Tag Archive | Happy Endings

For the Love of a Chihuahua

I got my first furry pet when I was in elementary school. Second grade, I think. She was a solid black cat named Midnight, who I found on the school grounds and brought home. Originally, Mom insisted she stay outside, but when the first rainstorm rolled in and Midnight pawed at the back door, Mom’s heart melted and she brought her inside.

From that day on, we had cats. Lots of cats. We did what we could to come up with the most unusual names for them. After Midnight, we had Precious, (not so odd), Googey, Silmarillion, (my sister is a Tolkien fan!), Sarazar, Lithwaite, and Smokey. There were a few others, too, but these stood out the strongest in my memory.

Even after I left home, I continued to have cats. Luna was a big favorite. She was a beautiful Himalayan who went to live with my mom when I moved across the country. Upon arriving in the south, I had a cat adopt me. Spooky (another black cat) showed up on my doorstep on Halloween. Coincidental? Probably.

Spooky was a very cool cat, but three years after my arrival in Tennessee, I met my current husband. A man who is severely allergic to cats! Dog gone it! When we got married, Spooky went to live with a friend of mine. Sandy, my friend, had a pet hedgehog, and soon, Spooky and the hedgehog became best buddies.

Many years have passed since then, and for a long time, I was utterly petless. Then, my son left for college, and my husband and I became empty nesters. I never thought I would be affected by the quietness of our home with just the two of us in it, but it hit me hard. Because of my blues, my husband brought home Sophie, a sweet black Labrador. Eventually, Sophie had a litter of puppies, and we added Misty and Dusty to our home. They are the yellow Labs in this photo. Cute, huh?

I discovered I was a dog person, and I finally felt content giving up my love of having a cat in the house. My new big babies eventually weighed over 90 lbs. each, but that didn’t stop me from cuddling them. Labradors are incredibly lovable. They enriched our lives for over thirteen years, and when they died–all within a year of each other–my heart broke.

I decided I wasn’t going to go through that pain again.

BUT . . .

Odd how things change. A friend told me she was looking for a home for her Chihuahua. I never thought I’d like a little dog, after becoming so fond of the big ones, but Jax changed my mind and my heart. He has wormed his way in deep! This little guy has brought abundant joy and love into our home. He’s my companion when I write, and he does a great job of getting me off my rump every hour to take him outside. It’s easy to get caught up in my stories and lose track of time, and I used to set an alarm. Otherwise, I’d sit for so long, my legs would fall asleep!

Because of Jax, I’m moving a whole lot more, and I have no need for the alarm. He has his daily routine, which includes getting up at 5:30am. I don’t mind. He starts my day with joy, and in the evenings, when I’m relaxing and watching TV, he curls up on my lap and keeps me warm. His disposition is generally good, but he hates my telephone and gets jealous if I’m talking on it or playing games. (I love playing word games!) He wants the attention and whines when I give it to anyone or anything else. Maybe I’m spoiling him, but one thing’s for sure. I’m feeding off his unconditional love.

I still like cats, but since I can’t own one any longer, I’m grateful to have discovered the love of a Chihuahua. He’s about the size of cat, so maybe in that way, he’s a better substitution than the Labradors. He’s definitely easier to cuddle.

I heard that petting an animal can lower your blood pressure and reduce stress. I totally agree!

 

Write the Right Thing

When I began my writing journey, I confess, I was basically clueless on the industry and the methods of writing in general. Thanks to the guidance of my writer friends, Romance Writers of America, and the Nashville, Tennessee Chapter, Music City Romance Writers, I was given direction as well as an abundance of encouragement.

I discovered that my stories aren’t true romances, and what I write is often categorized as women’s fiction. However, a lot of women’s fiction ends sadly, and I do promise a happy ending. It sometimes takes a while to get there, and maybe not until the end of a series, but there will be a happily ever after.

I’ve always had a passion for history, and that love led me to write historical fiction. It’s so much fun to imagine myself walking into the past and what it might have been like to live in a different time. I enjoy the research and love to intertwine real history with my fictitious characters.

I appreciate every reader who picks up one of my books and shares my journeys. I think many of you wondered why I deviated from historical fiction this past year and ventured into medieval fantasy. I guess I can chalk that up to another learning experience! I followed my heart and wrote what moved me. Plus, I had it in my head that the medieval time period was in essence ‘historical,’ however, since I didn’t base my stories on anyone or anything ‘real,’ I definitely took a sharp turn away from my usual stories.

That being said, I hope you’ll give the Shrouded Thrones series a read and shoot me a message with some feedback. I like to think of this series as a grown-up fairy tale. In book one, “Island in the Forest,” the kingdoms are at peace. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07BJ2P283However, by book two, the story gets a bit dark when power-hungry evil rulers seek total domination. The final book in the series, “Queen of Prophecy,” will soon be released, and I’m excited to share how everything comes together. I’m going to miss the characters in this series, as well as the time period. Though set in fictitious realms, the story embraces the feel of historic England, with maybe a bit of a King Arthur flair.

I will soon be returning to United States historical fiction, and I’m excited to start on my next project. “His Heart’s Long Journey” will be based on the true story of one of my friend’s relatives. It will be set in the old west and end up in the small mining town of Murray, Idaho.

So, how do I know that I’m writing the right book? Every one I start is a new adventure, and I simply follow my heart. It guides my mind and fingers, and I just sit down and type. The funny thing is, sometimes in the morning, when I read what I wrote the day before, I don’t remember writing some of it. I guess I ‘get in the zone’ and just go. My characters frequently tell me what they want to say and do, and I just record it. Is that strange?

Unusual or not, I’m thankful for the freedom I have to write what I want. What a blessing to be able to do so!

If you are a writer, keep at it! Follow your heart and write what moves you. And if you’re a reader, thank you for every book you pick up and read. You keep us writers motivated and give us the ability to do what we love.

Stowaway by Darcy Flynn!

I’m happy to tell you about a great book I was honored to read before it went to publication. It was written by an author friend of mine, Darcy Flynn, and today is release day!

This romantic suspense will take you aboard a cargo ship and onto the high seas. Darcy expertly captures the feel of life on the water and takes you on a voyage to discover a mysterious saboteur.

Darcy writes sweet romance, and she has the gift of bringing characters to life who are fun, bold, and daring. Her books don’t disappoint. I highly suggest, you give this book a read!

Click on the link below, and it will take you to Amazon!

http://a.co/d/auuevIU

Her identity is hidden … He’s determined to uncover it

Charleston, South Carolina shipping heiress, MIRANDA MERRICK, discovers one of her family’s cargo ships, the Elle Merrick, has suffered multiple attacks by a saboteur. The devious actions have put the company at risk for bankruptcy. Refusing to sit idly, she boards the Elle in hopes of gaining help from her uncle, the ship’s captain, only to find a stranger at the helm.

In an effort to discover the culprit and save her family’s company, Miranda stows away on the ship – keeping her identity a secret while conducting her own investigation. Making matters more complicated, she finds herself attracted to the new captain, who could very well be the enemy.

Captain NOAH SHEPPARD is hoping to merge his small, cargo shipping line, Clayton Company, with the multinational conglomerate, Merrick Shipping. Upon discovering one of Merrick’s ships has been deliberately and systematically sabotaged by a crew member, he agrees to captain the targeted vessel in hopes of discovering the identity of the saboteur.

Two days into the voyage, Noah discovers a stowaway, and assumes she’s either the saboteur or in league with him. But what Noah didn’t bargain for is having to deal with the mysterious, gorgeous, redhead, who wreaks havoc – not only to his patience, but to his heart.

 

Goodreads Book Giveaway! Island in the Forest

Enter for a chance to win one of ten signed copies of “Island in the Forest!”

This medieval fantasy has been in my heart and mind for thirty years and is finally in print. I grew up loving fairy tales, and I was especially fond of the story of Cinderella. When I saw the musical version starring Leslie Ann Warren as Cinderella, my love grew. It brought the story to life in a way that captured my heart.

In my teens, I read the Arthurian Legend books by Mary Stewart. Her writing drew me in and for years I had a crush on Merlin. She captured him in a way I hadn’t envisioned him before. If you have never read her books, I highly recommend them.

“Island in the Forest” is a love story unlike any you’ve read before. Though it’s set in fantasy realms, I hope when you read it you’ll feel like you’re stepping through the gates of Camelot. However, in my story the gates are locked and no one can leave.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Island in the Forest by Jeanne Hardt

Island in the Forest

by Jeanne Hardt

Giveaway ends May 20, 2018.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

 

 

Cover Reveal! Island in the Forest!

I promised to reveal the cover for my new medieval fantasy, and here it is! It’s going through the final editing stages, and I hope to see it released next month or early in March.

 

Olivia has lived her entire life behind the walls of Padrida, a kingdom unknown to the rest of the world. As the king and queen’s only heir, she’s destined to rule. She’s given everything she needs, but wants only one thing.

Freedom.

Boredom plagues Prince Sebastian of Basilia. The realms have been at peace for more than a century, and he has little to occupy his time. He journeys to Black Wood—a dense forest with an evil reputation—seeking adventure. What he finds is something else entirely.

Free Download Dec. 8th-10th!

For a limited time, Deceptions, Southern Secrets Saga, book 1, is available to download for free! This is your chance to step into the lives of five families who are learning to live and love again after a war that tore apart our nation. I hope they’ll touch your heart.

Those of you who are already fans of this series know that it takes you on a roller coaster ride of emotions, with many unexpected twists and turns. True to life, things aren’t always pretty. However, I always strive for happy endings.

https://www.amazon.com/Deceptions-Southern-Secrets-Saga-Book-ebook/dp/B0139LASFS

Deceptions2_1400

Wonderful Holiday Reads!

It’s that time of year, when it’s fun to cozy up with a good book and something hot to drink. So, I decided to recommend a few books that will help warm you up from the inside out.

From ‘sweet’ romance writer, Darcy Flynn, Seven Days in December.

seven-daysin-december

Elementary school teacher, Nikki Carpenter, packs her bags and heads to a friend’s cabin in the Rocky Mountains for the holidays. Not only does she need an escape from her busy work schedule, it’s time to start healing. Time to say goodbye to her late husband and begin living again.

Traynor Michaels needs time to think. Between his current girlfriend pressuring him to get married, and his sister’s constant matchmaking efforts, he’s more than ready for a few days alone in his family’s one-room mountain cabin.

Double booked and trapped together during a blizzard, frustration sets them both on edge. Traynor is immediately attracted to the gorgeous Nikki. But her affinity for lists and the habitual twisting of her wedding band proves beyond annoying, until he realizes something deeper is going on. As for Nikki, the handsome man sleeping on the sofa just messed up her plans, yet he may hold the key to her finding Christmas again.

You can purchase Seven Days in December here: https://amzn.com/B019O2LVIO E-book is just $1.99!

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Now, if you want to go from sweet to spicy, here are a couple books from author, Cynthia Gail, that will warm you all the way to your toes!

First, a romance set in Nashville, Tennessee, Winter’s Magic.

Owner of La Bella Vita, a five-star day spa nestled in the affluent suburbs of Nashville, Tennessee, Beth winters-magicSergeant knows her elite clientele first hand. She attended their private schools. She was even engaged, although briefly, to one of their most recognized bachelors. But she never fit in to their social-elite world.

After losing his parents to a car accident at a young age, Nick Chester was raised by his grandfather, the wealthiest man in Nashville. When he chooses to socialize, he has a never-ending list of exclusive events and beautiful women vying for his attention. Yet he never lets himself forget that everyone has an agenda.

Beth can’t resist Nick’s charm and accepts an invitation to dinner, despite her deep-seated insecurities. She proves she’s nothing like other women Nick’s dated and learns to trust him in return. But just as the last of their resistance crumbles and true love is within reach, challenges from Nick’s past threaten to destroy everything and force Beth to reveal her most guarded secret.

You can purchase Winter’s Magic here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B009WEFVLI

 

Perhaps you’d rather escape to another country for a bit of Christmas-time romance. How about Paris?

Cynthia Gail’s, A Paris Christmas, will take you there.

a-paris-christmasBillionaire Nicholas Adrien Rousseau works seven days a week. He lives on a schedule, doesn’t like surprises, plans his days, and outlines his goals. Until an irresistible blonde slides into the backseat of his Mercedes, mistaking him for the driver of the car service provided by his company, Bridal Bliss.

Bella Rose is late for the airport. The opportunity to turn Creative Couture into an International marketing firm is a dream come true, but if she doesn’t catch the last flight home to the states, she’ll miss Christmas Eve with her family.

Two strangers with an attraction that could melt an iceberg, are stranded in the heart of Paris, the city of light and love. When Bella throws caution to the wind, deciding to accept the spontaneity life has thrown her and enjoy the journey, she never imagines it will lead to the man of her dreams. Adrien realizes too late that by hiding his identity, he could lose the one woman who loves the man and not the money.

E-book is just .99 cents! You can purchase it here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B018LGRH32

 

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As for my own books, both of my series have Christmas chapters, so if you want some lengthy reads, start with book one of my Southern Secrets Saga, Deceptions, or perhaps book one of the River Romance Series, Marked. Buy links for all my books are found by clicking the books tab above and scrolling down to the book you’re interested in.

For this special blog, I’m featuring my slightly unusual, yet magical tale, A Golden Life. Not only does it take place over Thanksgiving and Christmas, it, too, is a bit on the spicy side, and will take you on emotional roller coaster. You’re sure to laugh, and likely cry. But like all my books, it has a happy ending.

In the beautiful mountain setting of Gatlinburg, Tennessee, something unusual is about to happen…agoldenlifenew_850

Traci Oliver may be a best-selling romance author, but for the first time in her writing career, she can’t type a word on the blank page. Book number fifty is supposed to be her best ever—her golden book—but inspiration joined her husband in the grave. How can she write about love with a shattered heart?

At the precise moment of the anniversary of his death, a knock on her door changes everything.

Characters from her books take on human form and tell her they’ve come to help her. Of course, she doubts her sanity. Are they real, or has she lost her mind? When she lands smack dab in the middle of one of her own love scenes, she assumes the latter.

Her doctor says grieving is a process, but she never dreamed that part of the process would bring her heroes to life. She wonders if all people experience this kind of thing, or is it a weird phenomenon reserved solely for romance writers? Truthfully, the only hero she wants is her husband, and she can never be with him again.

Or maybe she can…

You can purchase A Golden Life by clicking here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B017Z6CREI

 

I wish you all happy holidays, and very soon, a more-than-merry Christmas!

Joyful reading!