Getting to know my characters and books

This series is coming at you, book by book!

Western Kisses is probably one of my favourite books and one of my most difficult books. I knew what I wanted. A Bannister son, Lee, coming back to Aspen Valley and his family ranch after being in prison. I wanted a heroine who doesn't like him. I wanted him coming back looking for redemption and forgiveness.

But mostly, I wanted a twist in the story. And try as I might I couldn't figure out how to do what I wanted to have happen. I fiddled, brainstormed, scribbled, walked. Nothing.

Then my husband asked me if I wanted to head out for a couple of days to his cabin in the bush. He wanted to do some bushwhacking and trail cutting. I wasn't keen on the whacking and cutting part. It was the middle of winter at the time, after all, but I did like the idea of the cozy cabin with the fire going. Besides, whenever we head out to the cabin, my husband usually cooks. How wonderful is that?

So I packed up my computer, my warm clothes, cozy slippers and we headed out. I sat by the window with the fire crackling, watching the snow come down and suddenly, I had it! My twist.

I'm NOT going to tell you what it is because you'll have to read the book to find out more. It's not out yet, but will be coming out in a couple of weeks.

BTW, I made an error in my newsletter last week and put the cover of the wrong book for you to pre-order. THIS book, however, is the next one to come out. Promise. And if you keep reading, you'll get to find out a bit more about the story.

Abby Newton only took the assignment - a photo essay on Refuge Ranch's 150 anniversary - because, after an 8-month hiatus from the stress of her photojournalism job, she knew she needed to get back to work. She was in Aspen Valley anyway, visiting her mother. But when she finds out that Lee Bannister -the man who injured her father with his recklessness and ruined her and her mother's life as a result, the man who humiliated her in high school - he would be the one showing her around, she has to find a way to reconcile past with present and once and for all, move on.

Lee Bannister's fun and games life made a complete U-turn the night he got into a serious accident that badly injured Cornell Newton - Abby's father and put Lee in prison.

Lee does his time, but ashamed of whom he had become, he stays away, working oilfields, to pay his parents back. He also returns to the faith he had treated so cavalierly. Now his sister is getting married and his other sister is engaged and his father wants to throw a party for the 150th anniversary of the ranch, so he takes a month leave of absence and comes back to the ranch. Only to find out that Abby Newton has come to do a piece on the ranch for a major magazine. And he has to help her.

But as they spend time forced to work together, other emotions rise up. Lee apologizes not only to her but to her mother and Abby gets to see how much Lee has changed. And they slowly become attracted to each other.

Until a secret from the past rises up and changes everything.

It’s the Twist!

Sorry, can’t say more. Maybe you’ll figure it out. Maybe you won’t. But you’ll have to read the story to find out.

Meantime, take care and stay safe.

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