When it rains it pours

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I have two Christmas books coming out in the upcoming holiday season, and over two days, I got two boxes of books!

I love it when my own personal box of books comes in, because it really feels official then. That’s when I can hold it, flip through it, remind myself what I said in the Dear Reader letter… It just feels concrete! Until I’m physically holding it, it’s just a manuscript. 😉

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Boy's Christmas Wish

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Montana Mistletoe Baby

So now a new bit of work starts: setting up giveaways!

And giving copies to personal friends and family, of course.

I’ll post on the blog and on Facebook when the giveaway are all set up so you can have a chance to enter.

And in the meantime, I’ll just be holding my books… LOL!

 

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Just around the corner!

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Don’t hate me for this… but I’m a Christmas person. 😉

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I’m a planner, so I like to get my holiday stuff together early so I don’t have to stress out in December. And I know I’m not alone in that! So I’ve already started my Christmas shopping.

This year, I also have TWO Christmas releases, and I’m really excited. I love a good Christmas story, and writing these was a real pleasure, even though they were written during the summer months… Anyway, without further ado, this is what I have coming your way in the next few months:

~Free Online Read: Thanksgiving with Her Boss
October 30, 2017 – November 26, 2017
(I’ll give you a link when I get it.)

~
Boy's Christmas Wish
November 2017
A lot has changed—and a lot hasn’t 

Five years ago, Beth Thomas’s engagement to Danny Brockwood ended when his secret child was dropped off on his doorstep. Now eight months pregnant—and about to be a single mother herself—Beth is back in her Alberta hometown, where the rugged mechanic is raising his son.

She wants to hate Danny; discovering he’d hidden his toddler from her was the reason she left. And now Danny’s bought out the beloved corner store that had been in Beth’s family for generations. But their still-simmering chemistry isn’t all they have in common. Can two single parents win back each other’s trust with the help of one determined boy?

~

Montana Mistletoe Baby
December 2017
A COWBOY FOR CHRISTMAS?

Barrie Jones needs a Christmas miracle. Five months pregnant, she’s already the talk of Hope, Montana, because she won’t tell anyone who the father is. And now her ex, Curtis Porter, is back in town, throwing her life into chaos.

Curtis is about to retire from bull riding, which means selling the building that houses Barrie’s veterinary practice—essentially putting her out of business—so he’ll have enough money to start over. He’s the bad guy, right? And Barrie should know better than to give him a second chance, but Curtis seems different… He’s talking about settling down, maybe becoming a family man. Has Curtis really changed? And can Barrie change, too, and trust Curtis to do right by her and her baby?

 

I hope you’ll pick up a copy of these two books. MONTANA MISTLETOE BABY will be my very last Western Romance, since the line is closing. But you’ll be able to find more of my cowboy stories through Love Inspired moving forward.

Now, back to your regular programming… Enjoy the very first day of Fall! 🙂

You. Don’t. Know.

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So I went to see my doctor the other day, and while I am quite healthy with not too much to worry about, my blood tests showed some levels that are a teensy bit high. I’m 39 in a few weeks, so this is the age that these things start to show up, I suppose. All perfectly normal.

So my doctor said, “No biggie. Just cut out cakes and stuff like that.”

Me: I don’t eat cake and stuff. I’m celiac, remember? So I just don’t bother.

Doc: Oh… What about dairy?

Me: Allergic to dairy and soy.

Doc: And SOY? Oh crap… What DO you eat?

So I told him. And the only thing he could see to remove from my diet was meat. You read that right–MEAT! So my doctor decided it would be good for me go vegetarian for a few months, “just to see if it changes anything.”

So my diet is now even more restricted, and I have to tell you… I’m not loving it.

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I feel like the above meme applies to me right now… except I’m fine with carbs. I’m missing the protein!

If you read closely, in my books, I talk about food I can’t eat a lot. Grilled cheese sandwiches, pies, cakes, cookies, cheesecake, sub sandwiches, cheese in its many forms… Well, take a look at the books I write in the next few months, and I can pretty much guarantee my characters are going to be noshing down on a meat smorgasbord! LOL!

These are romance novels–our little indulgences. Let me have this.

 

Miserably perfect

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I love damp, windy, rainy, mucky days. They’re gloomy and make me want to rush inside and lock myself in. Nothing feels better than curling up with a pot of tea, my faux fireplace and my current work in progress.

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Right now, that work in progress is a Love Inspired story–the last in the Comfort Creek Lawmen series. (It’s coming along very nicely, in case you were wondering. 😉 ) And settling in with rain pattering on the glass is just about perfect in my little world!

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And this is Yours Truly outside in that damp and drizzle. But with the rain comes sweater weather, so I really can’t complain!

I hope you’re all enjoying your September!

It’s a Canadian pass time

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Last week, I was in the doctor’s office picking up some test results. I’m perfectly healthy–no cause for alarm. I’m just Canadian, so we do this for fun once a year. 😉

Anyway, doctor’s office waiting rooms (and then the actual exam room) can be a bit of a wait on a bad day, so I took my computer along and did some writing.

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The above manuscript is one for Love Inspired–the last book in my Comfort Creek Lawmen series. The first book, Deputy Daddy, came out this summer, and the second book, The Lawman’s Runaway Bride, will be hitting shelves in February 2018. And this one… well, it’s in process. 😉

This is how it’s done–not wasting precious writing time on things like waiting rooms! You know, unless you’re taking a selfie. LOL!

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I hope you are all enjoying the last of your summer weather. 🙂 As for me, I’m writing hard, as always.

I’m starting to think about Thanksgiving…

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Did you know that Harlequin has free online reads? They do! All sorts of them, and this Thanksgiving, I’ll have a story posted there, too, for your free reading pleasure. 🙂

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It’s called Thanksgiving With Her Boss, and it’s the story of a personal assistant, Emmie Thomas, who accidentally falls in love with her billionaire boss. It was a bad idea, and she’d done her best to keep her emotions in check, but spending long hours with the workaholic Rob West had blurred a lot of lines, and after a late night working together where Rob kissed her, she finally decided that she’d had enough, and she quit. Rob might be attracted to her physically, but she knew he didn’t love her, and she couldn’t toy with her own emotions any longer. So she gave her notice, and one of her last tasks in her position was to book Rob’s plane tickets for his Thanksgiving vacation. She booked her own tickets back home to North Fork, Alberta, Canada, at the same time. Unfortunately, there was a glitch, and instead of booking Rob’s tickets to Hawaii, he was booked into Edmonton, Alberta the following day.

Rob could have changed his tickets and had the Hawaiian vacation he’d been hankering for, but he was more upset over losing Emmie than he should be… She’s been the bright spot in his days for too long now, and he’s ticked off that she’d quit so abruptly. He wants things back to the way they used to be, so he does something impetuous and hops on that plane.

Snow_Plow_(10442280564)Snowed in over Thanksgiving in Canada (of all places!) with Emmie Thomas’s quirky family. Can he bring her back to New York where she belongs? But Emmie isn’t willing to go for the status quo. If he wants her back, he’ll have to do a lot better than that!

Spoiler: it has a happy ending.

When it’s posted, I’ll let you know! I just thought I’d give you a heads up.

 

Painting of yours truly–it’s out there!

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Back in my early twenties, one of my best friends was in art school. He’s very talented–always has been–and he asked if he could paint me for one of his projects. (Now, before this looks sordid, he was gay, and he wanted to paint me clothed.) It didn’t actually require very much from me. We set up, he took some pictures to work from, and he went home. I remember that he spent a long time on my nose… The things we remember!

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Anyway, after he was graded, he ended up giving me the painting, and I just loved it! When I met and married Mr. Johns, we moved across the country with nothing more than could fit in our Honda Accord, so the painting didn’t come, and my parents kept it at their place in Toronto. (A three day drive away.)

Well, my parents recently moved to a new condo, and they hired a moving company. As tends to be the case, the men who were doing the heavy lifting were young guys–early twenties–and one of them saw that painting and fell in love. Now this particular, young, buff, mover reminded my mother a lot of Mr. Johns (who happens to be rather buff, too, if I do say so myself.)

Bathroom,_mirror,_shaving_brush_Fortepan_1028He asked about the model, about the artist, and he kept coming back to it to look again. My mother wanted to keep the painting and put it in the bathroom (it was bathroom themed), but my father said he couldn’t do what a man needs to do in the bathroom while staring at a painting of his daughter, and I can sympathize with that. (And they were doing a considerable downsize, so didn’t have a lot of space to work with in the new place.) Anyway, after some debate, my mother asked the young man if he’d like the painting.

He was thrilled and snapped it up right away. Then my mom called me to tell me the story.

Me: Did you tell him the model is now pushing 40?

Mom: No… I didn’t want to ruin the magic for him. But I did say it was my daughter.

So now there is a painting of yours truly at about age 22 in the apartment of some young man, and that makes me chuckle a little bit. All the credit has to go to the artist, who really is very talented!

There is a small, vain part of me that is rather proud. I could catch an eye 17 years ago! 😉

“Honey… take a break.”

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I work from home, so that work-life balance can be a challenge. There is no office driving distance from my home to contain my work hours, so when ideas occur to me, it’s so easy to just do the work right then before I lose the idea.

The last two months have been summer break around here, so my 9-year-old son has been at home with me. It’s been great–mostly. I love having him around, but he’s almost impossible to work around. And I didn’t schedule in any slowing down this summer. Well–that’s not entirely true. I HAD scheduled in pretty much nothing for the whole summer break, but then I realized that it was a full 2 month gap, and that I could squeeze a novel in there…

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Now, I thought was doing pretty well balancing it all. And in my defense, I was… until recently. We have an old mattress that is soon to be replaced, and I’ve been sleeping terribly on it. (Mr. Johns sleeps fine. Grr.)  And after writing a full novel this summer and starting work on my next contracted book, I kinda… crashed.

And true to my driven personality, I was going to push through it when Mr. Johns said,

Honey, take a break.

Me: I’m okay. I’m kind of grumpy, but I just need to–

Mr. Johns: Honey. Take the break. You’re frustrated, and that’s frustrating me. Take. The. Break.

And if Mr. Johns was getting firm with me, then I was probably driving him nuts. So it was time to take the break. I love my job, but I love my husband more, you know? 😉

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And now? I feel so refreshed! Amazing how that works! A break does wonders.

But the new mattress will work miracles. I’m serious. That old mattress has to go!

I’d love to, but…

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Working from home, I have to guard my office hours like a dog with a bone. And in order to do that, I have a list of excuses when I’m asked to participate in perfectly reasonable, pleasurable activities. 😉

Patricia Bradley and I blogged about the excuses we both use over on the Heartwarming blog today. So come over and see how it’s done!

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Apple picking

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I’ve been writing hard this summer! And after a burst of hard writing, I need to take a physical break… as in do something that uses my hands. My friend came to my rescue with her fruit trees, and I volunteered to help her pick apples.

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This is a picture of us atop her ladder, because what better time for a selfie? 😉 That look on my face is the cautious balance of a woman who’d really rather not fall, but needed two hands to take the photo. LOL! After this, I promise I was actual help to her. The next day I pitched in with peeling apples for her to can them.

It was definitely fun, and it gave my brain a welcome break. I’m back to work on my next manuscript now–this is the last book in my Comfort Creek Lawmen mini-series for Love Inspired. The first book, Deputy Daddy, came out this summer. The second book, The Lawman’s Runaway Bride, comes out in February 2018, and this is the third book for that series that I am currently writing. I don’t have a confirmed title for it yet, but my working title is The Lawman that Got Away.

I hope you’re all enjoying your summer!