Hi Everyone. I have been absent from writing for a few weeks. First due to the holidays, and then I’ve been busy packing and getting ready to move in two more weeks! But, I’m back. This week on our blog hop, we have been asked-What is your favorite kind of weather? and Does it inspire your work? The first part is easy for me. I am way more a summer person than a winter person. I’d rather be hot any day than cold. That being said, my favorite season is autumn. I love the warm, sunny days and cool, crisp nights. I live in Colorado because the sun shines here almost every day. There’s nothing like a cloudy day to bring my mood down. The question, does it inspire your work made me laugh! NOPE. Beautiful weather inspires me to be outside-walking my dog, riding horses in the mountains, hiking, gardening, or just sitting on my porch in the sunshine. The last thing I want to do is sit inside and write. We are supposed to get up to ten inches of snow this week. Now, that will inspire me to sit at my desk and write with a cup of warm tea. Who knows, a snowstorm may even appear in my WIP 🙂 Want to get away from winter? Check out my latest release, Montana Pines Summer Love. It’s available on Amazon in all formats. Next hop on over to PG Forte’s blog and find out what weather she likes at https://rhymeswithforeplay.blogspot.com/2023/01/romance-writers-weekly-lets-talk-about.html
This week we have been asked what is the one dish or treat we can’t do without over the holidays and if we make it, share the recipe. Mine would have to be homemade caramels. The recipe I use was passed down from my great-grandmother, to my grandmother, to my mother, and then to me. Although they would be delicious any time of year, we only ever make them at Christmas. They melt in your mouth and are always a favorite of friends and family members alike. It wouldn’t seem like Christmas for my children and grandchildren without them. As I savor them each year, I often think I should make some at other times of the years–maybe a nice, summer batch, but I never have. There’s just something about a once a year treat that makes it extra special. I’m going to make a batch tonight 🙂 If you’d like to try them for yourself, here’s the family recipe:
1/2 lb. melted butter, 2 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1 cup Karo corn syrup, I can Eagle Brand Milk, I tsp. vanilla, mix all ingredients in a large saucepan and boil slowly to 238 degrees. Pour mixture into a 9×11 glass dish and cool in the refrigerator. Cut into squares and wrap individually with plastic wrap. Enjoy 🙂
Once you’ve tried this recipe, hop on over to Brenda Margriet’s blog and she what her favorite dish is for the holidays at https://www.brendamargriet.com/blog and check out her latest romance, Turn the Next Page, which is available for pre-order and will release on Thursday at https://books2read.com/TurnTheNextPage
And check out my latest, romance, Montana Pines Summer Love, releasing on Dec. 27th and now available for pre-order at: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0BNNL7T9Z
This week we’ve been asked to answer these questions: Where do you write? Do you need to be in the same place or move around? I write in my home office, which is currently a converted bedroom on the second floor of my house. The second question made me laugh. I’m guessing it assumes that authors have portable laptop computers which can be moved around. I don’t. I’ve never had a laptop–never wanted one. I write on my desktop computer with a monster-size screen that is easy on my eyes. I don’t have the luxury of moving it. Not that I think I’d want to if I could. I enjoy setting hours to work and hours to play. When I’m in my office I work. When I leave it, then I do other things like play with my dog. Want to see what my office looks like? Here’s a few pictures (excuse the mess).
This week we have been asked to answer these questions-what’s special about your books? What makes you stand out? and share a snippet or two from one of your books. When I thought about these questions, the obvious answer is I write about characters who are older in age than mainstream romances have historically been. I’ve written characters in their 40’s, 50’s, 60’s, 70’s and even one couple in their 90’s. You are never too old to fall in love is a constant theme in my writing. Besides that, all my stories, event the ones with younger characters have the themes of hope and second chances. We all need that in our lives. I can’t tell you how many readers have written to tell me that my fictional characters have enabled them to not give up on love and have hope in their lives. If I can do that for even one person, then this writing career of mine is all worth it. I think I stand out for those reasons, too. Readers are not disappointed in the endings of my books. Here’s a snippet from Remember Christmas-“Grace wrapped her arms around her new husband’s neck. Her memory failed her sometimes these days, but this was going to be a Christmas she’d remember for the rest of her life and beyond.” And one from my new Christmas Stocking of Love-“When Charlotte had wished for a cowboy for Christmas, who knew her wish would come true like this? It truly was a Christmas miracle of the very best kind.”
Be sure to check out my newly-released Christmas in Aspen Ridge Box Set where you can get all three Aspen Ridge Christmas romances at 50% off the price of buying them separately https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0BLHJZLBW
This week on on Romance Writer’s blog we’ve been asked these questions. How do you stay creative? How do you feel your muse? and What tips and tricks do you recommend to stay in the creative zone? I love to write. I think I stay creative because my mind loves to create. In my mind I am always creating. Sometimes I’m two or three chapters ahead of what I have written down or sometimes I’m two or three books ahead. The trick for me is not staying creative, but getting it all actually written down. New ideas come to me every day. What I recommend is to let your mind wander, to always be open to new ideas, and to observe the world around you. You will find inspiration everywhere. If I’m stuck, I take a long walk to clear my head. When I sit down to write, I need to have my mind cleared of everything around me so that I can fully immerse myself in the location of my book. I do that by taking care of everything else in my life in the mornings, and then writing in the afternoon, when my mind is cleared of other things. It may not work for everyone, but it does for me.
If you haven’t already, get yourself in the mood for Christmas with any of my seven Christmas stories filled with hope and second chances. And hop on over to Leslie Hatchel’s blog at to read her answers to the questions at https://lesliehachtelwriter.wordpress.com and check out her novel below at https://amzn.to/3FnDb4H
This week for our Romance Writer’s Weekly blog hop we have been asked to share the best advice we’ve ever received and who gave us that advice. I’ve probably received a lot of great advice over the years, but the one I want to write about today was from my friend, Pamela. She was an author, and we had lunch one day. My law practice at the time had been slow, and I moaned about not having enough work to fill my days. She said, “you should write a novel.” My reply, “Are you kidding me? I have no idea how to write a novel and don’t think I could do it.” To which she replied, “You’ll never know unless you try.” I went back to my office and sat down and wrote “chapter one” I had no clue as to what I was doing or how to write fiction, but I had a story, and I wrote it. Four months later, I had a first draft of a book. Of course, it was awful, but two years later after taking classes, joining author groups, reading writing books, and attending a writing conference, I published my first romance 🙂 That was ten years and 27 books ago. I never looked back and now I write full time. I can’t imagine doing anything else with my life. Without that one piece of advice, my life wouldn’t be the same today. Thank God for my friend who advised me to do something I never would have thought of on my own.
And speaking of books, my new Christmas Novella, Christmas Stocking of Love releases one week from today. You can pre-order in now at https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0BDXYVTZP
Next, hop on over to PG Forte’s blog and check out what advice she received. http://rhymeswithforeplay.blogspot.com
You can also check out the Christmas Romance Anthology that she is a part of Let’s Get Naughty at https://books2read.com/letsgetnaughty
This week for Romance writer’s weekly we have been asked to write a flash fiction autumn scene using the words water, leaf, and coffee 🙂 here’s mine:
Before she even got out of bed, she knew that Autumn was here. She could tell by the cool, crisp breeze that blew in the window of the small cabin she’d rented for the weekend. It smelled like autumn. She didn’t know how to describe the scent, but she knew it when she experienced it.
She yawned and climbed out of the cozy bed, slipping into a soft, oversized sweatshirt and a pair of yoga pants. She made her way down the narrow wooden staircase to the country kitchen and hit the start button on the small coffee pot. Next, she opened cupboard doors until she found a stash of various coffee mugs. One called to her. It was plain white with red, block letters reading “you can do it!” She needed that this morning.
When the machine stopped, she filled her mug with the dark, brown liquid, and breathed in the aroma of coffee beans. She grabbed her latest romance novel, opened the back door, and walked out onto the small, wooden deck. Sitting down on one of the two Adirondack chairs, she gazed out over the lake. The crystal clear water lapped against the sandy beach below.
As she sat, a small, red leaf flitted down from one of the maple trees overhanging the lake and landed in her lap. She picked it up and turned it over in her hand, examining its bright color and small veins. No doubt, a few weeks ago it had been bright green and clinging tightly to a branch above. It was different now. It had changed but not in a bad way.
How much she had in common with this leaf. All long, hot summer she’d tried desperately to hang onto her old life—a life that had run its course. Now, she’d changed, but she realized it wasn’t in a bad way. She was emerging to a new brighter self. Different in appearance from her old self, but still the same person, just a new and improved version.
She sipped her coffee and stuck the leaf between two pages of her book to preserve it—a reminder that we are all meant to change. It was the natural course of life, and she vowed to celebrate every day.
Before you go. let me know what you think and then hop on over to Leslie Hachtel’s blog and check out her scene. I did, and I loved it! https://lesliehachtelwriter.wordpress.com
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.
Once you’ve done that, hop on over to my good friend, Brenda Margriet’s blog to see what scent she likes at https://www.brendamargriet.com/blog Also check out her new romance, Secrets Under the Covers, at https://books2read.com/SecretsUndertheCovers
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!”
Hop on over to Leslie Hatchel’s blog to see one of her reviews at https://lesliehachtelwriter.wordpress.com
If you like historical romance you’ll love this one: Bound to Morroco https://amzon.to/3Rngykf
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.
If you want to get another author’s take on this topic, hop on over to PG Forte’s blog at http://rhymeswithforeplay.blogspot.com to see what she has to say. And check out her book below at htttps://books2read.com/u/boaKy1