Friday, March 12, 2010

Nacogdoches, Blueberries, and Texas Blue

My newest historical romance, Texas Blue, is set in 1880 Nacogdoches, Texas. I had created a young woman who lived in isolation deep in the Piney Woods of East Texas. She became Marilee Weston, the heroine of the novel, and my plot included a hero, Buck Cameron, who found and rescued her. She allowed him to transport her and her small daughter by horseback to his hometown, Nacogdoches.

The entire story takes place there, in the “Oldest Town in Texas,” named for the Caddo family of Indians who once lived in the area. In 1716, Spain established a mission in the Caddo settlement. By 1779, Nacogdoches had become a “pueblo” or town, with the central point of present-day downtown as an intersection of El Camino Real and El Calle del Norte. The town became the eastern gateway to Texas.

Mr. Partain from the Nacogdoches Chamber of Commerce gave me a link to photos of Old Nacogdoches. When I saw the first one, chills of excitement ran down my spine--there was my created old town! Also, I found a photo of a lovely white church. Again, a white church plays a big role in the story. I couldn’t have imagined it any better.  

Why did I choose Nacogdoches? Because I planned on writing more books about the Camerons, and members of the family would migrate across the state. How would my future characters find their way? By traveling along the Old San Antonio Road, or El Camino Real, The King’s Highway. One branch of the old road is today’s State Highway 21, which runs through Nacogdoches to San Marcos.

The “blue” in the title, Texas Blue, comes from the sky-blue eyes of Marilee and her little daughter, the Texas bluebonnet, and Texas’ famous bright-blue skies. And now I’ve learned Nacogdoches is also famous for…what else? Blueberries! In June, Nacogdoches hosts the Texas Blueberry Festival. What a great tie-in to the title of the novel!
 A friend gave me a recipe some time ago for a blueberry dessert. I’m sure you can find many ways to use the delicious berry, but I promise you’ll love this one.


Combine: 1 ¼ cup graham cracker crumbs; ¼ cup sugar; 6 tablespoons melted butter. Press all but ¼ cup crumb mixture in an 8-inch-square baking dish.

Mix: ½ cup sugar; 1 envelope unflavored gelatin; and ½ cup cold water in a saucepan. Heat on low and stir until gelatin and sugar dissolve. Remove from heat.

Combine: 1 cup dairy sour cream; 1 8-ounce carton blueberry yogurt; and ½ teaspoon vanilla. Blend into the gelatin mixture. Chill until partially set.

Whip: ½ cup whipping cream. Fold into yogurt mixture. Stir in 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries.

Pour into crust. Sprinkle reserved crumbs on top and chill until set.

I thank Mr. Bruce Partain, President and CEO of the Nacogdoches County Chamber of Commerce for the links, for providing information about the past, and permission to use the festival logo.

Thank you for visiting!
Celia Yeary
Romance…and a little bit o' Texas

TEXAS BLUE-eBook and Print
Published by: The Wild Rose Press


  1. Celia, I love old churches. There's just something about them that catches my eye. So glad things rolled together so well for your story. Of course, now I want to visit Nagodoches!

    I haven't been a big blueberry fan but that sounds delicious and I know they're high in antioxidants.

    So it Texas Blue the start of a sequel or with the rest of the family have separate stories?

  2. Celia,

    I love Nacogdoches, but I just learned something new. I had no idea blueberries grew there. I set my books in Texas, including the two out this year--OUT OF THE BLUE and THE TEXAN'S IRISH BRIDE. And I love series, so I'm looking forward to learning about the Cameron family. I can hardly wait to read TEXAS BLUE!

    Continued success in your writing!

  3. LORAINE--East Texas is a big producer of blueberries. they're smaller than the Maine blueberries, though. There are two more Texas books, first one coming in September, the next in April of 2010. "The Camerons Sisters"--Book one is Texas Promise (Jo's story), and Texas True )True's story.(Published by Desert Breze.) These are daughters of the hero, Buck, and the heroine, Marilee in Texas Blue. Thanks for visiting. Celia

  4. Thumbs up to the Blueberry Festival! I love blueberries. I can't wait to try your receipe, Celia.

    It's also very interesting to learn about Nocogdoches. It sounds like it really captures the feel of the old West. Thanks for sharing with us, Celia.


  5. Ooops. That's April 2011 for Texas True. Celia

  6. Yum. I love blueberries. I could sit down and eat my weight in them, especially the plump juicy ones.

    Another fine post about Texas, Miz Celia. Enjoyed it!

    By the way, I have a manuscript in the doldrums named MANCINI BLUE about a painter. I need to ressurect it one of these days.

  7. CAROLINE--I remember you write Texas romances, too! I've thought of creating a group blog for a few of us Texas and Oklahoma authors--I'd call it "Red River Romance"--but I'm already doing too many blogs! I love series, too, and I was fortunate that Desert Breeze gave me a two-book contract. Yea! Thanks for stopping by--Celia

  8. Thanks, Steph. Nacogdoches is in a beautiful part of the state, too--the Piney Woods--the size of Rhode Island. Everyone loves blueberries. I especially love blueberry pancakes. Celia

  9. MAGGIE--that has a great sound--Mancini Blue. You definitely should finish it just so you can use that wonderful title.Thanks for stopping by--Celia

  10. Hi Celia,
    Finally made it over and it was worth the trip as always. I really want to visit Texas and feel some of what is inspiring your great stories. And the blueberry recipe sounds yummy. Best wishes on the coming releases.

  11. REBECCA--thanks for the compliment. When the Texas blueberries hit the stores, I'll make this dessert--can't wait. Celia

  12. Celia, I love the idea of a blog for us Texas and Oklahoma writers! Red River Romance sounds great, except the Wichita Falls chapter uses that for their contest and conference. Hmm, Romance on the Red, Red River Writers, Cowboy Romance? All we need is to choose a name and find a dum...., er, um, I mean a really astounding author to act as moderator/owner.


  13. CAROLINE--hahaha! Shoot--I loved that title. I just got out of a group as moderator--maybe this is not such a good idea after all! P.S. Parker County cemeteries are filled with my ancestors! Celia

  14. I like my blueberries, plain, one cup at a time. Whenever they're on sale, I stock up and enjoy!

  15. You just can't get much better than a ripe blueberry!!!
    We're working on confirming all the events for the Texas Blueberry Festival right now, making plans for this year's event, June 12 in Nacogdoches. Please keep up by visiting and you'll find the Texas Blueberry Festival link there on the left side of the main page.
    Nacogdoches County is the #1 blueberry producing county in the state! We love 'em!

    -Kelly Daniel

  16. LIANA--I don't think you can eat anything as nutritious as a blueberry--Celia

  17. KELLY--thank you for the comment! Yes, I'll keep up--I have the link--and I really hope we can get over there in June. I'd love to have some freshly-picked blueberries. Celia

  18. Celia, I always enjoy reading anything about Texas, It personifies the Wild West and cowboys for me. And your descriptions are so graphic I can always "see" them. And would you please give me the phonetic pronounciation for Nacigdicges. In my mind call it nock-a-doe-shus and I'll bet that's waaaaaay off.
    I'll be eager to read the Cameron Sisters' continuation of the saga.

  19. Hey, I don't know what happened here. That's Nacogdoches. Where did they weird spelling come from????

  20. LINDA--you make me laugh. NO ONE can spell Nacogdoches except me! And the people who live there. Phonetically, it's--Naa-cah-doh-chez. That's the Texas version. Naa--long "a." It's a Caddo Indian word.
    I hope to get over there in June for the festival. The town is filled with historical monuments and places, too, and especially historical homes. Celia

  21. Great reasons for choosing your title. I've never heard of Nacogdoches. Fascinating history.

    And that recipe - I wasn't feeling hungry until I got to it!

    Morgan Mandel

  22. Celia,
    How wonderful - I loved reading how everything is connected with your setting. And I didn't know that about why you used blue in the title. Everything you chose was definitely meant to be - pretty neat.

    Thank you for the blueberry recipe.

    I'm on chapter five and I love Texas Blue. The characters are wonderful.

  23. MORGAN--I love interesting, old towns. I'm glad you liked it. Yeah, that dessert--very, very good. Celia

  24. DIANE--Thanks for the good word on Texas Blue. My husband is sitting in the quiet living room right now, deeply engrossed in it. He's very complimentary, buys his own book, and has me autorgraph it--that makes, two now.
    All the "blues" just hit me--especially when I learned about the blueberry festival. That county is the biggest Texas blueberry producer in the state.
    Thanks for visiting--Celia

  25. The book and setting sound very interesting. AND I never would have imagined blueberries growing in Texas. I though they were only in the cooler states. Oh, and the recipe sounds fabulous!

    Also: I awarded your blog with the Sunshine Award.

    According to the guidelines, now that I picked your blog you need to:
    Put the logo on your blog in a post.
    Pass the award onto 12 bloggers.
    Link the nominees within this post.
    Let the nominees know they have received this award by commenting on their blogs.
    Share the love and link to the person from whom you received this award.


  26. THANK you, Laurie! How sweet! Texas blueberries are a little smaller and sweeter. They make wonderful blueberry pancakes. Celia

  27. Celia - I love the insights on why you chose Nacogdoches for your books. And a recipe? How cool. I like your blog thinking...
    Now, guess whose book I'm curling up with tomorrow for a rainy spring break reading day? Yep, your very own Texas Blue. Love ya, Celia!

  28. Thank you, Nikki! I love you, too. Keep writing those great, funny, witty Middle grade books! Celia