Get To Know True Horizon

Untitled design (6)

True Horizon Ranch

Located in Liberty Ridge, Texas (fictional town located north of Austin)

1,200 acres in Texas prairie country

Owned by the Murray family, who raise Texas Longhorn cattle

The ranch was started by an Army soldier and his Cherokee wife, Erza and Kamama Burchfield, back in 1845. The ranch has stayed in the family for seven generations.

Favorite line: As they drove down the driveway, Grace lowered the car window and deeply breathed in the fresh air of her favorite place in the world. Acres of grassland enveloped the earth for as far as she could see. For eighteen years, this ranch had been her home. Land where she had run wild and free, a dirty but happy girl. Those hills and fields, spotted with her beloved Longhorn, had been her playground.

Preorder now! Amazon/True Horizon

Advertisements

Get To Know True Horizon

Untitled design (5)

Meet Bruce Murray, father to Grace

Profession: Cattle Rancher, works his family’s Texas Longhorn Ranch named True Horizon.

Relationship status: Married for thirty years to his beauty queen sweetheart, Joslyn.

Hobbies: Spending time with his family, eating the good food his wife cooks, and riding around in his old pick-up truck.

Things he does not find enjoyable: Seeing his daughter unhappy and coyote going after his calves.

Dreams for his future: To keep True Horizon Ranch in the family and grow old besides his wife, watching their children and grandchildren thrive.

Favorite Line: “I’m gonna give you a bit of advice. You’ll never accept love until you learn to love yourself. Take some time. Grace will wait. You can put money on it.”

Preorder now: Amazon / True Horizon

Meet True Horizon

Untitled design (4)

Meet Shadow, super pup

Profession: Cattle herder and man’s best friend

Relationship status: It’s complicated.

Hobbies: Running through the cattle pastures, chasing ducks, rolling around in the dirty straw from the horse barn, and always being there for my buddy, Heath.

Things he does not find enjoyable: Baths, baths, and baths.

Dreams for his future: What? I don’t think past my next meal.

Favorite line: “Ruff, ruff, lick, pant, ruff.”

Preorder True Horizon now: Amazon/True Horizon

Meet True Horizons

Untitled design (3)

Meet Heath Carter, hero of True Horizon

Profession: Former Special Operation soldier, currently working as a temporary ranch hand at True Horizon Ranch.

Relationship Status: Single (though his heart is hung up on Grace).

Hobbies:  Working on his Harley Davidson motorcycle, taking care of the Longhorn cattle on the ranch, winning at cards and potato sack races against Grace.

Things he finds unenjoyable: Horseback riding, flashbacks of his time in the service, and seeing Grace with her fiance.

Dreams for his future: Heath has no dreams of the future until he arrives at True Horizon and meets Grace. Through the healing power of nature and falling in love, he starts thinking his future isn’t as dark as he once believed.

Favorite Line: “You’re better than I deserve. The smartest thing I’ve ever done was jump into the river after you.” His arms tightened around her. “You are the most beautiful woman I’d ever seen, and I never in a million years thought I had any right to love you.”

Get to Know True Horizon

Untitled design (2)

 

Meet Grace Murray, heroine of True Horizon

Profession: Cyber Security expert, self-employed

Relationship Status: Currently engaged to Tyler Ross, the man she’s crushed on since high school.

Hobbies: Now that Grace is home at True Horizon Ranch to prepare for her wedding, she enjoys horseback riding and play Solo (Uno) card games with her nieces.

Things she finds unenjoyable: Cleaning out the horse barn (don’t lose a bet to Heath) and having to say goodbye to her fiance while he pursues advancing his career.

Dreams for her future: Grace once dreamed of marrying Tyler and living in the city. Since she’s been home on the ranch, she finds the quiet country life calling to her heart. Heath Carter, her dad’s temporary ranch hand, calls to her heart as well.

Favorite Line: “Ever since I’ve moved home, I’ve felt this shift inside me. This place is reshaping me into the person I used to be. And you know what? I like it.”

AFTER ALL

perf5.000x8.000.indd

The Wild Rose Press

Amazon

Two years after lifesaving surgery left her infertile, Molly Hernandez is running full steam toward her goal of becoming a DEA Special Agent. She won’t be distracted by falling in love with an Army veteran who’s focused on settling down and making babies.

Drew Atwater delayed marriage and family until his Army career ended. Now, he has a one-year plan to find the woman of his dreams. Unfortunately, the only woman he wants is a spirited cop determined to leave their peaceful town.

While working with troubled teens, Molly and Drew discover they make a powerful team, but their opposing goals threaten to pull them miles apart. Can the power of unselfish love prove their future together will surpass any dream they could accomplish alone?

Morning Coffee Break

coffee-2440017_1920

Why my characters aren’t ‘saved by love’

Welcome to the first post in my new blog series called “Morning Coffee Break”!

Today, I’d like to talk about a decision that I’ve made to avoid the ‘saved by love’ plot device. I write romance, so love always factors into the character’s emotional growth and healing. But I didn’t want to use the love of another person as a magic wand to wipe away all life’s problems.

In Home Field, Julie is deeply grieving the loss of her husband. When she first meets Reagan, falling in love again is not even a blip on her radar. In the end, she does open her heart to Reagan (what girl could resist?) but not after some time to let herself heal. I felt she needed time alone to come to terms with the loss and then find the strength to let herself fall in love again.

In True Horizon, Heath Carter suffers from severe PTSD. In an effort to be true to the struggle, I did not want to downplay the work that goes into recovering from the effects of war. Heath falls in love and love is his motivation for wanting a better life, but his healing only comes after professional therapy and hard work. In real life, most people with PTSD will still experience symptoms even after therapy. They learn techniques to cope. I wanted Heath’s journey to reflect that reality as well as offer hope.

Through out the rest of the books in the Warriors of the Heart series, I’ve tried to maintain the same model. My characters use love as a motivation to grow, but the real change comes by their own strength of will.

A TEA-RIFFIC GIVEAWAY

tea-riffic giveaway image

Congratulations to Lori Holcroft for winning the prize package!

 

In celebration of the release of HOME FIELD on June 30th, I am offering a tea-riffic giveaway! I’ve put together the ultimate cozy, custom-made package for one lucky reader. Contest ends June 29th at midnight.

  •  A beautiful, custom Alice in Wonderland inspired tea cup and saucer, inscribed with the words ‘DRINK ME‘ on the inside on the cup. (pictured above)
  • Crocheted fingerless gloves made by Primrose Craft & Decor of Green Bay, WI. Perfect for wearing while reading on cool days and nights. (pictured above)
  • A box of my favorite tea – Yogi Calming blend.
  • A $10 Amazon gift card to purchase another book to read after you’ve finished with HOME FIELD

How to Enter:

Preorder HOME FIELD and email me a proof of purchase (photo of receipt or forward an email receipt) to lauriewinterauthor@gmail.com with ‘HOME FIELD’ in the subject line. It’s that easy! I will randomly select a winner on release day-June 30th.

HomeField_w10369_750

Buy Now- Amazon

Buy Now – B&N

Buy Now- Paperback, The Wild Rose Press

also available in the iBooks store

  • Giveaway open to individuals with US mailing addresses only.
  • Entering drawing does NOT automatically sign you up for my newsletter. Although, if you’d like to be, just let me know!

A New Balancing Act

 

What do publishingand running have in common-

 

Why can’t someone create a day between Sunday and Monday? An extra day to get caught up on all the little things that continue to get pushed back onto the to-do list.

Recently, I’ve made writing a priority in my life. Which means that pesky things like cleaning the house and doing laundry often become secondary to finishing my word count for the day.

Now that I have three books contracted for publication, I’m really finding it a struggle to find balance. There’s a lot of behind the scenes work that goes into getting a manuscript ready for publication. Then, there’s the marketing and promotion an author needs to do months in advance of the book’s launch. And during this time I have to have faith in the stories I’ve already written, along with all the ones yet to come.

So that extra day…probably not something I’ll see anytime soon. I’ll just have to continue to squeeze in a load of laundry in between editing sessions. And always remember to close my laptop when it’s family time.

What’s your secret to finding a good work/life balance?

 

Romance Throwdown ARMY vs NAVY

IMG_1163

The romance genre has had a long love affair with the military hero. Nothing beats a man in uniform. But who wears it better? And who makes a better Black Ops warrior in a romance story- Navy Seals or Army Special Forces? The various branches of the US military are notoriously competitive. Ask any Sailor, Marine, Airman, or Soldier, and they will insist that their branch is far superior. And when they’re forced to share the same space, like a base in Afghanistan, their competitive nature really is displayed.

When I started researching for my book, Home Field, I looked for first person accounts of military forces deployed to Afghanistan. I became drawn to the stories of Special Forces soldiers.

There were two books that I found extremely helpful in understanding the Special Forces soldier. First was Lions of Kandahar by Major Rusty Bradley. Second was Gentleman Bastards: On The Ground In Afghanistan by Kevin Maurer. Both books I found extremely enlightening. I learned the complex command structure of a SF A-Team, their specialize combat training, their selection process, the different specialties that make up each twelve man ODA, and their motto-DE OPPRESSO LIBER.

Special Forces are called the Quiet Professionals. Most go about their important work, not seeking fame or glory. They are trained to be peacekeepers and work with indigenous peoples to gain there cooperation and support. Instead of blowing things up, they work to hold things together.

Special Forces teams have been involved in the Black Hawk Down incident, the hunt of Saddam Hussein, and many other important missions around the globe.

So, can you see why I chose to represent Special Forces in both my books. Unfortunately, it’s the death of a SF soldier that is the catalyst for the events in Home Field. (Yes, I did feel really bad about killing him off) My second book, True Horizon, follows a SF veteran who is suffering from PTSD.

I know you can pick up hundreds of romance novels staring Navy Seals. The Navy Seals have earned their fierce reputation. It takes incredible courage and fortitude to make it through BUDS training.

But once I learned about what makes the Army SF so special, I wanted my story to highlight those brave men.

What’s your preference…Army or Navy? (or maybe one of each)