Saying Goodbye

Two years ago I started a new job somewhat reluctantly. Going to work meant I had to leave my writing behind, and I’d have to interact with people I didn’t know. GASP! I would have to smile and be present.

Writers are often off in their own worlds thinking about their book even if they are standing right next to you. We forget to smile, instead, we make strange thinking faces. Or so I’ve been told by my husband.

After a few weeks of settling in, I loved my position at PYC-programs for young children. Smiling faces of little ones brightened my day. Laughter and silly actions lifted my heart. Watching them discover the amazing in the ordinary helped me see it too. Helping with zippers, mittens, and coats could have frustrated me but instead reminded me how fragile childhood can be.

Turning in my key

While I started this position thinking I would be able to serve well with my social media skills it didn’t take long to realize there was so much more.

I met incredible patient women who taught there. I learned to sing everything because preschoolers listen when you sing instructions. I didn’t hesitate to hop into a substitute position when needed because joy is a child who paints and tells you a story.

Then Covid-19 became a reality.

The preschool had to change a lot of things to be able to open. I was one of the changes, wanted but no longer needed at this time. It breaks my heart to step away but I understand. I will miss the women I worked with, the children, and their families.

I am walking away with good memories and new people skills because God sent me here–not so much so I could help at PYC, but that He could help me.

I am a better person for working at PYC and hope to be a better writer, because without people skills how can one write about people?

What I’m reading Monday

I’m taking a small break from reading contemporary books and reading historicals again while my hands recover from too much typing. I’m also learning to dictate so any oddness in this post will be from that. It’s a difficult skill for me to learn to speak words instead of thinking and letting my fingers talk.

A Most Inconvenient Wedding by Regina Jennings

Abigail Stuart Thought She was Jeremiah Calhoun’s Widow.
But Jeremiah Calhoun Is Very Handsome, Very Alive, and Very Perplexed.
Most Inconvenient Indeed.

Doesn’t that make you want to read this book? I can tell you it does not disappoint. And if you are looking for a book that fits the rainbows and puppies desire in you, this is it.

Did I say rainbows and puppies? I did. That wasn’t a dictation error. My author friend Tanya E. Williams who likes to say that the world is not made up of rainbows and puppies but we both wish it were.

Back to An Inconvenient Marriage, it is such a hoot! It takes place in the Ozarks a place I love to visit but it’s right after the Civil War so Silver Dollar City has not yet opened. 😉

Can you imagine marrying a man who you buried only to find out he isn’t dead and he’s pretty mad about you living in his house? And to make matters worse his mother and sister love her.

I loved this book. It was a sweet relaxing read. Now I didn’t say boring because it wasn’t. There was action, mystery and some suspenseful moments to enjoy.

Lots of New Releases!

What are you looking to read? Since I’m in the middle–okay only 1/4 of the way through of writing Book 3 A Bride’s Choice in Central City and it’s a historical, I’ll be reading contemporary books?

Now what would I do that? Shouldn’t I be reading historical? Maybe, but I’m always in fear that some clever line or a bit of dialogue that I read will stick with me and I’ll use it! Not on purpose of course but I’m pretty sure I won’t be using one of Julie Carobini or Kirsten Billerbeck’s cute sayings in a historical. Can you imagine? A woman in 1872 picking up a cute designer purse? Or wearing wedges? Me either, and that’s why it’s safer to read contemporary while writing historical fiction.

Are you often looking for a new author to read? Me too!

Check out this page for new releases! I am. I’m excited to see what’s available.

What are you waiting for? Join me! Click the graphic and see what’s available this month!


What’s it like for a reader when a book releases?

If you are an avid reader and you love an author you’ve probably grabbed the book when it came out on preorder.

If you are new to the author, you might think that looks interesting.

If it’s the genre you like to read you’re likely to go and read the backcover and take a good look a the front. If you like what you see, you stick it in your cart.

All three readers are different and yet they are the same. The minute they get time to themselves they retire to their favorite reading spot and open their e-reader or print book and sometimes they aren’t heard from for hours, dinner doesn’t get made, laundry stays in the dryer, and if it weren’t for that reminder on their phone they might not get to where they need to be.

From a writer’s point of view, release day is harrowing. We wait for those first sales, the first reviews, the good ones make us feel like we’ve climbed a mountain, the bad ones make us want to jump off a cliff.

It’s a roller coaster of emotions for a few weeks.

Dinner doesn’t get made, pizza is the main food and sandwiches lots of those because our fingers, brain and backs are tired from the writing, the editing and the watching of numbers. I wouldn’t recommend writing to anyone who is mildly interested. It is not for the weak. Well, maybe it is because as long as your mind, your fingers and Amazon delivers–you can write a book.

Did I mention that release day/week makes a writer a bit distracted? I probably shouldn’t drive a car today.

I might start thinking if a reader likes Jake or hates Raymond– his is hard to like, but give him time.

Was that light red?

Or maybe I should have written in the scene about using buffalo chips in the wagon to keep mosquitoes away. It could have been funny, but that’s part of the hard writing, knowing what to leave out. It didn’t fit. But still it bugs me that I didn’t write it. Maybe I will someday and give it to my newsettler subscribers to read just for fun. Right after I finish book 3.

Oh, didn’t I mention that? Release day is fun and exciting but it also means you need to get started on the next book.

Cornelia Taggart

A Bride’s Journey to the Colorado Territory releases July 30th. And we’ve learned about Jake Miles in A Bride’s Dilemma in Friendship, Tennessee and we know what he’s thinking before he boards the steamboat.

Now it’s time to meet Cornelia who will shake up his world.

Cornelia Taggart und Bruder reisen nach Amerika

Translation: Cornelia Taggart and brother to travel to America

Sind Sie nervös, was auf Sie zukommt?

Translation: Are you nervous about what lies ahead for you?

C. Of course. It’s hard for me to remember to speak English and my brother Raymond says I must. He’s right. If I get lost from him, I need to know how to ask for directions.

Ist die Sprache Ihre größte Angst?

Translation:  Is the language your biggest fear?

C. Nein. Leaving home on a huge ship is scary. I have never been on a boat before, except for the little rowboat in the pond. This boat we are taking is groBe—big, my brother tells me it is taller than the church steeple.

Was werden Sie an zu Hause vermissen?

Translation: What will you miss about home?

C. My mother and father but they will follow us when we are settled. First, we must find enough gold to buy good farmland. Though I don’t know why we don’t try to find another way to buy land. My brother wants an adventure, I think.

I will miss my sweet horses too. I wonder if they will notice I am gone, though father promised to give them treats once in a while.

Was ist mit deinen Freunden?

Translation: What about your friends?

C. I don’t wish to talk about Frieda. I miss her and always will.

Woher weißt du, was du für eine Reise über den Ozean und dann durch Amerika packen sollst?

Translation: How do you know what to pack for a trip across the ocean and then across America?

C. Raymond has a book that tells us what we will need. I tell him we will need more than what that book suggests. He doesn’t listen, but then he never does hear what I have to say.

Haben Sie keine Angst, dass Sie miteinander streiten könnten?Translation:  Aren’t you afraid you might argue with each other?

C. I have no doubt that will occur. We are sharing a cabin on the ship and then we will be in the wagon. I don’t see how we will keep our differences from banging against each other. Too much closeness but we will have to learn to be more than family. Freunde—friends, I hope.

Full Vector illustration of a Vintage Highly detailed Transatlantic Ship Engraving
Book 1
Book 2

Part 1: Jake’s Interview read here

Facebook Party Time

Come hang out with me and my friends! We really are friends in real life so it might get crazy!

July 20th at 4:00 p.m. (Pacific Time) my good friend and fellow author, Jennifer Lynn Cary (will be throwing a Facebook Live party with a few of our author friends while we share about our latest books.

Here’s who is coming!

Jennifer Lynn Cary—author of The Crockett Chronicles and Relentless Heart, our hostess for the evening.

Kristin Billerbeck—author of The Ashley Stockingdale SeriesThe Spa Girls Series and SO many other wonderful books. She’s just released Room at the Top (on my TBR pile!).

Jennifer Crosswhite–author of The Route Home Series, her latest release is Finally Home, the final book of The Route Home series.

Liz Tolsma—author of Melody of the SoulThe Refrain WithinSnow on the TulipsThe Pink Bonnet (part of the True Crimes Series). She’s releasing The Green Dress, next in the True Crimes Series.

These are wonderful women and friends and authors! I’d love for you to meet my friends. I hope you will join us on Jenny’s author Facebook page for our party. There will be fun and laughter and behind the scenes info. You’ll be able to ask questions, AND there will be giveaways from all of us! Yes! I am so excited!

Facebook Live Party Link: Monday, July 20 at 4 pm PDT, 5 MDT, 6 CDT, 7 EDT

Jake Miles- A Bride’s Journey

It’s fun making up characters! Getting them to know them. And when it’s a character you already know like Jake it’s even more exciting. When I ended A Bride’s Dilemma in Friendship, Tennessee Jake well… he wasn’t exactly hero material.

Jake is a troubled man and if you’ve read A Bride’s Dilemma you understand why but you probably didn’t care much for him. But he’s going to change I promise!

One of the first things I did was write this interview before Jake boards a steamboat bound for St. Louis.

Article from the Cairo Evening Times

Hey, you there! Sir! Can I catch you for an interview for the Cairo Evening Times?

Jake: I suppose. Don’t know that I’ll have much to say.

You never know. People are curious about other people. Where you headed too?

Jake: Up the Mississippi River to St. Louis, then onto the Colorado Territory.

Thought the gold rush was over, think you’ll have any luck?

Jake: Probably not. My luck hasn’t been what I’d call good for quite some time. I figure it can’t hurt to try and turn it around. Then again maybe, if I stop thinking luck has anything to do with it, just hard work and pray more I might find what I’m looking for.

Leaving a sweet girl behind pining for you? Maybe a family?

Jake: No. There’s no one. Not even family that will miss me. My horse didn’t even look back when I sold him. Moseyed on like he’d found his new best friend. You might say I burned all my bridges and tore up my railroads and they aren’t likely to be rebuilt.

You don’t plan on returning East?

Jake: Can’t think of a reason why I would.

If I use your story, I’d like to print your name with it.

Jake: Jake Miles, but I doubt anyone will care what I have to say.

Like I said you never know what people will find interesting. Thanks. Hey you, over there, can I get an interview with you before you board?

large ship in the river

She’s running from grief. He’s running from war memories. Can they find love on this dangerous journey west?

Cornelia’s parents send her to America hoping to heal her heart. Accompanied by her protective brother, they’ll travel by covered wagon to the Colorado Territory to search for gold. When Cornelia meets a man who seems as troubled as the friend she lost, it seems she might be given a second chance to save someone before it’s too late.

Jake, once a prisoner of the Union Army leaves Tennessee in disgrace. He wants nothing more than to find enough gold to start a new life. The last thing he wants is to fall in love.

Can the feisty Cornelia make him leave his past behind?

As the wagon train brings them together, will they look beyond past promises and old pain and discover treasure worth more than gold?

You will love this sequel to A Bride’s Dilemma in Friendship, Tennessee because everyone craves a second chance.

If you like stories about the Oregon Trail, happily-ever-after, and Christian romance, this book is for you. Start your journey with Cornelia and Jake today!

What I’m Reading Monday

Room at the Top by Kristin Billerbeck can only be described as non-stop reading pleasure.

I’m a Billerbeck fan, no doubt about it. I devoured her first books and wanted so much to be able to write like her. I can’t and that’s okay because now I read her books for pleasure.

Room at the Top is funny, witty, and has a bit of a who-done-it feel. Relax, this is not a book that will keep you up for hours check out noises outside your door. This is a fun read, think Murder She Wrote kind of stories. Or if you’ve seen the movie Knives Out and enjoyed it, you will love Room at the Top.

This Italian family will steal your heart. Sophie touched my soul in so many ways, one of them is the way she dresses, and her love to help others.

This is a great beach read, on the couch read, and just because you need a break read.

Get it here!

“What a Girl Wants” comes a funny and romantic new series that celebrates family and sisterhood, even when the relationship seems impossible.Sophia Campelli likes the structure of her predictable life in a rundown Victorian house in the San Francisco neighborhood of North Beach.

She’s always told herself her father can keep his wealth and his acknowledgement of her and her twin sister. She’s surrounded by her noisy but lovable Italian family, and that’s all she needs.When she and Gia receive the news their fraternal grandfather has left them something in his will, they meet their three half-sisters for the first time—and receive the astounding news of a massive inheritance. But Sophia can’t celebrate yet, not when she and her sisters hear the conditions attached to the money. The “real” daughters loathe Sophia and Gia on sight—and the feeling is mutual. But they have to work together if any of them hope to inherit the obscene amount of money left to them. They must live together and restore the large mansion in Pacific Heights for an entire year. Otherwise the entire estate will go to charity.Gia tries to convince Sophia they have to walk away, but Sophia isn’t so sure.

For once, their mother might get a chance to rest instead of working every minute. She could help a lot of families in her job as a social worker too. It’s tempting. And once she catches sight of Joel Edgerton, she can’t resist the temptation to get involved in her unwanted family.The path to happily-ever-after is fraught with missteps and the treacherous waters of sisterly undercurrents.

Can Sophia persevere when everyone seems to be against her, even her own twin?

Ha! You have to read the book to find out!


What I’m reading Monday

I think this is going to be a new thing for me. I’m a writer but I read a lot of books and not all of them are in the genre I write in. I’m wondering if you are that way too.

Do you only pick one type of book to read?

Do you avoid certain books? That I do. I avoid any heavy-duty crime books that have details that won’t let me sleep. Otherwise, I read a lot of genres.

I read this book A Man Called Smith after meeting the author Tanya E. Williams at a writing convention. We spent a break sitting by the pool discussing writing and our careers. She’s from Canada and I’m from Illinois. (USA). It was fun to discover what we both liked or disliked. She’s a planner and a plotter. I was neither at the time but I can say after meeting her I now plan.

This time period spoke to me as it’s about the time my own mother was searching for her place in the world. The details are spot-on as Tanya is an excellent researcher. You’ll feel the desperation and splendor of the settings.

It’s a great story and from June 22-28 it is on sale for 99 cents. You can’t go wrong picking up a book at this price and discovering a new to you writer.

Here is a description of the book:

A battle-scarred father. A disillusioned daughter. Can a grieving widower rebuild his splintered family to find peace at last?

South Dakota, 1949. WWII veteran John Smith longs for the life he lost after the tragic death of his wife during childbirth. But in the desperation to provide for his two small children, he is manipulated into an unsuitable marriage by a young woman with a dark neurosis. Tormented by his own grief and the ravages of war, John is blind to his children’s turmoil and pain.

Washington State, 1964. John’s sixteen-year-old daughter Calla dreams of a life beyond her vindictive stepmother. Forced to care for her younger siblings with a list of household demands larger than she is tall, Calla knows it’s only a matter of time until she can escape the abuse and begin anew at college. But her dreams crumble when her heartless stepmother claims the college fund for her own selfish purposes.

As John fears he is too late to stop the war within his home, Calla vows to build a new life worth living.

Can John survive the consequences of war on the home front? Can Calla find the strength to rediscover the meaning of family?

A Man Called Smith is the heartwarming and heart wrenching story following the life of John Smith. If you like courageous characters and narratives told over multiple generations, then you’ll love Tanya E. Williams’ emotional tale.

Get it here

Box Set-Read non-stop

What do you feel like when you grab book 1 of a series and have to wait for the next one?

I”m usually sad because I personally have no–let me see what does my husband call it? Oh yeah, lack of impulse control and patience. I don’t want to wait I want it now like a 2 year old.

I don’t throw tantrums I promise. I just want it and don’t want to wait.

Here’s some good news! All of these books are on sale and they are series! Yes! Books 1-3 or sometimes more are packaged together for those of you like me that really wants to know what happens in the next story!

These are all Christian Romance! I’m super excited to pick up some I haven’t read. My set A Time to Love is also in the $2.99 sale. Usually book one is $2.99. It’s a great deal! Go shop!