to get in my car and do this the old fashion way of driving somewhere to get help. I got in my car, pulled out of my garage, and grabbed my old phone to use goggle maps to find the nearest phone store. Of course, my phone didn’t work. Ran back in the house to my computer to search for a store and then tried to memorize the directions. How did we ever find our way before GPS? As I drove the 3 miles, through town to get to the store I have to admit I was a little nervous. I didn’t have a working phone with me. What if I had an accident or my car broke down? Those days when I was in college and I drove across the country with no phone, and many times in the middle of the night, were long forgotten.
Anyway, I made it to the store, only to be told that their activation system had been down all day. (It would have been nice to know that) At this point, I had no idea where my phone was in the process. No problem, said the girl (younger that my granddaughter) We can get your phone set up, so that when our system comes back up at approximately 6 pm tonight, you can activate your new phone. Two and a half hours later, after staring at the wheels turn round and round on the tiny screen, they told me to turn it off and then turn it on after 6 and it should activate. I drove home saying a tiny prayer that it worked. I’m happy to report that at 6:20, I had a new working phone 🙂 It had only taken 7 hours of my time to do so.
My point is, technology is great when it works. Not so great when it doesn’t. I wasted a day of time, but maybe gained a lesson in patience. It’s scary how much an old person like me is dependent on technology today. Maybe I should leave my phone at home more often, I used to be able to live without one. Who am I kidding? That’s not going to happen. but it was a nice thought. Hope your day was better than mine.
You don’t want to miss this story of love, redemption and starting over.
What if the past catches up with you just when you’re starting a new life?
Lorelei Grant, recently widowed, can’t believe that her best friend Charlotte wants to leave their hometown in Kansas and move to Aspen Ridge, a tiny, mountain town in Colorado and buy a gift shop. Is she crazy? Despite her hesitation, Charlotte wears her down, and they make the move.
Remington Hunt has always been a loner, content to live out his life in the mountains with his dog, Grizwold. That is until two ladies buy the gift shop next to his own gun shop. There’s just something about the redhead that has him reconsidering his hermit lifestyle.
Just when these two unlikely people start to put aside their differences and develop romantic feelings for each other, a past that Lorelei isn’t proud of catches up with her. People she’d put behind her from over thirty years ago, suddenly become real and threaten everything she’s started to build.
Can Lori overcome past mistakes and find a way to not only love, but also forgiveness? Sometimes the person who is the hardest to forgive is yourself.