For anyone familiar with winter on the Canadian prairies, you know that once the snow arrives, the cold white flakes stick around till the following spring…which if we’re lucky occurs in late March. And if we’re not so fortunate, it might stick around till late May or early June.
Anyway, back to last week…
First snowfall of 2013
For two days, the snow melted and it felt like spring. And let me tell you, there is nothing—absolutely nothing—better than being able to walk outside without a toque, mitts, heavy winter coat, and boots.
I spent those two days with a snow shovel in my hands, chipping the ice off the driveway, and enjoying the warmth of the sun on my head. And then the clouds moved back in and it began to snow again.
Now we have another foot or more of the white stuff.
Sure, it’s pretty, especially with the glow of Christmas lights shining through a dusting of newly fallen snow. Or on a frosty, sunny morning when we wake to trees covered in hoar frost and the entire landscape glitters.
But today, as I’m digging out from the latest snowfall, the temperature is dropping, the wind is blowing, and my back is sore. And it somehow feels more like a life sentence than it does a beautiful wonder of nature.
In my next life, I’m putting in a request for Hawaiian parents.
Before I go, I’d like to wish everyone an early happy Thanksgiving. I’ll be on a little vacation, someplace where there is no snow or snow shovels or toques or mitts. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your families!
Do you get snow in your part of the world? What’s your favorite thing about the winter season? And for those of you who have never experienced the beauty of a winter wonderland, if you were to wake up to a fresh snowfall, what’s the first thing you would do?
Terms of Surrender is finally here. This is book 2 in my Rocky Mountain Romance series and I’m already hard at work on book 3.
As the mother of two boys, I always thought my youthful secondary characters would mirror my children. I mean, I love the male species, whether they be young, old, or anywhere in-between. I love writing from their point-of-view, and with two wonderful boys and a loving husband, I have plenty of opportunity to delve into the male psych.
But then my youngest sister gave birth to a couple of sweet little girls, and I fell in love with my two precious—and precocious—nieces. Naturally when I began to write Terms of Surrender, and Laura and Lisa slipped onto the pages, their personalities picked up many of my nieces’ traits.
It seems I’m destined to write about manly men who are surrounded by females of all ages.
Here’s the back cover blurb. Enjoy!
A woman in need… ER nurse Harley Jane Davis has dedicated her life to helping others. Now she’s the one in trouble, and the only person she can rely on is Gage Toryn—the man she’s secretly been in love with for years.
A man on the edge… Gage would do anything for Harley, except give in to the hungry passion that sparks between them. He’s hiding a terrible secret, one guaranteed to destroy any chance at a relationship. And even though Harley haunts his dreams and makes him want to be a better man, he knows she could never love him if she learned about his ugly past.
Family, future, forever… When a situation with Gage’s brother endangers Harley and his nieces, Gage offers them refuge in his home—and the battered pieces of his heart. But can he overcome his fear of commitment and open up about the past? Or will his secret destroy his last chance to have a relationship—and a real family—with the only woman he’s ever loved?
It took me three days to rewrite the major love scenes for Terms of Surrender, my upcoming October release. Three days of pouring over every word, rearranging body parts and character thoughts, and fixing everything in between.
Where the magic happens!
As I tried to bring emotions and life to the page, my DH vacuumed around my feet, rearranged all of the books on the office shelves, and decided the walls needed to be repainted.
Okay, okay, I confess, I’m exaggerating a wee bit…but not much. During this three day stint, there seemed to be a multitude of interruptions. When characters come to life, it’s like an obsession and all the writer wants to do is spend uninterrupted hours with them.
So as my hero spilled his guts and the truth, certain my heroine would reject him, the phone rang…my mother calling to relay the latest news about her annoying neighbor.
And while my heroine attempted to deal with a situation guaranteed to keep the hero from ever committing, my cell phone buzzes…my sister texting to ask me to ask my DH a renovation question or twelve.
As I worked on getting the love scene to scorch the page (I hope!), my DH vacuumed around—and beneath—my feet, the geese and ducks demanded I stop so I wouldn’t miss their flight south, and the phone rang again and again and again.
I’ll leave you now with the blurb from Terms of Surrender, but before you go, tell me what kind of things interrupt the important parts of your life.
A woman in need…
ER nurse Harley Jane Davis has dedicated her life to helping others. Now she’s the one in trouble, and the only person she can rely on is Gage Toryn—the man she’s secretly been in love with for years.
A man on the edge…
Gage would do anything for Harley…except give in to the hungry passion that sparks between them. He’s hiding a terrible secret, one guaranteed to destroy any chance at a relationship. And even though Harley haunts his dreams and makes him want to be a better man, he knows she could never love him if she learned about his ugly past.
Family, future, forever.
When a situation with Gage’s brother endangers Harley and his nieces, Gage offers them refuge in his home—and the battered pieces of his heart. But can he overcome his fear of commitment and open up about the past? Or will his secret destroy his last chance to have a relationship—and a real family—with the only woman he’s ever loved?
As you know, I’ve just released my new contemporary romance, Always Remember, and this is what one reader posted on my Facebook page:“Just reading Always Remember. It is GREAT! Read 21 chapters before I had to put it down. Love those kinds of stories. Great job! Looking forward to the next one.”
And a few hours later, the same reader posted this: “Done! Haven’t read a book that fast in forever. What a terrific book!”
To say I’m a little overjoyed at the response would be putting it mildly. 🙂
Always Remember is a story near and dear to my heart. If you received the latest copy of my newsletter, then you’re probably aware that this tale was inspired by a true life story. You see, before my parents were married, they had a baby and gave her up for adoption. Years later, after her adoptive parents passed on, she made an attempt to contact her birth parents. She hoped to track down her mom or her dad, but never in a million-zillion years did she expect to find them married to each other, with four other children who quickly enveloped her into the family.
While this isn’t my parents’ or sister’s story, Always Remember captures the pain and heartbreak I saw that summer, as well as the joy and happiness of a family reunited.
I hope you’ll pick up a copy of Always Remember, and laugh and cry along with my characters. If you enjoy it, please recommend it to your family and friends.
Always Remember … I’ll never forget.
A midnight summons from rancher Nate Coltrane brings singer Jessie Adams back to the heart of the Rocky Mountains — not to see him again, but to say goodbye to her dying mother. Seventeen years ago, Jessie gave up Nate’s child for adoption and she hasn’t been home since. How can she sit by her mother’s side, surrounded by constant reminders of all she loved and lost? How can she face Nate without telling him the truth about the child he never knew existed?
Nate doesn’t think Jessie has the guts to return home and face him, but when she does, he’s afraid of losing everything he loves…for the second time in his life. But he’s made a promise to her mother. Bring Jessie home. Give the dying woman one last opportunity to heal the rift with her daughter. Nate will do anything for Jessie’s mother because if not for her, he might never have known the love of his child.
Next week, I’m sending out my newsletter with a behind-the-scenes-peek into the true story that inspired my latest release Always Remember. It involves a 45 year old secret, but thankfully there’s a happy ending to this tale. So if you want the scoop, sign up for my newsletter. In the meantime, here’s a short excerpt from Always Remember.
My heroine, Jessie Adams, has just arrived at the hero’s ranch. This excerpt begins as she walks into the house where she grew up and sees her parents.
There was nowhere left to run and hide, so Jessie forced herself to move into the semi-darkness of the bedroom where a nightlight shone in the corner, casting shadows onto the walls. She looked past her mother to where her dad sat beside the bed, his once handsome face newly lined with worry.
Would he forgive her for staying away for so long? Her heart was bruised enough without adding more guilt to the rest.
In the mournful silence of the room, he lifted his gaze from his wife’s face, the ready laughter she remembered in his eyes gone, replaced by shades of sadness. She held her silence while he focused on her, experienced a moment of fear before recognition crossed his features.
Then the lines of sorrow on his face eased. He placed his wife’s hand on the quilt, gave it a loving pat. With hands braced on his knees, he pushed himself to his feet and came around the bed, the stiffness of old age apparent.
Relief swept through Jessie and she went into his open arms. He clasped her tightly to his chest, squeezing with a strength that belied his feeble appearance. “Oh Dad. I’m sorry I didn’t come earlier.”
“Hush, sweetie. It’s enough you made it now.”
She wanted to stay there forever, her cheek pressed against his shoulder, safe and secure like when she was a child. Jessie inhaled the familiar scent of pipe tobacco that clung to his clothes as if he’d just left the porch swing moments before their arrival. Too soon, he released her and turned her toward the bed.
For the first time since she entered the room, Jessie looked at her mother. Really looked. Her knees turned liquid. Guilt slammed the breath from her lungs.
“Your Ma’s been asking for you day and night. So afraid we might not get hold of you in time.”
Without taking her eyes off her mother’s haggard features, she was aware of him moving around to the opposite side of the bed and of Nate stepping forward to stand at her side.
“She has good days here and there, but mostly now she just wants to sleep. Asks for you whenever she wakes up though.”
The robust, energetic woman Jessie remembered was gone. The woman lying on the bed was a shrunken, fragile replica of her mother, skin stretched tight over the bones in her face. Hands, once strong and beautiful, were lined with prominent veins and covered with translucent flesh.
The woman asleep on the bed wasn’t robust and indestructible. She was frail and small and helpless.
Jessie took her mother’s hand into her own. It was warm, the skin soft as a newborn’s, the flesh sagging with the passing of years. So many of them gone, lost. Wasted.
As the wail of a long lost child echoed through her thoughts, a sob worked up her throat.
Oh God, Mother, what did I do? What did we do?
A tear slipped down her cheek. Choking back a sob, Jessie gently laid the fragile hand back on the bed, turned and collided with the broad expanse of Nate’s chest. He caught her by the shoulders, his touch firm, warm, familiar…missed.
Concern flashed in the shadow-darkened depths of his gaze. How could he still care after all she’d taken away from him? Because he didn’t know. He might never know.
Pulling free of his hold, she raced from the room, out the front door, and into the quiet darkness of the night.
So head on over and sign up for my newsletter, and discover the story behind the story.