Garden #Perspectives- #SundayStills


Hungry bee in Hot Lips Salvia

This week’s Sunday Stills challenge is all about perspectives as chosen by Terri Webster Schrandt. You can see her photos and join the challenge here.

I’ve squared all the photos for my entry for Becky’s for July Square Perspectives challenge.

We’re spending most of our day out in the garden, so I thought I’d share some of my recent photos with you 🙂

To see a world in a grain of sand and heaven in a wild flower Hold infinity in the palm of your hand and eternity in an hour.

William Blake

We don’t what this is called, so we named it Dragon’s Tongue, lol
Raspberry Shortcake- a short, thornless berry bush

Behold, my friends, the spring is come; the earth has gladly received the embraces of the sun, and we shall soon see the results of their love!

Sitting Bull

Our garden is small, but mighty! Here you can see strawberries, blueberries, apple, peach, and a variety of flowers hummingbirds and bees love.

Gardens are not made by singing ‘Oh, how beautiful,’ and sitting in the shade.

Rudyard Kipling

Figs ripening

Won’t you come into the garden? I would like my roses to see you.

Richard Brinsley Sheridan

Don Juan-climber

Are you twitterpated? #springishere #Romance #mgtab


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Spring is here and love is in the air!

I love this time of year. Everywhere you look there are signs of romance. Hundreds of birds wake me in the morning with their songs and hummingbirds perform death-defying spirals during their mating rituals.

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My pets are full of energy and race around the house, practically bouncing off the walls! When we go for our daily walk, the sun is warm, the shadows cool, and the neighbor’s smiles are always friendly 🙂

There’s new leaves on my roses, the bleeding heart is flowering, and my fruit salad tree is full of buds! There’s something new and wonderful to see every day.

The bad part is that I have no motivation to write.

It’s hard to ignore the temptation to play hookie

Trips to the beach, playing in the dirt, and watching all those new spring shows they’ve launched on TV.

What’s a girl to do?

I found it helps to create forced deadlines by getting my covers done and then setting the WIP up for preorder. This way, I have no choice. I have to focus or run the risk of disappointing my readers.

Good thing romance is in the air- I need the inspiration!

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♥♦♥ Pre-Order Your Copy now! ♥♦♥

Crazy Little Thing Called Love

Take two stubborn fools, mix a touch of fate, stir in some desire, and you have the recipe for a Crazy Little Thing Called Love.

Sophia Shaughnessy left her beloved home in order to prove once and for all she was more than a pretty face to her family and ex-boyfriend, Tony. But, it backfired. When her grandmother needed her most, she wasn’t there.

Tony Morrison had been in love with the youngest Shaughnessy for almost as long as he’d been employed at her family’s ranch. Trouble was, he had secrets. Things he couldn’t tell anyone, especially the beautiful Sophia. So, he’d let her go.

But now she’d returned, bringing the winds of change to the Texas ranch, and Tony wasn’t sure he could protect her from the fallout.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07B92BRT1

Add to your TBR: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/39299639-crazy-little-thing-called-love

Singing in the Rain #Inspiration #amwriting #Globalwarming


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It’s raining!

I don’t know about you, but those of us in the northwestern part of Canada are celebrating. Every year it gets hotter and drier and the earth is aging seemingly before our eyes.

It was always a dream for DH and I to move to Vancouver Island. We came here on our honeymoon and every year after that we could afford the trip. I craved the beautiful cedars, rhododendrons, ivy, and ferns. The lush greenness of the rainforest, the scent of the ocean on the air, the slap of the waves upon the shore… I could go on and on, lol.

Thirty years later we made the move and it was just as amazing as we remembered!

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Photo curtesy of Tofino Photography

I’ve made new friends, explored this magical place I’m blessed to call home, and learned to feel the pulse of the land.

And it worries me.

The birds and wildlife that count on the weather to keep the forest green and the food plentiful, are suffering.

Global warming is not simply a term-it is a view of our future. Unless we do something to change it. Not soon.

Now.

We’ve just come through the worst fire season in our province’s history. I shudder to think how many animals perished along with our forests, crops, homes–lives.

The hurricanes in the southern United States destroyed countless businesses, displaced thousands of people, cost billions of dollars.

And that’s only the tip of a quickly thawing iceberg.

I know this seems all doom and gloom, but it doesn’t have to be. I think we’re being warned, shape up, or face the consequences.

The tide is turning. Many areas now are banning plastic bags, urging economical use of gas and electricity, and promoting more green spaces in cities. This is all good, but we need to do more.

Being part of the baby boomer generation, I think much of the blame lies with us. We grew up in a time of exploration (the first trip to the moon), innovation (personal computers and cell phones), and excess. Lots of excess! Plastic water bottles, disposable baby diapers, takeout foods. You name it, we’ve done it.

I’m amazed by our growth and embarrassed with our neglect.

And I thank God every day that the new generation has learned from our mistakes. My grandson knows all about recycling, composting, energy efficient bulbs, healthy eating, exercise, growing your own sustainable produce.

And he’s ten.

This tells me that we still have a chance.

I’m writing this, drinking herbal tea and listening to the rain as it dances on my roof, and I’m grateful because Mother Nature is forgiving if we just make an effort.

I Can See You Now #inspiration #amwriting #MFRWauthor


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Did you ever wonder how authors manage to visit all the places in the world they write so eloquently about?

Believe me, if I could travel to exotic locales I would (not so sure about different worlds though!), but most of us have to make do with researching the areas we’re interested in placing our characters into.

Whether it’s a castle in England

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or the vineyards of Italy

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We can get real-time views thanks to modern day search engines like Google. With Instant Street View simply type in any address and you’re instantly transported there with a complete 360 picture of the area.

Another great search tool for authors is Pinterest. You can find just about anything you’re looking for on subjects ranging from fashion to settings, and of course inspiration 🙂

My upcoming release, Hold ‘Em: A Gambling Hearts Romance, is set in the Texas hill country. I had visions in my head of what the area should look like, but needed to make sure of some facts such as what sort of flowers are prevalent in the open ranch fields? I did an online search and came up with this lovely field of bluebonnets:

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Perfect for my scene! Here’s a little taste of what I wrote:

Cassandra stared at him, bemused. The sun had decided to peek out from behind the clouds, turning his hair antique gold in the streaming light. Their clothes were soaked, but on him, it was a good look. His shirt plastered to his torso highlighted strong shoulders and a well-defined chest. One she wanted to rest her head against.

Startled out of her trance, she jerked her gaze out across the most beautiful valley she’d ever seen. Bluebonnets and healthy green grass waved back and forth, teased by a playful breeze. An old log cabin, its roof sagging and covered with moss, crouched by a babbling brook shaded by a giant cottonwood. And just to finish the fairytale, a multi-hued rainbow cast its benevolent glow over the entire picturesque area as though daring the rainclouds to return.

“Wow,” she said. “You weren’t kidding. This place is fantastic.”

A deer broke cover and slowly made its way down to the brook, testing the air every few feet.

Cass grabbed Matt’s arm, intensely conscious of the coiled strength that lay just under the skin. She cleared her throat and pointed, “Look, Matt, it’s a Bambi.”

Matt gazed at her instead of the animal, the quirk of his mouth causing a heart-palpitating dimple to appear. “What is it with women and Disney creatures?”

She laughed and dropped her hand, uncomfortable now with his sole attention. “Are you telling me you never had a favorite character from a movie when you were a child?”

He lifted his head and eyed the deer, his profile reminding her of a proud animal. When he turned back the humor was gone. “We should get down there before the weather decides to break again. You ready?”

Curiously sorry she’d ruined the moment, Cassandra nodded and they started out for the valley floor. The deer took one look at them and bounded away, disappearing into the woods on the far side of the clearing.

“What is this place?” she asked, lagging along in his wake, her hand brushing the top of the grass as they walked.

Matt glanced back, then kept going, his body cutting them a trail. “It was my great-grandfather’s first home. Dad used it as his fishing shack when he wanted a break from ranching.”

Cassandra gazed upon the valley with new eyes. She imagined an adventurous young man with Matt’s face riding across the Texas plains until he happened upon this magical land. Easy to see why he decided to stay.

If you’d like more of my vision for this story, check out my Pinterest board here

What about you? How do you research your settings? Any tips or tricks you’d care to share?

Hold ‘Em releases August 15th, I hope you give this funny, heartwarming book a try!

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In the game of love all bets are off

When professional poker player Matthew Shaughnessy wins the pot of a lifetime, he didn’t expect to land himself a fiancée.

Cassandra Gardener is left with little choice but to play the part of a Texan’s fiancée for a week if she wants to clear her father’s gambling debt.

Can two people with so much to lose win the biggest bet of all- love?

http://a.co/9OJfSea

International Link: http://books2read.com/HoldEm

Add to your TBR List: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34682965-hold-em

Spring is here


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The sounds of birds singing and the cheerful conversations of my neighbours out enjoying the sunshine heralded the passing of the long winter season.
Some, such as my six year old grandson,

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will miss it for all the great winter sports such as hockey, skiing, snowboarding, sledding, and skating.
As for myself, this was my first winter spent without snow, and while I have to admit I miss the beauty of it on a crisp, sparkly day, I don’t miss the roads or the never-ending shoveling.

For me, maybe because it’s my birth month, spring is a time of renewal and promise. I love all the signs as the grass turns green, the plants burst into flower and babies are born all over the animal kingdom.

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What about you? Is spring your favourite time of year?