Real people would need extensive therapy


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A few weeks ago, Mr. Johns and I watched a movie I really enjoyed: True Memoirs of an International Assassin starring Kevin James. The premise of the movie is that there is an unpublished writer trying for his big break, and when his book is picked up by an online publisher, he is mistaken for an actual assassin.

true memoirs

It’s very funny with some great action… but one thing really bothered me. The movie’s “moral,” is that the writer needs to get an actual life instead of living vicariously through his characters. Ouch.

I’m a writer who writes a lot, so you can see how this might hit a nerve for me. I spend most of my time clattering away on a keyboard, and I have to say–I don’t want to live the drama that I write!


That’s the fun of books, isn’t it? You get to slip into the skin of a completely different person and live a life of danger and drama that you don’t actually want to experience in your own humble existence. In a book, you can run out on your own wedding when you discover your fiance is cheating on you, or you can adopt triplet newborns that your half-sister left to you in her will… You can even take a huge romantic risk with an emotionally unavailable cop without any long term consequences!

In my real life, I don’t like drama. I like quiet days spent rattling away on my keyboard, I talk to two budgies about how pretty they are, and I consume copious amounts of tea. In my evenings, I make dinner for my family, agonize over ordinary things like child rearing, and flirt with Mr. Johns. I certainly don’t do all the things I write about! Thank goodness.

Jan_van_Eyck_059We all need an outlet, an escape. And fantasy is just that… it doesn’t actually work once you force it into the harsh light of day. Please, please don’t bring my books to life–I don’t think I could survive them! My heroes and heroines come out happily in the end, but real people would probably need years of therapy after all that.

So here’s to the readers and writers who prefer their drama between the covers of a good book. We aren’t missing out on anything… trust us. It’s better this way.

How mad would you be?


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I stumbled across this story about a couple who’d spent $80,000 on their dream wedding, only to have their best man hijack the day and propose to his girlfriend… mid-ceremony!

Apparently, the best man was also the officiant, and he went on to talk about his future with his new fiancee, instead of focusing on the couple actually getting married. He also requested a dance for himself and his own bride-to-be alone on the dance floor during the reception. That’s a lot of gall, I have to say.


But here’s my question: on a scale of 1-10, how mad would you be?

Public_bathroom_toiletI think I’d be about a 2, and here’s why–we had a really cheap wedding! I really think the money factors in. Mr. Johns and I decided to get married… and did. It was a tiny wedding, the goal of which was to get hitched. I don’t remember the vows, or much of anything detail-wise. I was just excited to be married to my guy. In fact, my most vivid memory of the day was being locked in a public bathroom with my husband at the restaurant where we were having our reception, and us saying to each other, “We’re married! Can you believe it?” A bathroom. So if one of our 8 guests had proposed during my wedding, I don’t think it would have phased me a whole lot.

Now, if I’d put off my wedding for several years, planned the perfect wedding and spent $80 K on it, I might have been more annoyed. And while the best man was really lacking in social graces, I’m of the opinion that a wedding is just one day. And you can’t control it all! Things will go wrong. Things will go right. It’s a success if you end up legally wed!

However, I may be alone in that opinion. What do you think? How mad would you be if your wedding was hijacked by a proposal?

My Happy Spot


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I have two more weeks of writing in beautiful, uninterrupted silence. Then school ends, and it’ll be a little noisier around here!

But I thought I’d share a couple of pictures so you can see my happy spot. This is my view from my lazy boy chair where I do the  majority of my writing lately.

balcony 2

I had the birds outside that afternoon so they could get some fresh air. I think they feel a combination of fear for their lives and the thrill of not being dead yet out there, because they’re always so happy to come back inside! LOL! But I’m convinced that some fresh air is good for them… and a little adventure never hurt, right?

I’m really enjoying my petunias this year. They’re so hearty. This is them a couple of days after a hail storm, to boot. They just grow and grow–the perfect flowers for me. I really can’t take much credit for them. They flourish in spite of me. And in spite of the hail, apparently.

balcony 1

This is the view I’m enjoying this summer. 🙂 I hope you’ve carved out some beauty for yourself, too. ❤

Choose mine!


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I get a kick out of Harlequin’s online marketing. 🙂 They have all sorts of fun games, like finding the difference between nearly identical covers, or Cover vs. Cover where readers can vote on their favorite between two covers. Harlequin recently chose my book for this one, and as always, I was tickled. It really is a neat feeling to see your own cover as part of the games.


They really did a great job on my cover for Deputy Daddy, and I’m excited to see it on the shelves come July. I’ll be lurking in local bookstores… LOL! I should also tell you that I have a Goodreads giveaway going on for this book, if you’re interested in entering, too.

AND, don’t forget my June release on sale now! 🙂


It’s a busy–and really wonderful–summer. I hope you enjoy yours, too!

A functional solution


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I hate sun. I burn easily, and even if I slather on enough sun screen to protect my skin, I end up with a pounding headache and an upset stomach when I get overheated. I’m fragile that way. I seriously wouldn’t have survived being anything but a lady of leisure if I was born in a different time. And even then…

umbrellaAnyway, I live in a smallish town without a lot of shade, and the walk to my son’s school is a hot one. Then I sit outside with a friend while our kids play on the playground together, and then walk home again–a total of an hour and a half in blazing sunlight. So I have a solution–an umbrella!

Yes, I look like an idiot–as you can see in the selfie I took for your benefit. I simply had to embrace that. But it’s functional! I carry portable shade with me, and for as dumb as I look, once I get to the desert that is the playground, everyone gathers under the shade of my umbrella. So I’m doing something right. And when I get home, I’m not overheated. It’s a beautiful solution!

I’ve noticed a couple of other people doing the same thing from time to time, and I wonder if I haven’t started something. “I saw some lady doing this the other day, and it seemed like a good idea…” Either that, or they’re ignoring me as hard as I’m ignoring them, and none of us care what we look like so long as we’ve got shade.

It’s probably the latter. 😉


New Release!


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I’m so excited about my newest release, THE RUNAWAY BRIDE. I’m particularly proud of this story–it came together so beautifully, and I really think you’ll love it!

Harlequin Heartwarming novels are available online only, so be sure to pick up a copy at your favorite e-tailer. ❤ If you click on the cover, it will bring you straight to the Harlequin website.

So without further ago, my newest Harlequin release, out this month:



Damsel in distress…or veiled threat? 

Bernadette Morgan left her cheating fiancé 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…




Review from AK Mystery Mom on Amazon: 5 Stars

“Loved this story of a privileged American princess who discovers minutes before her wedding that her groom is cheating on her. She decides to flee, a reaction that doesn’t sit well with her family and their political aspirations. She runs to an aunt, the black sheep of the family, and stumbles into the life of her aunt’s neighbor who is trying to do the right thing about an orphaned (sort-of) two-year-old. The child is adorable, and so are the main characters in this reverse Cinderella story. This one left me smiling.”

Dress shopping

This summer, I HAD to get some new summer dresses. My old ones were starting to look ratty, and they had to be replaced. So to encourage myself, I emptied my wardrobe, then went shopping.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t find anything… I bought a few things, brought them home and Mr. Johns made a face.

Me: What do you think?

Mr. Johns: Um… very nice.

Me: Really?

Mr. Johns: …

So I returned said items (which I wasn’t excited about anyway) and we went shopping at a dress shop in the city that sells 50’s style dresses. I’ve always longed for one.

So we did buy some dresses–two, to be exact. 🙂 And below is a photo of one of them from Sunday afternoon.


When Mr. Johns saw me in this one, I got a “Wow.” 😉 That was the kind of reaction I’d been hoping for.

Another Goodreads Giveaway!


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Starting today (May 29-June 11), I have a Goodreads giveaway for one of four free copies of DEPUTY DADDY, book one of The Comfort Creek Lawmen miniseries.

deputy-daddy cover


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…

So, if you’d like a chance to win, click on over to Goodreads and enter! And if you know anyone who might be interested in an inspirational romantic read, by all means, share this link. ❤

12 years!


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Mr. Johns and I recently celebrated our 12th anniversary! 🙂 Time sure flies, and I’m so glad I married this guy. He’s worth it!

This year, I did a little anniversary shopping of my own, and I picked up a faux fireplace–another one, since we had one already. But the idea was that one of them could go into our bedroom for a nice, cozy feel. Winter is long in Northern Alberta, but even in the summer we can  use it with the heating function turned off and just for the flickering fire light. So romantic, no? We’ve been talking about doing this for a while, so I’m glad we’ve finally done it.

Anyway, this is a picture of the faux fireplace that is in the living room. (The bedroom one can stay private. 😉 )


And yes, there’s a kid drawing taped to the wall next to it… and the reflection of Lego on the floor in the glass. LOL! Twelve years has brought on parenthood, too. It’s a happy life I wouldn’t trade in for the world.

And on a totally unrelated note, my June release is coming out soon! Click the cover to check it out! I’m really proud of this one… I think you’ll like it.  ❤


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. 😉 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!


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

deputy-daddy cover

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!