Thursday, December 04, 2014

How I Spent My Summer Vacation

Here it is almost Christmas, and I just realized I haven't posted since June! So much has happened over the past few months. If you're Facebook friends, you've heard it all and can skip most of this. :)  If not, and you're interested, read on.

In June we drove our grandson to Georgia Tech for his Duke TIP summer program, and then came home and started packing for our trip to California. My oldest son had just remodeled his kitchen and they saved their old one for me. A far better kitchen than I currently had. We took Bo to the Lone Star Dog Ranch to board for 3 weeks. It was hard for me to do, but I'd searched boarding facilities for weeks until I found just the right place.

For him, it was a three week resort vacation, complete with playmates! The Ranch posts daily pictures so I was able to keep up with him and his activities.

I'd post pictures, but theirs are copyrighted. If you'd like to see what Bo was up to, check out Bo at the Lone Star Dog Ranch. Once we'd dropped him off and I'd dried my tears, we were off to California, pulling a 6 x 12 trailer with our Ford Edge. Gotta give kudos to my Ford. It performed like a champ.

We drove through the middle part of West Texas so I could get some pictures and do some more research on the area where my Lone Star Cowboy books are set. I grew up in this area, but things have changed in mumblesomething years. Not a lot, but some.

Then we drove through New Mexico, stopping overnight in Roswell, visiting the White Sands Monument, before heading for Arizona and the Superstition Mountains. My book, Superstition, is set there and I'd never actually been there. I'd done all my research online. It was starkly beautiful, even though we hiked the park in 107 degree heat.

And then it was on to California! It's a long haul from east Texas to Los Angeles. Up and down hills and mountains, through rain storms and dust storms. I was never so glad to finally make it through the maze of L.A. highways and arrive at our destination.

 We stayed with our son for a couple of days, leaving the trailer at his house so he could use it to haul their camping gear up to Yosemite for their annual camping trip, and then we headed up the 101 (Pacific Coast Highway). It's been a dream of mine for a long time to make that drive. It's absolutely breathtaking. Sometimes literally when you're on hairpin turns coming down or going up a mountain.

The first couple of days were foggy and cold. After that it was mostly beautiful sunshine, but still chilly. We drove the PCH all the way to Washington, where we veered inland to Seattle because we'd spent so much time taking pictures that we were a full day behind schedule. We barely got to see Seattle because just after taking the trip up to the top of the Space Needle, we got a call that our youngest daughter had been involved in a bad accident. She wasn't hurt, but the two people on the motorcycle who hit her were.

There was nothing we could do from so far away, and our oldest daughter and my sister-and-brother-in-law were there to help her, but we'd lost the enjoyment of seeing new places and wanted only to go home. But we couldn't just yet. Our son and his family were on the way to Yosemite with our trailer, and we were supposed to join them. I really didn't think I'd enjoy it at all under the circumstances, but I did. Yosemite is beautiful, something every American should experience at least once. And yes, we roughed it.

After a week at Yosemite, it was time to go back to L.A. and load the trailer with my new kitchen. We got everything but the center island and the range hood in the trailer, and my son brought those out to us in October.

But first, we had two girls to move. My oldest bought a new house, so we moved her and the boys the first week in August. Then the youngest got a job and we moved her from our house to her new place the last two weeks of August.

We started work on the kitchen around the end of September, and finished it on the 22nd of November. We went from a small, cramped, rotting-floor mess to a beautiful, shiny new kitchen in just 8 weeks, doing most everything ourselves (meaning hubby did it and I handed him stuff). The boys came out for a week to help replace the rotted floor joists, run plumbing and electrical, and they helped carry in all the cabinets. Here are a few in-progress pictures.

And the finished product. I love it! Well, almost finished. We still have to put up the backsplash and do some painting around the window, but we're putting that off until after the holidays.

Needless to say, little to no writing has been done along the way. But now that life is settling down a bit, I'm back to work! I'm hoping to have a new release, the sequel to Lone Star Justice, out soon.

I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas/Holiday season. 

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

It's That Time of Year--Wedding Season!

The newest boxed set by the Authors of Main Street is now live at Amazon, B&N, and most major retailers. Check out the trailer for Weddings on Main Street in the previous post, or watch it here

 And here are the eleven books offered in Weddings on Main Street: 

What a Cowgirl Wants by Tori Scott. It's wedding bells for Blake and Mandy, but the fairy tale wedding Mandy wants is in jeopardy when Blake's father butts in. Can Mandy still pull off the wedding of her dreams? 

April Fool Bride by Joan Reeves. Is it a marriage of convenience or something more? Something that sizzles like steam heat between Maddie and Jake that neither can resist. 

Wedding Surprise by Mona Risk. Two weeks before the big day, Claire and David receive some startling news that can destroy their relationship. Is their love for each other strong enough to turn the worst wedding surprise into the best? 

Small Town Glamour Girl Wedding by Stephanie Queen. USA TODAY Bestelling Author. Julie and Jack are over-the-moon in love. When their soon-to-be mothers-in-law reveal a stunning secret from the past, Jack and Julie must re-think the wedding. Will they or won’t they say I do? 

The Vow by Pepper Phillips. Coming home after ten years, Ann Normand is still not wanted. Except for Clay Couvillion. He’s a man now and he wants her to stay. Can she forget the past and open her heart or will she run again? 

The Reluctant Bride by Jill James. Jimmy and Claire were highschool sweethearts. After a decade of living together, there is still no wedding in sight. With the help of Claire’s family and friends, Jimmy has a plan to surprise, ambush, and wed his reluctant bride. 

Kiss the Bridesmaid by Susan R. Hughes. Serving as a bridesmaid at her brother’s wedding should be a piece of cake for Mari. The icing on that cake is a gorgeous wedding photographer with an adorable daughter. Life couldn’t be sweeter until a problem Mari had thought she’d left in the past resurfaces to threaten her future. 

Second Chance Wedding by Leigh Morgan. After high school, loss strikes again and, Sunshine MacAlister leaves home with a broken heart. Twelve years later, Sun, now Dr. “Mel” MacAlister, returns home for her best friend's wedding, and comes face to face with the man she loved and left. 

Once Upon a Wedding by Kelly Rae. Cassie Anderson, bridesmaid extraordinaire, is tired of flying solo to all of her friends’ weddings. Unfortunately, the one man for whom she feels any spark has a nasty habit of having a date on his arm. 

Stuck with You by Kristy Tate. Whit offers to forgive Andie's debt if she’ll pose as his date at his brother’s wedding. Andie needs the money, and Whit believes it's the perfect way to escape his mother’s match-making schemes. Whit calls it a win-win situation, but Andie is afraid she may lose her heart. 

I Thee Wed by E. Ayers. A product of broken marriages, Julia never sees marriage for herself. She throws everything she's got into her career with Main Street Bridal Salon, until a crazy redhead with freckles named Aaron sweeps her off her feet. But a family secret is about to change everything. 

The 11 novella boxed set is just $2.99! That's more than 900 pages for less than the cost of most single books.

You're cordially invited to join us for Weddings on Main Street at a retailer near you.

Weddings on Main Street: A Romance Collection (Some Sweet; S

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Cover Reveal

I'm taking part in another collection of stories with the Authors of Main Street. This one is titled Weddings on Main Street. Eleven novellas revolving around brides in Main Street towns, and what most of them have in common is that they've ordered dresses from DeeDee's Bridal Salon.

My story is related to my Lone Star Cowboys series. Blake and Mandy are getting married in What a Cowgirl Wants. Here's the cover.

Look for Weddings on Main Street June 9 at all major retailers.

Monday, April 28, 2014


Beneath a Texas Star is a RONE Award finalist in the Cowboys, Cops, and Jocks category!  Thanks so much to everyone who voted and helped move my book into the final judging category. I'll let you know if it wins.


Monday, April 21, 2014

No more Amazon gift cards...

My sincere apologies to those of you who've enjoyed winning Amazon gift cards in the past, but I will no longer be offering those as prizes. You see, Amazon pulled nine of my sixteen 5-star reviews from Behind a Texas Badge because I gave away gift cards, and they see that as me buying reviews. I don't even ask you to use the card to buy the book, much less ask you to leave a review in return, but that doesn't matter to them. They have the power to remove them (and removed more after I complained), and there's nothing I, as an author, can do about it.

I wish Google Play was a bigger player in the market, but so far I've sold exactly one book there, so they aren't going to be an Amazon competitor anytime soon. B&N sales are increasing, but not enough to make up for the sales I'll lose due to the lack of reviews and the inability to advertise because most sites require at least 10 reviews.

Am I angry? Yes. Frustrated? Yes. Is there anything I can do about it? Nope, not a thing. It's like dealing with the government. All the power is in the hands of people who couldn't care less about me, or you.

Saturday, April 05, 2014

I've been MIA from my blog lately, but I've had good reasons. A back-home college kid with a Great Dane puppy (the size of a small horse) and a cat, and I've been working on a new book!

Book 6 in the Lone Star Cowboys series, Behind a Texas Badge, is out now! It's up everywhere except Google Play, I think. Working on that now.

Shelby Campbell has a secret she's kept from her friends and her newly-found family. She's a victim of domestic abuse, hiding from her psychopathic ex-husband. She hopes to leave her past--and her ex--behind when she moves to Morris Springs and changes her name. She thinks she's left no trail for him to follow, but she quickly discovers her ex is more resourceful than she gave him credit for.

Tommy Bell is the sheriff of Morris Springs and it's his job to keep Shelby safe. He has no idea how determined her ex-husband is to make sure that if he can't have Shelby, no one can. When Shelby--or Dani as she's now known--leaves the protection of the Triple S to save her son, Tommy has to find her, before it's too late. 

Don't miss the final book in the Lone Star Cowboys series! 

I also have a small bit of news to share. Beneath a Texas Star is a 2014 Rone Award nominee! We'll see if it got enough votes to advance to the final round. Fingers crossed!