Wait… What?

Filly Fun 2016 Design to use

 

Good Thursday, all! Glad you could join me. The topic of the day is Ten Things You Didn’t Know About Tracy Garrett. So, let’s see—Tracy Garrett

  1. I’m a middle child. My older brother was born a hazel-eyed redhead, my younger sister a blue-eyed blond. Me? “Brown, brown, brown, brown, brown!” (Anyone know what that quote is from?)
  2. If you’ve read my bio, you know I’m a musician, but did you know I’d planned to be a school music teacher? I was a Music Education major right up until my senior year.   It only took two days of student teaching for me to realize I was in the wrong place! Yikes! With the help of my professors—and a couple of extra special study classes—I graduated on time with a Bachelor of Music in Flute Performance. Then I headed to graduate school for a Master of Music in Flute Performance. And, before the real world called, I did post-grad work in voice performance. So now, naturally, I’m a romance writer. lol
  3. I still use my music. I’m the Assistant Director for the Greater Lake Area Chorale, a group of 60-70 volunteer musicians who perform two concert seasons a year. And every year since 2008, my mom (pianist), my sister (vocalist), a couple of other vocalists and I have given a concert to raise funds for local charities. This August will mark our ninth annual Evening With The Classics.
  4. LOTOWe live on beautiful Lake of the Ozarks. The Lake has more shoreline than California has coastline. We moved here because our parents all decided to retire here—and because Dan has been coming to this lake all his life (his first time on the water here was when his mother was pregnant with him).
  5. I’m a certified sailboat skipper. I have the training (and the papers) to pilot up to a 50’ sailboat. I didn’t grow up on the water, though. I took up sailing because my husband grew up on the water. I figured I needed to be able to get us to shore if he got conked on the head by the boom. I’ve been sailing in Florida and the Caribbean eight or nine times. After a sailboat, piloting our 25’ pontoon is a piece of cake.
  6. I’ve snorkeled with manta rays! This giant of the sea has a tip-to-tip wingspaMantan of up to 23’ and can weigh in at 4,400 lbs!  Just imagine:  you’re the only snorkeler on a dive boat after dark; once all the divers are in the water, you gear up and step off the back of the boat into the cold Pacific Ocean water; you surface and signal to the driver that you’re good to go, turn around—and come face to face with this!!! I promise I can spell hyperventilate now!
  7. You all know I’m a Cowboy Action Shooter by the name of Ozark Belle. What you might not realize is I’d never shot a gun until we took up the sport three years ago. (I don’t count firing my brother’s BB gun at the woodpecker who decided my bedroom window was a fine place to drill at four in the morning. Both shots missed.)
  8. I’ve got about a dozen states to go to visit all fifty. I’ve been to DC, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, too.
  9. IStBasilsCathedral spent 28 days with a college class exploring The Soviet Union when Brezhnev was in power. It’s an amazing country. Standing in a thousand year old chapel—it’s hard to describe what that’s like.
  10. Counting Russia, I’ve visited twelve countries besides the good old United States of America (thirteen if you count a layover in the airport in Helsinki, Finland). One of those was former East Germany. We worshipped in Thomaskirche, the Leipzig church where J.S. Bach and Felix Mendelssohn played. Way cool!

That’s about it, I think.  Thanks again for visiting with me. Happy Reading!

Tracy

Winner of Karen Kay’s Free E-book

bannerHowdy!

My hardy thanks to all of you who left a comment yesterday.  Love it!  And I loved hearing the things about you that I didn’t know.

Sometimes I pick two names by mistake.  That happened this time.  So I have two winners and they are:

Nancy Farrier & Eliza

Yea!  Congratulations to you both.  Please contact me personally at karenkay(dot)author(at)earthlink(dot)net.  These books come from my personal stock and so I’ll need to know what sort of e-reader you have.

Again, thanks to you all!

WINNERS OF CHARLENE’S 10 THINGS BLOG!!

Sands-Bachelor-300dpiCONGRATS TO CINDY W AND MELISSA C!!    YOU BOTH WILL BE GIFTED WITH AN EBOOK COPY OF BACHELOR FOR HIRE!  Simply email me at charlenesands@hotmail.com and tell me which you prefer the Kindle or Nook version and the email where the book should be sent!!

Thanks all for spending time with me this week and have a Happy Independence Day!

Charlene

 

 

10 Things You May Not Know About Me…Charlene Sands

Charlene-with-Books1.  I officially met my Now and Forever husband when I was sixteen.  He was the cliché high school sweetheart and the boy that lived around the corner. In fact, his number address was the same as ours.  But I really knew of him much earlier on as he and his brothers would often steal into our backyard to retrieve baseballs that went over the fence into our yard.  My dad caught him red-handed one day, “taking” an orange from our tree, age 10.

Charlene and Don
Charlene and Don

2.    Cats and kittens have always been a part of my life.  As a young girl, before it was politically correct to spay and neuter, two of our cats gave birth at the same time.  I was in kitten heaven having nine little fur balls to love!  And we were lucky enough to give all of them good homes.

Skittles 2
Skittles was my computer mascot.

 

3.    To me “math” is a four letter word.  Ugh, I’ll be eternally grateful to my sister Carol for getting me through torturous Algebra and Geometry…  Lucky for me history and English have more letters!

4.    I have read every book LaVyrle Spencer and Susan Elizabeth Phillips have written.  (I’m sure I’m not alone on this).

Susan Elizabeth Phillips

5.     My favorite motto:  Carpe Diem.   Seize the day, the moment, the opportunity and you’ll never look back with regret.

6.    I am addicted, I mean ADDICTED to Dancing With The Stars.  The show makes me absolutely happy.

DWTS Champion

7.     There is nothing I enjoy more than the value of a comfortable pair of shoes!  I am not a shopper and my feet don’t always cooperate in most shoes, so it’s like winning the lottery when I find a pair of shoes that are stylish AND comfortable!  I’m on the lookout now, as I’ll be attending the Romance Writers Convention soon and need comfy shoes for work and play!

8.    I’m a: The Glass is Half Full kind of girl.

9.   I own a Disney Musical Globe collection and wish they’d make more quality globes like they had in the past.  My favorite is Cinderella.

They dance, there's music and a clock that strikes 12 midnight!
They dance, there’s music and a clock that strikes 12 midnight!
Disney globes
Some of the collection:   Aladdin, Pocahontas, Tarzan and Beauty and the Beast

10.  I take after my father in that I love surprising people, giving goodies away and holding contests!    Post a comment here and I’ll be giving away 2 ebook copies to 2 bloggers today of Bachelor For Hire for your Kindle or Nook!   Simply share with me if we have any of the above in common?

 

Sands-Bachelor-300dpi       AMAZON

Ex-Army sergeant and security expert, Cody Matthews recently walked away from his company to work The Lucky B Ranch just outside of Marietta, Montana. The ranch is his refuge, but his hiding out is short-lived when he’s recruited into the Marietta Bachelor Auction and his high school ex-crush bids a small fortune to spend one weekend with him.

Hollywood starlet, Hayley Dawn O’Malley has had decent, honest, sexy Code Matthews on the brain ever since she left Marietta after high school to pursue her dreams. But now she’s back in town and someone is threatening her. Cody, a natural-born protector, is the only man she trusts to keep her safe.

Spending their weekend date in a remote cabin, Cody plays the role of reluctant bodyguard, yet Hayley isn’t going to let the tormented man deny his feelings for her, no matter the threat to her body or her heart.

The Bachelor Auction Returns
Book 1: Bachelor for Hire by Charlene Sands

 

 

10 Things That You Might Not Know About Me…Karen Kay

bannerHowdy!

In starting this blog, I’m afraid I might not be able to think of “10” fun facts that you might not know about me.  So please bear with me if you find these less than intriguing…

Oh, I’ll be giving away a free e-book of my recent book, BLACK EAGLE, to one of you who blog here today.  All rules for giveaways on our site apply.

Okay — here goes:

  1.  I love cats and dogs and have done so all of my life.  When I was in first grade I walked another girl in my class home because she was afraid of a dog.  She got home safely — the dog was merely curious, I think — and I got a spanking.  Ouch! midnight
  2. When I was very small, we had a dog who was mean.  He was always kept in a large cage outside.  But I wasn’t afraid of him, and I became the only person whom he would let pet him.dogs space 1
  3. When I was about 3 years old, I overheard my mom and dad talking about the new kitten litter and heard them agree that my dad should take them to the river and drown them.  The next day, before anyone was up, I took the kittens and hid them in a drawer in my bedroom.  The entire household was frantic trying to find the kittens until someone (I think my dad) noticed that I wasn’t concerned at all.  And so he followed me as I went to my room to see to the kittens, and my deed of hiding them in a drawer was discovered.  Needless to say those kittens were not drowned.page2f[1]
  4. My mom was a music teacher and I grew up loving music.  I play the piano and clarinet — a little bit of flute, also.  My mom used to get us kids up (there were 3 of us) to practice every day on each instrument — for 1/2 hour each before school.  She kept a clock on top of the piano to make sure we practiced an entire 1/2 hour.  I used to set that clock up about 5 minutes almost everyday.  : )  Not sure this was ever discovered, but it must’ve been cause the clock was always close to the right time.thumbnailCAE87P95
  5. Because of all this practice and my mom entering all three of us into contests, I got used to playing in competition.  My sister and I won 1st Superior on our clarinet solos and amazingly, in a time and place where almost no one from our town could win a 1st Superior on piano in Grade School, I managed to do it.  Went on to win a 1st on the piano at our State Contest in High School my senior year.
  6. The first story I ever wrote was a Science Fiction story for our English Class.  I won 2nd place, which surprised me.  It was the first time I’d ever considered that someone else might be interested in something that I’d written.
  7. Met my husband, Paul, on a blind date.  I hadn’t wanted to go on the date.  I’d only been recently divorced, had jumped into a bad relationship immediately, and had only just put that behind me, and I wasn’t wanting anything to do with relationships — especially a blind date.  But I went anyway.  Turned out to be the best decision I’ve ever made!14-smooch[1]
  8. My grandfather’s house didn’t have a bathroom.  It was the old style washbasin and pitcher in the bedroom arrangement.  In order to get to the outhouse, we had to go through the chicken coop.  : )  In writing BLACK EAGLE, I mention the heroine using a washbasin and pitcher in her room — and in writing that scene, I remembered when I had been required to do the same whenever we visited my grandfather.
  9. Probably one of the proudest moments of my life was when I was adopted into the Blackfeet Indian Tribe as an acknowledgement for work I’d done with them on literacy.  Not sure that anyone knew that my knees were shaking.page6.1311[1]

Okay, well that’s it for me.  How about you?  What are some fun things that you can tell me about yourself?

Ten Things You Might Not Know About Me—Margaret Brownley

MargaretBrownley-header

It’s time for some more silly Filly fun.

Filly Fun 2016 Design to use

  1. I collect teapots. This was not intentional, but I made the mistake of setting two teapots together on a shelf and people just assumed I collected them.  I now own more than 40 in all shapes and colors.  Whenever I throw a tea party, guests each get their own teapots.

Teapots1

2. I have more than 2000 research books in my library, which probably explains why I can never find the book I want.   

   office

3. I’m currently a Boy Scout Merit Badge counselor and have signed off on nearly 1000 badges.

4. In my other life I was a teacher.

5. I run a rescue shelter for Boston Ferns. Anyone having trouble with theirs knows to bring it to me.

IMG_0042

6. I flunked eighth grade English. I didn’t do all that great in history, either (All those dates and battles—ugh!). Since my head was always in the clouds, I was probably better prepared to be an astronaut than a writer of historical fiction.

7. I don’t sit on a chair when I write; I sit on a stability ball. These balls are great for building core strength but there is a drawback; A recent earthquake sent me flying.

chair

8. I’ve been to all fifty states. Alaska was the last state visited.  

9. I have six wonderful grandchildren. Other fillies claim to have the best grandchildren in the world, but that’s only because they haven’t met mine.

10. All my best ideas come at three a.m. My worst ideas come at three a.m, too.3

11. My office is Monet purple.  Purple is supposed to stimulate creativity.  I like to think that a messy office is the sign of an orderly mind. my office

12.  I can’t count.

Now it’s your turn: In what ways are you and I alike?

LeftattheAltarfinalcoverWelcome to Two-Time Texas:

Where tempers burn hot

Love runs deep

And a single marriage can unite a feuding town

…or tear it apart for good.

Amazon

B&N

 

FINDING INSPIRATION IN A MOUND

Encouragement from an unexpected source set Barbara Ankrum’s romance-author’s feet on a new path. Help us welcome Barbara to Wildflower Junction.

By Barbara Ankrum

Barbara Ankrum
Barbara Ankrum

For years, I resisted the temptation to write a romance with a Native American protagonist.  Frankly, I was scared to do it. I might get it wrong. Or, worse, insult someone! So I avoided it even though I longed to write one.

Then my daughter moved to Kansas.

On a visit, I took the grandkids to a cool little farmstead called Deanna Rose, and was surprised to find there a reproduction of a Kanza (tribe) mound lodge. From the outside, the mound looked like a tall, grass-covered hill with two tunnel-like doorways. Inside, it was a circular wood-braced lodge, 14’ high at the center with cottonwood tree trunk poles supporting the arched roof. Beds lined the walls all the way around the forty feet in diameter perimeter. In the center, a fire pit and a hole in the ceiling for smoke to escape.

indian mound 3The earthen walls were fourteen inches thick insulating the interior from the harsh Kansas summer sun. Outside, it was 3,000 degrees, (I jest—but it was Kansas in July!)  But inside that mound it was a cool 70-something and I lingered.

A Native American docent started to chat with me about the structure and I asked a bunch of questions. The mounds are scarce—almost non-existent now, because they were nearly all destroyed by the Army in the Indian Wars, set ablaze and collapsed.

indian mound 5When I admitted I write historical romance and secretly always wanted to write a Native American hero, but didn’t have the nerve, this woman looks at me and says, “Why not?” And I was like, “Well, because I’m not Native American. I might not do their story justice.” This sweet woman laughed. “But you see,” she said, “You’d be telling their story, a story that might not be heard otherwise. A story that might never have a voice. You must write it.”

I was dumbfounded but profoundly affected by her words.  Maybe I just needed a new perspective. If I did my best with it and gave it my heart and told the story that was calling me, then it might be enough. After all, isn’t that what writers do?

indian mound 4This woman’s off-handed encouragement was the jumping off point for THE RUINATION OF ESSIE SPARKS. Set Montana, my hero is a half-breed Cheyenne (okay, so I dipped my toe in!) and my heroine is a white schoolteacher he accidentally kidnaps and drags into the wilds of the Montana Mountains. It’s set in the post-Indian War devastation of the far West tribes and the systematic removal of the Native American children to white-run boarding schools.

And it turned out Essie was brave and maybe a little inspired by that docent’s words, too. When I got a really nice review from a Native American reader thanking me for not backing off the true story of the boarding schools, I could only smile and secretly thank that woman from Deana Rose.

Essie SparksYou never know where encouragement will come from. You never know how your words will affect someone else. And you never know what you can do until you try.

I hope you’ll give THE RUINATION OF ESSIE SPARKS a read. Maybe it will inspire you to be brave about something in your own life.  I think if we just remember that we bring our own heart to the things we do, we bring something to the table that no one else possibly could. And that’s more than enough.

Find The Ruination of Essie Sparks and Barbara’s other books at Amazon.

 

What is it you’d love to try, but have held back doing? Tell me and I will give away one e-copy of THE RUINATION OF ESSIE SPARKS to one lucky commenter.

We Have a Winner for Karen Kay’s free E-Book Give-away

bannerHowdy!

And yes, we have a winner for the free e-book of LONE ARROW’S PRIDE and that winner is :

 

Marilyn Brown

 

Congratulations to Marilyn!  Marilyn, please contact me privately at karenkay(dot)author(at)earthlink(dot)net.  I’ll need to know what e-reader you have in order to get your book to you.

Many, many thanks to all of you who came to the blog on Tuesday.  I loved talking with you all.