Wednesday, November 30, 2011


"Sweet Sunshine Charity Cookbook" is now available on AMAZON.

Fifteen authors have not only contributed recipes for the Cookbook, each one has written a "cooking memory" with someone she loved. I wrote about making biscuits as a little girl with my Grandmother. She cooked on a big kerosene stove and of course, made everything from scratch. She tolerated my "helping." Some of us also wrote a children's story—mine is titled "Making Mud Pies for Mommy."
Each author also has added two childhood photos.
I love those photos!
Betty Dravis, Celia Yeary, Diane Craver, Melinda Clayton, K. G. Summers, Joselyn Vaughn, Diana Castilleja, Danielle Thorne, Ruth J. Hartman, Maggie Toussaint, Jennifer Shirk, Adelle Laudan, Katharina Gerlach, Stacy Dawn, Sharon Sullivan-Craver, Gemma Halliday.
The Cookbook is illustrated and the cover is fantastic.
It also contains coloring pages for children,
in addition to some very good recipes.
If you would like to add another charity to your list, I invite you to order one of these cookbooks—or more if you like!
Below are:
The Cookbook is now live on Amazon. The cost is $14.95.
The editor and producer of the Cookbook, Adelle Laudan, created an intro page on her website for an overview and examples of stories and photos.
 The charity is The Sunshine Foundation of Canada

 Celia Yeary-Romance...and a little bit 'o Texas

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Linda LaRoque and her novel A Marshal of Her Own

A Little History on the Feed sack
Life on the prairie for women in the 1800s was hard. Fabric was scarce so every available piece of cloth was used until it fell apart. When the backs of skirts wore out, the panel was either turned around, or the piece was cut out. Sometimes the garment was cut down to make a garment for one of the children. Material was never thrown away, but recycled until it could only be used for cleaning rags.
Until around the 1840s foodstuffs, as well as animal feed, were packed in boxes, barrels, and crates which made it hard for a farmer without a wagon to get from the store to home. When the sewing machine was invented, double lock stitching made it possible to sew fabric secure enough to keep from spilling. Bags of flour, feed, etc. could be loaded on a horse.
The first feed sacks were made of heavy white canvas printed with the name of the flour or other product. The farmer could bring empty bags back to be refilled. When mills in America began producing inexpensive cotton fabrics in the later 1800s, these cheaper fabrics were used.
Not as durable, they weren’t refillable so women used them for quilt pieces and to make dish towels, curtains, pillowcases, sheets, and other items for the home. The manufacturer’s name was stamped on the sack in vegetable dye so the homemaker could remove it, often a difficult chore, and return it to pristine whiteness. Humorous stories about garments made with the stamp remaining abound.
In 1925 manufacturers began to realize how popular these sacks were to women and started to compete to have the most desirable patterns and colors. Here is a picture of a print representing Gone With the Wind.
Soon pattern makers were creating patterns, even evening wear, specifically for feed sacks.
The Woman - August 1953 Cover: Olga Nicholas, photographed by Dirone Studios, wears a feed-bag formal and matching stole., McCall's pattern #9121. Jewelry by Trifari.
Women often gathered to trade pieces so they’d have enough for a dress or the quilt they were piecing. Imagine how valuable they were to homemakers during the depression. It was hard enough to manage to provide food, fabric was an extravagance.
My cousins and I loved the feed sack dresses our Aunt Jewell made for us. Grandma Riley saved the sacks until there was enough for a dress. There was one in particular I’ll never forget. It was a floral pattern with muted oranges and yellow, like a watercolor. The skirt was full and of course I wore a petticoat or two underneath. I have a picture but it isn’t in color and not sharp enough to post.
How about you? Did you ever wear feed sack dresses? If so, tell us about your favorite one. Feed sacks are in vogue again. Maybe you’re a crafter and enjoy making items to show off their unique characteristics.
A Marshal of Her Own – Blurb and Excerpt
Despite rumors of “strange doings” at a cabin in Fredericksburg, investigative reporter Dessa Wade books the cottage from which lawyer, Charity Dawson, disappeared in 2008. Dessa is intent on solving the mystery. Instead, she is caught in the mystery that surrounds the cabin and finds herself in 1890 in a shootout between the Faraday Gang and a US Marshal.
Marshal Cole Jeffers doesn’t believe Miss Wade is a time traveler. He admits she’s innocent of being an outlaw, but thinks she knows more about the gang than she’s telling. When she’s kidnapped by Zeke Faraday, Cole is determined to rescue her. He’s longed for a woman of his own, and Dessa Wade just might be the one—if she’ll commit to the past.
Dessa stood still and watched as they conversed. Something stank to high heaven about this entire situation. Why were the cops chasing robbers on horseback? It’s not like Fredericksburg was that isolated. She glanced at the captured men. The boy moaned, and she made a step to go over and help him. The Marshal spun, and the expression in his eye froze her in place.

 “He needs first aid.”

 “He’s fine. The Doc will tend to him when we get to the jail.”

 “You could at least call 911 and let them patch him up for you.” She nodded to the man lying so still with his eyes closed. “Your other prisoner doesn’t look so good. He’s going to die on you if you don’t start CPR or get him some help.”

“Lady, no one is going to hear a yell from out here. Never heard of any 911 or CPR.” He propped the hand not holding the shotgun on his hip and threw her a disgusted look. “Are you blind? That man is dead, shot through the heart.”

Her head swam for a moment, and she struggled not to give in to the sensation and faint. She drew in deep gulps of air. “Well...well..., what about the coroner and the meat wagon, not to mention the CSI folks? If you don’t get them to record the scene, how are you going to cover your butt? The authorities might say you shot him in cold blood.”

He looked at her like she’d sprouted an extra head. “I don’t know what the hell you are talking about woman. No one will question my authority. I’m the law in this county. Now, be quiet, or I’m going to gag you.”~*~*~*~

A Marshal of Her Own is now available at The Wild Rose Press,, Barnes and and other online book stores. It is the sequel to A Law of Her Own available at The Wild Rose Press,, and Barnes and and other online book stores. I’m awaiting a release date for A Love of His Own, the third story in the Prairie, Texas series.
  For my release contest for A Marshal of Her Own, I’ll be giving away this vintage typewriter pin.

To enter the drawing, go to my website or blog and sign up for my newsletter. If you already receive it, email me at with A Law of Her Own contest in the subject line.
Linda LaRoque is a Texas girl, but the first time she got on a horse, it tossed her in the road dislocating her right shoulder. Forty years passed before she got on another, but it was older, slower, and she was wiser. Plus, her students looked on and it was important to save face.
A retired teacher who loves West Texas, its flora and fauna, and its people, Linda’s stories paint pictures of life, love, and learning set against the raw landscape of ranches and rural communities in Texas and the Midwest. She is a member of RWA, her local chapter of HOTRWA, NTRWA and Texas Mountain Trail Writers. ~*~*~*
Thank you, Linda! Visitors, please leave a comment.
Today, Linda will be giving away an ecopy of A Law of Her Own.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Have a Happy Thanksgiving Day

Thanksgiving Day 2011

Let's give Thanks for the Blessings bestowed upon us,
Undeserved, yes, but those with open hearts and kind souls
will gratefully understand what great gifts we have.
For me and my house, we Thank the Lord for loving us,
His mortal creations, His weak and often sorrowful creatures.
Let's be thankful for our time on earth,
Our health, even though possibly failing and weak,
We still breathe and therefore can love and laugh.
Let's be thankful for this great nation in which we so
fortunately live.
Let's give thanks for our loved ones, those gone before us,
and those in our midst.
Let's be thankful for the simple things in life--
Trees and grass, the bright blue sky, the life-giving rain
that falls on the parched earth, the wind in our face
and at our back, the beauty of newborn creatures,
Both great and small, for the Lord Jesus Christ
Has made them all.
I'm grateful for my many friends, both in my personal life,
and those on-line whom I'll probably never meet,
and for the special one who is my mentor and soundboard.
Thanks for my family, my husband, our daughter and her family,
our son and his family,
our three grandsons, our sisters and brothers,
aunts and uncles.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

First Things First...and that would be Thanksgiving

Why do we love both Thanksgiving and Christmas? Both holidays are about giving, receiving, and being thankful. Right?
So why don't we take time to savor them one at a time? Stores are geared up for Christmas, and we haven't even had Thanksgiving yet. I'm tired already. But it happens every year.

We walked into WalMart Wednesday, and right there in the wide walkway between McDonald's on the left and the beginning of the checkers' stations on the right was a gigantic display of pumpkin pies--almost as tall as I. I suppose this is because the bakery is next to McDonald's--close to the front entrance. The pies were on a three-tiered temporary structure, and I hoped no one bumped the corner, because all those cardboard props would not hold up, and WalMart would have about fifty pies on the floor.

We got a cart but had to skirt all those pumpkin pies, to the right or to the left. The pie display took up more room than was left for shoppers to pass by. They were almost daring me to walk past without picking one up. Not to denigrate WalMart--I actually call it Utopia--but the pies did not look appetizing. First, they were in aluminum pie plates. Do not serve a pumpkin pie in such a dish. Very tacky. Second, the pies were dark and thin and had depressions in the middle. Ewww. Not the kind of pumpkin pie I like.
Keep reading to the end, and I'll tell you how to make a gourmet pumpkin pie.
When we did successfully maneuver around the display, we almost ran into a decorated Christmas tree! All the fruit and vegetable bins had Christmas trims around the edges, too. Don't they realize that shoppers might be completely befuddled? I was, I can assure you. Orange vs. Red. Pies vs. Candy. Turkey vs. Ham. Stuffing vs. Potatoes.

Celia's Pumpkin Pie--baked and served in a heavy white ceramic fluted 9" pie plate:
Line the plate with Pillsbury refrigerated unbaked pie dough. This comes two rolls to a box in the refrigerated section of the supermarket. Don't use a store brand. Be sure to flute the edges as artistically as you can.

Beat together with an electric mixer:
1 3/4 cups canned pumpkin
One 15 oz. can of sweetened condensed milk
1 egg
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1 cup of hot water--not boiling...just very hot.
Pour into pastry-lined pie pan.
Bake at 375 degrees
Time: 50-55 minutes  
To serve: top with a dollop of real whipped cream sweetened with a little sugar.

Disclaimer:  This recipe is from a 1956 Second Edition of a hardback ringbinder Betty Crocker Cookbook, held together now with duct tape and hole reinforcements.


Celia Yeary-Romance...and a little bit 'o Texas           

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Jane Richardson-my UK Theatrical Friend

I have a list of on-line friends I'd love to meet in person. Jane is on that list. Anyone who has a Twitter account called "Gimmeahugyou" is sure to be very special, and she definitely is. She is a unique individual, and from my perspective, funny, emotional, very more ways than one...and loyal. What more could one ask? I call her my "UK theatrical friend." Now why do I use that term? Because she has worked as a deputy stage manager in the world of opera. How can you top that? Jane is Scots-born but lives in England--perhaps near Edinburgh?

Jane, do I have your place of residence correct? If not, where do you reside?

Hi Celia! I’m not sure I deserve that amazing introduction, but it’s just so lovely of you – and so typical of you – to be so kind.  So, you were asking about where I live, and while you’re a few miles out, I’m sure that’s nothing in Texas terms! I’m about 500 miles away from Edinburgh now.  I live just outside the wonderful, historical town of Hastings in East Sussex – I’m sure you’ve heard of the famous battle of 1066, one of the most significant dates in English history.  It’s a beautiful – quite bohemian and arty but in a great ‘let’s get on with it’ sort of way.  I’m very fond of my adopted home town.

If the area is "bohemian and arty," then I see why you love it so! But why is Edinburgh special enough to place your characters?

You’re referring to a story I wrote called ‘Edinburgh Fog,’ I would think, which is set in a city bar-bistro.  Well, Edinburgh is and always was a very special place.  You’ll know it’s steeped in history, from the days of the ancient Scottish kings, through to the seventeenth-century flowering of art, philosophy and literature in what was called The Age of Enlightenment, right up to its present day incarnation as the home of the Scottish Parliament and a truly European centre of business, finance, fashion and culture.  On top of all that, the people are some of the funniest, kindest and most down-to-earth I’ve ever met – hopefully that’s reflected in the way I’ve written about them and the city itself.  I lived there for about ten years or so, and while I don’t get back as much as I’d like these days, I have so many great memories of my life and work there. 
I'd love to visit that city! See? Your creative writing makes Edinburgh immensely appealing.
You also worked as a "holistic therapist." What in the world is that? Remember, I'm from Texas...I don't know about such things.

Right, holistic therapy….well, anything that’s ‘holistic’ is looking at a person as a whole entity and not just a collection of symptoms.  So for example, a person might be suffering from recurrent headaches.  The holistic approach would take into account everything about that person’s life, from their living and working environments, their medical and psychological history, things that are worrying them or causing them anxiety, anything in their present and their past which might still be affecting them, and so on.  Holistic therapies can work in isolation to help someone, or as something that works in a complimentary way to conventional medicine – for example, many people with long-term medical conditions which are being treated conventionally also find enormous benefit in, say, a regular massage with some deeply soothing aromatherapy oils.  The therapies I’m trained to use are aromatherapy, foot reflexology, Indian head massage and classical Swedish massage.

The process sounds tailor-made for me. Oh, what I wouldn't give to have a Swedish massage or a Indian head massage right now. I believe I am now a convert.
Back on question.
What are some of your favorite things in the whole world?

Just some?  Okay!  Roses – big, blousy, old-fashioned roses with incredible scent.  Food!  Cooking it and eating it with family and friends. Oh, and some great wine to go with it.  Walking the dog on our cliff-top country park, and I don’t mind what the weather’s like – wind and rain can be as much fun as sunshine!  Tea and chats with my best girlfriends.  A really good movie or great drama series with an involved and exciting plot, watched with my hubbie, sitting on the edge of our seats.  A Mozart opera aria sung perfectly and full of emotion – bring tissues.  My kids laughing - they have the most contagious laughter!  Comfy sofa, dog on one side, cat on the other and me in the middle. Browsing the antique shops and junk shops in town. Crossing a bridge over the Thames in the sunshine, drinking in the view and watching the people.  The cure for Type 1 diabetes which I know is just around the corner. Early nights with a good book.  Brown paper packages tied up with string…..just a few of my favourite things!

Ahhh, what wonderful favorite things. Makes life an adventure, doesn't it? Since I've known you, I remember you love one particular country in Europe, and travel there often with your family. What is that country and why is it so special?

You’re right.  The country is Italy, and where do I begin to say what’s so special about it….?  The people, the food, the weather, the way of life, the language, the architecture - I love everything about it.  Though I have no Italian blood in me at all, there’s always a sense of something like ‘coming home’ when I visit there.  Why this should be so, I have no idea – but I’ve heard other people from many other countries say the same thing, so there must be something in it.  We’ve experienced so much kindness when we’re there, and of course the children are treated so well, too, by everyone they meet, so it’s the ideal place to visit with young family.  My favourite places are the hilltop towns of the central and northern regions, particularly in Umbria which is called ‘the green heart of Italy,’ and I would live in Assisi tomorrow if I could!  I’m also really fond of the little town of Deruta and have lots of pieces of Deruta ceramics in my home – just looking around now, I can see a plate, a coffee cup, a mirror and my pencil-pot all come from there!  I would urge anyone who’s been thinking about it but never gone yet to just book that flight as soon as you can and go – you wouldn’t regret it, I’m sure.

The sense of "coming home" when you're in Italy is intriguing. I don't recall experiencing such a thing...but who knows?  Maybe you lived there in a previous life.
Within your varied background, when did writing enter the picture?

I remember writing stories as a child, and I know that before I could physically write the words, I would make them up in my head and draw them out in pictures. At school, I loved creative writing, and also writing about the things I loved – an essay about a Shakespeare play was my idea of heaven! In my teens, it dropped away a lot – I had lots of other things to discover in my teens, I think! Then in later years, I worked some very busy jobs – while free-style creative writing wasn’t such a part of them, I did write training materials and video scripts, so I suppose the writing urge was satisfied that way. Then working in the theatre, well, you work such very long hours - especially if you’re working fixed-term contracts, as I did – and I don’t think I gave writing another thought in all those years. It wasn’t until after the birth of both of my children that I started to even think about writing again, for sheer fun at first, and then the way the publishing world has opened up in the last few years made me realize I could take it more seriously and learn as much as I could about it.  As you know, Celia, my kids are both home-educated, so a lot of my time is spent on that, but while I may be a slow writer, I still love it and can’t imagine ever not doing it in some shape or form.

And now, your novella--Edinburgh Fog. I loved this story about Greg Morton who owns and runs a smart bar-bistro in Edinburgh. Even though he has succeeded in making Teller's successful, something is missing from his life. I'd like you to tell us who is missing and why.
Ah, who is missing?  It’s the love of Greg’s life, Julia Brady.  They had a passionate summer romance some years before, then both went their separate ways – Julia remaining in London to pursue her career as an interior designer, and Greg back to Edinburgh to develop what eventually became Tellers’, as you say. Well, silly boy – he’d been apart from Julia just a short while before he realized just how much he really loved her, but he heard on the grapevine that she’d moved on.  He did then what I suppose a lot of us would do, and just let it be, putting it all down to experience and immersing himself in work.  But one day, Julia appears out of the blue in Tellers’ in Edinburgh, and she’s just as beautiful and lovely as Greg remembers her.  It takes him a while to get over the shock of seeing her, and then once he does, it looks like someone else has set their sights on her!  So the question is – will Greg be a major dork for the second time in his life and let her slip away, or is a second chance with her at all possible?

 The chance meeting with his lost love, Julia, in his own bar sets up a series of events that carry the reader along a fast, breathless journey. I read this story in two evenings...faster readers could finish it in one..and I'd love for you, the readers to consider adding this one to your TBR stack. I highly recommend it. You can find it on Amazon for the nice, affordable price of $2.50. Sorry...I don't know the price in the UK.

Jane, where else can we find Edinburgh Fog? 

You can find all the other e-formats at the MuseItUp Bookstore, here’s the link for that:

Where can we find YOU?

At my blog/website Home Is Where The Heart Is  and I’m on Twitter as @Gimmeahugyou.

Here's the blurb for Edinburgh Fog:
When Greg Morton returned to Edinburgh, it was to follow his dream of opening the smartest bar-bistro in town. Now Tellers’ is a huge success—but the truth is, deep inside, it means little without the love of his life.

Four years ago, he left Julia Brady behind in London to realize his business ambitions in his Scottish home town. By the time he’d recognized his mistake and admitted to himself he wanted her back, the grapevine told him Julia had moved on—and Greg had to face the fact that he’d been a fool.

When Julia appears out of the blue in Tellers’, he knows the only thing he should do is walk right up to her and say hello. But it looks like someone else has their sights set on her, and he’s a quick worker.

Is Julia about to disappear from Greg's life a second time - this time, for good?
Thank you, Jane, for visiting "A Little Bit of Texas." Come back anytime...we'll leave the gate open. Love you.  

Thanks so much, Celia! Love you too, and can’t wait to have you visit my blog on December 9!

Celia Yeary-Romance...and a little bit 'o Texas

Sunday, November 13, 2011


My nights are filled with dreams, at least it seems that way. Almost every morning of my life, I wake up and remember a dream from that night. Vivid dreams, long dreams, complicated dreams.

Some of my friends claim they "never dream." The fact is, everyone does, but not everyone remembers them.

Experts say if you want to remember your dreams, set your alarm clock 15-20 minutes earlier, and you will be more likely to recall the dream. If you awaken in the middle of a dream, you can recall it more often. That seems a little drastic to wake up earlier than you'd like, but be my guest and try it. Let me know the results.

Dream analysts have a list of common dreams:
Falling, Flying, Naked, Chase, Test/Exam, and Teeth.
None of these cover my common dream.

In most of my dreams, I seem to be searching for something. The list includes money, a person, a child, a group of people, a certain bus, a particular house, tiny bits of paper with important notes, my purse, a road, or a pet. I'll bet many people dream "searching" topics, just as I do, but it's not listed as one of the major dreams.
Some experts claim certain objects, animals, or symbols contain a specific message for the dreamer. However, this is disputed by other experts who say dreaming about a snake in your shoe may have a particular meaning for one person, but an entirely different meaning for another.

One explanation that makes sense to me is that our dreams are "messages" or "lessons" for us, and perhaps "our conscience speaking to us," or maybe "prophetic." All through history, the belief that dreams are prophetic is common.
I remember one recurring dream. The same scenario, the same colors, everything. This dream began sometime in my thirties, and it continued maybe two decades. The dream would appear often for a while, then stop. Sometime later, I'd have the same dream.

In this recurring dream, I am in a darkened theater--not a movie theater, but a stage theater. The curtain is a deep red, maybe a velvet because it was heavy and slow to open. It did open, but I couldn't see what or whom was on the stage. I always sat in the balcony, leaning forward, waiting for something to happen. Nothing ever occurred, the dream just ended.

I clearly remember one dream from my childhood. When we visited Granny and Papa in the country, I got to sleep with Granny on her big feather bed. The bed was pushed into a corner, and I slept on the corner side. When I was maybe six, I dreamed a huge ball of mice fell down on me. I don't remember if I woke up or cried, but I do remember rolling toward Granny, staying close to her the remainer of the night.

What is your most common type of dream?
Do you have recurring dreams?
Have you ever had a dream come true--a prophetic dream?
Why DO we dream?
I'll be interested in your replies.

Celia Yeary-Romance...and a little bit 'o Texas        

Friday, November 11, 2011

The Military, a Boarding School, and Me

Imagine my surprise when I landed a teaching position in a co-ed military boarding school run by the Southern Baptists. I know…you’re thinking I must have been crazy. The fact was that in a university town, teachers were in abundance and the public schools wouldn’t even talk to me. Oh, they allowed me to fill out an application, but then placed it with others in a file cabinet burgeoning to the point of

I applied at the boarding school, too, not having a clue about the workings of such a place. I talked with the Vice President in charge of hiring, and after he told me the faculty roster had filled, I went home with no job.

We’d just moved to the Central Texas town where my husband had taken a professorship at the university. September rolled around, our children began school, and I had nothing to do. In previous years, I taught in a public school, and I felt lost with no students.

The next week, the Vice President of the military school called, saying they were in desperate need of a part-time science teacher. It seems a last-minute surge of students had enrolled. He asked, no, he practically begged me to take the job. School had begun and a secretary or somebody had been placed in the classroom until a teacher arrived. No one wanted to teach part-time, he said, plus…are you ready?
My students would be seventh and eighth graders.
Oh, no, I groaned to myself. Junior High kids! I’ll tell you, it takes a special teacher to enjoy this age-group, and I am not one of them. I liked the older kids, those whom an adult could actually talk to, and those who could take up for themselves, and did not require so much discipline.

But what could I do? He promised—sort of—that next year a full-time position for a biology teacher would open up and I’d be first in line. This clenched the deal, and I girded my loins for the year-long battle with 13-year-olds.

Just as the students in all grades had much to learn concerning the rules and regulations of living in dormitories run by military personnel, teachers had to learn how the entire system worked.
I first learned the meaning of “mandatory.” Wednesday morning chapel was mandatory for teachers, as well as, the student body. So was proper dress—faculty men had to wear belts with their pants, could not wear athletic shoes or jeans, and had to have a good haircut. If the boys must have their heads buzzed, at least the men could be presentable. Little was said to the females. I guess we already had enough sense to do the right thing.

Every event was mandatory, especially if the President and his wife threw a party…or reception. At least the students—male and female—learned how to dress up and mind their manners. The girls learned proper deportment and where to place her hand on her date’s arm. The dormitory personnel drilled the cadets on what to say and how to say it, how to walk with a female on his arm, and always to say yes, ma’am and no, ma’am. Oh, and they learned to open doors for ladies. Yep. That was so ingrained in them I don't think I opened a door all the years I taught there.

For receptions and holiday parties, the girls wore formals and white gloves. You heard me. The faculty also wore formal attire, and I was ready to start a revolution if white gloves for us would also be mandatory. Thankfully, we got away with that one.

Once a year, the entire corps prepared for inspection. Army personnel arrived from somewhere to conduct the three-day affair. This included every aspect of dormitory life, as well as military life. The school fell into a time-warp, where little happened while the inspection occurred. The cadets came to class carrying a polish cloth and a small can of Brasso. Instead of listening to me discuss photosynthesis, they discreetly polished their buckles to be ready on the spot. You never saw so many shined shoes, pressed and creased uniforms, and clean fingernails.

On the big day, the entire corps of four companies marched onto the football field and stood in formation for upwards to two hours. The faculty wandered out there and sat in the bleachers, watching a thorough inspection procedure that resembled something akin to paint drying.

Graduation at the school spanned three days. No, we didn’t have just a ceremony, we had parents’ breakfast, awards ceremony in the big chapel,  entertainment by the choir, Senior girls’ passing the torch (green ribbons) to Junior girls, the Rose and Sabre ceremony at the senior gates, opened only once during the year; then Baccalaureate, and finally on Monday morning, graduation. The girls wore long white dresses and carried a bouquet of red roses, held just so in their arms; the cadets wore dress blues. The faculty wore the caps and gowns—interesting, huh? The only reason I worked for a master’s degree was to wear a hood instead of a little white collar, signifying only a Bachelor’s degree. Graduation ceremonies were quite impressive.

Explaining my experiences during all those years is a difficult task. Young people arrived with all kinds of baggage, literally and figuratively, and most—I say “most” because there were always those who could not obey at all--graduated with heads held high, transformed from non-performing students to grand successes. That’s what we did best—change attitudes. Loyalty to the school runs deep and powerful among the graduates as well as the faculty.

The best thing that happened to me when I left the school was to have the honor of “trooping the lines” during the Pass-and-Review on graduation weekend. An Army jeep was provided, and I stood in the back holding on to a horizontal bar, while the entire Corps stood at attention and saluted me. Oh, wow. What can I say? Those kids were great. 
Successes? Oh, yes, in one form or another, and almost everyone did just fine.

I hope you’ve enjoyed a brief glimpse of my teaching career. I wouldn’t take anything for those years. Often, I look around and yearn for some young man to say, “Here, ma’am, let me get that door for you.”
Celia Yeary-Romance...and a little bit 'o Texas

Monday, November 7, 2011

PROMOTION: Does All This Work?

Wish for the Moon is the next release in print.
My first contract was in 2007, and since then I have dutifully carried out many promotion suggestions. Each publisher requires me to join the Yahoo Group for the authors of the company, and a second Group usually called Connections--to interact with readers. For me, that's six publishers, meaning twelve groups. In addition, I joined a select few Yahoo Groups that I felt fit my style of writing. Half of these are Groups sponsored by review sites.

I've had my blog for almost three years, and I'm also co-owner of a group blog, consisting of fourteen authors. I also signed on with two additional group blogs. My website is all set up and I do try to update it on a regular basis. (I think I'm a little behind at this moment.) At least once a day, I visit a Group and/or blog to pay attention to other authors.

Over the span of about three to four years, I have guest blogged approximately twice a month. I've written a few articles. Then I joined FB and began a learning curve, which has not yet reached the zenith. I joined Goodreads, Writers and Readers of Distinctive Fiction, and several other .ning groups. Recently, I succumbed to

So far, I have not paid a cent for an ad of any sort, nor have I bought bookmarks or any other giveaways. However, I do have business cards which I had printed at Office Depot when they had a 50% off sale on such things. I ended up with 3,000 business cards--with 2,800 left. I forget to take them with me.
Alas, I cannot list book signings among my many duties. They frighten me to death. I did have a successful book party at my house, though.

After the first print I sold from my home, I constructed an extended email list of acquaintances. Then I made a one-page document I call a Sell Sheet to "pre-sell" the book. This attachment contains the cover, the blurb, where to buy, and a very short excerpt. Most importantly, I list the retail price for the print, the discounted price I will give them, and promise to pay the postage. In addition, I offer to buy the book for them from my publisher, using my author's discount, and deliver the book when it arrives. Among my acquaintances in town, I have sold between 25-65 copies, depending on the book and the whim of the consumer.
And now I am planning a book-signing for December. However, I will still email the Sell Sheet so I will know how many I have presold. This time I will order extras for the signing.

Where will I hold this book signing? At a local coffee house owned by a congenial young man who owns three of these establishments in this university town. He has permitted this for a couple of other authors--and does not charge a fee. When the date is set and all is ready, I will email the purchasers and inform them they may pick up their book at the coffee house--I'm hoping most of them will do this. (Note: My writing group, The Write Girls, meet at this coffee house every Tuesday morning.)
For the first time, I'll ask our local newspaper to print a press release. I have one cut out of the paper they printed for an author from another town. That one will be my pattern.

We'll see if this works. The Best Laid Plans of Mice and Men... and all that.
Celia Yeary-Romance...and a little bit 'o Texas

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Meet my guest--Kristy McCaffrey

I'm pleased to introduce Kristy McCaffrey, Western Historical Romance author. To celebrate the release of her exciting Wings of the West Series, Kristy tells us about the Comanche, the Native American tribe that dominates her books. I hope you find this as fascinating as I. Few authors use this group because of their great fierceness, a trait that does not make them as sympathetic as some other tribes. But I feel an affinity with Kristy--I have written one NA story, and I also used the Comanche. I hope you learn something here you did not know. ~*~Celia~*~ 
The Comanche Indians 
By Kristy McCaffrey

The Comanche Indians likely originated somewhere north of the headwaters of the Arkansas River in the mountainous country of what is now Colorado and Wyoming, but it was in Texas that this most feared Plains tribe made their mark. They battled Spaniards, Mexicans, Texans, and Americans, as well as the original Indian residents, among them the Apache and the Tonkawas. Until 1875 they were the most difficult adversary the Texans dealt with, carrying off what loot they could and burning the rest, and frequently killing or capturing men, women, and children.
 The Comanche were hunter-gatherers who acquired the horse in the early 1700’s, allowing for greater mobility. As they migrated into Texas, as well as southern Kansas, eastern New Mexico, southern Colorado, northeastern Arizona and all of Oklahoma their population greatly increased due to the abundance of buffalo, the migration of Shoshone (of whom the Comanche were related) and the integration of captive women and children.

            Warfare was a major component of Comanche life. Raids into the Mexican state of Chihuahua for horses, captives, and weapons were usually done during a full moon, when the Comanche could see to ride, and this led to the term “Comanche Moon.”

 Comanche groups were advised by a small number of leaders, including the peace chief, the war chief and members of counsel. Comanche men did most of the hunting—considered a principal source of honor—and all fighting in the wars. The women managed the tasks of cooking, skinning animals, setting up camp, rearing the children, and transporting the household goods.
            Comanche ate buffalo, elk, black bear, pronghorn, and deer. During scarce times they ate wild mustangs, their own ponies, or raided ranches for longhorn cattle. Men wore a breechcloth with a leather belt, deerskin leggings, and moccasins. Women wore long deerskin dresses and moccasins. In winter both donned warm buffalo robes.

 Because they constantly travelled, they didn’t use pottery that could easily break. They made nearly everything from the buffalo, crafting tools, household goods, and weapons from the animal’s horns, hide and bones.

            The most famous Comanche was Quanah Parker. Born around 1850, he was the son of a Comanche Chief named Peta Nocona and Cynthia Ann Parker, a white girl who’d been taken captive in 1836. In 1860 Cynthia Ann was recaptured along with her daughter, but after living with the Comanche for 24 years she was unable to adjust to life among white people. She died four years later following the death of her daughter.

 Quanah led his tribe of Kwahadi Comanche in a bloody war against the U.S. government, refusing to surrender from 1867-1875. Finally, with his people weary and starving, he acquiesced, leading the last free band of Comanche to Fort Sill, a reservation in Oklahoma. Although Quanah refused to become like the white men, he had the foresight to understand them. He learned English, became a reservation judge, and lobbied Congress for the cause of the Comanche Nation. He died in 1911 and was buried beside his mother, whose body had been reinterred at Ft. Sill Military Cemetery. Quanah Parker had become a true Texas hero.
            Today the headquarters for the Comanche Nation is in Lawton, Oklahoma and operates many businesses and a college.
Kristy McCaffrey writes historical western romances. The first book in her Wings of the West Series, The Wren, features a heroine returning to her Texas home after living as a Comanche captive for ten years. Visit Kristy online at

THE WREN: Molly Hart returns to find love with Texas Ranger Matt Ryan.
THE DOVE: Claire Waters and Logan Ryan are reunited at the White Dove Saloon.

These novels are available as separate books, or in one MegaBook:

~*~*~*~Kristy, thank you for being my guest. Your post was so interesting--just the kind of information I love, and since I've researched the Comanche, too, I enjoyed reading your account. Excellent job. Readers, please leave a comment for Kristy, and check out her books.

Celia Yeary-Romance...and a little bit 'o Texas