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 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 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

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: and

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

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

I have a couple of deals for you today. First, my novel, Come Home to Love, is free for your kindle until Friday at also, my new Christmas novella, Christmas in the Montana Pines, is now available for pre-order for only $2.99 at

Romance Writer’s Weekly #lovechatwrite

I hope everyone had a wonderful, long holiday weekend. My was nice, with a couple of barbeques fit it and a little time at our swimming pool when it opened. However, in writer world, we really never get holidays, so much of my weekend was spent working on my next book.

This week we have been asked to write about this topic: The secondary characters (friends, family, colleagues, etc) in a romance novel can greatly influence the story. Describe a secondary character you’ve written that you can’t forget. So, as an author most of my secondary characters are thought out before I begin to write a story. They are strategically placed in a story to either introduce characters who will star in an upcoming book (since I write series) or characters who will either help or hinder the romance such as a character’s child, best friend, former lover, etc. Then there are incidental characters, think a waitress or a store clerk, who a character interacts with. They are not planned and usually play a bit part in one scene. That’s how my favorite secondary character, Marissa came to be. In my novel, Colorado Cabin in the Pines, the third book in my Peakview Series, my heroine needed a reason to stay in the small mountain town of Peakview other than falling in love with the hero. She was a school teacher on summer break, so I created a mountain adventure camp for disadvantaged youth were she could work. Her first day on the job, she was supposed to help get the new campers up on their horses. To put some life into the scene, I had her reassure a small girl sitting off by herself who was afraid of the horses. During the conversation, she asked her name, and she said Marissa. She was only intended to be in that one scene. But I instantly fell in love with her, and she ended up taking on a larger role and even helping to get the hero and heroine together. At the end of the summer when my characters fell in love and started their happily ever after, Marissa, like the other campers, went back home to her not-so-great foster home. Boy, did I get unhappy emails from readers, although my main characters fell in love at the end, as always, everyone wanted to know what happened to Marissa. So, in my next book, Colorado Wrangler, my heroine becomes her foster mom and the hero and heroine end up adopting her after they get married. She developed such a great personality that she appears somewhere in all remaining 7 books in the series πŸ™‚ She’s my favorite because she was so unexpected, even to me, the author. You never know where characters will take you.

Now hop on over to Jenna Da Sie’s blog and learn about one of her secondary characters at

In case you missed it, my latest novel, Montana Pines Spring Forward, was released late last week. Get your copy here:

Romance Writer’s Weekly #lovechatwrite

This week we have been asked the following question-If you could time travel, what period of time would you choose and why? I had to think about this one. I’m not a huge fan of the whole time travel genre. At first I thought about the old west, which has been romanticized in movies and on TV, but in actually, it was a very hard life without any modern conveniences, so I decided, no. So, my answer, if I were to go somewhere for a few days or weeks, would be the 1950’s when I was a child. My favorite thing about the 1950’s? No air-conditioning. Don’t get me wrong, my home is air-conditioned and I enjoy a nice, cool office to write in and a cool bedroom on hot summer nights, but here’s what I liked. Growing up in a mid-west city we also didn’t have microwaves or take out food. Women cooked dinner in the oven every night, further heating the already hot homes. So when dinner was done, everyone, I mean everyone from age one to one hundred headed outside. It was just too hot to stay inside until the sun went down. Kids played and rode bikes, parents gardened and mowed their lawns, old people sat on their porches and sipped iced tea, while groups of neighbors congregated and shared their lives. No one had tiny screens to look at instead of carrying on conversations. We all knew each other-everyone on our city block. Even as pre-schoolers, our parents didn’t worry about us riding our bikes around the block alone. No one bothered us, instead everyone said hello. And when we were lucky, older neighbors would invite us up onto their porches for warm, fresh out of the oven baked cookies or to share the stash of popsicles they kept just for the neighborhood kids. I knew everyone. It’s been 56 years since I lived in that home, and I can still picture who lived in every house and tell you all their names. The sense of community was awesome. Recently, as I walked my dog around the block on a nice, summer evening, I didn’t encounter one other soul. Instead of the sounds of laughter and conversation, the only sound was that of the air-conditioning units clicking on and off beside closed up houses. I miss those times of socializing. I won’t be turning off my air-conditioning this summer or giving up my cell phone, but sometimes I long for those simpler times.

Now, hop on over to Leslie Hachtel’s blog and see when she’d travel to at

In writing news, you can now pre-order my new novel, Montana Pines Spring Forward, at the following link:

Romance Writer’s Weekly #lovechatwrite

The week we are answering the following question-Give three tips that motivate you to write when you don’t feel like it. Let’s start by saying that I love to write. I feel very lucky that I’m able to make a living doing something that I love. But, right now at the beginning of May, is probably the hardest time of year to get motivated. Here in Colorado where I live, we’ve had a long cold winter, followed by March and April which switch between warm days and more snow. Then May comes and the majority of days are warm and sunny. All I want to do is be outside whether it’s sitting on my patio with a cup of tea, taking a long walk with my dog, or planting and working in my yard, it feels so good to be outside again. And there’s the problem–it’s hard to force myself to sit inside and write. So what motivates me? First, I would say just reminding myself that I have faithful readers who expect a new book from me every few months and I don’t want to let them down. Second, I have to remind myself that I only have a yard to enjoy because I can pay my mortgage and other bills. I get motivated, because I need to write to survive. If I don’t write, I don’t eat! And finally, I get motivated by sitting down and getting back into whatever story I am writing. I want to see what happens to my characters and how they find their happily ever after as much as my readers do, maybe more. So, I sit down and let my characters take me on a journey with them πŸ™‚ There you have it–how I get motivated. Now hop on over to PG Forte’s blog to see how she gets motivated at

Also if you’re looking for a feel good Western Romance, the first book in my Peaktop Dude Ranch Series, Peaktop Dude Ranch Homecoming, is free for your kindle this week at https://amazon./com/dp/B08W4MS2TY

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: and check out her story in the second chance romance collection at

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 and check out her newest novel at

Also, you can download a Kindle copy of my first novel, Colorado Sunset, free for a limited time at