saving the sheriff

Using Personal Stories in My Books

Every single book I write has a little bit of me in it. Pull from what you know, right? More often than not it’s things like sneaking Star Wars in, or an expression I use a lot. But sometimes I use personal stories to help me bring my characters, settings, or situations to life. Some have more me in them than others.

My Hills of Texas series, in particular, gets a lot of me in the books. Maybe because I’m writing characters in my home state, or maybe because these are ensemble books centered around the Hill family.

SavingTheSheriff-Teaser3

Sometimes, the moments are smaller. In book 1, Saving the Sheriff, Cash’s daughter Sophia is quite a character. A lot of her moments in the book are taken directly from moments with my own daughter. She is older that Sophia now, but I write down a lot of her quotes just because they are so good, and that comes in handy when writing kids.

Here’s one of those moments in Saving the Sheriff:

Sophia hopped right up on the chair specially deemed for the birthday girl. She donned a sparkly tiara that Carter had bought her and sat up very regally. “I am the queen, and this is my palace.” She waved toward the house.

“I thought this was Pop-pop’s and my house.” His mother had her hands on her hips.

Sophia shook her head. “No. You’re the groundskeepers.”

Cash burst out laughing while his mother muttered, “Why I never.”

ResistingtheRancher-Teaser2

Other times, I’ll pull goofy little details into a story, usually nothing huge. In book 2, Resisting the Rancher (coming July 30th!), the heroine is feisty and independent and trying to prove herself. Her truck is a reflection of that. I modeled after a truck I used to drive.

Williams Hill dragged his hand over his face as he sat in his truck at a stop light in Estes Park, Colorado. After two straight days of driving up from Texas, he was ready to reach his destination of the rodeo grounds in the small Rocky Mountain town. Flexing his shoulders to work out the kinks, he happened to glance over at the vehicle stopped next to him.

Everything in him froze…then released in a pent-up laugh.

The woman driving a shiny new black Ford truck was gorgeous with high cheekbones and pouty lips. Her long hair was pulled back in a ponytail, so he couldn’t quite make out the color, but her appearance wasn’t what had made him laugh.

She was clearly enjoying a favorite song—singing and dancing for all she was worth, without a care in the world for who might be watching. He chuckled again as she did a little shoulder shimmy. Adorable was the word that struck him, and he was strangely affected, an instant attraction coiling inside in a way that surprised him.

He wasn’t an instant attraction kind of guy.

Suddenly she glanced toward him and stilled as she discovered her audience. Her eyes went wide and she sent him a sheepish grin. He smiled back and pretended to tip an imaginary hat. However, instead of another smile, she went cold on him, eyes hardening, lips thinning. She whipped her head around to face forward, her chin in the air, and didn’t glance his way again. She definitely didn’t start singing again. Not that she would have had much time, because the light changed a second later.

She was quick to hit the gas, faster on the draw than Will who was still blinking at her abrupt about face. He almost expected her windows to frost with the drop in temperature in there. A flash of bright pink on her back window caught his attention as she drove ahead of him. For the second time in a handful of minutes, Will chuckled. The sparkly sticker on the back of her truck read, “Silly Boys, Trucks are for Girls.” Lips tipped in amusement, he shook his head.

At the next light, she went straight when he turned, which meant she probably wasn’t there for the rodeo. He gave a mental shrug. Wouldn’t be seeing her again. Probably for the best, since he was here to work.

I always got a kick out of men’s reactions to that sticker in real life. Lol. Some would drive by and glare at me. I even caught one taking a picture once. Hilarious. 🙂

I’m working on book 3, Partnering the Playboy, right now, and the entire opening scene has my goofy butt written all over it. I’m drawing from one of my most embarrassing moments, but turning it into a meet-cute. You’ll have to wait for that one, but let’s just say it involves the heroine accidentally locking herself out of the wrong truck.

Release Day – Saving the Sheriff!!!

Saving the Sheriff is finally here from Tule Southern Born!!!

BUY & READ NOW!

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SavingTheSheriff-300dpi-683x1024

There’s a storm brewin’…

The day his wife died, Sheriff Cash Hill discovered she was leaving him for another man, one she’d loved since before their marriage. How could the single dad ever trust another woman again? But when Georgia’s best friend, Holly, comes back to town, something about Holly’s sweet, sassy vulnerability has his protective instincts kicking in hard.

Holly Jensen left La Colina, Texas with regrets. She’s returned home to work as the new large animal vet and to watch over her best friend’s daughter. But Holly’s knowledge of Georgia’s past could rip a family apart. And she’s reluctant to go to the sexy…and single…sheriff, as he’s made it clear he wants nothing to do with her.

Both are faced with a choice…stay locked in the past or allow their reservations to be silenced by a passion hotter than Texas summer nights. Can they learn to trust their own hearts and each other?

BUY & READ NOW!

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GIVEAWAY

CLICK HERE TO ENTER

KindleFireTablet7Help me spread the word about my new release and get in on a fantastic giveaway! Up for grabs:

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EXCERPT

“I—” He ran his hands through his already spiky hair again. “I’d better go.”

Holly dropped her gaze and willed her sinking heart to get over it fast. She had no idea what was driving this reaction. Better to just let him go. “Of course. It’s late.”

She walked to the door, and he followed, silent and brooding.

He opened the door and she followed him outside, where he turned abruptly to face her. “I’m so—”

She stopped him by going up on her tiptoes and placing her lips softly over his. Shock at her own behavior zipped through her, even as her lips tingled from the touch. She’d meant for the gesture to be comforting. Perhaps part of her realized that after she talked to him about Marcus tomorrow, she might not get another chance. Besides, it was a good way to shut him up. She didn’t want his apologies.

She savored the sensation of his warm lips under hers. Let her own linger against his for a long moment before she pulled back. “Don’t apologize. Please. I really do understand.”

Then, before he could say or do anything else, she went inside without a backward glance, locking the door behind her.

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Saving the Sheriff Blog Tour & Giveaway

Saving the Sheriff Tour Banner

To celebrate my new release, I’m touring book blogs. Pop in, say hi, and enter my big giveaway (including a Kindle Fire Tablet and a $50 Amazon gift card!).

Don’t forget to grab your copy of Saving the Sheriff!!!

*Hosted by Authors Pal!

Date Blog Name Blog URL Type of Post
1/22/2018
Book Junkie Reviews abookjunkiereviews.wordpress.com Promo
Evermore Books evermorebooks.weebly.com/blog Promo
Book-Lover blog facebook.com/bookloverblog2014 Promo
Sea’s Nod searosetouk.blogspot.com Promo
1/23/2018
Cat’s Guilty Pleasure facebook.com/catherinewrightbooks Promo
underneath the covers underneaththecoversblog.com Promo
the bookworm lodge www.thebookwormlodge.com Promo
Jen’s Reading Obsession jensreadingobsession.blogspot.com Promo and Review
1/24/2018
Joyfully Reviewed www.joyfullyreviewed.com Promo
MJ’s Book Blog and Reviews facebook.com/MJsBookBlogandReviews Promo
Read Your Writes Book Reviews readyourwrites.blogspot.com Promo
Becky on Books beckymmoe.com Promo
1/25/2018
What Is That Book About www.whatisthatbookabout.com Promo
Shirley’s Bookshelf facebook.com/ShirleysBookshelf Promo
book review virginia lee facebook.com/bookreviewvirginialee Promo
Romance Novel Giveaways romancenovelgiveaways.blogspot.com Promo
1/26/2018
Nicole’s Book Musings nicolesbookmusings.blogspot.com Promo
Buried Under Romance www.buriedunderromance.com Promo
Teatime and Books www.teatimeandbooks76.blogspot.com Promo
Escape Reality Book Blog facebook.com/escaperealitybookblog Promo and Review
California Girl in MA CaliforniaGirlinMA.blogspot.com Promo and Review

 

PreOrder Saving the Sheriff

Give yourself something to look forward to after the holiday insanity is over! Pre-order SAVING THE SHERIFF now!!!

Coming January 23rd, 2018!

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SavingTheSheriff-300dpi-683x1024A storm is brewin’…

The day his wife died, Sheriff Cash Hill discovered she was leaving him for another man, one she’d loved since before their marriage. How could the single dad ever trust another woman again? But when Georgia’s best friend, Holly, comes back to town, something about Holly’s sweet, sassy vulnerability has his protective instincts kicking in hard.

Holly Jensen left La Colina, Texas with regrets. She’s returned home to work as the new large animal vet and to watch over her best friend’s daughter. But Holly’s knowledge of Georgia’s past could rip a family apart. And she’s reluctant to go to the sexy…and single…sheriff, as he’s made it clear he wants nothing to do with her.

Both are faced with a choice…stay locked in the past or allow their reservations to be silenced by a passion hotter than Texas summer nights. Can they learn to trust their own hearts and each other?

PREORDER NOW!

amazon barnes_and_noble ibooks kobo googleplay

✭✭✭✭✭ “This is one of those feel good books that you can’s put down because you want to see what is going to happen next because both Cash and Holly are both set in their ways and can’t see what is right in front of them and you really want them to get things right so you keep reading because the book is just that good. This is a great start to a series and I can’t wait to see what happens to the rest of the Hill clan.” ~Sarah, Goodreads Reader

 

EXCERPT:

SavingTheSheriff-Teaser3Gear loaded, she walked into the barn, breathing in the familiar scents of hay and horse and leather, and took some time to shake it off. She walked along the stalls, patting the velvety noses of the animals.

Yes, all her training, and a lot of time spent dissecting and practicing on animal cadavers, had given her a certain amount of distance from any emotions related to her job, but that didn’t make her a robot. Besides, these days it was more about the distress of their owners.

Most cowboys had seen too many dead animals to care anymore. Heck, they raised them for slaughter, much of the time, so they couldn’t let themselves get attached or emotional. Will was a rancher. He’d seen this before. But she knew with this kind of stock he’d likely put his heart and soul into his horses, so losing one was hard. Holly felt for him, but she’d found that owners needed their vets to be a rock—professional, efficient and only borderline sympathetic. She could do that. In fact, she was good at it, but she often needed time alone afterward to let it all go.

“Holly?”

She stopped and scrunched up her face at Cash’s voice. Couldn’t a girl just get a second by herself?

Apparently, she hadn’t been very successful at hiding the evidence of her irritation because he frowned down at her as soon as she swung around.

“You okay?” he asked in a gruff voice. The question didn’t quite match the rather stoic look he gave her, as though he was irritated with himself for asking the question.

She gave a deceptively sunny smile. “Fine as a fiddle.”

After a beat of silence, he glanced around with raised eyebrows. “Why are you in here?”

“Curiosity got the better of me. I was checking out Will’s stock.”

He crossed her arms and gave her an assessing look from those clear blue eyes. She could just imagine that look on his face when he was interrogating a suspect. “I’m sure Will would be happy to show you.”

“Right.” She moved with purpose toward the door leading outside, intending to go up to the house, but stopped as she got up close to Cash and realized he wasn’t moving.

Tipping her head back, Holly raised her eyebrows. “Something else?”

“Is it hard? Putting them down?”

How had he guessed? Holly stared at him for a brief moment, part of her reluctant to admit, even to herself, this was the hardest part of her job, and part of her strangely drawn to sharing something so personal with Cash.

“Not really.” She shrugged.

He didn’t respond, nor did he move to let her by. Gently, he reached out and tucked an errant strand of hair behind her ear. “Don’t let yourself get too callous about it.”

Holly held her breath at the shock of his touch and the resulting sensation his action caused. Electric was the description that came to mind. “No?” She was proud of how steady her voice sounded.

His eyes dropped to her lips. Slowly, he shook his head. “Uh-uh. ’Cause then you wouldn’t be you.”

Holly swore her heart stopped beating. Then reality intruded. What was she doing? What was he doing?

Holly jerked back from his touch. Trying to cover the awkwardness, she tucked her hands in her back pockets. “Thanks for the advice.”

Her sudden movement seemed to snap Cash out of whatever spell he’d been under as well. With what was clearly a forced laugh, he stepped to the side, letting her pass. “Yeah.”

PREORDER NOW!

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Cover Reveal & Preorder

Check out this gorgeous cover for my upcoming release, Saving the Sheriff!

Don’t forget to PREORDER your copy today! It hits eReaders everywhere Jan 23rd!

PREORDER NOW!

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SavingTheSheriff-300dpi-683x1024

There’s a storm brewin’…

The day his wife died, Sheriff Cash Hill discovered she was leaving him for another man, one she’d loved since before their marriage. How could the single dad ever trust another woman again? But when Georgia’s best friend, Holly, comes back to town, something about Holly’s sweet, sassy vulnerability has his protective instincts kicking in hard.

Holly Jensen left La Colina, Texas with regrets. She’s returned home to work as the new large animal vet and to watch over her best friend’s daughter. But Holly’s knowledge of Georgia’s past could rip a family apart. And she’s reluctant to go to the sexy…and single…sheriff, as he’s made it clear he wants nothing to do with her.

Both are faced with a choice…stay locked in the past or allow their reservations to be silenced by a passion hotter than Texas summer nights. Can they learn to trust their own hearts and each other?

PREORDER NOW!

amazon ibooks kobo

Coming Jan 23rd from Tule – Southern Born!!!