Damian De La Rosa is the hero I have received the most messages about. Each asking if he was getting his own book.
Best of all it’s a Christmas story. Finding the perfect partner for him was a challenge, because he was not an easy person to get to know. But Lexy Zapata pushed right past those walls and made him happy she did….
Can one Christmas change everything?
Driven to get her sister and baby niece out of a dangerous situation, Lexy Zapata brings them with her to her new job near Damian De La Rosa’s family’s ranch. Now they can stay hidden through the holidays while Lexy plans their next move. But when she starts to fall for Damian, can his ranch become her family’s safe haven for good?
From Harlequin Love Inspired: Uplifting stories of faith, forgiveness and hope.
I thank my parents for raising me as a horse loving Texas Hill Country girl. Nine Thanksgiving ago my sisters and I lost my mother. We lost our father nineteen years ago. They loved family and every holiday, plus some we were making the rounds to visit loved ones. We were shown through example that family matters.
A few years ago my sisters and I started a new tradition for Thanksgiving. We rented a cabin by the Frio River in Leakey, Texas. (our parents married in Leakey) A cousin from my family and a cousin from my brother-in-law’s joined in and we stay for four days.
The rest of my mother’s family, including her mother, join us. We bounce between 30 to 50 people on Thursday. In a world that moves fast and people spend more time looking down at a screen than into the face of real people, personal connections with extended family gives us roots and a healthier life. As humans, the need for relationships with others and nature is built into our DNA. To me Thanksgiving is not about the food…it’s the people and getting away from the rush of daily life.
These old trees make me think of how time moves and the world changes, but God is constant. We come and go but the world keeps turning. I love to take time and enjoy the peace these trees give me.
Play some games! How to have fun at a Texas Hill Country Thanksgiving.
My Grandmother and seven (of ten)of her great-grandchildren from her oldest child, my mother, Cindy French Guinther. She has a total of thirty great-grandchildren.
Since we are on a Texas Hill Country ranch we have to include a Longhorn.
Even thought we had rain we had fun. You have to set your mind to it sometimes but it can always be found. Play in the Rain!
Play in the Rain! Life is too short to wait around for the right time. Give thanks for the rain and the sun, the wind and the opportunity to experience it all.
Below is a link to a blog I wrote for the Craftie Ladies of Romance. What are the three things you need for a successful year? What about embracing failure, creating community and resilience? Hit the link below and read more about it.
Wow – Looking back on the year and finding my highlights I was amazed at the wonderful people that have been brought into my life. Some long term and had no choice, family is family, others have come in and guided me and came with so much love I have a hard time believing it. Thank you.
Generations of my family have been born and raised in the Texas Hill Country and now I write about fictional characters that live in the same beautiful county.
Some people have an image of Texas as a giant state of flat lands with tumble weeds and golden grass. There are parts of Texas that would resemble that stereotype there are more places that bust it.
In my books the sun is often raising or setting over the hills of Texas. I love the area of Frio Canyon, where the head waters of the Frio River can be found. Garner State park is nestled in this area between Kerrville Texas and Uvalde, north of San Antonio and south of Austin. It’s my favorite piece of earth.
This Thanksgiving some extended family along with my husband and kids with be renting a cabin in in the woods by the river to celebrate our blessings. We won’t be the only ones.
You can’t talk Texas Hill Country without at least one picture of cowboys. Not everyone owns a hat or rides a horse, but the ones that do are fun to watch.
Do you have a favorite place on earth and do you have the pleasure of living there or just dream about living there?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
It’s spring time, so here in the Texas Hill Country the wildflowers are blooming. Our most famous flower is the beautiful Bluebonnet.
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.
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.
Just for fun I’ll throw in a bit of NFL action.
So are you more of a flower fairy or a football fan?
I am taking on the Blogging A to Z April challenge. http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com. My theme is thing that bring me joy and happiness. One of my favorite heroes to write about is cowboys. Salt of the earth, a little rough around the edges, hard working, kind and a throw in a bit of crazy.
If you know me at all you know how much I admire Hugh Jackman.
Sigh…What was I saying? Oh, yes. A couple of my friends are dedicated to Chris Hemsworth, so they were doing Thorsday every Thursday.
I thought that was clever of them and it got me to thinking about my little crush on Hugh.
So I started Hughday. Fun, right?
Sometimes we need just a little bit of inspiration.
As a romance writer I have to research the perfect image for my heroes. Yes, it is a tough job, looking for just that right male for your next story. The face that will spark the inner conflict that will drive your plot and keep your readers turning pages. It is serous business…it is.
Well, Sunday night Mathew McConaughey, Texas Son with the smoothest voice, won Best Actor.
Now I’m on the hunt for the right word…Matthewday? uh….McConauday? …maybe Matthew McConaughey Monday? or just Alright, alright alright…Monday. That’s a mouth full.
What do you think? Matthew’s day might end up being a temporary one…I mean he IS up against Hughday, Thorsday and Freday. Freday? you ask…For those of you new, I picked the perfect day to honor my real life perfect hero. Fred Navarro – Freday – perfect, right?
So Please let me know what you think about McConauday? Maybe you have something better? Some in my house think this post was just an excuse to play with these pictures. Really?
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,
When for earth too fancy-loose,
And too low for heaven.
I sleep, and talk my dream aloud,
I build it fair to see—
I build it on the moonlit cloud,
To which I looked with thee.
Cloud-walls of the morning’s grey,
Faced with amber column,
Crowned with crimson cupola
From a sunset solemn—
For casements, from the valley fetch
With a sunbeam hid in each,
And a smell of spring.
Build the entrance high and proud,
Darkening and eke brightening,
Of a riven thunder-cloud
Veinëd with the lightning.
Use one with an iris-stain
For the door within,
Turning to a sound like rain
As we enter in.
For the fair hall reached thereby
Walled with cloudy whiteness, Take the blue place in the sky,
Wind-worked into brightness—
Whence corridores and long degrees
Of cloud-stairs wind away—
Till children wish upon their knees,
They walkëd where they pray.
Be my chamber tapestried
With the showers of summer,
Close and silent, glorified
When the sunbeams come there—
Sudden harpers, harping on
Every drop as such,—
Drawing colours like a tune,
Measured to the touch.
Bring a shadow green and still
From the chesnut forest—
Bring a purple from the hill
When the heat is sorest,—
Spread them out from wall to wall,
Carpet-wove around; And thereupon the foot shall fall
In light instead of sound.
Bring a grey cloud from the east
Where the lark was singing—
Something of the song at least
Lost not in the bringing,—
And that shall be a morning chair
For poet-dreams,—when with them
No verse constraint—the floating air
Their only, lovely rhythm.
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;
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.
Hall, corridore, and column proud—
My chamber fair to see—
All pass—except that moonlit cloud
To which I looked with thee.
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,
Here in my soul—that moonlit cloud,
To which I looked with thee.