When I…

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I’m the kind of person whose head is always stuck in the future.

When we pay this off, then we’ll be able to…

When I finish this manuscript, I have to work on…

One of these days, I’m going to achieve ____, and then I’ll have arrived.

But I’ve noticed that the arrival never happens. After each project, there is another one. Even financially, there is always another goal ahead of the one we achieve. Pay off this, save up for that. When I reach one milestone, I start aiming at the next. I’m the teensiest bit Type A. Had you noticed? 😉

Then I came across this thought on Glennon Doyle’s Facebook page, and it gave me pause.

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I’ve often said that you’ll never be able to be a writer unless you love the process. And I don’t use the word “love” lightly. Unless you thoroughly enjoy all the different stages, you’ll quit. There’s no way you could keep going… and I’m truly grateful that I do love the the process!

But every now and then, I have to let go of all my goals, all my “when I do this” thoughts, and just enjoy the moment. Because while achieving is important to me, it’s actually about the writing. I love the writing.

When I pay off this, then I’ll be able to… continue writing.

When I finish this manuscript…. I’ll be a writer working on edits.

One of these days, I’ll win an award or hit the New York Times Bestsellers list, or, or, or… and THEN… I’ll sit down and write the next book.

It’s so simple. No matter how far I go, or how much I achieve, I’m a writer because I love writing. There’s nothing else I’d rather be doing. And even if you gave me $1 million dollars, the very next day I’d sit down and continue on whatever manuscript I was working on. Because I’m a writer. It’s in my blood.

Stopping to enjoy the moment isn’t a bad thing, because this moment, right here, is the fun part!

Perspective. ❤

 

 

 

A brand new cover!

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This is for my November release, A BOY’S CHRISTMAS WISH… More details to come closer to then, but to whet your appetite, we have a pregnant heroine, a little boy who desperately wants a mom, and a hero who’s already had his heart broken by this particular woman, and isn’t keen on trying it again.

So what do you think? Are you tempted to pick up a copy this November?

 

Boy's Christmas Wish

 

 

Hint, hint, Mr. Johns

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Anybody else cook this way? I’m not a bad cook, but I’m a forgetful one, especially when working on a project. When I’m fully focused, I can whip up some really delicious meals. In fact, Mr. Johns claims that part of the reason why he married me was for my cooking… I just have to put that in there for my own pride. LOL! But when I came across the above meme, I laughed more than I should have. 😉  Because I also check Facebook a lot.

IMG_3471_1024x1024My birthday is coming up in October, and the only thing I’ve asked for from my husband is a Sugar Baby apron. I already have one–and they are so cute! But I want another one, because I’ve used this one every single day for almost a year, and it’s starting to fade. These things happen, I suppose.

So all I want for my birthday is another one… or two. I’m not picky, and they do have a lot of great patterns! They are gorgeous aprons, and they do nothing to improve my cooking, but they do save my clothes from splatters, and when Mr. Johns comes home to see his wife in a 1950’s apron, I have a sneaking suspicion that if the above chicken happens, it’s a tiny bit more forgivable.

Maybe not a LOT more forgivable, but it tips the scales in my favor.

So if you know us, and my husband happens to mention that he’s got to buy his wife a birthday present and he seems in any way undecided about what to get me–the apron. She wants the apron.

Apparently, I’m not visual

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I can never see the differences in the Spot the Difference memes on the Harlequin Facebook page. At least not right away. It takes me a bit. I end up posting them to my author page on Facebook and ask for help. My readers are helpful people, and I love them for it.

But then Harlequin chose MY cover for Spot the difference, I saw it right away. Maybe because I know the cover so well.

But do you see it??

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This book is a July release, so still on the shelves! If you haven’t picked up your copy, the clock is ticking…

Or, you know, you could pick up a copy online. No pressure. 😉

Harlequin

Amazon

 

The summer search for writing time

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I love the summer–the warm weather, the thunderstorms, the days that don’t have to revolve around school schedules… I really like to wear pretty dresses, and I wear them all summer long. Once the September chill hits the air, though, I’m all about warmth and coziness, so I have to make the most of the dress season I have it.

I do love the summer! I feel like I have to defend that a little bit. But being two weeks in, I have to tell you… I miss time alone. I don’t write well with my family around. They talk to me. (Imagine!) They ask for things. (Snacks, conversation, where things are.) And they treat the summer like it’s vacation time. Which it is, for them, but not for me!

So I have to find places where I can write alone, and summer turns into this quest for silent writing space. Or if not silent, uninterrupted writing space.

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The above picture is of me writing at our local indoor pool–or beside it, rather–while my husband and son swam. I have a personal deadline that is looming.

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And here I am at my favorite spot–the local library’s silent room. I have to sneak to get to it, because I run across all sorts of people I know at the library, and I end up stopping for a quick chat. But with my family at home, I have limited time in that sterile, silent space, so I have to turn off the internet and make the most of it.

Writing books really is a full time job! At least the way I do it. And I’m lucky that I get to work from home and schedule my own time. So I’m not complaining–I do love this!

But there’s something to be said for September, too, when I get that silent time back again. 😉

 

Hope, Montana

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This Christmas, my Hope, Montana series wraps up with MONTANA MISTLETOE BABY.  Cowboys, ranches, babies and falling in love… all set in the small, ranching community of Hope, Montana. I’ve really enjoyed writing these books–such a fun escape from the everyday!

So I thought I’d give you a quick review of the series, just in case you’d like to catch up on your summer reading. 😉

 

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Montana sheriff Mike Cruise never pictured himself as a father. But with temporary custody of a toddler, he has to learn the ropes fast. Thankfully, his sweet new nanny, Malory Smythe, fits right in, and Mike begins to believe he can make this family thing work. Although he knows it can’t last forever… 

After her cheating ex left her pregnant and alone, Malory could easily fall for a strong, protective man. But she can’t risk repeating past mistakes with men, especially with a child on the way. When their makeshift family is threatened, will it drive Malory and Mike apart…or will it bring them together for good? 

Enjoy a special bonus short story from #1 New York Times bestselling author Debbie Macomber, MY FUNNY VALENTINE

 

 

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Mackenzie Vaughn is determined to learn to run the Montana ranch she’s inherited—even if it means relying on Chet Granger. Years ago, the serious (and seriously handsome) cowboy broke up her relationship with his younger brother, and Mack doesn’t want to remember that heartache. 

Chet knows gorgeous, spunky Mack is off-limits. His brother would never forgive him, and Chet always puts family first…until he can no longer ignore his feelings. If Chet gives in to his heart, he’ll lose his brother and the ranch they share—if he doesn’t, he could lose Mackenzie forever.

 

 

Christmas Bride

 

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.

 
 

 

 

Valentine Bride

Brody Mason needs a nurse. As soon as he can walk again, he’ll leave Hope, Montana, and go straight back to the army. But Kaitlyn Harpe? That’s adding insult to injury. Not just because she’s a daily reminder that Brody’s fiancée, Kate’s sister, married his best friend while he was fighting in Afghanistan. But because Kaitlyn had kept the truth from him. 

The Kaitlyn he knew before he deployed would never have perpetuated a lie like that. But this new person—the confident, beautiful woman with hidden depths in her eyes—is nothing like the shy, serious girl he knew. This Kaitlyn troubles him. Because Brody is starting to wonder if he proposed to the wrong sister… 

 

 

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When Nora Carpenter becomes sole guardian of her triplet goddaughters, she needs backup—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. 

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 in August, 2017…

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Avery Southerly has finally met her biological father…sort of. Instead of properly introducing herself, she took a job as cook at her dad’s ranch in Hope, Montana. There’s just one problem: Avery can’t cook! Luckily ranch manager Hank Granger agrees to help, and things quickly begin heating up in the kitchen. 

But romance is not on the menu—Hank could be fired for fraternizing with an employee, and Avery is only in town to get answers. Then she’s headed home to Kansas, where she truly belongs. Hank is determined to help Avery discover the truth about her past. Yet the more time they spend together, all he can see is the future. He just needs to help Avery do the same!

 

And coming in November 2017, MONTANA MISTLETOE BABY!!

 

 

 

 

 

Lust, respect and patience

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Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward were married for fifty years. That’s a long time–especially in Hollywood. When asked about the success of their marriage, Paul Newman said,

[Love and marriage requires] some combination of lust and respect and patience. And determination.

“Lust.” It’s not a crude word–it’s a romantic fact! It’s that physical connection that holds you together. I know a lot of people say, “I married my best friend,” and I understand what they mean by that: that they love spending time together, talking, and building the part of the relationship. But in my mind, “best friend” kind of discounts the romantic part the relationship, and I think that private, physical connection is too important to sideline.

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When I hear “best friend,” I think buddy. But Mr. Johns isn’t my buddy. He’s my soulmate, my confidant, my resting place. When I slide into his arms and fit right under his chin, my heartbeat slows–I can feel it!–and we both exhale this sigh of relief. When we’re uncomfortable in social situations, we lean toward each other. Our physical connection–even on a heartbeat level–is like a seal around us.

Joanne Woodward famously said, “Sexiness wears thin after a while and beauty fades, but to be married to a man who makes you laugh every day, ah, now that’s a real treat.”

So maybe she saw it a little differently than her husband did, but you can’t say that their relationship didn’t have that spark! And without that elemental physical connection between the two of you, what’s the point? I think a marriage would be long and monotonous without it! Perhaps as the years go by, that part will wear a little thin as Mrs. Newman said, but I don’t think that my spot right under his chin where our heartbeats echo each other will ever change.

That’s mine.

A new July release!

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This month, my Love Inspired release, DEPUTY DADDY hits the shelves of a bookstore near you. I’m so excited about this miniseries: THE COMFORT CREEK LAWMEN.

The town of Hope, Montana is the home base for the county’s sensitivity training program. That means that the cops that come this way are being disciplined for bad attitudes, and the tiny, quirky community of Comfort Creek is just part of the agony… unless those officers happen to find love while they’re there.

 

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Officer Bryce Camden never expected his two-week stint in Comfort Creek, Colorado, would mean diaper duty. But that’s exactly what happens when he stays at the local bed-and-breakfast where Lily Ellison is fostering an abandoned baby girl. Bryce is drawn to the lovely B and B owner, but being a dad is not part of his plans. His troubled past has shown him that he’s not the nurturing type. But he soon finds himself wishing he didn’t have to leave. Because Lily and the baby have taken root in his heart and made him think that maybe he could be a family man after all…

 

Pick up a copy! I really think you’ll like this one! ❤

Matchy matchy

Every day this school year, I walked my son to school and walked to pick him up. Then after school, he’d play with his friends while I chatted with my friend. Now, over the course of the school year, we noticed that we’d started matching in our dress and our cooking.

We didn’t mean to! There was no texting going on to make this happen, I swear! But 8/10 days, we’d be matching. I’d leave to go pick up my son, and I’d be wearing something that I was sure couldn’t be matched, and what do you know? We’d see each other at our meeting spot by the bench, matched right up. LOL! I’ve been joking around for weeks now that we should document this, and we finally took a picture to prove the point.

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There we are with half our heads and most of our shirts. Matchy matchy.

We do the same thing with our cooking. I mean, granted, we cook with similar ingredients: chicken, beef, potatoes, pasta… But more often than not, we’d up planning very similar suppers. We spent weeks being shocked and amazed by this, but now we’ve made our peace with it. 😉

Matchy matchy.

Covers across the pond

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One of my favorite pass times lately is Googling the Mills and Boon version of my covers. They tend to do a different cover in the UK and Australia, and I find it so interesting to see what they change!

This is the North American version of THE RUNAWAY BRIDE vs. the UK/Australian version.

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The difference for this one seems to be the cropping, mainly, and some color tint. But even that cropping makes a difference in the feel of the cover, don’t you think?

If you haven’t picked up a copy of THE RUNAWAY BRIDE yet, please do! 🙂 I’ve been getting great responses on this book. People seem to love it as much as I do!

Mills and Boon

Harlequin