Since it’s the start of December, I’m sure your world is currently full to the brim with plans and preparation and a whirlwind of activity (safely done!)
Somewhere in the midst of the busy, take a moment for yourself. I hope you fall in love with Ryan and Madison as they introduce Heart Falls to a Not-So-Traditional Nutcracker, as well as the gaudiest sweater in Alberta.
This hero needs a holiday miracle or two—and she’s just the one to deliver.
Single father Ryan Zhao didn’t expect a ghost from his past to literally slide back into his life. His longtime friendship with Madison Joy is a pure, sweet memory, and with the holidays fast approaching, her surprise visit is perfect. Maddy’s a breath of fresh air, full of ideas and enthusiasm—and far too attractive to a lonely man like him. Best friends to lovers might be tempting, but it’s also dangerous since she’s leaving after Christmas.
Madison thrives on fixing things. If Ryan insists she stick around and bother him and his adorable daughter for all of December, she’ll do what she can to make his life brighter. Which means reviving their ugly sweater tradition, organizing a not-so-traditional Nutcracker—and fighting to keep from falling in love with her former best friend and his motherless child.
She’s already given up her dreams once to help take care of her family. No matter how much he wants her to stay, Ryan refuses to ask her to do it again for him and his little girl. Can holiday magic find a way to take these two lonely hearts from friends to forever?
I know this is a collection and not a full novel, but I ADORED writing another story for Lisa and Josiah, and I can’t wait to share it with you! It’s a one hundred percent feel good, enjoy the smile on your face, adventure.
After this, we’ll be headed to the holidays and some other special announcements, but for today, take a break and fall into a continuing happily-ever-after.
Here’s a fun excerpt for you with Lisa heading over to Karen’s for a visit, and ending up with some quality time with a certain dog and a cat!
Lisa knocked on the door then let herself in. “Karen?”
No answer. She checked her phone to find a message.
Karen: Sorry. Had to run over to Tamara’s to grab something. Make yourself comfy. I’ll be right back.
Lisa didn’t bother to respond. She took her sister at her word, and after rummaging in the refrigerator to grab an iced tea, she settled on the couch next to where half the contents of a box was already spread over the coffee table.
Ollie jumped up beside her, followed immediately by the sweet white kitten by the name of Dandelion Fluff. Dandy and Ollie touched noses before the kitten firmly made his way into Lisa’s lap. He stretched for a moment, his little pink nose wiggling.
Lisa brushed two fingers down the back of his head. “Well, aren’t you cuddly today?”
Dandy curled up directly on top of her stomach, a small, round bundle of fluff. An instant later, Ollie had settled in as well, torso draped over Lisa’s thighs so she could rest her chin on the back of the cat and still crack open an eye every now and then to make sure her human wasn’t going anywhere.
Lisa snickered at discovering she was trapped. The coffee table was only a foot away, but there was no way to grab anything off it without disturbing the very relaxed creatures in her lap.
“Well, I suppose that’s one way to make me take some R & R.” Lisa eased her head back on the couch and took a deep breath. The peaceful quiet of Karen’s home surrounded her, with nothing but a grandfather clock ticking somewhere in the background.
Unbelievably, she must’ve fallen asleep, because the next thing she knew, Ollie had gone off again. For a well-behaved little dog, the creature had suddenly decided to exercise her vocal cords far more than Lisa thought appropriate.
Ollie’s bark went off in Dandy’s ear. The cat leapt skyward, an annoyed yowl escaping him. He landed on the floor, shooting to the side of the room as Ollie jumped off the couch as well, beelining instead for the front door, where Karen stood.
“Ollie. Be quiet.” Lisa attempted to blink herself awake.
Karen glowered at the barking dog as if she’d discovered a pile of poop instead of a pile of pup at her feet. “Every now and then I remember why I don’t usually like animals in the house.”
“Oh, stop it,” Lisa said with a laugh, crossing the room quickly. The instant she scooped up Ollie, the dog ceased her annoying new habit. “I have no idea what’s gotten into her.”
Dandy was perched on top of the nearest bookcase, and he hissed his disapproval at all the noise and upheaval.
Karen snickered. “Well, it seems as if the animal kingdom is out of sorts. Come on, we’ll grab them some treats and sweet talk them into loving us again.”
Re-visit the Heart Falls Happily-Ever-Afters to date.
Includes the short story:
A cute puppy, a wedding, and a baby. ← that’s it. That’s the blurb. Lol.
Also, three other weddings.
I’m excited to share that I’ve written a short story with the title of Oh Baby!
I’ve written vignettes to follow up with couples before, but with the way that the books have worked out timing wise, I had a fun story for Lisa and Josiah that didn’t fit into the background of the next Heart Falls title. So, short story it is! Somewhere around novella length…
I’ve put OH BABY! plus three vignettes into Three Weddings and a Baby, Heart Falls Vignette Collection #1. This will be the ONLY way to get the short story.
That’s the baby part!!!
The three vignettes are:
Surprised at Bootstomp Point: Caleb & Tamara
Heartfelt at Heart Falls: Walker & Ivy
A Wild Horse Wedding: Luke & Kelli.
It’s ready for preorder now!
(Anyone really alert will notice this is a month later than I originally said, but we’re good to go now!)
Here’s a fun little tidbit with Ollie…and her people.
Release date: Sept 8, 2020
The group of them rang in the New Year, cheers rising skyward as the clock ticked past midnight. Everyone turned to their partner for a good-luck kiss, and as Josiah pulled her close, Lisa was definitely counting her blessings.
His lips against hers were warm and yet demanding. There was no getting distracted when he wanted her full attention. Except for—
An excited yip sounded by their ankles, and Josiah’s mouth curled into a smile before he’d even finished the kiss.
Their foreheads touched briefly. “Somebody else wants to say happy New Year.”
Lisa swooped down and grabbed Ollie, cuddling the pup between her and Josiah. “Yes, you need to be part of the celebration as well,” she told the little terrier seriously. “Happy New Year, Ollie.”
She pressed a kiss to the dog’s head then lifted her gaze to meet Josiah’s.
“Don’t let your sisters see you do that,” Josiah warned in a whisper.
“Too late,” Julia whispered in return as she walked past, tugging Zach with her.
It wasn’t much later that everyone left, headed back to their own homes. Tamara to a nine-month-old baby boy and the rest of her and Caleb’s family she cared for as a full-time mom. Karen was off to the big ranch house she and Finn were renovating while getting the ranch up and running. Julia and Zach were the last to go, discussing ideas for building a place of their own as well dealing with their tasks for Red Boot ranch.
Lisa and Josiah put away a few things before leaving the rest for the morning.
“What do you think about starting the new year right?” Josiah asked the question with a voice that had gone deep as he crowded her down the hallway toward their bedroom cautiously, to avoid kicking Ollie, who kept pacing underfoot.
“That’s a wonderful idea,” Lisa said with great enthusiasm. She wrapped her fingers around his collar and smiled up demurely. “It’s very important to get at least eight hours of shut-eye, so we should probably hit the sack right now and go straight to sleep.”
He slipped their bodies into alignment and let her know exactly what kind of activity he had in mind. “Tease.”
“Never.” Lisa said softly. “I love you. Last year, this year, and every moment into the future.”
Ollie was sent to her bed in the corner with a firm directive to stay. The agenda after that faded into loving. The night had been as close to perfect as possible from beginning to end.
Only when Lisa woke, sun shining across the bed and turning the first day of the new year into something shiny and bright, the problem that had been itching the back of her brain revealed itself crystal clear.
Everyone in her family had goals set for the coming year. Everyone had a job to do. Everyone.
After the stories are done, their stories go on.
One of the great parts of writing a long, family saga is that I get to revisit characters who have already hit their happily-ever-after. Over the past couple of years I’ve written short vignettes revisiting characters from the HEART FALLS series. They’re written specifically for readers who have already enjoyed the main stories. These visits with favourite friends were sent out in newsletters, and are available for FREE ON MY WEBSITE.
But, for readers who want the stories on their ereader, I’ve made them available digitally for your convenience. Check first to see where each vignette fits into the full series if you want to avoid spoilers for books you haven’t yet read!
AS WELL, this collection contains a BRAND NEW story for Josiah Ryder and Lisa Coleman. This collection is the ONLY place to read this story!
THIS COLLECTION CONTAINS:
1. Reading Order for the HEART FALLS series
The following wedding vignettes:
2. Surprised at Bootstomp Point (Caleb & Tamara)
3. Heartfelt at Heart Falls (Walker & Ivy)
4. A Wild Horse Wedding (Luke & Kelli)
And the novella:
5. Oh Baby! (Josiah & Lisa)
A cute puppy, a wedding, and a baby. ← that’s it. That’s the blurb. Lol.
Longer cheater version:
Lisa and Josiah are thoroughly enjoying each other’s company. He’s got his veterinarian work; she’s been busy stepping in to help her sisters and friends whenever and wherever they need. And they have Ollie, the sweet little terrier that can’t get enough of either of her favourite humans.
But as one year ends, and a new one begins, Lisa can’t help but wonder if there’s something she’s missing. What exactly is she supposed to focus on now that her extended family is settled and all her sisters are happy?
And a sneak peek:
6. Chapter One of ROCKY MOUNTAIN FOREVER
I hope you enjoy these visits to Heart Falls!
Finishing up the Whiskey Creek Coleman stories is bittersweet. I first got to know three of these ladies way back in their Rocky Mountain House days. Seeing where they’ve come to and knowing that each of them, Julia included, now have a place to call home with men who truly appreciate them and love them unconditionally—
It’s been worth every tear along the way.
Although I wouldn’t call this an emotionally tough book. I mean, starting out with a fake-relationship, sliding onto a drunken wedding. Add hot yoga (sort of), a lot of dancing, and a dad who shows up at exactly the wrong moment…
I’ll stop there, and let you enjoy the story. Here’s to falling in love and Elvis songs.
And here’s to teasing like only sisters can provide. Enjoy a short excerpt.
Julia’s sisters exchanged a glance before Karen took charge. “Considering that sentence didn’t start with do you think, now is when we start guessing.”
“Do you think…Rose would mind if I took Zach dancing?” Lisa asked sweetly, before qualifying. “The I in that statement being Julia, of course.”
Karen responded instantly. “Rose wouldn’t mind at all. She insisted she was done with him.”
Lisa snorted. “That just sounds so wrong. But you’re right, she did say that.”
As embarrassed as Julia was at the twist in the conversation, the teasing from her sisters was gentle-hearted. Julia’s cheeks heated, though. “That’s not what I was going to ask.”
Lisa ignored her, speaking directly to Karen. “Do you think…Zach wants to take Julia dancing?”
“Is that what they’re calling it these days?” Karen quipped.
A snort escaped Julia, and her sisters turned happy faces toward her, leaning in to speak in a conspiratorial tones.
“You like him, don’t you?” Lisa asked.
“Of course I like him.” Julia was shocked at the question. “He’s Finn’s best friend, which means he has to be awesome or else that wouldn’t have happened. Plus, he’s really nice to Karen.”
“Pshaw.” Karen waved a hand. “Zach’s nice to everybody. He’s just plain nice.”
A mischievous smile slid over Lisa’s face. “You know the nice ones are usually the dirtiest in the bedroom.”
“Lisa.” Both Julie and Karen spoke in a scandalized tone at the same moment, and suddenly the guys glanced over as if very interested in their conversation.
Karen stuck out her tongue at Finn. “Never mind. Nothing interesting happening over here.”
Julia met Zach’s gaze and wondered what she’d gotten herself into.
When his best friend’s sister-in-law approaches him with an urgent plea for help, Zach Sorenson goes with his gut. Kiss the woman? Of course. Pretend to be her short-term boyfriend? No problem.
Accidentally end up married? Problem.
Julia Blushing is still reeling after discovering the family she never knew existed. Trusting anyone right now isn’t easy. Allowing tall, dark, and tempting Zach into her life for more than a few weeks? Huge problem.
But when their marriage triggers a legal complication, sticking together is the only option.
Still, this impossible situation needs some clear guidelines. No unnecessary public displays of affection. Absolutely no sex. For 365 days. While they live together… Good luck on that one.
Every book I write becomes special for some reason. This one—there are deep truths that became clear as the story progressed. Some universal lessons about family that made me think hard and long about what’s truly important, and how discovering them would guide people to try to become better in the future.
While the story is about Finn and Karen learning how to be rock-solid for each other as a couple, it’s also about looking within and deciding what would make them into who they need to be for themselves.
And if that sounds too woo-woo and emo, don’t worry. There are also wild horses, foals, and Dandelion Fluff, the kitten. Duck races and human CLUE games and a lot of time spent by a bonfire.
Throw in sisters, laughter, and tons of sparks of joy, and you’ll have the not-so-very-secret anymore love affair of Karen and Finn. I hope you enjoy this second chance at love.
Here’s a short excerpt so you can meet Dandy!
It was barely two o’clock, and he was done.
As Finn made his way slowly across the yard and up to the cottage, parts of his body screamed in pain that he hadn’t expected.
He made it as far as the living room before a little ball of white fluff attacked the sock covering his uninjured foot. The next moment, the demonic creature had all four claws dug into the thick knit fabric, limbs splayed wide to keep his balance as Finn’s leg swung freely.
It was like an elephant getting attacked by a mouse, and in spite of his pain and exhaustion, Finn discovered laughter bubbling up.
He pulled out a kitchen chair and leveraged himself into it. Once his foot was resting on the ground, the kitten made his way upward, climbing Finn like a scratching post.
“Oh, hell no. None of that.” Finn grabbed the thing by the scruff of the neck before he could dig his claws into Finn’s crotch. He held the kitten in the air in front of his face.
The beast swung teeny paws and offered adorable growling meows.
Finn snickered. “Should’ve called you Marshmallow Fluff. You’re sweet enough to make a man go into shock.”
He scratched the little thing under his furry chin then tucked the kitten against his chest. He kept one hand over Dandy’s body, cradling him close, and the next thing Finn knew, the kitten was purring, nuzzling his shirt.
“Now there’s a sight.” Karen stood in the doorway, a soft smile on her lips. “I wondered where you’d gotten to, but now it all makes sense. You knew Dandy needed cuddles.”
“Can’t have him getting lonely,” Finn said gruffly.
Wealthy rancher Finn Marlette’s move to Heart Falls to fix what went wrong between him and Karen Coleman just got complicated. Suddenly he’s got five months to get his new dude ranch up and running, or lose the place to a hated rival.
New agenda: Show up on Karen’s porch, tell her they belong together, and offer her a job.
After a lifetime of following the rules and other’s dreams, Karen’s determined to find her own path. The last thing she needs is to get involved with Finn again—it was only a secret fling, and she still fell hard.
But the summer job he offers is tempting—it’s a chance to work with men who truly appreciate her ranching skills. Finn’s determined to tempt her into remembering all the delicious sexual appreciation between them as well.
Wild horses can’t keep them apart, but sabotage and too many secrets might…