I love research and love to walk-the-walk when it comes to research. As my friends know, if I could do what I’d really love it’d be researching and outlining novels, while someone else writes the book. I came across two interesting tidbits that I want to share with you all.
The Free State of Van Zandt
Van Zandt County in east Texas was once known as the Free State of Van Zandt, an independent state once in conflict with the United States. Following the Civil War, federal troops were stationed in many Texas towns. Fed up with martial law, the citizens of Van Zandt voted to secede not just from Texas, but from the United States as well. The government wasn’t going to stand for any shenanigans, so United States Army soldiers led by General Sheridan were sent to put down the uprising.
Fortunately, the Van Zandt army had celebrated their new freedom a little too heartily and the drunks were rounded up without too much hassle. Later, many of the men escaped custody. Seceding from the U.S. was no longer in the cards, though the resolution made by the county to separate from Texas and the U.S. was never formally withdrawn.
Where did the word “blurb” come from?
This second little tidbit is for the writers out there, and we have plenty of readers who are also writers! I found it so interesting and had not heard of this before.
Ever wonder where we got the term “blurb” to indicate a short summary or promotional piece accompanying a creative work? At a trade association dinner in 1907, author Gelett Burgess presented attendees with a limited edition of one of his books. It was customary to have a brief summary included on the front of the dust jacket of such books, along with a picture of an attractive woman. Notice I said woman, not author! Burgess followed this custom — with a twist. On the front of his book was an image of a woman with her hand held to her mouth, as if shouting. The caption for this image was “Belinda Blurb, in the act of blurbing,” and bold letters at the top of the dust jacket declared, “Yes, this is a Blurb!” The name stuck.
I found this tidbit about the time, Kensington sent me the back blurb on my newest Kasota Springs Romance story Out of a Texas Night, so I thought I’d share the tidbit with you all.
For an autographed copy of Give Me a Texas Ranger, referred to in the Publisher’s Weekly review, or any one of the six anthologies by Linda Broday, Jodi Thomas, the late DeWanna Pace and myself, give me your thoughts on Van Zandt County, Texas, withdrawing not just from Texas but the United States.
How many of you have ever heard of “Belinda Blurb”?
Everything’s bigger in Texas…including love.
A deputy sheriff in Houston, Avery Humphrey is ready for some hometown comfort when she heads back to Kasota Springs, but one kiss from Brody VanZant is enough to make her trade “soothing” for “sizzling.” When it turns out hot, hard-headed Brody is another Bonita County deputy, sizzling gets complicated, especially after Avery is made the interim sheriff. Brody knows romancing the boss isn’t on the duty roster, but to him it’s a state of emergency to prove to Avery that he’s the partner she needs—in her life and in her bed—and he’s ready to give her as many kisses as there are stars in the Texas sky to convince her.
Praise for Phyliss Miranda
“Outlaw Savannah Parker finds hope for justice—and redemption—in the arms of Texas Ranger Ethan Kimble in Miranda’s ‘Texas Flame,’ which deftly weaves layers of secrets into a narrative that keeps readers guessing.”