Monday, May 30, 2011

Book Signing and Workshop in Columbus, Texas

On May 14th I presented a mini-workshop titled "Anyone Can Write a Romance, Right?" to a small group at the Nesbitt Library in Columbus, Texas. Afterwards I signed books. I had a wonderful time. Not only did I get to visit with my good friend from high school, Sally Shepherd Rogers, but I met some wonderful people.

The Nesbitt Library has a beautiful antique doll collection. If you're in the area, stop in and walk through their exhibit.

Columbus is on the Colorado River and is home to the second largest oak tree in Texas. It is located directly across from the post office. Large oak trees are everywhere--in yards and in the middle of the streets. Here are a few pictures we took.

Nesbitt Library

If you look closely you can see the tree in the road.

Two trees in this street.

Columbus has a beautiful old Opera House. When the structure was built, it housed a bank below and the opera house upstairs. It's been restored to it's original character and severs as a Dinner Theater today. Below are offices.

Below is a picture that hangs in one of the local motels. It is by Ken Turner, a local Columbus artist. Look at it closely. Leave a comment and tell me what is unusual about this piece of art.

Leave a comment to be entered into my monthly Ebook drawing.

Happy Reading and Writing!


Saturday, May 21, 2011

Song writer Andy Wilkinson is my Guest Today

Andy at the evening singing at the Retreat
In early April, I attended the Texas Mountain Trail Writer's Retreat in Alpine, Texas. There were several wonderful speakers--Texas Poet Laureate Larry Thomas,  Family Folklorist Beverly Six, and Songwriter Andy Wilkinson. All of the presenters were wonderful. I now even believe, if I can find time, I'd like to try my hand at writing a few poems and possibly dabble with writing some family folklore stories.

I doubt I'll try my hand at songwriting, but being a lover of research and the American West, I thoroughly enjoyed Andy Wilkinson's historical facts on his descendant the famous Texas cattle rancher Charlie Goodnight.  It was doubly interesting to me because Charles Goodnight is mentioned in my upcoming release, A Marshall of Her Own, a time travel romance set in the fictitious Texas Panhandle town of Prairie.

Andy's album, "Charlie Goodnight:  his life in poetry and song," is a tribute to his relative, however in the introduction in the album, Andy states that he didn't write about his relative because of their personal relationship. "I write about Charlie Goodnight, instead, because his life is the perfect metaphor for the people and land I most love...I do not wish to tell Charlie Goodnight's history, although I've been faithful to the facts. Rather, it is my hope to tell the truth that lies beyond these facts."

Cynthia Ann and her daugher
Prairie Flower.
He does an excellent job of doing just that in his song about Cynthia Ann Parker. Andy shared with us how he discovered a reporter's interview of Cynthia Ann after her return from captivity in 1834. She'd lived with the Comanches for twenty-four years, married, and born three children. They became her family and for the remainder of her life, she longed to rejoin them. The reporter asked Cynthia what she disliked about living among the whites. She said their houses, because they were cold in the winter and hot in the summer. In a teepee, the sides are rolled up in the summer to let the air flow through and in the winter, the sides are rolled down to keep the heat from the fire inside. She also didn't like white women's clothes. I think all women can relate to her dislike of the garmets women wore in that time period.

Andy's song, "White Women's Clothes," will touch your heart. He sang it for us at the workshop and I think few in the room weren't touched by Cynthia Ann's life. I know I had goosebumps. Many believe she died of a broken heart. Her young daughter died of pneumonia and after her return to the whites, she never saw her sons again. Her son, Quanah Parker, was the last Comanche Chief.

Andy has given me permission to post his song.

White Women's Clothes (Copyright, 1994)

In the moon you call December,
On the river you call the Pease,
It was cold, and I remember
We had just packed-up to leave,
When a mounted line of soldiers,
A-sparkle in the sun,
Rode down upon our warriors
And shot them one-by-one.

And the ponies of our women,
They were loaded down and slow
With our lodge-poles and equipment
And the meat of our buffalo.
So the cowards of your cavalry,
When all the fight was o'er,
Killed the women and their babies,
'Cept for me and Prairie Flow'r.

          The white man's liberation
          Took me from my home
          For the prison of his houses
          And his white women's clothes.

You could see my hair was flaxen,
You could see my eyes were blue,
See my skin was white and ashen
Or you would've shot me, too.
But you could not see the baby
That I cradled in my robes,
A small, red-skinned Comanche,
The color of my soul.

          The white man's liberation
          Took me from my home
          For the prison of his houses
          And his white women's clothes.

Dressed-up for your amusement
In your used and second-hands,
You parade me through your settlements
And you call me Cynthia Ann.
In these walls, I'm suffocating
Where the wind never blows,
While my heart is strangulating
In these white women's clothes.


           The white man's liberation
           Took me from my home
           For the prison of his houses
           And his white women's clothes.

Andy Wilkinson's bio:

A poet, song writer, singer, and playwright whose particular interest is the history and peoples of the Great Plains, Andy Wilkinson has recorded eight albums of original music and has written seven plays: “Charlie Goodnight’s Last Night,” a one-man show performed by Mr. Barry Corbin; the musical drama “My Cowboy’s Gift;” “The Soul of the West” (written with Red Steagall); "A Way In the West," a one-woman show performed by Ms. Trudy Fair; and commission pieces “The Fires of Camp” (an historical musical for the City of Lubbock); “The Drovers”  (for Texas Frontier Trails, Mineral Wells, TX), and “The Lost Letter” (McKinney, TX).  His work has received several awards, including the Texas Historical Foundation’s John Ben Shepperd Jr. Craftsmanship Award, and three National Western Heritage “Wrangler” Awards, two for original music and one for poetry.  He is Artist in Residence at the Southwest Collection at Texas Tech University, where he is also visiting assistant professor in the School of Music and in the Honors College.  In addition to his writing and teaching, he tours extensively in the US and abroad.

Thank you, Andy, for allowing me to post your song.

Readers, I hope you'll leave a comment for Andy or ask him a question. Remember, each time you comment on my blog you'll be entered into my monthly Ebook drawing. Visit Andy Wilkinson to see other albums he has available. To purchase "White Women's Clothes" or other albums, click on this link.

Happy Reading and Writing!


Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Guest Allison Knight

Years ago, my little sister and I played opera. So what on earth does that have to do with being a writer? Why, I was into pretend. Of course, I was always the heroine. As I grew, I read. One of my greatest joys was sneaking off to a private corner where I could read. Once a week, we'd go to the public library and during those years I read every Cherry Ames Nurse books. Okay, so right away you can tell I went for romantic stories.

It was about then I began to write, at first poetry. In the eighth grade, one of the local organizations offered a scholarship award, a whole fifty dollars, based on the best essay. I abandoned poetry and turn to writing essays. I won the scholarship and I knew then I would be a writer. The question - what would I write - never entered my mind. I would be a writer. I do have to smile though, remembering my college English professor. Nothing about my writing ability pleased her. In fact, if I remember correctly, she begrudgingly gave me a "C-" for a final class grade.

After college, I began to teach, and met the love of my life, married and began our family. I discovered the romance genre. I found I loved the feel good, happy endings you always got with romances. One day I began a book which became the genesis for my passion to write historical romances. The book was well written - I thought. But I found problems with the book. The heroine's eyes changed color twice. A mother-in-law who played a small part disappeared, never to be heard from again. An important character suddenly appeared out of nowhere, and I remember thinking at the time, where did he come from. I sat in our bedroom, my reading corner and stared at that book. I just knew I could do a better job.

I dragged out the typewriter and announced I was going to write a book. My children thought it was hilarious and my daughter told me, "Oh, yea, Mom. When cows fly."

My husband didn't crack a smile, bless his heart. He built a place in the basement of our home so I had a special place to write. When I started having trouble planning the action, he suggested I plot the story out using a time line. He even supplied the paper. When I sold my first books I came home from school to find a stuffed toy cow, adorned with a set of wings flying around the family room attached to our ceiling fan. It seemed "Cows could fly." I dedicated that first book to my children, telling them to look up.

I've learned a lot over the years but I do believe if I hadn't read so much and didn't love books, I would never have tried to write. And I found you can never learn too much. If you don't continue to grow, to develop, to improve, you can not succeed. Looking at each of my seventeen books I can truthfully say, I have learned, I have grown, I have improved. Am I finished developing, learning? Nope, not a chance. There's still a lot more to learn.

Thank you for being my guest today. I have to say, the cover for Roses for my Lady is beautiful.

Here's a blurb:
Intense, scholarly, big sister Meredith Ward is happy to see her little sister off to a country party until she discovers a Valentine card outlining plans for an elopement between her sister and the brother of an aristocrat. She leaves her cottage to halt their plans only to run into trouble herself.

Baron Gavin Sinclair learns late one evening about his brother's plans to wed a most undesirable young woman. His attempt to stop that union puts Meredith in his arms. Thinking she is the bride-to-be, he holds her hostage never realizing it will be his heart he loses.

Allison's bio:

Award winning author, Allison Knight claims she's married to the world's greatest husband because he's her greatest supporter and works with her on all her projects. The mother of four children, Allison retired from teaching to baby six grandkids and now, since they've grown, three cats. She has published seventeen romances and because she loves to share her knowledge blogs often. She also loves to talk about the growing digital market.

Thank you for being with us today, Allison. Visit Allison on her website and blog.

Readers, please leave Allison a comment to be entered in my monthly Ebook drawing.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

April's Ebook Winner

April's ebook winner is Peg. Congratulations, Peg! Go to my website and take a look at my books. Email me your choice and I'll shoot it right over to you.

Thank you all for your comments.


Monday, May 2, 2011

Two New Contracts

I'm pleased to announce two new contracts. Champagne Books will publish my futuristic romance, Born in Ice, in December 2011.

Here is a blurb for Born in Ice.

Pulled from an icy grave…into a world of doubt and danger.

Frozen in ice for seventy-five years, Zana Forrester suffers the agony of rebirth to learn her son is dead, and her daughter's whereabouts is unknown. The year is 2155. A man's soothing voice and gray eyes haunt her drug induced dreams. When she recovers, she meets their owner and finds her heart in danger. But, a relationship isn’t a consideration; she must find her daughter.

Brock Callahan is drawn to the beautiful woman taken aboard his salvage ship. He's determined she'll be his wife and a mother to his young daughter, but he vows not to love her. All the women he’s loved die. While
Zana searches for her daughter, Brock must protect Zana from the evil that threatens.

A Marshal of Her Own doesn't have a release date yet but will be published by The Wild Rose Press. It is the second story in the Prairie Texas Series. The first story is A Law of Her Own.

Here is a blurb for A Marshal of Her Own.

Despite rumors of “strange doings” at a cabin in Fredericksburg, investigative reporter Dessa Wade books the cottage from which lawyer, Charity Dawson, disappeared in 2008. Dessa is intent on solving the mystery. Instead, she is caught in the mystery that surrounds the cabin and finds herself in 1890 in a shootout between the Faraday Gang and a US Marshal.

Marshal Cole Jeffers doesn’t believe Miss Wade is a time traveler. He admits she’s innocent of being an outlaw, but thinks she knows more about the gang than she’s telling. When she’s kidnapped by Zeke Faraday, Cole is determined to rescue her. He’s longed for a woman of his own, and Dessa Wade just might be the one—if she’ll commit to the past.

I so enjoyed sharing my news.

Thank you for reading and Writing!