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.

CHARACTER TALK TUESDAY-MARISSA DALTON

What’s your name and how old are you?

My name is Marissa, and I’m ten years old. I live on the Dalton Ranch outside of Peakview.

Have you lived here your whole life?

Nope. First I lived with my mom and Grammie in Denver. Then Mom couldn’t take care of me anymore so I just lived with Grammie. But she got sick and couldn’t take care of me, so I had to go live in an awful foster home. The other kids were mean to me. That’s when I got to come to Peak Adventure Camp. I loved it there, and I learned to ride horses. I met my best friend, Penny, and her boyfriend, Luke. I guess Penny told her friend, Melanie about me, and Melanie said she’d be my new foster mom. I was so excited when I ‘rived in Peakview. I got a new mom and a sister, but Mom started dating Hank, and I thought she’d run off with him and leave me like my real mom did. I was scared. But you know what? They didn’t run off, Hank lobed me too, and asked all of us to be his family. Hank is  a cowboy, and cowboys don’t lie. Now I have my own dog Scruffy, and my own horse and we live in a big, beautiful house. They’re going to ‘dopt me and keep me forever.

It sounds like you like it here.

I love it. I have my fambly and all kinds of grandparents. Penny just had a baby, and Mom is going to have a baby brother for me. I got lucky, some foster kids don’t. That makes me sad.

What do you want to be when you grow up?

I think I might like to be a horse trainer, or a dog trainer. I love animals. Or maybe I’ll be  a social worker and find homes for kids like me. That would be good.

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 café. 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.

Free ebook romance

If you haven’t already read it yet, the third book in my Peakview Series, Colorado Cabin in the Pines, is free for your kindle today through Sunday at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01DMTHWKQ

Can two former high school sweethearts find their way back to love, when Penny returns home the beautiful Colorado mountains for the summer? Can Luke ever learn to trust her again after she broke his heart once? Find out in this romance about second chances. Come home to Peakview, where everyone has a chance at love.

Cabin Cover copy

.99 Christmas Novella now available

My Christmas Novella, Colorado Cowboy Christmas, is now available on Amazon. Come home to Peakview, Colorado this holiday season, for a feel good holiday romance. Get your copy now, only .99 for kindle version.

When stressed out Chicago attorney, Cynthia Welch, arrives at Peaktop Guest Ranch, romance is the farthest thing form her mind, but there’s just something about the sexy cowboy AJ Coulter, that has her reconsidering everything. Can a holiday romance turn into something more?

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