Thursday, October 15, 2015

Whistle Stop, Now Where Exactly is that???

Congratulations to "Lynn B.", the winner in Jennifer's giveaway. Thank you to all who participated!

One of the first things I must figure out before launching into the first draft of a book is the setting. I think a good story should be grounded in the setting. If a story could be easily moved to another location then I feel that I haven’t done my job as a writer. I want the reader to experience the setting in one way or another so that in their mind’s eye, they feel as though they are there with the characters. ;-)

Whistle Stop is a fictional Southwestern town in New Mexico. On the outskirts of Whistle Stop is a ghost town called Haggerty. It plays a prominent part in the first book in the Whistle Stop series, A MOMENT ON THE LIPS. I guess I’ve always had a fascination with ghost towns. Might have something to do with seeing one in an episode of the Brady Bunch when I was a little kid. ;-) Anyway it was so much fun to do the research and imagine the breeze on my face while walking down what used to be in the main street of Haggerty with a couple of hitching posts off to the side as well as the remnants of an old saloon. There’s even a bit of folklore that goes along with the town. But I don’t want to spoil it for you. ;-)

The second book in the Whistle Stop series is A MOMENT TO DANCE. In this book, there’s a mountain that provides a breathtaking backdrop to Whistle Stop. Roca Mountain is fictional, but in the story it is part of the Rocky Mountains. And it provides a very different setting, one of Pinon trees and a bit of wildness. Ella, the heroine, has just inherited her grandparents’ cabin and it is in desperate need of repair, but first she must raise the money. One thing leads to another until she’s partnered up with the fire chief for a dance contest ~ Dancing with the Firefighters.

The town of Whistle Stop and the surrounding area has been in my head a long time. I’ve thought about the town and its citizens so much that in my mind I can walk down the streets of Whistle Stop past the town square the Beautiful U Salon, the Save-A-Penny Bank and right up to the door of the Poppin’ Fresh Bakery where the heroine in A MOMENT ON THE LIPS (book3) works. In fact, she owns the place and the pastries are a HUGE hit with the residents of this quaint town. The hardest part of writing this book was the fact that I could practically smell the cinnamon bear claws, chocolate chip cookies and mocha chocolate cupcakes that Piper whips up fresh each morning.

I hope you’ll visit Whistle Stop soon. Here’s the sign that will welcome you on the way into town.

Excerpt from A MOMENT ON THE LIPS:

Behind them, a throat cleared.

Piper turned, her gaze landing first on a pair of cowboy boots. A pair of faded jeans and a large silver belt buckle nestled against flat abs. A breath fluttered in her chest. Her gaze rose up over a muscled chest that strained against a navy blue T-shirt. When her gaze reached the man’s tanned face, she was surprised to find that she didn’t recognize him. These days, Whistle Stop didn’t get many visitors—although there were plans in the works to change that sad fact.

So, where in the world had this stranger come from? And why hadn’t the bell above the front door chimed upon his arrival? And then a horrid thought struck her—had he overheard her mother’s lecture?

The intensity of his warm gaze made her heart thump and her palms grow moist. He might not be one of her regulars, but with his short brown hair, bronze features, and solid build, he was welcome to stop by any time. The more she looked at him, the more she felt as though she should know him. But she couldn’t place the face.

At last regaining her ability to speak, she said. “Welcome to Poppin’ Fresh. What can I get you?”

“I was hoping I could speak with the owner.” He stepped closer to the display case.

“That would be me. I’ll be right with you.” Piper turned back to her mother.

“By the way, I disagree.” The stranger spoke in deep, rich tones.

Confused, Piper faced the man again. “Excuse me?”

“I think you’re pretty just the way you are.” His voice was noticeably raised—loud enough for her mother to hear.

Heat swirled in her chest and rushed up her neck. She couldn’t remember the last time a man had paid her such a compliment. “Thank you. I…I’ll be right with you.”

Now it’s your turn—to be entered to win a digital copy of A MOMENT ON THE LIPS, share your favorite thing about where you live…


Welcome to Autumn Fest...sweet treats, entertaining company, and a tender romance.

Piper Noble feels like she's going places. Her business, the Poppin' Fresh Bakery, is a culinary success story. Next on her to-do list is expanding the bakery into the vacant shop next door...and starting a new diet, like her mom keeps nagging her to. But when Joe Montoya steps into her life, her grand plans grind to a sudden halt. 

Joe's taken a big risk returning to Whistle Stop. But with his disastrous marriage over, it's time for a fresh start, including opening a coffee shop...and coming to terms with his troubled past. Though his neighbor Piper looks like she'll be a big distraction in getting Fill-It-Up Joe off the ground--with her honeyed smile, curvy goodness, and her unflagging determination to grab his storefront. 

However, when Piper and Joe are elected as co-chairs of a fundraising committee to help the town's revitalization project, the hostilities must cease. Joe's not sure about spending time with a woman who, one moment, reminds him of all the good things he's been missing, and the next minute drives him up a wall with her stubbornness. Meanwhile, Piper's looking for the way to this gorgeous but grouchy guy's heart--maybe serving him one of her fresh-from-the-oven pastries could be just the right start...
A MOMENT ON THE LIPS is available now: Amazon, B&N, iTunes, and Kobo. More information available on my website.

Giveaway ends 11:59pm EST Oct. 16th. Please supply your email in the post. You may use spaces or full text for security. (ex. jsmith at gmail dot com) If you do not wish to supply your email, or have trouble posting, please email with a subject title of JCR GIVEAWAY to be entered in the current giveaway. 

                                  See more giveaways in the JCR Showcase!


  1. I love the fact that we rarely have snow or ice where I live. Which means I can enjoy a winter season and still travel safely. Thanks for the giveaway.

    1. Hi Joan. You're welcome! :-) Not having snow on the roads is awesome!!! I enjoy the snow. I just wish it landed on the yards and left the sidewalks, driveways and roads clear. ;-) #dreamer

  2. I love the Fall where I live. A light snap of cold, but sunny warm days. yenastone at aol dot com

    1. Hi Tammy. You're autumn sounds a lot like mine. Crisp mornings and warm afternoons. I just wish that it would last longer. ;-)

  3. I'm so glad I discovered you on Twitter! I've always wanted to visit a Ghost Town. Thanks for the giveaway. You're story sounds great!

    1. You're welcome, Jackie. So glad we met up. :-) I always wanted to write a ghost town story. I find them so exciting. So much history and a ghost story or two. ;-) I hope you get to visit Whistle Stop and the ghost town of Haggerty.

  4. I love the weather from Fall through Spring!

    1. Hmm...does that include winter? I must admit that I enjoy winter. I love watching the snowflakes fall and it's a wonderful time to curl up with Writer Kitty and write. ;-)

  5. I like that I get to experience all 4 seasons, and I like that I'm driving distance to lots of great places to see scenery or experience new things. :)

    RLR888 at aol dot com

    1. Lynn, sounds like an amazing place to live. I'm lucky too as I'm in driving distance of a lot of attractions. Thanks for joining in the conversation! Good luck!!!

  6. the weather

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

    1. Well, I must admit that we don't have the best weather. #amjealous We have far too many cloudy days here. I'm guessing you get lots of sunshine. #enjoy

  7. Replies
    1. Angela, just thrilled that you're enjoying it. :-) Thanks for joining the party.

  8. I have to say I absolutely loved going to this place the other night. The people that work these event spaces were trying to create an optimal dinner experience while making your choices their priority. I would definitely recommend this venue for any kind of fancy event.


Sign up for the JCR newsletter!