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

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

Romance Writer’s Weekly #lovechatwrite

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 🙂

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.

Wow! Where did the last six months go?

Today I came to this site to update my header to a fall scene (something I do about this time every year. What did I see? My last post was entitled “Spring?” and dated February 21st. I had no idea it had been that long since I posted! That was before most of us had even heard of coronavirus or Covid-19. If we had heard of it, it was something far, far away in China. It wouldn’t ever affect our lives here in the United States. If you read my last post, the heaviest thing on my mind was if the danger of frost was over so I could plant spring flowers. My, how our world had changed in the last six months! No matter where you fall on the political spectrum of all of this, I think we will all agree our lives have been changed in ways we never imagined. Quarantine, social distancing, mask mandates, schools closed, events cancelled–all concepts that were completely foreign to me six months ago, concepts that were completely foreign to me for the over sixty years I’ve been alive. And yet, here we are. Living day to day and trying to make the best decisions possible for ourselves, our loved ones, and all of society.

To say it’s been a wake-up call would be too simple. We’ve all had to examine our lives and what’s most important to us. Some things have fallen by the wayside, while others have become more important. Apparently, writing on this blog fell by the wayside for me. I’m not happy about that. I like to interact with all of you who read this, but it happened. Anyway, I’m back, still writing, and getting ready to make a long distance move back home. For the most part, my life has been thankfully untouched by all that is going on around me. My loved ones are all safe and healthy and learning to deal with our new normal. I try to make smart decisions each and every day. I hope all of you are doing the same.

I’d love to hear from you, if you want to leave a comment. Let me know how you’re doing. We’re all in this together. Much love to all.

Vacation Time :)

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I’m getting ready to leave on vacation tomorrow. Well, a working vacation. I’m headed home to beautiful Colorado for RWA (romance writers of America conference) in Denver. Of course, I’ll spend a few days in Fort Collins, too, with friends and family while I’m in the neighborhood. I can’t wait to get back to cooler, less humid air for a few days. This will be the first time since I moved to East Texas that I’ve made the 16 hour drive by myself. Not looking forward to that. I’ve got some audio books though, so I should be good.

I love RWA. It is so much fun to interact with other authors and learn about our business. This year is the first time I am also doing an Indie book signing. Since the conference is in Colorado, I have lots of friends who will be there to reconnect with. I can’t wait.

So what am I doing today in preparation? Besides working on marketing and book stuff and packing, I’m cleaning. What about you do you clean your house before vacation? It’s something I learned from my mother. She always made sure the sheets were changed, laundry done and everything was spick and span before we walked out that door. I’ve learned to agree with her. Trips are wonderful, but there’s nothing like coming home either. It always feels good to be back in your own bed and relax in your own space. There would be nothing worse than coming home to a dirty house (I’m guessing here because I’ve never done it!) Its so nice to fall on the couch and just relax for a few hours before heading back to work and regular life. So today, I’m cleaning liked crazy.

Anyway, I’d better get off the computer and back to my vacuum. Have a good week and if anyone else is traveling, safe travels. Enjoy your time away 🙂

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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.

Colorado Summer Stars

It’s release day for book 7 in my Peakview Series! This book is full of romance and suspense.

How did her relationship go so wrong? When NICOLE PHILLIPS flees San Francisco after her boyfriend’s jealousy turns violent, she doesn’t know where to go next. Out of a job and a place to live, she heads to the only place she feels safe—her childhood home in the tiny town of Peakview, nestled high in the Colorado Rockies. The one place she’d sworn to never live again.

RICK BRADY was a skinny, nerdy kid, earning him the not-so-flattering nickname of Scarecrow in high school. He’d been glad to escape his reputation and leave Peakview behind. When his parents’ health begins to fail, he returns to Peakview and opens his own veterinarian practice on their ranch. He’s never really been in love, unless you count that crush he had on the most popular girl in school from kindergarten through senior year.

Now fifteen years after they both left town, they are back home and searching for answers to questions they can’t define. Beneath the beauty of the Colorado summer stars, they reconnect. They soon discover that it’s not easy to leave the past behind. To move forward and find true love, they must overcome their insecurities and doubts and learn to trust again.

Come home to Peakview, Colorado where everyone has a chance at love.

Got your copy for your kindle now at https://www.amazon.com/dp/B075TF1WZQ

Paperback available soon.

I LIVE IN TEXAS NOW!

Well, my move is complete and after almost a month of not writing, my office and computer are set up and I’m reconnected with the world 🙂 I now live in East Texas. It’s a change from Colorado. Most noticeably, the humidity. I think I’ve lost ten pounds since I got here just from sweating! It’s hot! I know I moved here at the worst time of the year. I’m already looking forward to autumn! Honestly though, its not so bad, and we even had a couple low humidity days the beginning of this week.

On a positive note, everyone here is so friendly, y’all. I feel very welcomed. And there’s no traffic in this small town, ever. Not even at “rush hour”. It’s nice. People here are proud of their state. The shape of Texas is everywhere. From Texas-shaped waffles to all sorts of Texas shaped items like this cutting board I got as a present when I arrived. We didn’t have that in the beautiful state of Colorado, however, to be fair, Colorado is the shape of a rectangle. If they made products in the shape of Colorado, no one would know. (I’ve eaten rectangle-shaped waffles my whole life). Texas is a great shape though, there’s no mistaking it for any place else. So I’m embracing all that is Texas and life in East Texas.

cutting board

Stay tuned . . . I may even place a place a romance here one day. But for now, my writer’s mind is back in the cool Colorado mountains, furiously trying to finish Colorado Summer Stars (Peakview series book 7) before summer ends. I’ll let you know when I have a release date. Stay cool wherever you’re spending your summer.