Our summer fun

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We have a local historical park that we just love, and this year we got a season’s pass. So guess what we’ll be up to most weekends! 🙂

I thought I’d share a few pictures from our recent trip there.

It’s so much fun! We haven’t had a pass for a few years now, so we plan to make the most of this one over the summer.

I’m a real stickler about not putting pictures of my family up, but this next one has my son in it–he’s the kid in the red shorts. ( ❤ )  And he’s getting so big! I can’t share the family shots, but he’s past my shoulder now, and just keeps getting taller! (Amazing what happens when you feed them, right?)

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I love the feeling of stepping back in time, strolling with my husband down the streets, and just basking in the prairie heat.

So when I’m NOT writing this summer, this is probably where I’ll be found. 😉

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Comfort Creek Lawmen

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I thought I’d give you a little overview of my Comfort Creek Lawman miniseries that is finishing up this August!

So here they are, all in once place.

Comfort Creek Lawmen–men in blue with hearts of gold.

Comfort Creek, Colorado, is the county’s sensitivity training location for cops who need an attitude adjustment. It’s the dullest town in the state–at least for the driven police officers who find themselves staying there for two week stints while they learn a few soft skills.

It’s a tiny town with traffic that crawls and stores that close too early. But it’s a place with heart, too. And the officers who find themselves serving their disciplinary time within this sensitivity training program are offered two options:

Bookwork in the basement with binders filled with worksheets about making better choices

or….

doing it the police chief’s way, which tends to be a whole lot more creative.

Most of them choose the second option.

And find love in the process!

 

lgcover.9780373622887A Family for the Officer 

Officer Bryce Camden never expected his two-week stint in Comfort Creek, Colorado, would mean diaper duty. But that’s exactly what 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 is not 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…

 

 

 

lgcover.9781335509321Winning the Lawman’s Heart

Forced to work with the woman who left his brother at the altar five years ago, police chief Chance Morgan must also face his own guilt. Sadie Jenkins’s return to town stirs feelings he thought he’d buried along with his soldier brother, who died overseas. Almost kissing Sadie the night before her wedding was a mistake—one he won’t make again. For Sadie, planning a remembrance ceremony for the town’s military men will help build her event-planning business. But working with Chance is bringing up all the emotions she once ran from. Is she ready to finally take that leap into the future…with him?

 

 

And coming this August, the final book in the Comfort Creek Lawmen miniseries!

 

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From stubborn bachelor to family man… The Comfort Creek Lawmen have a new member

Returning home has stirred painful memories for officer Gabe Banks. But responding to a robbery at Harper Kemp’s bridal shop has upended his world. Harper’s adopted four-year-old is the daughter he never knew existed. Gabe’s no longer the bad boy Harper remembers, but he’s still terrified of commitment. Despite their fierce attraction, Harper must protect her little girl’s heart…and her own.

The Johns Family

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The other weekend, we went to a local historical park, and they had a caricature artist doing drawings for people, and he was really good!

So the Johns family stood in line for our very own, and this was the result:

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I don’t share photos of my family online, so this is as close as I’ll get to that line. LOL!

In all our goofy glory! ❤

Upcoming Releases

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Just thought you might like a nice, concise list of my upcoming releases. 🙂 Here they are…

 

August 2018

The Deputy’s Unexpected Family

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(This is the last book in my Comfort Creek Lawmen miniseries.)

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October 2018

Her Lawman Protector

Harlequin Heartwarming

(If you’ve been paying attention to what I’m writing, this is the story with the hunky cop and the plus-sized heroine that everyone said they were so excited to read!)

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January 2019

Her Lawman’s Twin Blessings

Love Inspired

(This is the first book in a new miniseries, Montana Twins. Cowboys and twins!)

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April 2019

His Little Girl’s Hero

Harlequin Heartwarming

(A dad who has only just gotten custody of his daughter wants to learn to read at long last… and a preschool teacher who thinks she might be able to help them both, if she can only keep her heart unentangled.)

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May 2019

The Bishop’s Daughter

Kensington Books

(This is the first Amish romance that will out through Kensington Books! I’m very excited about this release!)

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There are a few others, but they don’t have finalized titles yet, so I won’t include them just yet. 🙂 But I’m so excited to be able to share more books with you, and I hope you’ll all rush out and buy them all.  ❤

 

Small Town, Alberta

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When I first got married, my husband and I were living in downtown Toronto, Ontario. Toronto is Canada’s largest city, and the place where I went to university, so I really loved it there. It was just… home!

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But my new husband was looking at the job market in his field in Toronto versus in Alberta, and we decided it was probably better to head out to where the jobs were. It was just a better start to married life. So we moved about four months after we got married, and I left my family behind in Toronto and we headed west.

In some ways, it was really good for us–we had to rely on each other and figure out who we were as a couple. In other ways, it was hard because I’d always been close to my family and really missed them a lot.

We visited them, and they visited us, and there were lots of phone calls, but it’s not really the same as living in the same city.

Thirteen years of marriage later, we’re still out in Alberta, but FINALLY, my parents are retiring and heading out here to be with us! In fact, they’ll be here this month. It’ll be so nice to have them close by at long last–more grandparents to spoil our son rotten, and just family to be close by.

This months, we’ll all be together again, in small town, Alberta. ❤

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Coming in August!

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The Deputy’s Unexpected Family is the third and final book in my Comfort Creek Lawmen miniseries, and I’m so pleased that it will be in bookstores soon!

The other day, the UPS guy came by with a box of them–which means release day is only a couple of months away. Always an exciting time when I can actually hold my book in my hands. It feels so much more real.

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This August, I hope you’ll pick up a copy wherever books are sold–your drugstore, grocery store, bookstore… you name it, they’ll have it!

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From stubborn bachelor to family man… The Comfort Creek Lawmen have a new member

Returning home has stirred painful memories for officer Gabe Banks. But responding to a robbery at Harper Kemp’s bridal shop has upended his world. Harper’s adopted four-year-old is the daughter he never knew existed. Gabe’s no longer the bad boy Harper remembers, but he’s still terrified of commitment. Despite their fierce attraction, Harper must protect her little girl’s heart…and her own.

 

 

They politely never speak to us

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In the spring, I like to sleep with the window open. It’s nice to have a cool breeze and a warm blanket. When it gets too warm, I replace the open window with the blast of an air conditioner, but for a few weeks, it’s the perfect sleeping temperature.

Mr. Johns and I lay in bed talking and listening to the outdoor sounds of our neighbours. We’re in an apartment, so it’s not exactly romantic ambiance, but it’s entertaining. We’re early to bed people, and where we live, it stays light a really long time. (We’re pretty far north.) So other people stay up a lot later with the sun, and their voices will filter over to us.

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We don’t normally hear anything interesting. There will be some teenagers walking down the sidewalk–and that’s normally just laughter and unintelligible banter. Sometimes there will be the murmurs of the neighbours smoking in the evening across the way. It reminds me of our city days, when we used to live in downtown Toronto, and you knew way too much about your neighbours, and politely never spoke to them.

I like that time of day when Mr. Johns and I enjoy that cool breeze. We talk, vent, dream, joke about things that amused us that day… and I sometimes wonder if there are other people with their windows open who listen to the fragments of our conversations, too.

If they do, they abide by the Close Quarters Rules of Etiquette and politely never speak to us.

 

The formula for books

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I can’t be everything. That is my newly earned wisdom.

I feel like life keeps teaching me the same lesson over and over until I finally get it. And this time around, it’s that I can’t be what other people want me to be. I can only be… this.

And I’ve recently stopped feeling badly about it.

Everyone expects something from you. When I get busy and tired, those expectations get heavier, and I get more resentful of them. Generally, these aren’t huge things. They’re just little things that pile up that are most likely linked to the fact that I’m introverted and most of the world isn’t. Things that feel like an invasion to me, are likely just friendly  gestures by an extrovert.

Here are a few things that are not negotiable about me: 

I don’t drink. I tend to stay in on weekends. I’m not fun at a party. Ever.

I hate babysitting. Like a lot. So things that work for other moms like swapping babysitting just don’t work for me. No matter how convenient it would be for that other mom.

I’m busy. Really busy. And my priorities start with my family and my writing, leaving not a whole lot left in the wake.

I’m celiac, and that doesn’t mean that I get a mildly upset stomach when I eat a piece of toast. That means I get very ill for months on end from a trace of gluten. I can’t just eat at someone’s home. I can’t just eat at a restaurant, either. It complicates social interactions.

Villers_Young_Woman_DrawingBut there are a lot of things I DO do:

I write books.

I can focus like a fiend on whatever project I’m working on, and I’m rather prolific because of that ability.

I love my family with everything I’ve got, and I have a few close friends who are as introverted as I am, and who don’t feel bad when I cancel on them. (I also don’t feel bad when they cancel on me!)

I enjoy my quiet time because it recharges me. My husband and son are both introverts, too, so we all need that quiet time.

I blog, I keep up with people online, and I’m grateful for the relationships I form with people that way.

I might not be able to eat out, but we often bring our friends over to our home to eat.

I’ve realized lately that I have to say No a lot to a lot of well-intentioned people. I don’t like disappointing people who are just trying to be friendly, but I can’t change what I have to offer. I can’t be everything. I can just be the best version of this that I can.

Besides, this is the formula for all those books! 😉

Super duper hot sauce

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Mr. Johns wanted one thing for his birthday: homemade hot sauce.

I’d never made it before and was a little intimidated, so I looked up a recipe and found this one. So if you’d like to give it a try, it was pretty easy!

Basically, I sautéed up onions, garlic and hot peppers that I’d frozen. Then I added two cups of water and simmered it for twenty minutes until everything was soft.

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After that, I let it cool, blended it smooth in the blender, and added lemon juice (instead of vinegar) and the sugar. Then blended it again.

And here it is! In all its spicy glory. Mr. Johns will have hot sauce to pour on top of absolutely everything.

Much easier than I thought! So I’ll be keeping the man in homemade hot sauce from now on. And it’s hot!

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13 years ago

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Thirteen years ago, I married the love of my life. Mr. Johns is the one for me, and that’s never changed.

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I always say that you should never marry someone hoping that the spark will develop over time, because there really is no guarantee that it will! For Mr. Johns and I, we had the spark from the first time we met, and no matter what challenges we faced, I knew he was the one. No man has ever made me feel the way he does.

The other day, we went shopping together, and I was just feeling… unattractive. Everyone has days like that, and that was mine. But I slapped on some makeup, put on a dress (it was pretty warm outside) and we went to the mall. And the whole time we were out, my husband checked me out. 😉 And I have to tell you, that after walking in the mall with a guy who smolders for me and holds my hand, I feel a whole lot prettier! His attention never wanders. I’ve never once seen him check out another woman. I’m his. He’s mine. And he’s very satisfied.

With my husband, I get to be the most beautiful woman in the room. He always tells me that a man should never marry a woman for her personality, but for her looks. He says, “If you’re going to be married to her for the rest of your life, you’d better think she’s gorgeous.” And that has always given me confidence. Obviously, he married me for more than my looks. We’re soulmates–he tells me that in the love letters he writes me on our anniversary each year. But he also thinks I’m beautiful, and 13 years in, I can still draw his eye. After childbirth. After 13 years of aging. After extra pounds and gray hair.

I married the right guy!