free western romance ebook

Hi everyone, just wanted to let you know that the eighth book in my Peakview  series, Colorado Golden Sunrise is free today through Friday for your kindle at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B07828MFF1 Get your copy now 🙂

Golden Sunrise Front Cover (422x640)

CHARACTER TALK TUESDAY-HOWARD CRANDALL

Welcome, tell us about yourself.

My name is Howard, my wife, Violet, told me I had to do this interview. What do you want to know?

What do you do in Peakview and how long have you lived here?

I’ve been here almost 40 years. I was in my twenties, when I happened upon this town. Never left. I’d worked a mechanic, so I was able to purchase the gas station and shop cheap from the estate of a man who had run it many years before. I love it here. You asked what I do. Besides running the garage, I own some cabins down by Apple Creek that I rent out in the summer, I plow and tow folks out of jams, and I’m kind of the unofficial mayor of this place. Someone’s got to make sure the town functions.

Tell us about your family.

There’s Violet, of course. My beautiful bride, We’ve been married a couple years now. Known her for over thirty. Stan, her deceased husband, was my best friend for years. After he passed, I watched out for her. You know, it’s what friends do. Somehow, it gradually become more than a friendship. I still don’t see what she sees in an old cout like me, but I’m glad she gave me a chance. That same year, I met my daughter, Melanie and my granddaughter, Sophie for the first time. I didn’t even know they existed, now I can’t imagine life without them. And now there’s Melanie’s husband Hank and their daughter, Marissa. My life is full.

What do you like best about living in Peakview?

Aside, from it being far from any big city or civilization, I like how everyone looks out for each other. We’re one big family here. No one goes without help. I credit my wife for much of that, she’s the glue that holds this town together.

Tell us one thing most people don’t know about Howard Crandall.

Let’s see. I used to be quite the dancer in my younger days. I could really cut a rug. I may appear clumsy, but I’m pretty limber as long as my arthritis doesn’t flare up. Violet loves it when I take her dancing. We don’t get to do that near often enough.

Any last words.

If you’re ever in north central Colorado, stop on by and check out our tiny town. Who knows, you might never want to leave.

 

Character Talk Tuesday-June Walker

Good morning and welcome. I hear you are a relatively new resident to Peakview. How do you end up in this little town?

That’s right. I’ve only been here about two and a half years. Actually, coming to Peakview was totally unintentional on my part. After Alexis, my youngest, left for college, I decided to take a roadtrip from my former home in Ohio to visit my son and granddaughters in San Diego. The Colorado Mountains were so breath-taking that I decided to take some back roads. That’s when my car broke down along Apple Creek Road. Lucky for me, my now step-son, Luke, happened along and rescued me. He graciously invited me to Walker Ranch while Howard worked on my car. The rest is fate. I met Jeff and fell in love. I sometimes wonder if Luke planned it that way.

What do you think of the community?

Honestly, it’s the best place on Earth. I don’t think you’ll find friendlier folks anywhere. They’ve accepted me as one of their own. I’ve made some great friends here. And Violet’s cafĂ©. Let just say it’s the center of this community. Violet doesn’t miss a thing, and she has a heart of gold.

Tell us about your family.

I have three children. My oldest, Paul and his wife Cindy life in San Diego with my three adorable grandchildren. My middle child, Mary, is a world traveler. I hope to get her out here for a visit again soon. Then there’s Alexis, she’s in college at LSU. And, of course, my step-sons, Matthew and Luke. Matthew is a CPA down in Denver, and Luke lives on the ranch with his wife, Penny, and their new baby boy, Bronco. Honestly, he’s the cutest baby I’ve ever seen. We’re so lucky that they live so close to us.

Tell us something we might be surprised to know about you.

I’ve always been an amateur artist. Since moving to the ranch, I’ve taken up water color. You can find me on a nice afternoon, out in one of our pastures, painting scenery or horses. I’m not very good, but it’s fun. Jeff has even humored me by hanging a couple of my paintings in his office. I have the best husband.

Character Talk Tuesday-Violet Crandall

Today I have the pleasure of talking to Peakview’s very own, Violet Crandall. Introduce yourself to us.

Hi! My name is Violet and I am the owner of Violet’s CafĂ©. The cafĂ© is the center of our small town of around 150 full time residents.

How Long have you owned and run the café?

Goodness, for almost 40 years now. My former husband, Stan, rest his soul,  and I came to Peakview right after college and opened this place. The rest is history. Sadly, I lost Stan ten years ago, but I’ve continued on with the restaurant he loved. And now, of course, I have my Howard. God has blessed me twice.

What can you tell us about Peakview?

We’ve got the friendliest people you’ll ever meet. We’re really just one big family. Not a soul here who won’t help out his neighbor. I love helping people. In fact, I’m known as quite the matchmaker. I can spot a connection from a mile away. Most of the folks here have me to thank for their happy relationships. Frankly, I don’t know what they’d do without me. This place would probably shrivel up and die, but instead the town is growing. I might add that many of the new babies we have here, would never have been conceived without a little nudge from me. Have you seen that little Bronco Walker? What a cute child.

Any thoughts about retiring?

Heavens no. I don’t want to just sit around and play bridge all day. Howard suggested we might want to look into heading south for the winters. I told him I’m not that old yet. This old girl has a lot of good years left in her. I’ll be around for a while.

Thank you for being my guest today, any final thoughts you want to leave us with?

If you find yourself in Peakview County, please stop by the cafĂ© and say hello. There’s a good chance some of your favorite characters will be hanging out. It’s a special place. Oh, and if you want to know anything that’s going on in Peakview, leave a comment below and I’ll answer all your questions. Nothing gets by me. 

Rain, rain go away

rain

Well, it’s been raining here in East, Texas for a couple weeks now. I’m starting to forget what the sun looks like. At least three more days are in the forecast. Oh, I know, we need the rain. Its good for all the little flowers that will be coming up shortly. I’m just not a fan of clouds, they bring me down. After a few days my mood turns as dark as the sky.

Maybe I’m spoiled after living in Colorado for over forty years where the sun shines almost every single day. I have to say since moving to Texas last summer, for the most part its been pretty sunny. I think its February. Isn’t February awful everywhere? It’s our shortest month, but somehow feels like the longest. I lived in several different states in my life, in many different regions of our country with many different climates. One conclusion I’ve come too, is this: October is beautiful no matter where you are, And, February is not. Once we pass Christmas and Valentine’s Day, we’re all ready for spring, but it’s still winter. I will survive. That little jingle we used to say as kids has been running through my head all day “rain, rain, go away, come again another day.” Maybe if I say it enough the sun will peek through:)

Enjoy your day, wherever you are. Even if it’s raining.

No Sugar January

sugar

It’s January 17th. This month has dragged by, shouldn’t January be almost over? One reason January always drags for me is the cold dreary weather. Once Christmas is over I’m ready to be back outside. But this year, there’s another reason. Back in December, while I was happily stuffing another piece of delicious Christmas fudge into my mouth, my daughter mentioned to me that she and a couple co-workers were going to give up sugar, processed foods, and fried foods for the month of January. In a moment of guilt over the mass amounts of sweet Christmas treats I had consumed the past several weeks, I said, “Can I do it with you?”

“Of Course,” my daughter replied. She proceeded to set up a group text so that we could all keep each other accountable. As January 1st loomed in front of me, I thought “I can do this.” I’d always heard the benefits of a sugar cleanse. The processed food, fried food parts would be a breeze since I rarely eat either of those. I do like sugar. A candy bowl with delicious dark chocolate sits on my desk and most nights I enjoy a bowl of ice cream or frozen yogurt while watching TV.

The first couple of days were fairly easy. I missed sweet treats, but I was excited to get started. But the days dragged on . . . It was about at the one week mark, where the cravings really set in. I would kill for just one little piece of chocolate! My first trip to the grocery was also depressing. Do you know how many products have sugar in them? Ketchup (one of my basic food groups), Salad dressings, cereals, “healthy” snack foods. The list goes on and on. I wanted to give up, but I’m not a quitter. I haven’t cheated yet.

The more days that have passed, the harder it’s gotten. Just when I was about to give up, yesterday I realized I’d passed the halfway point 🙂 All down hill from here. I could make it. I have to admit that I’ve had more energy since stopping sugar, I’ve lost a few pounds around my waist, and I’m sure it’s been good for the rest of my body.

Will I continue once the month is over? Are you kidding me?!?! You can bet I’ll be at Dairy Queen come February 1st. But seriously, I do hope that maybe I will cut my sugar consumption to some degree and be more aware of what I do eat. Thank God it was only for a month!

Christmas in Texas

As many of you know, this past summer I moved from my long time home in Colorado to my new home in Longview, Texas. I was excited about the warm winters and lack of snow. I’ve never been a winter person. Give me 70-80 degrees, and I’m happy 🙂 What I hadn’t anticipated is how the seasons just blend together. In Colorado, we have four distinct seasons. One ends and another follows (that is, except for spring when it’s been known to snow on Mother’s Day, but that’s another story).

Anyway, in the fall freezing temperatures appear in September, sprinklers are turned off, mowers are put away, and the grass goes dormant for the winter. Then the fall leaves turn to brilliant shades of yellow, red and orange, and quickly fall off of the trees. The end of September and the month of October are spent raking leaves. By the time mid-November hits and it’s time to put up the outside Christmas lights, there’s a clean slate. Nothing much interferes. Oh, we had an occasional snow, but the snow serves to make the lights more festive–the bright colors shining through the white.

Not so in East Texas. I enjoyed putting up the lights without the need for my down jacket, mittens and scarf, but the grass was still growing. I carefully staked the Christmas ornaments into the front lawn, only to have to move them to move the grass underneath. And then, the leaves finally turn and begin to fall- IN DECEMBER. Lot of leaves. Tons and tons of leaves, that gently fall to the ground and cover the ornaments. Once again, ornaments are moved to rake underneath them.  Every week, more and more leaves fall.

We’ve been in a basic drought since I moved here in July with very little moisture. That is until this week. The weather has decided to make up for all of those sunny days. Three days ago we had four inches of rain and today is predicted to be much the same. Why do I mention this? Because of all of those nice little extension cords criss-crossing my lawn. Everywhere one cord meet the other, moisture gets in, and shorts out the lights resulting in blown fuses. Just when they were all dried out, it’s raining again. Hard. The other night I did something I’ve never done in the month of December, I didn’t turn on my Christmas lights! I didn’t want to spend the entire night flipping breaker switches.

All in all, I’m happy to be in Texas. I admit, I do like a white Christmas, preferably with all the snow melting by the 26th, but when I saw the 9 degree temperature in my former town this morning, I didn’t miss that. I guess I’ll take 70 degrees and soggy lights.

Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays to you from me. Whatever your beliefs, or whether you’re in snow or rain, sun or clouds, warm or cold, its the loving spirit of the season in our hearts that count. May you all have a blessed start to 2018!