Torn Between Worlds promises to be one of those OMG angsty romances none of us can resist. She’s a Native American. He’s a gun-slinging trail boss. Both have sworn off love, yet, you know what happens when they meet. I haven’t read this book yet and look forward to seeing how the couple tries to avoid what we all know will happen. Click the photo below to buy this story or read in Kindle Unlimited, and happy reading! Be sure to let Linda know how much you enjoyed the book by leaving a review when you’re finished. It really helps authors when you do.
Elissa and several other of my western historical romance friends have banded together to share stories in a Mail-Order Mama series. I haven’t read this yet, but the blurb had me hooked and it’s on my Kindle. Who wouldn’t love a Brady Bunch meets Little House on the Prairie romance? You’ll really need to get your own copy to buy or read in Kindle Unlimited. Let me know what you think and be sure to leave a review for Elissa when you’ve reached “The End.”
Click the image to begin reading.
Seriously. We’ve been quasi-locked down since March. What does that mean? Lots of time watching the news, calculating numbers, and eating little pretzels with French onion dip. Should I mention the wine? So. Much. Wine. I don’t drink a lot but do drink the cheap stuff that only affects my waistline.
I’ve learned at least two things since the pandemic started. One is my husband is a great guy to be on a deserted island with. Or, more like in a suburban house while we both work from home. Two is I’m not a stress writer. I had grand plans for 2020, as did we all. I had no idea my imagination needed calm. I admire my other writing friends who can churn out book after book when they’re worried. Sadly, that’s not me.
Even though my writing has slowed, I’ve started a new American West Pony Express romance called Rider’s Ice. It’s lovely so far. Plus, I’ve sent Rider’s Desire to a new editor. She suggested some changes, and voila! I added a lot to the existing story. If you’re in KU, I think you’ll enjoy reading through the obvious additions.
I’ve had a lot of fun bundling the Orphan Train subseries of the American West into their own box set. The Oregon Trail also has its own box set with the three long novels and four short stories. I love it because you start in Independence, Missouri and end up in Oregon City, Oregon in one exceedingly long volume. I haven’t tried putting the set into print because of the thousand pages it’d be.
Find them all here at My Amazon Page.
Thanks for getting this far, and I promise to stop being such a stranger to the blogging universe.
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It is always so satisfying to see a book of mine on an ebook vendor’s website. A lot of work goes into every story. From the germ of an idea to the cover, the writing, research, editing, and telling readers about the book, I keep busy. The new American West series with its shorter, faster, and more convenient escapes do mean less writing for each book. However, oh my gosh the pace. My plan is to release a book every two months in this series. Two months sounds like a lot of time to write a 100-150 page book, but it’s not.
What’s fun is even the overall American West has four subseries. Dmitri’s Heart is in the Coastal Treasures subseries. I have four more Coastal books planned and the next story is top secret. The book and its series is a terrific surprise I know readers will love. I promise to blog about whatever I can as soon as I’m allowed to do so.
But, back to the book. I grew up in the middle of the United States where there’s very little water. Most of the lakes in my home state are man-made. Even so, I did happen to take a boating safety class while training for my Water Safety Instructor’s certification. And….that’s it. So writing about a ship’s captain who sails from Russia to the continental US and beyond meant a lot of research. So many different types of ships, so much cargo, so many ports of call. Whew! I also feel like Dmitri’s crew, Gleb, Theodor, and Serge, and Grigory are new friends. They didn’t get as much center stage as Dmitri, of course, because heroes need the spotlight. Still, I’d love to see what other adventures might be out there for them.
For now, you’ll have to read Dmitri’s Heart for yourself. Anyone who’s read Unexpected, an Oregon Trail Series short story will recognize the first three chapters. I’d always wanted to follow Anne and Dmitri’s love story. Finally, several years later, I get to do so! Poor Sam. If we didn’t know he’d meet Marie in Undesirable, we could be heartbroken for him losing Anne.
Back to the words since I have the secret project to write this month. Comment below if you’ve read anything from the Oregon Trail or American West series and what you think of them. Also, click the links to go to the books themselves or their series pages.
So when IS a good time for love and romance? Like everything else in the world, the answer depends on what you need and what stage of your life you’re in.
For example, and he’s going to LOVE this, my husband made up his mind on how exactly he was going to fall in love, with what type of woman, and approximately where he’d meet her. And? He did. The guy had a template in his mind and while he might have dated around, he didn’t deviate from his internal list.
Side note: If you’re in for a quick lesson on how to create your own perfect partner template, check this out. I plan on having a longer post later on how perfect is a moving target when it comes to people so click the follow button wherever it is at the moment.
Me? I’d been building my internal list all of my life by dating men who were almost but not quite right. One had the master’s degree and physical appearance but not the sexual preference. Another had the solid family background but not the appearance or ambition I wanted. Still others didn’t have the financial knowledge, something I lacked and wanted my life partner to have, but did have mechanical knowledge.
Another side notes: Turns out, my perfect partner doesn’t have mechanical knowledge after all, but knows how to hire people who do. Thus, a good example of how perfection is a sliding scale at times.
And that’s the bottom line. My perfect is not only NOT your perfect, sometimes, I have no perfect and that’s okay. No one is 100% every minute. The secret is to find the person who compliments you without needing to complete you.
I know this is another short and sweet, but in author news, I’m researching the Pony Express like a fiend, planning for the Vancouver Author Event and week researching the Pacific coast’s history, and marketing our latest release with my anthology partners. In personal news, I’m helping a friend by being a quilting guinea pig, studying for my ice skating test (yes, it’s a thing), and resuming the five to six miles a day trail walking.
Whew! I need a nap. 😉 Comment below with what you have going on this spring. It’s my favorite time of the year and I love how everyone celebrates the new season.
This is going to be one of those short and sweet posts because I have words to write. Lots and lots of them.
Which leads me chatting about comfort zones and why they need to be crashed through sometimes. I’d read in Canadian Runner about how embracing the discomfort makes a better runner. Speed goes up, the mental outlook improves, and crossing finish lines are easier when someone accepts and ignores the desire to stop.
When I sit down to write on my latest story in progress, the article came to mind because Tamed, a paranormal shifter romance, is way way outside of my comfort zone. Not that writing had become easy. I don’t know if telling stories and fretting about my Shatneresc use of commas ever will be. What I’m sure about is researching a new genre to make sure readers’ expectations are met is not my usual work.
The best part about this project is interacting with the other authors in the anthology. I’m an extrovert (ENTP if you’re curious) and love people most of the time. Another enjoyable aspect is “having” to read paranormal romances by the other authors. My job is the best.
So now, while I’m here trying to figure out where the guy’s clothes go when he changes from man to lion and back again, I have a challenge for you. What is a comfort zone for you and how can you break out of the rut? Or add to the activity and make it tougher than usual? Comment below and tell me about your comfort zone.
Programming note: FAQ answers have been pushed to next Monday because of VALENTINE’S DAY!!!! OMG!!!
Yes, I am very married and very happily. Thus, I don’t hate the V-Day.
I do remember what it was like to be single and sans romance back then. It sucked until the 15th, aka Cheap Chocolate Day. Then the 16th was horrific because of Migraine Because I Ate Chocolate Day.
By now, my husband and I both know what, when, and how we want our romance. We also talk to death everything and anything. This isn’t as bad as it sounds because even early on in our marriage, no one was ever surprised by a problem. If one of us cleaned out the house and were gone in a U-haul, the other would know exactly why. Something we agreed on before we married was to make communication a priority. Be kind, always, but don’t hold back if something’s going wrong.
So our plans? Earlier, we picked up the dinner for two at Hyvee. Not the deluxe because we already have a couple of lobster tails getting freezer burned. This saves us the time, expense, and irritation over sharing a romantic dinner with several hundred other cranky couples. We’re also verbally duking it out over fresh flowers versus potted plants. He wants to give me roses or at least flowers to put in a vase. I want a couple of Boston ferns to replace the ones I accidentally killed while on a book deadline. (Ferns need water more than once a month, oddly enough.) You and I know who’ll win this argument. Me.
So the bottom line for your own happy Valentine’s Day? Talk about it! Tell your crush they’re not half bad or remind your significant other of why you fell for them in the first place. You’re alone and enjoying the solitude, so nothing applies? Cool! Treat yourself, a family member, and/or a pet. Plan the route to stores you’re going to hit as soon as they open for the discounted candy. Go buy the floral rejects for yourself and enjoy. Or the best ever, take yourself out to dinner on the 15th and enjoy the quiet.
Next Monday, the faqs for reals. Before then, there’s so much going on for me professionally, and I’ll have to write all about it later this week.
This post idea was shared with my husband this weekend, so no worries. It’s all good in Lauraland.
Now, on to the blog post. What happens when you’re somewhat happily married, but sick to death of the romance looming ahead on Valentine’s Day? You’ve tried everything, talked to your partner until you’re blue in the face and can’t feel the infatuation. You love the spouse, like them most of the time, but a night out or a romantic anything? Bleh and no.
What to do?
Nothing together, that’s what. I know, I know. I’m supposed to say something about working together, getting a counselor, upping this or increasing that. Which is great if you’re newlyweds or newly anything but if you’re in your fifteenth year as a couple and are feeling more done than a charcoaled steak? You both need a relationship vacation from each other. Not that this is an excuse to play around or get into serious trouble. The goal of a relationship vacation is to remember what being alone feels like. Note: Alone is different from lonely, and I’m going into fixing that problem in the next post.
Right now, I’m recommending giving you two enough space, so you’re able to see the other’s great qualities. The relationship vacation can last anywhere from a few hours to a few days. The duration depends on your own personal needs. Some couples are refreshed in a short while, and others might need months to remember why they enjoyed their partnership.
What’s the best way to take a break? There are a lot of fun ideas, depending on your time and finances. A class in something you’d wanted to learn, a weekend out of town visiting museums, or a week visiting family and friends are all good options. A solo road trip in a luxury vehicle, a week in Tuscany, or a weekend spa treatment would be terrific on the upper financial end, and I vote yes for any of them.
Something else to notice? If you happen to have the urge to share all of this with a new love interest, find a good couples counselor. Wanting a new partner is a symptom of a deeper problem any blog post can fix. There’s a deep unmet need to deal with that requires professional help, or at least more expert than I am.
If you have any other ideas of what do to on a relationship vacation, comment below! I’d love to hear them. My husband and I spend so much time together, we do have to plan time apart just to take a small break. How about you? Is too much time together a problem, or would you like my take on a different issue? Again, comment below and thanks for reading this far.
Next Monday: How memory lapses and procrastination can hinder Frequently Asked Questions being answered as well as alone versus lonely. I don’t even want to go into it right now.
Single people and the theory of relativity. How are they related?
Very simple. There’s a reason the saying “The grass is always greener on the other side,” exists. Earlier in the week, I’d read something about married people being condescending toward singles. As if being married is the ultimate goal in life and you’re not a real person unless hitched to someone else. Add in the recent political remarks about some countries being much better than others, or some people weighing less or more than others, and the Theory of Relativity covers everything. No matter where you are, how low or how high, someone either wants to be where you are or would do anything to keep from being in the same place.
In my point of view, I think there’s a lot of jealous people out there trying to upsell being chained to one person. Seriously. No marriage is 100% wine and roses, and if someone says theirs is? They’re lying, delusional, giving in to their spouse, or all of the above. Married people see a single person and remember back when everything in life wasn’t a committee decision. They could eat what they wanted or not at all. Sleep the hours they prefer or not, and not be hassled about it. When you start counting everything else needing a “discussion” with a partner? You know what I mean.
Meanwhile, singles are looking at marrieds, envying the whole partner setup. As a married, it IS nice having a best friend and business partner. There is a shared income, shared responsibilities, and a “In case of emergency” contact. I could add in the terrific sex part, but my husband would become flustered and turn nine shades of red. Let me leave it at he’s adorable and admirable.
Like everything in life, both sides have their pros and cons. I think the main thing anyone should do is embrace where they are right now. Things always can and do change, often when you don’t want them to.
Side note: All this assumes you are satisfied with your current situation. If there’s abuse, depression, or serious issues, get help and don’t delay. Life is short, and there’s no reason to tolerate the intolerable.
Next Monday: Answering Frequently Asked Questions.
In my last blog post, I alluded to the lump in the easy chair you married years ago. With all the Valentine’s Day products in the store, expectations ratchet up to a dizzying height until the hard fall on the day of when nothing happens.
What to do? Is there anything that CAN be done without the help of pharmaceuticals or a cattle prod?
Yes! Lots of things. Here’s a handy list. Not every item will work for every couple, but there are lots of fun things to try. Some will require planning and others can be last minute.
- Recreate your first date, especially if it was a good one. If the time was horrible, but your love survived anyway? Great! Recreate the first date you wished you two had had back then.
- Flowers are popular and rightly so. But cut bouquets on THE day? Eh, expensive and I’d suggest something with a twist. Planting flowers instead of buying floral arrangements. In some parts of the world, the idea of gardening now is a bad idea. However, planning a flower garden together, visiting a local greenhouse or store’s gardening section, and working together on your flowers in the future is a fun way to bring a couple together.
- I personally love going out for dinner on V-Day evening. But the crowds! OMG, no. Not romantic at all. So how do you cope? Cooking together at home! Now, my husband brought home a fondue fountain, but you don’t need to be that fancy. It’s wonderful to fill it with chocolate and dip frozen strawberries. You can bake heart shaped cakes, pink cupcakes, anything you both enjoy eating.
- This is a little on the naughty side, but still lots of fun. Mainly because I get embarrassed and crack dumb jokes the entire time, but visit an adult store. No, it’s not something for everyone. If you’d like something a little spicy or way out there sexy, why not give it a try? I secretly want every pair of stripper shoes, but no. I have my limits.
- All of the prior suggestions assume you don’t have children or have a sitter in case you do. Thinking you can get someone to watch the kids for the weekend, you two can plan a simple honeymoon weekend. In one of my books, I had the hero do just that. The VERY Best Man, if you’re interested, and it’s free at the moment. Since the hero has a friend who’s a manager at a big name hotel, he arranged some time in the place’s pool and hot tub. Why not take that idea and run with it? The hotel can be as fancy as you want, or not. Room service or pizza delivery for dinner, and a weekend alone, together.
These are just a few things you can do, and the idea is to remember why you fell for this person in the first place. No matter what you try, the primary goal is you do them together. My husband loves surprising me with a small bouquet from the grocery store and a mushy card. I like surprising him by forgetting the day entirely or even better, buying him a card and misplacing it until July. I did mention he’s the romantic one of us two, right?
Which makes this a good time for reminding everyone to make time for your relationship. Nothing says you have to spend only one day out of the year for romance. It’s not as tough as you might think to plan the occasional date night. My husband and I do this, and we don’t go all fancy most of the time. We’ll find a new walking trail to explore, get a Groupon to a new restaurant, or just order a pizza and have a Netflix binge night. The main goal is to spend an evening or two together to reconnect and remember why you started liking this person to begin with.
(I had lovely photos planned but scrapped it because part of showing your love for someone is hanging around, cleaning, until the DirectTv guy shows up to fix the broken thingy so your someone can watch the game on the biggest tv in the house.)