An unfortunate lack of lawn decor

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With Christmas fast approaching, I am definitely in a holiday mood! I’ve got a lot of writing I need to get done before I take Christmas off, but I thought I’d pause to show you a few of my favorite Christmas decorations this year.

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She sits on top of my desk–my little Christmas figurine holding her candle. Next to the cow my husband and son bought for me one Mother’s Day, of course.😉 These are the things I look at while I write. Funny, the things that catch our emotions, isn’t it?

 

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The green painted ball is a decoration our son made when he was a preschooler, and I just love it! It reminds me of little fingers and endless snuggles. It gets a place of honor on the tree every year.

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This tiny teacup decoration has a special place in my heart. My parents have the teapot on their tree across the country.

Those are a few of our decorations around our home this year. And for good measure, here is a picture from my parents’ house, since we don’t have lawn decor, and they do.😉 And yes, all that green grass is in Canada in December!

 

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Santa! Now, all they need is snow. We could probably share ours.😉

 

 

Australian covers!

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Mills and Boon Australia has released a few of my books Down Under! It’s always such a kick to see my books in other countries. I feel so international!😉 Here are the covers for your viewing pleasure.

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There is nothing more exciting than a box with Harlequin on the return label, don’t you think?

Writing update

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2017 is going to be one amazing year! I have 8 releases lined up now, which includes two Christmas novels, one for Heartwarming and one for Western Romance. I couldn’t be more excited to bring sweet romance your way.🙂

Here is the list of upcoming releases (including this November’s release.)

In stores now!

In stores now!

December 2016 on the Harlequin site, and January 2017 everywhere else online

December 2016 on the Harlequin site, and January 2017 everywhere else online

February 2017

February 2017

Triplets’ Cowboy Daddy
April 2017
(My 10th Harlequin release!)

The Runaway Bride
June 2017

Deputy Daddy
July 2017

Her Cowboy Boss
Aug 2017

His Christmas Joy (Christmas!!)
Nov 2017

The Cowboy That Got Away (Christmas!!)
Dec 2017
(My 15th Harlequin release!)

Thank you to all my readers who enjoy this labor of love. If you’d like to see my back list, just click HERE. If you like one of my books from one line, why not try my books from another Harlequin line? I think you might like them, too!😉

Blushing bride at 80

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I stumbled across this news story, about a woman who married for the very first time at the age of 80. She met her 95-year-old husband in her nursing home, and after eight months of spending all their time together, they said their I Do’s.

Maria Teresa Cobar came to America when she was a 26-year-old single mother, and she remained devoted to raising her daughter. She never did find her special guy… at least not until much later.

“I’ve been lonely for many years, this is a great blessing from God,” said Cobar. “It feels wonderful. I feel butterflies in my stomach… It is never too late to find love.”

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Hard to deny those smiles, isn’t it? This did my heart good!  ❤

Mistletoe!

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If you’ve read THE COWBOY’S CHRISTMAS BRIDE, then you’ll remember how Andy’s mother used to hang the mistletoe in new places around the house to surprise her husband and sons with a kiss when they happened underneath it.

When I wrote that, I loved the idea so much, that I told myself I HAD to get some mistletoe this year… Most of my best ideas come from fiction first–either my own or someone else’s book. So I trotted down to the dollar store and found some mistletoe. They had gold, silver and white, and I chose the white because I thought the gold and silver would flake off too easily… but I hadn’t actually thought through where I’d hang it.

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Turns out, it blends into my ceiling… but that might help with the camouflage so I can leap out and kiss my long-suffering husband. Luckily, he has a strong heart and patience like a saint. I do solemnly promise to only kiss immediate family, though, so no one needs to be nervous.😉

If you haven’t read THE COWBOY’S CHRISTMAS BRIDE, I think you’ll like it! It’s in stores now! You can also find it on Amazon and the Harlequin site… and pretty much anywhere else you buy books.

 

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christmas-brideHope, 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.

A peek into January

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I just received a big box of books! A BAXTER’S REDEMPTION is going to be officially released January 2017. You can buy this book (in paper or e-copies) through Harlequin or any other e-tailer that sells romance, including Amazon, of course. BUT, if you’d like to buy an early copy, they’re available through Harlequin Dec. 1!

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And here is the proud author, using her cell phone camera, so please forgive the quality.😉 I do love this story about a beauty queen who’s fallen off her pedestal and the man who has every reason to resent her…

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Here is the blurb from the back of the book:

baxters-redemptionHas she really changed?

Former beauty queen Isabel Baxter returns to her hometown, scarred after a near-fatal accident. But in high school, she was the fantasy of every teenage boy in Haggerston, Montana, including James Hunter. Even thought James was too far below her social circle to be noticed…

Now her father’s attorney, James isn’t ready to forgive Isabel for the part she played in his own family tragedy. Yet she seems eager to make amends and prove herself capable of being more than a pretty face. Has the girl he once worshiped–his boss’s daughter–grown into a woman James can respect… and maybe love?

Harlequin’s site: releases December 1

Amazon: releases January 3

 

 

Mind reading

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Have you ever noticed that the traits that we like in our romance heroes are the most difficult to deal with in real life?

Stubborn heroes don’t sway their way of thinking. They refuse to bow to pressure. They’ll stare it down or die on that hill, but they change nothing. For a long while, at least. And we love that in our books! They’re called Alpha heroes, and we like them for their strength and dominance. But in real life, if there is a stubborn man who refuses to adjust and change for the woman in his life, it’s the death knell of a relationship.

The icy reserve in a wounded hero might make for some excellent tension in a story, but in a real man, why would a woman even try to crack that shell? A relationship requires nurturing on both sides, and no woman wants to be stuck with a man incapable of being an emotional support. There is no longevity there.

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The characteristics that make the best romance heroes are the most frustrating in real life… so why do we love those things in our literary heroes? Are we that unrealistic in our desires, or does it go deeper? I have a theory that is quite simple: we like all those tough, immovable, brooding men because we can read their minds.

In a book, we can see right down to the hero’s motivation. We know about his childhood trauma, his deepest fears, the longing that he hides so successfully. We understand that he’s trying to protect her from the curse of his family, or all the ways he believes he’ll let her down. We can see that he’s afraid she’s too good for him. And all of that is possible, because we get to look right down into his mind, and we fall in love with him based on that rare intimacy.

If only we could read the minds of our real life heroes… That would solve everything, wouldn’t it? Relationship Rule #1: You can’t read each other’s minds, so you’d better communicate. And romance novels allow us to skip that step and peer straight into a man’s soul.

That really is hard to resist!

On the shelves!

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It’s always excited when my book hits the shelves. You work so hard for so long on a single book, and then there is the wait until it’s released. Writing is definitely an exercise in delayed gratification!

But this book has been released, and you can find it wherever Harlequins are sold!

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And here it is again…

 

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It’s so thrilling to have a book on the shelves, and yet it makes me feel a little shy at the same time. It’s there... I haven’t walked into a bookstore and told them that I’m the author yet, and this is my seventh Harlequin release. I don’t know why! Let’s just say that being the author behind the keyboard is far less daunting. Chalk it up to that novelist personality.

Proving your coolness to children

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There is another Harlequin author living on my street. I mean, not just in my town, on my street. I kid you not! She’s two doors down. She discovered me when she was transferred to one of my editors and that editor looked at her address and said, “Wait… Let me check something…”

So this Harlequin author messaged me, and we met up for a coffee. It was utterly random, and we hit it off. How often does that happen??

It also blows my credibility when I tell my 8-year-old son that not too many people do what his mom does. (I’m still trying to impress upon him his mother’s cool factor. He doesn’t see it.😉 )

“It’s true, son!” I told him. “Not too many people write books, especially ones that go into the bookstore.”

His response is normally is a polite, but unimpressed,”Oh, okay.”

So the other day when we were walking home from school, we passed the house of the other author who lives on our street, and I pointed it out.

“That’s where the other Harlequin author lives,” I told him, and in that moment, I knew that I’d made a death-knell kind of mistake. There is no hope that he will ever believe that what his mom does is unique in any way, because not only does his mom write these books, but so does that lady down the street.

She and I will be forever just “mom and her friend over there” in the eyes of my 8-year-old.😉

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When your kid makes you look good

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Being a mom is a balance between comfort and kindness and lighting a fire under small bottoms. I don’t get to be the good guy too often. If there is discipline to be handed out, it’s probably going to come from Mom. (Dad’s the fun one.)

Kids are notorious for putting out the unvarnished truth in their artwork. So when my son drew this picture, I was wildly relieved that THIS is how he sees me!

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I’m making popcorn on the stove, he’s informed me, and apparently singing merrily in the process. I DO make a lot of popcorn. Everyone loves popcorn, and it’s our go-to snack. I loved this picture because this is how popcorn-making Mom looks to him. Maybe not to anyone else. But to him.

Luckily he didn’t draw lecture-giving Mom. She’s bound to be significantly less lithe and joyful.😉

Sometimes we just have to see ourselves through the eyes of the people who love us.