Endings and Beginnings

Over The Backyard Fence

Happy New Year! It’s really just another day, but it feels full of new possibilities. I always have a more positive attitude at the first of the year. Yes, it degrades a bit as the year goes on, but each year, I think I make it further and further before that happens. Lol.

Before retiring, my husband worked as a construction electrician. Every job he started, he knew he would eventually work his way out of when the build was completed. It’s very much the same way with writers. Every story we start, we are working toward a finish line. When we reach it, we start the next story or series.

Such is the crossroads I am at. The sixth and final planned book in the Willow Bay series will release on the 14th of January. If you’ve read any of the books, you’ve met Willow Bay’s resident street-person/matchmaker…

View original post 206 more words

To Everything, There is a Season…

Do you have a favorite season? Check out mine.

Over The Backyard Fence

I have always been more of a cooler weather person than a heat of summer person. I have good friends living in Arizona and listening to them, the possibility of becoming a “snow-birder” in winter is very enticing. Honestly, though, I think I’d miss the Pacific Northwest weather. We get a touch of all the seasons. Lots of color in fall and spring, a bit of snow in winter, and abundant sunshine in the summer. I like those changes. In fact, maybe for me, it’s more about the change than the season. I don’t ever want to stagnate, so I need occasional change in my life to make me feel like I’m moving forward.

As I type this, it’s overcast. Rain is coming in later. And it rained yesterday. I went for a walk in it and…

View original post 96 more words

Reluctant Christmas by Laurie Ryan @lryanauthor #Romance #ComingSoon #Christmas #RenesGetaway

My August release, a Christmas story, is featured on Rene’s Getaway. Check it out!

Rene's Getaway

Blurb

Welcome to Willow Bay, the perfect place to stick a chair in the sand, your toes in the water, and get lost in the ebb and flow of life and love.
He embraces Christmas. She just wants it to go away.
When Cade Huntington limps out of Dr. Grace Janson’s ER without using the crutches she gave him, she’s glad to see him go. Except the arrogant, carefree cable guy keeps showing up in her life. It doesn’t help that he’s taken her on as his pet project and is determined to prove how extraordinary the festive season can be.
What he doesn’t know is that Christmas is the worst time of year for the doctor who relies on logic and organization to get her through. She wraps herself in work like an ostrich hides his head in the sand. Nothing will ever bring back the Christmas spirit she…

View original post 736 more words

Women’s History Month

My blog on Over the Backyard Fence today is all about Women’s History month and my grandmother, the salt of the earth woman who shaped my life. Even after forty years, I miss her.

Over The Backyard Fence

It’s Women’s History month, commemorating the vital role women have played in American history.

There are so many women who have helped shape our future, like Ruth Bader Ginsberg, Harriet Tubman, and so many more it’s hard to find space for even the highlights. Here’s a couple of sites if you’d like to read about some of these amazing women.

https://time.com/5786065/womens-history-month-women-to-know/

I’m choosing to talk about one woman. My grandmother.

She didn’t shape worlds, but she was the rock that shaped our family and she taught us all what it means to be loved unconditionally. And also what was right and wrong and how to be a large family with opinions and differences, but to still remember the love. And what a sparkle in her eyes she had. 🙂

My grandmother, Lila, was one of seventeen children. She gave birth to eleven children, who gifted her…

View original post 226 more words

Summer’s Heat and a New Series

Today, here in the Pacific Northwest, we are having unprecedented weather. I’ve always felt compassion for those who live in areas who get 100+ temps, but now, being in the midst of that kind of rare temperature (for us), I honestly don’t know how people in Phoenix or other places survive the summers. I don’t do well in heat, so I’m grateful we have air conditioning. A lot of folks around here don’t because it’s not been that necessary until lately. So we keep track of each other, check in on neighbors, and try to stay cool.

For me, that means wishing I were at my happy place, the ocean, and in order to be there when I can’t actually BE there, I wrote, and just kicked off, a new small-town series set along the Washington coast. I’m thrilled to share Last Resort, the first story in this series with you.

Welcome to Willow Bay, the perfect place to stick a chair in the sand, your toes in the water, and get lost in the ebb and flow of life and love.

Will a massive beach resort destroy their small town ambiance?

Smitten with feisty gift-shop owner Dana Ricci from the moment she arrived in town, reserved Mayor Josh Morgan is torn between love and obligation. The all-inclusive hotel is ready to break ground and is marketing the increased tourists dollars to the shop owners. Money that Dana, buried in debt, direly needs. But Josh is convinced it will destroy their small town life.

This sensual, small town romance is the first in the Willow Bay series, which can be read in any order. Grab your copy now and get to know the down-home folks who live and work here.

And, hot off the presses, here’s the cover for book 2 – Finding Home, releasing August 12th and now available for ebook pre-order. (Print coming soon.)

What it’s about:

When unwished-for love lands on your doorstep, do you embrace it or bolt?

Taking in a runaway teen, Bernie Pedersen, who was a runaway herself, goes toe-to-toe with the handsome social worker looking for the girl. Bernie will do anything to protect the child the way her sixteen-year-old self could have used.

Suffering burnout as his search for an endangered teen brings him to a small coastal town, Paul Gibson becomes embroiled in the lives of two people. One, a neatnik teenager whose home life wasn’t what he’d been told. And another, a feisty, redheaded pizza joint owner who makes him believe he could have a future in this town.

He’s legally bound to return the girl to her home, but when he learns things are not what they seem, Paul works with Bernie to do whatever it takes to keep the girl safe. Even if it means losing his job.

If you love summer, embrace it. If you don’t so much, survive it. Either way, finding ways to beat the heat is important. Have a wonderful summer!

Laurie Ryan

It Takes a Village…

“Family means nobody gets left behind or forgotten.” — David Ogden Stiers

I rarely make political statements and this isn’t really one, either. Rather, it’s a call for remembering what’s important.

Over the last few years, something that two different people said stuck with me. One was my mother, the other a complete stranger.

When my mother was about 90 years old, a relative about to undergo sex reassignment surgery reached out to her to let her know. Her answer went something like this:

I don’t understand all of this, but you are family and I love you no matter what.

She knew what was important. Family. Love.

The other comment that has stuck with me happened in a car dealership waiting room in early May. We’ve all waited for those oil changes, right? Well, I was sitting there working on my computer and a couple ladies were talking. Both masked, as I was. But they had very diverse opinions about the coronavirus. The opinion that stuck with me was this:

I don’t believe Covid-19 is any big deal. However, I am part of a community and I protect my community. So I wear a mask and I got vaccinated.

What was most important to her was community.

And both of these profound statements have stuck with me. Family, love, community. That’s what’s important. Life isn’t all black and white. It’s gray. And purple, and pink, and blue, and green. There are a plethora of shades to humanity and the world and I, for one, think we should embrace them rather than persecute or scoff.

Thank you for listening. I have wanted to say this for a while, but it’s hard to feel comfortable offering an opinion these days. I’m grateful for each and every one of you, and I appreciate you.

Laurie Ryan

Giveaway and a Pre-order

May is almost at an end and our weather in the Pacific Northwest has been cooler more than warmer. We’ve finally been getting a little rain so the grass and flowers and plants on our little acre are heaving huge sighs of relief. Fully vaccinated, we are getting back to visiting with family and friends without a digital screen between us. So there’s a lot of hope for an easing of the heavy load we’ve all born this past year and a happy, safe summer.

A couple bits of news from me…

First, I’m part of a great giveaway. Follow some great authors on Bookbub and enter to win. My western horse story, Rudy’s Heart, is part of the giveaway.

Second, the premiere story in my new Willow Bay series is available for pre-order in ebook and print. I live for coastal visits, so this little town has wrapped itself around my imagination and created characters and arcs that I hope you will love as much as I do.

What it’s about:

Welcome to Willow Bay, the perfect place to stick a chair in the sand, your toes in the water, and get lost in the ebb and flow of life and love.

But will a massive beach resort destroy their small town ambiance?

Smitten with feisty gift-shop owner Dana Ricci from the moment she arrived in town, reserved Mayor Josh Morgan is torn between love and obligation. The all-inclusive hotel is ready to break ground and is marketing the increased tourists dollars to the shop owners. Money that Dana, buried in debt, direly needs. But Josh is convinced it will destroy their small town life.

This sensual, small town romance is the first in the Willow Bay series, which can be read in any order. Grab your copy now and get to know the down-home folks who live and work here.

Kindle:  https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B092H1PJ2N/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i9

Apple:  https://books.apple.com/us/book/last-resort/id1562938723

BN:  https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/last-resort-martin-ryan/1102894080?ean=2940162424703

Kobo:  https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/last-resort-48

I hope you have a wonderful finish to May and June is filled with sunshine, flowers, and fun. And just enough rain to keep everything fresh and beautiful. Stay safe, stay healthy. And enjoy everything good in life, for it’s too short to just let slip away.

Home Away from Home

I’m blogging about a wonderful, recent stay at the beach on Over The Backyard Fence. Stop by and say hi if you have a minute. 🙂

Over The Backyard Fence

I should be posting about my family winter cabin adventure here. This would have been our 21st year, I think. We postponed it because of COVID-19. It’s only a year. We’ll be back at it, and we’re all very grateful for every year we get to do this.

So instead, I took a solo trip to the beach. I needed to let all the negativity go and find the peace in my heart again, and in the process, I found my happy place. I’ve traveled some and have always wondered if I could live here or there. But I’ve never felt completely content, like I could spend the rest of my life there.

I could here. It’s perfect. The day I arrived, it was snowing. At the beach. Unheard of in Washington State. I had to drive through blowing snow for half an hour, but none of that was a…

View original post 216 more words

Christmas in Cambria by Linda Seed

Well, 2020 is winding down, thank goodness. I hope everyone has peace and good health visiting them this holiday season. Our Christmas will be quiet, but it will happen. My heart and prayers go out to all those suffering, either health-wise, financially, or from isolation.

This month completes a reading challenge I have found immensely enjoyable. It took me out of my usual genres and opened my eyes to the wide world of fiction. And non-fiction, which I don’t normally read. I am grateful to Betty Callahan of Round Table Readers for posting the challenge.

My final story is one of my favorite types of books. A Christmas romance. (Happy sighs.)

What It’s About:

She’s struggling to rebuild her life. He’s desperately searching for connection–he just doesn’t know it yet …

Delilah Ballard’s husband left her and their two kids for another woman. Now, in the wake of her messy divorce, Delilah needs a change of scenery for her kids’ first Christmas without their father. She’s looking for a getaway–not another romantic entanglement that’s sure to add another layer of chaos to a life already swimming in it. 

When a Big Sur hiking excursion goes bad, putting Delilah’s son in peril, seasoned outdoorsman Quinn Monroe shows up just in time to bring the boy to safety. The problem is, Quinn is dangerously sexy, and Delilah’s not sure she has what it takes to ignore his attentions–even though everything about him spells trouble. 

My Thoughts:

When I pick up a Christmas romance, I’m looking for diversion, feel-goods, a strong sense of season, and just enough tension to keep things interesting. This story had all that. There were really no surprises, except one idea from the hero late in the story, but this story stands on its own without diverting from holiday tropes. I enjoyed it a lot. Loved the hero, the heroine was struggling but finding her own strength to dig out. All in all, a great holiday read.  

Becoming by Michelle Obama

For November, the biography I chose was one I’ve been wanting to read since it came out.

What It’s About:

In a life filled with meaning and accomplishment, Michelle Obama has emerged as one of the most iconic and compelling women of our era.

As First Lady of the United States of America – the first African-American to serve in that role – she helped create the most welcoming and inclusive White House in history, while also establishing herself as a powerful advocate for women and girls in the U.S. and around the world. She dramatically changed the ways that families pursue healthier and more active lives, and stood with her husband as he led America through some of its most harrowing moments. Along the way, she showed us a few dance moves, crushed Carpool Karaoke, and raised two down-to-earth daughters under an unforgiving media glare.

In her memoir, a work of deep reflection and mesmerizing storytelling, Michelle Obama invites readers into her world, chronicling the experiences that have shaped her – from her childhood on the South Side of Chicago to her years as an executive balancing the demands of motherhood and work, to her time spent at the world’s most famous address. With unerring honesty and lively wit, she describes her triumphs and her disappointments, both public and private, telling her full story as she has lived it – in her own words and on her own terms.

Warm, wise, and revelatory, Becoming is the deeply personal reckoning of a woman of soul and substance who has steadily defied expectations – and whose story inspires us to do the same.

My thoughts:

Wow. I’ve always liked Michelle Obama. I’ve always thought she carried herself with both pride and humility. So I started this story already appreciating her. The depths she has climbed, and the work she’s done to better the lives of children and people in all walks of life took my respect for this woman to a whole new level. I think my favorite story while finding her way as First Lady was the vegetable and fruit garden she started.

Reading Becoming gave me insights into what a woman of color had to deal with throughout her life, made me smile at the strong family core she was raised in, and gave me hope for a better future for all.