Books by Craftie Ladies

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Celebrating a Debut - Christmas in Hiding by Cate Nolan

Today is my day - after months of waiting - to shout from the rooftops that my book is finally available for purchase!

Do I sound excited?

I sold this book to Harlequin back in July of 2014, but we decided to hold it until now because of the holiday suspense theme. I'm very glad we did, but it has been a loooooong wait.

During that long wait, there have been many exciting firsts, but none of them could possibly equal the thrill of knowing that people have spent their money to buy your work. I'm pretty sure I was excited about the idea of my books being for sale, but I'm equally sure that I was unprepared for knowing  people were actually reading - and liking - my story.

That is a humbling experience.

I was thinking that this publishing experience has mirrored my teaching career. When I first became a teacher, I was excited to teach history. I remember thinking someone is actually going to pay me to stand and talk about history all day?

Are all the teachers out there laughing yet?

Eventually, I came to feel the real calling of my teaching - working with children to help them develop into wonderful people. Now, the subject I teach doesn't really matter to me, it is the idea of nurturing young minds that inspires me.

Likewise, when I first began writing (historicals, not surprisingly), I was delighted to write all day about a subject that I loved. No one wanted to read 200,000 word historicals set during theAmerican Revolution? Too bad, that's what I loved writing.

You'd think I would have learned by my mistakes, being a history buff and all. :)

Eventually, I came to feel the real calling of my writing too.

I remember very clearly when I decided I wanted to write inspirational fiction. I was judging a writing contest and received two Love Inspired books to judge. Reading those books - one by Linda Goodnight and one by Laurie Kingery - made me want to be a better person.

I knew right then that I wanted to write books like that. Just as with teaching, the time period/subject no longer mattered. I knew I wanted to write books that spoke to readers' souls as well as their hearts. Books that inspired them to want to be their very best.

I know I'm a long way from achieving that goal, but it hit me this past week when I saw that people were actually reading my words.

It hit hard. 

Suddenly I was the one inspired. In a way I can't explain, I was inspired more in that moment than at any time since I began my publishing journey.

So today I am grateful - to Emily Rodmell and Tina James for taking a chance on me (and Callie and Jackson), to everyone at Love Inspired and Harlequin who has made this a family I am so proud to belong to, to all my writing friends who have cheered me on, to my Lord who has guided me and made me wait for His perfect timing.

And to my readers  - thank you for making all the hard work so very worthwhile. I hope you enjoy my stories. Knowing you are reading makes me want to work hard to create only the very best stories.

So, come celebrate with me.

In honor of my debut, I am thrilled to give away a copy of Christmas in Hiding to one eager reader who comments below. (Just be sure to leave your email.)

Please join in. Tell us what you love about books, about Christmas, about life, about anything.


After her ex-boyfriend's murder, Callie Martin has no choice but to trade her quiet life as a kindergarten teacher for the witness protection program. It's US Marshal Jackson Walker's job to keep Callie safe, but the men who would do her harm just keep getting closer and closer. Either someone on the inside is betraying Callie, or she's lying to Jackson about her involvement. So he decides to go off the grid, spiriting her away to the remote Vermont countryside at Christmas. Jackson wants to trust her, but with danger dogging their every move, he'll have to use all his energy to keep her alive.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

FEATURED BOOK AND INTERVIEW: A Texas Christmas Wish by Jolene Navarro

Karly Kalakona's new nursing job is the perfect Christmas gift she and her son needed for their future. The single mom just never counted on dealing with not only a stubborn patient, but also with his prodigal son. After years away, pilot Tyler Childress is only a temporary traveler to the Texas ranch he's spent his life escaping. But the chemistry he shares with his father's nurse is undeniable—and has him thinking of sticking around past the holiday season. Can Tyler learn to trust the woman whose caring ways are bringing his father back to life…and who might just be the partner his wandering heart can find a home with?

How exciting to have Tyler Childress the hero from A Texas Christmas Wish by Jolene Navarro an October 2015 release from Love Inspired Romance.

1.  Tyler, tell me the most interesting thing about you.
            I’ve been flying airplanes before I could drive a car. I got my private license when I turned thirteen. I would have gotten it earlier but my father wanted me to have more hours in the air than was required. He was a tough, tougher than any of my instructors in flight school.

2.  What do you do for fun?
I fly. I’m an international commercial polite but I also have my own Piper. Been thinking about buying a bi-plane.

3.  What do you put off doing because you dread it?
Going home. I had a great childhood growing up on a ranch in the Texas Hill Country.  But then I lost my mom to cancer and two years later my sister was killed in a car crash. Going back to the ranch just reminds me of all the memories we won’t be able to make. I see them in every corner. My father is always asking when I’m coming home. When am I to start dating the right kind of girl? We can’t be in the same room for more than fifteen minutes without arguing about something. As much as I love my dad I dread talking to him. He had a stroke so I’m heading home now. I promised my brother-in-law I wouldn’t argue with anything my father says. We’ll see how that goes.

4.  What are you afraid of most in life?
After losing my mom and sister there isn’t much else I’m afraid of. Maybe someone taking advance of my dad. He’s so trusting and always helping people. I’m afraid he’s going to trust the wrong person one day. When people think you have money they’ll use you.

5.  What is the most important thing to you?
My freedom. I like being able to go and do whenever I want too.

6.  Do you read books? If so, what is your favorite type of book?
As a pilot there is a great deal of down time and usually I read suspense or stories about historical event. Don’t tell anyone but one day I was bored and picked up a romance. So now I’m a secret romance reader.

7.  If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
I wish I could feel more settled, content. You know, learn to live in the moment.

8.  Do you have a pet? If so, what is it and why that pet?
Nope. I’m always gone.

9. If you could travel back in time, where would you go and why?
That’s easy, the Christmas before my mom died. We were all there, like every Christmas. All the food and family. She loved traditions. We would get a tree from the ranch and decorate the house even the barns. There was not a tree saved from being wrapped in lights. She finished the days with hot chocolate and stories. Each year she had us make angels with our hand prints. The year I was a senior in high school I thought I was too cool to do all the corny family things. I’d give anything to go back and hug her and do all the things she wanted me to do. I’d let her know how important she was to me. Her and my sister, I’d tell them I loved them one last time. How about you? Where would you go back to? Who would you want to talk to one last time?

Friday, October 9, 2015

What We're Reading

Teri Wilson
What I just finished reading: Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling I devoured this collection of inspiring, humorous essays from Mindy Kaling, writer and star of The Mindy Project. She is amazing.

What I'm reading now: Mary Queen of Scotland and the Isles by Margaret George. I just got back from a writing retreat in Scotland, so of course I must read this now. 

What I plan to read next: There's no telling. My TBR pile may topple over and crush me in my sleep. (Hopefully not.) 

Jill Kemerer
I'm reading Just Show Up: The Dance of Walking Together Through Suffering by Kara Tippetts and Jill Lynn Buteyn. For those of you who don't know, Jill Lynn Buteyn is our own Jill Lynn, author for Love Inspired.

This book is wonderful in a heart-breaking, tissue-grabbing, but smile-inducing way. Kara died from cancer earlier this year. I'm very thankful they were able to write this book. I know it's going to help many, many people.

Linda Goodnight
I've just begun reading When Crickets Cry by Charles Martin, and already the beautiful, poetic  prose and southern tone have me hooked.

Allie Pleiter
I read frequently via audiobook--and right now I am thoroughly enjoying Carey Elwes' As You Wish-- the story of the making of the beloved "The Princess Bride."  Elwes, of course, played the Dread Pirate Roberts, but many of the other actors come in and read their own parts!  It's a charming insight into the creative process behind one of everyone's favorite movies.

Pamela Tracy
What I just finished reading:  Frindle by Andrew Clements.  My ten-year-old and I read it together for his book report.  It was actually pretty good ;)

What I'm reading now:  Ape House by the woman who wrote Water for Elephants, Sara McGuen, I think.  I love, love, loved the book Water for Elephants.  Ape House got off to a slow start, but I'm halfway now and loving it.

What I plan to read next:  I just bought a book off Bookbub called The Welcome Committee of Butternut Creek by Jane Myers Perrine.  I fell in love with one of her LIs years ago and have read her ever since.

Mindy Obenhaus
What I just finished readingUnexpected Family by Jill Kemerer – Loved it!

What I'm reading nowHis Small-Town Family by Lorraine Beatty -  Just started it.

What I plan to read nextLoving the Country Boy by Mia Ross, before I start digging into some holiday books.

Leann Harris
Brenda Minton's Book, The Rancher's Second Chance

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Christmas in October!

Happy October! This is Louise M. Gouge writing to you today. This is one of my favorite months because…ta-da!... it’s my birthday month. Most years around this time, I don’t usually think about Christmas, but this year is different because I have my very first Christmas novella released by Harlequin’s Love Inspired Historical line. You can find Yuletide Reunion in the Christmas anthology A Western Christmas in stores right now, or at,, and other online bookstores now or closer to Christmas.

Yuletide Reunion is set on a fictional ranch beside the Rio Grande near the fictional town of Riverton, New Mexico. My sister lives in a beautiful, real life adobe house beside the river, and during my many visits to see her, I have been inspired by the history of the area. I’ve long wanted to write a story set on her land, although I’ve tweaked the descriptions for this story’s sake. After all, it takes place in 1886, and of course life was harder back then. No phones, no television, no running water. Meals were cooked on woodstoves. (See my personal photograph of a pioneer kitchen at left.) Many natural and human dangers faced the settlers every day. Still, our hardy ancestors managed to survive and build strong communities. They also loved to celebrate Christmas, just as we do today.

Our family has many traditions that we enjoy at this time of the year. Perhaps your family does, too. One of the traditions that takes place in New Mexico each year is Las Posadas, a nine-day celebration of Navidad, which is Spanish for Christmas. When learning about the difficulties of past generations, I’m also struck by the attempts of some people to get along with their neighbors. I was inspired to write about two such groups within my fictional community.

For hundreds of years, Mexicans had settled in the land we now call New Mexico, then known as New Mexico Territory. After the 1848 Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, new boundaries were drawn, giving the territory to the United States. The Mexicans living there were given the opportunity to move to Mexico or remain on their land. Numerous families remained. At this time, many “Americanos” moved into the area, and animosities sprang up between the two groups. In my idealistic community, the pastors of two different local denominations decide to set the example and bring their congregations together, concentrating on their common belief in Jesus Christ instead of their differences. (See my personal photograph of the Rio Grande at right.)

I hope your Christmas will be filled with joy as you celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I love to hear from my readers, so if you read and enjoy Yuletide Reunion, please write and let me know.

Here’s the story blurb:
Yuletide Reunion in A Western Christmas
Emma Sharp's family needs to rebuild their barn before Christmas. All help is welcome—even if itcomes from the handsome neighboring rancher who jilted her two years ago. Can Jared Mattson prove that he wants to build not just a barn with Emma—but a bright future together?
October 2015

Florida author Louise M. Gouge writes historical fiction for Harlequin's Love Inspired Historical Romances. She received the prestigious Inspirational Readers’ Choice Award in 2005, placed second in 2011; and placed in the Laurel Wreath in 2012. Her indie novel Then Came Love placed second in the 2015 IRCA. When she isn't writing, she and David, her husband of fifty years, enjoy visiting historical sites and museums. Please visit her Web site at

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Up Close and Personal - by Lacy Williams

Lacy Williams here, excited to talk to you about my new release, Her Cowboy Deputy, the next book in the Wyoming Legacy series with Love Inspired Historical.

In this book, sheriff’s deputy Matty White gets caught in a flooded creek (there’s a bad storm!) and injured. He wakes up and finds himself in bed with a broken collarbone and stuck in a small soddy (also known as a dugout). And he’s not alone. Catherine Poole lives on the homestead with her grandfather and helps take care of Matty while he’s injured.

So I had a lot of fun researching this book and imagining Matty stuck in that little one-room house. (Especially because Matty is one of the more sociable of the White brothers!). I know many families lived in this kind of home while they built a more permanent home.

I’ve had a similar experience over the past week as my family has been on vacation. It’s been five of us in one hotel room for the last seven days. At night, I’ve been whacked, kicked, snuggled, and overheated. During the day, my four-year-old starts bouncing off the walls (I can’t imagine doing it during the winter when he’d be stuck inside all the time!).

So Matty and Catherine are stuck in this small dugout together. For weeks. It’s no wonder that they start getting on each others’ nerves—and then forming a friendship. I hope you’ll check out the book!

What about you? Let’s talk today. Do you have vacation memories or other memories about being up close and personal with your family or maybe even friends? Leave a comment!

About Her Cowboy Deputy


Bear Creek sheriff’s deputy Matt White is used to being the rescuer, not the rescued. But now the hurt lawman’s marooned on Catherine Poole’s remote homestead. The little girl he’d known briefly as a child is all grown up—and tugging at his heart.

Isolated from the world around her, Catherine’s spent her whole life caring for her ailing grandfather. The last thing she needs is a cowboy stranded in her home. Let alone the memories he dredges up of a past she’s tried to put behind her. But can this deputy be her chance to finally move forward and find true happiness?

About the author

Grab one of Lacy’s books free at her website
USA Today bestselling author Lacy Williams works in a hostile environment (read: three kids age 5 and under). In spite of this, she has somehow managed to be a hybrid author since 2011, publishing 22 books & novellas. Lacy’s books have finaled in the RT Book Reviews Reviewers’ Choice Awards (2012, 2013, & 2014), the Golden Quill and the Booksellers Best Award. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Romance Writers of America and Novelists Inc.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

'Tis the Season

I'm not trying to freak anybody out, but...

I'm sure you've seen the displays going up in the stores.
Believe it or not, there are only 80 more days until Christmas.

Some people think October is too early to be putting out Christmas stuff, but I disagree. I like that it gets me thinking about the holidays. I have a lot of people to buy for at Christmas, so I like to start my shopping early. 
In a perfect world, I wouldn't even set foot in a store those last two weeks leading up to Christmas. I'd forgo all the grinches out there and spend my days watching Christmas movies, baking and savoring the season.

This is the time of year when traditions come out in full force. One of my favorite traditions takes place almost as soon as Halloween is over.
Pumpkin bread. 
Lots and lots of pumpkin bread. I make a huge batch that yields me a lot of small loaves. I wrap them up and freeze them to give as gifts throughout November and December. 

So how do you feel about getting a head start on the holidays? Do you like to plan ahead or would prefer to wait until after Thanksgiving?

Monday, October 5, 2015

Craftie Ladies - Love Inspired Historical October 2015 Releases

Listed below are the upcoming releases from our talented Love Inspired Historical writers here at Craftie Ladies of Romance.  To purchase any of these wonderful books, just click on the book covers.  And to learn more about the authors, click on their names.

Yuletide Reunion (part of A Western Christmas anthology)
Louise M. Gouge

Emma Sharp's family needs to rebuild their barn before Christmas. All help is welcome—even if it comes from the handsome neighboring rancher who jilted her two years ago. Can Jared Mattson prove that he wants to build not just a barn with Emma—but a bright future together?

Saturday, October 3, 2015

FEATURED BOOK AND INTERVIEW: Her Cowboy Deputy by Lacy Williams


Bear Creek sheriff’s deputy Matt White is used to being the rescuer, not the rescued. But now the hurt lawman’s marooned on Catherine Poole’s remote homestead. The little girl he’d known briefly as a child is all grown up—and tugging at his heart. 

Isolated from the world around her, Catherine’s spent her whole life caring for her ailing grandfather. The last thing she needs is a cowboy stranded in her home. Let alone the memories he dredges up of a past she’s tried to put behind her. But can this deputy be her chance to finally move forward and find true happiness?

How exciting to have Matty White and Catherine Poole, the hero and heroine from Her Cowboy Deputy written by Lacy Williams an October 2015 release from Love Inspired Historical.

Matty: Are you excited about the interview today, Catherine?
Catherine: What interview? You didn’t invite people here, did you?
Matty glances around the small clearing. Catherine’s home is a small dugout built into the Wyoming landscape. There’s a small barn off to one side, but other than a donkey flicking one ear their direction, there’s no one around.
Matty: Not people people. Readers.
Catherine, looking confused: Readers?
Matty: You know. The folks who are going to buy and read our book.
Catherine, now shaking her head: You know I don’t like crowds.
Matty: There’s no crowd here. Why don’t I ask the questions and we’ll keep it nice and quiet.
Catherine: Between the two of us?
Matty glances around again, his eyebrows raised in exaggeration.
Matty: We’re the only ones here. So, first question: tell me the most interesting thing about you.
Catherine: That’s not a question.
Matty waits.
Catherine: I’m not interesting.
Matty: Yes, you are. You know how to live off the land. You’ve been taking care of your grandpop for years. You take care of the homestead, almost all by yourself.
Catherine: That’s not interesting. It’s boring. It’s just my life.
Matty: Your life isn’t boring. I dropped in to it, didn’t I?
He grins endearingly at her.
She blushes.
Catherine: Only because the storm delivered you almost right to my doorstep!
Matty rubs at a fading scratch at his hairline.
Matty: I remember. That kind of answers the second question: what do you do for fun?
Catherine: Rescue bedraggled cowboys from drowning?
He grins.
Catherine: Or did you mean the kiddie games you like to play?
Matty: Eye spy isn’t a kiddie game. It’s for everyone.
Catherine: Oh really?
Matty: Let’s move on. What do you dread doing?
Catherine: Going to town.
Matty: That was a quick answer.
Catherine: I hate town. There’s too many folks there.
Matty: How can you say that? I don’t like it out here. It’s far too quiet. Nothing going on.
Catherine just harrumphs.
Matty: Next question—
Catherine: Can’t we be done yet?
Matty: There’s six questions left.
Catherine wrinkles her nose, then looks off in the distance. He can see from the set of her jaw that she’s a little upset.
Matty: What is the most important thing to you.
Catherine (firmly): My grandfather. He’s taken care of me since my mama died.
Matty nods.
Matty: I’ve seen the way you take care of him. It’s obvious you love him.
Catherine: He’s been my only family for years.
Matty: I think that’s pretty admirable.
She blushes again.
Matty: I guess we can skip the rest of the questions. I think readers can get to know you from what you’ve said here today.
Catherine: Who are the readers, again?


Grab a copy of one of Lacy’s books free by visiting her website

USA Today bestselling author Lacy Williams works in a hostile environment (read: three kids age 5 and under). In spite of this, she has somehow managed to be a hybrid author since 2011, publishing 22 books & novellas. Lacy’s books have finaled in the RT Book Reviews Reviewers' Choice Awards (2012, 2013, & 2014), the Golden Quill and the Booksellers Best Award. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Romance Writers of America and Novelists Inc.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Buzz Words and Key Words at NINC2015--Lenora Worth

Hello. I'm at NINC! That's Novelists Inc, an organization for published writers that works hard for advocacy and diversification. NINC deals a lot with the business side of writing. We are at the lovely Tradewinds Resort in St Petersburg, FL. Just a hop and skip from where I live.

What have I learned. That I love sunshine and palm trees. And that the world of writing is going GLOBAL. Yes, we are striving for World Domination!!! It's all about global markets and how we need to get our books into foreign markets and many languages. And with mobile technically and e-book editions, we can do that.

Meantime, my head is exploding with possibilities.

So here are some words that I've heard:

Street Team--small or large, make sure your street team members are willing to review your books and spread the word. In the old days, this was called word of mouth.

Chunky Method (yay to Allie Plieter!!!) We all write in different ways and one way is not always the only way. I've been writing in chunks since I got here and it's working out okay. I'm getting words on the page in little increments even though I'm more of a LONG Chunky writer.

Other words that you can search for on twitter or facebook through #ninc15:

ALLi (Alliance of Independent Authors)

Germany (Big, big market for mobile books there. Readers read on their smartphones these days so we all need to go mobile)

A lot of D words:
Direct Communication
Designated Market Areas

Metadata and Microtargeting--both about key words and really targeting a specific market.

Sell through instead of lots of returns. POD is a hot topic, too.

And finally, bookstores, book buyers and book lovers--get reacquainted with all of them!

And the longest word I heard at NINC: entrepreneurialism

Say that really fast three times!

I'm having fun and learning a lot. But I sure need a nap. No time for that. I'm off to another workshop :)

Thursday, October 1, 2015

My Life

Pamela Tracy here.

I've belonged to the greater Phoenix chapter of the Desert Rose Romance Writers of America for 20 years now.


As a romance writer, there's no stronger organization.

I found out about the chapter thanks to a creative writing class I was taking at the community college when I was 12 (that, by the way, is a lie.  I was much older).

It wasn't even me who found the article in the newspaper hawking an upcoming conference.

Four ladies from the creative writing class attended the conference.  By the way, one of them found the article on Tuesday.  We late registered on Wednesday.  Showed up to attend on Friday.  The conference was that last minute, and my three friends and I knew nothing.

I carried my manuscript with me (pre-laptop days) from workshop to workshop.  I'm not sure how I knew NOT to scoot it under the bathroom stall, but I managed to not make that mistake.

I was sold.  I joined RWA the next time they had a monthly meeting.  I remember the president's name was Pat.  I remember I was most impressed by a Harlequin author named Pat Warren.  She was worlds ahead of me both in ability and savvy and self-esteem.

For the first five or six years, only funerals and sickness kept me from the meetings.  I was that hungry.

I made wonderful friends thanks to RWA and Desert Rose.  They were in my wedding some years later (see before lie about being 12).

Cathy McDavid, Harlequin American; Stacy Connelly, Harlequin Special Edition; Alison Hentges, Kensington; Patti Osback, finishing book now; my sister Roxanne who could be the next Erma Bombeck  

This past Tuesday, they had a membership appreciation banquet, and I attended.  In some ways, I'm sad.  See, in 20 years, you do see a revolving door of membership.  The people I sat with, laughed with, danced with (it was an Hawaiian theme) were not the same people as five, ten, fifteen years earlier.  Some of those writers I long to see again.

On the other hand, there was a Desert Rose Award winner, and up-and-coming writer who always makes me laugh.  And tons of new friends.

This is our Desert Rose Winner, Virginia Nelson.

My husband came along.  When we were first dating, he was amazed by the writing world and often found himself amidst gaggles of female writers.

Now this is entertainment and I'm already thinking about using it in my next story.  Will Love Inspired let me?
All I can say, if I've enjoyed this writing life immensely.  
See the lady in pink?  Not me.  See the arm belonging to the body she's blocking.
That's me.

This year's service award.  My fifteenth.  When I join an organization, I raise my hand and volunteer.
I won the RITA entry drawing!  yeah.  I have three books to enter this year. 

Here's one of them.
Second Chance Christmas is available
in December.

So what meetings do you attend?  And some of your greatest memories?

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Seeing by Leann Harris

When I woke last Saturday morning, it was the first time in my adult life I could see clearly. The jaw-dropping experience still has me in awe. I had the cataract in my right eye removed and a lens put in that sees all distances. Left eye is next.
(Notice the fashion forward glasses.) I started wearing glasses in the 4th grade, but the odd thing was I spent my dreams looking for my glasses so I could see. When I got contacts at 16, suddenly my dreams were in focus. So how weird is that? And how can I use that in a story?

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Small Towns, Big Families with Jolene Navarro

Jolene Navarro here. Did you know we only have twelve Fridays until Christmas! But we are not here to talk about that. Even though I do have a Christmas story that is out and about in book form, with the eBook being released Thursday.  Another story set in the fictional small Texas Hill Country of Clear Water. But I'm here to talk about small towns.
Frio Canyon - Home of my fictional town, Clear Water, Texas
 I love life in a small town.  People know people. They know your grandmother, your cousins and your children. You belong. You have a history. You’re part of a story.  You know why the locals call the intersection at HWY 46 and Herff Rd. Sheep Dip Crossing.
On a sad note the newbies in town give you a blank stare if your direction include Sheep Dip Crossing or “where Poorboys use to be.” I’m guessing in the next couple of generations the terms will be gone for our local vocabulary.

The thing that can drive you cray in a small town? People know people. They know your grandmother, your cousins… well, you get the picture.  People remember you as a teenager, and all the stupid senseless stuff you want to forget. They really know your family members. There is no glossing over or hiding the crazy. 

 Remember the time when…..can cause you to break out in a cold sweat and glancing around to see if your kids are near. Half the stories aren't  even true. And sometimes they say that and you really can’t recall what they are talking about, so do you fake it and laugh or start an argument when you respond with ‘NO that never happened’?  Memories are long and live on every corner.
My father was born in the"old" house. It was moved to the back of the property when a new house was built - with a pool and game room! Loved our summers here!

There are different levels of small towns. Places like Leakey, Texas with less than 400 people. It is also the kind of town I love writing about, generations of ranchers, business owners and dreamers.  One street light.  Kindergartners to twelfth graders are on the same school campus. Community is strong.  A church on every corner. Not a great deal has changed there over the years, expect the path of the river with each flood and they can now sell beer. (Which some of the churches are not happy about.)

This is one of my hometowns. My great-great grandparents settled there and my parents met and married there. It’s also the place I met my love and married him. We moved back and lived there during the birth of one of our four children. I love this little valley in the Texas Hill Country. My husband’s family has been there for three generations now. It will always be home.  Go Eagles!
My four kids on the football field were my dad played and their dad played and coached.
Four generations of Navarros in Leakey. The tiny little lady in the middle is the mother, grandmother and great grand of the picture

Then you have small towns like Boerne, Texas. My other hometown. When I started school here in 1979, there was one high school, one middle school and an elementary or two. No chain restaurant or fast food. The grocery store and pharmacy were owned by local families.  The owner of the restaurant greeted you by name.
We rode our horses to the General Store where you could still hear people speaking German.  Today Boerne is going through growing pains. Being north of San Antonio,  people are moving in to find the love of having the Main Street USA feel of small town with the convenience of one of the biggest cities in the United States of America.
Boerne Main Street Plaza

The Dienger Trading Co. It was the Library for a while.

Now-a-days you don’t see as many family owned businesses when you drive down Main Street.  For the sake of convenience the big box stores have staked a claim along the highway, forcing the mom and pop shops to close or redefine themselves.

I write small town stories because it is what I know and love.  A Texas Christmas Wish is the third book that takes place in a small fictional town of Clear Water, Texas on the Frio River.  
Frio River at Seven Bluff Crossing
 In my story the hero takes the heroine to the local lumber yard. A place where generations have counted on the Bergmann family to provide high quality building materials as they construct their own homes and business.

Bergmann Lumber Store Front in Boerne Texas
In real life Bergmann Lumber is a two story limestone building on Main Street in Boerne. It 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 with a mix of daily lumber and hardware needs along with gifts and one of a kind home decor.
Visiting at the Book signing at Bergmann Lumber - Love Small town life.

Children left unattended in Bergmann Lumber will find lots of ways to entertain themselves.

In honor of my  favorite Texas small towns and the families that live there (real and fictional) I have had each off my book signing at Bergmann Lumber. Yes, I have book signings at a hardware store. They also carry my books year round. (How cool is that?) They are one of the few family owned businesses that have found a way to survive the shift in Boerne’s population and demographics. 

So if you want to buy a story about small town, family and faith go by Bergmann Lumber on Main Street in Boerne, Texas. (they are also in Walmart and Amazon..shhhh I didn't tell you that) You can also support small businesses by doing some early Christmas shopping and visit you locally owned businesses. 

Do you have a small town you love. If so what do you love about it? Do you make a point to shop at locally owned stores or do you find the big guys easier and less expensive?