Long December

The first snow of the season was in November. The final–hopefully–was last week. That’s not typical for Southern Indiana, but it’s not atypical, either. Last year we dealt with being frozen up our hill for the first time. This year it wasn’t such a surprise, but the volume of snow we got sure was. Either way, it’s melting now, and we’re almost back to real life. There’s just something about having mobility put on hold by the weather that busts up the routine, you know?

Snowvember:

photo by Leslea Tash, all rights reserved

All photos on this page by Leslea Tash, all rights reserved

Thursday:

 

photo by Leslea Tash, all rights reserved

Yes, we got another dog, too. He blew in with the weather, I reckon.

Sometime in between the autumn snow and the spring snow, we had the holidays, and that interfered with life work, as well, but in the best way.

Wait. See that? For the past few years, I have thought of work as life, without even meaning to. That’s not to say that I didn’t love my family and my home and all those entail, but…I just enjoyed writing so much and interacting with my readers, that I focused on it a lot. Maybe too much, if I can be allowed to be truly honest.

photo by Leslea Tash, all rights reserved

Thankfully, I’ve never been one of those moms who is like, “Oh, help, I’m stuck at home with my family for Christmas.” I love my kids and spending the holidays with them is always awesome. I’ve always tried to make that time special. It’s just that…last year, I was ready for the kids to go back to school so I could get back to work…and that didn’t happen. Instead, it snowed.

photo by Leslea Tash, all rights reserved

and it snowed, and it snowed…

photo by Leslea Tash, all rights reserved

That’s another pic from last Thursday. Wow, huh?

This year I found a new way to look at that snow outside. A new way to look at the holiday break. A new way to look at my family, my career, and how they fit together.

I still love writing. I still love interacting with my readers. But…I love my family more. I want my life to be more than killing time between writing sessions. I need to fully experience and savor every moment of my life, as much as possible. I can’t, as a friend put it, be “all about the books.” I’m not that girl. When I tried, it didn’t fit with my priorities. Not right now.

So, yep, I haven’t written a word on my current work in progress since January. We hit our back to school stride just long enough for me to get to 83% completion on An Honest Woman, and then the kids and the weather made another perfect storm. You know what they say, though, right? It’s not about learning to avoid the melting snow puddles, it’s about learning to dance in the rain snow storm, or something like that.

photo by Leslea Tash, all rights reserved

all photos by Leslea Tash, all rights reserved

So, like I said, we’re melting, and back to the old routine. Here’s hoping that An Honest Woman is ready for editing soon. I don’t have much more to write, and ironically, a lot of where I left off was in the snow-covered mountains, anyway, so the cold and the fire, and all that? Research!

Thanks for your patience, your interest, and your readership. I’m still writing, but more importantly, I’m living.

And I hope my readers know I wouldn’t be half the writer I aspire to be if I didn’t know where one activity ended and the other began. <3


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An Honest Thank You

This weekend was wildly busy, and I want to thank all who stopped by the Pioneer Hearts sale to scoop up bargain books &/or enter the giveaway. I *know* my Smart Girls Gone Country have already done so, but just in case you missed all the hubbub, you’ve got a few hours left of the event.

Mainly, though, I want to say “Thank you” for making The Rancher Takes a Wife a top ten hit over the weekend. Chastity and Carl’s story hit #9 on the Christian Western Romance chart, and I’m really pleased about that.

The Rancher Takes a Wife, Montana Brides #1, a top ten hit.

The Rancher Takes a Wife, Montana Brides #1, a top ten hit.

And great news…An Honest Woman, Montana Brides #2 is coming along swimmingly! I’m making great progress and expect the sequel to be ready for editing/processing soon. Keep up with the progress here.

Thank you

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I took this photo in my backyard a few weeks ago. I felt like it was missing something, so I put it aside and waited.

This morning a lovely reader left me a review on Amazon, mentioning that she laughed aloud in the hospital waiting room while read The Rancher Takes a Wife, Montana Brides #1. Although I wished she didn’t have a need to be at the hospital, I confess it delighted me to learn I was able to entertain her.

In the past I have received reviews telling me I helped readers through hurricanes, or jokingly blaming me for keeping them up all night. Writing can often be a thankless job, so each positive comment counts.

Thank you, readers.

Teaser Tuesday & a Celebration

Celebrating two things today!

1.) Four years of marriage to my best friend, the man who deserves his name on all my covers, Mr. Tim Tash. I love you, honey! Thank you for inspiring all the good men in my books! You are my hero.

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2.) A relaunch for Bird After Bird. I love the latest cover and feel like it deserves to be promoted, so let’s do this in style! Keep reading for some Teaser Tuesday exclusives, including a Laurie photo collage!

Hey, here’s a recent review of Bird After Bird… “When a book is 308 pages and a total of 75 chapters the last thing you expect to do is read it in a day and a half but this book is one of those books that pull you in.” Read the rest here.

And without further ado, here’s Laurie Byrd!

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Laurie’s character was inspired by a lot of people, some real, some fictional. My husband with his army stories and love for dogs was a huge influence. Laurie’s brooding, artistic, independent personality owes a debt to Kevin Costner’s portrayal of Garret Blake in Message in a Bottle, and if I’m totally honest, Josh Lucas’ turn as Jake Perry in Sweet Home Alabama may have contributed, as well.

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My friend Paula who does search & rescue with her border collie fed a lot of Laurie’s backstory. Oh, and let’s not forget he’s named for the boy next door in Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women! Mostly, though, he’s just the kind of man I’ve known all my life. A quiet, sensitive Indiana boy who takes everything to heart, but who has learned the hard way that a man can’t wear his heart on his sleeve without paying a high price. Everything changes for him when he meets Wren Riley. There is no longer comfort in solitude, no longer grief in his voice. His heart is awakened for the first time as an adult, and he’s emboldened by the lessons he’s learned from his past, now wise enough not to let a chance at happiness slip away. Once he’s given his heart to Wren, will they mend one another’s broken wings, or will she fly?

And how about an excerpt?

He gently turned me around and lifted the back of the tee. His fingers traced the tattoo on my lower back. Normally I didn’t feel the need to explain my ink to anyone. It was personal. I felt an unfamiliar desire to share everything with Laurie, though. “A tramp stamp. Yeah. It seemed like a good idea at the time.”

“I’m not judging,” he said.

It was a swallow, Sailor Jerry style.

“I didn’t find yours last night.”

“What, a tattoo?”

“Yeah. Don’t all soldiers get tattoos?”

He shook his head. “Thought about it, when I graduated Basic. Couldn’t find anything I’d want for the rest of my life, though. Yours is nice. Suits you.”

I laughed. “You think?”

“Sure. I mean, I’d expect a wren, but the swallow is cool. Does it have a meaning?”

“The tattoo artist said it meant ‘freedom.’ That sailors used to get them before their first long voyage, and then one to match at the end.”

“Why would they do that?”

“Supposedly, the swallow would carry their souls home if they drowned.”

“Wow.” He let my tee drop. “Well, we’ll stay away from the lake tonight, just in case, okay?”

Bird After Bird

So, what’s the deal with that tattoo? Does Wren’s soul find its way home to Laurie’s heart?

Find out for just $.99 today on Amazon, Nook, iTunes, or Kobo!

Spotlight On Leslea Tash #Imaginarium

Leslea Tash:

If you’ll be in the Louisville area Sept 19-21, come to the Imaginarium Convention.

A creative writing convention featuring 11 tracks of programming, catering to all genres of writers, as well as screenwriters, game designers, and comic/graphic novel creators. A full convention experience themed on creative writing, including a film festival, vendor hall, costume contest, art show, and much more! visit http://www.entertheimaginarium.com for further information!

Originally posted on Armand Rosamilia:

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SPOTLIGHT ON: Leslea Tash / Red Tash

 

How did you get involved in the upcoming Imaginarium convention?

I guess I’m a joiner, because I saw a bunch of friends were going and I applied.

 

What is your latest release and what genre is it?

The Rancher Takes a Wife, Montana Brides #1. Historical Western Romance.

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Quick description of it.

This is a sweet story you don’t have to be embarrassed to read in front of your grandmother. I’ve written a lot of horror, fantasy, and R-rated books, and I wanted to try my hand at something more PG-rated.

 

Something unique about it.

The Rancher Takes a Wife is a historical Western set in the aftermath of the Stock Market crash, aka Black Friday. Rather than recycle the tired old Mail Order Bride trope, I twisted the genre to tell the tale of a young woman who effectively…

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