Hi, everyone. Where are you from? I grew up in northeastern Ohio in a big extended family on my dad’s side—he had five brothers and sisters—and with my mom’s smaller family living close by. For a long time my roots were deeply planted in that mid-sized community just outside of Akron.
Some of my fondest memories still are of family gatherings for birthdays, holidays and summer cookouts in my uncle Ralph’s yard (he was the local fire chief) to eat and afterward play croquet (I was never good at that), listen to my aunt Hazel play the piano or talk about books. She inspired my love of reading and, later, writing. But our close-knit clan also got together whenever someone needed support like the day my dad got fired from his job. Then there were the happier, special overnights spent at my maternal grandmother’s house and our “ladies’ luncheons” at the department store where models showed the latest fashions right at our table. Very impressive to an eight- or ten-year old girl!
On both sides those memories will always be part of me but, sad to say, most of that extended family is gone now. And in my adult years I’ve lived in many different places, some of which I liked more than others. My kids and grandkids—my nuclear family—all live now in other states, and my place now is in Tennessee, but I’ll travel to see them this holiday season. Still, it’s an odd feeling not to have all my relatives a trip across town away. Writing this brought even more memories, old and new, flooding in.
They also remind me of how often I tend to write about family and that one place in the world where you know you truly belong. In my books at least one of the characters may be searching for that spot.
In Cowboy on Call, my November book and the third in my Kansas Cowboys series, it’s the hero Sawyer McCord who isn’t quite sure where he belongs:
He needs to stop running from his mistakes.
Cowboy or doctor? Sawyer McCord has been wrestling with that question since he came home to the Circle H after fleeing his remote clinic in the Himalayas. A tragedy there has him doubting his medical skills, but his reception on the ranch has been chilly at best. Sawyer can’t blame his family—or Olivia Wilson, his brother’s ex—for their anger. So why does Olivia’s opinion of him suddenly matter so much? Sawyer has unfinished business here and at his clinic. If he’s ever going to redeem himself, he needs to start by making amends to the one woman who might never forgive him.
You can find Cowboy on Call at http://amzn.to/2vTsqQx. And if you haven’t already gotten your copy of this year’s Christmas Town, Maine anthology, Heartwarming Holiday Wishes, what better time to do so than right now?
The holidays are almost upon us, and the family gatherings we love soon will be too.
But first, on November 29th, don’t miss the Starry Nights & Romance Facebook party. It’s going to be awesome. I’ll be co-hosting there at 2:25 p.m. ET. Drop by to say hello!
Where is your special place to belong and/or with the people you love?
Happy holidays! And, as always, Happy Reading!