Cover Reveal!

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A BAXTER’S REDEMPTION is coming out January 2017, and I just got my finalized cover with which to tantalize you!πŸ˜‰

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Isabel Baxter returns to her home town after a disfiguring accident that leaves her badly scarred. When she left, she was a beauty queen and heir to a fortune. When she returns, even her inheritance is in jeopardy. Her father has remarried a woman two years younger than his daughter who is newly pregnant, and his new wife wants the money for herself. When Isabel’s father signs over her trust fund, she has just enough money to open her own chocolate shop–something she’s wanted to do for years now. Her father thinks the idea is ridiculous and does the one thing left in his power–sends in the family lawyer to keep an eye on her and make sure that she doesn’t squander what may very well be the last money she ever sees from her father…

Enter our hero, the lawyer.

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You’ll be able to buy this book online through Harlequin, Amazon, and any other e-retailer starting January 2017.

 

A commemorative hour glass

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Who doesn’t love a baby? I write them into stories all the time–snuggly newborns with swirls of baby curls and earnest dedication to draining bottles. I love to write about babies, with their squirms and their yawns… even their cries and their diapers. But I have to confess, I’m past the baby stage in my personal life.

 

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At 37, there are still plenty of women my age having babies, but I’m not in their ranks. I have a school-aged son, and I’m very happy with life on this side of parenting. And here is why:

  • I don’t get woken up at night anymore. And sleep is a beautiful thing!
  • Interesting conversations with my 8-year-old. He notices the world around him, thinks about ethical issues and is generally an interesting little person.
  • Tantrums are a thing of the past.
  • Diapers are a thing of the past.
  • 6 hours a day all to myself to focus on my own career while he’s in school.
  • Grocery shopping no longer requires a lot of preparation and anxiety.

I could go on and on, but you get the idea. When your kid(s) enter into the school stage of things, you have a whole new level of freedom that you forgot even existed, and I love it.

So when I hear that someone is expecting a baby, I feel truly happy for them–they are in for an amazing adventure filled with love and exhaustion. But when I hear that someone’s child is about to start school, that’s where I start to get excited on their behalf. There is just as muchΒ  love, butΒ  now there’s some freedom, too!

I feel like there should be greeting cards for these occasions: Congratulations on sending your last child to school! You have no idea how awesome this is going to be!

1328101886_hourglassMaybe even a Going to School shower where the mother gets traditional gifts that are for her exclusively: a journal to write in, a pile of books to read, scented candles, and maybe even a commemorative hour glass to count the hours until school is over again. It’s important to celebrate the milestones, don’t you think?

We need to make this a thing, ladies. I think I might be onto something!πŸ™‚

The Cowboy’s Christmas Bride

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Look what arrived at my door with the UPS delivery man! That’s right–my very first copies of THE COWBOY’S CHRISTMAS BRIDE.

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This book hits the stores in November 2016… in just a few weeks! And I just love how this story came together… Spoiler: you might have a thing for mistletoe after reading this book!

Here is back cover copy, for your reading pleasure:

Hope, Montana, is no longer home to Andy Granger, who sold his piece of the family ranch to developers. He’s only back to run a cattle drive in his brother’s stead. But the community can’t forgive him for selling out. And Dakota Mason, the beautiful cowgirl he hired, has every reason to hate him…

Ranching is in Dakota’s blood. And now the developers have cut off water her neighboring ranch desperately needs. She’s only on the ride for a paycheck–not to turn her back on her community. And definitely not to fall for some overly protective urban cowboy. But Andy may surprise everyone… including himself.

If you spot this book in stores, don’t hesitate to take a picture and post it on my Facebook page! I love to see my books in the wild, and you’d make my day!πŸ™‚

 

Do not open

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I came across this news story about Aunt Allison’s wedding gift to a couple. It was a mystery box that said, “Do not open until your first disagreement.” Now, you’d think that they’d open it up quite quickly, newly married couples being as passionate as they are, but for this couple that box was a sort of safety net. And slightly daunting. They didn’t want to open it unless they really, really needed it. So it remained unopened for nine years.

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Ironically enough, they opened it one day when they needed to buy a wedding gift for another couple, and they wanted to see what was inside.

They discovered two wine glasses, a bath set, and two little packages of cash with notes attached. She was to buy pizza or something they both enjoyed and to get the bath ready. He was to buy flowers and wine.

Simple and sweet–a way to get the couple enjoying something together so when they do talk things through, they’re in a better frame of mind.

So what do you think–great wedding gift idea? Or kind of daunting for the new couple?

I think I like it! The next person I know who is getting married just might get a gift like this one. ❀

A new contract!

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I got a call from my Western Romance editor offering me another three book contract.

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I’m absolutely thrilled. I love writing these cowboy romances, and I’m excited to sign on for three more! So is my editor–which really makes this process fun when your editor loves your writing. She calls my books “funny, emotional and engaging.”

Now, I’m terrible at figuring out how to celebrate these things. I tend to internalize it, and I’ll trot down the street to pick up my son from school, beaming to myself in delight. This is what a happy author looks like… for the record.πŸ˜‰

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When the contract gets emailed to me, I’ll sign it and mail it back, and I will put those books into the lineup for me to write. And there is nothing I love more than lining up books to write… well, except maybe signing contracts.

Have a piece of cake in honor of my new contract.Β  I’d love to be your excellent excuse for a treat.πŸ™‚

 

Subversive Cross-stitching

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I don’t have enough time for crafts right now. Which is sad! One day when I’m not quite so busy, I’m going to have several hobbies…. like this one:

Subversive cross-stitching!

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And until I have the time to actually cross-stitch something myself, I need to go to Etsy and buy one of these! My home doesn’t have enough (or any!) subversive cross-stitched messages.πŸ˜‰

My hero

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I’m a wild flirt. I bat my eyes, give secret smiles, feel muscles, compliment… I wear perfume, put on something pretty… I flirt like crazy, but only with myΒ  husband.

I like flirting! It’s fun, and Mr. Johns sure seems to like it. He gets to be my hero multiple times a day–carrying the heavy groceries, reaching things from the high shelf, opening jars, killing spiders. And I make it worth his while by appreciating all those little things.

It’s stuff we’d do for each other anyway. I’d still make supper, but it’s so much more enjoyable when Mr. Johns tells me how good it tastes. He’d still open the jar for me, but I’m sure it’s so much nicer when he gets kissed for his efforts. Besides, as I tell him all the time, he’s my research! When he said “I do,” he was signing on to being my hero for the rest of our lives.

For all those hero husbands out there, this clip is for you!πŸ˜‰

That magic coffee table

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So I came across this 1:48 clip, and it was so funny that I had to show it to Mr. Johns, who also thought it was funny and passed it on…

I can’t tell you how many times Mr. Johns has said, “Hey, come sit down. It’s going to be fine,” when I was staring down a mess in the kitchen, I was already tired and everyone who ate the meal had lost interest.

And I’d say, “Fine? But who’s going to clean that?”

And he’d say all calmly, his feet already up, “Just sit. Come sit…”

Which might sound all romantic and sweet, but seriously, ladies, after the cooking, the eating, and now the sitting, who is going to clean that?!

So for all of you who have considered leaving the country to get away from the housework, this short video is for you! (There is a tiny bit of language in it, which I apologize for ahead of time. I still think it’s worth it!)

 

In Mr. Johns’s defense, after eleven years of marriage, he does help me clean up. He’s even been known to send me to sit down while he loads the dishwasher.πŸ˜‰ What can I say? I married a keeper!

Just so pretty

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Monday, I blogged about Royal Doulton figurines, and today I thought I’d show you a few of my favorite figurines from the Royal Doulton line. Now, I don’t own these, and very likely never will, but they are just so pretty that I had to share!

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Pretty ladies–Jacqueline

Her Majesty, A royal Christening

Her Majesty, A royal Christening

 

Her Majesty Birthday Celebration

Her Majesty Birthday Celebration

 

Birthstone Petites

Birthstone Petites

 

Pretty ladies Melissa

Pretty ladies Melissa

 

Pretty ladies Anika

Pretty ladies Anika

Do you see why I love these figurines so much? They’re just so pretty and feminine. And I have a weakness for all things Royal… Blame my Canadian citizenship for that!

Now, it’s back to my writing for me. Have a lovely day!

My nerdy side

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There are only so many pleasures in this world, but personalized stationary is one of them…❀

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It’s only a matter of a header and a footer in Microsoft Word and printed out, but it thrills me to to no end.

Nerdy? Just a little. But come on… handwritten letters on personalized paper? What’s not to love?