My Favorite Place

Oregon Coast

This week I’ve been at the Oregon Coast at a week long writing retreat. I love the beach. The waves curling, foaming, and racing up onto the beach. The roar of the churning water and the shrill cries of the seagulls.

I gain energy from the water, the sand, and this week the sunshine.

Photo of me taking photos

When I’m at the beach writing, I set a goal of how many words I have to write before I take a walk on the beach. That prods me to get writing each morning and keep writing throughout the day. I usually get to walk twice on the beach and in the evening when I meet my goal, I can watch a movie on my kindle. LOL Yes, we writers need rewards even though just getting our stories written is a reward.

Do you see the wolf head on this crab shell?

One of my favorite things to do while walking on the beach is taking photos of pretty shells or unique things I see in a shell, or the way the water made a design in the sand. This may sound like I dawdle when I walk the beach. I don’t. I actually walk fast and when something catches my eye, I take a picture.

And this trip so far, I’ve found 4 sand dollars in perfect shape! I never find a full sand dollar so that alone has made my trip something special.

My sand dollars

I started out writing hard on my story. Mid-week I floundered, but am picking it up today, Thursday and will push through to get this book to the halfway point by the time I go home on Sunday.

I feel for all the people in the Midwest and back east getting hit by winter storms, but this week of warm- 50ish- weather and the sunshine has made the thought of us finally getting winter in SE Oregon something I’m actually looking forward to.

Enjoy the rest of your week and on the 5th, I’ll post my Rafflecopter winner!

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Pass It Along Giveaway

To help boost the number of sales for the first book of my new series, I’ve made a contest. All you have to do is share my book through the links below at your favorite social media and you’re name will go into rafflecopter for a chance to win autographed print copies of the first three books in the series and a $50 gift card.

the ancient indian art of tracking is his greatest strength... and also his biggest weakness.

Here are the rules:

Share Murder of Ravens with links below on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Bookbub, and Pinterest. Each time you share your name will go in the Rafflecopter. Giveaway ends on Jan. 31st. The winner will be announced here and contacted on February 5th.

At Goodreads add to TBR list

At Bookbub click and share

At twitter go to my page and share the tweet about the book Murder of Ravens

Go to my pinterest page and pin the book to your pinterest page

Visit my author FaceBook page and share the comment about the new release.

Click below to go to Rafflecopter and the links to get your points!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Meet Gabriel Hawke

Gabriel Hawke LogoFish and Wildlife State Trooper Gabriel Hawke works in Wallowa County. It is in the NE Corner of Oregon and has a population of just over 7,000 people and covers 3,152 square miles

In my books, I use the same geographical area, but I’ve made some of the towns a bit larger than they really are and gave them names from old towns that had once been in the county. I’ve also populated the county with fictional people and businesses. Having grown up in the area, I didn’t want people to think I was writing about them. all of my characters and situations are figments of my imagination.

Hawke, who prefers to be called that rather than Gabriel, was born on the Lapwai Reservation in Idaho. After his parents divorced his mother moved to the Umatilla Reservation in Oregon where her family lived. Hawke is Nez Perce. His father’s people were of the treaty Nez Perce and his mother a descendant of the non-treaty Nez Perce.  Reading this series will teach you the difference and how it has affected Hawke’s way of thinking and life.

When I saw a photo of Adam Beach from the movie  “The Watchman’s Canoe”, I knew this was my prototype for Hawke.  He’s 52 years-old, divorced.  His wife left him when Hawke arrested her brother on drug charges. That’s when he decided living on his own and having no one to be responsible for, was the best option.

After a short stint in the military, Hawke returned and applied for the Oregon State Police Academy. He was accepted and after five years as a patrol trooper, he was able to get on with the Fish and Wildlife State Troopers as a Game Warden in Wallowa County.  Land that has remained dear to the Nez Perce. What propelled him into the Fish and Wildlife division was his master tracking skills that he’d learned from his grandfather.

It is his love of the Wallowa country, his tracking skills, and a keen sense of justice that propels him in the books in the series.

Hawke is introduced to my readers in book 12 of my Shandra Higheagle series, Homicide Hideaway releasing Jan. 4th.

MURDER OF RAVENS

1 GH Murder of Ravens 5x8The ancient Indian art of tracking is his greatest strength…

And also his biggest weakness.

Fish and Wildlife State Trooper Gabriel Hawke believes he’s chasing poachers.

However, he comes upon a wildlife biologist standing over a body that is wearing a wolf tracking collar.

He uses master tracker skills taught to him by his Nez Perce grandfather to follow clues on the mountain. Paper trails and the whisper of rumors in the rural community where he works, draws Hawke to a conclusion that he finds bitter.

Arresting his brother-in-law ended his marriage, could solving this murder ruin a friendship?

Universal Buy Link: https://www.books2read.com/u/bxZwMP

Book 2, Mouse Trail Ends will be on pre-order in January and releases February 20th.

MOUSE TRAIL ENDS

Parents are killed while on a camping trip.

Daughter is missing.

Fish and Wildlife State Trooper Gabriel Hawke remembers coming across the missing family in the Eagle Cap Wilderness. When he finds their camp, the parents have been shot. All the clues show the girl is on the run. Using his tracking skills, Hawke gets closer to the girl and discovers someone is also trailing him. Believing it is whoever killed the parents and wants to silence the child, he moves faster to catch up to the wily nine- year-old.

Can he reach the girl without compromising her or will his need to save her put others he knows and cares for in danger?

Book 3 in the Gabriel Hawke series, Rattlesnake Brothers, will release March 20th.

RATTLESNAKE BROTHERS

Corrupt officials.

Death to those who dare complain.

Fish and Wildlife State Trooper Gabriel Hawke encounters a hunter with an illegal tag. The name on the tag belongs to the Wallowa County District Attorney and the man holding the tag isn’t the public official.  As Hawke digs to find out if the DA is corrupt the hunter’s body is found.  Zeroing in on the DA, Hawke finds his hands tied by both the county and the State Police.

Being suspended doesn’t stop Hawke from digging deep into the lives of the county officials and dodging a murderer out to stop his investigation.

Waiting for Winter & a Horse

20190109_091030
our hill 

We had about 6 inches of snow in December that stayed around until a week before Christmas. Leaving us with a brown holiday. No sledding, no building snowmen. It has been brown ever since.

 

Hubby was getting excited when we had several weather reports for snow. However, they didn’t happen. He is now skeptical about any talk of snow in the forecast.

We need the snow. Or warm up and rain like the dickens. In SE Oregon we are very dry.  It will be a hot, fire wary summer if we don’t get more moisture soon.

My Christmas gift from hubby is a horse. The only problem is I am having trouble finding one. I need a horse that is around 15 years old or a bit older, 14-15 hands, been ridden so much that no matter if I ride once a week, once a month or every day, it will behave. I also need one that will be able to go on an all day trail ride.

The daughter who moved down the road this past summer plans to take me on trail rides once a week or at least twice a month. I love trail riding. So the horse has to be able to physically go up and down hills and spend the day walking with me on its back.

appaloosa stallion
Appaloosa

I would like a gelding. I’ve had too many issues with mares. But I’m willing to look at a mare if it has a mellow attitude. I’ve been combing the sale ads. I found a great mare, but the people never responded when I contacted them to look at her. I wish people would take down ads if the horse has sold or at least text you back with sold.  Common courtesy is so hard to find these days.

Horse
Paint

My ideal horse would be Appaloosa, paint, or dun/buckskin. I like horses that have interesting color. But if it’s the right size, attitude, and health, oh, and also price, I won’t worry about the color.

Buckskin horse
Buckskin

Growing up I had a sorrel buckskin mare that I loved! She never had an attitude, went wherever I wanted to go, and came when I called her. She was a good 15-16 hands and beautiful.  I rode her a lot bareback and I was barefoot. LOL We’d cross the Lostine River and head up on the side of the mountain. I’d lay on her back looking up at the sun shining through the cottonwood and aspen trees as she walked along.  I’d spend hours out riding her in the summer.  Sometimes my younger brother rode with me and we’d go all over the hills and mountain side.

I’ve never been one to like riding around in arenas. I only ran my horse when we would race in the lane. A trot was to catch up if I’d been gawking and fell behind.

If you have a horse, what color and breed is it? If you don’t what color or breed do you think is pretty?

Homicide Hideaway Release Day!

Today is the release of book 13 in the Shandra Higheagle mystery series, Homicide Hideaway. Wow! I can’t believe I’ve written 13 books in this series and the readers keep asking for more. I’ve loved writing Shandra and Ryan’s journey from him thinking she might have killed a gallery owner to in this book they are on their honeymoon. And oops! They come across a body.

While this book not only solves a murder mystery, it also introduces my readers to a new character who will have his own series debut on the 20th of this month.

Fish and Wildlife State Trooper Gabriel Hawke, known as Hawke to everyone, is a Nez Perce/ Cayuse American Indian. As you can see, I am staying with my Native American theme with this series as well. There are so few main characters in books, movies, and TV shows that are American Indian that it feeds my inner need for justice to have such a character.

In Homicide Hideaway, Shandra discovers yet another distant relative and bonds quickly. Perhaps too quickly, since her cousin has a good motive for killing the person.

Love… Marriage… Murder

Less than twelve hours after arriving at a remote hunting lodge for their honeymoon, Shandra Higheagle and Detective Ryan Greer find a body. Shandra’s cousin had quarreled with the man earlier, and the clues point to her as being the murderer.

Fish and Wildlife State Trooper Gabriel Hawke, arrives and immediately takes a dislike to Shandra’s cousin. But he is willing to work with Shandra and Ryan to discover the truth.

For a remote hunting lodge, the place becomes overrun with suspicious guests. Shandra’s dreams and Hawke’s tracking skills soon discover the cause of the drunk’s death.

Universal Buy Link : https://www.books2read.com/u/3nYweo

I’m celebrating this release at Karen’s Killer Fixin’s with a recipe. You can go here and check it out.
 https://wp.me/p4pimt-5gj

And you can now get Book 8, Fatal Fall in audio at most audio book vendors.

Book eight of the Shandra Higheagle Native American Mystery Series
Avarice…Family…Murder

When the doctor is a no-show for her appointment, Shandra Higheagle becomes wrapped up in another murder. The death of the doctor’s elderly aunt has everyone questioning what happened and who’s to blame. Shandra’s dreams soon tell her she’s on the right path, but also suggests her best friend could be in grave danger.

Detective Ryan Greer knows not even an illness will keep Shandra from sneaking around, and he appreciates that. Her insight is invaluable. When she becomes embroiled deeper in the investigation, he stakes out the crime scene and waits for the murder to make a tell-all mistake. 

But will he be able to act fast enough to keep Shandra or her friend from being the next victim?

Christmas Cheer by Paty Jager

The stockings were hung…

I love Christmas. If I didn’t have so much fall/Halloween/Thanksgiving decorations I would decorate in November for Christmas so I could have the fun lights and decorations up longer. 

Are you an all-out Christmas decorator or do you just put up enough that you know it’s Christmas and no one can accuse you of being a Grinch?

Here are a few scenes of what I have going on.

MY mom crocheted this scene years ago.

I like to put lights in every room. Bathrooms, bedrooms, the office. There is nothing cheerier than twinkling lights. But then I love glitter!😉

We have a (it looks like a moose but I think it’s supposed to be a reindeer) sitting in a rocking chair and it plays the song, “Grandma got run over by a Reindeer”. Our four-year-old grandson and the 2 year-old play that over and over again and dance to the song. It gets annoying when you are trying to have a conversation and then the reindeer goes away. LOL

The tree is up. I decorate it in stages until it is as I wanted it. I still have to make the gingerbread people that depict each family member and hang those from the tree, but the rest is done.

The presents are all bought and wrapped and under the tree.The ones that had to be shipped are off. The Christmas cards are all in the mail.

I do have cookies and candy to make for the neighbors, but I do that in the evenings while watching TV.

Now I can sit back and wait for company to arrive the weekend before Christmas.

Let the writing commence!

Taking Time and Exploring by Paty Jager

This past weekend hubby and I took a quick trip to Reno, Nevada. I’d won a two-night stay at the Peppermill Casino last March at the Left Coast Crime conference. We needed to get the certificate used and realized once our daughter and her family left to join her husband in Maine for the winter, we’d be stuck home feeding her cattle. So we made reservations and took off.

The casino had changed a lot from the last time- 20 ahem-years ago that we were there. It is as sprawling and opulent as a casino in Las Vegas.  We had a beautiful room with a jacuzzi tub! I was so excited I couldn’t wait to use the tub. That was one of the “oops” in our new house. We forgot we had a beautiful old clawfoot tub we could have put in for a bath tub and instead asked a plumber friend to get us a soaker tub. Well, if you are a four-year-old, the depth of the water is just fine, but for an adult there is no soaking. There is getting your bottom and legs wet. So I was excited to have a nice long hot soak.

We also received spa credit in the package I’d won. I had a massage and hubby had a gentleman’s pedicure. I will go back there again for the beautiful room and the spa facilities. They were amazing! I’ll know what it is all about the next time we go. Yes, we will return sooner than 20 years the next time.

Looking from the upper part of Virginia City down the hill.

On Saturday, we drove out of the fog in the Reno valley and up to Virginia City, which was above the fog. It was like flying over the clouds, looking down at the fluffy whiteness between the peaks of the mountains.

At Virginia City we walked the main street browsing the stores. Then we walked the streets uphill from main street looking at all the old houses with beautiful detailed wood working. We noted there were half-a-dozen Bed and Breakfast places. Ideas of yet another get-away.

One of the old houses on the upper side of Virginia City.

We stopped at a nice quiet coffee place for a light lunch and then as we drove around the lower streets, I noticed a sign saying open. It was for tours of the MacKay Mansion. I am always a sucker for seeing inside old homes.  There were some amazing pieces of furniture. Many that the owner, John Mackay made and carved himself. Even though he was a billionaire, he enjoyed wood carving. It was an occupation he’d learned and used on his way to making money.

Mrs. Mackay’s bedroom

The history in the family was interesting. So much so, I’ll be purchasing a couple of books about them that I hope to later use the info to add a character in my historical western series.

These chairs were made and carved by John Mackay. His wife Marie sewed these cushions when ex-president Ulysses Grant came to visit.  

The tour guide talked about the place being haunted and how she’s had experiences and some ghost hunter show filmed an episode there. She showed us a 3 second clip of the show that aired that showed a dark shadow walking across the room. I believe in ghosts but tend to be skeptical when it is used as a means to make money.

Child’s bedroom. Marie lost a daughter to disease and another fell down stairs becoming a cripple. But after marrying John, he took the child to the best specialists in Europe and she could walk again. They had three sons and one died while racing a horse. 

After Virginia City, we returned to the Peppermill, where I lost money and hubby made money. We came home with the same amount we left with and had purchased meals and some gifts. So not a bad trip and it was definitely relaxing!

On the 6 hour drive there and back, I wrote blog posts for the places I’ll be guesting on my blog tour next month and this post. Back to getting the second Hawke book written this week.

I hope you had a great weekend and take time out this time of year for yourself.