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.

Author Spotlight

Hey everyone, I’m the guest on LA Sartor’s blog today talking about my latest release, Mountain Hearts. Hop on over and check it out.  https://anindieadventure.blogspot.com/2018/04/author-spotlight-featuring-jill.html

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.

Writer Wednesday

Hi everyone. What a busy month March has been for me. I’m furiously working on getting the 6th book in my Peakview Series, Colorado Winter Moon, ready for release in April. Check out the cover below.

Today I did an interview on Margaret Locke’s Writer Wednesday. Check it out here.              https://wp.me/p3z4iK-14V

Colorado Winter Moon 2 front

Back to Writing

Happy 2017! I hope everyone is having a good year so far. The past month has been hectic in my life. The Christmas and New Year had three weeks of company at my house. It was so good to see my whole family and get to spend some quality time with all of them. But my writing got put on hold. Then when everyone left, I had a week of trials in my day job. Exhausted, this weekend I realized I’ve written virtually nothing in over a month. Where were my hero and heroine when I last left them? It’s time to get back to work, and let them continue their story. I’ve missed them. My New Year’s resolution is to find more time for writing and I’m determined to do just that. Three more Peakview novels are in the works for 2017, and I hope to finish them all before years end. Wish me luck.2017