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Entries tagged with “family”.


I totally LOVED this book. Lacey and Rawley Lovett secured a place in my heart in the first book (Copperhead), and I continued to love them through the second (Copperhead Strikes). Skeletons moves ahead in time. Ten years of love and sharing their family has deepened the relationship between the feisty former bounty hunter and her husband. But the fire is still there when she has to defend those that she loves.

And Hannah is a replica of her mother!! OMG—what a handful she is. I loved her and I just had to smile at the way Rawley handled his two fiery redheaded females. And it was wonderful to see Bill and Cotton as an integral part of the family.

Douglas is a master story teller. As I read I felt like I had had been transported back in time to White River, Wyoming in 1888. I felt Ezra Shemwell’s anticipation while he waited for his new bride to arrive. And I felt his heart shrivel when Beth Hudson revealed her true self. And I was grateful for her son, Ben. I had to chuckle many times about the liaison that he and Hannah formed and the antics they got up to.

When Joe Kannon and his terrible gang came back to town I knew there was going to be trouble. But who could have guessed that he would kidnap all the school kids! Little could the bad guys have imagined the trouble they had landed themselves in when they ended up with Hannah and Cotton Lovett in that group. As the book progressed I worried for everyone, Lacy and Rawley, the other parents in the town, the children as they were transported by their captors—but I chuckled at how Hannah and Cotton and Ben instigated to disrupt Joe Kannon’s plans.

And once again, even when Rawley tried to protect Lacey by shutting her out of the chase, she proved that she still was feisty and had the temper and determination to carry her through!

Skeletons cane be purchased on Amazon.com by clicking here

neighbours

We live in a two family house; our oldest daughter and her husband, and their two children live on the top floor. My husband and I live on the ground floor of their house (no—it’s not the basement!).

We are friendly neighbours: when you live like we do you really need to be, so there has to be give and take, respecting each other’s ideas and circumstances.

Do feathers get ruffled once in a while? We’re all human, so of course the potential is there, but truthfully that has very seldom happened. The time or two that conflict has raised its ugly head, communication has been the best cure and we’ve never allowed anything to get serious. We don’t intrude on each other’s space—many times one family does not know what the other is doing on a given day, but at least once a week we get together to have a morning coffee break and visit for an hour or so.

There are many benefits in this arrangement for both families. We are there for each other when we need to be. Our son-in-law is pretty handy with a wrench, so we have a mechanic/repair man on site when anything needs fixing.  When it comes to experience with animals or ideas about equipment, Grandpa’s wisdom is often sought. We never have to look for a house sitter when we go away. And, because there is always someone around, we don’t have to worry about who will water the plants, feed the animals, keep an eye out for intruders—both animal and human, and all the other little nit-picky things. 

Our grandchildren meet the school bus at six-forty-five every morning. On the days when both their parents are at work in the morning, my husband or I drive them to the school bus.  I am a morning person, so very often I make that run.  It isn’t far; in fact a neighbour girl who lives down the road drives the bus.

Some days this is a crazy, hurried experience and since we live on a gravel road that is narrow and in some places winding, you cannot speed. You never know if, by chance, you will meet an unexpected vehicle on a corner, or have a deer dart out from the forest, or find a stray moose right in front of you—and then of course there is an abundance of rabbits that dart in and out along the road this spring, and I have no wish to run over those cute little creatures.

This morning everyone was ready a few minutes early and it was a pleasant, relaxing drive. Our grandkids are the first ones to get on the bus, so I always drive right into the neighbour’s yard, and stop by the bus. This morning, I was surprised to see a spare driver behind the wheel, instead the usual familiar smiling face.

There were several vehicles parked in the yard by the house, and then it suddenly dawned on me that she and her husband were being wonderful neighbours, billeting family and friends that have come to say farewell tomorrow, to an incredible man who fought a courageous battle against cancer for the past six years.

I started thinking about what a terrific community we live in, and how fortunate we are to be here. We can look all around the world today and see conflict and vindictiveness.  Yet there still are wonderful places, where people know their neighbours and work together to help each other. Horsefly and area has a diverse collection of people from many countries and walks of life. It always warms my heart to see how tolerant and inclusive most of the people who live here are. For me, it’s hard to beat life in a small community and country living. I love the small community of Horsefly!

 community

??????????????Today I am sharing my interview with, Patch Bergeron, a character from Full Circle, Book II of the Belanger Creek Ranch Series with you.

Gloria: Good evening Patch. I’m pleased that you were willing to take the time to talk to me. As you know, I am very interested in Shauna Lee Holt.

Patch: (looking sad) Yes…I guess she calls herself that now. I had no idea how badly she had been hurt. It pains me to realize that I played such a big role in making her feel the way she does about life.

Gloria: Will you tell me what Shauna Lee childhood was like.

Patch: (looks off to the right) Actually, in order to fully explain why her childhood was like it was, I need to go back to the beginning.

Gloria: I’d appreciate you sharing anything that will help me understand Shauna Lee better.

Patch: When I married her mother—Marie Holt—I was head over heels in love with her. I was a poor farmer, just an ordinary guy…and sometimes when I looked at her I could hardly believe that fun loving, beautiful, sexy woman loved me.

But Marie had a sharp tongue when her temper flared. We were married about three years when she told me that she had never really loved me, and she had been in love with someone else for years. She was mad at me at the time, but by the way she said it, I knew she meant it. I can’t tell you how much it hurt me. I was cut to the bone.

I know she regretted saying it later, but words like that can’t simply be taken back. They had pierced my heart and no matter what she said or did, I just couldn’t move beyond them.

I started drinking. It helped me forget and it really made her mad: it became a way of punishing her for how she had torn my heart apart. The bottle became my lover.

I never touched her with love after she told me there was someone else.  She submitted to me, and we had sex, but I made sure she knew that I… that I hadn’t forgiven her. Then she got pregnant, and I felt as guilty as sin. I began to see Marie through the eyes of love again.

When the baby was born, I was so proud and I loved it completely. She was beautiful, but as she got older… she didn’t look like either one of us. She had blonde curls and those beautiful big blue eyes. No one in my family had blue eyes or curly blonde hair. And Marie’s hair was black and her eyes were so dark, they were almost black. Her Grandma Holt’s eyes were as dark as Marie’s.”

The little girl’s eyes haunted me. I kept thinking about them. Then one day I remembered where I had seen them before. It was like a kick in the gut when it came back to me. We were at a house party. A guy I didn’t know was there and I suspected that Marie knew him from before. She danced with him all night. She flirted with him; they were all over each other. I was jealous and I drank until I passed out.

When I put it all together in my mind, I confronted Marie with my suspicions. She denied everything, but I wouldn’t let it go. I constantly kept after her about it. One day I pushed her far enough; she defiantly admitted that she had gone to the barn with him.

I couldn’t stand to look at that baby girl after that; seeing her curly blonde hair and those blue eyes was like a knife in my heart. I couldn’t deny what stared me in the face every day. She was not my child. I knew she was his. She was there in my house, but I never was a father to her. The way I treated that child was wrong. I didn’t physically abuse her, but my attitude, my withdrawal from her, my lack of affection…I know she has deep scars. Her mother and I were both selfish and filled with anger and misery. Without thinking about what we were doing, we hurt that poor child the most, and she was the only innocent one involved in the destructive life we created.

I’ve had twenty years to think about what happened now, and I have so many regrets, but it’s too late to make things right with Marie now. At that time, I was so stubborn and proud that I wouldn’t forgive her. I just wore her down and she became lost in the defeat of my endless rejection.

Gloria: Why didn’t you and Marie divorce, instead of living that way?

Patch: In those days, it was different. We didn’t have any money. Where would she have gone? What would she have done? We would have both been struggling on our own. And… I had my pride. What would people think? So, like many people, we just stayed together and continued to live in that same vicious cycle year after year, destroying each other and everything around us.

Gloria: But you eventually had a son didn’t you?

Patch: (his expression is inconsolable) I forced her one night when I was drunk. I’m ashamed to admit that I did that quite often in those days, but she never got pregnant. I thought I was sterile. When she did get pregnant, I thought she must have been with someone else. But she was so despondent, that I couldn’t imagine her having sex with anyone else.

“When Andre was born, he looked like me right from day one. I couldn’t deny it. And I loved him like I loved no one else; except Marie when I first married her.”

Gloria: Was your marriage happier then?

Patch: “Yes. It’s amazing what our guilt and our love for Andre did for a time. And then…” (Patch’s shoulders slump and he is shaking. I hear him smother a sob.) and then, I killed him. I was drunk and I ran over my own son with the tractor.”

Gloria: (touching Patches hand in sympathy.) I’m so sorry Patch: but surely that was an accident.

Patch: (crying, his body wracked with sobs) I’ll never forget that… seeing him lying there. I wished I could trade places with him. You can’t know much how I wanted to. I couldn’t face what I’d done. I needed to blame someone else, so I blamed the girl. She’d been out riding her horse in the fields, and when she came back to the house, I told her that if she’d been home helping her mom like she should’ve been, she would have kept Andre away from the tractor.  Then I shot her horse. I was so… I was so cruel to her… and to Marie.”

(He tries to collect himself and control his emotions) After that, I totally lost myself in the bottle, and Marie lost herself in the black hole I’d forced her into. Then, like a coward, I ran away and left the two of them to fend for themselves.

I’ve been a coward all my life. I don’t expect forgiveness. I don’t deserve it. I can’t forgive myself. I’ve thought about ending it all, but in some way, I believe that living with the understanding of what I’ve done is my punishment. I live in my own hell every day.”

I couldn’t think clearly for years; not until I left and got away. I want to talk to the…to my daughter… now, but she refuses to have anything to do with me. It’s too late to change the past, but I want to tell her the truth. I can’t live with her believing that her own flesh and blood could have treated her the way that I did. I realize that I am the only father she’s ever known, but I never truly was a dad to her. I can’t ask for forgiveness, but I want her to know that a real dad would never have treated her the way I did. I hope Brad Thompson will be able to show her what unconditional love is, the way I would have if I’d been a decent man.

Gloria: I see how painful this has been for you. I believe that you all became victims of circumstances. We’ve all made mistakes in life, Patch. Now you have to forgive yourself. I have peeked between the pages of Full Circle, and I believe you will eventually have a chance to speak to Shauna Lee. I can’t say that you will be forgiven, but life is a journey. Circumstances change, people change. If Brad can convince Shauna Lee that she is worthy of his love, possibly she will at least listen to you. I wish you luck, and I thank you for your time

 When I leave, Patch Bergeron is still sitting with his cowboy hat lying on the table in front of him. He is a very sad man….

 

 

 

 

 

Quote: I write romance and passion to savour love twice, in the moment and in retrospect.” ― Angeline M. Bishop

I write romance because I am fascinated by human relationships, and to me—when the chips are all on the table—there is nothing in life that is more important than love, relationships, family and friends. Money and prestige are tools that can be used to build a comfortable life—and for many of us, there never seems to be enough. But when you are ill or in trouble, for most people, it is not the knowledge that you have amassed x-amount of dollars or assets that comforts your heart… it is knowing that you have someone who cares, someone to adjust your pillow, bring you a glass of water, hold your hand or just be there. These kind gestures are all part of the ‘romance’ that encouraged and nourished that love.romantic

Sadly,romance writing has been given a “black eye” for several decades—many people do not see them as real books. Every romance author has heard someone say, “I don’t read that trash,” or “why do you waste your time writing junk like that?” or “why don’t you write something worthwhile?” Most of those people have never read a romance novel so they have not made an informed decision. And some of the women and men who read romances, usually don’t tell anybody, because they fear that they will be ridiculed. There are also those who are uncomfortable having conversations about the things that are part of how relationships work: attraction, touching, kissing, and feeling the rush of desire, the act of sex, fighting, and making up. For many these are still very private things that they believe should stay in the dark, in the privacy of the bedroom. But in actual fact, almost every aspect of human relationships are  publicly known and a accepted reality.

The trivialization of the romance genre is particularly curious given the tremendous success it enjoys. Statistically, over fifty percent of all books sold are romances. It is no wonder, since reading is a respite for many, an escape from the pressures of everyday life, an opportunity to put your own cares aside, and delve into another world.

goodwritingMy books do not follow a formula; in fact, sometimes they don’t fit neatly into the romance genre. But they are about people who could be your next door neighbour, or a person you work with. I cannot work over a weekend and put out a new book. Each one takes months to write, and like every other author; I become very involved with the fictitious characters, who become very real to me. I know their careers; I share their happiness, disappointments, growing emotions, and those incredible private moments when they fall into bed. I take part in their friendships, marriages, births of their children and experience all of the challenges my characters face in their relationships’, romantic or otherwise.                                                                                   

 The four books in the Belanger Creek Ranch series have happy endings, but I have three books in mind that do not necessarily have a happy ending… because, that is how life sometimes goes… However, they do have satisfactory endings.

In a nutshell, I write “Romance” because I believe human relationships (happy or unhappy) leave the most enduring imprints on our lives, and I want to share that with my readers.

 

 

 

 

 

family

Summers Desire by Kathleen Ball

4 Stars for Summers Desire; Book l of the Cowboy Series.

Everyone has a past; some are darker than others.

Young veterinarian, Holden O`Leary, has fled difficult circumstances  in Texas and moved his four younger brothers, Mathew, Mark, Luke, and John to ranch near a small town in Montana.  This is where they will build a new life for themselves, far from the ugliness of the past.  Holden places an ad for a nanny/housekeeper to look after the domestic chores while he works as a vet.

Summer Fitzgerald is running from the demons of her own when she shows up at the ranch in answer to the job opportunity.  Imagine her shock when she realises that the boys she is going to be nanny to are not small children, but strapping young males who range in age from adolescence to late teens.  The nanny role goes out the window quickly and she gradually becomes their friend and confidant.

The attraction between Holden and Summer is strong, but just when you think they`ve finally got it all together something else would come up.

All the characters are well rounded, the plot is complex and twists and turns as their pasts come back to haunt them.

If you enjoy simmering cowboy romances, with a strong dash of family drama, murder, robbery and suspense don`t miss this book.  I thoroughly enjoyed it.

You can buy Summer’s Desire on Amazon

 

Autums Hope by Kathleen Ball

 

5 Stars for Autumn’s Hope Book 2 of Cowboy Seasons Series.

by Kathleen Ball

Autumn Lavin moves from the big city to small town Carlston, Montana to start over again.  She is pregnant and on her own.  Determined to make a life for herself and her child, she buys the local Bar and Grill and sinks everything she has into it.

It has been the watering hole for beef eating, booze guzzling locals for decades, and they expect that she will carry on the tradition.  But Autumn shakes up the entire town when she put out the word that she plans to turn it into a vegetarian restaurant with a juice bar. That idea is almost an insult to the locals, who think she is plain loco to try to do this in the heart of Montana beef country.  In fact a few people are determined to stop her.

Amongst them is Jonas Barnes, who has a contract with the restaurant to supply it with beef from his ranch and has been counting on the sale of that beef to make ends meet.  He is defensive when he heads into town to see if she will honor the agreement.

The two of them butt heads on that first meeting, but neither can forget the other.  Jonas is a fair man and when the towns’ busy body calls a meeting in an effort to shut down Autumns plans, astonishingly, he speaks up and supports her right to do what she wants with the business she has purchased.

Jonas has insecurities of his own; war wounds that make him certain that no woman could love him.  But he`s never met a woman like Autumn before.

Can she make a vegetarian restaurant and juice bar work in a most unlikely place?  Could Jonas accept another man’s child?  Could Autumn see beyond the scars that war left Jonas with?  You`ll have to read the book to find out.

I loved the story of Autumn and Jonas.  Don`t miss this wonderful read.

You can purchase Autumn’s Hope on Amazon

 

Winters Embrace by Kathleen Ball

4 Stars for Winter’s Embrace

I ‘ve read Summer’s Desire, Autumn’s Hope and Winter’s Embrace—I’ve become a Kathleen Ball fan!  Like the other books, Winter’s Embrace doesn’t hinge on the “will he get the girl, will she get her man” line.  She creates a depth to her characters that makes you relate to the fact that they have lived; and often their lives haven’t always been happy or satisfactory.  They are flawed, but feel realistic which is important to me.

Winter and Stone aren’t strangers—they loved each other years ago.  Stone left her without giving her a valid explanation, leaving her shattered and broken hearted. When he comes back into her life, she almost immediately finds herself out of a job.  He offers her employment looking after Rachel, who is his little girl.  Rachel is a bubbly, happy, wonderful little girl who steals Winters heart.  Stone still loves Winter, but time and again she learns that he has deceived her once more.  Even though she has never gotten over her love for him, she comes to believe she cannot trust him, and without trust a broken heart will surely be her lot.

Rachel desperately wants a mother, and she wants Winter to make her family complete, but Winter can’t take the chance of being so desperately hurt again.

Stone is constantly taking two steps forward and one back.  He has his work cut out for him.  Like many men, he can only see what he wants and his desperation makes him do things that push her even further away.

Don’t miss Winters Embrace.

It can be purchased on Amazon

The Light Never Lies by Francis GuenetteThe Light Never Lies , Book Two – Crater Lake Series by Francis Guenette

When I read “Disappearing In Plain Sight, Book One of the Crater Lake Series”, I recognized that Francis Guenette’s work was solid, with a great depth and understanding of human relationships.  I totally loved the book and looked forward to the next one in the series.

When the “The Light Never Lies” became available I downloaded it to my Kindle immediately.  It was wonderful to visit with the cast of characters from the first book, plus a few new ones.  Once again, Lisa-Maries arrival shakes up the lives of the regular inhabitants at Crater Lake.

Among the new comers in the cast, I particularly loved eight year old Robbie Collins.  My heart ached for him when he was sent with his father– Alexander Collins—a man who was a stranger to him, and began their journey across the country to Crater Lake.  I think the only thing that saved Robbie was that he had a rare “gift” that gave him assurance and comfort.

This story covers a wide spectrum of personal emotions; teenage love, a tormented soul who needs guidance, the enduring love of a couple who stand together in the face of a devastating upheaval, a young boy who finds a family, a sexy, devil-may-care, fierce warrior who saves the day, a lesbian relationship that staggers under the weight of circumstances, a gay teenager who struggles with his secret, a middle aged author who finds unexpected love.

This is an incredible read, with the lives of many characters involved , but the core group was entangled in a heart wrenching drama, that grabbed your attention and held you transfixed to the end. There was mystery and murder, a peek into the traditions and family values of First Nations people, and a group that pulled together to love and care for a new born.  It’s been said that it takes a community to raise a child, and at Crater Lake this was definitely the case.

If you haven’t read “Disappearing In Plain Sight, Book One of the Crater Lake Series” I would suggest you do so first.  It’s an excellent book and it will give you the in-depth background for “The Light Never Lies.”

Do not miss out on Francis Guenettes books—I believe she crafts quality work and will reach great heights.  Be sure to share her journey with her.

Disapearing in Plain Sight, Book One of The Crater Lake Series can be purchased at Amazon.com

The Light Never Lies, Book Two of The Crater Lake Series can be purchased at Amazon.com 

Breaking Family Patterns: How To Change Your Family Patterns
This is a thought provoking look at the dynamics in family relationships and the generational patterns that cause them., December 5, 2012
I write contemporary fiction about characters who are faced with difficult choices and I bought this book because I thought it might give me more insight into why people do the things they do. It was very revealing to me because I could look at different people (myself included) and see where some of the writers ideas applied. The more I pondered on it the more I came to realize that many of my pacifist, don’t argue back and for god’s sake don’t rock the boat and cause trouble tendencies could have come from the unwitting things that my parents said and did as they raised their family by the beliefs that were handed down by their parents; children should be seen and not heard, do as you are told and don’t question, spare the rod and spoil the child.

My parents were wonderful people who did the best they knew and I can’t say I had an unhappy childhood. However in recent years I began to wonder what I was like as a child, because I remember very little about my early years. I asked my 87 year old mother and she told me that I was rebellious and no one could tell me anything…and from their restrictive point of view I can believe I was! However, as I grew older I came to realize that I had spent years of my life swallowing my frustrations, resentments and anxieties rather than deal with confrontation on any level. (Coincidentally, after reading this book I understand that this was a pattern that I picked up from my mother.) Gradually I have learned that the world does not come to an end if I express my thoughts and feelings, and I have gotten much better at recognizing my own self-worth. This didn’t happen overnight or without a lot of fear and self doubt and I still have to work at it some times, but much less as the years go by.

This book has the potential to make the reader think about the patterns in their life and how they have affected them as an individual. It is a worthwhile read and if the reader begins to understand what has happened without focusing on blame or guilt, they can begin to change those patterns.

I recommend it to anyone who questions things that happen in their relationships or even someone like me, who is fascinated by human interactions and wants to learn more. You might discover more than you ever imagined!

You can purchase this book on Amazon

 Put away your credit cards! This is an instructional manual for a warm, heartfelt meaning full Christmas., December 5, 2012
Priceless Christmas: Create a Joyous Holiday for Next to Nothing (Priceless Holidays)

This little book delighted me! I love Christmas, but it has become so commercialized that the traditional meanings of faith and family, friends and community have become buried under the mountains of debt that are racked up each year to pay for the latest gadgets and trends. This book is a reminder that anyone can step back and create new traditions that embrace simple things that will become beloved memories many years after the newest ipad or the latest high Tec game has been thrown away.

I loved the idea of the paper chain calendar that starts at Thanksgiving and gives each member of the family a chance to pick a date to do something they really want to do. I could see a young family building a tradition of having a “media tent” in the living room and sharing it as they watch movies and holiday TV specials that each one has had a chance to pick.

Connie Neal has put this book together in such a wonderful way, filling it with ideas, lists of the necessary supplies and instructions needed to make them a reality, as well as heart warming stories that are examples of some of the ideas put into practice.

I like that she encourages everyone to include their community in some of their new traditions-not just friends, neighbors and families. Going to a senior’s home to bring happiness to the hearts of those who are alone or ill is something that we know is a heartfelt thing to do, but sometimes we need to be reminded to do it.

Everyone enjoys the pleasure of having enough money to make life enjoyable, but stress free inner contentment is priceless, and surely the greatest Christmas tradition that we can hand down to our families.

Good job Ms. Neal–thank you for reminding us of the simple pleasures of the season and including instructions for creating them.

You can purchase this book on Amazon

 

Read Me Dead

I really enjoyed “Read Me Dead” and I am a grandma, not a YA!

Emerald Barnes has crafted a compelling read: a thriller, murder, mystery, with a romantic triangle and betrayal by someone in a position of trust. This book grabbed my attention from the beginning and held my attention to the end. There were many twists and turns in the plot, and the main character experienced real trauma (physically and emotionally), not just the threat of it.

Emerald makes you feel the romantic conflicts of a teenage girl, compounded by her fear for her own life and the lives of those that she cares for.  Alex’s emotional distress felt very real and I could understand how difficult it was for her to deal with everything that was hanging over her.

I enjoyed Barnes’s novella, “Piercing Through The Darkness” and it left me wanting to know ‘the rest of the story’.  This time she has written a full length, satisfying novel and she still leaves you wondering.

I recommend this book to all ages.  I read every  genre and I enjoyed this book.

Follow Emerald Barnes at http://ebarnes23.wordpress.com/