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  • Writer's pictureCarolyne Aarsen

New Book coming out June 14, 2024

Hello, greetings and salutations,

Yesterday I was sitting in my office, trying to figure out if I want to get up and get a snack, go for a walk, check Facebook, e-mail, the news, or if I should power through. 

Keep working. Stay focussed.

But I do get distracted. More often than I like to acknowledge.

My mind starts spinning and going off on tangents and my stomach is demanding some nuts, maybe some chocolate. A peanut butter and banana sandwich sounds good. For some reason my stomach rarely demands cucumbers or peppers. You know, healthy stuff.

If my stomach isn't complaining sometimes a thought will drift into my mind as I'm working on my story. I'll stop, give it some time. My office is also my sewing room so sometimes I'll think about my next project. Get up, sort through my fabric. Take a book off my shelf. Clean my glasses. Tidy my pen holder.

You know, important stuff.

One of my solutions to this monkey brain of mine is to play music. For some reason, if I've got some instrumental music playing (can't have words because, you know, distraction) that seems to anchor me. Gets me grounded and better focussed. I wonder if it keeps the part of my mind busy that likes to jump into tangents, but it seems to help. 

And, there are times, the music sets a mood for my writing and inspires me.

The heroine of Wrangling the Cowboy's Heart plays piano. I've always wanted to learn, but when I was young I had time but my parents had no money, and when I had money, because I was a parent, I had no time.

Now, I really don't feel like trying to learn a new skill.

Now, I'm living out those fantasies by letting my heroine's do the things I once dreamed of.

So Jodie is a piano player and when she comes home to the ranch to fulfill the terms of her father's will, she sees her piano still there and is pulled back to what she once loved

Here's an excerpt from Wrangling the Cowboy's Heart to give you a taste of Jodie and what she's dealing with:

Jodie walked back to the piano and tugged the sheet off, sneezing at the dust cloud she created. She let the sheet fall to the floor to be dealt with later.

Lifting the lid, she propped it open, raised the fallboard covering the keys, and sat down at the bench.

She ran a few scales, the notes echoing in the emptiness. Surprisingly, the piano was still reasonably in tune.

Her fingers unerringly found the notes of “Für Elise,” one of the first pieces she had ever performed, and its haunting melody filled the silence as memories assailed her.

Sitting at this same piano, her pudgy fingers plinking out notes of the scales as her sisters played outside. Often her time at the piano was punishment for one of her many misdeeds. Between the musical aptitude her grandmother tried to nurture and the many times Jodie got into trouble, she’d spent a lot of time at the keyboard.

But while music had, initially, been a burden, it eventually became a release. Slowly, her own music began braiding through the set pieces, improvising and, eventually, making her own music, writing her own songs.

And now, as she played in her childhood home once again, the music transported her to a place where she was in charge. Where she set the rules.

The light from the window fell across the keys and her hands, highlighting the scar on the back of her right hand and how it rippled as she played.

The scar had been part of her for years, but seeing it on hands playing on this keyboard? The memory came crashing back.

Jodie abruptly dropped her hands to her lap, one covering the other, the lingering notes generating an ache for the losses in her life. Of her mother, when she was only nine. The loss of her plans and dreams in high school. The death of her grandmother a few years ago, and now her father.

She was here for two months. But once those months were done, she was gone. And after that?

She closed the lid on the piano with a thunk and got up from the bench. She had learned it never helped to plan too far ahead. That way lay only disappointment and pain.

If you want to pre-order Wrangling the Cowboy's Heart click on the picture of Jodie above or the button below. It will be out on June 12th, 2024. It will be available in e-book or paperback

Leonard's Lines

Carolyne, me and Rusty went out for a walk early this morning. I found a lovely puddle to jump in and drink water from.

When we got back to the yard we met The Boss. He wanted to check out a cow that just had a brand new baby calf.

Of course I had to come along.

Of course I didn't think Carolyne was serious when she told me to stay back when we saw the mom and her baby.

I mean, who doesn't want to play with me? But when that mama cow with those long horns looked over at me and lowered her head, I thought maybe I should keep my distance.

So I circled around and then Carolyne was annoyed with me. I sat down and looked up at her with my doofus eyes and she just shook her head and walked past me.

I'm not such a bad dog after all.

I guess

Leonard seems to have a more charitable view of his lack of listening than I do. But he's just doodling through life, as Labradoodles do, being happy and running around.

Mostly he listens. But his curiosity often takes over and he's as distractable as I can be.

I wonder if music would help?

And now I wish you a blessed week and will be back with more reader information, news from our place and when he feels like it, Lines from Leonard.

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