Book deliveries!

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Book deliveries are always exciting. My copies of DEPUTY DADDY actually came at the same time as THE RUNAWAY BRIDE, which explains why I’m dressed in winter clothes in this picture. ๐Ÿ˜‰ We had snow at the end of April when I took this photo. These things happen in Canada. And in the midwest, I’ve heard!

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And since my phone’s camera isn’t fantastic, I’ll give you a better picture of this cover:

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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 when 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 isn’t 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…

 

This one is coming out July 1, 2017, and I can’t wait to spot it on the shelves! From May 29-June 11, there will be a Goodreads Giveaway going on for one of three free copies!

 

A squishy parcel

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My aunt is a talented quilter, and the other day I got a nice, squishy package in the mail from her… I didn’t even have to open it yet to have a little squeal. I knew what it was!

So this is the gorgeous, hand-made lap quilt my aunt sent to me, and I thought I’d share a picture so you can be proud of her, too. Can you imagine the work that went into this?

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This is an Irish Chain pattern.

my quiltI’ve made one quilt in my life–a checkerboard block quilt that I sewed by hand when my son was a toddler. It’s nowhere NEAR as beautifully stitched as my aunt’s… And it took me about two years to complete it. We use it a lot in our home, and every time someone (and by someone I mean my son) walks on it, I say, “Do you know how long that took me to make?!”

My aunt is much more skilled than I am, but I have an appreciation for the work that goes into a quilt. When someone gives a quilt–that’s love.

 

Burning Food

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I don’t multi-task well. At least not in the kitchen, and probably not other places, either, but it’s most evident in the kitchen.

Now, since our family is an allergy family (which means I have to cook our food from scratch), I spend a lot of time writing my books from the kitchen table while food cooks on the stove. The theory behind this is that I’m close by to make sure things don’t burn…

I burn pots to black more often than I care to admit. The ย multi-tasking? Not so much.

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Anyway, I came across this tip online for cleaning off blackened pots, and not only is it easy, but it works beautifully!

Put lemon juice or a chopped up lemon in the blackened pot and add water. Then stick it on the stove and boil for five minutes. Et, voila! Everything slides right off.

Sure saves the days and days of soaking and scouring that I’ve been used to. And I thought you might find it useful, too… You know, for those blackened pots you don’t admit to. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Little Breaded Chicken Chunks

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The Johns family has allergies. We’re allergic to ALL the good stuff, and I pretty much have to cook from scratch. Luckily, I work from home, so while food is baking/boiling/broiling or whatnot, I can be at the kitchen table clattering away on my newest novel. (I burn things a lot this way, but that’s a subject for another blog post…)

So anyway, I’m often on the prowl for something new to feed my family because our options are pretty limited. And then one day not so long ago, an idea occurred to me that felt like a stroke of genius.

I told my friend, “I’ve discovered something so delicious! I cut up chicken into little chunks, and I dip them in egg. Then I roll them in gluten-free bread crumbs and put a little sprinkle of salt on top. Then I put them on an oily pan–like a really oily pan!–and I bake them. They turn out so good! My family loves Little Breaded Chicken Chunks.”

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So I made my Little Breaded Chicken Chunks tonight, and I looked down at them and realized something:

I’d invented chicken nuggets. My friend must have been too kind to tell me!

But I come by this sort of thing honestly. My mother served us Garbanzo Bean Spread for all of my growing up years. She’d “invented” it herself one afternoon when she was bored and desperate for something different to eat. I was an adult before I realized it was actually just hummus! It was about the same time that SHE discovered it was just hummus, too. ๐Ÿ˜‰

So there you have it… My cooking prowess. Luckily, I have other talents.

Unbeaten Paths

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Salvador Dali (1904-1989)

As a novelist, I’ve always been the odd one out. I don’t want the same things out of life that other people want. I don’t want a 9-5 desk job somewhere with reasonable benefits. I want to write books for a living, with all the uncertainties and ups and downs that goes with that. Not the norm.ย 

When you’re doing things your own way, it can get lonely. There is no clear path for a career in the arts. But there is one thing I’ve learned along the way that I think applies to more than just writing careers:

 

If you have a different destination in mind, you can’t be afraid to be weird.

Mr. Johns and I are huge Dave Ramsey fans. If you haven’t discovered him yet, he’s a financial adviser with a massive radio show, and he advises people how to get (and stay!) debt free. Now living debt-free isn’t the norm in North America, so if that’s your plan, you need to go against the flow. Everything will try to lure you off that path!

The thing is, when you go against the flow, you aren’t going get popular support. That’s true in your financial decisions as well as your other life choices, but it is very, deeply true. If you want to arrive at a different goal than the other people in your life, then you can’t be making the same choices that they’re making. That includes what you do with your time, your money, your priorities, ย your kids, your relationships… You’re going to look weird. You’re going to be judged. But at the end of the day when you’ve finally achieved your goal, you’re going to have something to show for it.

Dave Ramsey says something that makes me laugh:

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Basically, if people who have different goals from you think you’re crazy, then that’s a good thing! Start to worry when they agree with you a little too much. If that’s happening, you’re going to be sharing a future… and that might not be your goal!

So toughen up, princess! Being considered odd isn’t so bad. At least you know you’re on the path to something different.

 

20 Days of Giveaways!

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Harlequin’s Love Inspired line of romance novels is celebrating its 20th anniversary, which means they are doing giveaways galore!

If you’re interested in winning some inspirational reads, then come by the Facebook page where there is a giveaway happening DAILYย for Twenty Days of Giveaways between May 1 and May 20! So definitely worth it.

You can also download 3 free Love Inspired reads HERE.

So all very exciting when Harlequin starts giving away free books. Take advantage of this–and pass it along to your friends. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Goodreads Giveaway!

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For those of you on Goodreads, I have a giveaway that’s starting today (May 2-May 16) for one three free copies of THE RUNAWAY BRIDE!

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Damsel in distress… or veiled threat?

Bernadette Morgan left her cheating fiance moments before they were supposed to marry in the society wedding of the year. Now she’s stuck in Runt River, Ohio, with a broken-down car and a tattered wedding dress. All she wants is a place to hide. But what she finds are a handsome mechanic, a little boy and family secrets that could change everything. Because the toddler Liam Wilson’s raising is actually her cousin’s child. And she’ll do anything to protect him from her politically ambitious family, even if that means rejecting the possibility of love with Liam…

So if you’d like to win, now is the time to enter. And please feel free to share this with any friends who might be interested in a sweet romantic read. โค

 

 

 

A new arrival!

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I was just coming home when the UPS truck arrived. The driver was writing out my “sorry we missed you slip” when I caught him. Lucky me!

So here it is–my own personal copy of THE RUNAWAY BRIDE, which is coming to online retailers in June.

If my phone camera isn’t good enough, here is a proper picture of that cover.

Damsel in distress… or veiled threat?

Bernadette Morgan left her cheating fiance moments before they were supposed to marry in the society wedding of the year. Now she’s stuck in Runt River, Ohio, with a broken-down car and a tattered wedding dress. All she wants is a place to hide. But what she finds are a handsome mechanic, a little boy and family secrets that could change everything. Because the toddler Liam Wilson’s raising is actually her cousin’s child. And she’ll do anything to protect him from her politically ambitious family, even if that means rejecting the possibility of love with Liam…

I really love this cover… and the story, of course! It was a fun one to write, and I can’t wait to hear what you think of it, too.

Starting May 2 – May 16, I will be holding a Goodreads giveaway for 3 free copies of this book. I’ll post more when the giveaway starts. ๐Ÿ™‚

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! ๐Ÿ™‚

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. ๐Ÿ˜‰