This and That, Christmas 2016

For the longest time I’ve been meaning to write a post with tidbits of this and that and somehow always get distracted by other things and don’t get it done. But today is the day.

You may remember back when we were discussing favorites for some of the AAR lists, that I mentioned Candace Proctor’s Whispers of Heaven. McD recommended this to me sometime ago, and I was lucky to find it at the library. Whispers is not a Western novel in the way that Quigley Down Under isn’t a Western movie, and yet in the same way they really both are Westerns at heart. Both are set in Australia, Tasmania for Whispers.

I had to get it from the library because at that time it wasn’t available as an ebook, and I’d already stopped buying anything in paper. I don’t remember if it was even available in paper except used. The same problem is probably going to keep me from ever reading one of McD’s other recommendations, Beloved Savage, which isn’t in any library I have access to.

Anyway, I was following an Also Bought trail of something or other on Amazon, and there it was! Ebook. And reasonably priced. When I went to the page (I now have the ebook and liked it as much on rereading as the first time), I discovered that Penelope Williamson’s The Outsider, which has been available in ebook for some time but only at an exorbitant price I wouldn’t pay, was also available reasonably, so now I have it too.

It’s nice to see traditional pubs holding rights to older books like that get reasonable with pricing. Surely I’m not unusual in refusing to bite when an old book is priced like a new bestseller, and with traditionally published books, the library is often a solution.

Other than that, I’ve been trying once again to write a novella that I can send to the mailing list. Since I’m not done with it yet, I can’t say for sure I’m succeeding in keeping the story from taking off on an unplanned path, but so far so good. I even have a draft cover:


Other than that, I’ve been spending far more time than I’d like doing rehab on my youngest Rottie girl, Teagan, as she needed cruciate surgery. The hope is that putting in the time and effort now will enable her to do the rally, obedience, tracking, carting, drafting, and maybe barn hunt activities I had planned for her. Agility is out. Even if her surgically reconstructed knees could handle it, mine couldn’t. She’s only two, so we have time.

Finally, I thought you might enjoy a look at my Christmas tree. It’s only a little over a foot high, but it’s cuter than all get out, and the detail on it is fantastic. I wish I could post a higher resolution photo, but the large file size stops me. I think you can see it pretty well here, though.


Why I finally managed this post on Christmas Eve, I can’t say, but I will say Merry Christmas, or Happy Holidays, to each and every one of you. I’m sure you all have your own family traditions—I’ll be indulging in mine this evening, nothing Western, but the annual viewing of Die Hard. Go ahead and laugh. If either Quigley or The Outlaw Josey Wales had a Christmas tree in it, things might be different.

~ Ellen

16 Responses to This and That, Christmas 2016

  1. Nancy Kilpatrick says:

    Night in Eden by Candice Proctor is even better. If you get a chance, read it.

  2. Dallase says:

    Ellen, your tree is adorable! Love the book cover, and I’m excited to think there might soon be reading nirvana for me… Wishing you and all of your fans Merry Christmas.

  3. Barbara Hawkins says:

    I love your tree. Who is the author of Beloved Savage? I hope in your next book you go back to the “old west” with horses. I do not care for automobiles whether new or old. You and Rosanne Bittner are two of the few who write about the west. So many authors that I use to read are now writing regencies. This is America and I prefer American settings.

  4. Thanks, ladies. I don’t get that lovely evergreen smell in the house, but then I don’t have to dispose of the live-tree carcass either.

    Beloved Savage is by Sandra Bishop. I just looked on Amazon, and sure enough, the only copies available are from third-party vendors. At a guess it won’t be available in ebook soon if ever.

    Yes, Barbara, I’m going back to the Old West with the next romances. I do like automobiles and found the oldies fascinating, but the only reason I ended up with stories incorporating them was that a story with Deborah Sutton, who was a child in Bad Man, as an adult pushed the time frame up into the automobile age. One problem with the Old West setting is it didn’t last that long. From the end of the Civil War until automobiles was only 30 years.

    If you think about it, Anne and Cord Bennett were 28 in 1885, which means they’ll live to see not only automobiles but airplanes. Wyatt Earp lived until 1929, and I get so fond of my characters I not only worry about their futures, but play them out in my mind. For Cord and Anne I had to come up with a way they could handle the end of the horse-as-transportation age. I’m not going to write about any of them as senior citizens, at least no more senior than Cal and Norah are in A Grand Race, but for my own peace of mind I have to work it out.

    For me anything set in an English-speaking country works, which makes me a something-ist, but I don’t care. My historicals can’t be too historical either because I know all too well how ugly life was not that long ago. No one will ever convince me anything Midieval can be romantic. I just think about the dirt and bugs and that’s that.

    The Old West before the Civil War has some of the same problem. I know how dangerous and primitive life was then. Some things are pretty interesting anyway – “Come and take it.” “Remember the Alamo.” – but I still don’t think of romance when I think of those times.

    Anyway, Breaking the Rules is very much Old West. Gun man hero, Civil War vet.

    Now I’m off to dig out the DVD of Die Hard. “Welcome to the party, pal.”


  5. Maily says:

    Ellen, Merry Christmas to you and your beloved dogs. I am so happy to hear you’re working on a new book. My only complaint is the length of your books. Novella is not long enough. You created such wonderful characters we just want to keep on reading.

  6. Barbara Wadman says:

    Ellen, I, too, am a fan of the “old west”. Your books, Eyes, Sing My Name and Beautiful Bad Man, are books I have read over and over. I keep waiting for Beau’s story, but, alas, I have not seen it yet. Dancing on Coals and Without Words were also well above the usual books out there I am willing to wait if you will write another full length story as good as the above books I mentioned. Merry Christmas and a productive New Year for writing new books!

  7. Rosheen says:

    Merry Christmas/happy holidays. Good to here from you. I can see why the story may get away from you, good luck keeping it contained . Look forward to reading it in any format however a novella may arrive sooner (LOL) so here’s hoping. Luke’s story was a great novella and worked very well (just helping :D). Good luck with the rehab, know how important the early intervention is for quality of life let alone performance.

  8. Patricia Patterson says:

    What a lovely Christmas gift….hearing from you and with book suggestions. Best wishes to Teagan. I love seeing your tree. Be safe and well and keep writing. I have reread your books so much that sometimes I just start at random places and visit old friends.

  9. Jane L Knisely says:

    Merry, merry, Christmas! This post made me think of how you incorporated Christmas in several of your stories. Whether Anne and Cord’s quiet first Christmas or Nora asking for a hug they just struck as so sweet and touching. Is the new novella tied to any of the other books you’ve written? I think it takes so much talent to write a good short story. Getting your characters complete and a storyline set up and resolved must be such a challenge and yet you do it so well. Stay warm, stay merry, and mostly stay joyful!

  10. Pam says:

    Merry Christmas to you too!

  11. Barbara Hawkins says:

    I want to recommend a book to you that will be coming out in ebook format on Jan 2. It has always been in my top 10 favorites. it is the Rainbow Season by Lisa Gregory aka Candace Camp. Her best books were her early books. Another top author of mine is Rosanne Kohake. She only wrote 3 books. Unfortunately cancer took her live several years ago. None of her books are in the the ebook format, but are on audio. I have found her books cheaper on Ebay. I got a brand new Ambrosia with shipping for less than $4.00,, Her other two books were Chasity Morrow and For Honor’s Lady.

    I am now rereading Whispers of Heaven. I had forgotten the story. I wish more books today told a story. Too many of today’s books are noting but sexual romps with no real story or description but just fluff.

  12. Marcia Montoya says:

    Happy New Year’s to you Ellen. Can’t wait to read the new book. It looks to be terrific, but I’m partial to back in the day Western romance. Your books are wonderful. The cover is great! I know it will be a big hit.

  13. Szabó Viktória says:

    Hi Ellen,
    I wish you a Happy New Year! It’s wonderful to hear about your new book, can’t wait to read it. For some reason, I love the western settings, although I’ve never been in your country. I can understand your point about the not so romantic historicals. Carla Kelly has some wonderful books set in the 17th century, which are downright frightening..
    Anyway, thanks for the update, it’s always good to hear from you.

  14. nonniemae says:

    Happy New Year! Our nine year old Henry, a golden doodle, had knee surgery this year also. He is doing very well. Die Hard is a Christmas movie at our house. Have a productive year.

  15. Cheryl says:

    Ellen, I can’t tell you how grateful I am to have discovered such a talented writer as you to enjoy. I have been following you since you first published Eyes of Silver… and must have re-read every book you have written a dozen times. Each and every one of them are beautiful heart felt stories I will never tire of reading. I don’t think the time period you descide to write will matter to’s the stories and characters that touch me..the era doesn’t matter. All the couples seem real to me so when I get a chance at another glimpse of their lives I am thrilled .. just, please never make it too sad it would ruin it for struggles are fine.. devastation not so much..I’d probably cry more than the characters… 😞… you have a gift and I feel privileged that I have the opportunity to enjoy it. Thank you. 😊

  16. Jane L Knisely says:

    Ellen, What’s cookin’ good lookin’? Been too long, how’s life treating our favorite author?

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