Friday, December 02, 2016


Between writing and decorating for Christmas, I’ve been hopping. Do you have your tree up and decorated yet—if you intend to have one? The cats and I have been decorating ours. So far, they just watch.

We’ve entered an especially busy season of the year and most of us need to de-stress. As an author and a reader, I de-stress by escaping into a book. Allowing myself to sink into another time or another world takes me away from day to day issues. If you do the same, I have suggestions.

ANGEL FOR CHRISTMAS is a contemporary romance that is my first work with an angel for a character. This book was a lot of fun to write. Jacob was a dot com success who has been sent back to prevent an orphanage from foreclosure. To accomplish his goal, he’s given the job of janitor at the orphanage’s school. Suzi Stephens is the school’s child psychologist who has had to take over as director of the Serenity Springs Children’s Home after her father’s death. She’s facing a giant balloon note due on January 1st and not much hope of raising the funds in spite of her diligent efforts. Jacob is given until midnight on December 24th to succeed. He suspects he doesn’t want to know what happens if he fails.

Suzi watched the new janitor walk away. He puzzled her. Much too young and fit, why was he working here? Not that there was anything wrong with being a janitor, but he didn’t fit the profile. Jacob Porter gave the impression of someone who’d be in a boardroom rather than behind a broom or mop.
She had to be careful who she exposed the children to and she wanted to know more about him. First, she had to get Missy her doll.
Back in her office later, she asked Valerie for the janitor’s application. Nothing in his file set off alarm bells. Background check, fingerprints, references. His former employer had died, but there was no indication of why Jacob had applied here.
Valerie asked, “Did you find anything off-putting in his file?”
She tapped a finger against the folder. “No, but I wonder if he’s a spy for the investor who wants to buy the property?”
Valerie gasped. “That explanation would make sense. Jacob Porter looks as if he belongs in a three-piece suit and a tie.”
“He certainly does.” Elbows on her desk, she rested her head in her hands. “I do not need this when I’m desperately trying to raise money.”
“I have faith in you, Suzi Q. You’ll find a way.”
Her father’s long-time secretary calling her by her childhood nickname comforted her. “Thank you for your support, Valerie. You’re expert at soothing my anxiety. But, this time I honestly don’t know what we’ll do if this gala doesn’t pay off.”
“Give the event a chance. You’re an excellent organizer. How many positive replies have you received?”
“Far too few. Dad was better at schmoozing than I am and he failed. I-I’ll never get the hang of this in time to save the home.”
The secretary walked to the doorway but turned back. “You’re not helping anyone worrying this way. Get busy, young lady.”
“You’re right, Valerie. I’ll check the names again.” Suzi sighed and resumed checking the RSVPs against her master list. Maybe today’s mail would bring good news.
After school, Katie Wilson, the kindergarten teacher, stopped by the office. Suzi’s morale had hit rock-bottom and she was glad to see her best friend.
“Hey, Suzi, how are replies for the gala coming?”
“Only declines arrived in today’s mail except for Mr. Hopper. If he continues in the pattern for other years, he’ll donate fifty dollars while enjoying the event and eating enough for three people.”
“Don’t let it get you down. You’re a capable woman and I’m sure you’ll pull this off again.”
Slowly, Suzi shook her head. “I’m not sure. Apparently Fate’s conspiring against me.”
“Want to go grab a bite to eat?”
“Not tonight, thanks. I’d be lousy company. Catch me another time.”
“Will do. Since you’re not going with me, I believe I’ll go on home myself. After a day standing, these new shoes are killing my feet.” Katie left for the day.
Moving slowly, Suzi gathered her purse and coat for her walk to her house, situated at one corner of the grounds.     

WILD WESTERN WOMEN – MISTLETOE, MONTANA is set in 1890 and includes my novella, MISTELTOE MISTAKE. Sheriff Riley McCallister is in charge of finding a new doctor for Mistletoe after the beloved Doc Jones dies. What a shock when a beautiful young woman, Dr. Shannon Callahan, steps off the train. Will the town accept a woman doctor? What about the sheriff—will he adjust to having a woman on the job? Others stories in this box set are by Kirsten Osbourne, Sylvia McDaniel, and Merry Farmer.
Buy link is

MISTLETOE MISTAKE by Caroline Clemmons – When the sheriff sent for a town doctor, he didn’t expect a woman.
MISTLETOE SCANDAL by Sylvia McDaniel – A city girl, a cowboy, and a dog trapped together in a blizzard discover Christmas wishes can come true.
MISTLETOE AND MOONBEAMS by Merry Farmer – He stopped at her saloon to rest but they ended up trapped alone together for a week.
MAIL-ORDER MERRY by Kirsten Osbourne – He wanted an independent wife, but he wasn’t so sure he wanted her to come with two young children and a nurse.

Outside the store, a crowd of running children barreled into her and she grabbed the wall to stop a fall. “Whoa. Where are you going so fast?”
“They’re running from me.” The sheriff strode toward them carrying the saddest looking dog she’d ever seen.
Poor dog was filthy with several shades of brown hair. He was far too large to be toted around in the sheriff’s arms.
“Is that your dog?” She reached out to scratch between the creature’s ears. He ducked as if he thought she’d hit him.
After putting her parcel more securely under her arm, she caught the dog’s muzzle in her hands. “Poor boy, has someone been mean to you? I won’t hurt you.” She stroked his head and scratched between his ears.
The dog’s eyes lost their fear and he licked her hand. The crowd of children chose her distraction to run away.
“That Doan horde probably didn’t intend to be mean, but they were terrorizing this animal. Five of them fighting over him and pulling him first one way and then the other. They’re lucky he didn’t bite one of them.”
“Whose is he?”
“Never saw him before. Looks as if he’s missed a lot of meals.”
“And baths.” She smiled at the lawman. “I guess you have a dog, Sheriff. What are you going to name him?”
The sheriff shook his head. “He’s not mine. I just don’t want him harmed or frightened.”
“Or hungry or dirty or lonely. You definitely have yourself a dog.”
He leaned toward her and spoke over the dog, “I tell you, I don’t.”
Shannon crossed her arms. “Think not? Put him down and walk away and you’ll see.”
Shooting her a glare, he set the dog on the boardwalk. When the sheriff stepped away, the dog stayed at his heels.
Shannon laughed. “You’d better feed your dog, Sheriff. And name him.”

I hope you will read these two selections. They’re fun, easy reading to brighten your day.
 Thank you to those of you who have bought my books. I appreciate you so much!

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