Posts Tagged ‘#holidayromance’

The Christmas Melody,  Hardman Holidays Book 7, releases today! 

3-D Cover face right

He needs a holiday miracle. . .

She’s prepared to deliver one

Claire Baker does nothing halfway. She makes it a point to follow her heart, even when it leads her to a small Eastern Oregon town to stay with relatives. In truth, she loves Hardman and the people there. Which is why she wants a recluse she met in the woods and his adorable daughter to join in the community holiday celebrations. The more time they spend together, the more she realizes she’s fallen hopelessly in love with both of them.

All Grayson Carter wants is to be left alone. That’s why he built his cabin in the middle of more than a thousand acres of woods, seeking to disappear from the world and keep his daughter, Maddie, safe.  Then a beautiful interloper appears and becomes quite determined in her efforts of drawing him back into the land of the living. As she brings him and Maddie Christmas cheer, he realizes falling in love with her could be the best and worst thing he’s ever done.

With Christmas fast approaching, a mystery to be solved, and old-fashioned holiday fun, this sweet historical romance will fill your heart with the joys of the season.

Available on Amazon!

The Christmas Melody 1


But today, she had no such worries. She’d left the corset in her bedroom and enjoyed the freedom of movement she had in the britches she’d had the dressmaker sew for her despite Bett and Ari’s protests.

She leaped onto the stump where Maddie had performed and danced an impromptu jig before she pulled an arrow from her quiver, notched it in the bow, and let it fly into a tree. It hit the exact spot she’d been aiming.

Without hesitating, she grabbed another arrow and sent it zooming into the first, splitting it down the shaft.

“What are you doing, woman?” a voice bellowed behind her.

Claire spun around so fast she would have toppled off the stump if Carter hadn’t been there to catch her.

With her face mere inches from his, she could see golden flecks that seemed to spark like embers from a fire in his nearly obsidian colored eyes. He smelled of winter fires and freshly hewn wood, and all man. Involuntarily, the hand not holding her bow settled on the curve of his shoulder, finding the muscles solid and hard beneath her palm.

“Careful,” he said in a gruff tone, but he gently set her on her feet before he took a step back. “I thought I told you to stay away from here.”

“You did, but I don’t do well following orders when I find them ludicrous.”

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Wings of an Angel long

The characters for Wings of An Angel were so fun to create and write!

I wanted Drake Miller to have a sort of goofball appeal…

Drake 2

Bug Hall (from Little Rascals fame) was so perfect. I could totally see him shaping the minds of Faraday’s young students.

Bug Hall

And winning Angela Carol’s heart, too!

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Even if she left him more than a bit perplexed at times.

For Angela, I wanted someone lovely, yet who was strong enough to weather the storms my character has endured.

angel 3

Brooke Nevin seemed like the perfect choice for Angela.

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I could easily envision her as a woman wounded by her past, but trying to stay positive and upbeat for her son.

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And as a great veterinarian!


Max Charles is how I envision Nick – a kid full of pluck and spunk who loves his mom and wants a dad for Christmas.

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And we can’t forget Shep.

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Or Jasper!

The song I listened to while I was writing the story is Tennessee Christmas by Steve Wariner, an oldie but a goodie and so perfect for Angela!

You can find more visual inspiration on the Pinterest Board!

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Wings of an Angel

Wings of An Angel

The Friendly Beasts of Faraday Book 4

Wings of an Angel (2)

The last thing she needs is a romance . . .

The first thing he intends to do is make her fall in love

Veterinarian Angela Carol escaped her past and started a brand new life in the friendly community of Faraday. Her charming little boy, Nick, a thriving practice, and a comfortable home are all she needs to be happy. At least that’s what she continually tells herself. But her traitorous heart longs for Nick’s teacher, a man who’s become her best friend. With no intention of falling in love again, she struggles to keep her thoughts and heart in line where Drake is concerned.

Drake Miller had plans to be the next NBA star, but when an injury left him sidelined in college, he decided to teach and return to his hometown of Faraday. There’s nothing he enjoys quite as much as shaping the minds of the first grade students in his classroom, unless it’s making Angela Carol smile. The first time he saw her, he knew he was a goner, but the widow has made it clear she has no interest in getting involved in a relationship. How can he prove to her that it’s worth taking a chance on love?

The unlikely team of Nick, along with his pet sheep, Shep, and a dove named Jasper, work to spread a little romance along with holiday cheer. Will their efforts be enough to unite Drake and Angela in time for a Christmas miracle?

Enjoy discovering the answer in this sweet Christmas romance filled with the spirit of the season and tenderness sure to touch your heart.

Available on Amazon

Wings of an Angel 2


“A dove hit the window and knocked itself out. Nick and I put it in this box, but I figured you’d know what else to do to help it.” Drake slid the box toward her.

Angela slowly lifted the lid just enough to peek inside. “Looks like Mr. Dove is still sleeping. I’ll take him with me so I can keep an eye on him.” She turned to Nick and cupped his chin in her hand. “Grab your coat, baby. We need to get going. I promised Mrs. Burnside I’d stop by to check on a cat she says is staying on her back porch. She’s worried it might be hurt because it walks funny, whatever that means.”

“But, Mom, I’m hungry. Can’t we go to the café? Please?” Nick retrieved his coat and put it on while he begged.

“I’ve got dinner cooking, Nick, and snacks in the truck. The sooner we go see Mrs. Burnside, the sooner we can go home.” Angela handed Nick his backpack then turned to Drake.

“Thank you, again, for allowing him to stay. I know I shouldn’t ask you to do that, but I so appreciate your help, Drake.” She stood on tiptoe and kissed his cheek.

Drake stood perfectly still lest he turn his head and make sure the kiss landed on his lips. When Angela moved away from him, he smiled at her, wondering if she could see his heart in his eyes. “You’re welcome, Angela. I’m always happy to help when I can.”

“I know. That’s what makes you such a good friend.” She squeezed his hand then turned to Nick, nudging him toward the door. Drake walked beside her carrying the shoebox with the bird. At the door, she took the box from him. “I’ll let you know how our feathered friend does later.”

Drake knew that meant she didn’t want to worry Nick in case the bird died. He walked with them to the outside door and held it open for her. “Sounds great, Angel.” Whoops. He hadn’t meant to call her that, even though she looked like one as she stood in a shaft of late afternoon sunlight. The golden streamers created a soft glow around her, like she wore a glowing halo instead of just her hair twisted back in a messy bun. With her rosy cheeks and perfect ivory complexion, he had no problem at all imagining her as a celestial being.

Afraid of what her reaction to his slip up might be, he bent down and grinned at Nick. “Hey, thanks again for your help, buddy.”

“Anytime, Mr. Miller. Bye!”

“Bye, Nick.”

Drake waved once then hurried inside, mentally kicking himself all the way back to his classroom. He’d better rein in his thoughts where one gorgeous vet was concerned or he’d end up losing her friendship. For now, friend status was better than nothing at all.

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Boughs of Holly long

When I was trying to picture the characters for Boughs of Holly, I knew the rancher needed to be a little reserved, a little skeptical of love. And the nurse, Holly, well, she needed to be vibrant and free-spirited.

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I thought Mike Vogel made an amazing Seth Stafford. Just that look right there so made me think of how he would react to meeting Holly.

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And this one! I could just picture her dumping her coffee all over his coat.

Mike Vogel

Really, just so perfect for Seth’s character (and handsome, too!).

For Holly, I knew the moment I happened across this dazzling redhead, she was the best fit for the character.


Jo Newman has the ideal blend of sweetness and sass – and all that red hair!

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It was so easy to envision the laughter and smiles she’d bring to the Stafford ranch with her warm personality.

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And she’s just beautiful! No wonder Seth couldn’t help but fall for her!

Robert De Niro

Robert De Niro  is how I imagine Sam, Seth’s grandfather. He can be a tough nut to crack, but beneath that prickly exterior is a heart of pudding. He loves his grandson and just wants what’s best for him.

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And we have to include Ivy! This is the photo that inspired her character! Just love me some fuzzy red and white bovines!

The song I listened to while I wrote this is from Chris Young  – It Must Be Christmas. Such a great holiday song!

Boughs of Holly is available now on Amazon!

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Boughs of Holly

Boughs of Holly

The Friendly Beasts of Faraday Book 3

 Boughs of Holly (2)

He’d never met a more annoying woman. . .

She’d never met a more intriguing man

Seth Stafford loves every square inch of the ranch where his grandfather raised him. He’s built a good life there, even if it does get lonely. But he doesn’t have time for such nonsense as dating. If the crazy redheaded woman who terrorizes him when he drives into Portland for supplies is any indication of the available females, he’ll stick with tending his cattle. When his grandfather sustains an injury and requires extended care, Seth is forced to open his home to the woman. He just has to decide if he despises or loves her.

Nurse Holly Jones has never had a real home or stayed in one place for more than a year. She never wanted to, until she took a job in Portland working with the elderly. Surprisingly, she finds herself living on a remote ranch outside the small town of Faraday. There, among the cattle, horses, and cowboys, she considers all she’s been missing with her nomadic lifestyle. What would happen if she gave up her wandering ways and allowed her soul to set down roots or her heart to fall in love?

Can a cow named Ivy and a meddling grandfather nudge a reluctant couple together?

Find out in this heartwarming, sweet holiday romance, brimming with laughs and all the joy of the season.

Available on Amazon

 Boughs of Holly 2


He’d just reached for the door when it swung open. A woman, playing with her cell phone, breezed right into him. Her latte spilled all down the front of him.

“Oh, I’m so sorry!” The woman looked up at him with big gray eyes and freckles dotting her nose. Red curls spiraled around her face and over her shoulders like thick ribbons of coiled silk. High cheekbones and lips that seemed to naturally rest in a smile made her look both fun-loving and approachable, especially in the dark blue coat she wore with a sparkly pink scarf looped around her neck.

Lovely, she really was lovely.

Then recognition set in and Seth glowered at her. This woman was the reason he was walking in the rain in the first place. She was the ninny who’d nabbed his parking spot. “Do you pay any attention to what’s going on around you?” he snapped, aware he sounded like a jerk.

“Normally, yes. I’m so sorry,” the woman said, appearing apologetic.

Uncertain whether it was caused by the woman’s alluring voice or the moisture soaking through his clothes, Seth shivered.

“Can I pay to have your coat dry-cleaned? You might want to drop it off before the milk dries.” The woman brushed at his chest with a napkin that quickly disintegrated, leaving little fibers of white clinging to the mess soaking into his coat.

“Never mind. It’s fine. Just watch where you’re going.” He tempered his tone as he stepped aside so she could walk past him. She opened an umbrella and knocked his hat off into a puddle.

Seth fought back the urge to shout in frustration, especially when she didn’t even notice. The woman’s attention appeared glued to the screen of her phone as she tapped a message with one finger.

Angry beyond words, Seth picked up his hat and went inside the coffee shop. He washed the latte off his coat as best he could in the restroom sink then gave his hat a shake before leaving the shop without even bothering to get a coffee to drink. He jogged the rest of the way back to his pickup and barely kept his teeth from chattering as he turned the heat on high and waited for it to dry his wet shirt that now clung to his back since his coat was not only wet, but smelly.

He’d just pulled into traffic and started down the street when a little mint-green car driven by a woman with a head full of red curls whipped in front of him, making him slam the brakes as the car cut around a corner.

“That woman is a menace!” Seth muttered hostilely. “If I never see her again it will be far too soon.”

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Tidings of Joy

Have you read Tidings of Joy yet? I think it might be one of the favorite contemporary stories I’ve written. I just loved Pete the donkey and little Bacon (an adorable puppy) as well a Joy and Drew.

And I may be partially biased when it comes to Drew’s character because so much of it was based of my beloved Captain Cavedweller.

So, when I was looking for visual inspiration of the story, I needed a “face” for Drew that really fit the image I already had in my head.

Brock Harris 5

Brock Harris just happened to come really close to how I picture Drew.

Brock Harris 1

From those blue eyes and those lips to the rugged, silent-type vibe, he made such a good Drew.

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And those of you who have read the book, you’ll know what scene this image is tied to! (And you’re welcome!)

So who would make a wonderful Joy. She needed to have a warm, friendly personality. She needed to be someone who looked, well… joyful!

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And that’s why I chose Lucy Hale. I could so easily picture her as Joy.

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She’s just lovely and looks so sweet – exactly the girl Drew needs to draw him out of his shell.


And this fella is exactly how I picture Pete peeking around the fence, watching Drew deliver the mail.

Oh, and I have to share the song I listened to as I wrote this. It’s “Glow” by Brett Eldredge. I just pictured it as the song Drew would connect to Joy.

If you haven’t started reading this fun book yet, get your copy today!

And check out my Pinterest Board for more details about The Friendly Beasts of Faraday!

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It’s release day for Tidings of Joy, the second book in The Friendly Beasts of Faraday series. And this one is a little extra special because the hero is based on my very own Captain Cavedweller! Enjoy!

Tidings of Joy

Tidings of Joy

The Friendly Beasts of Faraday Book 2

Tidings of Joy (2)

Will a donkey, an adorable puppy, and a big-hearted man

Prove tidings of Joy last beyond the holiday season?

Quiet and unassuming, Drew Miller is more than just a mail carrier in the small town of Faraday. A typical day on his route includes fetching cats out of trees, changing flat tires, and good-naturedly enduring the pranks of the octogenarian crowd. Unexpectedly, he rescues a lovely young woman in distress. Drew’s convinced she’d never make the tiny community her permanent home, but he’s determined to give her a reason to stay.

Among the brightest, happiest memories from Joy Cooke’s childhood are the days she spent with her grandparents in Faraday. When she inherits their home with a stipulation requiring her to live there for six months, she eagerly moves to the mountain town. Then a freak snow storm leaves her at the mercy of the mail carrier, a handsome man she’s spent weeks watching out her office window. Through his steadfast care, she learns the true meaning of giving and selfless love.

Can she overcome his reserved, shy manner and claim his heart?

With the help of a donkey named Pete and a puppy named Bacon, anything is possible in this sweet Christmas romance filled with laughter and heartwarming love.

Available on Amazon

Tidings of Joy 2


Predominately brown, the dog looked like a chocolate lab had eagerly greeted a sweet-talking interloper that snuck under the fence. “What is he?” he asked, unable to hide a smile as the pup licked his fingers and pushed against his hand, wanting more attention.

“A mutt, mostly.” Miss Cooke set the mail on a wicker table by the door and scooped up the puppy, kissing his little pink nose. “His mother is a registered chocolate lab but his father, the wily rascal, was a shepherd and husky mix with who knows what else thrown in.”

Drew stood and rubbed the puppy beneath his chin, admiring his white that contrasted against the chocolate brown color of his chest. “He’s a sturdy little fellow.” His glance roved from the dog up to his owner. “Did you really name him Bacon?”

She laughed again and Drew fought the urge to lean forward and press his lips to her very kissable mouth. From a distance, Miss Cooke had appeared pretty in a generic way. Up close, however, she was captivating, stunning, and made his mouth so dry he could barely swallow. Shiny black hair fell in a sleek bob to her shoulders. Eyes the color of sweet molasses twinkled behind thick, dark lashes. A pert nose and flawless skin made him jealous of the guy named Pete.

“I can’t be blamed for the name. He had it when I adopted him. The couple that owned his mother didn’t want the puppies so they ended up at a shelter. He was the last one of the group to find a home.” She kissed the puppy on top of his head. “So now Bacon lives here and keeps us on our toes.”

“It was nice of you and your husband to take him in.” Drew continued scratching the dog beneath his chin. “Bacon seems very intelligent. He’ll be a big dog, but a smart one.”

“I agree. And it’s just me, no husband,” she said, giving him an odd look. “You’re Drew, right?”

He nodded his head then held out his hand. “Drew Miller. It’s nice to meet you in person, Miss Cooke.”

“You, too. I somehow always miss you when you drop off the mail, although Bacon and Pete usually let me know you’re here.” Miss Cooke shivered as she stood in her sock-covered feet on the porch. The wind had picked up and carried a cold bite to it.

Drew battled the desire to wrap his arms around her to ward off the chill. Unsettled by the direction of his thoughts, he moved back, away from temptation. “Pete? Do you have another dog?”

Miss Cooke took a step forward and pointed to the end of the porch where the front yard fence stretched across the lawn, blocking off the back yard. For the first time, Drew noticed a furry face with long ears peering around the corner over the fence. Apparently the stalker who gave him the creeps on more than one occasion wasn’t a human or even a dog.

“Pete is a donkey?”

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