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Imagination

Girl  reading a book

I spent many, many hours during my childhood shadowing my dad’s every move on our farm or trying to squirm out of learning the “domestic skills” my mother deemed necessary for my future existence.

But I also spent hours on fantastic adventures I took through books. I’ve always, always loved to read. That love, coupled with my fertile imagination, has allowed me to traveled around the world and across time. I’ve soaked up the sun on Pacific islands, trudged through dark forests, smelled the spices of exotic lands, and ridden fire-breathing dragons all through wonderfully written stories.

And while I still love to take adventures through the books I read, I also love to write stories that take readers on a journey.  My active imagination is rarely quiet, always thinking of something new and exciting.

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Recently, I’ve been thinking about imaginations and how important they are.

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I think as we grow older, we tend to imagine and dream less because we have so much reality to handle every day. That’s why I think it’s so important to keep on dreaming, keep on imagining, keep on laughing!

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The world truly is a canvas for our imaginations. We can paint any color, shape, pattern or design we like. All we have to do is pick up the brush (imagination) and get started.

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Imaginations can take us anywhere we want to go. Anywhere.

With virtual reality becoming a tangible thing, I hope we never lose the ability to stare up at the stars and get lost in our imaginations.

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May you always find at least a few stolen moments to let your imagination run wild.

 

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<CONGRATS TO KATE BOBB – winner of the giveaway!>

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Jodi Thomas has a brand-new book out called Mornings on Main.

I was fortunate enough to read an advanced copy, and I loved it! Set in the quaint town of Laurel Springs, the book’s characters are as vibrant as the quilts featured in the story.

~*~

When Jillian James lands in the small town Texas community of Laurel Springs, she’s definitely not planning to stay—except to find a few clues about the father who abandoned her and destroyed her faith in family.

Connor Larady is a single dad, and the only one caring for his grandmother, Eugenia, who has Alzheimer’s. And now he has to close Eugenia’s quilt shop. When Connor meets down-on-her-luck Jillian, he’s out of options. Can he trust the newcomer to do right by his grandmother’s legacy?

Jillian is done with relationships. But as she grows closer to Connor and Eugenia, she must consider giving up her nomadic life for a future with those who need her.

~*~

You can find Mornings on Main on Amazon or  B&N.

Just for fun… I’m going to give away two paperbacks from Jodi’s Ransom Canyon series to one randomly drawn winner.

To enter, just answer this question:

If you had a quilt that depicted the story of your life, what pattern would it be or what colors would you choose?

Quinn Characters

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Today, I thought it would be fun to share my visual inspiration for Quinn (Pendleton Petticoats Book 9) and talk a little about the characters.

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We first met Walker Williams in Lacy (Book 5 in the series). At that time, he was Lacy’s younger, cheeky teenage brother. He and Lacy were close and she was determined to make it possible for him to chase his dream of becoming an architect.

Lacy married the town’s most eligible bachelor banker, Grant Hill. Grant, being a kind and generous man, sent Walker off to Portland to college.

We knew from Lacy’s book that Walker was handsome, but now he’s all grown up.

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I chose Booboo Stewart as my inspiration for Walker.  He looks exactly how I picture Walker and is the same age as Walker is in Quinn, too.

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When I was thinking about the way I wanted Walker to look I had some specific things in mind:

Dark hair (although Walker’s is cropped)

Intriguing dark eyes

Handsome

Strong

Kindness apparent in his face

Booboo hit all those points.

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The inspiration for Walker also needed to be fun and playful – which Booboo certainly seems to be.

I can just so easily picture him as Walker.

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Choosing Quinn was a little different.

Charming bride with bouquet of flowers

I did a search in a website I use for royalty-free graphics, looking for a girl with bright red (orange!) hair. When I found this one, I knew I’d found my Quinn. This is actually the image of her I used on the cover.

Not only is this girl beautiful, (with that bright hair I needed for Quinn), she also has that fun, sassy, curious look that is perfect for Quinn’s character.

Beautiful bride in ceremonial dress

Don’t you just wonder what she’s thinking in this photo? Maybe she’s contemplating the next time she’ll see Walker.

If you hop over to Pinterest, you can check out all the visuals that helped shape and inspire the story, from fashions of the day to Oreo cookie ads!

And while you’re checking out the pins, listen to this song by Morgan Evans. “I Do” is what I listened to while I wrote Quinn.

 

Quinn — Full of opinions and plans to help women, Quinn Fairfield has no time for such nonsense as falling in love.

Available now on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07BYD45W2

List the movies, books, and TV shows that make you feel happy.

Well, all I can say is this is going to be a random list! Here are a few…

MOVIES

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The Princess Bride

John Carter  and The Lone Ranger (even if no one else liked them, I did!)

Up!

Most animated Disney films

Most movies on the Hallmark channel (particularly the Christmas ones, or so Captain Cavedwellers says!)

TV SHOWS

Less Than Perfect

Paradise

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Young Riders (don’t judge!)

Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman

Chuck

The Middle

The Goldbergs

NCIS Los Angeles

I also seem to have a thing of adoring shows that are quickly cancelled. One of my absolute favorites starred the late Heath Ledger but Roar only lasted a few months.

BOOKS

There are so, so many books I love, it would be hard to list them.

When I just want a light-hearted read that I know will make me smile and give me warm fuzzies, I often choose a Marcia Lynn McClure book.

~*~

What are some of your favorite books, movies and TV shows?

 

Today is release day for Quinn! Yay!

Quinn cover

Quinn 

(Pendleton Petticoats Book 9)

She’s waging a war for women’s rights,

     He’s fighting a battle to win her heart…

There’s nothing typical about Quinn Fairfield. The outspoken suffragette spends her days writing sensational headlines as a newspaper reporter and indulging her natural curiosity. She’s much more likely to be found riding a bicycle around town than learning the social graces at which her sister, Caitlyn, excels. When Caitlyn announces her plans to wed a man Quinn doesn’t trust, she sets out to find a reason to break up the happy couple. In the process, she finds herself falling for an intriguing, kind-hearted man.

After spending several years in Portland at college, Walker Williams returns to Pendleton, eager to make his mark on the world. He’s determined to become a legendary architect despite the challenges that arise from his upbringing on the nearby Umatilla Reservation. When a feisty red-headed newspaper reporter catches his eye and captures his heart, Walker fights his growing feelings for her. He’ll do anything to shelter Quinn from the prejudices aimed at him and his heritage.

Can the two of them overcome their fears, set aside the burdens of the past, and surrender to the sweet romance blossoming between them?

Filled with laughter, adventure, and historical tidbits from 1912, Quinn is a sweet historical romance brimming with hope and love.

Available on Amazon

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Excerpt:

Walker studied her a moment. “What are you doing in the park all by yourself? I figured your sister would have you knee-deep in wedding plans today.”

Unable to stop herself, Quinn rolled her eyes. “That’s exactly why I’m here by myself.”

His brow wrinkled in a slight frown. “Aren’t you happy for your sister? Drake is a fine man and he seems to be thoroughly infatuated with Miss Caitlyn.”

“Yes, he certainly seems to be.” Quinn pressed her lips together before she revealed all her secret reasons for wanting her sister to remain unwed, most of which reflected her own wants and not what would make Caitlyn happy.

“Yet, you still seem uncertain their idea to wed is a good one,” he observed.

Walker seemed far too perceptive for Quinn’s liking.

She shook her head and began yanking petals off the daffodil. “It’s not for me to decide. Caitlyn is older than me and able to make up her own mind.”

“I would have assumed you were the older sister,” he said. A rascally grin transformed his face from handsome man to boyishly charming. “Having two older, bossy sisters myself, I tend to recognize that trait.”

A laugh broke out of her before she could reel it back in. “I think I’ve been insulted, Mr. Williams.” She tossed what was left of the daffodil at him.

He brushed it aside and started to say something, but Holden ran over and threw himself against Walker’s legs.

April 18 party

Please join me  tomorrow at the Sweet Americana Sweetheart’s Early Bird~Night Owl Spring Book Celebration on Facebook. Whether you like to party early or late, you’ll find the opportunity to do both with this event that runs from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. (PDT).

Participating authors include:

Kit Morgan

Heather Blanton

Caryl McAdoo

Patricia PacJac Carroll

Abagail Eldan

Zina Abbott

Shanna Hatfield

Sophie Dawson

Reina Torres

Angela Raines

Kathryn Albright

Annie Boone

Linda Carroll-Bradd

Kristin Holt

Hope to see you there! https://www.facebook.com/events/1928639030511018/

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This week’s list challenge is to name the experiences that have made you feel you are living life to the fullest.

I gave this one some thought and you you know what I discovered?

All of the experiences when I felt I was living my life to the fullest were the ones that required me stepping beyond my fear.

I love this quote… life begins where fear ends. When we let go of our fears, we truly can live life to the fullest.

A very specific example was when I decided to leave my day job to write full time. I was so scared to let go of the safety net of a steady income, of the benefits that came with my job like retirement and vacation pay and insurance.

But Captain Cavedweller told me everything would be just fine, so I took that huge leap of faith. And I remember feeling so exhilarated (and terrified) but it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

It’s in those moments when I let go of my fears and do something that does scare me a little (or a lot) that I feel most alive.

I hope this week you can find one thing that makes you feel as though you are living life to the fullest and do it.

When we pursue those things that set our hearts on fire, it’s hard to feel anything but vibrantly alive.

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