My nerdy side

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There are only so many pleasures in this world, but personalized stationary is one of them…❀

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It’s only a matter of a header and a footer in Microsoft Word and printed out, but it thrills me to to no end.

Nerdy? Just a little. But come on… handwritten letters on personalized paper? What’s not to love?

 

The ultimate in “grownup lady-ness”

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When I was a little girl, I discovered Royal Doulton figurines. They got seared into my young mind as the ultimate in elegance and “grownup lady-ness.” I do remember at one point reaching out to touch one (in a store, perhaps?) and my mother exclaiming, “No! Do you know how much those cost?” And ever after, I thought that the height of success and glamor lay on those figurines.

So last Christmas, my mom sent me my very first figurine. She didn’t realize what they meant to me, she’d just found one at a good price in a Royal Doulton outlet store, and I was so thrilled to receive it, that she just sent me a second one! (Got to love those outlet stores!)

"Hydrangea Understanding" and "Christmas Eve"

“Hydrangea Understanding” and “Christmas Eve”

And there they are–my two figurines. My eight-year-old self would be melting in pleasure. My thirty-seven year old self is rather pleased with them, too.πŸ˜‰

When you were a little girl, what did “grownup lady-ness” look like to you?

Embrace the mystery

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We’re on the countdown now until school is back in session. I’m a parent who just can’t wait! Don’t get me wrong, I love my little Snowflake, but my particular little Snowflake is bored to death and refuses to admit it.

School is the answer–for both of us!πŸ˜‰

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Just think… quiet, uninterrupted thoughts… I honestly don’t remember what that feels like. To be able to sit down with my writing and not have anyone ask me for TV, a snack, a particular meal, my opinion about which Lego guy would make a better bad guy, an explanation about why bad things happen to good people, and a time frame for when Dad is getting home. But I will have that silence again in two short weeks.

I remember feeling mildly insulted as a kid when my parents would laugh along with that Staples commercial that sang “It’s the most wonderful time of the year!” at back-to-school time. Could my parents really want to send me back to school that badly? Didn’t they cherish the time, watching me grow and discover my world?

And the answer to both is Yes! Parents are perfectly capable of adoring you and being willing to die for you, and at the same time exuberantly shoving you out the door to start your next grade. For six hours a day, your absence makes their heart grow fonder. Embrace the mystery.πŸ˜‰

Two weeks.

A small change

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355px-Point.svgI’ve made a small change to my blog that I thought I’d point out: I’ve put all of my books on one page instead of splitting them up by Harlequin imprint. I have a good reason for this:

They’re all sweet romances (kisses only), family centered and written by the same “sweet” author. The Love Inspired books have obvious Christian themes in them, but the Western Romance and Heartwarming books don’t. However, they are still wholesome romances with family-centered stories that will tug at your heartstrings.

That means that my Christian readers can enjoy my books from any line that I publish through. I have secular readers who have thoroughly enjoyed my Love Inspired stories, too! So don’t feel afraid to try a new line–especially when you know you can trust the author.

You check that out above, or click here.

Declaring your love in ink

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How do you feel about tattoos? Personally, I don’t think I’d like a design enough to have it put onto my body for life. The only thing I think I’d be willing to tattoo onto my body might be a quote, but even then… People change and grow. The quotes that resonated with me at 20 don’t have the same impact now that I’m 37. I’m not sure I could even commit to that!

However… there are some couple tattoos that are pretty adorable, and while Mr. Johns would never agree to something like this (and I’m not brave enough for this, either, who are we kidding? ), I can definitely see the appeal for other people.

So what do you think? If you could do a couple tattoo, what would it be?

This is the one I like best. Mr and Mrs on the ring fingers. <3

This is the one I like best. Mr and Mrs on the ring fingers.❀

 

In the pain category, this one would probably be the easiest. I'm guessing?

In the pain category, this one would probably be the easiest. I’m guessing?

 

Very cute!

Very cute!

If you want to see more, here is the link. While I’m not the tattoo type, I am the romance type–and these are awfully romantic!

 

 

I miss my desk

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This is the current state of my writing space. I have an 8-year-old son who, like most 8-year-olds, loves Lego. And this picture doesn’t even show all of the Lego, which spreads a ways left.

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The Lego playing starts at approximately 6 am when he gets up, and it’s picked up once during the day for precisely 7 minutes while I vacuum… after which, it gets dumped again. Because how else is he supposed to find his pieces? (It’s a persuasive argument.) Once I’ve vacuumed and the Lego gets dumped again, I have no more fight left so the Lego stays there until the next daily vacuum.

Apparently, the best Lego playing surface is right next to my desk,Β and after a few days of stepping on errant Lego pieces, I gave up and retreated to the bedroom. So that’s where the writing has been happening this summer… in fact, that’s where I’m typing this up right now!

I’m looking forward to the start of school when I can get my writing space back again.πŸ™‚ I miss my desk.

Shh!

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Admittedly, I’m a little weird. I like to think it’s weird-in-a-good-way, but I’m not like everyone else. Most people can’t sit in front of a computer and work on a novel for 8 or 10 hours a day. They can’t crank out 6 books in twelve months and still feel energized to do it again. It takes a certain kind of person to get excited about that much writing.

And it’s great, because that much focus means I CAN write 6 books a year! I love it. It fuels me. I’m not content without a project on the go and a few more lined up. But it also means that I am able to sit by myself all day long, every single day (you know, besides evenings and weekends when my family comes back) and sit in absolute silence.

I’m not joking. Silence.

Photo by Pam Brophy

Photo by Pam Brophy

Most people listen to music when they work, drive, cook… do stuff. I recognize that’s normal, but I can’t. In fact, I have trouble listening to music at all because it has too much going on… it’s overwhelming. I’ve had to teach my son to sit quietly in the back seat when I’m driving, because I can’t change lanes and answer kid questions at the same time. “Mom, why are the colors on the police flashing lights different than the colors on the ambulance flashing lights?” I have the ability to focus really intensely on a project, but I can’t both steer and discuss emergency vehicles. So that focus has a few drawbacks. I’m not fun company on a road trip, for example.πŸ˜‰

Mr. Johns loves listening to music, so he has to use headphones a lot. It isn’t that I dislike music in itself, because I can appreciate the beauty, etc, but it tickles a part of my brain that goes Ka-Boom if I’m not 100% focused on that music. So in church, or while watching a movie with background music, I’m fine. I’m focused. The music has my attention. But the radio in the car, music playing in my home somewhere, more than one noise happening at once (like the rattle of Lego while I’m trying to watch a TV show), and my brain can’t take it.

Which is why I prefer silence. Perfect silence, for 6-8 hours during the day. It soothes me after all the noise and distraction of everyday life. My thoughts can come back together again and focus on my newest novel… it’s sweet relief.

So there you have it–the secret of my superpower. This is how I do it–I never once claimed it was balanced, but it works for me. LOL!

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Don’t mess with her

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I’m posting this news story because it made me do an internal “whoo!”Β  Mikaela Kellner is my new personal hero.

An off-duty Swedish cop and her friends were sunbathing in a park in Stokholm when a man came up to them pretending to sell magazines. Mikaela was suspicious because he hung around them a little too long, and she told her friend to watch their belongings. When they noticed a cell phone had been stolen, Mikaela jumped into action.

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And this is what happens when you accidentally pickpocket an off-duty police officer. She takes you down… regardless of her dress. (You can find the full story HERE.)

This does my heart good.πŸ˜€

It’s all about the detail

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In a new book that I’ll be writing for Love Inspired, my heroine grew up with a vintage dollhouse. I’ve been looking forward to writing this book because I just love dollhouses, and one day when I have a little more space, I intend to buy one and pour myself into decorating the rooms.

The dollhouse in my book is based upon this one. (To see where you can buy it, click the picture.)

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The delight of dollhouses is in the detail.

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Furniture is made to scale–and it absolutely enthralls me!

1225_md77267_md77076_md73094_mdAs you can see, I’ve done a lot of fantasizing about the dollhouse I’d love to own… but for now, it will have to be limited to my newest novel. This research is such fun!

Anybody else love the idea of owning their own dollhouse?

New contract!

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I’ve been offered a contract by Harlequin Heartwarming for a runaway bride story that I pitched to them earlier this spring. This will be my second book for this line in Harlequin, and I couldn’t be more thrilled to writing with this group of talented authors.

Photo by Christine Matthews

Photo by Christine Matthews

If you’d like a quick writing update, I’ve finished writing (and handing in) my Western Romance novel tentatively titled THE TRIPLET’S COWBOY DADDY. That book is due in bookstores April 2017. After that, I was working on final edits for A BAXTER’S REDEMPTION, which is my first book with Harlequin Heartwarming. Those are now complete, too, and that book will be released January 2017.

I’ve been planning an upcoming Love Inspired book which I will be writing in the fall, tentatively titled THE LAWMAN’S RUNAWAY BRIDE. (Yes, another runaway bride story, because I find them so much fun, but it’s an entirely different kind of story…)

But now that I have this new contract just in time to fill in a little gap of time between other books, I’ll be writing this Heartwarming story. I’ll give more details on the story closer to the book’s release, but I’m just thrilled to be able to throw myself into this new story. It has lots of drama and a romance that I hope you’ll love as much as I do!

So this is a quick list of my upcoming releases: (as far as I have dates.)

The Cowboy’s Christmas Bride (Harlequin Western)
Nov 2016

A Baxter’s Redemption (Harlequin Heartwarming)
Jan 2017

The Cowboy’s Valentine Bride (Harlequin Western)
Feb 2017

Triplets’ Cowboy Daddy (Harlequin Western)
April 2017

The Lawman’s Baby (Love Inspired)
July 2017

Happy Summer, everyone!

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