My dad

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My dad visited for a few days this week to help us celebrate our son’s 9th birthday. It was so great to see him again! My parents live across the country, so we don’t get to see them as often as we’d like to.

This is a picture of Dad and I in front of a mall in the city nearby. ๐Ÿ™‚

 

Unfortunately, I didn’t have any books out this month to go stalk in the bookstore with my dad. That would would have been fun. LOL!

But it was so great to see him. Highlight of the visit (for me, personally, at least): seeing Beauty and the Beast with my father. It was just fantastic!

 

 

An Excerpt

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THE TRIPLETS’ COWBOY DADDY is coming to a store near you for April, and I couldn’t be more excited! In fact, you can buy it now through Harlequin, if you’d like to read it early… I’ve gotten some great feedback from readers on this one already, so I really think you’ll like it.

In preparation for it’s official April release, here is an excerpt:

 

“I’d call a garage.”

A garage. Yeah, right. A garage was for quitters. Any cowboy with a lick of self-respect knew how to fix his truck, and only when it was halfway flattened did he lower himself to calling in a mechanic.

“You’re going to be my boss one day,” he said. “I might as well make nice now.”

She rolled her eyes. “We’ll be in our sixties by then.”

She had a point. It’d likely be years before her mother grew too feeble to actually run this place. And she’d told him before that she wasn’t living for a funeral. But if she settled down with her mom at the main house, he’d be fixing her truck for a long time to come as her employee. Did he mind that?

“You should stick around,” he said, shooting her a grin. “You’d enjoy fighting with me more often.”

“I thought you said you’d make nice,” she countered.

“Yeah, how long can that last?” he asked with a low laugh. “I’m not sixteen anymore, Nora.”

She raised an eyebrow. “Me, neither.”

The she disappeared from the window. He stood there looking up at the billowing curtains for a moment before he smiled to himself and scrubbed his hand once more with the rag. Some things didn’t change, like the way Nora could fix him to the spot with a single look… but she was no teen angel anymore. She was a grown woman with a woman’s body and a woman’s direct gaze. He wasn’t a kid anymore, either, and he wasn’t at her beck and call. This had been about a job–a truck on this ranch that needed work. That was it.

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The MEC backpack

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WP_20170309_002When I was 22 or 23, I decided that I wanted to learn how to fly a plane. I researched it and got lined up with a flight instructor, and started my lessons. The study books came in a blue MEC backpack, easy to carry around. Now, flight lessons are ridiculously expensive, and being the free spirited, starving artist, I had to let it go… but the backpack became a part of my life.

This thing is well-made! I used it for absolutely everything as the years rolled by. I took my lunch to work in it, I used it for outings, I packed it full for traveling… and it survived it all admirably.

My husband stumbled across it and decided it would make a great bag to carry his fresh work out gear in, and it was used for that for a long while, and then this flu season, my son vomited on his school backpack (which was tossed directly into a garbage bag) and we needed another one for him. Except the stores were bare of kids’ backpacks. So guess which bag he inherited?

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Walking my son to school in -26C (I just add that because I have that Canadian urge to brag about the cold), I took another look at that bag and all the memories attached to it came flooding back. I never once imagined when I was an eager young woman looking longingly at air planes, that the versatile little backpack would go to school with my third grader one day.

“Or that your third grader would throw up on his other backpack,” my son helpfully pointed out. ๐Ÿ˜‰

I’m almost as attached to that backpack as I am to my third grader. ๐Ÿ˜‰ And to Mr. Johns, of course…ย  Funny how life turns out, isn’t it? It makes me wonder what I’ll look back on another fifteen years from now, how life will have changed yet again, and what seemingly ordinary item around my home will have soaked up nostalgia and meaning.

One book, three covers!

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Every once in a while, I’ll search for my books published in the UK. It takes a long while for me to receive my own copies of these books. This time when I did a little search, I discovered something neat–there are three different covers for this one novel!

valentine-brideThis one is published in North America.

 

51cuocmecyl-_sx312_bo1204203200_This one is published in the UK.

 

30526This one is published in Australia and the Philippines.

Personally, I think I’m partial to the last one–Australia seems to understand my hero best. ๐Ÿ™‚ So what about you–which cover do you prefer?

And if you’ve read it… which one do you think captures the story the best?

 

 

Tenth book!

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In April, about three weeks from now, my tenth Harlequin book, THE TRIPLETS’ COWBOY DADDY, will be released. This is an exciting time for a Harlequin author. We celebrate our milestones in five book increments, soย  I’m absolutely thrilled to be able to claim this one.

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So keep your eyes open for this next cowboy love story that includes triplet baby girls badly in need of parents to love them.

tripletsWhen Nora Carpenter becomes sole guardian of her triplet goddaughters, she needs backupโ€”fast. So she heads home to the family ranch in Hope, Montana. But when she arrives, Nora learns that her great-grandparents’ house now belongs to Easton Ross.ย 

Easton and Nora used to be friends, back when Easton was a lanky ranch hand who was always there for her. Now he’s a rugged cowboy who hasn’t forgiven her for leaving town. Easton lets Nora and the triplets bunk with him and can’t help falling head over heels for the adorable babies. But Nora can’t stay. For the triplets, living in Hope would mean a lifetime of gossip. And Nora has to put her new daughters first, even if it breaks her own heart.

 

Coming April 2017!

Another new cover!

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I have no shortage of new covers lately… The last one you saw, is going to be released in June of this year, and this one is coming out in July.

tripletsHere is an interesting fact for you: the art department has a hard time using newborn cover models because they are so tiny that they don’t tend to show up very well in the pictures. The common solution is to use an older baby because they are simply bigger. That is what they did for my April release, THE TRIPLETS’ COWBOY DADDY. That book has triplet newborn baby girls, but since three tiny newborns would be a hard time to pose in such a way that we’d see them properly, they used older babies. So you can see why I’m so thrilled that they DID use a newborn in this new cover… and isn’t she adorable?

 

So, without further ado, here it is:

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Deputy Daddy–hitting the shelves July 2017!

More details to come closer to the release date. ๐Ÿ™‚

 

Wood-Dwellers

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What do you do?

We all get asked that. As a writer, I dread it just a little bit, because I don’t have an answer that people know how to immediately process. If I said, “I’m a stay-at-home mom,” or “I’m a nurse,” people know what to do with that. But say, “I’m a writer. I write Harlequin romances,” and it puts a hitch in things, because it wasn’t an expected response, and people don’t know how to process it on the spot.

But there are all sorts of people who contribute to the arts who are either unpaid or paid in fits and starts, and they have a hard time answering that question, too. “I’m a book reviewer,” for example. Or, “I’m a blogger.” The thing is, there isn’t a direct path through the arts. It’s a bit of an adventure, like stumbling through dark woods. Sometimes we end up in a clearing together and we’re very happy to see each other, but no one got there the same way. So people outside of the woods don’t really understand how it all works. All they hear is, “I run in the woods all day,” and they don’t know how to process that.

“Yes, but I mean, what do you do for a living?”

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Photo by Andrew Kudrin

But our passion for books and artistic expression is incredibly important. People take the books on the shelves for granted, and they forget how many people it takes to keep a large cross-section of reading material available. From editors to book reviewers, from writers to marketers and every single reader who picks up a novel… we’re all part of something much bigger than us, something that enriches the lives of countless people.

So this is for all the contributors to the book world and the world of art:ย  your job is important, and don’t let confused looks convince you otherwise. You might have to be a fellow Wood Dweller to really understand what you bring to the table, and I do. Because while society needs accountants, politicians and brick layers, it also needs artists, writers, photographers, painters, sculptors, reviewers, critics, bloggers and champions of art.

What do we do for a living? We keep life beautiful.

So God made a farmer

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It takes a special man who can work his hands to callouses and still hold his wife as gently as he did the first time he held her hand. He’s the kind of man who sees hard times, endures them, and comes out the other side with a rugged, weathered kind of satisfaction that can’t be taken away from him.

My heroes are these kinds of men, and they are worth waiting for, because not only can they make her heart speed up with one look, but he can do it for a lifetime. He commits. He stands firm. And he loves like a rock.

Paul Harvey says it best in this video:

 

Cover Reveal!

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I have a brand new cover to give you a peek at… THE RUNAWAY BRIDE is a Heartwarming romance coming your way June 2017.

Damsel in distress… or veiled threat?

runaway-bride

 

There is more info to come closer to the release, but what do you think? Do you love it as much as I do? ๐Ÿ™‚

Rather intense hobbies

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I was always a person with a rather intense hobby: building a second career in a creative field. I worked a day job to pay my bills, but my evenings, weekends, days off and pretty much any free hour was devoted to building my writing career.

It paid off! I now write full time, and I’m able to devote my regular working hours to my passion instead of my off hours. And I love it! But I noticed that I no longer have a hobby, and I’ve felt this obligation to find one. My brain is used to having something rather intense waiting for me in the evenings. The problem is, I have pretty limited interests. I’ve done a lot of creative hobbies for a short period of time, but none have stuck: crocheting, quilting, painting… I even sewed a china doll once.

I went for coffee with my Harlequin author buddy who lives down the street, and she made me feel better, because she’s the same way: besides writing, she doesn’t have anything else to distract her, either. I’m not alone in this! My evenings and weekends might not involve intense focus anymore, but that’s okay! My day job provides all of that for me now. I suppose it’s all part of learning how to simmer down and just enjoy the fact that I get to write for a living now.

I’m just going to enjoy it. I’ve always said that balance was overrated, but working during the days and spending evenings and weekends with my family is actually the most balanced my life has ever been!

It just feels weird. LOL

 

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