On a different note, there are a LOT of treats mentioned in this book. A lot. So many, I was getting hungry while writing it. Let me know which treats you spot, which you’ve never had and which are your favourites!
Happy Holidays to you!
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Here’s a fun story for you. I’ve mentioned before that I use dictation to help write my books. It saves the wear and tear on my wrists, and I quite enjoy having a variety of ways to work on creating stories. I dictate, then read through on my ereader and make notes. I do adjusts and polish in Word, and I have all sorts of tricks that I use at different times and places to keep things rolling smoothly.
And they all work…until they don’t.
For example, when a spelling attempt fails, and not even Word can figure out what I mean, I hop onto Google and try typing it there. Google seems to understand my typo-laden attempts the best of any spelling helper.
Dictating helps solve some of those problems. In A SOLDIER’S CHRISTMAS WISH, you’ll meet a new friend to the community, Yvette. <==it’s a simple enough name, but I type it wrong at least 50% of the time. Dictating? Her name is perfect right from the start. I love that.
Yes, my Dragon Dictate program, who I affectionately call Duckie, is a huge help.
But not even Duckie can help when I simply stall out and can’t think of the right word.
I’ve never been one who fights to pick complicated words over simple ones. I feel as if descriptions can be very vivid without being excessively florid. But when I was writing the cookie baking scene in Hanna’s kitchen, where Brooke and the little girls Crissy and Talia are getting ready to make sweet treats—I came to an absolute stall.
I couldn’t remember what the things were called that you hang around your neck, tie around your waist, and use to protect your clothing. I was in mid-sentence and simply could not go on. Short of actually saying “the thing you hang around your neck and etc. etc.,” which I didn’t want to do, my mind was blank.
So, I improvised. I didn’t want to stop the story from developing, so I did the next best thing and used another description. I figured I’d fix it later.
Which is how the phrase “cooking vest” ended up in the first draft of the book. Three times in one paragraph.
It’s not there anymore, but now every time I see the word “apron”, I laugh a little.
I hope you enjoy Brooke and Mack’s trip to forever, full of cooking vests, hotwired classic-snowplows, and slippers.
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When A Firefighter’s Christmas Gift released last year, I was so excited. It was the chance to do something I’d looked forward to for a long time—start a series of sweet and sexy feel-good stories for my readers to enjoy over the holiday season and beyond.
Hanna and Brad’s book was not only a delight to write, but people enjoyed it, and it was a chance to have something special happening in Heart Falls outside the main trilogy that was currently unfolding for the Stone family. It was perfect!
…until it wasn’t.
See, getting to tell all sorts of stories in Heart Falls is something I’m enjoying. And I like being able to step into the lives of people in town who might be less mentioned in the main trilogies.
But I forgot that Holidays in Heart Falls is a series on its own, not just a random bunch of stories that take place between the other trilogies.
Long opening to reach this point: I’m about to tangle things up two ways.
If you read A Cowgirl’s Forever Love that came out in May (book 1 in the new Colemans of Heart Falls trilogy), you’re probably waiting for Karen and Julia’s stories. I didn’t write fast enough to get their books out before this holiday book. It’s not a huge thing because it will all make sense down the road. Those two books will be out in 2020 and everything will fall into place.
All you really need to know for now is that A Soldier’s Christmas Wish takes place in December, a year after Hanna and Brad’s story.
Here’s the tangled part—I didn’t let you know last year who the heroine and hero would be! In this story, you’ll follow Brooke Silver (Hanna’s friend and a local mechanic) and Mack Klassen (a retired soldier/firefighter who works with Brad at the fire station) in their search for the perfect old-fashioned Christmas, and incidentally, their happily-ever-after. Neither have huge unsurmountable pasts to fight. Their problems are pretty ordinary, which means they’re familiar to most of us—things like dealing with limited finances and trying to impress the people important to the ones they love. Pushing past the emotional limits they were taught while growing up to learn what’s right for them…
Surviving the snowstorm of the decade. You know, the usual.
I’m delighted for you to read A Soldier’s Christmas Wish and find forever along with them.
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I am so excited to announce that A Soldier’s Christmas Wish is up for pre-order! The second book in the Holidays in Heart Falls will release October 15th.
You can pre-order the book now at your favorite retailers:
What makes a good relationship?
When it comes to friends— Honesty with caring.
When it comes to lovers— Honesty with caring and lots of sparks.
When it comes to forever— All of the above, and I really think you need to be able to laugh together.
Being a couple for many years usually means navigating some difficult moments, as well as enjoying highlights and passion and things you’ve looked forward to forever. But another component to what makes a relationship last, I think, is the ability to laugh on a daily basis, sometimes in the middle of worst situations.
It might not be a belly laugh, but that moment when you have to smile, even when your heart is breaking—that’s special. That’s a connection that goes deep.
One of my favourite moments in A Rancher’s Bride is when there’s something happening outside the hotel where Kelli and Luke are staying, and…well, I’ll let you read part of it. It’s a light-hearted scene, but it takes place after a huge emotional change has begun, and it’s when Luke starts to see Kelli more completely for the first time.
May you have people in your life who truly see you, and people who want to share the little moments of joy with you enough to force you to come sit with them in a bathtub…
Luke woke to an empty bed, the bathroom door still moving as he peered around the room in search of his missing bed partner.
Her head poked out the doorway a second later, eyes twinkling as she crooked a finger and motioned for him to join her. “Hurry up.”
He hesitated too long because she rolled her eyes then marched out to whip back the top sheet and grab his hand. “Don’t worry, I’m not about to ravish you in the shower or anything. You’ve got to see this.”
This time he followed, curiosity winning out. She guided him to the deep soaker tub that sat in the corner of the bathroom, stepping into the empty basin so she could sit on the far side and point toward the mountains. “Look.”
It was a little strange, stepping into the empty tub. He leaned over her, and happiness bubbled up from inside as her laughter rang out.
The massive snowfall had been put to good use already this morning. Someone had built a field full of snowmen, with typical branches for arms and carrots for noses. Here and there were hats and scarves.
A herd of deer were foraging on the edge of the tree line. A couple of the does had fawns with them, yearlings by now, but still with a heightened sense of curiosity. Two of the young ones had wandered in amongst the snowmen, sniffing and scratching at the snow near the base of the rounded balls.
One fawn took a great liking to a scarf around a snow woman’s neck, grabbing hold of the end and giving it a tentative nibble. The deer tugged too hard, and the scarf tightened, knocking against the snow woman’s neck and decapitating the poor creature.
The loosened head rolled toward the deer, and chaos ensued.
Tails were lifted, flashes of white warning rang out. Deer jumped back, knocking into other snowmen. Within seconds the herd had trampled the snowy field, and most of the snowman army lay in ruins.
Kelli was laughing so hard she couldn’t breathe. She turned to toward him, catching his arm and dragging him with her into the bottom of the tub where she gasped for air between peals of laughter.
He felt pretty lightheaded himself.
How had he missed seeing this? How had he missed seeing Kelli?