Thursday, July 21, 2016

My Friend Mr. Book Bag


I know some of you who are teachers are dreading the end of summer vacation and the beginning of the school year, but for me, it brings back childhood memories. Don’t get me wrong, I was not one of those kids who looked forward to it or had visions of creating that robot who would do my bidding and impress the teacher. I was a shy kid who felt overwhelmed by the idea of going to school where all those kids were and where the expectation that I would be the next Einstein loomed over my head like a dark shadow.

Skeeter was my best friend, and as long as she was in my class, I might actually make it through the first grade. Besides Skeeter, I had my protective book bag. Honest to Pete, I loved that thing. Not only was it good to put my Dick and Jane book in and my papers of accomplishment like the picture of the plumb I correctly colored purple, notwithstanding my wonderful array of school supplies, but it also contained my magical mementos. I had my ball and jacks, a deck of worn out Old Maid cards (kind of a chauvinistic game in today’s politically correct world I guess), and things that belonged to my parents so I could feel they were there to protect me. I kept a button from my mom’s dress and one of my dad’s ties. You can never be too safe.

Everything would have been okay except I carried that protective book bag with me everywhere I went. When I say everywhere, I mean exactly that—to the restroom, the cafeteria, and even to recess. My teacher thought my obsession with my book bag might be detrimental to my mental wellbeing and sent home a note to my parents asking them to discourage me from traveling constantly with my shield and friend Mr. Book Bag.

Now this may surprise some of you, but my parents were different—different in their beliefs about raising children and their philosophies about what children needed. My father sent back a note to my teacher in which he flatly refused to insist on me giving up my book bag. He told her I needed that book bag to feel secure and that he felt I would eventually stop dragging it around once I felt safe and comfortable in the class. I never felt as validated as I did that day when my dad stuck up for me.

Eventually, I did stop taking that book bag with me all over the place. After all, I had my best friend Skeet. What’s a book bag compared to a best friend? Naturally, a note went home about that, too, but that’s another story for another time. So, the lesson I learned about love and feeling loved is sometimes it’s not enough to hear the words “I love you”, sometimes you can only know how much a person loves you by their actions and how they support the unique person they know you to be.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Just Released: Memories of Maple Street: Pawprints on My Heart


Have you ever had a pet that left indelible pawprints—or hoofprints—on your heart? Pets we’ve rescued—that rescued us, as well—and animals that maybe weren’t so much “pets” as “acquaintances” who’ve taught us a thing or two…

The third edition of our successful series, Memories From Maple Street, U.S.A.—Pawprints On My Heart, is chock full of stories about special pets we’ve had. These tales evoke loving memories of days gone by when these animals played a huge part in our lives—either as pets we had as children, or as adults.

Wayfaring Stranger/ My contribution
Imagine my surprise when my mother picked me up at school and told me about the strange, furry creature who came to our house.

Anatole France once said, “Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.” This collection of true animal stories will serve to prove him right!

Includes authors Gayle M. Irwin, Ann Swann, Carol Huff, Sarah J. McNeal, Charlie Steel, C.J. Samuels, Jim Landwehr, Cher’ley Grogg, Beverly Wells, Gil McDonald, Meg Mims, Tina Holt, Tanya Hanson, Cheryl Pierson, and L.D.B. Taylor.
Buy Links: Kindle    Paperback

Thursday, May 26, 2016

HOME FOR THE HEART, my new Wilding romance, Just Released




HOME FOR THE HEART, my new western romance in the Wildings series, is about love that just can’t seem to get off the ground and about a half Lakota boy who no longer believes he’s worthwhile.


Love doesn’t come easy…for some, it may never come at all.

Blurb:

Lucy Thoroughgood has gone and done it now—fallen in love with Hank Wilding, a man she’s known all her life. He’s content with friendship, but Lucy’s heart has flown the coop and she knows she’s in love with the determined bachelor. When she visits him with a proposition—to let the orphans she cares for learn to ride his horses during the summer—he surprises her with one of his own. She must accompany him to the dancing lessons he’s signed up for.
Secretly pleased, she hopes that perhaps this arrangement might lead to more than friendship. But Hank’s loved hard and lost, with his engagement to one of the popular town girls going south two years earlier. He’s sworn to never lose his heart to another—including Miss Lucy Thoroughgood.

A teenage orphan, Chayton, could be the key to thawing Hank’s heart—but danger follows the embittered boy. Will Hank be able to give Chayton the home he yearns for—or will the boy’s past bring only sorrow to those he cares for? When a Lakota premonition becomes reality, Lucy’s life hangs in the balance. Will Hank have the chance to let Lucy know how wrong he was?

Excerpt:

In the quiet of the barn filled with the smell of fresh hay, horse manure, and leather tack, Hank sensed rather than heard someone enter the building. Ah, the smell of sunshine and roses. Must be Lucille Thoroughgood. Without turning to look at her, he set the pitchfork against the wall of Lonesome’s stall. “What do you want, Lucy?” he grumbled as a greeting.

“Mr. Wilding, I have something I’d like to propose to you.” Her voice sounded tense. When he turned to face her, he saw those blue eyes dart away from his to peer at the straw on the floor. She promptly straightened her spine and must have forced herself to look him straight in the eye. Her starched manner made him want to mess with her.

“A proposal?” He moved closer to her…maybe too close. He felt something shift in his chest like a warning bell. “Well now, I haven’t ever had a lady propose to me before.” He joked, badly, just to get her goat. Generally, women were not to be trusted. He’d learned that lesson the hard way. But Lucy was his old friend since grade school. Even though she must have been born straight-laced and proper, she spoke her truth, plain and simple. Beneath that barbed wire exterior beat a heart of gold. 

Lucy propped her fists on her hips and he thought she looked like a charming sugar bowl all ruffed up in her pink flowered dress and her sweet, straw hat that sat askew on her gleaming brown hair. She knitted those brows together and narrowed her eyes at him. “I’m not proposing marriage to you, Mr. Wilding. I’m proposing a business deal…sort of.”

Buy Links:

Amazon:


Smashwords:




Thursday, May 12, 2016

HOME FOR THE HEART

Home For The Heart, a Wilding Western Romance is in its final edits and will be released very soon.
In this book, Banjo's son, Hank, opens his ranch for orphaned kids with physical and emotional challenges to heal with horse therapy. He's doing it because Lucille Thoroughgood, the social worker for the orphanage, made a bargain with him he could not refuse. Little does Hank know how his life will change.

HOME FOR THE HEART cover by Livia Washburn Reasoner

Logline:
Love doesn’t come easy…for some, it may never come at all.
Blurb:
Lucille Thoroughgood is a social worker for orphan children. She is known to the town’s folk as dependable, logical, determined, and…well, stubborn. But Lucille has a secret affection for the determined bachelor, Hank Wilding.
Hank Wilding loved hard and lost. He has sworn to never marry. After Lucille makes a bargain with him, he agrees to allow troubled and physically challenged children from the orphanage to ride his horses as equine therapy. One of the orphans is a half Lakota boy, Chayton, who reminds Hank of his own father’s painful childhood.  

But danger follows in the shadows of the rejected, embittered teenager that may take the life of someone Hank and the town of Hazard holds dear. 

TO BE RELEASED SOON

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Celebrate Life on Earth

For those of you who celebrate it, Happy Easter! and have a wonderful Passover to those of the Jewish faith. For all of you of any faith or belief, I want to wish you a beautiful and lovely Spring here on Mother Earth and a very happy life. In spite of the terrible events in our world, we can all cling to hope and smile at each sunrise.
 This is my wisteria now in full bloom. It smells positively delicious.

Friday, March 04, 2016

Life On Planet Earth


With all the turmoil reported in the news about contentious debates, random shootings on the streets, in the malls and schools, threats of nuclear missiles targeting the United States from North Korea, and a world in chaos, I need to find some peace and get centered again. I don’t want to fall into this negative vortex of mounting upheaval and despair.
So, I have been going to my Pinterest Cave to regain my calm and search for wisdom. I found this quote from the Native American, Chief Seattle:
“All things share the same breath, the beast, the tree, the man. The air shares its spirit with all the life it supports.”
This quote helps to remind me that all living things are connected. We need to take care of one another and protect all other living things because we are interdependent. What happens to one thing will affect the others. Mother Earth isn’t just a planet flying around in space. It is our home and it is unique because it contains something precious—life.

And that is the end of my sermon. I hope you all have a peaceful, loving day. Oh. One more thing. Spring is on the way. Just sayin’…

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Tangling Up Characters In A Series



Many of you may know when I wrote Harmonica Joe’s Reluctant Bride, I had no idea it would be the first book in The Wilding Series. Once I wrote the sequel to Harmonica Joe, For Love of Banjo, one of my all-time favorite characters got his own story. More than that, I realized I couldn’t let go of these characters. Since that time I’ve written more stories about the ever growing Wilding clan. It’s fun bringing back my favorite characters in new stories, but there is a down side to writing a series. How the heck can I keep up with who married who, who had what kids, what year were these kids born, and what color were their eyes and hair, and what characteristics held them apart from the rest?


These details are nothing to sneeze at. If Banjo has brown eyes in one story and blue in another, you can pretty much predict, a reader is going to catch it. It wouldn’t be a good thing to make such a mistake because believability is only part of what might be at stake. Such a discrepancy might tell the reader that I don’t really care about my characters—even worse, that I have lost my integrity as a writer. So no mistakes. Everybody has to have their own eye and hair color and be parented by the same parents they had in the last story when they first appeared.
My Wildings Notebook and Family Tree

You may wonder how I keep track of all my crazy Wildings? Well, for one thing, I keep a notebook in which I write all the details about the characters, including secondary characters.   You never know when you might have to take one of those secondary characters and make them a lead hero or heroine. Lucille Thoroughgood was once a secondary character in Unexpected Blessings, and her mother, Penelope Thoroughgood, was only mentioned in For Love of Banjo. Penelope ended up with her own story in When Love Comes Knocking. Just to keep straight who is married to whom and how, or if, someone is related, I created my own version of a family tree. I learned quickly that I am not good at making a family tree look coherent, so my version is a bit different from those beautiful family trees done by genealogy experts. No matter. Mine works for me.
To check out all my Wildings books, click on The Wildings

For those of you who write a series, what are your methods for keeping up with your characters? When you read books in a series, have you ever caught a mistake regarding a character? If you did, what did you think of the author? Were you forgiving, or did you stop reading that authors books?