Thursday, December 31, 2015

Happy New Year

I hope everyone has a wonderful New Year's celebration.

Best wishes for a happy, healthy, and prosperous 2016

Monday, December 28, 2015

Adventure Scrapbook – Melk Abbey in Austria

Perched on the cliffs overlooking the picturesque village of Melk, Austria and the Danube River, sits the Melk Abbey. This 900-year-old baroque masterpiece is fabulous inside and out, and the views from its regal position aren’t bad either.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Adventure Inspirations – A Rich Nation

“Wilderness is an anchor to windward. Knowing it is there, we can also know that we are still a rich nation, tending our resources as we should—not a people in despair searching every last nook and cranny of our land for a board of lumber, a barrel of oil, a blade of grass, or a tank or water.”

Clinton P. Anderson, U.S. Senator,
American Forests, July 1963

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Holiday Wishes

Here's a special toast to friends, family, fans, and followers.

 Make time to enjoy the company of friends and family, celebrate the reason for the season to its fullest, and  most of all, have a safe, fun, and a very Merry Christmas.

Best wishes for a happy holiday season!

Monday, December 21, 2015

Christmas Collections - Part III

I guess I only had time to share three of my six Nativity scenes this year. This one is the one my mom and I picked up while in Mexico many years ago on a volunteer trip. I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas. Revel in the warm memories of past holidays and cherish the new times together this year and in the future. 

Friday, December 18, 2015

Christmas Collection - Part II

This is my first Nativity scene. It’s made of bisque porcelain. Hanging in front of the set are cowboy stockings my aunt made, probably 40 years ago – another cherished memento from my childhood.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Nuggets From Life in Fiction – Whiteout Driving

Grace Talbot gripped the steering wheel of her white four-wheel-drive truck. Every muscle in her body tensed as she leaned closer to the windshield, straining her eyes, searching the blowing snow for the reflector poles, which lined the road, or for any tire track, which would indicate someone else had driven through recently.

Traveling the remote rural Wyoming road in a blizzard was risky, and she would have avoided such a stupid act if her Uncle Moss weren’t in the hospital fighting for his life and Butch, his only hired ranch hand, weren’t dead.

This scene and chapter from A Dose of Danger was based on an early morning drive on the same mountain road, but thankfully the reason wasn’t to respond to a tragedy, but to rendezvous with family for a Christmas morning celebration. Where Grace is forced to chain up, we had snowmobiles waiting at the road closure parking lot to enable us to snowmobile the rest of the way to our destination shown in the accompanying photo.  Remembering that morning drive enabled me to write this chapter in a matter of minutes.  

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Audio Book Adventures

Love audiobooks, romantic suspense, and adventure? Three of my novels are now available in audible audio edition on Amazon. I’ve posted the blurbs below and just click on the title to go directly to each book’s page on Amazon. Enjoy!

A Dose of Danger:  When researcher Grace Talbot and her team discover a possible solution for weight loss they are targeted by a group dedicated to controlling the multi-billion dollar a year diet-product industry. Her unsanctioned testing methods bring tragedy to the family ranch and the attention of the local sheriff’s deputy. With her colleagues either dead, missing, or on the run she soon realizes she must trust the deputy with her life, but can she trust him with her heart?   

Shrouded In Secrets: The massacre of an unarmed South American village, destruction of one of the greatest manmade wonders of the world, and multiple museum thefts ignite a desperate scramble to locate a deadly group of terrorists. An international team led by the ruggedly handsome, but emotionally scarred CIA agent, Cash Luker, scours the globe in an attempt to keep ahead of those striving to bring thirteen mythical relics together. As Cash’s team closes in on those responsible for the devastation he must conquer past demons in order to save the woman who has captured his heart and prevent destruction of legendary proportions.

Marked in Mexico: An idyllic Caribbean vacation turns deadly when hostages are taken at one of Mexico’s most popular Mayan ruins. The kidnappers believe the abduction will be a simple way to negotiate the release of a colleague from a Texas prison, but matters become complicated and the stakes much higher when they realize one of their hostages is the daughter of a powerful U.S. Senator and another is an ex-Army Ranger who has no intention of playing by the rules. After a daring escape the Senator’s daughter, Jessica, and the ex-Ranger, Jack, must endure a terrifying manhunt and a desperate fight for survival. While trying to stay alive in the unforgiving jungle they forge a bond that will last a lifetime and find love neither wanted, but were unable to avoid. 

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Christmas Collection - Part 1

I’ve never considered myself a collector. In fact, I find myself trying to downsize at every opportunity. But, my one exception, quite by accident, is Nativity scenes. I’m now up to six and each one has a special meaning. The first year I was married my mom got me the core group, Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus for Christmas, and each year thereafter she got me another piece until the company discontinued the line. My second set took me a week of negotiating while in Ecuador to get the price of the hand-carved set down to an affordable price. The third was passed down from my grandma and has extra special memories. I received a small colorful set from a friend, another my husband found at a yard sale when I wasn’t with him and he picked up knowing how much I love Nativity scenes, and another my mom and I got in Mexico while on a volunteer work trip. So, this holiday season, I’m sharing some of my cherished treasures, starting with the set that always adorned my grandma’s house and brings back fond childhood Christmas memories. 

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Have Yourself a Historical Holiday

What better way to celebrate the season than to step back into time with this collection of delightful historical holiday romances. Download for your kindle for only $0.99 each by clicking on the title below or to order the trio, Love’s Christmas Past, from Amazon in one paperback for $13.99 click here.

Fragile Blessings By Susan M. Baganz (Inspirational/Holiday Romance)
In the late 1800’s, Grant and Lily have established their farm amongst the bluffs of western Wisconsin. As they anticipate the birth of their first child, tragedy strikes. With shaken faith and grief driving a wedge between them, is it possible for three orphans to heal Grant and Lily’s heart and relationship? 

A Medieval Christmas By Rachel A. James (Historical Romance/Medieval/Holiday)
Lady Nola is a woman of good-standing, but one tragic mistake is set to change her life forever. Rather than be forced to wed a stranger to hide her transgressions, she flees from home. 

With child, hungry and homeless, Nola wanders the streets of medieval London in search of a Christmas miracle. 

Christmas Bells By Jewell Tweedt (Inspirational/Historical/Holiday romance)

Come hear the sounds of Christmas… 

Vivacious frontier widow Connie Rose Simonson manages two cafés while dreaming of the perfect Christmas for her son Andrew, but not everyone welcomes her success. A corrupt banker wants her properties and will manipulate anyone in his way. 

Dr. James Connor heals others while forsaking his own needs. The town’s only doctor, an influenza outbreak, and the holiday season leave him exhausted and discouraged. 

It looks like another lonely holiday for the Connor and the Simonsons until Andrew is injured and the doctor becomes entranced by the attractive widow. But James has been hurt before and hesitates to get involved, after all, a physician must always maintain a proper relationship with his patients. 

It’s up to angelic newcomer Diana to bring them together creating new beginnings, new memories, and to hear
Christmas bells ringing.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Nuggets From Life in Fiction – Horseback Escape

Storm leapt over logs and wove his way around everything he couldn’t clear. His nose was stretched out as if reaching for the finish line at the Kentucky Derby. His breathing huffed above the pounding of his hooves and the breaking of branches. Niki hoped his strength and endurance would last until they were safely away from the armed men.

As the horse finally managed to put distance between them and the sound of the bikes, Niki took in a deep breath and slowly exhaled. The noise of the engines had all but faded when she dared her first glimpse up since entering the trees. The sight brought a gasp from her lips. The sheer drop off was the last thing she saw as Storm launched himself over the edge without hesitation.

Niki felt as if they were suspended in mid-air. She leaned back until her head nearly rested on Storm’s rump and prayed his feet would soon touch solid ground. The first contact with earth jolted her body, throwing her forward, jamming the horn into her stomach and forcing the air from her lungs, but she hung on.

The horse didn’t slow since any attempt to change momentum or direction would be impossible and would send them tumbling to their deaths. She knew the descent from the ledge had only taken seconds, but it felt as if they were moving in slow motion for an eternity. The horse’s hooves barely touched the ground as he fled down the slope. Nothing seemed real and the only sound she could hear was a faint ringing in her ears and the heavy labored breathing of the determined horse.

Her knuckles were white as she grasped the saddle horn with every ounce of strength she possessed. By the time Storm finally came to a stop at the bottom of the cliff, she wasn’t sure if she could let go without physically prying her fingers free. Her fingernails dug into her palm on the hand holding the leather reins so forcefully that blood trickled down her wrist, yet she didn’t feel the pain.

Niki took several deep breaths to steady her nerves and gently guided Storm around to look back at what they had just ridden down.  Her eyes followed the impossibly steep, treeless, rock-strewn slope until her gaze rested on two men. They stood, stances wide, arms crossed, shaking their heads in disbelief. Niki glared at them for only a moment before reining Storm toward the trees and trotting out of their sight.

This scene from Big Horn Storm is a supreme embellishment, but derived in part from a cattle drive I was on as a teenager with my dad. We were taking the cattle to a high grazing lease for the summer. By the time we reached the steepest, last big push, the cows were getting tired and a few decided it would be easier to slide back down the mountain than to keep climbing. My dad was on a green-broke colt which wasn’t as surefooted as my palomino gelding, and getting a little tired herself with her heavier load. Anyway, my dad told me to go after them. I looked at him like he was mad, but nudged my horse, assuming he wouldn’t go if he thought it was too steep. He was a good cow horse, so didn’t hesitate to launch himself over the edge and follow the cattle. The slope was too steep and the dirt too loose to stop and I ended up beating the cows to the bottom. I still occasionally have those, “Man From Snowy River,” flashbacks, but the experience did help me write this scene in Big Horn Storm. My dad clearly had a lot more faith in the horse and my ability than I did, and thankfully he was right.