Canada in April

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It’s April in Canada, so of course we got snow!

snowWe’ll do this dance into May, and eventually, the warm weather will win. But this is what our weather looks like today.

If you have nowhere to go, it’s quite nice. If you’d hoped to leave your home for something, it’s more annoying. That snow is a sloppy mess on top of cars–a layer of slush topped by deceptively white snow. But luckily, I’m in the former category, and I’m wearing a springy dress, lounging in bed with my computer and a good book. And while I putter around, a heroine is coming together in my mind–I can see her!

Happy weekend to all of you–from Canada! Here’s hoping that your Spring looks a little more like Spring.

Cover Vs. Cover

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On Facebook, Harlequin has several fun marketing memes they put out on a regular basis, and one of them is called Cover vs. Cover, where people are encouraged to vote on their favorite cover. Harlequin has used my covers twice now in the last month, and I couldn’t feel more special! 🙂

I thought I’d share them with you.

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This is the second:

 

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It’s funny things that feel like celebrations in an author’s life, but this is one of them… for me, at least. It made me feel so big league, especially having my covers compared with BJ Daniels’ and Linda Ford’s. Now, they are big league. 😉

Terrible advice

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I’m an avid Dear Abby reader. I find other people’s lives incredibly interesting, and for the most part, Abby gives solid advice. But there was one letter, where I REALLY disagreed with her answer.

This is the letter:

Old_Couple_(14419320883)DEAR ABBY: I am sure this issue affects many people, but I have not seen it addressed in your column. Oftentimes married partners are separated by many years in age. Eventually the older of them has to enter a long-term care facility due to a mental/physical defect.

Even though the bond and love that kept them together over the years still exists, the younger still has physical and emotional needs that can no longer be met by the older spouse. What are the ethics in the younger one having a “friend with benefits” to address those needs, if it’s done discreetly without causing embarrassment and humiliation to the older spouse? — FRIENDS WITH BENEFITS

And Abby’s answer was, go for it! (As long as the older spouse doesn’t find out, isn’t humiliated, and she still gives him proper care and attention.)

And THAT, I heartily disagreed with.

To say that she still loves him as much as ever, but frankly needs to find someone else to “fill her needs,” rings false to me. That isn’t love! Do we let that excuse pass muster when a man’s wife is pregnant and can’t provide sexually? Do we say, “Well, as long as she doesn’t find out, why not?” Of course not–because that is cheating. People get divorced for that sort of thing. Do we shrug it off if a man is working incredibly hard at two or three jobs to provide for his family, and the woman isn’t getting enough personal attention? Never–because we expect her to be faithful. Hard times doesn’t make cheating any more acceptable. So why should it be different at the end of a person’s life?

“‘Til death do us part” should mean just that. And if you don’t love someone enough to stand by them for the entire duration of that lifetime, then don’t sign on! Marriage isn’t for the faint of heart. And I’m going to say something that might sound harsh here, but if you aren’t willing to stand by that person in the worst of times–in sickness, poverty and old age–then you don’t deserve to be married.

You can get married to anyone you like, for whatever reasons you like, and you can dissolve that marriage when it no longer works for you. That’s a legal reality. And if someone hasn’t experienced a soul-deep kind of love, she might think that general, practical affection she’s feeling for her spouse is love. And I suppose it is, of a kind. But so much more is possible between two people!

Til death do us part. For better or for worse. From this day forward and for the rest of my life. 

When I took those vows, I meant every word. As did Mr. Johns. There is no wandering off to “fill our needs” elsewhere. I’m strong enough to stand alone if I need to, and Mr. Johns can count on me to be devoted to him and only him for as long as we live. And that includes hard times.

Because otherwise, it just seems like a civil union that works nicely for tax purposes. And marriage–in my humble opinion–should be so much more.

What do you think? 

The original ring

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Somewhere around New Years, Mr. Johns lost his wedding ring.

And that began three months of searching. We thought through all sorts of theories, looked everywhere, prayed that we’d come across it, and after a couple of weeks of that, bought another one. It was a second hand band–since we were still holding out hope of finding his “real” ring–and we carried on.

Well, this spring when all the ice melted, guess what Mr. Johns found under the ice in our parking stall…

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His ring!

It’s his “real” ring, the one we said our vows over, and the one we chose together when we were excitedly planning our life together. The original ring matters–to me, at least.

I’ve seen couples who have done very well for themselves who still wear their original wedding rings–tiny chips of diamonds and all. And I understand that! There is something about the original rings that reminds you of where you came from, and of all those first fluttering feelings when you fell in love.

But there are also couples who have upgraded their rings as they’ve come up in life, so I know that not everyone feels the same way I do.

So what about you–do the original rings matter to you?

My new Authorial Glasses

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My new Authorial Glasses are only authorial because I’m an author… They certainly don’t have that I-think-deep-thoughts-and-write-books kind of look. I had some more authorly glasses before, but I got tired of the dark frames, and this time around went for a lighter pair. In my humble opinion, I think I look like an accountant.

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I’m not normally a person who puts a lot of effort into looking authorly, but I did for this picture. I thought it was high time I had some photos where I looked less casual and a little more professional. (Mostly because the other author photos I had looked great, but weren’t a high enough density for Harlequin’s purposes, and I couldn’t find the original files.)

So here I am, complete with my less authorial new glasses.

Unfortunately, my glasses won’t back me up. You’ll just have to believe me: I write books. Lots of them.  😉

 

Writing Update

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Novel-writing has a few different stages:

  1. Proposal — this is where you sell your idea
  2. First draft — writing it all down for the first time
  3. Editing — realizing how much work that idea still needs
  4. Submission — a mixture of relief and insecurity
  5. More editing — because your editor can see more ways that your idea still needs work
  6. Release — where all that hard work pays off!

Well, I’m back to Stage 1, again–the proposal stage. At least for two of the lines I write for. I still have a contracted novel to write for Western Romance, so I’ll be sending proposals to my Western editor later in the year.However, for the next few weeks, I’m working on proposals for Love Inspired and Heartwarming.

So if you ever wonder what I’m up to… well, that’s what I’m doing! 😉

For the rest of 2017, here are the releases you can look forward to:

April:

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June:

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July:

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August:

Her Cowboy Boss

November:

Book: A Boy’s Christmas Wish

Online Read: Thanksgiving with her Boss

December:

Montana Mistletoe Baby

I  hope you’ll pick them up, and as always, I’m thankful for each and every one of you who enjoy my books. I couldn’t do this without you!

Best editors ever

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My Harlequin editors really are the best! Today, I got a card in the mail congratulating me on my 10th Harlequin release… hand-written and signed by everyone. I was really touched!

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I’m really honored to work with such a fantastic publisher and with such talented editors. A book is a group effort, and I never lose sight of that.

In just a few days, my April release will hit the shelves (if it isn’t already there!) and I can’t wait to share this story with all of you.

THE TRIPLETS’ COWBOY DADDY is my 10th release!

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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. 🙂

 

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!