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New Project!

Jan
27

As the story goes (and I’m sure it’s true), one of my writer heroes, Nora Roberts, started her writing career one day when she was snowed in, bored, and desperate for something to do. And because I have SO MUCH in common with Nora– Really! I do!

See this post here for the crazy run-down on my obsession with Nora. (Note that the post linked is from 2009 and the giveaway at the end of the post is no longer available.)

Anyway, back to me. Or maybe that was about me, too. Okay, it’s always about me. Never mind.

Back to WRITING. And being snowbound, ice-bound, trapped, and going crazy. Yeah, that’s been me this past week. And between carrying buckets of water to the barn yard because all the outside faucets are frozen, I went a little stir crazy stuck in the house. I started doing something I haven’t done in YEARS.

I started writing fiction again. Some of you know that in a previous life in an alternate universe, I had 26 romance novels published. I gave up romance writing to create and write Chickens in the Road. Then I wrote a memoir, which was published this past October. (Have you read it yet? Find out more about my memoir here.)

But this past week, I felt the sudden urge to write again what I haven’t in years. Fiction. And to do what my old romance writer friends have been urging me to do for the past couple of years–make it available myself, via digital format. The writing world has changed drastically since I was last writing fiction. Many (and well-known) authors are leaving traditional publishers these days and publishing digital directly to Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc. I’ve been cutting out the “middleman” (publishers) for years writing here on my website, so this idea appeals to me. As an experienced writer, I know I can provide a quality product–at a lower cost–directly to readers. I’ve always been one to take risks in publishing, and pursue new adventures, and this is one for me. I just needed the right idea. I woke up at 4 a.m. one morning last week suddenly possessed with that right idea, got up, and started writing.
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I’m planning a series of novella-length books. Before I get to the description, let me state clearly–these are NOT children’s stories. These novellas are intended for adults (and mature teens). NOT children. What I’m writing is a sexy cozy mystery series. Here is the blurb for the first one, which I’m writing now.

MURDER AT THE BARN DANCE
A “Maia Saves the Day!” Mystery

Intrepid farm girl Zoey Granger is just trying to carve out an independent life as a writer and photographer, but murder seems to follow her just as closely as her little pet goat, Maia. Not to mention a handful of ex-boyfriends. And when one of them starts receiving death threats, Zoey can’t help but get involved. Someone’s out to get cattleman J.T. Martin, but it will take Zoey—-and the tutu-wearing goat who always finds the clue—-to uncover the secret truth and bring order back to Sugarberry, West Virginia.

That’s right. These are sexy cozy mysteries with, of course, human characters, but the heroine’s sidekick is her crime-solving, tutu-wearing pet goat–who always finds the clue! What a blast is that? I have had more fun writing this than anything I’ve written in a long time.

In case you’ve forgotten what Maia looks like in her tutu:
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MURDER AT THE BARN DANCE, the first in the series, will be available for download within a few weeks. I’ll post here (of course!) when it’s on Amazon etc. I will be making it available for a budget price, and I hope you will have as much fun reading these stories as I’m having writing them. I’ll follow up with a new “Maia Saves the Day!” story every couple of months.

Meanwhile, I’m also looking into getting rights reverted on many of my previously published romances that are no longer available so that I can also put them up on Amazon and other outlets for download. This includes a number of romantic comedies, romantic suspenses, as well as my medieval trilogy. These are books that haven’t been available for YEARS in any format. (All of my Silhouette novels are currently available digitally. The books I’ll be making available are my other ones from other publishers.)

P.S. While the “Maia Saves the Day!” series is based loosely on what I know, these stories are NOT memoirs. They are fiction. Okay, Maia is real.
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But that’s all!

(I wish that photo was current–it’s not. We are covered up in snow and ice here.)

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Up Trapped Holler

Jan
23

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This is Day Three since we got about half a foot of snow. School has been closed all week. There’s little traffic here at the end of my country road, so paved or not, it’s not clear. The plow has been down it, but it’s still partially covered and icy. I wouldn’t chance it unless it was an emergency.
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Meanwhile, it’s a water buckets kind of day.
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As in, carrying water buckets from the house because the sub-zero wind chill has even the barn yard hydrant that “never” freezes–yep, frozen. I filled the large tank for the cows before the weather hit, keeping the floating heater in it, but they’ve slurped that down over the last few days.
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I moved the heater to start defrosting an oversize bucket I had set aside for extra before it froze….
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….while carrying buckets from the house to fill up the big tank again. The temperatures aren’t going to move in the right direction for at least several more days.
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But we haven’t had a power outage (yet) and I’m snowbound with hungry people! Ross is here, and Morgan’s friend Jennie (my “other daughter”) came to spend the night and is now trapped with us.

A few more pics from Morgan’s birthday yesterday–I can’t resist.
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I think she had a good time.

I’ve been making a lot of bread.

This morning I made some homemade macaroni and cheese to go with tonight’s fried chicken.

I fixed easy cheese puffs for breakfast.
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And I’ve got a chocolate pudding cake cooling on a baking rack this afternoon.
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So that’s life up trapped holler. The eatin’s good and the buckets are heavy! Who’s hiking in for supper and buckets?
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Aw, c’mon….. Cute farm animals ARE included!

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  1. IMG_8836

    January 6, 2014 - The Farmhouse Year in Review 2013

    The big stories of the year!

    January.

    Come milking with me!

    Glory Bee had a baby in December, and I was milking again! After a long hiatus, it was good to get back into the routine and my bad baby all grown up showed me she was a very good milk cow. There’s something special about a milk cow that you’ve raised from birth, a depth to the relationship that … Continued…

  1. IMG_0896

    December 25, 2013 - Christmas Angel in the Hay

    Hark, what song do I hear this angel sing?

    Maa-maa. Maa-maa.

    She lost her hat.

    Don’t ask her where it went.

    She’s busy.

    When my father was a boy, whenever he did anything wrong, his indulgent grandmother would say, … Continued…

  1. December 5, 2013 - The 2014 CITR Calendar

    The 2014 calendar is ready! The theme this year is “Cows Know Everything” and it’s true! This year’s calendar is all about dreams, imagination, and adventure–everything that makes life worth living. And if anyone knows how to live, it’s a cow.

    Here’s what it looks like inside. It’s the year of the cow!

    January:

    February:… Continued…

  1. IMG_0635

    December 2, 2013 - The Rat Who Came to Dinner

    Weston hitched his ride back to Morgantown on Saturday at noon. I had been out, and came home just as my cousin’s son Madison, who also attends WVU, was coming down the drive. I stopped by the mailbox and got out. Madison stopped his car at the end of the driveway and Weston pushed open the passenger side door, unfolded his six foot frame, and gave me a hug in the middle … Continued…

  1. 100_2862 (640x480)

    November 25, 2013 - My Favorite Holiday Story

    My grandmother’s house in Frederick, Oklahoma. Photo sent to me by reader Dianne Hall.

    My mother was a great cook and holiday meals always went smoothly, and for the most part, they do for me, too. I love holiday cooking disaster stories, but I have none. However, I do have a Thanksgiving disaster story that is at least food-related, and you know when you … Continued…

  1. IMAG2241-1

    November 20, 2013 - If You Were a Man Down My Holler

    Our power went off late Sunday night when a wild wind storm blew through West Virginia. Monday morning, I was packing Morgan off to a friend’s house in town where she could take a hot shower before heading to school, and I was trying to get the generator started. Despite purchasing a lovely brand new float charger, I had failed to keep the battery charged on my generator and the push-button start wasn’t … Continued…

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The Slanted Little House

"It was a cold wintry day when I brought my children to live in rural West Virginia. The farmhouse was one hundred years old, there was already snow on the ground, and the heat was sparse-—as was the insulation. The floors weren’t even, either. My then-twelve-year-old son walked in the door and said, “You’ve brought us to this slanted little house to die." Keep reading our story....



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