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Friday, April 28, 2023

Old Friends by Bea Tifton

I'm filling in for my friend Beth Trissel today. 

When I was a little girl, we sang a song that went, “Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver and the other gold. “

I have many friendly acquaintances, but I’m lucky enough to have some close ones.  One of the nicest things about having close friends that have been friends for several years is that we learn each other’s idiosyncrasies, and they become one of the reason we love them.  I have a friend who is rather eccentric. During the Pandemic, I got a Christmas card from her, a photo card featuring her holding her cherished fur baby. And they both had matching lipstick.

I have a dear friend who hates traffic circles. Haaaattteeesss them. I love them, and the smaller roundabouts designed to slow down traffic, too. It’s understood that if we’re going to have a girl’s day at the antique mall off of a major traffic circle, I will drive. She’ll be gritting her teeth while I’m yelling, “Wheeeeeee!”

Another friend is extremely interested in the Titanic. I was wandering around FB a few days ago and saw a post with some great factoids and photos of the doomed ship before it sailed. I promptly sent the post to her. It made me think about the fact that I have friends who have been friends long enough that we know those little things about one another. And remember them.

Which brings me to my point. Finally, right?  It’s that the treasure we have in old friends is that we really know each other, we share a past, times we laughed and times we cried.  I know about special interests or hobbies, and when I encounter something that reminds me of that person, it’s like I’m carrying that person with me.  And at times, I’ve taken photos or purchased something for someone and sent it to them, which lets that friend know I thought about them and that I care.  And my friends reciprocate. No matter how busy we are, we manage to at least send a text just checking in with each other.  And when we do reconnect, it’s like we’ve never been apart.


If you have friends like these, treasure those friendships. They’re pure gold. 

Photo Credits from Pexels
Abgreat Ann "Portrait of Woman Hugging Shiba Inu Dog"
cottonbro studio "Woman Wearing a Headscarf in a Convertible Car"
Aline Viana Prado "Woman Wearing Black Sunglasses"
cottonbro studio "Person Holding White Picture Frame"

Wednesday, April 26, 2023

The Dogs Are The Best Part by Laura Hunsaker

 My next novel Dangerous Past is coming out soon, and one of the things I have in this book is dogs. I don't typically have animals in my stories because there is so much action, I don't think it's practical to have pets. I can't have them leave the pets in the car, we can't just pretend they're okay, and ignore their existence except for when it's convenient, so what do we do with them?

In my case, they are the meet cute. They are cared for, they are included, and the silly dogs get dirty and slobbery, and behave like actual dogs. I really thought long and hard about how to handle the dogs in a Romantic Suspense novel. I wanted to make sure the reader never has a moment to say, "Wait, how is she doing that? I thought she had dogs with her?" I wanted it authentic, and I wanted it to really work.

And I did it. My editor thinks it's my best book yet, and the early reviews are incredible! I don't want to say it was the dogs, but I'm not not saying it was the dogs ;)

I drew from real life for the meet cute. My lovely dog Lily tore her CrCL chasing rabbits one day and my hunky husband had to carry her home. For reference, my dogs are both close to 120lbs, so that's no easy feat. He had to carry Lily, and keep Conan from trying to "help" Lily. This was easily for about a mile. (Spoiler: Lily has a new knee and she's now 14 years old and going strong)

Here are my dogs, on our trail, Lily is closest:

In Dangerous Past, I had the heroine out for a potty break with her dogs as she drives cross-country with them. Her dog hurts her knee, but luckily she won't have to carry her alone! Several very buff looking men are near the trail she's on! And of course one of them is her true love...they just don't know it yet. One thing I really wanted was the dogs to be represented on the cover. What do you think? I love it!

She’s running from her past…

Lark Seawell is the daughter of a serial killer. His reputation has long been a shadow looming over her since his arrest when she was a child. Especially since she’s the one who called the police. She has spent her entire life trying to live as anonymously and quietly as possible. She is not her father’s legacy.

He wants to be her future...

FBI agent Jay Sutherland is visiting a friend in a small mountain town when free spirit Lark asks for help with her injured dog. He is instantly enamored with her, and their one night stand stays with him far into the next morning, though Lark is long gone. When his partner realizes that she is the daughter of The Highwayman, Jay refuses to believe Lark is anything like her father.

What happens when she stops running…

When a trail of dead bodies follows Lark on her cross-country drive, the FBI believes she’s the killer. How can the sweet woman who rescues injured animals and makes him feel things he hasn’t felt in years be a murderer? The bodies don’t lie. Jay knows there’s more at play. If he’s wrong, and Lark is as much a monster as her father, he may be the next target…

Sunshiney heroine, gruff hero, one night stand leads to more.

Sunday, April 23, 2023


                                                by Judy Ann Davis

                     "Spring unlocks the flowers to paint the laughing soil.”
                                         --Bishop Reginald Heber

I’m a fan of flowers and ferns.

But to be honest, I find ferns fascinating. There is something delicate and eye-catching about these ornamental plants. Every April, fiddleheads start popping through the spring earth. I can almost see them growing before my eyes as they emerge from the flowerbeds around our house. 

I also purchase five pots of ferns every year to hang from hooks around the perimeter of our covered patio to brighten the area and make it cozy and relaxing. It has become a summer ritual as soon as we drag out the outdoor patio furniture from winter storage.

Ferns are a native plant of Pennsylvania which means they occurred in this region before settlement by Europeans. They are part of a group of species of vascular plants which reproduce via spores and have neither seeds nor flowers, only stems and leaves.

It’s believed the first ferns appeared in fossil records 360 million years ago in the Devonian period, but many of the current species didn’t appear until roughly 145 million years ago in the early Cretaceous period, after flowering plants came to dominate many environments. Throughout history, ferns have been popular in medicine, art, mythology, landscaping, flower design, human consumption, and more.

When the first frost alarm sounds in our area, I’ve tried to bring the now huge, lofty-looking plants into the house to keep over winter. I’m not afraid to admit I’m a failure. The plants don’t adapt to—or just don’t like—the climate in our house.  So, I learned to be content with just enjoying them spring, summer, and fall.

I’m highlighting an older book this month. Key to Love is full of humor, sibling relationships, romance, suspense, and even features a restored Bandit Trans Am, an animal-cracker-eating little boy, and a sweet Dalmatian.


When architect Elise Springer's father is injured, she immediately leaves San Francisco to care for him. The last person she expects to encounter in her Pennsylvania hometown is her childhood friend Lucas Fisher. Lucas is investigating his brother's mysterious death, and Elise can't resist lending a hand.

Lucas longs for the close family ties he never had. He's back in Scranton to set up a classic car restoration business and build a future. The torch he carries for Elise burns brighter than ever, but before he can declare his love, he must obtain the legal rights to adopt his nephew--and prove his brother's death was no accident.

As they unearth clues to find the murderer and a missing stash of money, Elise faces a dilemma. Is her career on the West Coast the key to her happiness, or is it an animal-cracker-eating four-year-old and his handsome uncle instead? 


Key to Love by [Judy Ann Davis]

Saturday, April 22, 2023

Ranch Life is not all glamour!

 Ranch Life is not all glamour!

****Turn back now if you find birth gruesome.****


Pads pointing down are a good sign.

Pads pointing up means the calf is breech and you are going to need chains and pullers.

These pads are pointing up.


Breech births have a low survival rate for both mother and calf.

You need to place a half-hitch above the hocks on each hind leg with your chain.

The poll strapped over her tail is a puller. It has a hand-cranked wench on the other end that the chains hook into.

Once the calf is out, you need to clear his lungs. A breech birth will push the amniotic fluid into the calf's lungs.

If it is not removed the calf will drown.

Now, just stand back and let mamma do the rest.

As well that ends well.

Thursday, April 20, 2023

Every Stepping Stone @LizFlaherty

When one's mind is blank and one has a blog post due, she digs back into the deep and distant past and...okay, I went back four years. Things have changed since I wrote it; Nan and her husband live in a wonderful new house. However, most everything else still works, including the fact that the only contract I have right now is one for this year's Christmas Town novella (which I'm having so much fun writing!) I hope you don't mind reading this again. 

Sometimes the goofiest things will give you something to start with. My friend Nan Reinhardt and her husband are selling the house they've lived in for 35 years. The whole process has been...interesting. In the same way having a colonoscopy is interesting. So, anyway, we were talking this morning, and one more obstacle is out of the path. I said something about "big sigh," as in relief, and she said it was too soon for that. I said--get prepared for something profound here; it doesn't happen to me very often-- "Every stepping stone deserves its own sigh."

When it comes to books, I don't write fast--ever--anymore. Yesterday I had 600 words and called it good. A few days back, I think I had 26. Occasionally I'll get five-to-seven pages in a day and just burst with pride in myself. As someone who used to have 50-page weekends when I worked full time at the day job, this slowing down was hard to accept. I have wondered (and whined about) if it's time to put my novelist shingle in mothballs and stick to my beloved blog

Like all stepping stones, the ones in a writing career are hard and have a lot of distance between them. They have sharp corners, slick spots, and you stand a good chance of tumbling off into the water when you're only halfway across.

So you stick on Band-Aids, you take care on the slick spots, and you climb back out of the water and keep on walking. You're careful on your journey for a while then. You might try writing to market, to trends, to make your lyrics match the tunes of certain publishers. You skip around between sub-genres, although your heart usually leads you back to the one it lays the greatest claim to. You obsess over covers. Over reviews. Over promotion, promotion, promotion.

But then the day comes when you start that wondering-and-whining thing I mentioned up there. You've written 26 words in too many hours and they're not even particularly good ones. If, like me, you're a person who's always been proud of being productive, it's excruciating to realize that sometimes you're just...not.

I still wonder if it's time, but with the wondering comes a realization.

The thought of not writing books anymore makes me unhappy.

So I've given up being careful on the steps, no longer worried about splashes or sharp edges. Someone doesn't like protagonists in their 40s? Too bad for them. I'm not crazy about my cover? It's okay--I'll like the next one. People are tired of small-town stories? I'm not. My writing's too erotic, too sweet, my prose too purple or too terse, my POV stiffly pure or a little sloppy? Get over it and find another author, but thanks for trying one of my books.

Of course, there's a gasper, too, even in the middle of my hear-me-roar treatise on freedom: Other than a Christmas Town novella, I don't have a contract right this minute and I'm a mostly-trad author who doesn't care to go mostly-indie. I'm afraid I'll never publish another book. However, if I'm honest about it, it's exactly like when I get to that spot in the middle of a manuscript where I know I'll never be able to finish the book. It happens every time.

More stones in the path. Occasionally, I think I can see the other side, but I'll never get there. There are a bunch of old sayings about journeys and destinations, but we all know writing is all journey. We know that, while finishing the books and having them published are wonderful things, it's the writing that counts. It's what makes us happy. One stone, one step, one sigh at a time.


Still reeling from her divorce, Joss Murphy flees to Banjo Bend, Kentucky, where she'd been safe and happy as a child. The family farm is now a campground. Weary and discouraged, she talks owner Ezra McIntire into renting her a not-quite-ready cabin.

With PTSD keeping him company, Ez thrives on the seclusion of the campground. The redhead in Cabin Three adds suggestions to his improvement plans, urging color and vibrancy where there was none.

Neither is looking for love, yet the attraction they share is undeniable. Can the comfort of campfires, hayrides, and sweet kisses bring these two lost souls together?

Buy links:


Sunday, April 16, 2023

Wedding Season by Joan Reeves #SmartGirlsReadRomance

Beyond the beautiful dress, the handsome hunk in the tuxedo, and a party to end all parties, do you think marriage itself is a thing of the past?

In today's world where couples live together and often have children without marriage, getting married seems to have become, well, the ultimate commitment.

For some people, it takes a lot to get to that altar. For others, they're ready the minute their eyes lock across a crowded room.


Once the proporsal is made and accepted, it's time to plan the wedding. This requires intelligence gathering similar to planning the D-Day invasion. All kidding aside, whether a splashy gala celebration with hundreds of guests or a smaller friends and family event, the wedding is a public announcement that the couple belong to each other.

It wasn't always like this. Ancient history tells us that marriage was first a private, domestic affair. According to Curious Customs of Sex and Marriage by George Ryley Scott (which you might find at used book stores), the basic function of marriage was to multiply and replenish the earth. Marriages were simply a way of regulating procreation.


It may come as no surprise, to women at least, that men in many cultures weren't inclined to sign on for the concept of marriage. 

Perhaps that explains why so many nations (remember, just about all society was patriarchal) experimented with Polygyny.

I'm pretty sure men signed up quickly for that form of plural marriage in which they were multiple wives.

But waitt, women had their own version of plural marriage with Polyandry, a form of polygamy that allowed a woman to take two or more husbands at the same time.


Eventually, in most civilized nations of the world, monogamy, marriage with only one spouse, was accepted almost universally—at least in theory. Perfect or not, monogamy was probably what kept the world rocking along for a couple of millennia—dragging all of the customs and superstitions created along the way into our modern world.


Of all of the ancient marriage customs that have, in some way, made their way into the contemporary world, one is also a very popular romance genre. That would be Marriage of Convenience. Yes, these really do take place, and most romance authors have written books with that trope.


Since it's April, it's the perfect time to tell you about one of my novels that uses the Marriage of Convenience theme.

Oil heiress Madeline Quinn needs a husband by the time she turns twenty-five in order to claim her full inheritance.

Mad Maddie, as the tabloids christened her, learned the hard way that men only see dollar signs when they look at her.

Maddie decides a marriage of convenience is the only answer. She turns to the one man in the world she can trust, her housekeeper’s son who always treated her like a little sister when they were growing up—until one disastrous night when she acted impetuously.

Jake Becker hasn’t seen Maddie since the night she tried to seduce him. Why should he help the woman who changed the course of his life? Simple. Revenge.

Or is it something else? Something that sizzles like steam heat between Maddie and Jake that neither can resist!?

APRIL FOOL BRIDE is a free read in Kindle Unlimited in case you're a subscriber. Otherwise, it's only $2.99.


Spring is the time when love seems to make itself known. That means weddings will be coming up in a couple of months! Yum. Wedding cake—my favorite.

Joan Reeves participates in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a way for websites to earn advertising fees by linking to products on Amazon.


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Friday, April 14, 2023

The Value of Unusual Friendships By Cathy Shouse

In February, I learned of a special friend’s death when I read his obituary in the paper. He had passed at 87 after a wonderful, productive life, and losing him cut more deeply than I would have thought. Ours was an unusual friendship.

With a degree in engineering, Glen had retired from the electric company, then did electrical work for everybody, including Habitat for Humanity. It was his ministry, at no charge for those who needed it, and for friends as well.

We met in 1996 when my husband and I moved to the area and joined the church Glen and his wife attended. He was in my Sunday school class, where I ended up teaching on money topics. Glen was the most frugal person ever, from his German roots, he told me. His wife was just as sweet and hardworking and died several years ago of cancer.

Our family had switched churches after a few years. But Glen always referred to me as his Sunday school teacher, like it was normal to be friends after spending a few weeks in a class together years ago.

But we only ever met at our house, over electrical issues, when I was his “helper” and we would chat and catch up. He installed my little decorative pole light in the front yard, and motion detector lights on our mini barn.

I would get out my checkbook to pay him and he’d say, "I'll bill you." No bills ever came. “I don’t like to charge friends,” he finally said.

Three years ago, I nominated him for his city’s champion of the month. When I called him to say he was chosen, I didn’t know how he would react. He seemed genuinely pleased. The article quoted my essay: “I call him an unsung hero, and I know that many others would say the same about him. He is always helping others with his skills and has a cheerful attitude.”

The photo taken for the award captured him perfectly. I’ve posted it here.

It was strange, or maybe it wasn’t. A few days before his obituary appeared, I spotted a van like Glen’s that he carted his supplies around in, driving through my neighborhood. I did a double-take. Although the vehicle was much newer than what he’d driven for decades, it brought back fond memories.

Once I called him several times before he came. He was working for days on a big job and wasn’t too happy about the interruption for my minor electrical issue. Upon arriving, he didn’t catch up and got down to business on the non-working motion lights. He then announced that the switch providing electricity had been flipped off. He didn’t say much before leaving.

About a week later, his handwritten bill for $20 arrived in the mail. I mailed my check to him tucked into a thank you card. We never discussed it.

Glen’s obituary served as a wake-up call, as they often do, a reminder of what's important. He was much more than my electrician and I’m comforted to believe he knew.



My latest book, book 2 in the billionaire cowboy series, released last month and features Leo Galloway and his best friend's little sister, Kristin. He's a Galloway son who is an artist and didn't fit in when growing up so he's been borderline estranged from his family. Kristin married too young and ended up divorced. He's back home to Galloway Sons Farm due to a break-up and for rest from his stressful career. She's made a difficult decision on the future of she and her late ex-husband's leftover frozen embryos.

He's looking for relaxation and no commitments and she may be heading for single motherhood and multiple babies.

Come back to the small town of Fair Creek where community reigns and family is everything. If Leo risks his heart to try for a family with Kristin, will she allow herself to get out of the friend zone?

Available on Amazon in KU or buy it for $1.99.

To start from the beginning, see Wyatt and Sierra's story in Book 1!


Be sure to sign up for my newsletter for a free ebook of the prequel, Her Billionaire Cowboy's Twin Heirs at

Monday, April 10, 2023

Not One Peep by Bea Tifton

 It’s an issue that’s dividing the country. People feel so strongly one way or another. Families are being advised to avoid discussions about it at Easter dinner. I try to avoid controversy on my blog posts, but I  have to clear the air and take a stand. I simply must ask, “To Peep or not to Peep?”

 Ah, Peeps. Those cute little marshmallow, sugary treats that pop out of the stores every spring in their pretty pastel colors and their cute little bunny or chick shapes. People either love them or hate them. But where did they come from?

In 1910, Sam Born emigrated from Russia and landed in New York City, where he opened a chocolate shop. He named his company Just Born and did very well, gradually acquiring several more candy businesses in the 20’s and 30’s.

 The Rodda Candy Company made candy out of the marshmallow plant and candy shaped like religious icons for Easter, among other things. The Rodda Family isn’t sure, but they think that the first marshmallow chicks were made as a special order in the 1940s, more for decorations than dessert. It took 27 hours to make one tray of Peeps from marshmallow, eggs whites, and sugar.  In 1953, Just Born purchased the Rodda Candy Company. Bob Born, Sam’s son, invented a machine that could produce 30 Peeps in six minutes. In 2014, this “Depositor” was replaced with a brand new updated machine. 

Today, 700 million Peeps are made each year. They are the most popular non chocolate Easter candy. People make clever dioramas to compete in contests throughout the country, Peeps are featured in many social media memes, and there are Peeps eating contests. In 2019 Matt Stonie set the world record for eating 255 Peeps in five minutes. He’s still in a sugar coma to this day. (Okay, I made that last sentence up.)

Peeps gourmands have several ways to eat them. Most people admit they eat the heads first. Many people like them more after they’ve been exposed to the air and dried out a bit. Some people toast them. One woman said she makes S’mores for her daycare class with Peeps. 

Me? I think they’re cute. I love the Easter colors, and I like the marshmallow chicks shapes the best. I’ve attended Peeps diorama viewings at my local library and considered making one myself. But I just don’t like to eat them. Still, spring wouldn’t be the same without seeing them, lining the “Seasonal” aisles of the store, just waiting to be plucked. 

What about you? Are you pro or anti Peep? Leave a comment below. 


Wednesday, April 5, 2023

How to use AI in your writing ~Sherri Easley

 One key to my success in Corporate American is my willingness to learn new skills and stay current in technology, so when AI appeared earlier this year, I was an early adopter.

The key to using AI is to be very specific with your questions and understand that it pulls data from the web, so occasionally it is incorrect.

In the spirit of showing you the power of AI, I asked my favorite AI App to write my blog today.

My app: ChatGTP

My ask: Write me a blog about how I can use ChatGTP for writing novels

Here is the unedited response:

As a writer, you may have heard of ChatGPT, a large language model trained by OpenAI that uses natural language processing to generate human-like text. While ChatGPT can be used for a variety of tasks, from answering questions to generating creative writing prompts, it can also be a valuable tool for novel writing. Here are some ways you can use ChatGPT to enhance your writing process:

Generate ideas and inspiration

If you're struggling to come up with a plot or a character, you can use ChatGPT to generate ideas and inspiration. Simply input a prompt, such as "What if a woman discovers she has the power to time travel?" and ChatGPT will generate a response that could spark your imagination. While not every prompt generated by ChatGPT will be useful, it can be a helpful tool to get your creative juices flowing.

Overcome writer's block

If you're stuck on a particular scene or chapter, you can use ChatGPT to help you overcome writer's block. Input a description of the scene or the problem you're having, and ChatGPT will generate suggestions or ideas to help you move forward. This can be a helpful way to break through a mental block and get back into the flow of writing.

Get feedback on your writing

ChatGPT can also be used to get feedback on your writing. If you're unsure about a particular sentence or paragraph, input it into ChatGPT and see how it responds. While ChatGPT is not a substitute for human feedback, it can be a useful tool to help you identify areas where your writing could be improved.

Generate dialogue

If you're struggling to come up with dialogue for your characters, ChatGPT can be a helpful resource. Input a prompt, such as "What would this character say in this situation?" and ChatGPT will generate a response that could help you craft natural and engaging dialogue.

Research information

ChatGPT can also be a useful tool for research. If you're writing a historical novel, for example, you can input a question about a particular time period or event and ChatGPT will generate a response that could provide valuable information for your writing.

While ChatGPT can be a valuable tool for novel writing, it's important to remember that it is not a substitute for human creativity and intuition. Use it as a tool to enhance your writing process, but don't rely on it entirely. By combining your own creative instincts with the power of ChatGPT, you can write engaging and compelling novels that capture readers' imaginations.

There you have it, folks! I have used it so far more for my day job, but it has been useful in helping with character names, and book titles, and is especially helpful for the research on the book I am writing now. I can ask it things like: What was a college near the Boston Municipal Airport in 1942 and it tells me!

Check it out and don’t hesitate to ping me if you have questions or need help to get started.

Sunday, April 2, 2023


By Caroline Clemmons

We are still on an endorphin high from having author Jacquie Rogers and her husband Mark visit. Their stay was short, but we packed in a lot of chatting (and eating). Mark was here on his birthday, so we had a modest celebration. They parked their Casita trailer in front of the house. We don’t have a guest room, so they had to sleep in the Casita. We have a gazillion cats and dogs, so they probably prefer their own space. They are always a lot of fun and we enjoyed seeing them!

Casita like the Rogers have.

During their visit, we talked about some of our vacations. Hero and I have had some wonderful visits to a variety of great places. Don’t worry, I’m not going to show you all my photos. You would probably rather hear about the odd things that happen on our outings.

Hero used to travel to White Sands Missile Range to test the rockets his company builds. On several occasions, our daughters and I went with him. Keep in mind that the girls and I are “incident prone.” On one trip we went through a rose garden, where we topped to smell the roses. Then, we went to a cactus garden, and Darling Daughter #2 leaned over to smell a cactus pear. Cactus spines in her nose were not a fun experience for her!

Beware of spines!

Ever since she could hold a child’s fishing rod, Darling Daughter #1 has loved to fish. In Corpus Christi, Texas one summer, Hero took her fishing on the motel pier. He had already been real, actual fishing before the girls were awake, so this time was just for her. She was only three, but already loved fishing and had been several times. This day, she was happily fishing with her dad when a woman came up and lectured him on how selfish he was to make his child go with him so he could fish. The crabby woman went on and on about how cruel he was. Hero was brought up never to argue with someone older than him and to treat women with respect, so he tolerated the woman’s ranting. Too bad he didn’t “accidentally” push her off the pier. Splash!

One year for his birthday (which fell on Father’s Day), the girls decided they would take Hero for a canoe trip. As soon as we got to the canoe, Darling Daughter #1 fell into the water. Getting her out of the river and seated in the canoe brought a lot of water with her that collected in the bottom of the canoe. As it turned out, there were only two seats, so Hero ended up sitting in the bottom of the canoe—in the water. He is a good sport and didn’t tell the girls how uncomfortable their “treat” was. He did appreciate the thought and enjoyed spending time with them.

On a trip to California, we stopped at the Petrified Forest. Unfortunately, it was high noon and very hot. Hero took the girls on a walking trail. About halfway, Darling Daughter #2 became so over-heated she was about to pass out, so Hero had to carry her the rest of the way. That’s when we learned she gets ill if she gets too hot, and she still does.

One summer we went to the Mayan Dude Ranch in Bandera, Texas. The girls and I absolutely loved Bandera and the Mayan. Hero, not so much, but again he was a good sport. The Mayan staff were so nice and the facility very pleasant. Seeveral evenings they had outdoor entertainment on the patio. Part of the show was the college-age waitresses dressed as the theme for the evening. When it came to the Mexican fiesta night, they attempted the Mexican hat dance, but none of them knew the steps. Darling Daughter #2 showed them the correct way she had learned in school.

Trail Ride at the Mayan Ranch

We had decided to go to the Mayan because Darling Daughter #1 wanted a horse. We thought we would “cure” her of that idea. Yes, we were delusional. Near the end of the trail ride, several teen-age boys were cutting up and decided to race to the corral. Darling Daughter #1 couldn’t control her horse and it took off following the boys. The head wrangler raced after her, but came back alone. He said he was going to rescue her, but she was having so much fun she didn’t want to be rescued. As you can guess, the trip only increased her desire for a horse. She was in junior high when she got her first horse.

Books 1 - 3

Bandera and the area have remained a favorite part of Texas. I’ve used it in several books, including my latest sweet historical western romance series, Texas Hill Country Mail Order Brides. I hope you’ll read the books. The first in the series is about rancher GENTRY AND THEMAIL ORDER BRIDE. Heidi Roth came from Bavaria to marry Gentry McRae's partner, but the partner died a few days before she arrived. The partner left Heidi to Gentry in his will. What?

Second is about the sheriff, JESSE AND THE MAIL ORDER BRIDE. Sheriff Jesse Cameron from Scotland is well liked and respected for his firm but fair policy and the  order he's brought to the county. When he orders a bride, he has no idea he's getting a beautiful pickpocket and a young boy she's rescued, or that her former boss will chase her.

Third is about Gentry’s younger brother, QUINN AND THE MAIL ORDER BRIDE. Quinn McRae is the easy going, gambling, drinking brother of Gentry McRae. His bride is a very proper Priscilla Bradford, descended from William Bradford of the Mayflower. Quinn has a terrible secret that haunts him, but he wants to be a rancher like his brothers.

 Books in the series are stand alone. All take place in or near the fictitious town of Harrigan Springs in fictitious Harrigan County, which I squeezed in between the real Bandera and Medina Counties.

The latest in the series is about a blacksmith who’s an entrepreneur, LEVI AND THE MAIL ORDER BRIDE, and is now up for preorder for April 21 release at Maeve Kelly refuses to marry the man who sent for her--and that's a wise choice. Levi Iverson gets tangled in Maeve's troubles.

Stay safe and keep reading!