Hey there. Happy spring. I’m still here living the life. <waving>
It’s been a while since I’ve posted or visited my fellow bloggers, but I’ve been writing. I can happily say I finished book two in the Two-Five Ranch Outlaws series. It’s sitting now before I go back to rip it apart and cut a lot of words. I overwrote. Or maybe I didn’t. Let’s put it this way: I said what had to be said, but it’s a higher word count than I wanted, so maybe I didn’t need to say it all. I’m also 12K words into a holiday western romance. However, that has nothing to do with today’s post. 😊
Since I’ve been away from my blog, I had new covers made for four of my books. I haven’t officially revealed the other three yet, but they aren’t hard to find.
Today I’m introducing the new re-cover for Finding Kimber, Book Two, from Canyon Junction: Hearts in Love Series—a spin off to the Double Dutch Ranch Series. As the title says, they’re on the run. I’ve changed two names to avoid spoilers. Kimber mentions Stormy. He’s the dog Zach gave her.
She’s wary of her future. He’s burdened by his past.
Zachary (Zach) Bryson arrives in Arizona with hopes of leaving the ghosts from his past behind. Hired by a stranger to run a ranch, he meets the owner—a secretive woman with no ranching experience. He’s seen her before, but she wasn’t a redhead with green eyes. In their first encounter, she swept him off his feet without their exchanging a word. Why did she change her appearance? What secrets lay behind those heart-stopping eyes? Seeing this job as a challenge, he sticks around to tackle this hottie head-on.
Kimber Sinclair is forced to flee her lush Oregon county for a small town in Arizona with sand, saguaros, and dusty cowboys. She settles in to live a lie—to discover the person behind her new identity while she mourns the death of Tressa Garnett—her given name at birth. However, keeping a distance from her ruggedly handsome, broad-shouldered, wise-cracking ranch foreman, isn’t easy. She struggles daily to hide her secret from Zach who demands answers. By telling him the truth, his life could also be in danger.
If trouble finds her, will she choose fight or flight? Can Zach set aside his own issues, or will his nightmares prevent him from doing what he was unknowingly hired to do?
Thunder growled in the near distance, and heavy clouds rolled in. “Cool. Let’s get this tent put up, cowgirl.”
She helped him unload the truck but wouldn’t let Stormy out. “Dave wanted us to get burner phones so we can’t be tracked. I haven’t seen anything out of the ordinary on my phone.”
“Wait. What? The guy thinks your phone has a tracker on it? Rebecca could’ve done it when she visited you. He’s already called you multiple times. What if he’s in on it? Get in the truck.” Zach tossed the bags back into the bed of the truck and sped out of the campground. Hard, blowing rain came down as they pulled out. He drove away from the mountain.
“What’s wrong? Where are we going?”
“Away from here. If someone is tracking your phone, or his—”
“I called his go-phone, but I get it. No camping.”
“We are camping. While we’re heading west, call him back. Write down the immediate numbers you need from your phone, then write down Tyler’s, Randy’s, Jake’s, and my mom’s from mine. When you’re finished, turn our phones off. I want to open yours up to look for a tracker, or for whatever the hell else could’ve been used.” He stopped at a gas station and checked her phone. “Bastards. I’m deleting this hidden app. Somebody added it to your phone.”
She was angry enough to growl like the wolves in the desert.
He checked his own. “There’s nothing on mine. I have a better idea. I’ll download a burner app for any other calls we make. Then Dave will think we’re using a disposable phone. The app acts as a burner phone. We can pay extra for a different area code and use a Boise number like we do now.”
Kimber sat back and sighed. Tiredness caught up with her. “Are you sure?”
“Yeah. No worries. Tyler uses the app.” After taking care of the app and the new number, he continued driving until they ended up in traffic miles away.
Now she’d made Zach suspicious of everything.
They headed back to the campsite and unloaded. “Randy gave us a blowup bed. Looks like we have to sleep together, partner.”
“No problem, Zach.” In this awful predicament, his words sparked a glow in her heart. She flashed him a smile and helped him make up the bed. “I’ll never be able to thank you for what you’re doing.”
Zach glanced at the bed and winked. “My heart’s the only thing you have to thank, sweetheart. Well, maybe one other body part.”
Amazon Reader Reviews for Finding Kimber
This book has it all. Attention grabbing, many twist and turns. All the romance intertwined. I recommend this book. Enjoy!!
This lady tells wonderful Cowboy Romance Stories…
…I loved this book! I loved the depth of this story! It Had so many different elements included in it.
Very different and kept me interested to the end. Very good suspense story and very different from most books I have read.
Enjoy your weekend. Thank you for visiting.
Howdy, folks. I’m often searching for the perfect dog for one of my fictional families. A current WIP has a tri-color Australian shepherd in it. Since I was the proud mom of a herding dog and know how wonderful they can be, I thought I’d share this post from The Pet Embassy. You may be looking for a family dog, so here are some options. See how beautiful they are, and learn about their personality and temperament.
Herding dogs were originally bred to work on farms and large pieces of land. Herding dog breeds are extremely intelligent and have lots of energy to burn. If you are looking for a dog breed which is intelligent and lively, then a herding dog breed might be for you.
Please note that like any breed round up, all the following choices are subjective and are far from being exhaustive. We know there are many other wonderful dog breeds that could have made the list and the list is in no particular order!
If you have a dog whose breed appears on our “Top 10 Herding Dog Breeds for Active Families” list or if you think your dog breed should have been on here, please let us know in the comments section below!
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Here we are with February’s first “This or That” post. Please join me.
Back in the day I played video games with my boys and loved it. Here are a few to almost give away my age:
Do you have memories of any of these games?
Oh, boy, I had to look these up to remember. Here’s a link to one site. They weren’t like the video games of today. When married, we played a NASCAR video game. I wrecked my car more than I raced. It wasn’t fun to keep losing. About ten years ago, I played a video game with my youngest son. I haven’t played one since.
At school, when kids earned free-time, I’d sit with them as they played an age-appropriate computer video game. They made me play sometimes, but I didn’t complain. It gave me a break too! We had small class sizes in this particular job–Special Education. Our students had learning disabilities in reading and math. One sixth grade boy had permission to bring his Sims game. Personally, I had to wonder about that one. It was an earlier version, though.
Growing up in an era before video games, I played many board games. To name a few I liked:
We had the game of Yahtzee, but I never liked it–admittedly, because I never learned how to play. My older brother was nine years older than me, so he never stuck around to play games. That left my younger brother to be my opponent. We were opponents in many ways besides in a game, as we never got along as kids. Now we do. He’s all I have left other than cousins, and my boys, of course.
It looks like I couldn’t choose a “This” or a “That” and instead chose both. How about you?
Let us know your favorite.
Thank you for your visit! Stay safe out there.
PSA and FYI: New guidelines from the CDC say to wear two masks now. Count me in.
Mackinaw City, Michigan February 9, 2021. Lower peninsula. Images captured by my cousin, Larry. Thanks cuz! Top Photo: Mackinac Bridge. Center: Sculpture of a fountain with running water. Bottom: Blue ice building up along the coastline.
Unashamed of self-promo today, I’m sticking in a plug for one of my books that takes place “Up north.” This book is actually dedicated to Larry and his family. Imagine Jude, Terra, and their kids viewing this in Secret Santa’s Rundown Sleigh: A Holiday Romance Novella. A heartwarming two-hour read. Carry on!
So much for #WordlessWednesdy, huh? Thanks for visiting today. 😃
Hiya, folks. It’s me pondering again. Oh-oh!
I’m wondering how many series writers ask themselves: When do I end a series? Ending a series also affects readers who are fans of the books. As a reader and author, I, too, have saddened to see a series end.
Writers, have you ended a series? How did you come to the decision?
Readers, what do you think when a much-loved series is over?
Forgive me for making this about me, me, me. Haha. I might have mentioned this before, but early last year, I asked a few of my dedicated readers if my original subtitle Seasoned with Destiny:
BILL’S FINAL GIFT sounded like the final book in the Double Dutch Ranch Series: Love at First Sight.
My oldest son first pointed this out to me when he asked if this was the final book. Bless his heart. He’s great with critiquing my titles. Indeed, the readers I asked agreed it sounded like the last book in the series. Therefore, I changed the subtitle to “A Gift of Love” because lo-and-behold, I didn’t want it to sound like the last book in the series. I asked my cover designer to change the subtitle, and even she thought the first one sounded like the series would end.
Since then, and after days of contemplating whether I wanted to write more books in this series, I asked myself if book five should end it after all. The series can stop where it is without another book. But after two new and unexpected characters popped up in the story, and a surprise declaration from another, I mentally made a plan for a sixth and seventh book. Maybe eight.
Should we step back from making major decisions at certain times in our lives? Wouldn’t illness be one of those times? Living in a pandemic when so many “normal” things change in our lives, also has an impact on decision making. Shouldn’t this be another time to take a step back and weigh all the options? This is what I’m trying to to. To me, these are rhetorical questions because I know the answer is yes.
Way before the end of writing book one, I planned on a long series. I’d be sad to see this one end. An author who I admire has advised others to wrap it up if sales dry up. Sales almost had, but to be fair, I blame myself. One needs to put books in front of readers, and I neglected to do this for many months–nearly a year. Therefore, I can’t base a decision on low sales until I put my heart and brain back into my job and promote myself and my stories.
When I promote, sales go up across the board and across all of my series books. My new book did push sales to all of my books. Needless to say, this encouraged me.
Another thing driving me to say farewell to the Carlson family is: I feel like I’m called to write something new.
Do you know this feeling, writers?
This new idea rolled out of my head like a red carpet at an awards show. A little part of me thinks I can extend the spin off series with the new books that popped into my head. I’m sure this harebrained idea is me (or my muse) trying to hang on to the series??? You see, the spin off series takes us off the ranch and introduces us to friends and acquaintances who live and love in and around Canyon Junction. 😉
I tell myself “The books can fit into the series.” Just in case, I wrote a short scene in Seasoned with Destiny: A Gift of Love for the second unexpected character who would begin with this “new” idea.
I can make it happen if I want it to. I’m a writer!
After all, I transformed an old draft for Finding Kimber into a western to fit into the spin off series. A new western setting changed everything especially my hero Zachary (Zach) Bryson, who is now a cowboy. He’s a mighty fine cowboy, too, though a stubborn–the way I like them–alpha. He was not named Zachary in the draft. The major parts of the story that I kept was Kimber’s name and her needing witness protection. Read her tempestuous beginning HERE.
It’s 2021, and I’m feeling a bit better than last year and thinking clearer now. The thing is, I have a new series to build in the Two-Five Ranch Outlaws. I’m behind in this series. Instead of writing the draft for book two, I should be writing book three, but in 2020 life got in the way… The same as it did for all of us. At this point, I don’t want to begin another new series. Shame on my muse for nudging me at the wrong time. Hmm. I’m leaning toward writing the next Double Dutch Ranch story and to go from there. Maybe the new series idea is for another life.
So much to write. So little time. All I can say is “Stay Tuned.”
Time goes, you say? Ah no!
Alas, Time stays, we go.
~Henry Austin Dobson
I’ve been writing and revising this post since last year. What does that say about decision making? So, if you continued this far, I thank you kindly for reading. 💖 Enjoy the rest of your day.
Readers? Authors? Any thoughts on the ending of a series?
Always happy to support a fellow author. Join in today for: The Sue Vincent Rodeo Classic. See all the details at Myths of the Mirror Blog then hop over to The Carrot Ranch to join in. Thanks for sharing, Diana.
I’m so pleased to share this, and you bet I’m saddling up!
For those of you who don’t know Sue Vincent, she’s one of those special bloggers in our community who inspires people all over the world with her beautiful posts and #writephoto prompts. Sue has tirelessly supported other bloggers and it shows. She now has 19,000 followers and counting.
Recently, Sue encountered a new and difficult challenge: lung cancer. To make matters worse, the Covid-19 pandemic not only poses a serious threat to someone with a severe respiratory illness but has resulted in the loss of human connection when it’s needed most.
Now it’s time for Sue to receive something back from the community she’s supported for a decade. Let’s come together with hearts full of joy.
Join us for theSue Vincent Rodeo Classicat theCarrot Ranch!
One way to participate in the Classic is to…
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I’m usually a keep-things-to-myself type of person, but even I have to spew off sometimes.
We all want the horror of this awful, awful, awful virus to end. As this dread goes on, we need to remain diligent.
Sometimes it’s hard, isn’t it?
Breathe in. Breathe out (with a mask).
Winter is here in the Northern Hemisphere where I live. Cold weather isn’t all that good for not spreading the virus because people gather inside in groups at times.
I don’t know about you, but I dread seeing another round, this time with freaking new COVID-19 variants. How sad. Haven’t we learned anything? Why is it so hard to wear a mask, keep our hands clean and away from our face, and social distance? IMHO it isn’t one of the hardest things we’ll have to do in life.
I’m an introvert, so staying home isn’t difficult for me, but that doesn’t mean I never want to see anyone or go somewhere besides to pick up a grocery order or visit my medical facility.
All of my life, I’ve never liked to be told what to do. Growing up, my dad and I butted heads because of my
stubbornness independence. However, when experts TELL ME how to protect myself AND YOU during a pandemic, I sit back and listen and then follow their guidelines.
Do you think I like it? I miss living my old life and my friends and family. We have to cross many state lines to see each other. I’m not putting my family in danger, and they won’t put me in danger. I’m so sick and tired of washing groceries. I’m unable to visit my little brother who is living in his last days. Yeah, I’m mad and sad, too, but I don’t know who to be mad at. Do you? Well, without getting political… (This isn’t about politics, so be cool, okay?)
Recently, my ex-husband drove from Michigan to Virginia to see our youngest son. His trip made me worried, happy for him, and angry at the same time. Yet, I understood his need. I didn’t know until he hit the road. He knew better than to tell me. Before this pandemic started, he and I had planned a trip together to see my son and daughter-in-law in their new home. Then COVID arrived, and we didn’t go. Thankfully, when he went, no one got sick, but he put them and himself at risk. Dammit!
People are giving up. Lately, on social media I hear people say “I’ve had enough” or “I’m done with this.”
Well, hell, so am I, but I am NOT giving up.
We can’t give up!
What if everyone gave up?
What would be left of the world?
Who would feed this darlin’ dog and cat? 💙
Okay, that’s getting too deep, and I don’t expect an answer, but please don’t give up or stop trying. There are vaccines if you want one and can get it. Better days really are ahead. That’s what we have to believe. Strive for. Contribute to.
Stay healthy. Have fun safely. This pandemic isn’t over.
Image credits from Pixabay: Featured image Emotions-alexas_Fotos. Dog-moshehar. Cat-mammiya. Cup/book/blossoms-Anrita 170
If you missed the first “This or That” post, you can find it HERE. Thanks for joining me! This week we have food choices. Last week we had weather. I may reduce this topic to twice a month instead of three times.
Mmm, the taco looks so good to me right now. About five years ago, I gave up eating red meat for health reasons. My eyes will enjoy the taco since my taste buds choose not to. I’ve eaten so much chicken over the past five or so years, I’m beginning to tire of it. For these reasons, out of the two images, my choice is the picture on the left.
I’m not perfect. I’ve cheated a couple of times with Stouffer’s frozen stuffed peppers, and bacon on a sandwich at a restaurant, pre-pandemic. I might eat them again if the craving calls.
I’m ashamed to admit, but I rarely cook real meals or prepare anything from scratch. Normally, my chicken breasts go into my Crockpot a couple times a week. Once cooked, I can use it for chicken noodle soup and other dishes–even a Caesar salad. I don’t consider this simple method as preparing a meal. All I do is season it with salt, parsley, paprika, celery seed, and sometimes pepper, thyme, or lemon, then I turn on the crock pot. Nothing to it. (Salt is to keep my low sodium levels up.) Sure, I fix a side dish like rice… Mostly rice and a vegetable. Each meal gives me leftovers. Easy-peasy yet BORING.
This pizza in our “This or That” image calls me because I’ve been craving veggie pizza for about six months. The last time I made “sort of” homemade pizza, I still ate red meat. At the time, I used Boboli Pizza Crust, jar pizza sauce, shredded mozzarella, fresh mushrooms, onions, green and/or red peppers, pepperoni, and black olives. Sometimes I used taco blend shredded cheese with the mozzarella. These ingredients, minus the pepperoni, may go on my next grocery list. So, if nothing else, my This or That post this week gave me another meal choice to think about.
Now it’s your turn. Your choice? Why?
Good decisions come from experience, and experience comes from bad decisions. ~Author Unknown The Quote Garden
“This or That” image Credit: Love Kissed Books. This or That Banner credit: Image from PicMonkey. Text and editing are my own.
For Short Snippet Saturday today, I’m sharing a Cover Reveal and short snippet for Dead of Winter Journey 2 Penllyn and info about Dead of Winter, Journey 1. Get started reading before the second installment arrives in February.
As Teagan says: With Dead of Winter, I call the installments Journeys, because the characters travel across the complex world I built, experiencing new cultures and meeting new people. These journeys will publish approximately monthly. Length will range from 30 to 60 pages, or so.
Wednesday, January 20, 2021
Sebastian Pether, Moonlit Landscape with a Gothic Ruin, 1810-1844 Wikipedia
Welcome to my sanctuary. A place where all are safe from the anxiety tied to religion, politics, and other things that get in the way of friendship. Lest I seem insensitive, my only remark to that, is that I’m writing this post in advance, and I’m terrified of what might happen on the 20th (Inauguration Day in the USA). Now all political remarks are done. Come on in and we’ll bask in one another’s positive “light” and spirits.
This may not be much of a cover reveal, since I’ve already shared it with a few of the people who hosted the launch of Dead of Winter. With the first Journey, Emlyn had her back to us, facing the unknown. With Journey 2, Penllyn, she turns to face us.
Dead of Winter: Journey 2…
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