“Older” heroes and heroines? Y or N?


As I was putting together some PR material for my Big Sky Maverick book MONTANA MAVERICK, it struck me that I didn’t know whether or not to mention the age of my main protagonists: 39 and 48.

Their age is important to the story. They’ve both reached pivotal places in their individual journeys and any decision on whether or not to act on the attraction they’ve always felt for each other comes with significant gravity and the re-imagining of certain truths and dreams each holds dear.

Don’t you agree that the decisions you made at 21, 25…even 30…were handled differently than the thought process you brought to the table ten years later? Does the idea of an older–more experienced–hero and heroine put you off or would you welcome the chance to experience their second-chance-at-love a bit further down the road of life?

I’d love to hear your thoughts.

If you’re a fan of older heroes and heroines, I think you’ll enjoy Meg and Hank’s book (and you can catch up with them later in MONTANA MIRACLE).

Amazon: http://littl.ink/+LaX5
BN NOOK: http://littl.ink/+MRLo 
iBOOKS: http://littl.ink/+p1E0
KOBO: http://littl.ink/+35a8
AmazonUK: http://littl.ink/MontanaMaverickUK
Amazon AU: http://littl.ink/MontanaMaverickAU



Black Hills Rancer_3DeBook Blank

The last thing Cade Garrity expected when he went to Sentinel Pass to meet Jessie Bouchard—a prospective, short-term tenant willing to trade a little childcare in return for a discounted rent—was to save her life. But the video her twin sister, Remy, shot doesn’t lie. And the fact that the nutcase who booby-trapped Jessie’s stunt is still on the loose makes it impossible for Cade to turn his back on her. But Cade married a woman who put satisfying her need for excitement ahead of her family–ahead of him–and it killed her. He’s not going down that road again no matter how much he desires Jessie Bouchard.

Despite what people think, Jessie does not have a death wish. She learned at a young age the only way to handle pain and fear was to face it head on. That’s what she does. And she’s convinced herself that living for the moment is enough–until she meets Cade and his daughter, Shiloh. There may be more to life than that next death-defying stunt, but does she deserve the kind of life Cade has to offer? She isn’t sure, and unless she finds the person who is trying to kill her, she won’t get a chance to answer that question.


It’s available on most platforms:

AMAZON: http://littl.ink/BHRAZ
BN: http://littl.ink/BHRBN
iBooks: http://littl.ink/BHRibooks
KOBO: http://littl.ink/BHRKOBO
AmazonCA: http://littl.ink/BHRAZCA
AmazonAU: http://littl.ink/BHRAZAU
AmazonUK: http://littl.ink/BHRAZUK

In other good news, I’m excited to tell you I’ve gotten my rights back to “missing” story in this 9-book series. That book, newly titled BLACK HILLS NATIVE SON, will be coming in mid-September. If you’d like to be among the first to see the new cover, please sign up for my newsletter here: https://www.instafreebie.com/free/Y5GJG

Have a great weekend, everyone!


Get your zip on!

My company has arrived and we are off on our Gold Rush country adventure today. One of our first stops is at Moaning Caverns in Calaveras County where some of us will be zipping.


Show of hands. How many of you have done a Zip Line? Did it look anything like this one?

I’ve zipped twice and I found the experience thrilling and a major attitude adjustment. Embracing your fear to look at the world in a new way is very liberating.

The hero of my upcoming release MONTANA ROGUE is building a zip line near Marietta, Montana. He’s the rogue.


I can’t wait for you to meet Tucker Montgomery, definitely one of the most…umm…unique characters I’ve ever had the pleasure of writing. A Hot Shot firefighter, along with his two best buddies, Flynn Bensen (MONTANA HERO) and Justin Oberman (MONTANA REBEL), Tucker’s off-season job is a dancer/performer with American Male, Inc.–a Magic Mike sort of burlesque show.


Tucker loves his life, but the physical demands of both jobs have taken a toll, so he’s looking ahead, and Montana called to him. He’s invested everything he’s got–and then some–to build Mountie’s Marvelous Montana Zip Line and Enduro Course.

Here’s a sneak peek from the zip he makes with his summer “roomate-with-benefits,” Amanda Heller:

The morning air couldn’t have been more perfect, Tucker thought the next day. Cool with a hint of the heat to come.

July, he’d been told, was a favorite month for sporting enthusiasts. From online conversations he’d had with other zip line owners around the country, the weather could make you or break you in this business. One place in California kept rain gear on hand for the winter months. Tucker would have to stock up for the spring, but he planned to close the gate and hit the dance circuit at the end of September. Or mid-October at the very latest.

At least, that was the plan. Justin had other ideas.

“Cross-country skiing, man,” Justin said, as he helped Amanda into her harness.

“I’ve heard snowshoeing is popular, too,” Amanda added.

“Great. Who’s going to build the lodge? Cold-weather sports need a place to warm up. The tent won’t work,” Tucker said, stepping into his harness. He pulled it up snug and leaned over to work his shoulders through the top straps like a pair of suspenders.

Glancing to his right, he saw Justin apply the locking carabiner to the two attachment loops at Amanda’s chest. “Get out of the way. Let me do that.”

Justin rolled his eyes. “Picky.”


Amanda snickered, obviously beginning to loosen up. She’d offered a slew of excuses to avoid testing out the zip line this morning, but Tucker remained adamant that she needed to experience the thrill in order to sell the thrill.

Mountie’s Marvelous Montana Zip Line was set to open in twenty-four hours. Most of that time would be devoted to zipping the guides so they could get down every safety measure, but the business side of things was equally important.

That’s where Amanda came in. His website looked great and seemed to be running smoothly. Since Ryker Bensen was still on his honeymoon, Amanda had hired Ryker’s photographer friend to take still shots to plaster around the Internet. And she had a professional videographer lined up to film testimonials from guests as soon as the lines were operational.

“Did I tell you Mountie’s Marvelous website already has had more than a 100K visits and zips are being booked at a phenomenal rate considering we don’t have any reviews posted yet?”

“Yes, you did,” Amanda said. “Did I tell you Bailey Zabrinski and Kat Robinson are bringing a carload of kids to test it out–and talk it up–this afternoon?”


But the morning belonged to Tucker and Amanda.

“Sit into the harness and lift up your feet so I can make sure it’s snug enough,” he told her.

He made a couple of adjustments, his fingers lingering on the sun-kissed skin of her upper thighs. “How’s that feel?”


He noticed Justin watching so he quickly made the same adjustments to his own harness. “I haven’t done this since Mexico. Fell completely in love with the idea of affordable cheap thrills.”

“Isn’t that redundant?” Justin asked.

“You’re redundant.”

Amanda stepped between them. “Welcome to Testosterone City,” she said with a laugh. “Are we going to do this or not? My mother is coming, remember?”

She’d broken the news that morning.

“My mother is making an unplanned site inspection,” she’d told him, with such a flat, dispassionate tone she had to have practiced the delivery. “She also plans to attend Molly’s competency hearing.”

Tucker wasn’t completely surprised, since June’s lawyers were the ones who’d initiated the petition to have Molly declared incompetent.

“Are we ready?” Justin asked, taking charge of the zip. “You’re going to make a lateral practice run first. Nice and easy.” He looked at Tucker. “Do you want to go first?”

“You bet.”

“Wait,” Amanda said, her hand settling with familiarity and a certain amount of concern on his bare forearm. “Are you sure your doctor cleared this?”

“Yep,” Tucker fibbed. He hadn’t asked his ortho doc specifically if it was safe to zip, but the man had given him the okay to resume normal activities. Jumping around was normal for Tucker. He’d wrapped his ankle just in case and he’d chosen to wear hiking boots that laced to the mid-shin. The boots had protected his ankles through some of the most difficult terrain on the planet. A little zip was not going to be a problem.

As per protocol, one of their newly trained guides, a college girl named Kelly, went through the step-by-step safety instructions. “Feet extended, sit back in the harness and let gravity do its job. Squeeze to brake with a four-to-six-foot lead. Ease to a stop.”

He caught most of her words, even though his gaze remained on Amanda, who appeared to be having a serious conversation with Justin. What are they talking about? Me? The business? The grand opening? The possibilities were endless, and he had no reason to be jealous. Absolutely zero.

So, why was he?

He recognized the emotion, even though he went out of his way to avoid feeling enough of an attachment to anyone or anything to ever be jealous.

“Are we good?” Kelly asked.

“Yes.” He regretted his testy tone when she frowned and looked a little hurt. Hurting the feelings of cute girls was so not his style, but he was too preoccupied at the moment to care. He turned toward his destination pole, pushed off and picked up his feet.

Did his ankle twinge a tiny bit? Maybe, but nothing to worry about. This was a piece of cake.

Except for the fact he completely misjudged his braking distance and wound up dangling like a dufus fifteen feet from the landing pole. Justin’s bark of laughter carried across the pure mountain air. Proof, of course, that Tucker’s focus was shot.

With a little help from the guide who had been braced to prevent his collision with the padded pole, Tucker managed to make it to the platform. His guide disconnected the line and directed him to a safe spot to watch the next zipper. Amanda. Considerably lighter–and with a great deal more grace–she zipped right to the platform, braking like a pro.

Tucker barely noticed. All he could see was the light of joy in her face, the unguarded pleasure in her eyes and the smile that lassoed his heart and squeezed the air out of his lungs.

Oh, good God, he thought. It’s finally happened. I’m in freakin’ love.

Next week, I’ll share some more pics from our travels. In the meantime, have a great weekend!





Who’s Your Hero?

What defines a hero-

My new Big Sky Mavericks story is releasing today. As you can tell from the title, the meaning of the word “hero” comes up from time to time in this book. For me, the definition of the word goes well beyond the narrow parameters most people tend to attribute to it.

Yes, acting heroically is spectacular and important and good. Running toward a catastrophe instead of away is very brave and deserves recognition and reward. But, sometimes, the small, nearly obscure challenges — like a single mom doing the best she can without a lot of support — can require a huge dose of bravery without any hope of recognition.

I tossed out this question on my Facebook page a few days ago: “Who’s your hero?” I was going to pick out a few answers from the 100+ to share, but when I started reading them, I realized each is the TRUTH for that person, and each answered my question. Some are very touching. (If you don’t have time to read them all, please scroll to the bottom to see a wallhanging a friend made for me. :-)

Bonnie Jackman Gonzales Just finished Montana Hero, soooooo good. You didn’t say book hero, so my Granddaughter Cassie she saved her husbands life when he had an accident with a high powered firework. she keep it together and got him to the emergency room faster than an ambulance coming for him would have been, he would have bleed out if they had waited.

  •  Misty Garoutte Clarkson I like all heros men women and animals alike just finished a book where a dog saved a little girl right before his heart gave out
  • Jenelle Reyes Liked and shared! My sister Kat is my hero! She’s the strongest person I know. She’s been through so much with her health and keeps fighting!
  • Melissa Tippie My hubby is my Hero ~ He’s a volunteer fire-fighter & EMT smile emoticon
  • Callie Barbara Cuddy It used to be my husband, but he’s leaving me, so I guess I’ll have to be my own hero.
  • Carrie Porter Evans All veterans, especially my friends and family and my Mom.
  • Jennifer Schultheis My husband is my biggest hero. He is exactly the kind of guy I want my son to grow up to be. Honest, loyal and hardworking. Thank you for the chance. Sharing! 
  • Shannon L Schoolcraft Its a mix between my dad and my mom. They both have been through a lot and i look up to them. They are the strongest people that I know. 
  • Pamela Lowery My mom is my hero, we lost dad 2 years ago, and she has become our rock and glue and has held the family together. They were married 52 years and had never spent a whole day apart.
  • Casandra Kluber My mother is my hero!
  • Connie Kline Fischer I love my husband but I have to say my sons share this. They make me so proud every day of my life. Mike and Matt: you guys are the best! heart emoticon heart emoticon
  • Jackie Hammond My daughter. She is a wonderful mom and a beautiful person. She has taught me so much over the years.
  • Jeanne Sheats No particular person – the everyday people that help others.
  • Lourie Staib Both of my parents, they both fought like crazy to stay alive for my benefit & in the end their health failed them both.
  • Linda Rimer-Como My mom is my biggest hero, she us there for me no matter what.
  • Linda Henderson My daughter. She is an amazing mother. Her 12 year old son has aspergers and a he is his biggest advocate. She’s amazing.
  • Linda White My Daddy is my biggest hero, he has endured the loss of my mama, survived lung cancer and other related illnesses and has kept a positive outlook through it all!
  • Suzie Gaspard Quebedeaux My grandmother! I called her Granny. She passed away on my 35th birthday but she is still a hero to me. She had 12 children (the youngest had Down’s Syndrome), had 60+ granchildren. She had the patience of a saint. I NEVER heard her raise her voice or say a bad word about one person.
  • Morse Dawn My mom
  • Janine Rowe My husband who always stands up for me even when I do something questionable.
  • Jackie Maxwell Awesome socks. And your books, of course! I have five heroes-Nick, Joe, Beej, Danny, and Molly
  • Dawn Cripps My husband he kills spiders for me and I have never felt safer with anyone in my life
  • Judy Thomas My biggest hero is my daughter.
  • Angelina M Linan I would say my kids because without them i don’t think I would work as hard.
  • Lynn Clayton my son
  • Dawn Anderson My mom and grandma
  • Crystal Holloway My biggest hero is my dad.
  • Shari Drehs Bartholomew My biggest hero is my husband.
  • Carol Schwartz My mom who passed in 2012
  • Jennifer Matusik Ingman My youngest daughter is my hero. She has endured a lot medically, yet she never lets is keep her down!
  • Dana Wintch Tillack My mother!!!
  • Judy Pflueger My sister, Sheila.
  • Carole Fiore my cousin Joanne for she fought cancer twice and she’s doing great!
  • Judy Stephens Burr Too many to name ! 
  • Brianna Birch The Veterans who don’t come home! Especially one of my husband’s friends named Benjamin who we named our son after. Thank you for the opportunity! Liked and shared
  • Susan Newkirk My hero is my son – who is small – but never let’s anything stop him !!! Congrats on your new release !!
  •  Taylor Lynn Hanagan My grandmother who recently passed away. Always so loving. So positive. Saw the good in every situation. Put herself last no matter who or what it came to. 
    True definition of an angel. heart emoticon
  • Alexis Sapphire Liked and shared ty my hero’s are my kids 
  • Lorie Sullins Payne My cousin who survived cancer but daily deals with problems with her arm and shoulder while working as a nurse
  • Eileen Aberman Wells Liked & shared!! Can’t wait to read it!! One of my heros is my younger son who has overcome many obstacles in his life to become the awesome person he is now. Another is my younger daughter who is a trauma nurse. My other two kids aren’t bad either.
  • Kathleen Elliott Clark My husband who fought a battle against kidney cancer, but lost. he was the strongest person I know And I miss him every day. He passed away in 2012 at the young age of 64.
  • Deborah Favorito My hero is all the veterans, soldiers and all the men and women who have lost their lives to protect ours.
  • Judith Voss My mother, who in 1950, left China at the age of 20 to travel to French Guiana to an arranged marriage to a man she had never met. She spoke no English. Eight years later she was widowed with five children between the ages of 7 and 1 to provide for.
  • Kelli Jo Calvert Jo Rowling!
  • Melinda Garza My Dad!!!
  • Deanne Patterson My biggest heroes are my 12 kids . They mean the world to Me 
  • Connie Heim Reynolds My biggest hero is my hubby. He quit his job to take care of me when I had breast cancer. A side effect of the medicine is I have memory problems. He patiently waits while I search for a word.
  • Sharon Baker My youngest brother who has passed away. I miss him.
  • Marie Cassini My dad, and my husband.
  • Charish Otte Liked and shared!!! My dad is my hero!!!
  • Aisha Panjwaneey Just finished it today. Loved it. My 13 year old nephew is autistic and he’s brilliant. At music, at art, at math. He can emulate just about every accent he’s ever heard. And he’s obsessed with planes of every kind, commercial, Air Force, military you See More
  • Audra Holtwick My family are my heroes because they put up with me
  • Diane Blaser My biggest hero is my 91 year old father who is the very best man I know (my husband is second best). My father and I have grown so much closer since my mother died 23 years ago and I married my husband because he was so much like the man my father is. Liked and shared! Thank you!
  • Marlene Roberts Engel My daughter who was totally blind and passed from cancer at the age of 13 is my hero.
  •  Suzanne Smith Congratulations, that’s wonderful! My biggest hero is my husband who has stood by me, saved my life and is my soulmate heart emoticon 
  • Tanya Jayne Phillips My biggest Hero is my husband who is amazing before and especially since becoming disabled. Supporting and caring for me and my girls. My daughters are my heroes too along with my parents and in laws. I know that’s a lot but it’s true. 
  • Dawn Schlauderaff My daughter working full time and going to school full time to become a nurse this fall.♡
  • Mai Tran mom is the biggest hero of mine
  • Tina Peterson Our Soldiers, I have a lot of family in the military, or were in the military and they deserve to be my heroes… they risk/risked everything to give us freedom and peace of mind. They are the best of the best.
  • Debbie Adams-Rice My hubby Vietnam vet has overcome a lot thank you for the chance liked and shared
  • Jennifer Roberts Bernard Liked and shared. My hero is not one person but, the men and women who fight to protect me. I know they give up everything for me!
  • Marcy Shuler Military personnel and first responders are my heroes.
    • Debra Salonen, author This book is dedicated to the men and women on the front lines of the wildfires. Too much of that around California right now.
  • Michele Gray My dad. A survivor of colon cancer and all the suffering he endured and prevailed.
  • Ria Alemina My dad is my biggest hero, he can do many things, men job, women job, you name it and he can do all! He’s so talented in many things! I’m so proud of him!
  • Melissa Adkins Jesus Christ. He has blessed me very well.
  • Jill Steinberg-Bieber Liked and my father who worked his whole life put me into business took care of my two boys from the time they were born a man that loves without condition and is always doing something special for me. A thoughtful man who takes a cooking class and wants me to be part of it a father that just calls to go to lunch And a movie I’m truly blessed and jack is my hero
  • Sara Zehr My grandparents!!
  • Milica Jovanovic My dad. 
  • Lilian Gamble Liked and shared, my mom
  • Maria Colon My husband… Who is an amazing husband, veteran(22 yrs) and father.
  • Shelagh Merlin My daughter is my hero. She’s just amazing and despite life kicking her in the guts really hard once or twice she ALWAYS has a positive attitude and a warm smile. And she’s a fantastic mother too!
  • Debbie Ward My Kids & Grandkids are my Heros!
  • Mary Goodman My biggest hero is my brother who took care of me and my sister when we were little but better than that we are still close
  • Magdica Duvnjak Liked and shared, my husband heart emoticon
    Like · Reply · 7 hrs
  • Hina Tabassum Khatri My Parents. They have educated us, my siblings and I, even when that wasn’t the norm in the community.
  • Beatrice Banda My Daddy is my hero
  • Kelly Ballenger My Grandpa. He was always there when I needed him and was a hoot to be around. I have some great memories.
  • Terri Walsh My husband is my hero! 
  • Sheri Carter Biggs Ŧ My hero first and foremost is my Savior Jesus Christ and secondly is my 80 year old daddy who still gets up EVERY day to go to work as the School District mail man and helps take care of my sweet mama and me.
  • Melissa Keith My hubby. He’s in the Navy.
  • Sue Peace In real life my father, in fiction Eve and Roarke smile emoticon
  • Peggy Clayton my real father always has been
  • Kelly Iliakis my boyfriend rob is my hero! love these contests!



A friend gave us this piece of art a few years ago. It hangs by my door as a reminder. We are EACH the hero of our own lives. If life gets you down, give yourself a hug then “try again tomorrow.”

With love and gratitude,


PS: If you’d like to read MONTANA HERO, here are some links. Or you can read the first chapter at TULE PUBLISHING. The initial reviews are great! I’m so delighted.


Amazon     iTunes     KOBO     Google Play     Amazon UK

The Merry-Go-Round called “Free”

Who gets dizzy on a Merry-Go-Round?


Me? Not usually. But when I think about the sensation of going around and around, doing the same thing over and over, I get a little queasy.

Probably because I’ve been riding the promo merry-go-round all week.

First, one of my books was included in Tule’s 10-author Father’s Day Romance Collection. It opened at 99¢ for a short time, so the authors involved got on the bandwagon to share the news. Here’s my contribution to the hoopla.

Father's Day Tule

This is exciting–and good business, believe it or not. For a low investment, a reader can buy 10 full-length books, which can be a great introduction to a new-to-you author. (At least, that’s the standard school of thought.)

Personally, I love the cover and the other super-accomplished authors, and was thrilled to be invited to the party.

My second big deal this week started yesterday when my second Big Sky Mavericks book, MONTANA COWBOY, went Free.

Montana Cowboy FREE

Free, you say? What’s in it for the author?

Very good question. General wisdom suggests free is only beneficial when you have a connected series to take up the slack. If a reader reads your free book and likes your characters and setting and style, she might buy the rest of the books, so the cost of free is spread across 3-4 titles. One hopes.

But to make the most of FREE, you need to get the word out to the general masses beyond your usual circle of influence–and that’s where the merry-go-round speeds up and life gets a little crazy. There are literally hundreds of online sites, newsletters, blogs, and Facebook groups willing to hawk your book for you…for a price.

So, you set a budget, ask for advice even knowing what worked last week might be a bust this week, and you cross all fingers and toes…and wait for your sales numbers and ranking to come in.

Can I be honest? My head feels like it’s going to explode. And, the worst part? It’s damn hard to write when your fingers, toes and eyes are crossed. I’m seriously thinking about pulling an Ernest Hemingway. ;-)


So, anyway, that’s been my week. We know what I’ll be doing all weekend…not drinking so I can make my deadline. Wish me luck.


PS: In case you’re interested in grabbing the bundle while it’s cheap, here’s the link: FATHER.

And my FREEBIE is available on all platforms. If you already read it, but want to see the new ending (Subject of a future blog), I suggest you grab it on another platform. GooglePlay is super easy, I’ve heard. Here are the links:

Smashwords- http://bit.ly/1QrfILY
iTunes - http://apple.co/1cEUsFp
GooglePlay - http://bit.ly/MtCowboyGP
KOBO - http://bit.ly/MyCowboyKOBO
Kindle - http://bit.ly/MtCowboy
and BN coming soon!



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Cue the zombies

I was reminded today by my writer friend, Annie Jones, that the Passive Voice is something most authors deal with regularly—while being chased by zombies.

passive zombies Annie Jones

Need a definition? I borrowed this from ReadWriteThink:

Active Voice
A feature of sentences in which the subject performs the action of the verb and the direct object is the goal or the recipient: The mechanic fixed the car.

Passive Voice

A feature of sentences in which the object or goal of the action functions as the sentence subject and the main verb phrase includes the verb to be and the past participle: The car was fixed by the mechanic.

In my opinion, some passive voice is allowed–called for, even. Reflecting on the past, setting the scene, basic description, adding a softer cadence to your flow, and providing background harmony provide necessary components of a book. But when you’re in the thick of things, when verbal jabs are flying or critical action is taking place, keep things active.

I’m working on the revisions of my next Big Sky Mavericks book, MONTANA HERO. In my defense, first drafts for me are all about learning who my characters are and what drives them in the story. I “see” things happening in my mind and record that action from the outside looking in–until I reach a place where the characters take over.

Here’s a scene I grabbed at random from Chapter 2.


The door was open. She knew the drill: sign in and take a seat. Just like in a doctor’s office. Which reminded her, Flynn had called in a few minutes before she left that he was taking a possible “broken ankle” to be X-rayed. He didn’t say who the victim was or how he came across the problem, since they hadn’t received a call.


The outer office door stood open. She knew the drill: sign in and take a seat–just like in a doctor’s office. Doctor. The word reminded her of Flynn’s call a few minutes earlier.

“Taking possible “broken ankle” to ER 4 X-ray,” he’d texted.

Who broke an ankle? Where did the accident take place? Why didn’t Dispatch get the call? Is my gung-ho new boss out recruiting victims?

A definite improvement, wouldn’t you agree?

I just printed Annie’s adorable meme to hang beside my desk as a reminder. Wish me luck.

Deb, actively working on her manuscript…while being chased by zombies…



Free again…sorta

I’m happy to say I am cast-free. Almost.

photo 1

I saw my orthopedic doctor yesterday. (And met yet another hunky young intern. OMG! What is it about orthopedic/sports medicine that attracts handsome young men to the field? ;-) )

photo 2

Dr. Pistel showed me my X-ray and actually high-fived me for healing so well. LOL.

photo 3

He told me I could start to wean myself off the cast.

Wean myself off the cast? What a strange thing to say. In my mind, I’d planned to toss the darn thing in the air like a high school graduate and run from the building shouting in joy.

But a few minutes in the company of the handsome young intern who asked me to do all sorts of common hand gestures to test the strength and flexibility of my wrist proved this baby bird wasn’t ready to fly solo. Ouch.

Although my bone has knitted nicely, my muscles and connective tissue have zero strength. “Let’s go with the Marx Brother’s school of medicine,” my doctor said. “Do anything you want, but if it hurts, stop doing it.”


So where does that leave me? Weaning…and waiting for Physical Therapy to start.

I dictated this blog on my iPad using Dragon. I find the application useful for making notes, but I don’t enjoy using dictation for my creative writing. It feels too stilted and requires a LOT of editing. Maybe if I kept at it longer I’d be better, but I plan to get back to work on my next Big Sky Mavericks book today–typing without a cast!!!–right after I get back from fifth grade.

Yep. You heard me right. I’m headed to my granddaughters’ school today to talk to my sweet Miss M’s class. Miss M is an avid reader, and when the print copies of Cowgirl Come Home arrived — the feeling never gets old!–she begged me to read it.

Cowgirl come home box

No. Sorry, dear, it’s a very adult story. But, after some discussion with her mother, my daughter-in-law decided to give her my very first Harlequin Superromance, That Cowboy’s Kids.

Miss M That Cowboys Kids

Naturally, she went to school the next day and said, “I’m reading my grandmother’s book.” Her teacher, who is new to the school, sent me post-it note inviting me to talk to the class about creative writing.

I couldn’t say no because my one of my favorite memories of helping in my children’s classroom took place at this SAME school when my son and daughter were in fifth and sixth grades. I love that life has come full circle yet again.

So, I’m taking off in a bit–wrist in cast–to talk about creative imagery and how to work all five senses into your writing. Cool topic! I wish I could bring along my other Storybroads! True masters of their craft!

Take care, all. Thanks for letting me share this odd little part of my journey. Healing takes time. I just have to keep reminding myself of that. In the meantime, the Marx Brothers and I are going to do anything that doesn’t hurt. ;-)


Happy Labor/Release Day

Today is the start of Labor Day weekend.

When I was a kid, this meant: the end of summer, the beginning of school, and a new season of TV shows.

My, how things have changed!

For one, I live in California, now, and it’s supposed to be hot all week.

weather CV

Second, about half the kids I know started school three weeks ago. My granddaughters start next Wednesday.

As as for network programming, the new shows, like Viola Davis’s new series, which I can’t wait to try, are still 3-4 weeks away.


Luckily, I have something to keep me busy until then. ;-)

For me, today is a different kind of Labor Day. Today marks the release of Nobody’s Cowboy, my second book for Tule Publishing, and the first book in my Big Sky Mavericks trilogy.


As every author knows, releasing a book is a little like giving birth. You’ve labored for weeks/months. You ate right, took your vitamins, did the research, picked a name and crossed for your fingers that the fruit of your labor would be well-received by the world at large.

The thing about Nobody’s Cowboy that has me worried is my hero. Austin Zabrinski was introduced in Cowgirl Come Home. He’s that book’s hero’s older brother. He has older brother syndrome. He may have felt he was only trying to take care of his younger brother but in doing so he may have come off a bit…umm…abrasive. Or, as several readers commented, “Austen is a pain in the arse.” (So to speak.)

Luckily, so far, the early reviews have all been positive.

From Shari: “Reading Nobody’s Cowboy, my family was wondering why I was laughing so hard. Communal toilet…Austen is redeeming himself already.”

From Christina: You have no idea how awesome it was to read “Northern California” and not find out she was from the Bay Area! And the mention of Jefferson was awesome, too! Loved it all!!!”

Like any mama, I’m nervous about sending my baby off into the big, chaotic world, but I’m excited, too. Here’s a buy link, in case you want to take advantage of the release day price of 99¢. BUY

So, what’s on your Labor Day agenda? I will be R&Ring with friends on the West Coast of California–and watching the Amazon stats for Nobody’s Cowboy, like the hovermother I am. ;-)


Have a great 3-day weekend, everyone!


PS: For those of you who love to hold a “real” book in your hot, little hands, Cowgirl Come Home is finally available from CreateSpace. http://bit.ly/CCHprint AND, the ebook version will be FREE at Amazon, Sept. 1-4, if you want a copy on your ereader, too. BUY