Okay, I admit… I’m bad at blogging this year. My apologies. My blog needs some attention. Since it’s Thursday, why not give some thought to a “This or That Thursday” post? I know my state isn’t the only one, but we’re experiencing a heat wave. We’re also in a moderate drought like a lot of other areas. It isn’t even summer yet!
I scanned through my options for this theme and the water looked refreshing and perfect for this week.
Which option to you prefer? Going to the lake or spending time in a pool? Why do you choose one over the other? Or, are you like me, and have an explanation for both?
Let me begin with… I don’t wear a bathing suit. At the lake, it isn’t a problem. I can stroll along the shoreline in shorts, or rolled up jeans, dangle my feet off a dock, and no one cares. I love being at the lake but not in lake water past my knees if that makes sense. I don’t know about you, but I want to see what I’m stepping on or what kind of creature is creeping around down there. Boating, tubing, water skiing, and fishing is fun on a lake too. If I want to relax and have a fun day outside with the sound of waves, a breeze coming off the water, the smell of food cooking on a grill, and usually trees for shade, I prefer the lake.
This means, if I go into the water, I prefer a pool, but since I don’t wear a bathing suit, it’s a slim change you’ll find me there.
On a side note: Most of my absence is because I’m writing. That’s the positive side of my neglect. The negative side is procrastination in other areas of my life. Before last year, I rarely ignored important things. It’s a habit I slipped into. Maybe when I finish the two books I’m working on, I’ll get my mojo back. Am I the only one in a slump?
In the meantime, I’ll see ya when I see ya. <grin>
If you look real close, you’ll see the rest of the family off in the distance. I guess this one needed a break away from the kids.
Last weekend I took a stroll over to a small lake near where I live. The swans swam as a family to about the middle of the lake. It looked so cute to see them floating with one adult in the front and the other behind the young ones. The swan in the rear came to where you see it in the cove. Maybe it found a fish to take back to them. Have a great rest of your week.
This Wordless Wednesday post isn’t wordless. I haven’t written in my blog in so long, it deserves, and craves, some words.
It’s obvious I didn’t take the time to crop four of these. I’m not trying to showcase the parking lot or vehicle. I think it’s called lazy. This is the “turkey path” as I call it.
As many as ten turkeys appeared the day I took these pictures. They didn’t seem to be in a hurry and gradually disappeared around the building or into the woodlands. Since early spring, I have only seen one strolling around alone. I don’t know if it’s male or female, but one of them probably sits on the nest while the other searches for food. Curiosity drove me to research this stuff. 😉
Yesterday, I happened to glance out the window to see one lone young turkey run across the parking lot as fast as its little legs would go. I’m sure I missed the others as this little one tried to catch up with the family. It reminded me of the Roadrunner running from Wile E. Coyote.
I hope you’re all doing well. Me? I’m hanging in here and have a book almost ready for the editor. I’m in the last round of a self-edit before sending it off. I’m close to writing the end on another one, which is a new setting for me and took a lot of research. So, back to my writing cave… Thank goodness I have my characters to talk to because it’s getting lonely in here. My apologies for not visiting your blogs. One day… One day I will catch up. For now, I kind of need the break. I miss you all.
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.
First the Blurb
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.”
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!
The Pet Embassy’s “Top 10 Herding Dog Breeds for Active Families”
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:
Mario and Super Mario Bros.
Pac-Man & Ms. Pac-Man
Space Invaders or Asteroids.
Remember early Atari Games? Ping pong or Pong?
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?
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. 😃
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.
The Truth Is:
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?
Image credits: Featured image- Geralt. Signs & mountain-Pixabay JanBaby. Quote from The Quote Garden.
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.
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