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Today, I thought you might like to see my inspiration for the characters in Summer Bride.

First, we have Justin James. I knew I wanted to have dark hair, a little messy and longer, and kind eyes.

When I saw this photo of David Giuntoli it was like there was a neon sign hanging over it saying “This is the one! This is Justin!”

david

This is exactly how I picture our hunky, handsome, ever-helpful hero.

dave giuntoli 1

Seriously, isn’t he a cutie? Can’t you just picture him in the crazy T-shirt Matilda gives him?

Sage Presley we met briefly in Valentine Bride (book 1 in the Holiday Brides series). But we didn’t know much about her.

I envisioned her as blond, with a sweetness about her that belied her inner strength. I pictured her as very feminine and lovely although she’s tough and capable of handling whatever challenges life throws her way.

skyler 4

I thought Skyler Samuels made the best Sage. She’s lovely and has that delicate look to her.

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But a fun, playful side, too! I just loved the inspiration she provided for Sage.

Then I needed a little inspiration for Sage’s brother, Shane.

Colby Canterbury

Colby Canterbury was my choice for Shane Presley. From the hair and green eyes, to that soulful look on his face, he was just perfect for Shane.

The song I listed to while I wrote this book kept me smiling as I pictured Justin asking his friends this question:

Such a fun song from Joe Nichols.

Oh, and I have to share the ringtone Sage uses for Justin on her cell.

If you haven’t read it yet, get your copy of Summer Bride today!

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Summer Bride

releases today!

Summer Bride meme 1

Two scheming matchmakers are at it again…

Sage Presley loves her job as the receptionist at Golden Skies Retirement Village in Holiday, Oregon. She enjoys the residents and their wisdom, even if some of them are more than a little quirky. Determined to ignore the matchmaking efforts of two women at the retirement home, Sage’s sole focus is on raising her brother, Shane. In spite of her best efforts, she can’t help but notice the hunky electrician who continually comes to her rescue.

Grateful for the opportunity to open his own electrical business, Justin James moves to Holiday full of plans and dreams. He’s quickly drawn in by the close-knit community, but finds the lack of suitable single women disturbing. Despite himself, his attention is captured by the receptionist at the retirement home where he’s working on a big job. Yet, he can’t begin to understand why two matchmaking octogenarians are intent on forcing him together with the woman he’s convinced is married.

A sweet romance sprinkled with humor, hope, and the meaning of real love, Summer Bride will warm the hearts of readers while bringing them a smile.

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Summer Bride meme 5

Justin’s grin faded and he gave her a curious look before he glanced down the table at Shane. His gaze shifted back to her. “Isn’t Shane your son?”

Sage choked on the sip of lemonade she’d just swallowed. Matilda whacked her on the back as she coughed into a napkin. When she ceased coughing and could speak again, she shook her head. “Shane is my brother.”

Eyes wide in shock, Justin gaped at her. “Your brother? So you aren’t… you don’t have… Are you married?”

Had Sage taken another drink, she was sure she would have spewed it all over Justin. It was a good thing she’d merely sat glaring at him in disbelief. What on earth had given him the idea she was married and Shane was her son? How old did he think she was, anyway?

“She isn’t married,” Matilda said when Sage remained silent. “She doesn’t even have a boyfriend right now, do you, darling?” The old woman appeared to size up Justin before she leaned toward him. “Are you interested?”

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L&L teaser 1.jpg

Today, I thought it might be fun to share my visual inspiration for the two main characters in Lightning and Lawmen.

Deputy Dugan Durfey we met briefly in Corsets and Cuffs. We didn’t know a lot about him, other than he likes to joke and tease and he’s a valuable member of the sheriff’s office.

I did the cover for this book long before I wrote it, so I was looking for inspiration that matched the featured characters.

chris evans

Chris Evans offered the perfect inspiration for Dugan’s character. Can’t you just picture him with a cowboy hat and a brass star pinned to his jacket?

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I could just picture Dugan giving a bad guy this look… or Seth when he’d been squiring Delilah around town.

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And I could totally see Dugan with a smile like this when he was teasing Delilah or amused by something the sheriff said.

Delilah had to be a great balance to Dugan. From the cover, I knew she needed to have dark brown hair, but that was about it.

Delilah 2

Then I happened across an image of Odette Annable. She is very beautiful and spot-on for Delilah’s character.

Delilah 3

I could easily picture her giving Dugan (or Ollie) this smile.

Delilah 1

She truly is just lovely and I couldn’t envision any better inspiration for Delilah’s character.

Raccoon  On Grassy Bank

And I can’t forget the real star of the show – Oliver the raccoon.

While I wrote this story, I listened to the song If It Ain’t With You by Farewell Angelina. Captain Cavedweller and I had gone on a date night to our local theater. The opportunities to attend a musical performance are few and far between, so I bought tickets although I’d never heard of the group performing. It just so happened to be Farewell Angelina. The all-female country group is named after a Bob Dylan song, featuring four amazing vocalists who also play instruments and write songs.

If you haven’t yet read Lightning and Lawmen, I hope you’ll check it out.

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It’s release day for Lightning and Lawmen

(Baker City Brides, Book 5)

L&L teaser long

How did a simple hello turn into something so complicated?

Love is about to leave one lawman thunderstruck in this sweet historical romance!

Lightning and Lawmen cover Cultured and full of grace, Delilah Robbins agrees to accompany her meteorologist father to his new post in Baker City, Oregon. Expecting a primitive place, she’s delighted to discover an up-and-coming town with plenty of surprises as well as a place she can turn into a sanctuary for her beloved birds. As she settles into life in the western town, she unwittingly creates a riff between two deputies when they both fall for her charms.

 Deputy Dugan Durfey only meant to extend a friendly welcome to a newcomer. But the moment he set eyes on the meteorologist’s delightful daughter, Dugan’s heart was no longer his own. Since his best friend and fellow deputy suffered the same fate, Dugan struggles to do what’s right. He’ll fight jealousy, outlaws, and a wily raccoon to keep Delilah safe, but the greater battle lies in overcoming his fears to profess his love.

Filled with humor, adventure, and plenty of sweet romance, Lightning and Lawmen highlights the history of the era and blends it with the timeless feelings of discovering true love.

Amazon

L&L teaser 1

Just as he strolled around the corner by the sagging front fence, he heard a woman’s scream rip through the peaceful afternoon.

Dugan drew his pistol and ran the last few yards to the house. He crossed the front walk in seconds, bounded up the steps, and rushed inside. No one was in the hallway or the front parlor. He glanced into the dining room then continued down the hall to the kitchen. It was empty so he backtracked to the hall and continued to where two bedroom doors opened across from a bathroom.

The sight of pink stocking-clad calves, shapely ones at that, sticking out from beneath a froth of petticoats greeted him as he glanced into the first bedroom. An overturned chair and a surprisingly sensible black boot that looked impossibly small for a woman to wear were the only things on the floor in the room.

As he holstered his pistol, he lifted his gaze and stared at the woman clinging half in the attic space. Her stomach rested against the edge of the opening to the attic while her legs dangled in the air. Decorative ceiling tiles that were at least two feet square covered the ceiling. He could see how it would have been easy to disguise an entrance into the attic that way. It appeared the woman had shoved the tile aside and climbed up to investigate what was in the attic.

“Miss Robbins?” Dugan asked, tamping down his amusement and the urge to run his hands up those exposed stockings. “It’s Deputy Durfey. Just hanging around today, are you?” he teased.

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L&L teaser long

Lightning and Lawmen (Baker City Brides, Book 5) is coming soon!

It releases June 28, but you can preorder it now on Amazon!

How did a simple hello turn into something so complicated?

Love is about to leave one lawman thunderstruck in this sweet historical romance!

 Cultured and full of grace, Delilah Robbins agrees to accompany her meteorologist father to his new post in Baker City, Oregon. Expecting a primitive place, she’s delighted to discover an up-and-coming town with plenty of surprises as well as a place she can turn into a sanctuary for her beloved birds. As she settles into life in the western town, she unwittingly creates a riff between two deputies when they both fall for her charms.

 Deputy Dugan Durfey only meant to extend a friendly welcome to a newcomer. But the moment he set eyes on the meteorologist’s delightful daughter, Dugan’s heart was no longer his own. Since his best friend and fellow deputy suffered the same fate, Dugan struggles to do what’s right. He’ll fight jealousy, outlaws, and a wily raccoon to keep Delilah safe, but the greater battle lies in overcoming his fears to profess his love.

Filled with humor, adventure, and plenty of sweet romance, Lightning and Lawmen highlights the history of the era and blends it with the timeless feelings of discovering true love.

~*~

Lightning and Lawmen coverJust for fun, here’s a little excerpt from the book…

Afternoon sunshine illuminating the clear blue sky made her tip back her head to soak up the glorious rays spilling through a missing section of the porch roof. The tang of approaching spring mingled with the yeasty aroma of baking bread and the mouth-watering smell of roasting meat in the air. A slight breeze, redolent with the mixture of scents, caressed the tendrils of her hair that had escaped the confines of the once-tidy chignon she’d hastily fashioned early that morning.

At least the pleasant weather was one thing working in Baker City’s favor. In spite of the house’s disorderly status, she would greatly enjoy spring days in the area if today was any indication of what the future held. She pushed the cape from her shoulders, closed her eyes, and relaxed against the chair, enjoying the peaceful moments before her father returned.

“Maybe this place won’t be all bad,” she whispered, allowing her grip on her father’s bag to loosen.

“Baker City tends to grow on most folks, if you give it a chance,” a deep voice said, startling her from her musings.

Her eyes snapped open in surprise. Pride straightened her spine as her glance settled on a man standing a few yards away on the winter-browned grass on the other side of the porch railing.

Sunlight glinted off a shiny silver badge pinned to the front of a long duster. She studied the black western-style hat on his head, similar to those she’d seen cowboys sporting on the train. The lawman wore a tan flannel shirt topped with a dark vest and a neckerchief the color of crocuses. Dark blue denims encased muscled legs while dust covered the toes of his worn boots.

Slowly, her gaze glided from his boots back up to his face. A square jaw covered in a rakish growth of stubble, firm lips, and a straight nose proved to be a handsome combination. But it was the man’s eyes that captured her attention.

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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

Quinn meme 1

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.

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Quinn (Pendleton Petticoats Book 9) will release April 19!

Quinn cover

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 for pre-orders

Quinn meme 5.jpg

Excerpt:

Quinn stuffed her sore toes into her shoes and rose from the table. She’d only taken two steps when a tall, muscular man stepped in front of her and offered her a teasing smile.

“If I’m not mistaken, Miss Fairfield, this dance is mine,” he said in a voice that resonated through her head and plucked at something in her heart.

Quinn’s gaze traveled from the toes of expertly polished boots up the long legs of expensive black pants, over a solid chest and broad shoulders, to a face that was every bit as attractive as Drake Dillinger’s.

Walker Williams’ wide face, bronzed skin, high cheekbones, and dark eyes bore testament to his native heritage. But his cropped black hair and eloquent speech belied his upbringing on the nearby Umatilla Indian Reservation.

The effort he put into looking like a successful businessman, with impeccable manners and finely-tailored suits, was notable. Regardless, she sensed a turbulent ruggedness lurking beneath the surface that no amount of civilization could tame or hide.

At that moment, as he smiled at her with a spark of amusement and interest flickering in his eyes, she could practically feel the wildness of his spirit surrounding her as Walker took a step closer. She inhaled his masculine, entrancing scent as he moved another step nearer.

Merciful heavens! He smelled as divinely wonderful as he looked. Her senses dove into a whirl of unexpected invigoration when he offered her a slightly crooked grin.

“If your feet have recovered from Mr. Silvers’ abuse, would you do me the honor of this dance, Miss Fairfield?” Walker held out a hand toward her.

Quinn stared at his long, tanned fingers then slowly raised her gaze to his face. It was on the tip of her tongue to tell him she had no interest in dancing with him or anyone else. Nevertheless, when she spoke, the words came as a shock to her ears. “I’d love to dance with you, Mr. Williams. Thank you.”

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