Finally Friday: to blog or not to blog…?

As you may remember, I was attending the Indie UnCon in San Francisco last weekend. I had a great time and learned SOOO much. One takeaway was the importance of connecting with readers via: newsletters.

Right now, I try to send out two newsletters a month. One with general updates about what’s happening in my life pertaining to my books. The second is my Read4Less version, which helps readers find books that are free or on sale. Apparently, this isn’t the best approach. You might say, where newsletters are concerned, more is more. 😉

Here’s my new plan: once-a-week newsletters. (This is subject to change, of course, but I’m going to give it a try starting next Thursday.)

Week 1: #NewMonthNews #newslettermakeover

I’m trying to figure out a way to include readers in my creative process as I write and plan the marketing for my new Tule series. Three books in eleven months!

Goals: met? behind schedule? given up?

Challenges: real life stuff (good or bad), writing hurdles (plotting, discovery, gob-smack ah-hah moments), etc.

Week 2: #Lifehacks  – I’m thinking this will include a “guest column” from one of my characters, plus anything I’ve learned that makes my life easier or more fun. This might include travel pics, recipes and DYI tips.

I always leave a piece of my heart in San Francisco.

Week 3: #writinghacks #writingwins – this may include epic fails or things that work for one author but don’t work for me. The occasional “ta-dah” moment, like an award I didn’t see coming.

This was a lovely surprise! I’m so excited to find new readers who loved this book!!!

Also tips for living healthy and strong, which makes writing possible. Ex: yoga stretches, Pomodora,…

Week 4: #amreading – A peek into my Kindle and/or #amwatching – we’ve been enjoying some old movie favorites. I will ask readers to share their watchlist/readlist to be signed up for a prize.


As you can tell this will be a Work-In-Progress. I hope to figure out how to make a decent video at least one week of the month, but I’m not making any promises.

I’m open to suggestions, and I appreciate the kind support you’ve given my blog posts. This will be the last one for…well, until I find out whether my new approach works or not. 😉 I truly do appreciate your friendship and I hope you’ll look for my weekly emails when they start arriving next Thursday.

Onward and upward…


FIRST KISS TUESDAY: from Montana Cowboy – a stroll down memory lane

I don’t know about you, but I feel like a stroll down memory lane. This stroll happened to be inspired by a photo on Facebook. That happens, doesn’t?

Me at a book signing at Epic Alpacas– where I did my research for Montana Cowboy. The book wasn’t out in print yet, so I only had copies of Montana Cowgirl to sign. But I still had fun and I got to hang out with some of the cutest critters on the planet. #Ilovealpacas

Montana COWBOY

Austen Zabrinski looks the part —

He’s got the ranch, the boots, the hat and even a few head of cattle, but everybody in Marietta, Montana, knows the former golden boy of Marietta High is a wealthy politician, not a cowboy. And even though that nasty scandal in Helena might have knocked him down a notch or two in the polls, what kind of a fool would trade access to the halls of power in Helena and a Harvard law degree for a ranch in western Montana? Possibly one whose new neighbor, Serena James–the woman the guys at Grey’s Saloon call “…the Red Hot Llama Mama”–makes him start to think about what he wants out of life, instead of what’s expected of him.

Serena James knows trouble when it hops her fence–

Moving to Montana and deleting her blog seemed like the perfect solution to her online stalker problem. Serena’s ready for a fresh start, but when her escrow on her ranch falls through, she has to scramble to find an immediate but temporary safe haven to rent for her herd of 50 alpacas, two llamas and one giant dog. Serena’s barely moved in when Austen Zabrinski–the man her landlord called “my absentee ranch owner brother who lives and works in Helena”–hops the fence in need of a lift. Even at first glance, Serena can tell he’s nobody cowboy, but who’s to say that isn’t a good thing? A little tryst with her gorgeous, sexy, here-today-gone-to-Helena-tomorrow neighbor might be the perfect welcome to Montana.

Excerpt © Tule Publishing

What’s his story?

Since they’d practically had sex–in her mind–she decided to ask.

Once he was seated with his safety belt snug across his flat belly, she turned the key in the ignition and put the truck in gear.

“So, fill me in. You own a ranch your brother called a tax write-off. You’ve as much as admitted you’re nobody’s cowboy. You wear three-hundred-dollar jeans. I don’t see a wedding ring. Your nose is sunburned. So I take that to mean you don’t have a wife or live-in girlfriend to remind you to put on sunscreen.”

He let out a gruff cough. “Very observant. The jeans are two years old.”

“But look brand new.”

“I don’t–didn’t–come to the ranch very often in the past.”

She waited.

“No wife. Never married. My last…friend-with-benefits wanted more than I’m in a position to give at the moment. I’m not sure we’re still friends. But I’m positive the benefits have been canceled.”

She’d always been a sucker for smart men with a sense of humor. The leftover dewy feeling in her crotch–and the fact she was a stranger in a strange land–made her bold. “So, if someone new to the area was interested in that sort of position–friends-with-benefits-no-strings-attached–how would one apply? Online? Or in person?”

He tossed back his head and gave a deep, masculine laugh that sent a stream of shivers down her spine, pooling conveniently in her already primed lady parts. Her hands tightened on the steering wheel.

Since they’d reached the end of her driveway and had no traffic behind her, she threw the shifter into park and turned to face him.

Before she could offer any slightly embarrassed disclaimer for such an obvious come on, he released the latch on his safety belt and moved closer.

“In person. I go with my gut. Usually one kiss will do. Either there’s chemistry or there’s not.”

“Chemistry. Crap. My least favorite subject in school. But I do like kissing.”

She leaned in, too.


Austen could have come up with a dozen–make that a trillion–reasons not to kiss this beautiful stranger. But, for all his reputed logic and claims he was a rule maker, not a rule breaker, he was lonely. And…as much as it killed him to admit the fact, he’d reached a point where he was unsure of what to do next. Him. Rudderless. Now, living in the moment seemed like the only rational choice he had.

Besides…she offered. It wouldn’t be neighborly to turn her down. Right?

He caught her lips, which were softer than he’d imagined. A perfect match to his. Her eyes remained opened…for their initial contact, then her lids lowered in a sultry, utterly into it way that made him give a low, unplanned growl. What was it about that moment of surrender that brought out the beast in him?

When her perfect lips parted to invite him in, he closed his eyes, too. She tasted good. Mint gum? Maybe just leftover toothpaste. But there was sweetness, as well. A hint of honey. And he wanted more.

While his mouth plundered, his hands moved down her back to pull her closer.

“Um, oh…no. Seatbelt,” she murmured.

He pulled back and looked down. “Oh. Duh.”

He stabbed the release button so she could slip free of it.

They stalled…for half a second before she grinned and plastered herself against him. “Um. You’re a good kisser. Very good. But I want you to be sure. No doubts.”

She wasn’t aggressive, just methodical. As if she were hitting all the bullet points in a textbook called Rules of Kissing. Austen could have stopped her at any point and said, “You’re hired.” But a part of him couldn’t wait to be taken to school.

She nibbled and teased. Her tongue engaged his in a clever, nonverbal debate. A first for him. Kissing had always been a mere step on the road to the big show. With Serena, a stranger, the playful exploration was fun.

What would sex be like with her?

Would? Hell, no. Will. What will sex with Serena be like?

He wrapped his arms around her possessively. He had to find out. Now. Right now.

Honk. Honk.


 Did that make you smile? It always does me. 😉 If you happened to miss this book, here are the links. 



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If you prefer to read in print form, you’ll find this book in the Big Sky Mavericks Collection, Book I – Family Matters.

Happy reading,




FINALLY FRIDAY: a sad, sad follow-up

My dear ones,

So many of you wrote me privately and/or commented on my post about helping to move my sister-in-law into an assisted living center. I knew Sharleen was conflicted about the move–not wanting to leave her home of 40+ years, but I was happy to find her engaged with other residents every time I visited–whether whupping unsuspecting victims at Scrabble or amassing hoards of dimes from competitive Bingo and Skip-Bo (whatever that is).

She truly seemed to be doing well…until she wasn’t.

Sharleen passed away peacefully at her daughter’s home on Wednesday morning, surrounded by family. She began having trouble breathing the evening before and went into the ER. The doctors tried a number of things, but nothing seemed to help so they told the family it was time to call in hospice. My sweet niece took her mother home and Sharleen was gone the next morning. At peace. With my brother.

I’m sad, but very glad she didn’t suffer. I’m sad because I’ll miss her presence in my life and because I know her passing signifies the end of Easters-at-the-Ranch.

But I’m happy she’s no longer sad. I’m happy picturing her spirit rejoined with my brother’s. I ran across a couple of great photos I’d like to share with you. They make me smile. I hope they do you, too.

Is that a Shirley Temple smile or what?
Bob and Sharleen Robson headed off on their honeymoon. So very much in love.
Sharleen always said her forties were her favorite years.

I’m off to learn lots from other Indie authors at SF UnCon.

See you next week, my friends.