2018 in review

Hi Everyone, Can you believe that in a few short hours it will be 2019? This year sure has flown by for me. It’s been a year of ups and downs, but at its close, I want to focus on the positive–the things that have stood out for me this year as highlights, events that I am especially grateful for. So here’s my top five:

5.  This was my complete year of writing full time. I loved being able to follow my passion on a daily basis. I finished and published four full-length novels, a record for me, and had many more sales than in the previous years of my writing career. I finished book eleven in my Peakview Series and the first book in my new Aspen Ridge Series.

4.  I was able to travel to Denver this summer to attend RWA (Romance Writers of America Conference). What a wonderful experience being around so many talented authors and members of my tribe. The classes were excellent and I came home renewed and excited about my career.

3.  Lost Valley Ranch–my favorite place on the planet. This November I got to spend a weekend at this beautiful resort high in the Colorado Rockies. I started going to Lost Valley in 1967 with my family on vacation, later worked there when in high school and college, and its been a favorite weekend retreat for me and all three of my children and granddaughters. This time was especially great because I was there with both my daughters, my brother, who had not been there since 1973, and my sister in law and son in law who were first time visitors. What a great family weekend.

2. Time with family. This year one of my biggest blessings was time with my family. I was able to travel to Colorado four times this year to spend time with my son, my granddaughters, and extended family members. I traveled to San Diego for a week this summer to spend time with my oldest daughter at her home on the beach. I got to meet her boyfriend and experience her lifestyle. Most precious of all, I got to spend an entire year living only a couple of miles from my youngest daughter. Whether it was meeting at Starbucks, taking walks with our dogs, or enjoying local events, we had a great time spending moments together. I cherish the time I get to spend with those I love.

1. Merlin came into my life 🙂 Anyone who follows me on social media is well-acquainted with Merlin, my toy Australian shepherd. Merlin joined my family just twenty-four hours after the sad event of the passing on my dog, Laddie, who had been my best friend for sixteen years. Merlin had brought such joy into my life. He’s gone from 3 pounds to almost 15, where he should stay for awhile. He gets me moving–we walk four to five miles a day to try and use up some of his never-ending energy. Not a day goes by that I don’t laugh out loud at some silly thing he does. And at night, he’s there curled up beside me his head on my body. Who knew something so small could bring so much joy.

There you have it, my five highlights of 2018. I’d love to hear yours 🙂 Happy New Year and cheers to an even better 2019!!

Merlin 2019

Just released

Hi Everyone, A Peakview Christmas, is now available at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B07GWT7HZ1  Download your copy today and get into the Christmas spirit 🙂

 

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romance on sale

Hi everyone, my latest release, Mountain Cowboy, is on sale for $0.99 today and tomorrow at https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07DX7526T  You’ll want to meet sexy horse trainer, Tex Ranger, and see how he finds more than he was looking for when he accepts a job at Walker Horse Ranch. MC final cover front 2 - Copy (463x800)

Character Talk Tuesday-Penny Walker

How long have you lived in Peakview County?

All my life–born and raised. I grew up on my parents, Gary and Ann Anderson, ranch. It’s right next to the Walker Horse Ranch where I live now with my husband, Luke, and my son, Bronco. I left for four years of college in Chicago, but I don’t think my heart ever left.

Tell us about how you and Luke met.

Actually, I don’t remember the first time we met. We were probably two or three years old. I remember that he was in my kindergarten class. I have the picture to prove it 🙂  We were friends (kind of) our whole lives, but it wasn’t until his mom passed away when we were like twelve, that we really became close. He needed a friend and I was there. I fell in love, that is if I knew anything about love at 12. We dated all through high school, but broke up when I left for college. He stayed on his dad’s ranch. I planned on staying in Chicago, but when I came home for the summer after graduation, I realized I still loved him and life here.

What do you do for a living?

I manage The Peak Adventure Camp. We give disadvantaged kids from the city a chance to get up in the mountain and enjoy the great out of doors. Escape for a short time from their not so perfect lives. We do lots of horseback riding and hiking. It’s very rewarding. It’s a great job, I can take Bronco to work with me. He loves it there. And my hours are flexible.

What is the best thing about living in Peakview?

There are so many. For me, it’s home. All the residents here are like one big family. There’s nothing our neighbors wouldn’t do if we needed help. And of course, both sets of Bronco’s grandparents are close by. That a plus. Along with Violet and Howard, who are like another set of grandparents. We are very fortunate. You should stop by. I bet you’ll love it as much as I do.

 

Character Talk Tuesday-Ethan Charm

Introduce yourself to our readers.

My name is Ethan Charm. I’m fifteen years old and going to be a sophomore at Mountain High School in the fall.

How long have you lived in Peakview?

Just about a year. My mom and I moved here from Nebraska last summer when she got the job managing Sam’s Hardware Store.

How do you like Peakview?”

It took me awhile adjust. At first I wanted to go back to Prairie where I was born and raised, but I soon discovered that life here in the Rocky Mountains could be pretty great. Especially after Mom and Jake got married and we moved out to his ranch. I love it out there. I’ve got my own horse, several cats, a dog, some goats. It’s the life.

What do you do for fun?

I’m a runner. I run cross country and track for the Mountain High Mustangs. Running is a sport that you have to practice all year long. I rarely take a break. I have asthma so I need to keep in shape. The altitude was hard when I first got here, but I’m hoping to do better this fall. I like to hang out with the other guys on the team and my girlfriend, Lindsee. I am learning roping now that I have my own horse. Maybe someday I’ll compete. Jake is also teaching me to fly fish.

It sounds like you keep busy. Anything else you want to tell us about Peakview?

It a great little town. Everyone is friendly and nice. If you love the outdoors and don’t mind snow in the winter, its a great place to live.

New Release-Mountain Cowboy

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The wait is over 🙂 Book ten of the Peakview Series, Mountain Cowboy, is now available at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B07DX7526t . You don’t want to miss this one. Here’s the blurb:

Thirty-six year old horse trainer, Tex Ranger, prefers horses to humans. His new job at the isolated Walker Horse Ranch is exactly what he’s looking for—no females to create drama in his life. He’s had enough of that.

Twenty-four year old, Mary Meyers, lives to travel. When a rock climbing accident in Central America forces her home to her parents’ ranch to recuperate, she can’t wait to heal and get back on a plane to her next adventure.

The sparks that fly take them both by surprise. They have nothing in common except their fear that falling in love will destroy their dreams.

But dreams change . . .

COME HOME TO PEAKVIEW, COLORADO WHERE EVERYONE HAS A CHANCE AT LOVE.

 

I know you are going to love the cover as much as I do. A special thanks to the amazing photography of Chad Chisholm, and the handsome cover model, Ken Mcnickle. Ken was one of Cosmopolitan’s 50 sexiest men in 2012. If he looks familiar, you may have seen him on season 33 on Survivor. Anyway, I was thrilled to have them do this awesome photo for my book.

Download your copy today, and I’d be forever grateful if when you’ve finished reading you’d go to Amazon and leave me a review. Your feedback is so important to my work.

Happy Reading 🙂 Jill

 

CHARACTER TALK TUESDAY–WILLOW HAYWOOD

I hear you’re a native of Peakview.

Yeah, born and raised. I grew up going to Peakview Elementary and Mountain High School, both about a mile from my current residence.

Tell us about your business.

My husband, Ryan, and I own Peak Adventure Camp. It’s a camp for disadvantaged kids. We get grants to paly for their stay. Lots of foster kids, kids who’ve been in trouble with law, or have behavioral issues. Most of them are from the Denver area. It gives them the chance to get away and have fun in the outdoors for a week. They ride horses, hike, fish and other age appropriate activities. We have kiddos as young as five and all the way up to eighteen.

Are you open year round?

Pretty much. We started out as a summer camp, but there was so much need. We got a grant and hired Penny Walker to work for us as camp manager, full time. That gave us the ability to do weekends throughout the year. It’s amazing. We’ve been able to add skiing and sledding in the winter. It’s so fun to see these city kids fall in love with the mountains. Our son, River, is almost a year and a half now. He loves all the kids and activity. It’s a great place for him to grow up.

Do you have other staff?

We have teenagers who live at the ranch fill time during the summer months. In the winter, we cut back. Some kids drive up from college in Denver, Fort Collins and Boulder to help out on weekends. Penny has a baby at home now too, so we try and give her a break every once in a while.

Do you keep in touch with the campers and track if you’ve made a difference in their lives?

Sometimes. Some kids we never hear from again. You always wonder if you had a positive impact. Others come back year after year, or are able to keep in touch through social media. We love those who do. Melanie and Hank’s daughter, Marissa, was a camper of ours. She was in a horrible foster situation at the time. Through meeting her while she was at camp, Melanie was able to become her foster mom, and later she and hank adopted her. She’s a great child. That’s definitely a success story. She even wants to come work at the camp when she’d older.

What’s the most important thing kids take away for Peak Adventures?

We’re all about positivity. We teach them to believe in themselves, to never give up, to be kind to other people and animals, and that they are in charge of their own destiny. I hope that take some of that home with them. That and we’re always here for them, if they need us.