New Year's Resolutions!



I’ve given up on resolutions decades ago, because I never keep them.  Although once I became a full time writer, I do have a couple of beginning-of-the-year rituals.  First, I check off my goals for the ending year and see how many I met.  I then come up with new writing goals, both attainable ones and blue sky.  I type them up and tape them on the wall. I might say that one of my blue sky goals ever since I began writing was to become a USA Today and New York Times bestselling author.  I met that goal in 2012 with A Texas Christmas.  Now I’ll have to add another blue sky goal for 2013. 

My second ritual is to clean my office, put away files, and even dust shelves, getting all ready for the new year.  Since I have revisions due on a new eKensington contemporary by February 1st and a new book to write by April 1st, I won’t be able to tarry long with the cleaning part of my ritual … thank goodness! 

I asked each of the Fillies for their resolutions and I have some to share with you all. 

Margaret Brownley: My resolutions are the same every year.

Limit time spent on the open range. The www dot brand sure can waste a lot of time.

Lose the extra five pounds on my hips. From now on, I’ll pack only one gun instead of two.

Clean out closets. Nothing (or no one) should hang that doesn’t deserve to be hung.

And finally: Stop holding up shopping carts and forcing people to buy my book.

Victoria Bylin:  My New Year’s Resolution is to write first thing in the morning. We’re talking 4:30 a.m. to 7 a.m., so I need an extra dose of will power. No late nights, at least until the book is finished!

Tanya Hanson:  To thank God every day for our three beautiful new bathrooms!  (I’d include “try to lose weight” but that annual resolution always crashes like the Titanic by January 15…)

Mary Connealy:  Last year for the first time in a long time I made a New Years Resolution.
I resolved to do a better job of getting to my local RWA group meetings.
I love going but I always have an excuse not to hop in that car bright and early on a Saturday morning and take a 1 1/2 hour drive.
But I wanted to do better.
And I feel like I did well.
So I resolve to keep attending meetings.
Beyond that, I can think of a thousand things about myself to change but let’s face it, first and foremost would be ‘self-discipline’ and without that, none of the other’s is going to happen.

Renee Ryan:  I’m not much for resolutions. Mainly because I never seem to be able to keep them. So, here are my new ones.

Have a heart for God,

A passion for His Word,

A hunger to know Him more,

A compassion for His people; and

A desire to serve Him.

I figure if I have those, everything else will fall into place. 

Charlene Sands:  My new year’s resolution is to keep my fingers on the keyboard, my hands out of the refrigerator and my legs on the elliptical trainer.  Oh, and to spend EVEN more time with my little kidlets!
Elizabeth Lane: My NY resolution (a necessity). Kick my writing output up to 1,000 words a day and try to maintain my sanity while doing so.

Karen Witemeyer: Mine are usually similar each year.  
Exercise more.
Eat less.
Pursue deeper relationships with my Lord and my family.
Write the best book I possibly can.
Though if I had to pick, I’d steal Margaret’s. 🙂

Linda Broday:  I want to complain less, write more and count my blessings every day.

After I read the other Fillies’ resolutions, I stole several of them, so I’d have some resolutions not just rituals. 

First, Margaret’s, I need more than five pounds off my hips, so I’ll have to leave both of my Colts home, as well as my Winchester.  

Also, thought Margaret’s idea about not holding up shopping carts and making the shopper buy my books is a wonderful resolution, but then I’d have to break resolution #1.

Lastly, since I’m on deadline, I briefly considered Vicky’s resolution, but the 4:30 a.m. knocked me off the block.  Now I can handle the 7 a.m. and totally agree with the late nights. I think most writers when they are immerged into a story have the same problem about late nights; the characters are simply not on the same sleep schedule as we are and love to come out and play in the middle of the night.  I can’t count the times I’ve jumped up and either jotted down something they said or actually came to my writing room, booted the computer, and wrote a while because of my characters’ insomnia which then creates the same problem for me. 

What is your New Year’s resolution? And, do you typically keep them? 

From all the Fillies at Wildflower Junction,

including our beloved Jasper and Felicia,

 may you have a Happy and Prosperous 2013!



Champagne glasses clinking together.

A huge crystal ball slowing falling to a countdown.

The ways of ringing in the new year are as many and varied as the cultures in our world. And the traditions are sacred to those who repeat them each December 31.

In my home, dh and I will fix a special meal, or maybe go out to a favorite restaurant. Sometimes the whole family will share dinner, or lots of appetizers, and reminisce about the past twelve months. Then, as the time ticks away, we pop the cork on a bottle of champagne and count down the seconds to midnight–either in New York or Newfoundland, since making midnight Central Time has been beyond us for a lot of years. *giggle*

How about you? What traditions will you repeat this year? I’d love to hear about them.



Filly New Release Update – January 2013

Listed below are the upcoming releases from our talented writers here at Wildflower Junction.  To purchase any of these fine books, just click on the book covers.  And to learn more about the authors, click on their names.


By Margaret Brownley
If Molly Hatfield’s purple attire doesn’t blind you, her dazzling smile will.  She doesn’t just sing to the cattle, she puts on a whole show. If only she wasn’t so stubborn about her brother’s care.  Or so distrustful of a certain handsome doctor…

There is nothing Molly Hatfield wouldn’t do for her teenaged brother, Donny. Blaming herself for the accident that left him wheel-chair bound, Molly has dedicated her life to his care. But in 1896, gainful employment for a woman is hard to come by. So when Molly learns that an eccentric rancher in Cactus Patch,Arizona, is looking for an heiress–someone to take over management of the ranch in exchange for future ownership–she jumps at the chance to provide a real home for her brother.

If she proves to have a knack for ranching and agrees to remain single for life, the ranch can be hers. Neither stipulation worries Molly. She’s resourceful and hardworking. And she gave up dreams of marriage long ago when she dedicated her life to her brother’s well-being.

But Molly didn’t bank on meeting Dr. Caleb Fairbanks, the town’s handsome and charismatic young doctor. Caleb has a way with Molly that makes her nervous. But it’s how he is with her brother that really alarms her. Caleb sees past the wheelchair and genuinely likes Donny, but Molly fears he’s putting unrealistic ideas into her brother’s head. Falling in love with Caleb would threaten everything she’s worked for, even her brother’s future happiness.   It’ll take an act of congress to convince her otherwise—and maybe even a little help from above. 

By Elizabeth Lane

“I want the boy.”

For three years Angie Montoya hid her son from her late fiancé’s family…until his brother tracked them down.  Now Jordan Cooper demands she move to his Santa Feranch—the boy’s birthright.  But how can Angie live with the man who called her a gold digger…the man whose one kiss she’s never forgotten?

Racked by guilt since his twin’s death, Jordan seeks redemption by raising his nephew.  But Angie resurrects a hunger in him that only she can satisfy. Jordan knows he can have her on one condition—she never learns the truth about him.


A Word From Felicia

Well, I swear to my time! Seems as if the Fillies have jumped ship and left me to flounder along. Guess they have some more celebratin’ to do. Hee-hee! That’s okay. Me an’ Jasper can manage just fine. Jasper is my ornery old mule, you know. He’s been livin’ in the lap of luxury for the last two weeks. All the Fillies have stopped by and left him a passel of oats an’ even cookies and pies. Gonna spoil him something fierce. Won’t be any living with the cantankerous old cuss.


I have big news. You won’t believe this but Jasper is in love. Yep, that’s a fact. He’s taken quite a shine to a lady donkey from over the next county. Her name is Jenny. She’s a right pretty little thing. Jasper has started slippin’ out of the barn and running off to go check out her corral. Yesterday when I found him he and Jenny were kissing. I came near to swallowing my corncob pipe. Lordy! Lordy! It’s a good thing Jasper can’t reproduce or there’d soon be a whole bunch of little Jaspers running all over the place.


But to get back to the subject. This year’s clock is clicking down. A new year is about to start.


Some folks have told me I’d best eat a mess of hoppin’ johns for good luck. Now, I don’t have a clue what in the tarnation that is. I don’t eat anything that’s walkin’, wigglin’, or hoppin’ and neither will Jasper. No sir. We’re quite particular, me an’ Jasper, what we eat.


Other folks say I need to eat sauerkraut and pork on New Year’s Day.


But I reckon I’ll just celebrate by sippin’ on my jug of cider and rocking by the fireplace. I doubt I’ll see hide nor hair of Jasper. He’ll probably slip over to resume his courtship with Jenny the minute my back is turned. Good heavens! I do think he’s abandoned me.


Before I wind this up, I want to wish everybody a Happy New Year. The Fillies and I are mighty grateful to have you along on this journey.


There will be plenty of things to look forward to next year. We’ll have more entertaining guests and give away more books than you can ever imagine. And the Fillies, they’re a right smart group of ladies, will have interesting things to bring to you each week.


I’m excited. I hope you are too.


We’ll see you around the next bend!


Jingle Bells at the Junction: Linda Broday


May your horse have plenty of oats and a bed of warm hay.

May you look forward to the future with excitement and a smile.

And may you always know the love of family and friends.

Thanks to all for making Wildflower Junction your second home.

 Wishing you all the best throughout the coming year!

Jolly old St. Nick has come and gone. Gifts have been unwrapped. Secrets exposed.This year has come and gone seemingly in a blink of an eye. We’ve shared much over the past months. My heart is overflowing with gratitude for each and every one of you. I can’t wait to see what lies ahead. I’m praying that I’ll see a new contract soon. I have so many stories in my head that want to come out. But whatever the future holds, we’ll ride this trail together, you and I. We’ll try to keep our eyes looking forward and not grumble too much at whatever comes. Deepest thanks for your unfailing support of not only me but all the Fillies. Happy Trails!

This image is used only with express permission from Jack Sorenson. He’s an extraordinary artist who brings the old west to life. His work is found on many greeting cards as well as countless other items. Visit his website at

A 1930 Merry Christmas Card ~Tanya Hanson

                                                                   “Glossy leaves and

                                                                         Berries Bright

                                                             In the CHRISTMAS Candlelight

                                                          Shine for You and Say From Me

                                                          Merry  may  your  Christmas be”


The above is the greeting inside a tiny antique Christmas card I found in the trash and treasure my mother left behind upon moving into a retirement apartment.  The actual card is only 3” x 4” and wasn’t signed.   However, my uncle’s name was penciled in on the outer envelope, letting me think it’s Depression era and was meant to be “re-gifted” during those lean times. 

Anyway, it’s too adorable not to share! God bless you all, everyone, and Christmas greetings from our little California cul-de-sac on a corner. 

“The holly and the ivy, Now both are full well grown. Of all the trees that are in the wood, The holly bears the crown. The holly bears a blossom As white as lily flow’r. And Mary bore sweet Jesus Christ To be our sweet Saviour.” ~Traditional English carol, first published 1861 Sylvester’s  Christmas Carols.

Special Event Week: Happy Boxing Day!


Today  is Boxing Day and it’s celebrated in Britain, Canada and other commonwealth nations.  Despite its name, it has nothing to do with duking it out with the family or fighting crowds at the mall.  Today is the day families give presents to those providing service during the year.  It’s also a day to think of the less fortunate.

The tradition is thought to have started back in the middle ages when servants  required to work on Christmas were given the following day off.  As they prepared to spend time with their own families, they received gift boxes from employers containing food or money. 

Eventually, the tradition  expanded to include mail carriers, doormen, gardeners, tradesmen and others providing service.  



Though some people think the holiday was developed to preserve class lines, I prefer to think of it as a day to remember those who remember us the rest of the year.

What do you think?




Wishing you all a Happy Boxing Day and a blessed New Year!


Renee Ryan's 2012 Christmas Card

Hello and Merry Christmas Eve!

It’s been a crazy year in my home, full of lots of events. My husband is in radio. One of his stations is a country station that plays all the current hits. We also live in Savannah, GA, home of one of the largest St. Patrick Day celebrations in the country. In honor of my husband’s job and Savannah, I’m sending all of you country fans ‘A Red Solo Cup’ Merry Christmas.

The biggest event of the year, as you will see below, was the addition of a new member to our family, the youngest Mrs. Halverson! So, from my family to yours…MERRY CHRISTMAS. Love, Renee, my husband Mark, our daughter Hillary, our son Daniel, and our new daughter-in-law, Kelsey!

Jingle Bells at the Junction ~ Tracy Garrett

It’s almost time. Time for family, Santa Claus…and the celebration of the baby Jesus. All my life, my family has gathered at church to listen to the Christmas Gospel and sing together. Then the lights go down, a hundred small candles are lit and voices join in my favorite hymn.


Stille Nacht, heilige Nacht,
Alles schläft; einsam wacht
Nur das traute hochheilige Paar.
Holder Knabe im lockigen Haar,
Schlaf in himmlischer Ruh!

Silent night, holy night,
All is calm, all is bright.
Round yon Virgin Mother and child
Holy infant, so tender and mild,
Sleep in heavenly peace.

From my house here on The Lake to yours,

Merry Christmas, everyone!