Tag Archives: heartwarming

Release day for Cherishing Caitlyn

On a visit with an aunt and uncle at an army fort, Caitlyn O’Mara meets a man with exceptional horse riding skills and is intrigued. At a ball, she enjoys a flirtation with the cocky rider where they exchange only first names.  Anxious to return to her horse breeding program, she travels back to the family ranch, only to discover the charming stranger is on the same stagecoach. When a broken wheel rolls the coach, everyone is injured and alone on the Texas prairie.

Mateo Beltran is on his way to investigate specially trained horses. He’s on the lookout for cutting horses to give him the edge for the roping event in the newly established professional rodeo. An accident leaves him injured with his future career in jeopardy.

Determined they are the most fit, Caitlyn and Mateo lean on each other to reach the next stagecoach stop to summon help. Trust develops but will it last when they discover an unknown connection?

A tragedy forces them to rely on each other to reach safety, but will the connection last?

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Release Day for Holly Bough Inn

Writer Kaleigh Templeton types The End on her latest romantic comedy script and heads out for a much-needed vacation. That this week is the first time her young son is spending Christmas with his father provided the perfect reason for Kaleigh to pitch in at her best friend’s mountain inn. Stopping for coffee at a roadside restaurant, she encounters a brash, impatient hunk who definitely needs a dose of Christmas spirit. Five miles down the road, her SUV sputters to a stop, and she pulls into a turnout. Before she can hike to the closest callbox, she watches a huge truck pull in behind and faces the gruff guy from the restaurant. Of all the rotten luck.

Ex-Ranger Vonn Lennart needs some ski therapy to provide clarity as he decides his next career move after the end of his military service. With a goal of opening a security company, he has to make some fast cash and is contemplating a job offer of military consultant on a big-budget movie to film in the spring. On the drive to his vacation spot, he keeps running into a perky brunette who he discovers is staying at the same inn. Their paths cross several times, and he’s intrigued, even asking her opinion of the movie script. But when things get messy with the appearance of her ex-husband and a kid, Vonn wonders if he’s in over his head.

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RELEASE DAY for Aebleskiver by Annika

Annika Nilsdatter juggles her new manager position at the Riverside Bakery owned by her best friend, Glynna, and being courted by Erich von Griswald, son of the town’s most prominent banker. A friend, the object of her young affections from her growing-up years, arrives in town. Suddenly, she is being flattered by the attentions of two handsome men to the detriment of the business. Guilt plagues her, but, just for a little while, she wants to feel special.

Levka Maksimillian, an undercover Pinkerton agent, is surprised to run into Annika in the town where he’s been assigned a case. At least, he’s in disguise so she didn’t recognize him. But when he’s injured, he has to rely on his good friend’s sister to nurse him back to health. Levka doesn’t want to put Annika in danger, but he has to heal fast. His role in hunting down the head of a theft operation is essential. Will the need for secrecy and their close proximity create a false attraction or a lasting love?

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New Release–A Christmas Tree for Trudel

1890, Bear Valley, CA

Rancher Gibson Bartleigh travels to Pine Knot to investigate how his younger brother was swindled out of his mining claim. He finds the suspect, businessman Bernard Heinrik, at a poker table and squares off opposite him. Gib goads the man into betting big, staking the mining claim and then ends up with the winning hand and retrieves the deed. Goal achieved, he heads back to the hotel, planning how he’ll leave in the morning and arrive triumphant in Redlands at the family home in time for holiday festivities.

Mail-order bride Trudel Andersen traveled from Los Angeles to Pine Knot to meet up with her fiancé, Mister Heinrik, with whom she’s been corresponding for several months. But he’s a day overdue in meeting her. She waits in the hotel lobby with her lace-making materials and her little dog, Butterscotch. Released from the orphanage two months earlier, Trudel has been on her own and terrified she will always be so.

When Gibson realizes he’s the cause for the lovely lady’s misfortune, he’s stuck with a dilemma. If he confesses what he did, he’ll have to offer the woman a ride back to where she came from. Propriety demands they marry, and both agree it’s only for the duration of the trip. But will forced proximity deepen the relationship into something more?

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Release day for Sweet Inspiration

Dependable Cadence Wills yearns for excitement. The owner of a yarn business, she is pulled in every direction by her demanding family. Haunting dulcimer notes draw her to a practice session where she spies an intriguing stranger.

Musician Rafe Frasco is a rover, bouncing between musical competitions. Interest ignites at his first glance at a woman enthralled by his music, who he learns has a heart big enough to encompass everyone within her reach.

A fantastic opportunity for Rafe presents Cadence with a dilemma—is she strong enough to negotiate the business deal that will take him away…maybe forever?

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EXCERPT

Unmarried and approaching thirty in a small town branded her as ready and willing to meet every unattached man who set foot inside the city limits. A sigh escaped. Like last week when Espe called Trent Sullivan over to their table at El Tres Amigos and then suddenly remembered an important errand, leaving them together. What Espe hadn’t known was Cadence and Trent already had been set up on blind dates—twice—by other well-meaning friends.

Nothing had clicked on those occasions either. Cadence craved someone with a mysterious past like in her beloved romantic suspense novels. A dark, shadowy figure who knew how to excite a woman with a molten look or a lingering touch. A man who fought to hide his pain and almost succeeded. Not someone like Trent—a guy whose high-school accomplishments she could probably recite.

Sweet plaintive notes of a stringed instrument floated on the breeze. Cadence stopped, straining to recognize the tune. A person didn’t grow up surrounded by folk music without knowing just about every ballad that could be plucked.

But this one eluded her. The twanging strings cried with a soulful sadness that grabbed her by the throat. Her thoughts were washed in loneliness, and she turned toward the sound, past the Heritage Herb Garden. A part of Cadence that couldn’t resist helping others had to see who was expressing such need.

She lifted the hem of her long skirt and hurried toward the haunting sound, as if the notes pulled her feet along the path. The compulsion to know who played added speed to her steps. Abreast of the groundhog pottery kiln, she slowed and peered toward the outdoor stage.

On the platform, several musicians were gathered—some unpacking instruments, others adjusting microphones. Off to one side, a dark-haired man sat in a straight-backed chair, one foot braced on a scratched case. He leaned forward and strummed a dulcimer, the light wood instrument cradled on denim-covered thighs.

Cadence stood a dozen feet away and studied the talented player. His too-long hair was tied back, his shoulders were broad inside his western-cut shirt, and his legs were long and lean. Scuffed boots, faded jeans and a worn Harley-Davidson tee-shirt composed his attire. Definitely more attractive than her own outfit. Even from this distance, she spotted a posture that meant the man had an attitude…or was mysterious. A thrill ran over her skin.

Who was this guy? He’d definitely swagger when he walked. Yummy. At the thought, she stepped closer, wanting nothing between her and the performance.

Long fingers picked the strings in a heated crescendo—note on teasing note, twang on shivery twang, strum on driving strum. He ended the song with a flourish, right hand arcing upward as the last note hung on the early morning air.

How did he know exactly how she felt on nights when everyone in Mountain View either had a date or was home curled next to a spouse? The isolation of being solo at the drive-in or enduring the knowing smile of a sympathetic waitress. His song wrapped all those feelings tight around her heart and squeezed. She inhaled, and the backs of her eyes stung.

Hadn’t she learned her lesson about musicians from the way Dale deserted her when his band got the chance to go on the road? Three years running, and he hadn’t yet steered the tour bus through his hometown.

The stranger laid a hand over the strings, rolled his shoulders, and lifted his head. Piercing brown eyes scanned the area, surveying the other musicians, and his gaze locked with hers. For a suspended moment, his gaze roved along her length, widened, and then returned to her face.

Under his scrutiny, she shifted her feet and tugged at the sides of her skirt. Her period costume didn’t exactly show off her figure to its best. Not that the fact should matter, but she couldn’t look away and chose to ignore the warning bells ringing in her head.

Release of A Quilter for Quint

Daydreamer Melisande Avenelle wishes all the social engagements her mother insists on would just disappear so she can focus on her quilt making. Where some artists see images in dabs of paints, Melisande imagines landscapes made from the fabric of the dresses worn at a tea party. After her refusal of the third man put forth by famed matchmaker Madame Treszka, she’s informed she must choose from three groom candidates arranged by her mother. Thinking Texas can’t be as bad as Newport, Rhode Island, for social engagements, Melisande boards a westbound train with the matchmaker as chaperone.

Widower Quinton Azar has a six-year-old son who wants a mama. Since his late wife’s passing four years ago, Quint divides his days between breaking horses for the Army and parenting his son with no time for courting. His mother manages the household and tends to her youngest grandchild, although she would love to move to Galveston to live with her sister. The telegram announcing the arrival of his mail-order bride—a woman his mother corresponded with—on the next stagecoach is a shock. Quint drives the wagon into town, intending to pay for her return ticket. The beautiful, but disheveled, woman who disembarks the stage is too dazed to trust traveling on her own. What has his mother arranged for his life?

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EXCERPT

If only she could back home, and in her sewing room, working on her latest fabric creation. She looked toward the closest window. Ah, to be outside and breathing the fresh breezes off the Rhode Island Sound. Through the glass spread a bounty of pink buds on a cherry tree. If she gazed long enough, the edges of the tiny blossoms would blur, creating clouds of—

“Did you hear me, Miss Avenelle?”

Jerking her head to the left, she cleared her throat. Had the man across from her asked something? Earlier, his droning, nasal voice delivering his highly acclaimed poem scattered her thoughts, like they escaped ahead of a buzzing bee.

Abner Thistle arched a bushy eyebrow and looked down his long nose, an action which flattened his double chin.

“No, Mister Thistle, I didn’t. Could you please repeat it?” Melisande dared not look in her mother’s direction for fear of the condemnation she’d see. Mother dragged her to this poetry reading for the specific purpose of encouraging another meeting with the acclaimed poet.

Please don’t ask what I think of your work. She would hate to have to admit she’d been transfixed by Penny Dunbar’s gown of green faille silk patterned with yellow and white flowers. With a reinforcing layer of muslin, the fabric would be perfect for the patch of landscape in her latest quilt hanging commission.

“I asked if you had any thoughts on the poem I read.” He wedged the Delft-patterned tea cup under his long mustache and slurped. His watery blue gaze stared across the low table between their seats.

She expected to see drips falling from the whiskers but they remained dry. “Oh, yes. Of course, you’d want to know.” How could she politely verbalize she really had no thoughts about the plight of a slug working its way across a gravel pathway? She’d read the great poets—Lord Byron, William Wordsworth, Phillis Wheatley, Robert Burns —and Mister Thistle would not be remembered among their number. “Well, sir…” She glanced down, wishing her cup wasn’t empty so she might stall by taking another sip. “I like to spend time in our garden and appreciated your inclusion of a lesser-known insect in your work. Not everyone appreciates how hard life is for slugs.” A statement containing a compliment and an indication that she had been listening must prove worthy of polite conversation.

His brows pinched, and he huffed out a breath. “Not an insect, Miss Avenelle. Slugs are gastropods.” He set aside his cup on a nearby table and leaned his elbows on his thighs. “I chose the slug because its vital purpose of ridding the garden of dead vegetation is often overlooked. I thought the imagery was so clear. But you appear to have missed the entire spine of the poem. I was making a comparison about how hard man must struggle through the dead ends of life to achieve each and every reward.”

Why did he use the word spine about a creature who possessed none? Telling her she didn’t understand the poem’s theme bordered on rudeness. Rather than dwell on hurt feelings, she admitted, at least to herself, she just hadn’t cared. “Oh, I see.” But she truly didn’t. If that’s what he meant to say, why not use those words? Weren’t poets supposed to be masters of the English language?

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Snowflake Cottage release

After receiving a life-altering health diagnosis, Jada Beldane heads to a holiday cottage in Sprucewood, Colorado. Armed with a handbook titled Ten Days to Find Joy, she vows to use every exercise to fight her way out of this funk and face a new year with a positive attitude. All she needs is a little time to herself and to stay away from children.

Following a disastrous marriage, single dad Graham Seaver does his best to avoid the tourists in his hometown. He’s determined to give his young daughter the best Christmas ever. Hopefully, keeping her busy will distract her from asking questions about getting a new mother.

On paper, Jada and Graham are a horrible match. But when the town’s scheduled events throw them together, will they succumb to the holiday magic?

Behind the book secret: When I took the outline to my plot group, I said I want this story to be as close to a Hallmark Christmas movie as I can get. We brainstormed about the elements that make those many holiday movies memorable. Then I needed to insert the inherent conflicts that drive the story. As I started writing the contemporary novella, I almost couldn’t believe the way the characters just came alive and challenged and completed each other in ways that surpassed my hopes. I made myself tear up and cry at a couple points, and my editor pointed out where her emotions were jerked, too. I’m proud of all my stories, but this one is super-special.

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Holiday Cottage (11 book series) Kindle Edition (amazon.com)

Happy New Decade and a new release

Happy New Year. May the coming year be one of health, prosperity, and happiness, and may we all strive to practice small but personal acts of kindness.

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Today is release day for Grayson, Book 8 in the Bachelors and Babies multi-author series.

A year ago, lawyer Grayson Wainwright’s brother was killed due to faulty metal bridge braces. When Grayson files a wrongful death case against a company accused of supplying shoddy materials to the Transcontinental Railroad, he relishes his chance to achieve justice. Grayson’s two witnesses intimately know the accused, Leary Riddock–one is his wife, Loraine, and the other is his secretary, Catalina del Mar.

Catalina and her husband, Joaquin, moved west from Omaha, working at various jobs for the Union Pacific. But when their infant son died, Joaquin abandoned her in Cheyenne, and Catalina was forced to support herself. She became a bookkeeper in Riddock’s construction company and soon learned her boss was not a legitimate businessman. As soon as the facts are revealed about Leary’s embezzlement, she agrees to serve as a key witness.

Then Loraine is killed right before she is scheduled to testify, and threats prove Catalina is next. Now with an orphaned infant on his hands, Grayson must move heaven and earth to protect his beautiful remaining witness…and his heart.

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Other titles in the series are:

Trace by Pam Crooks

Logan by Margaret Tanner

Carter by Cynthia Woolf

Barclay by Charlene Raddon

Dallas by Cyndi Ray

Sawyer by Winnie Griggs

Jared by Charlene Raddon

Kendrick by Zina Abbott

Amazon series page

Unspooky Halloween Story

Aleen MacRae blames the lure of the sea for breaking apart first her family then her engagement. When her interest is caught by a man she sees both in person and in a dream, she resists—afraid to believe in her aunt’s prediction that her future is tied to the sea.

Braden Williams is on the hunt for treasure buried centuries earlier by Rhode Island pirates. His search brings him to the property where Aleen lives. Collaboration on genealogy research draws them closer, and Braden steers her toward his true passion–sailing.

Attending a party with Braden’s family lets her glimpse what she’s been missing. An unexpected discovery before her date with Braden at the Halloween Midnight Organ Recital forces a decision. Will Aleen play things safe or accept what this free-spirited man offers?

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This novella was grouped into Hauntings in the Garden, Volume Two along with the following stories:

Love Her Like the Devil by Stacy Dawn

ShriekWeek by Anne Knol

Caper Magic by Veronica Lynch.

Anthology ebook

also available in print