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Dear Lord, where does the time go? My last post was back in April? April? Really? What did I do all spring, summer, and half of the fall? Publish a book?

No. Sadly, I will not get a book out this year. I did, however, complete a time travel that is now sitting in the hands of an agent. So, fingers crossed there. I also started the third book in my Western Hearts Series. This book will be Brett Henderson’s story. Brett was the ranch owner readers met in Wilder Hearts.

Reading? Yes. I’ve done a bit of reading this summer and can recommend a few books. There was a political spoof I read back in April. I don’t remember the name or the author, but it held my interest, despite reminding me how much I’ve come to detest politics and the media’s reporting on everything ugly in politics.

I also read a couple of romance novels and a romantic drama. Those I remember and can recommend. So, here goes:

Small Changes by Donna Steele


Melanie Daniels is back home, reconnecting with friends and taking over the family business. She’s content even if there isn’t that one special person in her life. Then she sees the man of her dreams stalking toward her.

Jonah Sanders and his daughter have been on the run for nearly two years. It’s time to regroup and rest. He doesn’t know what has drawn him to this small town but he’s learned to live by his instincts. So why does the woman next door override his instincts and cause him to think of a life he can’t chance?

My thoughts:

I’ve read several Steele stories, but I think this one is my favorite. It reminds me of an early Dean Koontz novel but with more romance, and there is a child in the story with special abilities secondary to genetic manipulation instead of a golden retriever. The hero, Jonah, is strong but vulnerable, and Melanie is self reliant and brave without being over the top.

It’s a good story with strong characters, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. If you like romance with a dash of paranormal in the style of Dean Koontz’s early works, you’ll enjoy this one.

Next on my summer reading list was Laura Browning’s Healing Touch-


A Place to Call Home…

It’s exactly what widowed father Luke Allred is looking for when he brings his son and daughter back to his hometown of Mountain Meadow, Virginia. Luke knows he needs to be a better daddy for his troubled kids, but his work as a veterinarian made it difficult in the past. He’s vowed to change, but he needs help while he settles into his new position with the local animal hospital.
Rachel Hastings is a woman with a healing touch. She takes in injured and orphaned animals, so helping out with two new-to-town children shouldn’t be tough. What she hasn’t counted on is their sexy father, her secret crush from back in their high school days.
Their attraction is immediate, but so many obstacles stand in the way. Luke and his family still grapple with the shock of the accident that killed his wife. Rachel carries baggage from her own failed marriage. Worst of all, Luke’s children hide a secret that is tearing them apart and may destroy any chance Luke and Rachel have of building a future together.

My thoughts:

This was my first book by this author, and I wasn’t disappointed. I love stories set in the south, and I love romantic suspense. This story fit the bill perfectly.There was good character development, especially with the son, Jared. He came across as obnoxious while still being likable and sympathetic at the same time.

The hero, Luke is a jerk in several places, but the motivation is believable as is his behavior…just like real men. Both Luke and the heroine, Rachel, are wonderfully flawed and quite believable, and I fell in love with them both.

Browning’s writing style is reminiscent of Nicholas Sparks, only her stories are set in the mountains of Virginia instead of coastal NC. Hers has a guaranteed happy ending though. So, I can’t wait to read the second book in this series.

Last but not least, I read my first Megan Hart Novel, All the Lies We Tell, first in the Quarry Road Series.

This sexy romantic drama from New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Megan Hart explores the tangled lives—and loves—of childhood friends.

My thoughts:

It was definitely a drama with very strong romantic elements. The sex was off the chart hot, and the characters were flawed to the point that I wanted to slap Nikolai and Alicia a couple of times over. But I still liked them both. They were sympathetic and likable with all the flaws of real people.

There were good supporting characters, and the author managed to redeem Alicia’s ex-husband toward the end so he wasn’t a total tool. There was also several hints within the book that a particular death might have been a murder. Or maybe that was just my interpretation. At any rate, I hope the lingering questions surrounding the death of Alicia’s sister are addressed in the second book.

So, what else have I been doing since April? Everything and nothing. Life has just been crazy chaotic.

My oldest daughter, son-in-law and granddaughter came up from Mississippi and joined my youngest daughter, her husband, their dad and me at the beach for a long weekend back in June. If you’ve never squeezed 7 people into a camper before, I don’t recommend it unless you’re a really close knit family. We managed not to kill one another and actually had an awesome time.

We spent time at the beach, ate out, walked on the pier, and squeezed an entire summer of fun into 4 days and 3 nights of cramped, family fun.

We spent very little time around the pool this year and didn’t make it to the beach much after that great weekend. And the times we did go, we spent repairing water damage to the camper and installing a new air conditioner.

We remodeled the kitchen, which looks fabulous, but some unforeseen circumstances led to some financial issues we weren’t expecting. In September, my oldest and her family made a second trip to NC to attend my youngest daughter’s baby shower, so that was another hectic, family-filled week.

Family was a big priority for me this year. My dad’s in failing health and made 3 trips to the hospital since April with COPD and congestive heart failure. He’s made some improvements and thank God, he’s still kicking, just not as high or as often.

There have been a lot of ups and downs this year from my dad’s health to job losses and career redirection to family weddings, and my mother-in-laws worsening dementia. For every up, there’s been a down, but the ups are still higher.

On October 19, my youngest daughter gave birth to our second grandchild–an adorable baby girl. Isn’t she just perfect?

So, as life moves ahead at warp speed and I feel as if I’m getting lost in the ups and downs of late middle age, I take some pride in the fact that I have an amazing family and some pretty good friends.

My day job may not be going in the direction I’d like, and my writing career may not be where I’d like it to be, but I’m still counting my blessings, and life is pretty amazing.