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 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 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
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 🙂
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!
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.
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!