Romance Writers’ Weekly #lovechatwrite

This week we have been asked to write a short fan fiction using the words pumpkin spice, ghost, and costume so here goes: I frowned as I peered in the mirror through the two small holes I’d cut in the white sheet that draped over my entire body. Did I look like a ghost or just a 70 year old lady under a sheet? Probably the latter. I hadn’t been to a costume party on Halloween in years, but my friends Megan and Tom had insisted I come to theirs. I even climbed up into my attic and opened an old, dusty box marked COSTUMES. There was my sexy cat, sexy devil, and sexy witch costumes from my 20’s and 30’s. Nope, I wouldn’t be wearing any of them, so I went with a sheet. At least no one would know me under my ridiculous getup. I walked into the party, intending to say hi to Megan and make my escape as quickly as possible. I walked over to a table in far corner of the room and poured a cup of punch. “Boo!” The deep voice behind me almost caused me to spill the red liquid down my white sheet. I turned to see a man dressed in a costume almost identical to mine. “Last minute idea?” he asked. I laughed. “Yep. You, too?” “Me? I wear this every year.” We both laughed. I didn’t recognize his voice. “Well. I’m just here because Megan insisted.” “Yeah. Tom did the same with me.” Throughout my feeble attempt to mingle and make casual conversations, I always ended up back in his company. He was pleasant and seemed to be a kindred spirit not only in the way we were dressed. After an hour passed, and I’d made sure that Megan knew I’d made and appearance, I seized my chance and quietly floated out the front door. I was almost to my car when I heard the door open and shut behind me. Had Megan discovered my departure and come to drag me back inside? “You didn’t say goodbye,” the deep voice rang out. “Do you like pumpkin spice?” It seemed like a strange question, but I turned, “Yes, doesn’t everyone?” “Good. Would you like to meet me at Starbucks in the morning? I’ll buy you a latte.” I hesitated. I had no idea who was under that sheet and for that matter, he didn’t know who I was either. I should say no, but what the heck? “Sure, how about 8:00.?” “8:00 it is, see you then.” I started to get in my car. Wait. “How will I know you?” I hoped he would take off his sheet. “I’ll be the tall guy with silver hair, not wearing a sheet. You?” I laughed. “I won’t be wearing one either.” I smiled as I drove away. This would be interesting. If he ghosted me it would be a good story, if not, who knew, maybe next year, he’d come as my Prince Charming.

Now hop on over to Leslie Hachtel’s blog to read her story at https://lesliehachtelwriter.wordpress.com and check out her time travel novel, Come Back to Me.

Romance Writers’ Weekly #lovechatwrite

This week I have been asked to write about an author who has influenced my writing. That’s a hard question to answer in a paragraph or two. There are so many. There are the NYT best-selling authors who I read extensively and admired from near and far. There are all the wonderful authors in my local writing group. There are all of the authors I’ve met at writing conferences and ones I’ve met in various online groups, some of whom I consider friends but have never met in person (like the lovely ladies in this Romance Writers’ Weekly group). But maybe the one who’s influenced my writing the most is my long time critique partner, Cassidy Wells. We met in an online class ten years ago, and have read each and every word the other has written all of these years. I don’t know how I would have done this job without her. She cheers me on when my writing is good, and kindly points out when it’s awful! I can’t imagine writing without her. Sadly we’ve never met (I don’t know if we ever will because we live on opposite sides of the country, but she is a forever friend. We’ve grown to know each other so well over the years. Here’s to many more! Now hop on over to PG Forte’s blog and see who has influenced her writing at http://rhymeswithforeplay.blogspot.com Speaking of PG Forte, just like me she has a new release. Check it out below.

Romance Writers’ Weekly #lovechatwrite

This week we have been asked to answer the following: Writing can be a lonely business. Share how you stay connected. Do you have an in-person writers group? Or chat with other writers on social media? Share your experiences. I am very fortunate to have belonged to an amazing author group, Front Ranger Christian Fiction Writers for the past twelves. The other amazing authors in this group have become my close friends. We meet once per month, in person, to inspire, and encourage each other as well as work on our craft. During the pandemic we continued to meet via zoom, until it was safe to meet in person again. I know I would not be where I am in my writing career today, without these amazing people in my life. In addition to that, I have stayed in touch with many other authors whom I’ve met at various writer conferences, and have made many author friends in various online and social media groups, including this Romance Writers’ Weekly one πŸ™‚ It may be a lonely business, but it’s something I couldn’t do alone. Now hop on over to Brenda Margriet’s blog and see how she stays in touch at https://www.brendamargriet.com/blog

And just to let you know, Brenda and I both have new releases you don’t want to miss. My new Christmas romance released last week, and Brenda’s new romance releases this week. You can buy them at the following links:https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0CH5KP3TP and https://bookstoread.com/TooGoodForWords

Romance Writers’ Weekly #lovechatwrite

This week we have been asked to: Write today’s blog as one of your characters. Have them introduce themselves, share their hobbies, interests, what they think of other characters, etc.

“Hi, my name is Belle Brooks, and I’m sixty years young. Along with my son, Ryder, I own and operate the Pine Mountain Horse Ranch in the beautiful Montana Pine Mountains. I love it here, I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else. Although, I live with my son, his wife, and their two small children, sometimes life can get a bit lonely since I’ve buried two husbands. Especially, around the holidays. Don’t you just love the Christmas season! If only, I could get Ryder to slow down long enough to put up our Christmas lights! I was going to do it myself, but he caught me on a ladder the other day and demanded that I get down. I wasn’t going to fall. Anyway, this stranger, Bart Stockton, showed up looking for work. He looked down and out so I hired him to hang the lights. It’s Christmas and the season of giving, after all. And there was just something about him… Under his long hair and beard, I could sense a kind soul, and those light blue eyes, swoon. Anyway, if you want to find out what happens next, get your copy of Christmas in the Montana Pines, now at Amazon.

Now hop on over to Brenda Margriet’s blog and hear from one of her characters at https://www.brendamargriet.com/blog

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 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

Romance Writers’ Weekly #lovechatwrite

This week for our blog hop we have been asked to answer the following question-If you could be friends with anyone who is alive today, who would it be and why? For me right now, I would have to pick Taylor Sheridan. As an author I am in constant awe of the man’s talent in writing, producing, directing, acting, and even in horsemanship. It seems like there’s nothing this man can’t do and do it well. The way he’s woven the Yellowstone universe, first with Yellowstone, and then the prequels of 1883 and 1923 amazes me. His writing talent and ability to weave all the story lines together is unparalleled today. He has the ability to create flawed characters that we all love to root for. Let’s face it, none of the Yellowstone characters are good people, and yet, we root for them every week and want them to succeed. I appreciate the way he tries to portray parts of our American history, as it really was and not how it has been shown over the years. In 1883, he doesn’t romanticize what it was like to travel across the west on a wagon train, and in 1923, he shows the horrors we inflicted on Native Americans and women. It’s not easy to watch, but so important to understand. Anyway, I’d like to be his friend so I could pick his brain and learn to be a better writer. Also, if I were his friend, maybe he’d let me have a bit part on Yellowstone and ride off into the Montana sunset on a beautiful horse. Now, that would be the dream!

Hop on over to Brenda Margriet’s blog and see who she wants to be friends with at https://www.brendamargriet.com/blog and pre-order her new novel, Strictly by the Book, now.

Romance Writers’ Weekly #lovechatwrite

This week on our blog hop we’ve been asked to answer these two questions-How do you take care of yourself? and What do you do to practice self-care? My biggest self-care routine that I do on a regular basis, is take walks with my dog. As long as the temperature is above freezing and below 100, I’m out there walking every day. We usually do around 4-5 miles each day. The exercise, the fresh outdoor air, and the time alone with my best friend combine to relieve whatever stresses I may have. Less frequently, I’m able to escape to our beautiful Colorado mountains to ride horses and hike. It’s great and I try to do it a few times each year. This year, I also bought a season ticket to Colorado State Men’s Basketball. Throughout the season there have been 1-3 games per week, and win or lose it has been a great enjoyment and stress reliever and a way to make wonderful friends. Reading a good book is also a great way to take care of yourself. Check out the second book in my Peakview Series, Breakfast for Two at https://www.amazon.com/dp/B014VA616G. It’s a heartwarming story about finding family and taking a second chance at love. Then hop on over to Leslie Hachtel’s blog and see what she does to take care of herself at https://lesliehachtelwriter.wordpress.com and check out her first historical romance in a set of three at https://amzn.to/41nxqMR