What I’m Working On

It’s been a while since I made one of these posts, so I thought I’d do it now. 🙂

Forever Yours is up on pre-order for anyone who wants to reserve their copy today.

Adobe Photoshop PDF

Click here for the pre-order page on this site.

It’ll come out November 2.

When I put it up on pre-order in September, November 2 seemed like such a long way off. Now I think I need to make the blog post announcing it’s up before I blink and November 2 passes me by. 😛 Time has only seemed to speed up since I started homeschooling my kid.

Anyway, this is Dave and Mary Larson’s third and final book. This gives a nice completion to their overall story. I’m glad I wrote it. It was nice to see a light-hearted look at their life after all the drama I put them through.

The rewrite of The Stagecoach Bride is finally here!

I don’t know how many of you remember this book:

The Stagecoach Bride ebook cover

But this is the rewrite of it:

The Outlaw's Bride ebook cover2

This will be out in January.

The basic plot is the same. The heroine is on the run from having to marry a ruthless man when a group of outlaws rescue her from ending up with a man who’s even worse. I don’t want to say more than that in case someone never read The Stagecoach Bride. But I took the entire book and rewrote it. I got rid of some characters. I changed some characters. I deleted some events and added other events. Stephannie Beman allowed me free reign to do whatever I wanted, so I did.

This is the start of the Wyoming Series. I have plans to make three books after this one. I already started Book 2, which is The Rancher’s Bride.

Special note: Since some of you have bought and read The Stagecoach Bride, I don’t think it’s fair that you should have to pay for this book, too. So when this book comes out, I’ll be offering a special coupon so you can get this book for free. But that coupon will only be good on Smashwords and on Payhip. AND I will only be putting this coupon on this blog and on my newsletter blog, I’ll also only be offering the special offer for a week or two.

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These are the books I’m currently writing:

Breaking The Rules new ebook cover2  The Duke's Secluded Bride ebook cover  The Rancher's Bride ebook cover 2

I haven’t made much progress in any of these because I’ve been adjusting from one homeschool plan to another. As of today, my kid and I are now on track with everything, so I’m hoping I can get back to writing this upcoming week. *fingers crossed*

I’m sure I’ll get more into the progress of those three books as the next couple of months go on.

Idea for a Future Book

While I was getting things switched in the homeschool arena, the idea for Book 2 in the Marriage by Design Series came to me, and as luck had it, I found the perfect pre-made cover for it on Period Images, so I grabbed it before anyone else could.

This book follows Breaking the Rules, which is shown above. Once I finish Breaking the Rules, I plan to go into this book.

Nobody's Fool ebook cover5

This will be a cute and fun one to write. In Breaking the Rules, Lilly tells a certain geeky gentleman, Benjamin, that her friend, Emilia, had been talking about him the other day. She didn’t mean for Benjamin to assume Emilia was in love with him, but that’s exactly what he concluded, and as I’m writing Breaking the Rules, poor Emilia now has to marry him because her father’s happily arranged behind her back.

By the time we time we get to Nobody’s Fool, it’ll be Emilia’s wedding day, and she’s made a vow that she’ll do everything possible to dissuade Benjamin from falling in love with her so that she might be fortunate enough to live in a separate townhouse from him for the rest of her life. Being that this is a romance, things won’t go as she plans, of course, but I expect it to be so much fun to see what antics she comes up with in order to be as unattractive a wife as possible. It’s times like this I wish I could write more than three books comfortably at a time. But I can only manage three, so I’ll be good and wait.

Changed Two Covers on Older Books

From time to time, I have to go in and tend to the garden of my backlist. These are the latest two I have updated to give the books a more professional look. I have a few more I want to get to, but that will have to wait for now. I can only do a little at a time. Over the years, I have also updated the formatting for the ebooks. Progress is slow, but it does happen.

Here’s the old cover for Catching Kent:

catching kent ebook

Here’s the new one:

Catching Kent new ebook cover

Here’s the old cover for Meant To Be:

meant to be new ebook cover 3

Here’s the new one:

Meant To Be new ebook cover

So that’s it on the writing front for now. I really hope I can get back to writing because a part of me is getting antsy. Unless I’m on a planned vacation, I get restless if I go without writing for a few days, and right now, we’re going on about two weeks. It’ll be good to get back into a routine that involves me being able to write for a couple of hours 4-5 days a week.

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Progress Comes in Small Chunks

dav

ID 135366877 © UMI NADRA HAMID | Dreamstime.com

I was only able to write two days last week. This upcoming week, I won’t be able to write at all. I should be back on track with writing, however, after that.

It quickly became clear that my kid isn’t a big fan of doing his homeschooling six days a week. I was trying that method because we had three weeks’ worth of classes to catch up on. It turned out to be like pulling teeth since his brothers have two days off and he doesn’t. So on Wednesday, I decided we’re going to double up on everything until we’re caught up. At this rate, we’ll be caught up on October 11. Sure, the next week will be a lot more work, but getting done sooner will be a huge relief for the poor kid. He’s on board with this plan because he can see the results faster this way.

I realize I could have treated the transition from one homeschool program to another as a “move”. I transferred from one school to another in November in the 6th grade and in early October in the 12th grade. No one started me over fresh on the classes I was taking. I had to catch up on my own. So, yes, I could have transitioned him over without starting fresh.

I decided to start fresh because I felt it was still early enough in the school year where it wouldn’t take long to catch up. Plus, I felt by treating everything like the beginning of the school year, it would be easier for the two of us to adjust to the new curriculum. It’s given me time to get a better idea of how I best work as a homeschool teacher and how he best works as a homeschool student. With the first curriculum plan, everything was planned out in detail for us. There was no need to figure anything out. You just did what the manuals and videos told you to do. I knew I would need to figure my way through this new curriculum, and I was more comfortable doing it from “Day 1”.

The new curriculum I picked up was Discovery K12, and it’s become more and more supplemental as time’s been going on. I now think of it as a guideline than something I need to follow every day. This week, I noticed I’m already going on my own tangent as I’m getting more comfortable with what I’m doing and learning what best motivates my kid to learn. I have already gone back and rewritten the objectives for the courses that I wrote two weeks ago, and today, I adjusted the grading scales for each subject because my original one wasn’t turning into a good fit for either me or him. I’ve come across other parents’ way of doing their own plans, but I’ve discovered I enjoy creating my own because I can specifically gear it to what works best for my kid. The more I proceed into this, the more I realize I want to create my own classroom environment. And the more I create my own stuff, the more excited and energized I get by this.

What I’m realizing is that this is a lot like writing a book. The more a person does it, the more they learn what methods work and what methods don’t. Over time, they find ways to fine-tune what they’re doing. No one goes into anything knowing it all. I don’t care how many videos one watches, how many books they read, or how many people they talk to; until they’re actually doing it, they aren’t able to really grasp how they are best able to perform the task. This is because everyone brings in their own backgrounds, preferences, and personalities. We can’t all be put into a box. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to anything. There are many ways of doing something where people can reach the same conclusion. In the matter of writing, the end goal is the published book. In homeschooling, the end goal is the kid to learn the material. How you get there isn’t as important as actually getting there.

Over the years, I’ve found small steps toward a big goal has helped a lot in staying on task and staying motivated. It’s why I have my daily word count goals when I write. I pace myself so it doesn’t get to be too much. If the pacing doesn’t work, I adjust the word count goals until it does. I believe in rewards for reaching the small goals, too. Every small step in the right direction is improvement. I don’t care what the project is. If you break things down into manageable sizes, then you don’t end up feeling so overwhelmed that you quit.

I’ve also come to learn the value of flexibility. If something isn’t working, there’s no point in sticking with it. It’s best to try an alternate way of doing things. This is why when a writer tells me they can’t write by the seat of their pants, I tell them to try outlining what will happen next. If a writer is getting stalled on a book because it isn’t following the outline they laid out, I suggest they modify the outline or throw the outline out and try writing the rest of the book without it.

Homeschooling is not any different. The curriculum I was using at first is a very popular one that a lot of people love, but it wasn’t the right fit for me or my kid. This new method where I go to DiscoveryK12 to get the “blueprint” for what is grade appropriate for my kid and use that to create my own curriculum has turned into a much better fit. The point is, you don’t know if something will work if you don’t try it. Some people get stuck on their failures. Failures aren’t really failures. They’re learning opportunities. They give you a chance to try something in a different way. Like I said earlier, if you reach the final destination, then who cares how you got there? The point is, you did it, and that’s something to be happy about.

Okay. I’m off my soapbox. 🙂

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Nelly’s Mail Order Husband is Available!

This book features Tom and Jessica Larson’s oldest daughter!

Nelly's Mail Order Husband for website

This is Book 1 in the Husbands for the Larson Sisters Series.

I don’t have any information for the other books in this series yet, but I’m planning to write books for the rest of Tom and Jessica’s three daughters. When those stories are ready to be written, I’ll write them. I used to force myself to complete a series, but I don’t do that anymore. I learned the hard way that rushing a book only pisses off half of the people who read it. So this time, I’ll bide my time.

With that aside, I’ll stop rambling and get to the good stuff. 🙂

This book is a historical western romantic comedy.

If you enjoyed A Bride for Tom, The Wrong Husband, Groom For Hire, and The Imperfect Husband, you’ll enjoy this book. This is a lighthearted and fun read. And it does contain sexual situations within marriage. So for those looking for a “clean” read, this isn’t for you. I know my covers convey “clean” romances, but I love these kinds of covers, and since I’m the one who’s ultimately stuck with my books, I’m using the covers I want. I realize this throws some people off, but I don’t like covers with half-naked people on them.

Here are the quirky characters you’ll find in this book:

There’s a hero who comes out to Nebraska believing he’s about to marry a wealthy landowner because he and his friend assumed someone running a homestead was well-to-do. So he’s in for a rude awakening when he discovers there’s not a group of servants to do stuff like milk a cow or mucking out stalls for him. Don’t worry, though. Despite his uncertainty, he’s the type who sticks it out.

The heroine has three meddling sisters who want nothing but to see her fall in love, and though someone is probably going to be put off by the way they acted, I was chuckling while writing the scenes they were in. Maybe I have a weird sense of humor, but I thought it was hilarious that they were so vocal in how excited they were to have a brother-in-law in the family. And it was fun to see the heroine get jealous from all the attention her sisters gave him.

The heroine in this story has a strong personality. She’s had to fight against the mindset of that time period that said women couldn’t own a homestead. I did some research and found that women back in the 1800s did actually have their own homestead. True, it wasn’t frequently done, but it did happen. I thought it would be fun to write about a heroine who was one of them. She only agrees to marry the hero on the condition that he won’t force her to stay indoors all day to do the stuff she considers boring (sewing, cooking, and cleaning). To her, being outside is where the fun is. The hero, in this case, is more than happy to let her manage the running of the homestead, but he does have his own strengths that end up coming into play by the end of book, and yes, the heroine does recognize them.

When I write a romance, I select characters that complement each other. I don’t look for perfect characters. Every character has some kind of flaw. What I like to do is pair up characters so that the relationship is balanced. In real life, my husband and I have our strengths and weaknesses, and I find that we end up balancing each other out. In areas I’m weak, he’s strong, and vice versa. The same is true for my characters.

If this sounds like the kind of book you’d like to read, you can find it here:

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Barnes & Noble

Kobo

Apple

Google Play

Smashwords

Payhip (use temporary coupon X5SFCD4SQ9 to get 50% off: ; coupon good until Oct. 3)

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