Saturday, March 30, 2013

Eight Sentence Sunday WeWriWa

Today, I wanted to do something a bit different. I have shared with you from two of my historical romance novels, A Heart on Hold and the forthcoming A Heart at Home. I have shared Chunky Sugars with you, as well as The ABC's of Oklahoma Plants and we even discovered pink bluebonnets and their folkloric legend in my forthcoming The ABC's of Texas Plants.

Now, the time has come to introduce you to my family. Here is a poem I wrote when my son, then 5, rode his first bull at an area rodeo. Rest assured, they were mini-bulls and the only riders were children 4 and up.

Here are seven stanzas for my contribution this week for the awesome group at WeWriWa!

The Bull rider's Mommy
You told me once,
in your voice so sweet,
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 bull riding school.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Awesome Author Christine Steendam

Welcome Awesome Author and fellow historical romance novelist Christine Steendam to my blog today!

Heart Like an Ocean ... where heartache, horses, and history meet on the open seas.

Pink Bluebonnets

Here you go! As requested! Pink, blue, and white bluebonnets :-)

Saturday, March 23, 2013

WeWriWa - More Regional Nonfiction

From the forthcoming follow-up book to the Amazon bestseller The ABC's of Oklahoma Plants, The ABC's of Texas Plants!

 From Chapter L...
Lupinus texensis

Texas bluebonnet

Aside from being the state flower of Texas, the Texas bluebonnet makes its appearance in this book for my sweet friend, Rochelle, who hails from the Texas hill country. In the words of fellow Historian Jack Maguire, “The bluebonnet is to Texas what the shamrock is to Ireland, the cherry blossom is to Japan, the lily to France, the rose to England, and the tulip to Holland.” Wow, Texas – our state compared – not to other states, but to countries ... awesome!

These flowers are normally blue, as the name implies, but rarely you may find a white bluebonnet, which is believed to have been the inspiration for our white Lone Star on the Texas flag. South of the town of San Antonio grows another special form of bluebonnet – a pink or crimson flower, sometimes referred to as an Aggie bluebonnet. Legend has it that this pink variety grows only downstream from the Alamo. I’ll let your minds wrap around that little tidbit of information as to why you think it grows there and only there ... might it have something to do with the legendary battle of the Alamo?
Want to catch up on all the nonfiction, bestselling, botanical fun? Check out The ABC's of Oklahoma Plants ... and watch for your state coming soon! Get your Kindle version here and your print version here!
Needing some historical romance? Check out my An Everlasting Heart series by checking out my website!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

WeWriWa Snippet - Regional Nonfiction

This week's snippet comes from my Amazon bestselling nature book, The ABC's of Oklahoma Plants!!

Farkleberry. Chrysothamnus nauseosus . Old Man’s Beard. Zanthoxylum clava-herculis. What do all of these farkling, nauseating, hairy clubs of Hercules have in common? They are all easily-identifiable plants found in Oklahoma, that's what!
Chapter A
Ptelea trifoliata
Stinking ash: What better way to start our botanical alphabet adventure than with a stinky tree, Latin name Ptelea trifoliata?
The Stinking ash, also known as Wafer ash, Skunk bush, or Hop tree, (not to be confused with hop frog) gets its name from the citrusy, musty smell that comes from crushing the twigs. Actually, all of this tree is pretty smelly.  
The Stinking ash can grow to be up to 25 feet (or two and a half stories!) tall, with its leaves rounding out the crown of the tree. The bitter bark comes in varying shades of gray.
Ususally when in the backcountry, the rule of thumb is, if it stinks and the birds don't eat it, you don't mess with it either. With the Wafer ash, this proves untrue because the tincture made from the roots of this tree can be used to treat an upset stomach.
I hope you enjoyed this part of my debut book that is now an Amazon bestseller!!  The ABC's of Texas Plants coming soon!!!

Behind the Scenes ...of A Heart on Hold

Where is your book set and why did you choose that place?

A Heart on Hold (An Everlasting Heart, #1) begins in Arkansas just before the outbreak of the Civil War. Charlotte Adamsland and her long time love, Sanderson Redding, are just recently reunited until she learns he's enlisted for the Cause, and is certain to be swept away from her once again. As the story unfolds, Charlotte is forced to continue her life in Arkansas while the Army takes Sanderson to various Civil War battlefields before he finally winds up at Alton Confederate Prison in Illinois. I chose these particular places based on the life of real-person Confederate Captain E.A. Adams, who hailed from Arkansas, was commander of the unit Sanderson finds himself in, and who also did time at Alton. Unlike Sanderson, Captain E. A. Adams never made it out of Alton, dying there just three days before Appomattox.

How do the temperature, terrain and other factors inform the story?

Since this story is set in the 19th century, lots of outdoors are involved so temperature and terrain are always an issue. Also, since a prison break is involved, temperature and terrain can either be to an advantage or a severe disadvantage ... or a little of both.

What would change if your book were set somewhere else?

As the An Everlasting Heart series progresses, so does the setting and landscape. Charlotte and Sanderson find themselves as far east as the thick, humid woods of Kentucky hunting notorious Outlaw William "Bloody Bill" Quantrill (A Heart Broken, An Everlasting Heart #2) and on the trail to California battling nature, renegade Indians, and bloodthirsty Army units (A Heart at Home, An Everlasting Heart #3). Who knows what book 4, A Heart Forever Wild will bring!

How is this setting different from ones in your past books?

This is my first series of historical romance books, though I have another Amish romance that is also set during the 19th century. I also have two kids books out, many more in review with my publisher, and an 18th century Scottish romance in the works!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

In the words of Elvis ...

Viva Las Vegas!

I am going to be attending my very first writer's convention and I'm fortunate enough that it be the annual one of the Western Writer's of America in none other than Las Vegas, Nevada!! If I run into Robert DeNiro, I may fall down and beg for an autograph and embarrass myself, so be sure to watch the news while the conference is going on. I can hardly wait as the days flying by oh-so-fast and this summer quickly approacheth! (Yes, I am watching Braveheart, so my vernacular may slip into that of the 13th Century Scottish form ...)

The ABC's of Oklahoma Plants has made top 10 on Amazon for nonfiction nature books! Another exciting snippet of news is that the follow up, The ABC's of Texas Plants is almost complete and should be so by the summer, just in time for flower hunting in the Lone Star State! Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center has graciously agreed to donate the pictures for this book as well and I can hardly wait to see how awesome it will look! I will keep you updated!

Until next time ...

Alba Gu Brath!!

8 Sentences for WeWriWa -- Children's!!

I decided to shake things up a bit this week and take a break from Historical Romance. Today, I've decided to introduce you to my debut picture book, CHUNKY SUGARS, published by 5 Prince Kids January of this year and penned for my fourth and chunkiest baby, Lil' Bit! Designed to be read with mommies and babies! Click here to order one for you chunky little baby today!

Mama loves her chunky baby. She loves to get chunky sugars!
Mama loves to get one chunky sugar on a sweet little nose.
Mama loves to get two chunky sugars on pudgy little cheeks.
Mama loves to get three chunky sugars on a fluffy little head!
Mama loves to get four chunky sugars on two baby hands.
Mama loves to get five chunky sugars on each little piggy.
Wait, baby gives Mama chunky sugars on her nose ...
Order yours to find out the twist!!

Still needing a historical romance fix? Click on any of my book covers below to order!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

WeWriWa - from A Heart on Hold, book 1 of An Everlasting Heart series!

Where better to start than at the beginning? Join me in journeying back to the very start of A Heart on Hold, the novel that started it all!

The thought of war was removed from Charlotte's mind as she uncurled her legs from beneath her patched cotton dress and stretched them into the brook. She tilted her head back and closed her eyes as the icy water swirled over her bare feet. It felt good to have finally loosened the tight braid from her hair. She swayed back and forth, letting the way locks tickle her shoulders. Achilles, who had been grazing contentedly, whinnied at the light bugs that flickered about his muzzle. Charlotte's fingers found the soft jade and eggshell tassels that ringed her picnic blanket and her mind began to wander.

"It is coming you know," a voice from behind her stated matter-of-factly. "None of us will be able to hide much longer."

A Heart at Home, book 3 of An Everlasting Heart series

Friday, March 1, 2013

Awesome Author Leslie Garcia

Come on over to the Awesome Authors page and meet fellow Texas author Leslie P. Garcia and learn about her upcoming release UNATTAINALBE, available March 18th!