Wednesday, January 3, 2018

New Year, New Story by Leigh Riker



I love the start of a new year, but I also like to first take stock of the last one. In 2017 I had two Heartwarming books out—Last Chance Cowboy and Cowboy on Call, Books #2 and #3 in my Kansas Cowboys series. 




The Reluctant Rancher is book #1.


Cowboy on Call came out in November while I was completing the fourth book in the series due in mid-December. During a short break from the writing, my husband and I spent a lovely Thanksgiving Day with our godson’s family in Atlanta. The following morning we flew to Boston to visit our older son’s group, and the holiday season seemed to be off and running. But, wait…

A few days after I sent the new book to my editor, hubby and I flew to Phoenix to see other relatives and friends and to get warm <grin>. Unfortunately, this time our plans didn’t quite work out. Oddly enough, it was freezing in Arizona. Then hubby caught the nasty virus that was going around there—and across the whole country. Oh, and we got into a minor traffic accident when a woman in the next lane suddenly veered into ours, denting our rental car. Thank goodness no one was hurt, but the holidays by now had threatened to become, well…different.

Boy, was I glad that, while I polished up Wannabe Cowboy (working title for book #4) I’d done most of my Christmas shopping online (e-tail is my new best friend). The packages were in the mail and some had even arrived at their destinations. At home in Tennessee, as I tended my sick husband and channeled my inner Nurse Ratched, I wrote a few Christmas cards then decorated the house—except for putting up the big tree this year. We made do with the smaller ones, a new, lighted wreath for the front door and a bowl full of sparkle.


Cozied up each night in front of the fire, with the mantel lights glowing, I settled in to (at last) enjoy the season. It was good to be home if not for long. We would visit our younger son’s family after Christmas but, as it turned out, hubby was still not feeling well enough to travel then and I didn’t want to leave him alone. I sure missed seeing the grandkids, though. I’m told his new furry beanbag chair was Jack’s favorite present and Lily, our gymnast, likes her folding balance beam and mats.

Still, other things worked out. As I pondered the Christmas lights, voila! A new story, to be the fifth book in my Kansas Cowboys series, came to life. In the last novel I introduced Nell Sutherland, the heroine’s friend, who is one tough cowgirl. Nell is determined to prove she can run her grandfather’s huge ranch. But Cooper Ransom still resents her; her family forced his parents to sell their adjoining property years ago and they moved away. So I’ve thrown Nell and Cooper together. I wonder what sort of trouble they can get into? Other than falling in love, I mean.

Wishing all of you a Happy, Healthy 2018! Here’s a toast to new beginnings. And, of course, to happy endings.




             

20 comments:

  1. Nearly everyone I know (myself included) had holidays that were...different this year. I'm so glad yours had an HEA and that a new story emerged! Happy New Year, Leigh.

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  2. Thanks, Liz. The same to you. There are a lot of different viruses going around now. Stay well.

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  3. LOL, welcome to Phoenix. Which day was freezing cold? And, don't you just love it when a new idea appears. Happy holidays.

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    1. Yes! I love seeing a new story develop. And I do love Phoenix! It was cold the whole time during our visit from Dec. 15th-19th but not as cold as it is right now in TN. I'm in hibernation mode. Happy holidays to you too, Pam. All the best for 2018.

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  4. Leigh, so glad you made the best of what life threw your way. Hope your husband is all better. There are some nasty flu bugs going around this year. I'm raising my coffee mug to toast new beginnings and happy endings! Here's to a fabulous 2018.

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    1. Well, when life hands you lemons...My husband is better now, thanks, but I seem to have picked up his virus. I'm fighting it. Lifting my cup to you, Carol, for a wonderful New Year.

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  5. You did good with all that happened. And a new story popped up, too. That's great. Hope January is better for you, though, health wise and travel wise.

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    1. Thanks, Roz. No more travel this winter! Happy New Year to you!!

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  6. Leigh, I hope your husband is completely over that flu. EVERYONE around here has it. And yes, the stories over Christmas do keep coming through, don't they? Mine were travel related due to the 17 inches of snow we got in two days! It's still coming down. Makes me think I should write about the Arctic. Yesterday it was 23 below zero wind chill.
    That is so thrilling you came up with another idea. I love your series and look forward to them all! Happy New Year to us ALL!

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    1. He is feeling better, thanks, but that bug really wiped him out. It does seem everyone is sick. Brrr, the snow and wind chill you have make me feel cold. Would you really want to “live” in the Arctic for the time it takes to write a book? 😊 Keep warm. I’m so glad you like my series. Happy New Year!

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  7. Inspiration comes from the loveliest places, sometime. Even the coldest of places, LOL. Glad you had a lovely holiday season. Can't wait for the new books! <3

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    1. I love inspiration, especially when it’s unexpected. 😉 Happy New Year, Anna.

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  8. Deep freeze up NE Wisconsin, too. New stories popping and despite the cold I so enjoy the assessing what's gone before and planning for what's ahead. A toast to cozy houses and candles burning and good books to read! Hope all is well by now, Leigh.

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    1. Ooh, stay out of the cold, Virginia. Sounds brutal. All is well here now, thanks. January is actually one of my favorite times of year when the holidays are over but the tree lights can still be enjoyed for another week, the sky is a pearly gray and I can write and write. Bliss.

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  9. So glad for your new idea! And someone left the freezer door open down here in Mississippi as well. It's 17 as I type.

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    1. LOL. Shut that door, Patricia! Quick! Happy New Year to you and all the Heartwarmers.

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  10. My goodness, it sounds like you've been getting all the winter weather. No wonder there isn't enough snow for cross-sountry skiing here in Alaska -- it's all down there. Glad to hear your husband is healing and you're getting inspired, even if your plans didn't work out quite the way they were supposed to.

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    1. Isn't this weird? Like the country is turned upside down! Our cold isn't as bad as many other places. Just unusual for TN. Thanks for the good wishes, Beth. All good things to you in 2018!

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  11. Well now. **flexes weather story muscles** You ain't seen nuthin' until you lived through a Canadian prairie winter. It was so cold you could throw a cup of boiling water in the air and it transformed instantly into a solid and fell like snow to the ground. It's called deposition. In some parts it was colder than the Arctic. No kidding. -38 degrees Celsius with wind chill. (-40 degrees Celsius and Farenheit are the same). BUT I also get that when there's a cold snap in places where you're not expecting them than it can often be more dangerous because the population isn't prepared for them. Anyway, glad to see that everyone is more or less recovered, and we're onto a new year and new books! the premise of your next story is great, Leigh!

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  12. OH my goodness, M.K. I can't imagine surviving a Canadian prairie winter. I've seen pix of bubbles being blown and freezing like that. Amazing. And so true that in TN everyone freaks out if it's cold and/or snowy. Everything shuts down. Thanks for the kind words about my new story. It feels right.

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