Get Lost in a Story readers, Jude Willhoff writes stories with heart, and today she’s here to introduce to you her Sweet Home Colorado Series.
No Direction Home (Book One)
IT WAS AN OFFER SHE COULDN’T REFUSE…
Grace Sanders lost everything that mattered to her, her health to a debilitating disease and her husband to another woman. Experimental surgery gave back her health, but couldn’t repair her heart. Only time will heal the damage left behind by an unfaithful man so Grace throws herself into a new project—to save her trusting grandmother from being preyed on by an ex-con.
A MAN SHE COULDN’T TRUST…
Convicted of a crime he didn’t commit, Seth Taylor lost everything that mattered to him, years with his daughter and the belief he’ll never love again. Released from prison, he finds a job as a ranch foreman at the Cactus Rose Ranch in Cedar Falls, Colorado. His widowed boss refuses to let growing old destroy her dreams and she believes in second chances.
DONNELL: Hi, Jude, welcome to Get Lost in a Story. Jude and I have many things in common. For one thing, she’s my critique partner. For another her furnace quit two days ago. Did you get it fixed?
JUDE: Yes, my furnace went out and it’s all Donnell’s fault. She started the furnace going out trend and of course I had to follow along. And you all know these things always happen in threes. Well, we’ll just have to wait and see who is next in our critique group to go without heat.
And of course this kind of thing can only happen when we have ungodly freezing temperatures, -21 wind chill in a major snowstorm, couldn’t happen on a day we’re in the 30’s or 40’s with clear weather. Finally, after two days without a working furnace, the part arrived and now we have heat! I have to say it was an adventurous couple of days. Sure, we could’ve gone to stay at my daughter’s house or a hotel, but then my pipes would have frozen and my plants wouldn’t have made it through the freezing temperatures. Our furnace man brought us several space heaters and we had our electric fireplace, electric throws and electric blankets to keep us warm. We stayed in front of the fireplace most of the time under our electric throws and managed. This experience gives me a new appreciation of what our ancestors had to endure to survive in Colorado in the winter time. Brrrrrr….
DONNELL: Me too, Jude. Your stories are set in Colorado. Is Colorado your favorite place on earth?
JUDE: I’m a transplant from the Ozarks in Missouri but Colorado is my favorite place to live. There’s no place quite like Colorado with all the beautiful seasons, not to hot in the summer and usually not to cold in the winter, great schools, beautiful mountains and open minded people and the most important thing is that all my family loves living here. Colorado has something for everyone. And the best part, the economy is good enough that our children all have good jobs and love it here as well. With everything they want here, it really works out well for me. It’s great to have your children and grandchildren close by. I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else.
DONNELL: You’re very busy with your own business, with water aerobics, when do you find time to write?
JUDE: I’m goal oriented and very organized. I do 90 minutes in the pool 3 days a week, Monday, Wednesday and Friday. I start early so I’m finished early and off to work, write or whatever I have scheduled for that day. Being in real estate, and with good agents, my schedule can be flexible. Sometimes I can even find time to write at work, but my favorite time to write is in the morning. I write, edit and do some marketing in the evenings. I try to keep my writing on schedule during the week so I can spend weekends with my family, but I’m known to write all day on Saturdays when I have to catch up what I didn’t get completed in the week or to make a deadline.
DONNELL: What authors inspired you to write?
JUDE: I’ve always been an avid reader and there are tons of authors that have inspired me but my biggest inspiration came from Debbie Macomber. I had just started writing my first book when I got the chance to meet and interview her at a book signing. Debbie shared her story with me and she inspired me to take a chance with my writing. The woman is as famous an author as they come but she is also as down to earth as you or me. The first time I chatted with her I was a nervous wreck but she immediately put me at ease. I’ve seen her at numerous RWA National conferences and book signings through the years and she has always remembered me and been friendly. Also, she was kind enough to write the foreward for my new nonfiction book, Writing Secrets of 33 Bestselling Romance Authors. Debbie Macomber is an inspiration and a class act all the way.
DONNELL: If you’re not writing, where will we likely find you?
JUDE: At the movies with my honey. I love movies. Or you can find me doing fun things with my daughters or grandchildren. I have 2 daughters and 4 granddaughters living in town so there’s always something going on.
DONNELL: What’s in your refrigerator right now?
JUDE: Little gray men. Just kidding, that’s from Starseed, a paranormal romance I have coming out in March. We’re working on eating healthy so my refrigerator has the basic condiments and lots of fruits, vegetables, milk, eggs, butter, bacon, (my husband won’t give up his bacon) shredded cheese, tortillas, cheese slices, yogurt, cranberry juice, orange juice, apple juice, grape juice, weight watcher candy and the makings for my pot roast for dinner.
DONNELL: Most unusual thing you have in your closet?
JUDE: A bottle of champagne tied with colorful red and white ribbons from my son’s wedding. I’m supposed to give it to them on their 10th wedding anniversary. Many times I think about cracking it open but then I just keep pushing it to the back of my closet, out of sight, out of mind.
DONNELL: Thanks for joining us today. Now it’s your turn. Time to ask readers a question.
In No Direction Home, Grace has lost everything that matters, her health, her husband and her career. In my life, I’ve had my share of health issues and I believe if it doesn’t kill you, it will make you stronger. I also believe in second chances. Do you believe in second chances?
One lucky reader who comments on my blog will be randomly selected to win a free copy of No Direction Home, Book 1 in my Sweet Home Colorado Series. Good Luck!
Where readers can find Jude:
Thanks for joining us, Jude!