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Here it is, folks, the cover of my first book with Cedar Fort Publishing! I love the tenderness it shows between my main characters, which reflects their relationship in the story. Benjamin Marlowe, a former Civil War captain, is inspired by Walt Whitman (yes the poet shows up in the story) to travel the country while avoiding anything that will hold him down. Yet when he meets Annabelle, an orphaned pioneer girl who has grown up in a hidden valley in the Cascade Mountains, his plans unexpectedly change.

The publication date of “Chance’s Bluff” has just been moved up to December, which means I’ll be busy the next few weeks working on getting reviews and publicity … my least favorite part of being an author. I don’t mind appearances–those are actually pretty fun. It’s organizing my calendar, planning, sending out emails, and all the practical stuff that make me want to procrastinate. Ugh! I need a secretary to do all that for me.

In the meantime, I’m also busy putting final edits on a Christmas novella, “Abby Rose’s Christmas.” The story will be featured December 18 on “Singing Librarian Books” blog’s ‘ “12 Days of Christmas Countdown” Blog, with five free giveaways. I’m excited not only because this is my first Christmas story, but because it features one of my favorite characters, whose story connects those of two of my other novels.

Who is that character, you ask? Why, Abby Rose herself. She’s the high-spirited, red-headed daughter of Tom and Abigail Westerly from The Gardener’s Tale, and the grandmother of Chance McInnes from Chance’s Bluff. Although I barely mention her in those books, she’s a very important character in the lives of those around her. Her fun-loving personality frequently gets Abby Rose into trouble, and that is the case in this romantic and adventurous Christmas tale, where she meets her future husband.

I’ll post more on “Abby Rose’s Christmas” later. For now, it’s back to writing and trying to whip my promotional calendar for “Chance’s Bluff” into shape … a month earlier than expected. Yikes! I feel myself procrastinating already.