The Heart of Small Towns: Book Signing at Bergmann Lumber

Join me Saturday August 2  11:00 at Bergmann Lumber for the book signing of my second book, Lone Star Hero.

Walking down Main Street in my hometown of Boerne, Texas is one of my favorite things to do on a beautiful Hill Country day. I love life in a small town. People know people. They know your grandmother, your cousins and your children. People have long memories and will talk about people and days gone by at a drop of a hat.

Main Street Boerne Texas, Bergmann Lumber. Family owned for three generations.  Taken by Jolene Navarro
Main Street Boerne Texas, Bergmann Lumber. Family owned for three generations. Taken by Jolene Navarro

You have a history. You’re part of a story. You belong.

I also love writing about it. I have created a fictional town called Clear Water, Texas.  With less than 400 people in this town it would be consider small by anyone’s standards.  Generations of ranchers, workers and business owners share a common history, good, bad and sometimes ugly. Preschooler to twelfth graders are on the same school campus. Community is strong. Not a great deal has changed there over the years. And yes it has a great deal in common with the town of Leakey Texas where my parents, grandparents and great grandparents have strong roots.

In my second story with Harlequin’s Love Inspired Line, Vickie Lawson comes home after her dreams are shattered. She is looking to rebuild a solid future in her old town for her kids. Her childhood sweetheart, Jake Torres, challenges her resolve to stay clear of all men.

Lone Star Hero by Jolene Navarro. August 1 2014

It it easy to fuse fiction and fact.  In my fictional stories of Clear Water Texas there is a hardware store on Main Street, called Bergmann Lumber.  Just like my made up business, the real one in Boerne is a family owned businesses that has survived the big box stores. When other mom and pop shops have closed and moved on, the Bergmanns has found a way to redefine themselves and keep the charm of small town alive on our Main Street in Boerne.
In honor of Texas small towns and family I encourage you to take the time to shop small, it can make a big difference in our communities.

I’m proud to announce my second book signing at Bergamnn Lumber, the real one.

I will be signing copies of Lone Star Hero on Main Street in Boerne at Bergmann Lumber August 2 from 11:00 am until 2:00pm.

Family owned lumber and home décor for three generations. Bergmann Lumber on Boerne Main Street.

Main Street Boerne Texas, Bergmann Lumber

The two story limestone building is a historical site and owned by the same family for three generations. Randy Bergmann and his daughters have managed to reinvent their store front and focus on customer service.

 

Goodreads Giveaway for Lone Star Hero and Excerpt

Goodreads Giveaway for Lone Star Hero

Over on Goodreads I’m giving away early copies of my August release Lone Star Hero. One click away to entering for the giveaway. You can also pr-order and receive the book July 15 or download ebook on August 1st. Just click on the book cover in the sidebar.

Here is an excerpt from Lone Star Hero.

“Jake, it’s our song!”

His brows shot up in question. “I didn’t know we had a song.”

Hands on her hips, Vickie shook her head at his cluelessness. “As chair of the prom committee, I selected the song for king-and-queen dance. I knew we had received the most votes. ” A sad smile formed. “I picked it for us.”

His forehead wrinkled. You danced it with Tommy.”

“Cause you never showed up.” She pointed the spatula at him. “You had the most votes. You were voted king. Because you weren’t there I had to dance with Tommy.” Arms crossed she turned her back to him.

She felt the warmth of his presence as he moved closer to her.

“We could dance it now.” His voice low.

She looked over her shoulder. The half grin eased the hardness of his face and the pain in her chest.

“Miss Victoria Lawson, may I have this dance?”

She turned toward him. He stood so gallant, hand out  to her waiting. One heartbeat, two, she hesitated.

Lone Star Hero by Jolene Navarro. August 1 2014
Lone Star Hero by Jolene Navarro. August 1 2014

 

Cover reveal for Lone Star Hero, release date August 1

So excited to share the beautiful cover for book two – Lone Star Hero.  I will be announcing more details and book signings in the next few weeks.  Maybe even a deleted chapter, for now here is a small snippet.

Vickie rested her head on the horse’s forelock and rubbed her jaw. “God, I know I’m struggling with following Your will. I need Your strength. What should I do?” She wrapped her arm around Charm’s neck and cried. – From Lone Star Hero. Official release date is August 1 (I might be able to get it to you sooner, but shhhh don’t tell) – Jolene Navarro

 

Lone Star Hero by Jolene Navarro. August 1 2014
Lone Star Hero by Jolene Navarro. August 1 2014

 

F is for Flowers or Football?

The Bluebonnet is the most famous of the all the Texas wildflowers
The Bluebonnet is the most famous of the all the Texas wildflowers

It’s spring time, so here in the Texas Hill Country the wildflowers are blooming. Our most famous flower is the beautiful Bluebonnet.

Blooms at the old homestead at the VanPelt Ranch in Con Can Texas
Blooms at the old homestead at the VanPelt Ranch in Con Can Texas
Bluebonnets in Boerne
Bluebonnets in Boerne

Texas wildflowers are hardy, strong and independent, while maintaining their natural beauty. The people of Texas share many of the traits.
Another of my favorites ways to spend time is watching football. Yes my husband coaches it and my boys play it. My daughters truly enjoyed their time playing power-puff football

Storm's Sr. year - on the line. Ended the game as MVP.
Storm’s Sr. year – on the line. Ended the game as MVP.
.

This year was my oldest son’s last year to play, my youngest has at least two more years. So I still have a bit of drama, conflict and excitement for a few future Friday nights.

Friday Night Lights in Texas means High School Football
Friday Night Lights in Texas means High School Football
Tate Navarro Defending the line
Tate Navarro Defending the line

Just for fun I’ll throw in a bit of NFL action.

Julius Thomas running with the ball.
Julius Thomas running with the ball.

So are you more of a flower fairy or a football fan?

B is for Bergmann Lumber in Beautiful Boerne Texas

From weddings to Homecoming pep rallies, Art & Craft fairs  to live German music it is the heart of our Main Street - Taken by Jolene Navarro
From weddings to Homecoming pep rallies, Art & Craft fairs to live German music it is the heart of our Main Street – Taken by Jolene Navarro

Living is Boerne is a little slice of apple pie with a bit of cheesecake on the side. Over the years it has more than doubled in size, but still has that hometown, main street American feeling.

One of the best things about this Hill Country town is places Like Bergmann Lumber that will help out a friend by keeping her book on their shelves. So if you need a copy of Lone Star Holiday you can stop by and pick one up while your buying those tools and nails.

I want to Congratulate Bergmann Lumber Company on being awarded today the Texas Treasure Business Award!!! Family owned and operated since 1957.

Main Street Boerne Texas, Bergmann Lumber. Family owned for three generations.  Taken by Jolene Navarro
Main Street Boerne Texas, Bergmann Lumber. Family owned for three generations. Taken by Jolene Navarro
Early evening over Boerne Texas Main Street. during Dickens On Main Taken by Jolene Navarro
Early evening over Boerne Texas Main Street. during Dickens On Main Taken by Jolene Navarro

Do you have a favorite event or place in Boerne. Maybe you have your own favorite small town?

Celebrating the Sunrise and Sunset

In the sky I see my smallness and my greatness. The knowledge that the world spins, seasons come and go and each day will have a new beginning and an end comforts me in it routine. Great things will happen and I will celebrate; bad things will happen and I will survive. The mysteries of life are in God’s hands and I’m just to do the best I can.
My father loved and savored the daily events of a sunrise and sunset. I’ve been known to make my family stop so I can take a picture and for a moment think of the permanent change that is our life. Add your favorite sky picture you have taken.

Here are a few of my pictures along with a poem by Elizabeth Barrett Browning

THE HOUSE OF CLOUDS. 1841

I would build a cloudy house
For my thoughts to live in,

Castroville Texas, the reflection of the sunset over the football game.
Castroville Texas, the reflection of the sunset over the football game.

When for earth too fancy-loose,
And too low for heaven.

Sunset in Texas Hill Country
Sunset in Texas Hill Country

I sleep, and talk my dream aloud,
I build it fair to see—

Boerne Texas Sunset - by Wade Beard
Boerne Texas Sunset – by Wade Beard

I build it on the moonlit cloud,
To which I looked with thee.

Sunset over New Orleans off the Mississippi River
Sunset over New Orleans off the Mississippi River

Cloud-walls of the morning’s grey,
Faced with amber column,

Sunset over Texas Hill Country on the road to Leakey Texas from Bandrea Texas
Sunset over Texas Hill Country on the road to Leakey Texas from Bandrea Texas

Crowned with crimson cupola
From a sunset solemn—

Sunset on the road to Leakey Texas
Sunset on the road to Leakey Texas

For casements, from the valley fetch
May-mists glimmering,—

Early morning back road in Boerne Texas taken by Brandi Quinn
Early morning back road in Boerne Texas taken by Brandi Quinn

With a sunbeam hid in each,
And a smell of spring.

Sunset from my driveway in Texas Hill Country
Sunset from my driveway in Texas Hill Country

Build the entrance high and proud,
Darkening and eke brightening,

Sun rise in Galveston Texas.
Sun rise in Galveston Texas.

Of a riven thunder-cloud
Veinëd with the lightning.

Sun rise ans storms in Galveston
Sun rise ans storms in Galveston

Use one with an iris-stain
For the door within,
Turning to a sound like rain
As we enter in.

Sunset over Hondo Texas
Sunset over Hondo Texas

For the fair hall reached thereby
Walled with cloudy whiteness, Take the blue place in the sky,
Wind-worked into brightness—

Sunset Port Aransas
Sunset Port Aransas

Whence corridores and long degrees
Of cloud-stairs wind away—

Sunset over Castroville during at a high school football game.
Sunset over Castroville during at a high school football game.

Till children wish upon their knees,
They walkëd where they pray.

Early evening over Boerne Texas Main Street. during Dickens On Main
Early evening over Boerne Texas Main Street. during Dickens On Main

Be my chamber tapestried
With the showers of summer,

From my driveway as I arrive home - Texas Hill Country
From my driveway as I arrive home – Texas Hill Country

Close and silent, glorified
When the sunbeams come there—

Sudden harpers, harping on
Every drop as such,—

Early evening over Boerne Texas Main Street. during Dickens On Main
Early evening over Boerne Texas Main Street. during Dickens On Main

Drawing colours like a tune,
Measured to the touch.

Bring a shadow green and still
From the chesnut forest—

On the Mississippi heading into New Orleans
On the Mississippi heading into New Orleans

Bring a purple from the hill
When the heat is sorest,—

Texas Hill Country Sunset from my driveway
Texas Hill Country Sunset from my driveway

Spread them out from wall to wall,
Carpet-wove around;    And thereupon the foot shall fall
In light instead of sound.

Sun rise, from my balcony in Galveston Texas -
Sun rise, from my balcony in Galveston Texas –

Bring a grey cloud from the east
Where the lark was singing—

Clouds and storms trying to block the sun as it climbs into the sky over Galveston, Texas
Clouds and storms trying to block the sun as it climbs into the sky over Galveston, Texas

Something of the song at least
Lost not in the bringing,—

Slow rise over Galveston, Texas
Slow rise over Galveston, Texas

And that shall be a morning chair
For poet-dreams,—when with them
No verse constraint—the floating air
Their only, lovely rhythm.

Te sun rising as I leave for work - leaving the Texas Hill Country and heading to San Antonio
Te sun rising as I leave for work – leaving the Texas Hill Country and heading to San Antonio

Bring the red cloud from the sun—
While he sinketh, catch it,—
Bring it for a couch, with one
Side-long star to watch it—

Fit for a poet’s finest thought,
At curfew time, to lean;

Peaceful morning on my balcony in Galveston Texas
Peaceful morning on my balcony in Galveston Texas

When things invisible are brought
More near him than the seen.     Poet’s thought, not poet’s sigh!—
Alas! they come together!

Cloudy walls divide and fly
As if in April weather.

Castroville Texas, the reflection of the sunset over the football game.
Castroville Texas, the reflection of the sunset over the football game.

Hall, corridore, and column proud—
My chamber fair to see—
All pass—except that moonlit cloud
To which I looked with thee.

Night on the porch as the moon slips across the sky
Night on the porch as the moon slips across the sky

Let them!– Wipe such visionings
From the fancy’s cartel;
Love secures some frailest things,
Dowered with his immortal.

Suns, moons may darken—heaven be bowed,—
But here unchanged shall be,

Walking into Jackson Square late at night.
Walking into Jackson Square late at night.

Here in my soul—that moonlit cloud,
To which I looked with thee.

Show us you best sky picture. Always looking up!

Small business, big heart and my debut book signing.

I love life in a small town. People know people. They know your grandmother, your cousin and your children. You belong. You have a history. You’re part of a story.
The draw back? People remember you as a teenager, and they really know your family members.

The hills between Boerne and Leakey Texas
The hills between Boerne and Leakey Texas

There are different levels of small towns. Places like Leakey, Texas with less than 400 people is what I consider small. It is also the kind of town I love writing about, generations of ranchers and business owners. Kindergarteners to twelfth graders are on the same school campus. Community is strong. Not a great deal has changed there over the years.

My first Clear Water Book.
My first Clear Water Book.

Then you have small towns like Boerne, Texas. When I started school here in 1979, there was one high school, one middle school and two elementaries. No chain restaurant or fast food. The grocery store and pharmacy were owned by local families. About 4,000 people called it home, and you could still hear people speaking German. Boerne is going through growing pains. North of San Antonio, people love the Main street feel of small town with the convenience of the big city.
You don’t see as many family owned businesses, for the sake of convenience the big box stores have staked a claim forcing the mom and pop shops to close or redefine themselves.
I write small town stories. Lone Star Holiday takes place in a small town on the Frio River. Rumor has it the population is 400 if you count the horses.
In honor of Texas small towns and family I’m proud to announce my first book signing for Lone Star Holiday. It will be on Main Street in Boerne at Bergmann Lumber on October 19th. Yes, I’m having a book signing at a hardware store. They are one of the few family owned businesses that have found a way to survive the shift in Boerne’s population and demographics.

Main Street Boerne Texas, Bergmann Lumber
Main Street Boerne Texas, Bergmann Lumber
Family owned lumber and home décor for three generations. Bergmann Lumber on Boerne Main Street.
Family owned lumber and home décor for three generations. Bergmann Lumber on Boerne Main Street.

The two story limestone building is a historical site and owned by the same family for three generations. Randy Bergmann and his daughters have managed to reinvent their store front and focus on customer service.

So if you want to buy a story about small town, family and faith come by Bergmann Lumber on Main Street in Boerne, Texas. You can also support small businesses. Do some early Christmas shopping.http://www.bergmannlumber.com/
Book Signing Saturday October 19th from 1:00 to 3:00 pm.

Small towns across Texas gather on Friday night for The Flags and some football.
Small towns across Texas gather on Friday night for The Flags and some football.