Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Writing’ Category

Scent of Cedar 1

Honestly, I had such a good time writing four sweet romances in The Friendly Beasts of Faraday.

Of course, a real-life camel was the first inspiration, but I needed humans, too!

For Scent of Cedar, I knew I wanted the hero to have a bad boy vibe, even though he’s a really sweet guy.

Zachary Abel 1

The minute I happened upon this image of Zachary Abel, I knew I’d found Rhett Riggs, resident bad boy of Faraday.  Well, at least that’s what I decided after I wiped the drool off my keyboard.

That hair, that chin, that smolder… swoon-worthy, I tell you.

zach 3

But at the end of the day, Rhett is a good guy who is pretty selfless.

The Mechanic

Did I mention swooning, though? This particular image inspired a scene in his garage with Cedar and her sister.

So who would be the perfect Cedar Haynes? It needed to be someone beautiful. Someone sophisticated. Someone I could imagine as a woman freaking out over a camel, then learning to love Lolly and her owner.

brooke-d-orsay 2

Brooke D’Orsay seemed perfect for Cedar.

She filled all the requirements I was looking for.

brooke-d-orsay 3

I could easily see her giving Rhett this look.

Brooke 4

And Lolly this one!

Speaking of Lolly, before my illustrator finished the cover, I relied on this image for my inspiration.

Lolly

Isn’t this perfect for our fun-loving, scheming, matchmaking camel?

Check out all the visuals from Pinterest that inspired me here: Friendly Beasts

Oh, and you should listen to Garth Brooks’ version of The Friendly Beasts while you do because that’s the song I listened to while I wrote this story.

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

Racing Christmas meme long

Would you like to see the images that inspired the characters in Racing Christmas?

Let’s start with the photo that inspired the cover. I was looking through one of the resources where I purchases images to use. I don’t know what or why… but this one just grabbed my attention and I knew I wanted elements of it on the cover of Racing Christmas.

z original photo dp.jpg

But the guy was all wrong for fun-loving, silver-tongued Shaun Price, and the girl didn’t really work for Brylee either.

The pose, however, I loved.

So I started looking for images that would fit Brylee and Shaun’s characters.

Smiling Young Man Standing With Arms Crossed

Then I happened to find this handsome cutie among the images I could purchase. (And yes, you can see a bit of his face on the cover of Blown Into Romance. I’ve decided he and Blayne Grundy are distant cousins.)

Thoughtful Student Looking Away In Front Of Chalkboard

Can’t you just picture him wondering what’s going on in Brylee’s head?

Shaun 5

Did I mention he was just perfect for Shakin’ It Shaun? Well, I think he is!

That leaves us with Brylee.

Emily Tennant

Emily Tennant was my inspiration for Brylee’s character. Those big blue eyes, blonde hair, and that slightly wounded look among the sweetness was exactly how I pictured Brylee.

Business people at work

And when I found this image to purchase, I knew she’d be wonderful on the cover as Brylee.

mv5bmdm3mzrlm2itnzdkoc00ywqxlwfhnmetodvjzjfhn2ixmjuyxkeyxkfqcgdeqxvymza5odc1mtq-_v1_sy999_cr00638999_al_

For Brylee’s brother, Birch, I chose Peyton Meyer.

joan-allen

And I thought Joan Allen made a great character inspiration for Brylee’s mother.

clooney_7682

And I can’t forget Shaun’s dad, Jason. George Clooney is exactly how I envision the big-hearted cowboy.

You can find more visual inspiration on my Pinterest board, too.

And while you look at the photos, listen to Dustin Lynch (with Karen Fairchild) sing Love me or Leave me Alone. I consider this Brylee and Shaun’s song.

 

 

Read Full Post »

Scent of Cedar 1

Scent of Cedar

The Friendly Beasts of Faraday Book 1

Scent of Cedar (2)

She needed a change of pace. . .

No one said anything about a friendly camel or a hunky mechanic

Cedar Haynes has a choice: change her high-pressure lifestyle, or end up dead by the time she’s thirty. Not one to do things by half measures, she quits her demanding corporate job, swaps her sports car for an SUV, and moves to the peaceful mountain community of Faraday. She envisions a quiet, peaceful Christmas, surrounding by silence and sparkling snow. When a camel takes up residence on her porch, she realizes small-town life may be more quirky and complicated than she imagined. Thankfully, the local mechanic seems to have all the answers – plus good looks, bad-boy charm, and a mysterious aura that leaves her wanting to know more.

Rhett Riggs left big city life behind the moment his small-town uncle needed his help. To make ends meet, he takes over Faraday’s one and only garage and gas station. He gets more than he bargained for, though, when Uncle Will passes away, leaving Rhett a run-down farmhouse, a wacky camel named Lolly, and a deep-rooted love for the community he considers his home. With the holidays approaching, he watches with interest as a new neighbor moves in next door. He waits for Lolly to send the woman running, like she has the last handful of residents. Only this time, if his beautiful neighbor leaves, she’ll take his heart with her.

Between spilled secrets, mistaken identities, and a camel determined to spread a little love, it will take more than mistletoe and holiday magic to help Rhett and Cedar find their happy ending.

Come along on a sweet Christmas romance adventure sure to uplift the spirit, touch the heart, and imbue the warmth of the holiday season.

Available on Amazon

 Scent of Cedar 2

Excerpt:

“I’m not losing my mind, I’m not losing it,” she chanted. Hesitantly, she opened her eyes and found herself staring once again into a hairy, hideous face.

She screamed louder this time as she raced to find the cell phone she’d tossed on the kitchen counter last night. Her fingers trembled as she punched in 9-1-1 and waited for an operator. Surely they had some sort of emergency response program in this tiny town, didn’t they?

Cedar slammed the kitchen window closed then frantically paced the floor, one hand flapping back and forth as though that might make someone answer faster. Finally, a voice came on the line.

“Operator 2377. What is your emergency?”

“Oh, thank goodness. My name is Cedar Haynes. I just moved to town, and there’s some kind of wild animal trying to get inside my house!”

“Wild animal, ma’am?” an unruffled voice questioned.

“Yes! A wild animal!” Cedar cautiously peered out the kitchen window. She caught sight of a furry backend stepping off the porch and disappearing around the corner. “It’s kind of brownish-tan, furry, big, and it smells weird.”

“What’s your address, ma’am?”

Cedar rattled off her street address, surprised she could remember it in her distraught state.

What sounded like a chuckle made her pull the phone away from her head and glare at it a moment before she scowled and returned it to her ear. “Hello?”

“Sorry, ma’am, but if you look out your kitchen window, can you see a big pasture and a red barn?”

Stunned by the fact the operator described the exact view she had from her kitchen, Cedar almost demanded to know how in the world the operator knew her home so well. Then again, she had moved to a small town where secrets were rare and everyone knew everyone else’s business. “Yes, I see the pasture and barn.”

The operator laughed. “That’s the old Bolton place. Will Bolton is known around here as an eccentric in everything from his house to his pets. You’ve just met Lolly, a unique welcoming party of one. She’s harmless, if not a bit frightening first thing in the morning.”

Cedar frowned. “Lolly? What’s a lolly?”

“A camel.”

Read Full Post »

Sometimes the most amazing, wonderful experiences come your way when you least expect them.

Back in September, Captain Cavedweller and I were in Pendleton for the Pendleton Round-Up. He decided to make one more pass through the hundreds of vendor booths so I claimed a spot on the bench surrounding the big bronze statue right outside the Round-Up grounds and checked my emails.

One in particular jumped out at me. It was from Debbie Macomber’s executive assistant (as in the Debbie Macomber, #1 New York Times Bestselling author who has more than 200 million copies of her books in print) asking if I was going to be attending the American Christian Fiction Writer’s conference.  If so, Debbie extended an invitation to join her for coffee or lunch.

I almost dropped my phone.

Hands shaking with excitement, I looked up the conference details and quickly checked to see if I could still register to attend, since until that moment had not planned at all to attend.  Even if registration was closed, I figured I could catch a flight to Nashville the following week and still meet Debbie.

Since I live less than six hours away from Debbie, though, I replied that I would happily book a flight to Nashville if I could get one, but if Debbie was open to the idea, I could also drive to her hometown and meet her there at her convenience.

Thankfully, an appointment was set up to have lunch with her in Port Orchard. Even better, the scheduled date to meet her fell at a time when Captain Cavedweller had the time off and could go with me.

With jangled nerves, I went to her office and met her incredible staff (that includes her beautiful daughter, Adele, who is the CEO of Debbie Macomber, Inc.) .

They were all so friendly, welcoming, and gracious.

Then I met Debbie.

Debbie Macomber and me.jpg

(Please ignore the fact I look like a drugged whackadoodle! We all know how much I enjoy having my photo taken – but this was Debbie! I had to have a photo!)

She’s even more fantastic in person than I imagined she’d be.

Debbie is absolutely lovely. And so kind. And warm and generous and sweet. Perfectly wonderful.

Adele and Ashley, the brand’s marketing manager, (and both are just fabulous women) joined us and we had a delicious lunch where they answered any question I asked and shared a wealth of helpful information.

My heart was filled to overflowing with the joy and graciousness and willingness to lift others up that I experienced with these amazing individuals.

I’m so, so glad I brashly asked if I could meet Debbie in Port Orchard (the inspiration for her Cedar Cove series) and so grateful Debbie and her staff made it happen.  Not only is Port Orchard a delightful town, it will forever be etched in my memory as the place I met Debbie Macomber.

 

 

Read Full Post »

Racing Christmas meme long

Racing Christmas

Rodeo Romance Book 5

winter wedding

She’s racing to save the ranch

He’s struggling to win her heart. . . again

Brylee Barton has just one goal in mind: win the barrel racing world championship. Not for the glory, but for the attached cash prize that could save her family’s ranch. When an injury leaves her at the mercy of the very same copper-headed, silver-tongued cowboy she once vowed to loathe forever, she has no choice but to swallow her pride and accept his help.

Fun-loving, easy-going Shaun Price has a million dollar smile, more charm than he can channel, and a string of ex-girlfriends rumored to have started their own support group. When the one woman he’s never quite managed to get out of his head or heart needs his assistance, he jumps at the chance to help. Little does he realize how challenging it will be to keep from falling for her all over again.

With the holiday season fast approaching, will Shaun and Brylee discover the gift of forgiveness, and experience their own happily-ever-after?

This sweet Christmas romance warms the heart, lifts the spirit, and touches the soul with its message of forgiveness, hope, and redemption. Don’t miss it!

Buy it now on Amazon

Racing Christmas support group

Excerpt:

Brylee opened her eyes and tipped her head back, watching as the pickup men rode into the arena. One went to catch Rocket while the other hastened her direction. The announcer and the clown told a joke as the medical team hustled toward her as fast as they could make it through the mud.

Frustration battled with anger as the pickup man approached. The last person on earth she wanted to see was that man.

“Maybe today would be a good day to die,” she muttered as she tried again to move her foot from beneath the fence. If she freed it before he reached her, she could crawl over the fence and make her way back to her trailer without speaking to him.

Why couldn’t he have gone on ignoring her like he had the last five and half years? Why tonight, of all nights, was he going to force her to acknowledge him? Didn’t she have enough to deal with, like missing her opportunity to claim the winning title? Or the undeniable fact she looked like a half-drowned kitten that had been dragged through a pig wallow?

She thought of her wasted entry fee. Not to mention the hours it would take to get all the mud scrubbed off Rocket and her tack.

Wasn’t a no-score enough punishment without being forced to face the most arrogant, self-centered, childish man she’d ever known?

Trapped on her back in the mud, it seeped through her clothes, chilling her and making her fight the need to shiver. She questioned how she could exit the arena with even a shred of dignity when her pants oozed soupy mud like a toddler’s soggy diaper.

The slap of boots hitting the mud in the arena drew her gaze upward. A handsome face appeared above her as the pickup man leaned over her. Gray-blue eyes twinkled behind thick lashes and a smile full of even, white teeth gleamed in the arena lights. Shaun Price braced his gloved hands on his thighs and offered her an infuriatingly cocky grin.

Why couldn’t she have at least passed out and awakened far away from the infuriating, irritating, Adonis-like cowboy?

“Well, Bitsy, I see you’re still racing Christmas,” he said, his voice sounding as deep and rich as she remembered.

Brylee glowered at him. “You know I hate that name.”

“Yep, I sure do.” Shaun chuckled and stepped back as the medics surrounded her.

~*~

FB party banner 1

Also, I hope you’ll join us for the 5th annual Cowboys and Christmas. Twelve guest authors will join me for four hours of fun, games, giveaways, surprises and more! The party kicks off the 5th annual Read a Book, Help a Cowboy campaign to benefit the Justin Cowboy Crisis Fund.

See you there: https://www.facebook.com/events/150301592314193/

 

Read Full Post »

SBR long meme

I thought it might be nice to share the character inspiration from Sleigh Bells Ring.

These two characters are a little different because they aren’t a typical romance story couple. They are in their 70s.

If you’ve read the book, you know I mention Jess Milne looks like Harrison Ford. That’s because I really did use Harrison Ford for the inspiration.

6288b2d9c6c330927984bd96036e8fac

I mean… it’s Harrison Ford!

1d052e563411e06e5a72af630511d605

How could Doris help but be charmed by the handsome rancher?

We first met Doris in Blown Into Romance. From the description there, we knew she had white hair and was a little feisty.

honour-blackman-599571

That’s why I chose Honor Blackman (former Bond girl) as inspiration for Doris. She’s just perfect!

panews20bt_n0088231375094010968a_i1

And how could Jess be anything but smitten with her!

If you haven’t yet read the book, I hope you’ll give it a try, and the rest of the Christmas in Romance stories, too! You can read them all free with Kindle Unlimited!

Read Now button

And find out more about the visual inspirations behind the story on Pinterest!

Read Full Post »

I’m joining several authors for a Winter Wonderland Giveaway through Night Owl Romance. It kicks off Nov. 15! You can enter to win Amazon Gift Cards, a Kindle, or spa gifts!

Night Owl Romance offers reader scavenger hunt giveaway’s several times a year.

Join us on Monday 12.17.18 as we announce the winners in our party chat room. The event starts at 8 pm Eastern – 1.5 Hour Event. The first hour you meet the authors. Then Winners Announced. You do not have to attend the chat to win.

MEET THE AUTHORS & BOOKS

Choosing Heart or HomeHellboundHope at ChristmasDear SantaThe Beauty of ForeverRacing ChristmasOther ThanThe Holiday SpiritStorm CrossedEye of the EagleA Christmas Cowboy to KeepTempting PassionUnforeseen RiotHeiress's Royal Baby BombshellThe Good, the Bad, and the DukeThe Princess and the WolfJamie's GiftGhost of a ChanceThe Baby PlanStorm WatchViking King's VendettaChristmas at Mountain MistLucky TownVampire With Benefits

For more details, visit Night Owl Romance.

Read Full Post »

« Newer Posts - Older Posts »