Friday, December 28, 2018

Bend; don't break.

Believe it or not, this spruce tree in my neighbor's yard was tall and straight until last spring, when a severe windstorm followed by a heavy spring snow bowed it into this shape. It could easily have snapped, but instead the tree bent. I imagine it will eventually begin to straighten and grown toward the sun. And thrive.

I think we all face storms and heavy loads, and sometimes something has to give. But when we bend instead of break, we are able to weather the hardship. Maybe even thrive.

May your loads be light and your heart happy this new year. 

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Take a breath

In the busyness of creating a magical season for everyone else, don't forget to take some time for yourself to enjoy and appreciate the magic. 

Merry Christmas to you!

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Autumn Colors

Autumn is my favorite palette. There's something warm and cozy and homey about the reds and oranges and golds of autumn. Did you know that the colors are always there in the leaves, but we can't see them because the green chlorophyll covers them up? Then in the autumn they lose their chlorophyll and fall from the tree in a blaze of glory.

One of the things I love about spending time in Arizona is that autumn last much longer than in Anchorage. Many years, the birches are already turning gold and shedding their leaves by August. But in Arizona high country, the show is just beginning.

I'm still getting fresh tomatoes and zucchini from the garden, but it's slowing down. The pumpkins are turning orange. We have some oversized squash that got away from us. I want to put them on the porch, but hubby says they'd just be an invitation to the javelina, and I don't want to attract them to my pot of mums. So they're on the counter, making a statement. Specifically "See what happens when you let zucchini go wild?"

In the middle of celebrating fall, I'm also anticipating the holidays, partly because I have a new book coming out. It's one of the Heartwarming Christmas Town stories, called A Gift Horse. Release date is Oct. 9th, and there will be some fun activities and prizes coming up so check out the invitations below and plan to join us on Facebook, There's also a new giveaway on the Giveaways tab on this blog starting on the 8th.

Good luck!

Friday, September 21, 2018

My newest cover is here!

An Alaskan Proposal comes out on January 1st, 2019 and is available for preorder. It's about a fashionista who suddenly finds herself in desparate need of outdoor skills. She turns for help to a survival instructor who is less than impressed with city girls in general and Sabrina in particular. But his attitude evolves. 

Two dogs play a big role in the story. Talkeetna, Leith's german shepherd, falls madly in love with a little terrier that Sabrina rescues. If you look closely, you can see them there, silhouletted against the tent. I've always wanted a dog on a book cover, and now I have two. Thanks, Harlequin Art Department.

Monday, August 20, 2018

Kinetic Wind Sculptures

I'm getting excited about my upcoming book, A Gift Horse, part of the 12 Days of Heartwarming Christmas series by twelve different Heartwarming authors.

In this story, Luke Mueller had been a designer of kinetic wind scupltures that generate electricity, and had started a company along with his fiance and his best friend. Only when all was said and done, the best friend and fiance ended up married to each other and in charge of the company, and Luke was out. That's when he moved to Christmas Town and started a whole new life.

I'm fascinated withe the concept of wind sculptures, they way they're everchanging, according to how the wind blows. I'd love to have a sculpture like this at my house. 

Would you?


A Gift Horse comes out October 9th, and we'll be celebrating the release with a Facebook Party with lots of giveaways. If you love Christmas, you'll want to become part of the Christmas Town Group on Facebook. 

You can preorder from these online store:

Amazon   Barnes & Noble    Kobo   iBooks   Google

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Happy National Booklover's Day!

Today, August 9th, is National Booklover's Day, so I decided to take a photo of my bookshelf. Right. Like I have one bookshelf. I decided to show you my pretty shelf, the one with some of my favorite hardbacks.

But that's not really representative. My bookshelves are not neat and tidy and arranged in decending order of size. Here's one of the three main bookshelves in the downstairs hall. Once upon a time, the mysteries were in alphabetical order by author, but then I ran out of room and had to stack others in front and, well, you know. 

Plus, there's the bedside bookshelf, which is just a random mess.

And the cookbook shelves.

And random piles of books, like these I brought home from the RWA Conference.

Plus the one thousand four hundred and seven books in my kindle library.

Not to mention the garden books in the sunroom and the writing guides, and the how-to books in the basement, and some hand-me-down books in boxes, oh, and the travel guides, and photo albums, and the books under the bed, and my husband's books...

Hmm, maybe I'd better stop there before someone reports me. But you know what they say:

I just hope they're right. Anyway, 

Happy National Booklover's Day to you! 

And if you missed it, don't despair. Everyday is booklover's day as far as I'm concerned.

Monday, July 16, 2018

Wood Spirits

Alaskan Hideaway, the third book in the Northern Lights series, had a working title of "Against the Grain" which refers to the hero's hobby of woodcarving. When I was writing the book, I did some research on carving and became fascinated with the faces carved into branches called wood spirits. You can find pictures of wood spirits in the Alaskan Hideaway Pinterest board.


When Mac Macleod was ten, his grandfather gave him a pocket knife and taught him to whittle.

Mac was a writer by profession, but whenever he needed to work through something, like figuring out how to fix a plot hole or make a difficult parenting decision, he would pull out his grandpa's knife and whittle. He always considered his carving the woodworking version of doodling, but Ursula (our heroine) believes the wood spirits he carves are art.

Now Mac is grieving his daughter's death, and he finds the wood spirits he carves are a way of working through his emotions. Often, the pain he feels finds its way into the wood spirit's face. But as he heals, the wood spirits he creates reflect that too. And, just as his grandfather taught him, he teaches Ursula's goddaughter, Rory, to whittle.

Do you have a hobby like Mac's that helps you relax and think?


He traveled 3,800 miles to be alone

…but is it what he really wants? 

Relocating to Alaska after a family tragedy seemed an ideal way for author R.D. “Mac” Macleod to grieve in peace. But solitude feels overrated when Mac’s around B&B owner Ursula Anderson and her orphaned goddaughter, Rory, who’s already bonding with his dog. Worse, he’s imagining a future with Ursula and Rory. Is it time to finally forgive himself?

Amazon   iBooks   Barnes & Noble   Google   Kobo   Harlequin

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Alaska Hideaway Launch Day

It's here! 

Alaska Hideaway is up for sale at online bookstores, or if you don't shop online, Barnes and Noble will special order it for you. You can find buy links and a sample on the Northern Lights Series Tab on this website.

And here's a little reminder from the book, to take a moment to enjoy the small miracles all around you. 

Friday, June 22, 2018

Cover Perspectives

I was thrilled when I saw the North American cover for my newest book, Alaskan Hideaway, coming out in July. I thought the landscape was amazing and illustrated one of the scenes perfectly, when Ursula and Mac share a kiss under the northern lights. 

So I was surprised to see the UK and Australian covers didn't go with the northern  lights theme. Instead, they emphasize the relationship between Mac, a man who has lost his daughter, and Rory, a little girl who has lost her parents. I have to admit, I love these covers too. I just wish Blossom the dog could have been included.

What do you think? Do you prefer scenery or people on your covers? Which is your favorite of these three?

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Home to Alaska

Springtime in Anchorage

The days are long, and the Chugach mountains are beautiful.

The geese are back.

The May Day trees are blooming, and the whole city smells like flowers.

It's good to be home.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Trust in Tomorrow

“Live each day like it’s your last.”

I tried to find the origin of that quote, but it’s been attributed to everyone from Ray Charles to an old Hebrew saying.  I can see what they’re going for. We shouldn’t put off doing the things we’re always wanted to do, or ending a grudge, or hugging our loved ones, because one day it will be too late. But there’s a problem.

If we truly lived each day like it was our last, we’d never plant a garden, or raise a child, or write a book. We’d never even crack open a James Michener novel. All these things take time, and faith. We have to believe that the seeds we plant in the garden today will mean fresh green beans to eat and share in a few months. We have to believe, through all those diaper changes and midnight feedings, that this baby will grow and thrive. We have to believe that these words we put on the pages everyday will grow into the story we’re trying to tell.

A better motto, I think, might be “Trust in Tomorrow.” Because few great things can be accomplished in a day.

Like most things in life, it’s all about balance. So sure, let go of that grudge and reconcile with someone. Take the time to go for a walk in the park with someone you love. Schedule a date to try skydiving. Taste Key lime pie. Do it today.

But spend the rest of the day making progress toward a greater goal. Dream big. Tomorrow will come.

What do you think? Is there something you’ve always meant to do that you can do today? Or are you busy working toward a larger goal? How do you find balance?

Monday, May 7, 2018

Goodreads Giveaway - Alaskan Hideaway

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Alaskan Hideaway by Beth  Carpenter

Alaskan Hideaway

by Beth Carpenter

Giveaway ends May 21, 2018.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

He traveled 3,800 miles to be alone

…but is it what he really wants? 

Relocating to Alaska after a family tragedy seemed an ideal way for author R.D. “Mac” Macleod to grieve in peace. But solitude feels overrated when Mac’s around B&B owner Ursula Anderson and her orphaned goddaughter, Rory, who’s already bonding with his dog. Worse, he’s imagining a future with Ursula and Rory. Is it time to finally forgive himself?

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

The Garden Gamble

It’s spring! The birds are in their most colorful plumage, hanging out in pairs. The fruit trees and early flowers are blooming. And I’m making plans for a garden.

Spring comes, whether you plan for it or not. And yet I feel compelled to participate. Last year I grew gourds, which I made into birdhouses and hung this spring. We’ll see if the birds actually want to use them. I also put out feeders, so that I can see the pretty little house finches flit in and out.

Last year,  we planted a cherry and a peach tree. This spring they’re both blooming. I’m hoping we’ll get at least a preview of the kind of fruit we can expect when they’re mature.

And last year, I went to the Iris Society’s exhibit, and saw some amazing iris blooms. But the best part was that they had some of their divisions for sale. I picked up some from the bargain section, the ones where nobody was sure what color they might turn out to be. And so I was thrilled when they bloomed for the first time and turned out to be one of my favorite flower colors.

All those preparations from last year are paying off this spring. Later, when frost danger is over, we’ll plant tomatoes, zucchini, pumpkins, and probably a few other seeds that were just too interesting to pass up. And come fall, we’ll have loads of fresh tomatoes to share with the neighbors. Or not. It’s always a gamble.

Maybe that’s what makes gardening so compelling. It’s like a poker game. You never know what hand nature is going to deal you. But if you ante up and play out your hand, you may reap incredible rewards. Or all your work might just go to feed the rabbits and aphids. Is it worth the risk? I think so.

Do you?

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Cover Reveal and Launch Team

It's here! The cover to my latest book, Alaskan Hideaway, up on AMAZON. The book is available for preorder and comes out July 1st. I love the northern lights and the cozy little cabin. What do you think?

He traveled 3,800 miles to be alone

…but is it what he really wants? 

Relocating to Alaska after a family tragedy seemed an ideal way for author R.D. “Mac” Macleod to grieve in peace. But solitude feels overrated when Mac’s around B&B owner Ursula Anderson and her orphaned goddaughter, Rory, who’s already bonding with his dog. Worse, he’s imagining a future with Ursula and Rory. Is it time to finally forgive himself?

I'm putting together a lauch team to read and promote advance copies of the book. Fifteen people will be chosen randomly. If you're a sweet romance fan and would be interested, you can find details in my lastest NEWSLETTER. Don't wait too long; sign-up ends April 20th.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Brunch in Alaska

Warm temperatures after a big snow mean it's hard for Anchorage moose to get around, so they're wandering out of the parks and into the streets where the going is easier. This one dropped by to trim my birch trees this morning. Roxy sounded the alarm, but the moose ignored her.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Ice Scupltures in Fairbanks

My daughter and her boyfriend came to visit, so this past weekend, we went to Fairbanks, Alaska to see the ice sculpture park. The international ice carving championship wasn't held this year, but they still had an amazing collection of ice sculpture. 

There were carvings made from single blocks of ice, about 5x3x8 feet, with amazing detail. Then there were the larger scupltures, made from multiple blocks stacked together. If you look closely at some of them, you can see the seams where the blocks meet. And finally, there was the kid's park, with climbing sculptures like this ship, plus slides, mazes, and even spinning cups of ice. 

We talked with one of the sculptors who told us about the carving process and how he got into it. He said last year's competition included contestants from forty US states and twenty different countries. 

I was amazed by the intricate detail in these sculptures. We saw them in the daylight, but I'm sure they were even more beautiful at night when lit by colored lights. Well worth the visit.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Facebook Hop March 1-2

March 1st and 2nd, I'm participating in a Facebook Hop with twelve other authors. There's a grand prize, as well as a prize for each hop stop. My page is giving away an autographed copy of The Alaskan Catch and a reader's necklace. Hope you can hop on by. 

My prizes for the Hop