Romance Writers’ Weekly #lovechatwrite

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

Also, my new Christmas novella is available for pre-order now at https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0BDXYVTZP

Romance Writers’ Weekly #lovechatwrite

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

Romance Writer’s Weekly #lovechatwrite

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?

Romance Writer’s Weekly #lovechatwrite

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?

Pre-order alert

Book ten in my Aspen Ridge Series is now available for pre-order at https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09R9GC5H8

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.

September is here!

I don’t know about you, but I am ready for cooler weather. When September arrives, my mind starts to think about autumn–cool crisp nights, sweaters, pumpkin spice lattes, and colorful leaves. If you live somewhere like me, and chances are you do, September doesn’t always signal a cool down. It’s still in the 90’s here, but we know that fall is coming. Fall is my favorite time of year. I love football and the beginning of the holiday seasons. I’m ready to decorate and have some hot chocolate.

To celebrate the fall season, I have a couple of book coming out next week on the 7th. First is the third book in my Peaktop Dude Ranch Series, Peaktop Dude Ranch Aflame. You wont’ want to miss this one and see what happens when a wildfire descends on Peakview County. Of course, there may be a romance with a handsome firefighter thrown in 🙂 You can pre-order it now at https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09D46R31N

Also coming on September 7th is the latest Chicken Soup for the Soul book, My Hilarious, Heroic, Human Dog. You will find my dog, Merlin’s own story on page 164. https://bit.ly/37mBaTX

Enjoy the beginning of Autumn wherever you are and sit back with a good book!

New Release-Peaktop Dude Ranch Reunion

The second book in my Peaktop Dude Ranch Series, Peaktop Dude Ranch Reunion, is now available at Amazon.com for your kindle, or in paperback or hardcover formats. You don’t want to miss this seasoned romance about a second chance at a long lost love.

Does first love ever die?

Pamela Emery, aged fifty-six, walked out of the courthouse with her divorce papers in hand. Life as she’d known it was over. Why had she let her son and his wife talk her into going with them on a vacation to a Colorado Dude Ranch? She just wasn’t in the mood, but she wouldn’t let them down. She’d spend a couple weeks with her adorable grandchildren, and with any luck, she’d come back home in a better frame of mind.

Kenneth Tucker glanced around the Peaktop Dude Ranch dining room at all the young families. He felt more than a little out of place. It was his first vacation since his wife died five years ago. Was there anyone here his age? Spotting the only other person in the room who looked like she was over forty, he decided to try to strike up a friendship with a stranger. Little did he know she wasn’t a stranger at all.

When Pam and Ken realize they not only knew each other in high school but were high school sweethearts, the sparks that sizzled between them almost forty years ago come crashing back. But can they trust their fragile hearts to the one person who broke them all those years ago, both believing that the other dumped them? Will they discover the real truth, or is it just too late for their ill-fated romance?

Peaktop Dude Ranch, where love soars to new heights.

New Release-New Series

The first book in my Peaktop Dude Ranch Series, Peaktop Dude Ranch Homecoming, is now available. To purchase your copy just click on the book cover (above).

I am so excited to write this series which takes place on a Colorado Dude Ranch. One of my earliest memories is of the summer when I was five years old. My parents loaded my brother and I into our car for our first cross-country roadtrip. There were no Interstates back then, so it took us several days to drive from our home in Indiana to the Colorado Mountains. When we arrived at Tarryall Dude Ranch, I loved everything about the place–the mountains, the cute little cabin we stayed in, and the horses–especially the horses. It was the first time I’d ever ridden except for a couple pony rides at fairs. This was a real, full size horse on a mountain trail with no one but me holding the reins. I still remember that horse. He was a black and white pinto named Little Joe. See picture below-yep, that’s me!

My whole family was sold on dude ranch vacations. We continued to vacation on a dude ranch every summer until I graduated from high school. We stayed on six different ranches in Colorado, Wyoming, and Montana. Each unique in their own way, but all with the family atmosphere and brand of western hospitality. When I was old enough, I spent three summers working on two different dude ranches in Colorado, Lost Valley Ranch and Tumbling River Ranch. They were experiences I’ll never forget. Later, my mom became a realtor and specialized in selling Dude Ranches. I was able to visit ranches with her all over the west. If you ever find yourself in Cody, Wyoming, you can stop by the Dude Rancher’s Museum where my mom’s saddle is displayed along with a portrait of her painted by a Native American artist.

As an adult, I continue to take my kids and now my grandkids to Lost Valley Ranch for weekends in the spring and fall. I call it my happy place. A place to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and enjoy the horseback riding and gorgeous mountain scenery. I hope Peaktop Dude Ranch can do that for you. It was born as a combination of all the various ranches I’ve experienced in my lifetime. For those of you who’ve read my Peakview or Aspen Ridge Series, Peaktop Ranch is nestled in the Peak National Forest between my two towns. You will see some of your favorite characters pop in from time to time. If you haven’t read any of my books yet, this is an excellent place to start.

COME HOME TO PEAKVEIW COUNTY, COLORADO, WHERE EVERYONE HAS A CHANCE AT LOVE!

SPRING?

Is it Spring yet? No matter where you reside, when we reach the end of February, you’re bond to hear this sentiment. If you live in the southern United States like I currently do, the answer is almost. In a couple more weeks it will be safe to plant without fear of frost. On my morning walk today, I saw yards filled with blooming daffodils, pansies, forsythia, and flowering trees. The azaleas are starting get their first blooms.

If, however, you live farther north, like my former home in Colorado, consistent warmer temperatures are still several months away. Although you may experience beautiful, warm March days, the next day you may get several feet of snow. The danger of frost stays until after Mother’s Day, regardless of the fact that the first day of spring is on the calendar in March.

Why do we look so forward to spring? Probably for many reasons. The days get longer, and the gloom of winter fades. Spring signals a new beginning, a time that reflects hope. A sign that no matter how dark our lives get, there will be a brighter tomorrow. There’s something so reassuring about watching tiny plants emerge from the recently frozen ground. Seeds that never gave up, but merely waited for their season. I love that!

It’s similar to the reason I write romances. I love the happy endings. Readers can pick up a romance novel and be assured that no matter how bad a situation may appear, that it will get better, the characters will fall in love, and they will have a happy ending. After all, isn’t that we all want for our lives?

So find hope in the anticipation of spring, whether it’s next week or next month or a ways down the road.

My latest novel, Climb up to Love,  was released last week. If you love stories of hope and new beginnings, get your copy now, and see how Sierra and Storm find a new beginning and overcome the darkness of their pasts. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B084BP9GW6

CUTL front final

New release-Box set

Hi everyone. I hope you are enjoying 2020 so far. Today is cold and rainy so a great day to sit inside and write 🙂  I wanted to let you know that I’ve just released a new box in my Peakview Series. This box set contains books 6-8, which goes through an entire year in Peakview, Colorado. You’ll enjoy your favorite Peakview residents as well as meet some newcomers to the tight-knit community. Download your copy now at 35% off the cost of buying these three books individually. Happy Reading. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08432CKK1

Box Set 6-8 full cover