New Clear Water story about family, love, and Christmas.

So excited to show you the cover for the third book in my Clear Water stories with Love Inspired. A story of family, faith and finding a place to belong all in time for Christmas.

A Texas Christmas Wish.

http://www.amazon.com/Texas-Christmas-Wish-Love-Inspired-ebook/dp/B00VQJSKEM/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1435713493&sr=8-3&keywords=jolene+navarro

Pre-order book so you can have it September 15. Ebook can be downloaded October 1, 2015

Two of my favorite secondary characters are horses, Quarter horse, Jet set Lena and Rescued Appaloosa, Tank.

And yes, as the cover indicates there is some snow and a Christmas Eve foal. Along with a hero that’s a pilot. I loved writing  Karly & Tyler’s story. Their book will be in most Walmarts September 15 and available for pre-order at Barns & Noble and Amazon. The E-books will download October 1, 2015

Links below.

Karly Kalakona’s new nursing job is the perfect Christmas gift she and her son needed for their future. The single mom just never counted on dealing with not only a stubborn patient, but also with his prodigal son. After years away, pilot Tyler Childress is only a temporary traveler to the Texas ranch he’s spent his life escaping. But the chemistry he shares with his father’s nurse is undeniable—and has him thinking of sticking around past the holiday season. Can Tyler learn to trust the woman whose caring ways are bringing his father back to life…and who might just be the partner his wandering heart can find a home with?

Click here to pre-order on Amazon A Texas Christmas Wish

Click here to pre-order for Nook or Barns & Noble – A Texas Christmas Wish

Opening Scene:

    Karly turned the wipers to the highest setting, but they didn’t help much. She knew the ranchers in Clear Water, Texas, were celebrating after the long drought, but she just wanted to get to her new home without drowning.
New home. If everything worked out the way she planned, her young son, Bryce would be celebrating Christmas in a real home for the first time ever. Last Christmas they had been living in her car. At church deacon Dub Childress had always made her feel welcomed. Now he was recovering from a stroke and broken arm—and it was her turn to help him.
On the huge plus side, if she could pull this off, no shelter or cheap hotel for them this year. But would she be able to care for Dub and his house? She didn’t even finish high school. Doing some research on stroke patients online might not be enough.
Deep breath in…out. She made herself relax. This last year had brought so many changes, with the help of her new church family, she was free of bad relationships. Hopefully no one expected her to cook. She could clean. She was very good at cleaning.
The rain pounded the roof, making it hard to hear anything else. In the backseat, Bryce finally calmed down. Her five-year-old son hated storms—or any loud noise. She leaned forward, her knuckles white around the steering wheel. God had gotten them through worse storms.
Glancing in the rearview mirror at her son, she continued the game. “Let me see. Is it your baby picture on my visor?”
Kicking his feet against the passenger seat, Bryce grinned at her. His smile shone through the dark, dreary day. “Yes! Now it’s your turn.”
“Okay…let me see….I spy something…blue and white.”
Bryce gasped. Karly turned back to see what startled him. He pointed to the road in front of her.
“Airplane.”
Squinting to see through the heavy rain she saw it, too. “No…” She blinked to clear the image, but it was still there. A small aircraft hovered over the road. The spinning blades on the nose of the plane headed straight for them. The wings tilted from one side to the other as if trying to balance on the air.
Instinctively, she hit the brake and jerked to the right, taking them through a muddy ditch. The car bounced over the rocky terrain. Their seat belts were the only thing that kept them in place. The boxes and bags weren’t so lucky.
After a hard stop, just short of a barbed-wire fence, she looked back at Bryce, reaching for him, needing to touch him. “Are you okay?”
He twisted in his booster seat, pulling himself around as far as the seat belt would let him go. “It’s an airplane.” He looked at her for a second before pointing around the overturned boxes in the back. “An airplane on the road.”
Through the back window, in the gray, water-blurred scene, Karly saw a figure run toward them. She slowly filled her lungs, making every effort to breathe and stop the shaking of her hands. Eyes closed, she counted and relaxed each muscle.
A tap on the window caused her to jump. A drenched man stood outside her car. Rolling the window down, she was hit with rain. She cupped a hand over her face and found Tyler Childress staring at her.
Tyler pulled his leather jacket over his head to block her from the onslaught of rain. Leaning closer to her, he looked into the car. “Is everyone all right? I’m so sorry. Cattle were on the airstrip and I thought I could make it to the field, but the pressure came in low.”
“We’re fine. A little shaken up, but fine. Tyler Childress, right?”
“Oh, no.” He smiled—the smile she heard the women of Clear Water sigh over whenever they gossiped about the good-looking son of Dub Childress. Wild and impulsive, but good-looking as all get out. This phrase was repeated often.                                                                                                                                                                       “We didn’t go to school together did we? I’m horrible with names.” The rain started dripping off the sides of his jacket.
“No, we’ve never met. Why don’t you get in the car and out of the rain?
He gave a quick nod and ran in front of her car as she rolled up her window.
Reaching across the seat. She pulled the lock up, then started stuffing bags and containers in the seat behind her. The off-road adventure had scattered their worldly possessions throughout the car. They would have to repack everything. Tyler slid into her `97 wagon. The space got a lot smaller with his tall, well-built body. He looked like a pirate just rescued from a shipwreck.
She focused on her hands. He was dangerous, the kind of man that could bring trouble to her new safe world.

I could run in heels too if I was chasing Chris Pratt and what about those Chickens!

Last weekend we went to see Jurassic World. I was not to sure about it. I mean really, how many time can you recreate a dinosaur and convince yourself this time no one will be eaten? Oh, but this one has something or should I say someone different – a hero that is funny and bad ass at the same time. And can ride a motorcycle like …well you have to see the movie.  Just in case you need reminders of who Chris Pratt is – I have added pictures.

Chris Pratt goofy and bad ass at the same time.

Chris Pratt goofy and bad ass at the same time.

Chris Pratt looking sexy sweet for Jurassic World

Chris Pratt looking sexy sweet for Jurassic World

Chris Pratt with his motorcycle in Jurassic Park.

Chris Pratt with his motorcycle in Jurassic Park.

I really enjoyed it. But again I’m easy to please if you give me a little action, a hot guy with a little romance and a cute kid. There is a reason I’m a romance writer.

I do think one of the reasons this was such a hit was the star himself. How can you not love Chris Pratt? From chubby goofy guy to hot sexy guy that doesn’t take himself too seriously – when he found his chiseled body he didn’t loose the humor. He’s the kind of guy you want to have at your side if you have to run for your life. Even if you have to run in heels or protect the margaritas as you dodge flying dinos looking for a snack.

Here he is explaining how he has to warm-up for his action shots – Did I mention he was goofy?

A tweet from my editor is what actually sent me on a Chris Pratt hunt – Zookeepers are recreating the moment when Chris Pratt has to hold back his meat eating dinosaurs from making a meal out of one of the hired help.  I just had to share. You have to check these out and tell me the one with the chickens did not make you laugh. Dare you.

Zookeepers are recreating Chris Pratt moves in Jurassic World

Since we are on the topic – here are some more funny moments with Chris Pratt.

Why we find Chris Pratt an adorable goofball and sexy too. He pulls off both very well.

So have you seen Jurassic World? What did you think. Are you a Chris Pratt fan?

V- Venomous Words. Top 8 Bible Verses

gentle words

 As a writer, words are powerful. They create a world that didn’t exists before I put it on paper. Words have the power to give life to  towns, cities and people  that seem so real you want to sit at the coffee shop and have a chat. Yes, words can build worlds.

V for Venomous Words

V for Venomous Words

 We have all heard the rhythm: Sticks and Stones will break your bones, but words can never hurt you. Ha! I think we can all agree that is a lie.

I bet if I asked you to tel me a time that someone  tossed a negative word your way. It has created a scar on your heart. Maybe it’s scabbed over now, but I think everyone has those words that hang around, words that hurt.

I believe the spoken word has power. It can build someone up or tear them down. A carelessly spoken word can worm it’s way into the recipient’s brain and make a home there for years.

Being the voice that  justifies fears and doubts. Silencing that voice can be difficult.

In education, research has taught us that for every one negative comment the human brain hears it takes three (some reports say four) positive remarks to balance the bad one.

Not overpower or wash away…just balance it.

As teachers we were challenged to make a paper bracelet  and mark every negative comment that came out of our mouth. WOW! Even the most positive of teachers where shocked to find out  much they focused on the bad.

Our words have power!

Do you use your power for good or bad? Do you use your power without thought?

I like doing word searches in the Bible – So I looked up Venomous Words.  More verses than I bothered to count came up. Yes, the Bible has a lot to say about words we use. Here are my top 8 verses (I have one in twice- different versions):

gentle word 1

Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.

Ephesians 4:29 ESV

river tongue

I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak,

Matthew 12:36 ESV (Ouch – this one is scary)

river-rocks-1

But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person.

Matthew 15:18 ESV

gentle words

But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. Colossians 3:8 ESV

We like to focus on the obscene and find fault with it easily enough. But what about the other, anger…slander I think are more socially acceptable. We have to watch all of our words.

river-rock-10

Do you have a favorite saying or verse about the importance of words?

 

U for Untied States of America all represented in New York……Home of the brave…

Moon over New York City.
U for United States of America

U for United States of America

The United State of America…Home of the Brave…Sometimes they’re just words. Do you ever stop and think what they mean?

For many it was and is leaving everything you know for a hope of something better. In New York City the storyteller in me became enthralled, I felt the shadow of fear, hope and determination left by millions of immigrants. I could imagine them seeing the Statue of Liberty for the first time after a long grueling voyage.

Imagine, arriving in the harbor and seeing the Statue of Liberty for the first time

Imagine, arriving in the harbor and seeing the Statue of Liberty for the first time

Lady Liberty from the boat. photo  taken by Jolene Navarro

Lady Liberty from the boat. photo taken by Jolene Navarro

I think sometimes we forget New York is surrounded by water and is a port city. Old ships in the docks of New York.

I think sometimes we forget New York is surrounded by water and is a port city. Old ships in the docks of New York.

New York, surrounded by water

New York, surrounded by water. Photo by Jolene Navarro

On 9/11 the fear as they tried to flee on boats that were taking people away from the horrific destruction. The day we all turned to New York, helpless. Just like everything else on this small piece of Earth the 9/11 Memorial is overwhelming.

911 Memorial as the set sets. Photo by Jolene Navarro

911 Memorial as the set sets. Photo by Jolene Navarro

I walk the streets of New York, filled with people from around the world that now make America their home – the history, spirit and feel of America was in every stone, brick, window and steel frame that makes up the city. I have to say man’s ability to create a habitat beyond our imagination is awe inspiring and maybe a bit scary.
Here are a few of my favorite pictures.

The old reflected in the new.

Taken from our hotel window, Andaz. The old and new next to each other. Photo by Jolene Navarro

Taken from our hotel window, Andaz. The old and new next to each other. Photo by Jolene Navarro

View from Central Park. Photo by Jolene Navarro

View from Central Park. Photo by Jolene Navarro

Sensory overload in New York City.

Sensory overload in New York City. Photo by Jolene Navarro

Central Park - Loved this part of New York.

Central Park – Loved this part of New York.

Approaching Central Park

Approaching Central Park

New York from Central Park. Photo by Jolene Navarro

New York from Central Park. Photo by Jolene Navarro

On the edge of Time Square. Have to say my least favorite part of New York City.

On the edge of Time Square. Have to say my least favorite part of New York City.

Hanging out in the M & M Store, waiting for the rain to slow down. Photo by Jolene Navarro

Hanging out in the M & M Store, waiting for the rain to slow down. Photo by Jolene Navarro

Time Square New York- the rain had started

Time Square New York- the rain had started

The storm is rolling into the city.

The storm is rolling into the city.

The Financial District.

The Financial District.

View from the Financial District.

View from the Financial District. Photo by Jolene Navarro

Then there is the art…everywhere.

New York Art

New York Art photo by Jolene Navarro

One thing that was suggested to us was to go to the website of The Metropolitan Museum of Art and map out what you want to see and go to those rooms first. This is a must or you might miss the art you really want to see – there is no way to see this museum in one day. They art they house is incredible so go with a plan and when you see the originals up close…well words can not do the emotions justice.  I could do a whole blog on the art of New York.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. The ancient civilization among the newbies.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. The ancient civilization among the newbies. By Jolene Navarro

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Degas.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Degas

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Degas

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Degas

To see the textures and colors up close is simply amazing. Even if you can’t make it to the museum, you should follow them on facebook. They share a piece of art each day.

http://www.metmuseum.org/visit

This summer I get to go back to New York for the Romance Writers of America conference. I’m excited to go back to the city. Is there a place you would love to visit again? Have you been to New York? What is your MUST do when you are in the city.

T for Texas Seasons. Yes, there is more than one.

Fall foliage on the Frio River
Texas Seasons

T Texas Seasons

There’s a rumor about Texas that we only have one season.

Some say we have two seasons..hot and hotter than hell.

I’m here to tell you it’s not true, not for the Hill Country anyway.  We have football season

Fall is for Football

Fall is for Friday night light! Football in Texas.

Fall is Football Fun! Bridger Navarro is #78

Fall is Friday Night Lights., Football Fun! Bridger Navarro is #78

Then we have baseball season…

Enjoy a cool night during baseball season

Enjoy a cool night during baseball season. Watching my cousin play in Round Rock Texas with Mr. D&H

And the favorite in the Navarro household…Basketball season!

Basketball means Spurs!

Basketball means Spurs!

What? You weren’t talking about sport seasons? Well, than we do have hunting season….

Hunting lease across for Garner State Park

Hunting lease across for Garner State Park

Oh, you mean the seasons of weather? We do have more than HOT…let’s look at the evidence.

One of my Favorite seasons is fall or as some might call it autumn. A great deal of our trees and plants stay green but we do have some beautiful reds and yellows along the river.

Fall foliage on the Frio River

Fall foliage on the Frio River

Fall foliage on the Frio River

Fall foliage on the Frio River

Our winters are pretty mild. Ice is our worst enemy, but it never last past noon! LOL We have been known to get a few flurries of snow. Now remember, I’m central Texas, in the southern tip of the Hill Country. So West Texas and North Texas they have their own set of weather patterns. The hills must break up all that cold stuff that blows down from Canada. Poor Dallas. We do get all grey and cold looking but if it last more than a week we think something has gone wrong.

Winter in the Hill Country

Winter in the Hill Country

winter-5

Real Snow! It never sticks around though. Leakey Texas

Real Snow! It never sticks around though. Leakey Texas

The only snow we get most of the time in the Texas Hill is the fake kind.

For winter the only snow we get most of the time in the Texas Hill is the fake kind.

Aww..Springtime. Everyone loves spring , right? And it would not be a post about Texas If I didn’t include the Texas State Flower.

Texas Bluebonnets in front of the ranch next to our house.

Texas Bluebonnets in front of the ranch next to our house.

Texas Bluebonnets - Watch out, snakes like to live here.

Texas Bluebonnets – Watch out, snakes like to live in the Bluebonnets, Storm Navarro

Texas Bluebonnets in front of the ranch next to our house. Photo by Shawn Streib Gray

Texas Bluebonnets in front of the ranch next to our house. Photo by Shawn Streib Gray

Spring time and the babies arrive in my back yard.

Spring time and the babies arrive in my back yard.

And then we have one of our most famous seasons and our longest…Summer. In Texas summer is best if you are on are by water.

Summer on the Frio River

Texas Summer is best on the water. Summer on the Frio River

Texas Summer is best on the wate

Texas Summer is best on the water. Canyon Lake

Texas Summer is best on the water

Texas Summer is best on the water. Port Aransas.

Texas Summer is best on the water. Port Aransas

Texas Summer is best on the water. Port Aransas

So what is your favorite season?

Sunrise, Sunset over Texas

Early morning view from my studio at Navarro High School
Story inspiration in every Sunrise & Sunset

Story inspiration in every Sunrise & Sunset

I truly feel blessed to live in the Texas Hill Country. Just the act of driving to work and heading home at the end of the day can be spectacular.

Early evening over Boerne Texas Main Street. during Dickens On Main

Early evening over Boerne Texas Main Street. during Dickens On Main

Sunset over the Texas Hill Country

Sunset over the Texas Hill Country

Castroville Texas, the reflection of the sunset over the football game.

Castroville Texas, the reflection of the sunset over the football game.

Early morning back road in Boerne Texas taken by Brandi Quinn

Early morning back road in Boerne Texas taken by Brandi Quinn

The colors and lighting just makes me think how wonderful it is to be part of such a grand plan.

Sunrise on HWY 474 in Boerne

Sunrise on HWY 474 in Boerne

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Sunrise at the end of my road. Yes I live in the country. And love it.

Sunrise at the end of my road. Yes I live in the country. And love it.

Early morning view from my studio at Navarro High School

Early morning view from my studio at Navarro High School. Can you tell what city I work in?

Sunset Port Aransas

Sunset Port Aransas

On Vacation one of my favorite activities is watching the sunrise and set. I got this from my father. He loved the rise and fall of the sun. When I see it, it helps me feel connected to him even though he has watching from the other side for almost 19 years now. Some of my best memories are sitting on a balcony or porch and just enjoying God’s work.

On a balcony - early morning at Port Aransas. One of my favorite places to write

One a balcony – early morning at Port Aransas. On of my favorite places to write

Most of these pictures where taken with my Galaxy 3.

I actually love to write while on vacation.

Do you have a favorite time of day? If you’re a writer do you write on vacation or take a break from the computer?

A Recipe for Romance: Mexican Hot Chocolate

A Recipe for Romance Authors of Love Inspired
Recipes for Romance

Recipes for Romance

A fabulous group of authors invited me to add a short romance story and  recipe to their collection: A Recipe for Romance. I was honored. First thought? What would make a perfect recipe to write a sweet romantic story around. Well, it had to have chocolate. So I went with Mexican Hot Chocolate!

Yes, I drink hot chocolate year round.

Mexican Hot Chocolate

  • 4 CUPS of MILK
  • 4-6 Pieces of chocolate baking bar
  • 1/4 Cup Cornmeal
  • 1/3 Cup Sugar
  • 1 Cup Water
  • 1-2 Cinnamon Sticks
  • ¾ tsp Vanilla

Combine milk, sugar, chocolate baking bars and cinnamon sticks in pan over low heat until chocolate pieces melt completely. In a separate container, mix cornmeal and water and dissolve any lumps. Add cornmeal mixture to milk. Stir or whisk over very low heat for about 10-15 minutes. You will notice the milk will begin to thicken. Add pure vanilla extract after removing from heat. The more cornmeal thickens the milk, if you prefer it thicker add more cornmeal. Whisk it before serving to get a frothy topping. Grab a book and share a story while wrapped up in fuzzy socks, comfy blankets and a mug of the best hot chocolate ever.

A Recipe for Romance Authors of Love Inspired

A Recipe for Romance Authors of Love Inspired