Unforgettable Memories

Appaloosa Blues

Unforgettable Memories

#1 Riding From Sunup to Well Past Sundown

We have a series of books out, called Unforgettable Suspense, Unforgettable Romance, and other Unforgettable happenings. All with romance in them. I decided to make my blogs about some of the unforgettable things that happened in my life, such as riding horseback from sunup to sundown.

A lot of things that happened to me go into my books. Most writers do that. I think the more things that happen to you, the better your stories are filled out.

I grew up on a wheat and cattle ranch, in the days before cell phones, TV, and computers. My parents paid to bring a telephone line out into our area. That phone hung on the wall, and you called the operator by cranking the handle, gave her the number, and she switched you through. Lightning hit the pole outside one day, shooting fire out of the earpiece, and knocking it off the hook. My mother had just hung up from talking to someone. We stopped using the phone during lightning storms.

I always had a horse, riding with my dad until I was three, when I could start riding by myself. They bought an old mare for my brother and me, but I rode more often than he wanted to. When we were all small, and my cousins came to visit, we would put seven kids on her, from neck to tail. No one had to wait for a ride.

We always rode bareback. The theory was that if a horse fell with you, and you landed under the saddle, you could get killed by the saddle horn. Since I rode in the wheat fields while I was little, and didn’t want to walk the distance home if I fell off, I learned to pull my horse’s nose to the ground, climb on behind her ears, and let her lift me up.

Bareback riding was the only way to ride during the winter, as the horse kept you warm. I would throw a blanket across my legs and take off, getting in an hour or so before it got too dark to see.

During the summer, I had to work most of the day, so I rode every evening. I would take off after supper and ride the dirt farm roads until well after the moon came up. It was always a beautiful time, with the warm breeze coming off the mountains, carrying the sweet scent of the hayfields.

The moon shone so bright, no other light was needed. Once it looked like the wheat was on fire, and I rode quickly to the top of a ridge, ready to report a fire, and saw that it was just the rising moon, glowing red in the dusty air.

On my days off, I would start early in the morning, pack a lunch, and head into the mountains, not returning until dark. Usually I would saddle up for those trips. My horse liked my peanut butter sandwiches, and would reach over my shoulder for a bite if I wasn’t paying any attention.

When I was thirteen, my grandfather was afraid the old mare would fall on the mountain trails with me, so found a three-year-old, sure-footed, mountain-raised mare. They brought her down from the mountains, “green-broke” her in a couple of days, and handed her over.

She was part Morgan and part Quarter Horse, and had the Morgan walk, which was faster than other horses, which meant they had to trot to keep up. Her trot was also fast, so other horses cantered to keep up. I would put her at that smooth, mile-eating trot, and ride the mountain roads all day.

One spring day I went out into the corral, and she had a colt beside her. She had been carrying that colt without it even showing. From then on things got interesting. When I rode, she wanted to be with her colt, and would clamp the bit between her teeth and run away, back to the corral. I didn’t ride her much during the first few months, but the two times I got injured riding, was during that time.

Once I was riding bareback in the fields, and she ran away. For some reason I lost my balance, so pushed off rather than fall under her hooves. I sprained my ankle and had to walk home, about a half mile. That ankle always gave me problems after that.

Another time she ran away on the road, passing a truckload of potatoes, taking me under some branches that scratched my eye. She stopped running when she got up on our front porch. My mother wondered why I had ridden up there. I tried different bits, finally rode with a hackamore, which gave more control.

The girls in my area had a drill team I joined, where around forty of us rode in the fair, at a fast gallop, doing our drill. They said, “Just steer your horse straight towards the other horse, and they’ll swerve to avoid each other.” I said that my horse wouldn’t do that, since she was used to pushing cattle around. She knocked the other horse almost off its feet when she hit it. Scared the rider, but I had pulled her aside at the last moment, or it would have been worse.

After I was married, I rode a stallion in the SeaFair Parade in Seattle. He was a handful, pulling constantly on the reins, so that my arms ached before we even got started. They had trailed him to the parade in a tandem trailer, putting him behind a mare in heat. He kept wanting to mount her, so the other rider and I kept the width of the street between us, as well as we could.

A lot of Western writers have these memories, but fewer now, I’m thinking. I am amazed at the things parents in those days let their kids do. No helmets, no riding gear except saddle and bridle, and no particular hours to keep.

The book that has the most of these experiences written into them is Appaloosa Blues, a story about two ranch families and a feud that is keeping their children apart. Sort of a Romeo and Juliet theme, but of course they don’t try to commit suicide.

Appaloosa Blues can be found at Amazon.
Appaloosa Blues at Amazon

Nancy Radke

Nancy Radke grew up on a wheat and cattle ranch in SE Washinton State. She attended a one-room country school through the eighth grade. She learned to ride bareback at age 3 (Really! It was a common practice.) and when she got off or fell off, she would pull her horse’s nose to the ground, get on behind its ears, and the horse would lift its head so she could scoot down onto its back. She spent most of her childhood exploring the Blue Mountain trails that bordered the ranchlands. She and a friend once took a trail that turned out to be a two day trip. They always rode with matches and pocket knives, so made camp and returned the next day. These long rides worried her parents, but provided plenty of time to make up stories. Her first novel was set in the Blues, and is entitled APPALOOSA BLUES. TURNAGAIN LOVE was the first one published. It rated a four star review from Affaire de Coeur. Scribes World said “Turnagain Love has some fascinating twists and turns, unexpected complications, and charming scenes.” It is light and humorous.
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Reeling by Ev Bishop! #sweet contemporary romance #River’s Sigh B & B #mgtab

Hello and happy early April greetings!

I hope spring has sprung in whatever corner of the world you inhabit. Here, we’re not so lucky (snow still covers everything—siiiiigh), but I’m bursting with energy and anticipation, nonetheless. It has to come sooooon—and meanwhile I’m keeping busy with a couple of very exciting things.

My latest River’s Sigh B & B novel is coming super soon! Like mid-May! Hooray! (Can you tell I’m excited? LOL. I think—hope—you’ll love it. 😍 ) Just to entice you, here’s a sneak peek at its gorgeous cover and back cover blurb.

Mia Grant, a one-time pop star, still bears emotional scars caused by a stalker who terrorized her for years—a person she inadvertently welcomed into her inner circle. She has come a long away in learning to manage the crippling fear and anxiety his savage attack left her with, and she books into River’s Sigh B & B to begin the grueling task of what she hopes will be the final step in her recovery. Determined to reclaim her old independence and sense of adventure and possibility, she vows to never let anyone get close enough to fool or injure her again.

The disfiguring scars on Gray Robertson’s body are nothing compared to those marring his damaged heart and psyche. A loner by nature, the brutal murder of his young wife and son made him a hermit. He lives off-grid in the wilderness of northern Canada with only his dog for company, finding isolation far easier to survive than loving people and having them torn away.

When his closest neighbor, Jo at River’s Sigh B & B, ropes him into giving self-defense lessons to some washed up musician, Gray figures it’s a safe way to make a bit of cash to see him through winter.

As Mia and Gray get to know each other, neither are prepared for the tumultuous, conflicting emotions that leave them reeling. In him, a convoluted mix of desire, protectiveness, and misplaced fury. In her, a complex stew of appreciation, longing, and apprehension.

Then a foolish decision puts Mia’s life in peril and forces a question she and Gray both have to answer. Can love heal old wounds, or are they both too damaged to risk further hurt? 

If REELING sounds like a book you’d like to read (and I so hope it does!), click here sign up for my newsletter, Ev’s News, and get notified the second it comes out. (Okay, that’s a slight exaggeration, but I will let you know very soon after it launches. I promise. 😉 )

And one more cheery spring thing: a great giveaway! How to enter? Drop by www.evbishop.com, and post a comment about what your favorite flower is for a chance to win this month’s very fun prize! Happy April and very happy reading!

Ev Bishop lives and writes in a remote small town in wildly beautiful British Columbia, Canada—a place that inspires the setting for her cozy sweet romance series, RIVER’S SIGH B & B.

Book 1 in the series, WEDDING BANDS, is FREE right now, so go to your favorite eBook vendor and grab your copy today!

Ev also writes and publishes under the pen name Toni Sheridan.

In addition to writing novels—her favorite form of storytelling!—Ev is a long-time columnist with the Terrace Standard and a prolific scribbler of articles, essays, short stories and poems. To see her ever growing body of work, please visit her website.

When Ev’s nose isn’t in a book or her fingers aren’t on her keyboard, you’ll find her hanging out with her family and dogs, or playing outside with friends, usually at the lake or in some garden somewhere.

The Perfect Match Beach Read Series @AyalaRachelle #mgtab

Have you ever wondered what it would be on a blind date in paradise?
Coming May 1st through June 5th 2018!!!
Available for pre-order in April!
Grab your beach umbrella and prepare for six weeks of romance and fun in the sun with a brand-new series brought to you by USA Today bestselling authors…
 
 
PERFECT MATCH SERIES 
Six women receive invitations from Dawson Yates, owner of Perfect Match, a brand-new online matchmaking travel agency for a free week-long vacation to the island of her choice. As part of an extensive promotional campaign, Dawson expects to make six perfect matches that he can use to champion his business. The women expect to meet the men of their dreams. What none of them anticipates is the chaos that ensues when six couples who were strangers before agreeing to spend the week together discover that love is a lot more complicated than a match made by computer algorithms.
Join Bree, Marni, Molly, Jade, Ava, and Maeve as they embark on a once-in-a-lifetime vacation in the pursuit of love.
Here is Jade’s story.

A romance author without a romance. A Navy SEAL looking for a little R&R. What could happen in a week on an island getaway?

For author Jade Reed, romance is for the books. When her bestie cooks up a scheme for the perfect match on a tropical island, Jade sees an opportunity for a writing experience. Who needs a man?

Navy SEAL Aiden Lin needs to unwind. His mom wants a daughter-in-law. She sets him up for a one-week vacation with his perfect match. He doesn’t need a wife yet, but maybe he can have some fun and make his mom happy.

Neither is looking for love though they’re in the right place. Is it the right time, wrong time, or enough time?

 
Meet the women of Perfect Match!
BREE (Raine English) – May 1, 2018
MARNI (Aileen Fish) – May 8, 2018
MOLLY (Julie Jarnagin) – May 15, 2018
JADE (Rachelle Ayala – May 22, 2018)
AVA (Denise Devine) – May 29, 2018
MAEVE (Josie Riviera) – June 5, 2018
Available for pre-order April 2018
Join Happily Ever After Sweet Romance Readers Group to keep in touch.
Rachelle Ayala

Rachelle Ayala is a USA Today bestselling author of contemporary romance and romantic suspense. Her foremost goal is to take readers on a shared emotional journey with her characters as they grow and become more true to themselves. Rachelle believes in the power of love to overcome obstacles and feels that everyone should find love as often as possible, especially if it’s within the pages of a book.

Her book, Knowing Vera, won the 2015 Angie Ovation Award, A Father for Christmas garnered a 2015 Readers’ Favorite Gold Award, Christmas Stray received a 2016 Readers’ Favorite Gold Award, and Playing for the Save got the 2017 Readers’ Favorite Gold Award in Realistic Fiction.

She is also a writing teacher and founder of the Romance In A Month writing community. She lives in California with her husband and has three children and two birds.

Spring ~It’s Time to Dance by @AliciaStreet1 #mgtab

Spring is finally coming. The snow is melting and little bulbs under the ground are sending up green shoots that will bloom into colorful flowers. The horrible flu season is at an end. And I can feel a lightness in the air that makes me want to dance!

Here is a fun video to get you in the mood~

And to celebrate, my contemporary romance Kiss Me, Dancer is on sale for 99¢ until the end of March.

Ballet teacher Casey Richardson is all too familiar with hard times and disappointment. After years of struggle, she’s on the verge of losing her beloved dance academy. Enter handsome playboy businessman Drew Byrne. The sexy divorced dad would fix things with a check if she’d let him. After all, Casey’s the only person who’s been able to reach his shy, withdrawn son. But will saving her school mean losing her heart?

“So much depth, emotion, passion and love.”—Unputdownable Books

      What does spring make you want to do?

Alicia Street

Alicia Street is a USA TODAY bestselling author and Daphne Award-winner often writing in collaboration with her husband, Roy, as well as on solo projects. She spent many years as a dancer, choreographer and teacher. A compulsive reader of every genre, she also loves watching old black-and-white movies and inventing new recipes for soups.
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Spring Ahead by Natalie Ann #mgtab

I’d love to be looking at my tulips right now, but unfortunately all I see is a white blistery mess in my yard.

Regardless of what it looks like outside of my window, spring will officially be here in less than one week! And with spring comes new beginnings. New life. And maybe even some new romance.

Last Chance is the sixth book in my Lake Placid Series. Riley Hamilton picked up her life and moved on, hoping to find something new. She didn’t expect to find a sexy chief of police who was afraid of her profession. Nor did she expect to find a love that she had been dreaming of her whole life.

Secret Love is the first in my new Love Collection of 99 cent novellas and is available for pre-order now. Piper Fielding is determined to forget about her past. Hide it away and pretend it never existed. Vin Steele needs to put his past behind him in order to move on. When he discovers his sexy neighbor is being stalked, he does the only thing he can do…he finds a way to protect her, and in the process loses his heart.

Secret Love is part of the Unforgettable Suspense boxed set that you can grab for just 99 cents! Eight electrifying page-turners will keep you spellbound and in love with characters you won’t want to leave. Read about a young girl’s retaliation, intrigues and crimes in a high rise, secret loves, lies & passion, revenge, dead bodies and virgin pool boys. These gripping stories will offer heart-pounding entertainment until the very end. If you like unforgettable suspense then you’ll LOVE this collection.
New York Times and USA Today best-selling, award-winning authors present the first romantic suspense collection in the UNFORGETTABLES SERIES

If you’re stuck in the house trying to stay warm like me, or just looking for a new book to read, here are a few to choose from. Enjoy!

How to Write a Budget #mgtab

How to Write a Budget (Washington DC style) by Nancy Radke

1. Look at how much you spent last year.
2. Add a percentage to that amount, say 10%.
3. Take the new figure and call it the baseline.
4. If anyone wants to go below the baseline, it is called a “cut,” even when it doesn’t reach back to the amount you spent last year.
5. You “add” the money you need next year to the baseline. Thus you can increase your amount 30%, but only claim you increased it 20%.
6. If you need more money, print it. (State governments can’t print money, so most don’t use baseline budgeting.)

Since the rest of us can’t handle our finances like this, we believe politicians when they yell about someone making a cut in their favorite program. It is why government budgets always seem to grow, never shrink, even when they “cut” something.

I used to write out a budget, but gave it up as a useless exercise. If I don’t have the money, I don’t spend it.

In my book, Spirit of a Champion, the heroine, Stormy, had cut up her credit cards so she wouldn’t use them, then runs out of money while trying to save her brother’s life in Las Vegas. Kyle, my generous hero, offers to help, but later doubts her story when he sees her staying in an expensive hotel, and driving a new car around. She says her first car blew up, and her cousin loaned her the second one. Where did she get the money? Can he believe her wild story, that someone is trying to kill her? And what can he do when the killers try again?

This book links characters from an earlier novel in this series, Scorpion’s Trail.

Nancy Radke

Nancy Radke grew up on a wheat and cattle ranch in SE Washinton State. She attended a one-room country school through the eighth grade. She learned to ride bareback at age 3 (Really! It was a common practice.) and when she got off or fell off, she would pull her horse’s nose to the ground, get on behind its ears, and the horse would lift its head so she could scoot down onto its back. She spent most of her childhood exploring the Blue Mountain trails that bordered the ranchlands. She and a friend once took a trail that turned out to be a two day trip. They always rode with matches and pocket knives, so made camp and returned the next day. These long rides worried her parents, but provided plenty of time to make up stories. Her first novel was set in the Blues, and is entitled APPALOOSA BLUES. TURNAGAIN LOVE was the first one published. It rated a four star review from Affaire de Coeur. Scribes World said “Turnagain Love has some fascinating twists and turns, unexpected complications, and charming scenes.” It is light and humorous.
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Taking My Cues From Nature For Spring Romance Suspense #mgtab

I Have Two New Releases In Romance Suspense!!

Plus Authors’ Billboard Will Be Publishing Several Romance Suspense Boxsets Very Soon.

I’m excited to say I’ll be a part of at least two of them this year.

Crystal Rock, Wisconsin…

Is a purely fictional resort town where my stories take place. The Dragonfly Pointe Inn has been restored, and in the process, it’s discovered that a human trafficking ring has been operating in the area during the years when the inn was abandoned.

Or has the trafficking been going on for much longer?

I do weave a slight element of fantasy through my stories.

Once two lovers kiss at Dragonfly Pointe? Their love is meant to last forever.

Continue Reading →

Tamara Ferguson

A member of the Romance Writers of America, Tamara Ferguson is the multi-award winning, #1 international bestselling author of the Tales of the Dragonfly Romance Suspense Series, the Kissed By Fate Series, and the Two Hearts Wounded Warrior Romance Series.

Her latest wounded warrior romance novella, Two Hearts Unspoken, is included in the top-ten bestselling Holiday Anthology, Mother’s Day Magic…With Love, which was also #1 in Wounded Warrior Fiction. Since being released independently, Two Hearts Unspoken has become a #1 International Best Seller at Amazon as well as a #1 International Hot New Release, and is the 2016 SILVER MEDAL WINNER at Readers’ Favorite International Book Awards for Military Fiction.

Presently, Tamara’s working on Two Hearts’ Christmas Wish, the fourth story in her multi-award winning Two Hearts Wounded Warrior series, Emergence, the third book in the multi-award winning Tales of the Dragonfly Novels, and a novella for the next installment of the bestselling Wedding Pets and Kisses anthologies, featuring stories by multi-award winning, bestselling and USA Today authors.

Since she remains a full-time caregiver for an autistic son, you can usually find Tammy working at home, where she spends a lot of time not completing her numerous home improvement projects, because she’s writing or helping author friends promote their books on twitter.

We all get old in the end – redux

WE ALL GET OLD IN THE END – IF WE’RE LUCKY!
I spent all day dealing with computer issues (and found out what a broken dongle is), so I’m taking the easy way out on my blog and sharing this funny email my brother forwarded to me. I looked for the name of its author, but couldn’t find where anyone claimed credit. Wish it had been me (although I’d call the gunshot sounds backfire noises).
Disclaimer: I’m only 65, so it was 50 years ago, not 60, when I was a teenager.

I changed my car horn to gunshot sounds. People get out of the way
much faster now.

Gone are the days when girls used to cook like their mothers. Now they
drink like their fathers.

You know that tingly little feeling you get when you really like
someone? That’s common sense leaving your body.

I didn’t make it to the gym today. That makes five years in a row.

I decided to stop calling the bathroom the “John” and renamed it the
“Jim”. I feel so much better saying I went to the Jim this morning.

Old age is coming at a really bad time. When I was a child I thought
“Nap Time” was a punishment Now, as a grownup, it feels like a small
vacation.

The biggest lie I tell myself is…”I don’t need to write that down,
I’ll remember it.”

I don’t have gray hair; I have “wisdom highlights!” I’m just very wise.

If God wanted me to touch my toes, He would’ve put them on my knees.

Last year I joined a support group for procrastinators. We haven’t met yet.

Why do I have to press one for English when you’re just going to
transfer me to someone I can’t understand anyway?

Of course I talk to myself; sometimes I need expert advice.

At my age “Getting lucky” means walking into a room and remembering
what I came in there for.

Actually I’m not complaining because I am a Senager (Senior teenager)
I have everything that I wanted as a teenager, only 60 years later. I
don’t have to go to school or work. I get an allowance every month. I
have my own pad. I don’t have a curfew. I have a driver’s license and
my own car. The people I hang around with are not scared of getting
pregnant. And I don’t have acne.

Life is great.

I have more friends I should send this to, but right now I can’t
remember their names.

Now, I’m wondering…did I send this to you, or did you send it to me?

Now, don’t forget to add Sweet and Sassy Valentine to your Kindle Unlimited collection (free) or splurge 99 cents to buy this marvelous box set of TWELVE romances for only 99 cents! 

Dani Haviland

Dani Haviland, formerly of Connecticut, Arizona, and Alaska, recently semi-retired from selling tractor parts, tools, and roses. She moved to a more temperate climate in western Oregon to pursue her passions: writing, gardening, and photography.
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