Friday, July 20, 2012

War. Devotion. Deceit. Death.  How long can a heart hold on before it breaks? 

The time has come!!!  My debut novel, A Heart on Hold, is set to be released from 5 Prince Publishing on August 8th as an ebook and in PRINT August 22!

A Heart on Hold is the first book of An Everlasting Heart series.  A historical romance by category, this series is set in circa-Civil War America, and appeals to men as much as to women.  My husband, a hard-core Infantry soldier turned Drill Sergeant, read A Heart on Hold cover to cover and has been asking about book 2, A Heart Broken!

Are you around the west Texas area?  Come out and celebrate books, including A Heart on Hold, at the first annual Books in the Basin festival Saturday, October 6th, Ellen Noel Plaza in Odessa, Texas!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Thank you to these generous people for your selfless contributions:

Glenna W.
Angela S.
Jay K.
Bull P.

Two Kittens

It was hot yesterday as we drove Highway 277 from Odessa, TX back to Fort Sill, OK.  The three kids in the back were fussing and I was playing on my cell phone as my husband drove the long stretch of rural highway that would take us home.  Besides us, the only other vehicle on the road was a giant gray Ford Dually who was zipping along in front of us.  The relative calm was shattered in an instant when my husband turned to me, mouth agape.

“I think that guy just threw a cat out the window.”

I just stared at him, not comprehending what had just happened.

“Oh my God, he’s flinging kittens out the window, there went another one!” he exclaimed, pulling our car over and grinding to a sudden halt.  I got out and began running back down the highway, looking in the brush along the side of the road for any kittens.   

Seeing us pull over, the Dually squealed its tires and roared out of sight.

My husband found a turn-around and sped back to where a tiny gray kitten hunkered in the road.  He and I got there at the same time.  He handed me the bloody gray mess and dashed off down the road on foot. 

As I held the gray kitten, her eye began bleeding.  And swelling.  A cut was visible on her head and down her ear.  Bloody froth lined her mouth and bubbled out of her nose.  I cradled her against me as my elementary-aged daughter wailed from the car window.  A warmth soaked my shirt under the tiny cat … more blood. 

My husband returned a moment later with the little blonde kitten.  Her eye was also bloody. Despite having been flopping like a fish out of water on the blacktop moments before, she appeared not to have been shattered by the hellish fall.  Quite the contrary, this little kitten was proving to be a fighter, tearing my husband’s  forearms with her tiny, tar-filled claws and teeth.  Why tar-filled claws?  Because she’d skidded along the road for awhile.

Getting back into the car, my husband nestled the blonde kitten in his lap while I held the little gray one in the crook of my arm.  She was trembling as bloody tears dripped off her nose and she appeared to be having trouble breathing. 

“I fear this one won’t make it,” I told my three small kids.  “Let’s pray.” 

And pray we did.  We asked God to keep the kittens from feeling too much pain and for the man who threw them out the window to realize the error of his ways and grow a compassionate heart.  We asked St. Francis to pray for the little kittens, too. 

We passed a run-over adult cat then that was just too out of place in the remote countryside.  We figured her to be the Mama. 

Speeding down the highway, we didn’t catch up to the truck, but did give the two kittens their names.  Karma and Francis. 

Though the cell service was sketchy, we were able to contact my mom who dropped what she was doing and pulled up a list of veterinarians in Seymour, Wichita Falls, and Burkburnett.  Every single veterinary answering service that answered on this holiday weekend informed us that, since we weren’t established patients in their practice, they would not patch our call through to the vet.  I was unable to respond – my mouth was hanging open too wide to speak.  Especially when I was told this same spiel over and over and over. 

Finally, we called the emergency vet at Gore West Animal Hospital in Lawton, which was still an hour away, and told Dr. Molinaro of our plight.  She and her tech agreed to meet us at the clinic and do their best to save the kittens.      

With the vet problem solved, we turned back to the phone and thanks to the googling skills of my mom, were able to get ahold of the Sheriff’s department in Knox County, Texas.  The Deputy I spoke with was wonderful and vowed to do what he could to locate the truck involved.  He felt the perp was an out-of-towner who had perhaps been trying to get rid of the kittens, probably at an Abilene Wal-Mart or something of the sort, before disposing of the residual kittens by tossing them out the window of the moving truck.  He wished we had been able to get a license plate number.  We wished that, too.

So if any of you know of anyone who was getting rid of kittens in or around Abilene, Texas on Sunday, May 27, 2012, and drives a giant gray or silver Ford Dually, probably late 80’s to early 90’s model, with all the bells and whistles, contact me so we can get in touch with the Knox County Sheriff, or contact them directly at 940-458-2211.  Thank you so much.

The fleas were hopping off the little kittens by the time we made it to the vet’s office.   Karma, the blonde one, was treated first.   Weighing in at one pound, Dr. Molinaro determined to be underweight since healthy kittens should weigh at least two pounds by 6-8 weeks of age.  Ear mites?  Yes, she had them.  Chunks of rock from her skid along the road embedded in her eye?  Yes, she had that too.  Fleas and ticks?  Check.  A cut on her back leg and bottom?  Got that, too.  Thankfully, that was where Karma’s laundry list of problems ends.  Then, it was Francis’s turn.

The little gray kitty was much worse off, having obviously landed on her head.  She also was determined to be underweight.  Then, she was treated for ear mites, fleas and ticks, and had debris cleaned out of her bloody eye.  This eye is still much too swollen to tell if she was blinded in the fall or not.   Miraculously, no bones were broken and her heart and lungs sounded fine.  In addition to the gashes on her ear and head, her bottom was extremely lacerated.  When she was thrown though, sweet Francis skidded along the road on her face first, ripping her bottom lip away from her jaw bone. 

Then we got the bill.  Even though Dr. Molinaro gave us a break by charging the emergency fee for one animal instead of both, the total still came to $575.  I can’t help but feel the guy in the gray dually who caused this whole mess in the first place should have to foot the bill, but we all know that will never be the case.       

The vet kept Francis and stitched her lip back on the best she could since there wasn’t much to stitch it to, only bone.  My husband rushed back to the vet office after the procedure to pick up Francis and Karma.  It was already 10 p.m., but he couldn’t stand the thought of the two traumatized kittens having to stay in a kennel at the vet’s office the duration of the holiday weekend.

If you would like to donate to the vet bills accrued by these two helpless little kittens, please visit my website and go to Sara's Bio page with instructions on how to donate.  Those who donate will be acknowledged on both this blog and my website.  Thank you so, so much from all of us, and Francis and Karma, too.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Six Sentence Sunday

An excerpt from Chapter C of the children's book "THE ABC'S OF OKLAHOMA PLANTS"

     If you are out identifying plants only to find yourself disoriented next to a field of Compass plants, the first thing you do is have a seat under the monster sunflower-wannabes and enjoy a break in the shade.  Next, make a mental note to take a buddy flower-hunting with you next time, as another golden rule of the backcountry is to always go hiking in pairs.  Third, harvest some sap from the Compass plant and let it dry in the sun while you are waiting for somebody to find you.  You can chew this sap like gum and it will help pass the time. 
     If you are fairly confident that you can find your way back home before you would be missed, use

the north-south orientation of the Compass plant leaves to give you an idea of which way you should go.

Then, judge the amount of daylight left by holding four fingers of your hand up parallel with the horizon,

counting the number of fingers it takes to fill in the space between the horizon and the sun. 

Thursday, April 26, 2012

The Bullrider's Mommy

You told me once,
in your voice so sweet,
that you wanted to be a cowboy,
and I thought, how neat!

"Not just a cowboy,"
you assured me right quick,
"I want to ride bulls!"
Mommy's stomach went sick.

But your time finally came
and we were rodeo bound.
On the back of a young Brahama,
your heartsong was found.

All emotions were a go-
Fear, terror, and dread!
They combined as you prepped,
adding gray hairs to my head.

Our excitement built up
as Daddy lowered you down,
then you blew out of the chute,
with the bull spinning around!

One and a half seconds later,
you dashed to the gate.
Your eyes big as saucers,
your smile was so great!

"Did you like it?  Did you love it?"
"Mom, that was so cool!"
I guess it's time now,
to look into bullriding school.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Interview with author Melynda Price, author of Until Darkness Comes!

Hello everyone and thank you for stopping by for our interview with author Melynda Price!  She is here discussing her debut novel, Until Darkness Comes.

Welcome Melynda!  Let's get started!

Until Darkness Comes addresses the forces of good and evil. First off, could you tell us a bit about what Olivia faces in this book?

Olivia is a young woman whose innocence has led her to get involved with a guy she believes is “Mr. Right.” She possesses a gift she isn’t aware she has—a gift that makes her an asset to heaven and a threat to hell. Olivia faces many challenges in this story, like discovering the guy she thought she loved is really trying to kill her, and the guy who steps in and sweeps her off her feet isn’t who she believes him to be. Her “gift” seems more like a curse, and she’s fallen in love with someone she can never have.

Melynda, who are your literary inspirations?

My favorite authors to read are Lara Adrian and J.R Ward. They write with strong sexual tension, great dialogue and have a way of bringing their characters to life with distinct, individual personalities. Those are traits I value as a reader, and strive for as an author.

All writers have them.  What is the biggest obstacle that you have had to overcome as a writer?

Finding balance. When I’m in the middle of writing a story and my characters have their claws into me, I have a hard time walking away from my computer. I can write from sunup until sundown, and still not want to stop. When other important things need my attention, sometimes it’s hard for me to focus on them. My mind is writing, even when I’m not.

If you could invite anyone to dinner, who would it be and why?
In the literary world? I’d say Lara Adrian. She’s probably my favorite PNR writer. It’d be fun to discuss her career and how she got started as an author. I love visiting with other authors and hearing their stories of trials and successes.

I have to ask, what would you have?

Sirloin steaks on the grill with sautéed mushrooms, grilled asparagus, rosemary baby potatoes, cherry upside-down cake and a glass of Blackberry Merlot.

That sounds delicious!!  What was the driving force behind the creation of Until Darkness Comes?

I read the book of Enoch, and found it very fascinating. It got me thinking about the roles angels have played in our history and the dimension they exist in. I wondered what it might be like if our eyes were opened to the spirit world, and we could see the angelic and demonic forces at play around us, so I gave Olivia the gift, and wrote Until Darkness Comes.
Until Darkness Comes is a series. Can you give us a hint as to what adventures await Olivia in your next book?

Until Darkness Comes

Do you think we could have a teaser from Until Darkness Comes?  Maybe an excerpt to whet our appetites until we can get our own copy? 

The setting sun cast shades of lavender and fuchsia over the pier. Max’s “friends” still hadn’t arrived. He seemed angry, despite his effort to hide it.

“Max, it’s getting late,” Olivia said softly. “I have an oral report due in Spanish Monday, and I haven’t even started it yet.”
He jumped down off the side of the pier, landing gracefully on the sandy beach below, and wordlessly walked away. She stepped up to the edge and looked over the side. The drop was easily fifteen feet. How could he have possibly made that jump without getting hurt?

She walked down the long pier—alone. Her fear of heights prevented her from attempting such a leap herself. Max could be rude and inconsiderate sometimes, it seemed more often than not, lately. She was growing tired of making excuses for his bad behavior, yet she could understand his disappointment tonight, but that certainly wasn’t any reason to be an ass. Sympathy only went so far, for so long.

Obviously he still suffered from the loss of his parents. She couldn’t even imagine what it must have been like for him, losing them both in that horrible car accident. Then to get yanked out of military school a semester before graduation, moving back home, handling his parents’ affairs, and the house…maybe she should cut him some more slack.

Max stood in the parking lot, straddling his bike. “Come on.”

“I’m not running, Max. You could have waited for me.”

He sighed impatiently and climbed back off the motorcycle, walking back toward her. The charming smile he painted in his face reminded her more of a Cheshire cat. He gathered her into his arms and snuggled his face into the side of her neck.

“I’m sorry, Liv.”

His attempt to make amends brought a smile to her face. Now, that’s more like it. She couldn’t stay mad at him. Her resistance softened as she stood there in the middle of the sandy beach, wrapped tightly in his arms. He placed small kisses against the side of her neck.

A throaty purr rumbled in the back of his throat, making her laugh. She playfully spun out his embrace and ran away from him. Fine warm grains of sand spilled into her sandals with each step. She glanced over her shoulder to see if he followed her, enjoying her little game. His brow quirked in amusement and his dark eyes locked on her, watching her every movement as if she were his prey, sending a tremble of excitement fluttering in her chest.

“Don’t make me chase you, Olivia.” His husky growl carried to her on the briny air.

“Ha, you couldn’t catch me,” she challenged, throwing down the gauntlet.

As the last word left her mouth, he took off after her. She let out a high-pitched squeal and jagged to the left, running straight toward the ocean. Just as her sandaled foot touched the cool frothy water, a pair of strong muscular arms scooped her up in the air.
She yelped playfully, laughing when he swung her around in his arms and kissed her. “I told you not to make me chase you,” he whispered against her lips. “You could never outrun me, Olivia.”

Before I go, I want to say thank you, Sara, for hosting me on your blog today, and thank you to everyone who stopped by.

I’d love to hear from you.

You can find me at

Until Darkness Comes is available on eBook or paperback at Amazon.
and at Barnes and Noble
is the first book in my four part Redemption series. The second book, Shades of Darkness, takes place three years later, and each book is a continuation of Liam and Olivia’s love story. I don’t want to say too much and give away the ending of Until Darkness Comes, but I can say a lot of the characters from the first book come back, and there’s a nasty Nephilim (half-human/half-angel) you’re absolutely going to love!, friend me on Facebook, follow me on Twitter, or contact me at

Thank you all for stopping by!  So grab a bottle of blackberry merlot, a copy (or e-copy!) of Until Darkness Comes and have a wonderful day!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Six Sentence Sunday

“Here they come, just like you said,” Minerva whispered, peeking out the window of the vardo. “We completed funeral just in time.”

She let the velvet curtain fall, covering the boxes and bags she and Sanderson had been packing.

“Remember the plan,” he whispered in an almost inaudible tone.

She nodded stiffly as he ducked behind a silken curtain.

, knock, knock.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Interview with author of THE PHANTOM PILOT Ann Swann

Who from the past would you want to bring home to dinner and why?

At first I thought I would say my other dad just so I could ask him why he robbed that bank. But then I realized I probably already know the answer to that. So then I thought maybe I would ask him why he didn’t try to stick around a bit longer, you know, for us girls, but having suffered depression myself, I guess I know the answer to that, too.
What would you eat?

Mexican food, no doubt.

Who is your literary inspiration?
It started with Poe and Hitchcock when I was a kid, and evolved into Ray Bradbury and Stephen King when I was a teen. These writers/story-tellers always made me care about the characters in the story first. And for some reason I like it when a story starts out normal and mundane and then all you-know-what breaks loose. Heh heh heh. Better add Shirley Jackson to that list come to think of it. And Rod Serling. Always Rod Serling. Oh, and Mary Stuart and her Merlin Tales…

What about your overall inspiration?
I’ve always written thoughts and stories, since I was a teenager. Now, I’m inspired by grandkids…just check out my story “The Blister Bear” in the upcoming Campfire Tales anthology. It was inspired by a five year old’s nightmare.
On the other hand, “Skeleton Rock” was actually inspired by a bunch of rocks out on my walking trail.

From whom were Stevie and Jase born?
Well, that’s tricky. I grew up the way Stevie did, riding my bike all over Lamesa, Texas. But actually the two characters are a mishmash of kids I knew or wanted to know back in my hometown. Actually, I think some of the characteristics of my former elementary students may have gotten mixed in there, too. Of course, like most authors, there’s always a little bit of me in every character, even the dorky ones. Or maybe that should be, especially the dorky ones!

What future projects do you have in mind?
Working on the sequel to The Phantom Pilot right now; The Phantom Student will be published around Halloween, and it will be available in digital and PRINT! Also working on a story for the Terminus X anthology Cool Well Press is putting together, and I’ve got a couple of other short stories started just for grins. Oh, and my Women’s Novel, How Long Does it Take to Fall Out of Love? is making the rounds of agents as we speak. So far, no bites, only nibbles…

If you were stranded on a desert island, what five tangible things would you take with you?
All my grandkids and a good stick for spearing fish and for writing and drawing in the sand.

On what reality show would you consider being a guest?
Well, the only one I watch
is American Idol, so I would be on that—if I could sing.
What are your all time favorite works of literature?

Red Sky at Morning, The Crystal Cave, The Dead Zone, The Stand, all of Poe’s short stories (even that really horrid one about the black cat), The Hobbit, Lonesome Dove, a short story by Stephen King called “The Last Rung on the Ladder,” The Body, Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption, “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson, and last but not least, Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury. Oh, and a little book from my childhood called Silver Chief, Dog of the North. Oh, and “Thirteen Tales They Wouldn’t Let Me Do on TV,” a collection of weird tales gathered under Alfred Hitchcock’s name. And so many more…

What is the biggest obstacle you have had to overcome as a writer?


Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Roasted Brisket a -la-Sara

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.  It's time to eat.  Our New Year meal consisted of (surprisingly thawed) brisket, which we forgot to buy a marinade for.  So without even the help of Google, I concocted a home-made marinade. 

After cutting my nine-pound brisket so that it would fit in my 9X13 baking dish, I slathered it in Worchestershire Sauce (Kudos to anyone who can say that ... I still say it slow and sounding like an English village ...), Soy Sauce, Browning Sauce (compliments of Glenna, thanks girl!), Season All salt, Steak Seasoning, and fresh minced garlic (once again, thanks Glenna!).  I also added a cup and a half of water to give it something to roast in. 

I stuck that sucker in the oven at 350 degrees uncovered for an hour at 9 a.m.  After that hour was up, I covered it (carefully ...) and knocked the temp back to about 275.  I also added about another cup of water at that time.  It was already smelling good!

Then we let it roast, let it roast, let it roast! 

Aiming to eat dinner about 3:30, we realized about 2 that we needed to cook some other stuff in the oven as well.  So we kicked the temp up to 400 degrees for the last hour, but kept our roast covered before finally taking it and letting it rest before serving.  That magical first and final hour cooked at a higher temperature really made a difference!  It was so tender when we went to carve it up that it practically had already fallen apart.

One word: Delicious.  Paired with mashed cream cheese taters from Granny's recipe, cornbread/clover rolls, baked mac-n-cheese a-la-hubby, black eyed peas and caramel pie from Grandpa's fireman recipe for dessert and you're eating like a king!


I prepared the second brisket half in the same marinade and covered it, letting it sit overnight in the fridge.  I took it out and baked it the next morning as per instructions found on the first Google post I found.  So covered and baked at 275 degrees from 9 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. left my brisket edible, but not delectable.  It was not nearly as tender or juicy (though I made the same mistake with the pan drippings ... for SHAME!) and quite honestly not nearly as exciting as the first. 

Happy Eating!