If you read The Stagecoach Bride, please fill out the form below.

I already heard from two people, but I suspect there’s more who have this book:

The Stagecoach Bride ebook cover

If  you have this book that I co-wrote with Stephannie Beman, fill out this form.

If you don’t want to fill out that form, leave your email and name in the comment section of this blog post.

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Updates on What I’m Doing

I finally had a chance to sit down and figure out my publishing schedule for 2020. I had to go to working on two books at a time instead of three (due to the time spent homeschooling). I also have to publish a book every other month to help pace myself so I don’t get overwhelmed. I love homeschooling and plan to keep homeschooling until he graduates high school. He’s in the 8th grade right now, so we’re looking at four more years.

For the moment, I have had to drop the Larson sister series. That is the series featuring Tom and Jessica Larson’s daughters. I expect to get back to that when I finish the Wyoming Series.

Okay, so here’s what you can expect for 2020. 🙂

1. January

The Outlaw’s Bride (Wyoming Series: Book 1)

The Outlaw's Bride ebook cover3

Click here for more information and pre-order links!


The specific release date is January 25.

In a nutshell, Lillian Christian is on her way to meet the man she’s supposed to marry when a group of outlaws abduct her from the stagecoach. If you click the book cover above, you can get more information.


This is a rewrite of The Stagecoach Bride that I did with Stephannie Beman. For easy reference, here is what that book cover looked like:

The Stagecoach Bride ebook cover

If you have The Stagecoach Bride, contact me through the form below. I will need your email to contact you so be sure to include it. Also, it helps to have a name so I know who to address my email to.

2. March

Breaking the Rules (Marriage by Design Series: Book 1)

Breaking The Rules new ebook cover2

I don’t have a fixed date for this. I typically don’t have a set release date until it’s edited. Right now, I only have the first draft. (I finished the book yesterday.)

Remember this book?

the earl's inconvenient wife new ebook cover3

Well, over the years, I’ve gotten a few emails asking for Lilly’s romance. Lilly, if you’ll recall, was the sister of Claire (who was the heroine in The Earl’s Inconvenient Wife). I did add an epilogue in The Earl’s Inconvenient Wife where I let everyone know Lilly ended up with Mr. Morris, but I never went into “how”.

Breaking the Rules is the book that answers “how”. It was a really fun book to write. I brought in Lord Edon and Mr. Christopher Robinson, and at this time, they were bachelors, so it was a treat to go back in time and revisit old friends. Out of all the books I’ve written, those two characters are my top favorites. The Larson family is up on that list, too, but I can get away with stuff with Lord Edon and Mr. Christopher Robinson that I can’t get away with with any other character I’ve ever written. This is one reason I keep bringing these two back whenever I can fit them in.

So this book was mostly a lot of me playing around and just having a good time. Yes, the heroine traps the hero into marriage and she pays for it, but at its core, this book is a romantic comedy.

3. May

This will either be The Duke’s Secluded Bride OR The Rancher’s Bride

The Duke's Secluded Bride ebook cover  OR  The Rancher's Bride ebook cover3

Right now, I’m at the 30,000 word mark for both of these books. The one that gets done first will be slotted for May.

Long story short, I’ve stalled out a bit on The Duke’s Secluded Bride, and I’ve been writing in The Rancher’s Bride more because of this. That is how November was working for me. Now, things are starting to pick up in The Duke’s Secluded Bride. In December, these are the only two books I’m going to work on.

The Duke’s Secluded Bride will wrap up the Marriage by Faiytale Series, and it’ll be my last exploration into romance and gothic fiction for quite some time. The gothic side was fun to explore, but it’s not my overall platform. (Just as writing fantasy or nonfiction isn’t my overall platform.)

Here are the books in the Marriage by Fairytale Series to help jog people’s memory:

The Marriage Contract new ebook cover One Enchanted Evening ebook cover The Wedding Pact ebook cover fairest of them all ebook cover The Duke's Secluded Bride ebook cover

The Rancher’s Bride is Book 2 in the Wyoming Series, and it will pick up where The Outlaw’s Bride left off. I think what’s made this story easier to write is the fact that the series plot is pretty much set. Stephannie Beman created the series plot. I can’t take credit for that. When we co-wrote The Stagecoach Bride, I took Lillian’s character and all characters associated with her directly. Stephannie took Mic’s character and the characters associated directly with him (which included his siblings and the family ranch that was stolen from them). The reason Mic, his siblings, and their family friend are hiding out all comes from the series plot. The series is much richer with the plot she created, and I want to stay true to it. Anyway, knowing where I’m going does help to figure out how to best advance the series plot through every scene with each individual book.

For the plotters cheering, I still intend to be a panster. I like the surprises that come up when I start a new book from scratch. The adrenaline rush of discovering something new about a character or a plot twist is why I love writing so much.

4. July

As stated above, whichever book isn’t out in May will be out in July.

5. September

Nobody’s Fool (Marriage by Design: Book 2)

Nobody's Fool ebook cover5

This book follows Breaking the Rules, and it’s going to be another fun romantic comedy. I don’t know if Lord Edon and Mr. Christopher Robinson will appear in this one, but if I can wiggle them into the plot, I’ll be thrilled to have them make another appearance.

In this book, our heroine’s father arranges for her to marry Lord Valentine who happens to be so incredibly dorky that the heroine can’t imagine kissing him, let alone having children with him. So she is going to come up with a list of things she can do to repulse him so he’ll insist on having separate townhouses. The stuff will be fun and lighthearted.

6. November

The Fugitive’s Bride (Wyoming Series: Book 3)

The Fugitive's Bride ebook cover3


I want this to be the book that wraps up this series, but we’ll see what happens. I have a fourth main character in this series, and my editor wants to see his book. I figure some other people will want to see him marry again after reading about his past, but I think something else might be better. Him re-marrying doesn’t feel right for his particular character.

This book features the third main character and outlaw, Wade, and he definitely needs to marry again after his first wife died. He’s missing softness in his life that only a woman can give him. I’m anxious to get to this book, but I need to finish The Rancher’s Bride first.

A quick look into January 2021.

I actually do have the book for January 2021 slotted. I can’t put it up on pre-order anywhere yet because the longest I can do for a pre-order is one year. But this is going to be the book I expect to finish up the Marriage by Design Series.

A Deceptive Wager (Marriage by Design: Book 3)

A Deceptive Wager ebook cover

When you read Breaking the Rules, you’ll meet a new character who is Aaron Henry, Earl of Northon. He is very antagonist when it comes to the idea of marriage. I had no idea why he was that way, but I went with my gut and let him be the way he wanted to be. Toward the end of the book, I found out why he’s that way, and that was when all of the pieces fell into place for his book. I had wanted to write his book because he intrigued me. Plus, the heroine is Lilly’s good friend, and she’s so sweet that I wanted her to have a book.

Anyway, the basic plot for this story is that the heroine’s guardian will make a wager with Aaron, and Aaron wins. Aaron expects money, and the guardian delivers, except that the money is a dowry that goes with the heroine when Aaron marries her. The other books in this series are romantic comedies, but this one won’t be, and I’m looking forward to the challenge of taking a hero who doesn’t trust ladies and making him fall in love with one. I’m really hoping for a moment where he gets on his knees and confesses his love for her toward the end, but I don’t know if things will play out that way. A lot of times, what I think will make an amazing scene never ends up in the book. So we’ll see how things play out.


I know that was a long post, but I had a lot on my mind. I’m excited about all of these and am looking forward to the year ahead.

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Things That Drive Me Crazy As a Reader

Disclaimer: These are my opinions. I do not represent every reader out there.

storytelling pet peeves

ID 44418116 © Vvvita | Dreamstime.com

1. Too much description.

As a reader, I don’t like to dwell too much on the world that is around the characters. I like to focus in on the characters. I want to know what they’re doing, what they’re saying, and what they’re feeling. I like enough description to get a picture of the setting the characters are in, but I don’t want to be weighed down by so much description that I know every detail on a character’s clothes, exactly how a room looks, or how many blades of grass are in the field. Okay, the thing about the blades of grass are an exaggeration. No author I’ve read has ever said how many blades of grass are in a field, but for all of the heavy description they use to make sure I can see everything in that scene, they might as well have.

I also find it distracting that when characters are having a conversation, the author will insert random thing that doesn’t add to the scene. If characters are discussing a necklace, then yes, describe the necklace. But if the characters are discussing a necklace, why go into the color of the chair across the room or the sound a bird is making from outside? That has no bearing on the conversation, and all it does is pull me out of the story. I know why authors do this. It’s because they’re told to include all “five senses” into every single scene. Even I fell victim to this terrible technique after going to a critique group, so I understand the author’s plight. As a writer, you want to make a book that fully engages the reader.

But from personal experience, it’s much better to keep the reader’s attention on what is  happening to the characters. Fiction is a story seen through the eyes of the character. If a character is having a serious conversation, would they really care about the design on an antique lamp in the corner of the room that has no bearing on the conversation? No. They would be worried about what the other character is telling them. Always keep the focus on the what matters most to the character when you’re writing a scene.

2. Character Info Dumps

There have been books I’ve read where I’m pretty much told everything about a character right away.  I don’t want to know everything about a character as soon as I start the book. I’m not sure why some authors do this. It’s almost like they decided to do a character bio in order to learn who the character is and then forgot to remove it when they published the book. Instead of being told who the character is, I, as a reader, want to learn who the character is as I read the book.

Storytelling is about layers. Those layers are uncovered a little at a time as the story progresses. Information comes about by the character’s actions, thoughts, and feelings. Just as we don’t get to know everything about a person when we meet them in real life, we shouldn’t know everything about a character as soon as meet them, either.

Also, reading is a subjective activity, so it should be up to the reader to decide whether or not they like a character. The author shouldn’t come in and say, “This is the person you’re rooting for, and this is the person you should hate.” Let me, as a reader, decide that for myself. The ability to allow a reader to make their own judgments on a character is one of the most effective storytelling tools in a writer’s arsenal. If a writer can make a reader feel strongly about a character (whether good or bad), then that, in my opinion, is the sign of an excellent storyteller. I’ve read plenty of “meh” books, but those that made me feel strongly for a character are the books that have stuck with me for years.

3. Useless repetition.

Repetition can be a powerful storytelling technique when done right. If it adds to the tension in a story, it’s good, and it should be used. For example, there was a short story I read where the main character killed a person, and during the story, he’s worried he’ll get caught, so he is in a cycle of repeating the same thoughts to himself over and over. He ends up breaking down and screaming that he did the crime when a police officer is ready to leave. He would have gotten away with the crime if he had just kept his mouth shut, but by use of repetition, we see how his conscience ended up getting the best of him.

I am not opposed to repetition. What I’m opposed to is repetition that has no point to the story. Its only purpose seems to be to fill up the pages because the author wanted to increase their word count. Or, perhaps, an author worries that the reader won’t understand what the theme of the book is or that the reader won’t know this is the character’s love interest unless the reader is told this repeatedly.

Every scene in a book has to contribute to the overall story. And breaking this down, I also think every sentence in the book should contribute to the story, too. If there’s a sentence that doesn’t need to be there, throw it out. There’s no point in making the reader groan by adding stuff that doesn’t need to be there. All you’ll end up with is a reader who skims the book. And sadly, I’ve skimmed a lot of books over the years.


Since I almost hit the 1,000 word mark, I’ll stop here.

What about you? Are there things that drive you crazy when you read books? If so, I’d love to hear them. Please don’t say the author or the name of the book. I want to keep this focus on a storytelling technique gone wrong.

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