Luckenbach Texas – The Center of the Universe

One of my assignments this month, for Buddy Magazine, was to read and review a new book relative to Texas and Texas Music, from Becky Crouch Patterson.

She had quite an amazing story to tell about her father, Hondo Crouch and the town he purchased in 1970. I found the book easy to read, engaging and entertaining. I laughed out loud more than once.

The infamous words of Gary P. Nunn, “You ask me what I like about Texas,” is answered between the pages of this book.

Luckenbach Texas – The Center of the Universe is not only an entertaining read but educational as well. Did you know that the first flying machine was invented in Luckenbach long before the Wright brothers took to the sky? How much do you know about the character Hondo Crouch? Was it truly by accident that the town evolved into a world-renowned landmark?

Becky Crouch Patterson, Hondo Crouch’s daughter and author of this beautiful book, manages to bring the history of Luckenbach as well as its many nuances to life with her distinct style of writing, sense of humor, and extensive knowledge of the deep-rooted history of the area.

Settled by Germans in the 1800s, it is steeped in culture and traditions which she beautifully honors.

When Hondo Crouch along with his partner, Guich Koock, bought Luckenbach for $29,000 in 1970, I don’t think he had any idea the phenomena he would create without ever seeming to intentionally do so.

As Becky recounts in the book, “at the time, they didn’t know whether the purchase was for 29, 19 or 12 acres”, but it did include an egg route that would pay $60 per month and a pickup truck.

One of my favorite parts of the book (although there were many) was the first impression of their purchase when Becky, along with her family, first walked into the building that Hondo aptly named, “Post Office-General Store-Beer Joint.”

She recalled being awe-struck by the generations of the rich history displayed in the bar and store. “Faded 1930s beer ads, fragile, dusty, everything held together by cobwebs” creates a powerful visual.

They say timing is everything and there is a certain degree of truth to that. When the Outlaw Music movement moved into full swing in the seventies, it created an entirely new breed of musicians and songwriters. Those tired of Nashville’s glossy, controlling mentality rebelled and broke away from Music Row. They found the perfect home in Luckenbach. Willie Nelson held five of his Fourth of July Picnics in Luckenbach. Jerry Jeff Walker recorded his “Viva Terlingua” album at Luckenbach. It was a mecca for hungry, creative songwriters.  

Waylon Jennings described Outlaw Music as “standing up for your own rights and your own way of doing things.”

And nothing fed that creative storm better than the laid-back atmosphere of Luckenbach, Texas.

When Chips Moman and Buddy Emmons wrote “Luckenbach, Texas,” neither of them had ever been there. And, as far as is known, never visited. But they were reaching for something that people who were caught in the rat-race of life could relate to. That was and still is, the vibe of Luckenbach.

Hondo Crouch carried a business card that described himself as an Imagineer. All who knew him loved him, but none more than Jerry Jeff Walker. His relationship with Hondo and Luckenbach defined Jerry Jeff and helped shape him into the artist he became.

Hondo was also a performer extraordinaire, poet, and had a unique sense of humor that Becky has inherited, as is obvious in her writing. More than once while reading the book, I laughed out loud.

I can’t begin to tell you everything that this book encompasses in these few short words. I can only tell you that every aspect, every turn of event and every personality that found its muse in Luckenbach left an indelible footprint that won’t be forgotten.

This line from Hondo Crouch’s poem, “The Luckenbach Moon” says it all… “We’ve been tellin’ strangers who come to Luckenbach ‘bout our Moon, But I know they won’t believe that we have such a big moon for such a small town.”  

And I don’t think Hondo was talking solely about a literal moon.

If you love everything embodied in Texas Music, history and the Outlaw Music movement, you will be enthralled by “Luckenbach – The Center of the Universe” by Becky Crouch Patterson.

So, to sum it all up, as the great Gary P. Nunn sings, “You ask me what I like about Texas … Well, if I tell you, you’re gonna be here all night long…”

This book is available for purchase on Amazon

Or directly through Becky Crouch Patterson’s Website

An Inspired Endeavor

I hesitated to blog about this because it is SO new that the wrapping isn’t fully off the box yet. But I decided to share for two reasons. I am excited about this new endeavor and I feel it serves a large purpose.

A friend recently, while discussing the writing crossroads I find myself sitting in the middle of, suggested that I consider writing a book entitled “The Next Chapter.”

This comes on the heels of yet another rejection from publishers, of my fiction series. Perhaps fiction writing isn’t my forte. Or, perhaps the timing simply isn’t right. Who the heck knows? I certainly don’t.

At any rate, as we talked, I got inspired and excited about writing “The Next Chapter.”

The more I thought about it, the more I discovered a treasure trove of hard-earned insight and wisdom I have to share. And, it just might help someone else in the same situation.

I tossed together a rough draft book cover in Canva late last night, to get the project started. It is not set in stone but is a place to start.

And, based on your feedback about the X across the man on the cover, here’s a rough attempt at putting in a ghostly man image instead. Of course, this is still a Work In Progress.

You see the premise of the book. I’m going to share my opening paragraphs and I welcome your comments and suggestions! This is going to be an incredibly rewarding piece of writing.

INTRO:

“You can never move forward if you are always looking back.”

Did you know that in 2018 there were over eleven million widows in the United States alone? Let that sink in for a minute. Over eleven million women faced with rebuilding a life after the loss of a spouse.

And yet, at that time; when you are one of those eleven million in the throes of the loss and grief, you feel completely and utterly alone. No one could possibly know the degree of pain and emptiness you feel. Surely, no one else has ever had such an irreparably broken heart as yours. But they have.

The average age of a woman, when she loses her spouse, is 59. I was 57.

It is statistically proven that women live longer than men for many different reasons. Mathematics plays a large part. Most often, men marry younger women which adds to the gap in the equation. Generally speaking, women take better care of themselves, eat healthier and are more aware of their overall well-being than men. But, none of that lessens the intensity of grief when your spouse dies.

The widow faces a life of many years, perhaps even decades, without a partner. While there is a small percentage of widows who remarry, statistics show approximately ninety percent do not.  

The purpose of this book is to encourage and empower women in the process of reinventing themselves after such a loss. Many of the same principals could apply to men who have lost a spouse or even divorcees. But, for the purpose of this book, I am focused on women forced to start over ― alone because of death.


There you have it. Please share your thoughts! In the back of the book, I am going to share stories from other women who I know personally and who are also widows. I want as many different aspects of re-inventing oneself as I can gather.

Voodoo Queen of New Orleans

Dennis Cardiff has written a new tribute to the infamous New Orleans Voodoo Queen, Marie Laveau! Take a look. I simply had to share!

Dennis Cardiff

latest

She was long and lovely from ‘way down south,
she had blood on her hands, blood on her mouth.
She’d got voodoo spells and incantations.
She lived on one of those big plantations.
Had she done something bad? Well, I don’t know.
She went by the name of Marie Laveau.

She had golden skin and curly black hair,
down near the bayou you could find her there,
with her big old snake wrapped ’round and ’round,
it was party time when the sun went down.
Cauldron would bubble and naked they’d dance,
potions concocted, ’round the fire she’d prance.

She had a mojo hand, a black cat bone —
wouldn’t want her to catch you all alone.
There were stories told of the men she’d hexed;
husband Jacques unaware that he’d be next,
he just disappeared, he never returned —
just ashes left and the incense she burned.

Stroll though…

View original post 165 more words

Welcome to the “ACE CARROWAY AND THE BLOG MONSTER” Blog Tour! @GuyWorthey #4WillsPub #RRBC

It is with great pleasure I introduce to you Author, Guy Worthey, and his series of Ace Carroway books!

Greetings one and all, and a hearty thank-you to my kind host and 4 Wills Publishing!

In this fifth blog tour stop we meet the second of Ace’s five associates. Our fictitious interviewer, Mr. Bigg Faquir, is unable to make bail, and so he will not be joining us. As I watch my guest coming in, I must say it’s quite a sight. He removed his Stetson and ducked his head to get through the doorway. I hope his boots and spurs don’t mark my floor up. His checkered shirt and leather vest are cheery enough. He has dark hair, beard stubble and he’s borderline emaciated. His walk is a rolling amble, made necessary by a genuine case of bowleggedness.

GW: Greetings, Tombstone.

Tombstone: Howdy, pardner. Nice digs ya got.

GW: Thank you. Tell me, what’s your full name?

Tombstone: Ah’m Gregory Jamison, born an’ raised in th’ vicinity of El Paso, Texas.

GW: I would have guessed Tombstone, Arizona.

Tombstone: Because o’ the nick? Ah picked it up on the French front durin’ the Great War. Tell ya what, to them Limeys, it’s all the same. El Paso an’ Austin an’ Tulsa an’ Tombstone might as well be the same town instead o’ hundreds o’ miles from each other.

GW: Mostly true, I suppose. On the other hand, can you put Devonshire or Stratford on a map?

Tombstone: Nope! Good point, pardner.

GW: What was your role in the war?

Tombstone: Communications engineer. Meanin’ radio communications, o’ course. Radio’s quite the amazin’ thing, y’know. Ah got a feelin’ we’ve only scratched the surface o’ what radio can do.

GW: What year is it?

Tombstone: You feelin’ all right, there, son? It’s 1921.

GW: I’d say we’ve only scratched the surface of what radio can do. What do you think of Gooper?

Tombstone: That overstuffed egocentric top-heavy ginger walrus? Oh, he’s a nice feller. Mostly nice. Well, nice after ya get used t’ the smell.

GW: Heh. So, what about the rest of the associates?

Tombstone: Tell you what. Sam’s the one you’d buddy up to after hours, but they’re all good workin’ pardners. Diff’rent strengths an’ weaknesses, you know. I got somethin’ else to say, too. Ev’ry one of ‘em, even that lard butt Gooper, would take a bullet meant fer you. I mean me. I mean any one of us. Heck, you, too, ya four-eyed li’l squirt.

GW: I’m honored. I think. What is your relationship to Ace?

Tombstone: She’s the glue, son. She’s the gas in the engine, an’ the oil, too. She brung five headstrong varmints goin’ five diff’rent ways and made ‘em into a team.

GW: And what’s the goal of the team?

Tombstone: Ah ain’t gonna answer that straight. We got a detective agency an’ we take cases. Let’s let it ride right there.

GW: Now I want to know more.

Tombstone: Ask somebody else. I’ve got t’ ride.

GW: You mean, you have to go?

Tombstone: I mean I got t’ go, and I got t’ ride. Ride away on mah horse, Sparky. Good luck, there, pardner.

GW: Good luck to you, too, Tombstone. Happy trails.

Here are some choice quotes from Tombstone, taken from the Ace Carroway books.

Gooper abuse 1: “Oh, who invited you, Gooper? Ding-nab it! Out o’ th’ fryin’ pan and into th’ fire! I ain’t sure I kin stand bein’ cooped up with this here blubbery Brit!”

Gooper abuse 2: “You jes’ try it, ya ginger donkey butt.”

Gooper abuse 3: “Aww, keep your hat on. You’re not bulletproof, you knuckleheaded Limey.”

An expression of surprise: “Well, rope my ankles and call me a dogie!”

Soothing the resident genius: “Don’ get a burr under yer saddle, Ace! You’re a cyclone an’ ain’t none of us Pecos Bill enough to lasso you!”

On hunter-gatherer society: “Shewt. We think we got it tough. Jes’ think about them cave people. Even if they hunted a critter, next thing you know they’d be fightin’ t’ keep it against sabretooth cats or giant bears!”

When a plan is hatched: “Ma’am? Let me offer a translation on behalf o’ my cohorts. All of that means: We’re in, and when do we start?”

I have two limericks today because they’re both awful, and I’m hoping that, somehow, by presenting twice as many, it will be their meager virtues that double, not their considerable demerits.

Tombstone’s a tall drink of water.

He’s six feet from boot toes to snotter.

He can’t play the harp.

With a rifle, he’s sharp.

With ‘lectrical gear? Slick as an otter.

Tombstone’s a tall drink of water.

He charts AM waves on a plotter

Transceiver or Stetson

He’s ready to fetch some

Varmints for Carroway’s daughter

Join Ace Carroway and her motley gang of associates as they travel the world, solving mysteries and fighting crime.

In ACE CARROWAY and the GREAT WAR, sixteen-year-old Cecilia Carroway lies about her age and joins the war effort as a pilot. She earns her Ace nickname over France, but is forced down behind enemy lines. Escape plans are imperiled when Ace catches the attention of imperial minister Darko Dor.

Three years later, in ACE CARROWAY AROUND THE WORLD, Ace’s father dies in a hail of bullets in quiet Hyannis, Cape Cod. Lieutenant Drew Lucy is on the case, but it’s Ace Carroway at the top of his list of suspects.

In ACE CARROWAY and the HANDSOME DEVIL, Ace barely survives an assassination attempt at the hands of her old nemesis Darko Dor. Figuring the best defense is offense, she starts a detective agency in New York. Before the paint on the door dries, a new web of deception ensnares the rookie sleuths. Sudden romantic attention from a pair of handsome strangers is good, right?

The Adventures of Ace Carroway are available at many fine stores around the world.

Links #1 Great War #2 Around the World #3 Handsome Devil
Paperback Paperback Paperback Paperback
Kindle Kindle Kindle Kindle
Nook, Kobo, Apple, 24 Symbols, Playster, Scribd, Angus & Robertson Ebook $1.99 Others Others

Wyoming native Guy Worthey traded spurs and lassos for telescopes and computers when he decided on astrophysics for a day job. Whenever he temporarily escapes the gravitational pull of stars and galaxies, he writes fiction. He lives in Washington state with his violinist wife Diane. He likes cats and dogs and plays keyboards and bass guitar. His favorite food is called creamed eggs on toast, but once in a while, he heeds the siren song of chocolate.

To follow along with the rest of the tour, please visit the author’s tour page on the 4WillsPublishing site.  If you’d like to book your own blog tour and have your book promoted in similar grand fashion, please click HERE.  

Lastly, Guy is a member of the best book club ever – RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB #RRBC! If you’re looking for amazing support as an author, or if you simply love books, JOIN US! We’d love to have you!
Thanks for supporting this author and his work!  

Willie

Because I couldn’t make my blog post until after last night happened, it’s late going up.

Let me explain. As most of you know, I work for a music magazine, Buddy, The Original Texas Music Magazine. Along with that comes a few perks now and then. Last night I had two free tickets to a Willie Nelson and Family show at The Bomb Factory in Deep Ellum, Dallas.

Myself and another Buddy staffer attended the event, at first thinking we were getting Press Passes, then finding out we only had general admission tickets. Considering the cost of those, it was still a good deal.

I had taken my book, “The Convict and the Rose” to gift to Willie. But, it became obvious, there was going to be no personal contact with him.

Why that book in particular? Because the artwork on the cover was done by Rick Sikes in the late seventies, commissioned by Willie for an album he wanted to release by the same title. But, as fate will sometimes do, around the time they were getting to release the project, IRS started looking at Willie and his attorneys advised him against having any contact with a convict. Therefore, the project was shelved.

In 2004, Rick and Willie reunited and Rick gave him all the original artwork.

Rick Sikes and Willie Nelson

Since Willie never used the artwork, when I wrote “The Convict and the Rose,” I decided to utilize it. And that is why I wanted to get the book into his hands last night.

After lots of dead ends, I reached out by text to Willie’s ex-wife, Connie. At her suggestion, I found Willie’s bus driver, known simply as Gates.

What a kind and sweet gentleman he turned out to be. When I told him Connie had told me to ask for him and he would get me what I needed he just grinned.

“So, what is it that you want to give Willie?”

I reached into my purse and pulled out the book. He took it and while I stood and watched, he went directly onto the bus and came back out empty-handed. He gave me a thumbs-up and a grin.

So, in a round-about way, a copy of “The Convict and the Rose” is now on Willie Nelson’s bus! Whether he’ll pick it up and read it is another story, but at least I accomplished what I set out to.

The show was sold-out. No surprise there. The Bomb Factory, which holds just under 5,000 people, had removed all tables and chairs and people were packed in elbow-to-elbow like sardines.

Willie played for 70 minutes. He did most of his classics and never faltered.

I am in amazement that at 84, soon to be 85, he is still going strong.

The lighting was terrible, so these pictures are very poor quality, but I was there and had a wonderful time!

Sister Bobbi, Mickey Rafael and Paul English

And the best part…Willie now has a copy of my book! It was worth the cold misting rain and aching feet to accomplish it.

#RRBC “SPOTLIGHT” Author, Bernard Foong

It is my pleasure to host RWISA Author, Bernard Foong on his blog tour!

Purchase Linkhttps://www.amazon.com/Truth-Will-Set-You-Free-ebook/dp/B01COB1MPY/

If The Truth Will Set You Free is made into a film, who would I like to play the lead?

Normally, the casting is in the producers’ hands. I do not have a say in who should play me. If I’m given a choice, I would recommend a young Korean actor/singer by the name of Teaceyon. He looks like me when I was a teenager.

***

Book excerpt:

…After a series of invigorating dances with the party twins, I was ready to call it a night, but under Dorothy’s insistence, I stayed. Nobody at the party knew of my sexual inclinations except me. During a slow dance, Dorothy leaned her head against my chest. Although this intimate way of dancing was not new to me, I had no intention of leading my friend on. I tried to keep a polite distance. Dot thought me shy and continued her aggressive approach. I had little choice but to go with the flow since she held me tight with no intention of letting me leave anytime soon. The moment arrived when her lips almost touched mine. She looked into my “eyes wide shut,” and expected romance to sparkle between us. I did not back away,  even though I did not feel the same as Dot. Since it was Valentine’s Day, I did not wish to upset her. I play-acted, as much as I could. In my mind, it was the correct thing to do. After all, I will be back to London in a week and would not be seeing my Malaysian friends for another year. To me, this was merely a moment in time to make my female friend feel good about herself.

***

Author Bernard Foong


Author Bio:  Young alias Bernard Foong is, first and foremost, a sensitivist. He finds nuance in everything. To experience the world he inhabits is an adventure which is mystical, childlike and refreshing. He has a rare ability to create beauty in a unique fashion. His palettes have been material, paint, words and human experiences.

By Christine Maynard (screenwriter and novelist).

Foong just published A Harem Boy’s Saga – V – Metanoia; a memoir by Young  – the final volume of his autobiographic five-book series of Mr. Foong’s young life:

A Harem Boy’s Saga: A Memoir by Young.

This provocative story spanning 4 decades and 3 continents is about a boy who was sent to a very exclusive English boarding school in the 1960s where he was initiated into a clandestine sexual society and then spirited away to serve in wealthy and elite Middle Eastern harems .”

Ranked Internationally Best-Selling Author on amazon.com

A Harem Boy’s Saga – Book I – Initiation (a memoir by Young)

A Harem Boy’s Saga – Book II – Unbridled (sequel)

A Harem Boy’s Saga – Book III – Debauchery (3rd volume in the series))

A Harem Boy’s Saga – Book IV – Turpitude (4th volume in the series)

A Harem Boy’s Saga series is published by Solstice Publishing and is available in print and E-books internationally.

A Harem Boy’s Saga (series) – Film Option Agreement signed with a U.K. Film Production Company.

Book I – Initiation is currently in film production.

Please follow Bernard on his SPOTLIGHT AUTHOR Blog Tour!

My Valentine Story – 1989

Happy Valentine’s Day tomorrow everyone! If you have a partner, I hope you take time to let them know how much you love and appreciate them. One event in life can take them, or you, away.

Image via Pixabay

My Valentine Story starts on February 13, 1989.

Rick and I were preparing for open heart surgery on this day. There were so many emotions, so many unanswered questions and so much fear of what was to come next.

Would he survive the surgery? Could it be that we waited so long to be together to have it all end too soon? How would I survive if he didn’t?

Here are a couple short excerpts from “Home At Last.”

Excerpt #1:

“Once the girls were tucked into bed, Luke and Darlina lay on their own bed snuggling close.

“Darlina,” Luke began.

Now, regretting her earlier insistence that he tell her everything, she put her fingers on his lips. “Sh. Let’s not talk anymore tonight. We need to rest.”

“But, I have so much to tell you.”

“Then tell me tomorrow. I just want to lie here beside you and pretend everything is like it was a month ago before all of this started.”

Luke gathered her closer. “I love you, sweetheart.”

A stray tear escaped and she buried her face in the covers. “I love you too, Luke Stone. Never forget that.”

Long after Luke’s breathing steadied into an easy rhythm, Darlina lay awake with thousands of thoughts racing through her head.

How was she going to hold all of this together and be everything for everyone who needed her? She couldn’t allow emotions to get the best of her. She had to keep up a happy positive front for Luke and for the children.

But, what if he didn’t survive the surgery? A gasp caught in her throat. She must not have these thoughts. Surely, he would be okay and they would have many more years together.

She looked over at him in the darkness and branded to memory the familiar silhouette of his face.”

Excerpt #2:

“Darlina stood quietly by as nurses helped him into a hospital gown, inserted an IV, then shaved his left leg and chest.

Her eyes misted as she watched him joke, and make light of the situation. Every time he looked at her, she forced a smile, but it was almost more than she could do.

She watched the clock and as each minute ticked away, her heart pounded so loud she wondered if others could hear it. She wanted to yank that clock off the wall and stop the hands that measured her time with Luke.

Finally, the nurses finished and left the two of them alone.

“Come here.” Luke patted the bed.

Darlina climbed up and stretched out beside him. He stroked her hair and she struggled to hold back the fountain of tears that clogged her throat.

Words were unnecessary. They’d all been said. They held each other tightly, dreading the sound of squeaky footsteps.

All too soon, the curtain parted and the anesthesiologist strode in. Darlina got off the bed, wiped her eyes and watched while he put medicine into the IV that would put Luke to sleep.

She leaned over, kissed him on the forehead and whispered. “I’ll see you soon, my love.””

The good news was that Rick (Luke) did survive the heart surgery and lived another twenty years. Of course, I wouldn’t want to spoil the book for everyone who hasn’t read it. 🙂

In honor of that special day in 1989, I have reduced the price of the “Home At Last” Kindle version starting tomorrow. I hope you’ll pick up a copy if you haven’t already.

Purchase Link

Thank you!

February Book of the Month #RWISA

It is a great honor to hold the “Book of the Month” seat at RWISA for February!

So, I’m going to do a little more shameless self-promotion.

In a recent podcast, I was asked what kind of man Luke Stone (aka Rick Sikes) was.

He stood 6’2″ and had a larger-than-life persona. In the opening chapter of “Flowers and Stone,” this is shown by the way the owner of the night club reacted to him coming through the door with his band.

Here’s a short excerpt:

Just as her dance performance came to an end, she(Darlina) heard a commotion. Turning, she saw Marketa personally escorting a group of customers to the best table in the club. It was totally out of character for this spitfire of a woman to make a fuss over anyone. Marketa flitted around with her long elegant ivory cigarette holder in her hand.  

Amidst enthusiastic applause, the bright spotlight now off her, Darlina hurried to talk to Sherry.

“Who is that?”

Sherry rolled her eyes. “That’s Luke Stone and the Rebel Rousers. I can’t believe you don’t know that.”

“How would I know? You forget I don’t get out much other than here.”

“They are only the hottest band in the whole State of Texas.”

“Do you know them?”

“Hell yes, I know ‘em. Had a one-night stand with the drummer a year or so ago.”

With overwhelming curiosity, Darlina proposed, “Let me wait their table.”

Sherry shrugged her shoulders, “Suits me.”

Darlina hurried to the table carrying menus. “Evening folks, I’m Darlina, and I’ll be taking care of you tonight.”

Luke Stone, an assuming man over six feet tall with a swagger and crooked grin promptly replied, “Honey, are you sure about that?”

A hot flush spread across her cheeks at his implication. “Let me re-phrase that. I’ll be taking your order tonight. What can I get you to drink?”

“Well, seein’ as how you don’t serve whiskey here, guess I’ll be havin’ a cup of coffee,” Luke said, leaning back in his chair and lighting a King Edward cigar.   

Yes, that’s Rick (Luke) on the far right.

PURCHASE LINK

I’d be thrilled if you’d pick up a copy of “Flowers and Stone” today! And if you do, PLEASE leave a review once you’ve read it.

I’d also like to invite you to find out more about the amazing, supportive writing communities, THE RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB, AND THE RAVE WRITERS INT’L SOCIETY OF AUTHORS.

RRBC sponsors an online Writers’ Conference and Book Expo each year. The dates for 2019 are August 12-18. Registration is NOW open. This is a conference you DO NOT want to miss. And, you can attend from your living room in your pajamas. 🙂

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Writing Space Improvement

How important is your writing space?

Studies have shown that having a dedicated writing space makes for a more productive writer. There is no hard and fast rule as to what that space consists of or looks like. It can be as simple as a laptop at your local library or maybe just a clean desktop where your computer lives. Or maybe not a clean desktop at all. Maybe you write better surrounded by research materials or newspapers or yesterday’s mail. Whatever your space looks like, one thing that is consistent across the board is that every writer needs a dedicated writing space.

Rather than bore you with ramblings about the importance of a dedicated writing space, I want to share with you a product I purchased from Amazon that has literally transformed my writing space into a healthier and more productive atmosphere.

This is an adjustable ergonomic desktop work station that raises or lowers with a hydraulic handle. So, I can either stand to work or lower it down and sit to work. It has made a huge difference. Before I bought this, I sat for up to five or six hours at a time and that is not good for the body.

Now, I find that I can get more work done with the flexibility of standing or sitting. The picture above is raised. The picture below is lowered.

And the cost was less than $125. I have to say, I am thrilled with it and don’t know why I waited so long to purchase it. I have scoliosis (the double S curve) in my back and the pain level is greatly reduced by alternating between standing and sitting.

So, now my dedicated workspace is more flexible and conducive to my needs with one simple purchase.

Since I am talking about workspace, I’ll show some of the things that are important to me besides my new adjustable desktop.

I love my Himalayan Salt Lamp and “Writer’s Block.”
This Essential Oil Diffuser does not use water so no worries about using it around electronics
Some of my book awards for inspiration
The headsets I use for the ASPIRE TO INSPIRE radio show

I hope you’ve enjoyed the tour. If you’ve ever wondered about the adjustable desktop, wonder no more. It’s fabulous!

Whatever makes for more productive days is a good thing.

The Outlaw Mail Order Bride Series @LBroday

Linda Broday has released the first book in her new series!

The Outlaw’s Mail Order Bride released January 29 and readers are loving it! I’ll let Linda tell you about it in her own words.

Three Fun Facts About The Outlaw’s Mail Order Bride

By Linda Broday

I’m so excited about this new release and launch of a new four-book series called Outlaw Mail Order Brides. I’ve always wanted to write stories about outlaws. I believe there were good ones (those who killed because they had little choice) and bad ones (who killed for sport and because they liked it.) There’s a clear difference.

The American Frontier was comprised with millions upon millions of acres of land with only a few hundred lawmen to keep order which led to men finding what justice they could for themselves. The result was usually who had the fastest gun.

The lines were often blurred between lawmen and outlaws with men switching back and forth to suit the situation. There are plenty of examples in history such as Wild Bill Hickok, Wyatt Earp, Bat Masterson, Pat Garrett, to name a few who were both. It just depended on the job that needed doing.

That’s where Clay Colby and this town of outlaws find themselves. They’ve killed but always because they had little choice except now they want to marry and settle down, raise a family. To do that, they needed wives so Clay begins writing Tally Shannon, a woman who escaped a lunatic asylum after her stepmother put her in there to get rid of her.

This series is a bleed-over from my Men of Legend with the Legend brothers making guest appearances. Luke Legenc gets the most time since he starts a private bride service for men and women living in the shadows. They send him their letters and he hand-delivers them.

Here are some fun facts about this story:

1. Tattoo removal is possible. It’s thought to have begun in ancient Egypt when slaves either bought their freedom or were given it. Medicine men developed a way to remove their tattoo with chemicals. It’s not without pain though and it did leave a scar. The smaller ones worked best. Tally Shannon has a small diamond-shaped tattoo on her cheek, put there to identify her as a patient in the Creedmore Lunatic Asylum, and the town doctor is successful at removing it. She’ll do anything to reclaim herself. No one owns her.

2. Prior to World War II, there was little oversight of mental asylums and families with money could pay to have them take a member that was unruly, uncooperative, or just plain too much trouble. Here are a few actual reasons for admission from 1864 to 1889: Immoral Life, Laziness, Deranged Masturbation, Novel Reading, Bad Habits and Political Excitement, Greediness, Business Nerves. Anything could be used for an excuse. Tally’s stepmother claimed that she preyed upon children and handed the supervisor a bag of money, telling him to make Tally’s life a living hell. That’s exactly what he did.

3. Children were also put in the asylum and one was a little blind girl named Violet. When she arrives unexpectedly with Tally, Clay is shocked at first then deeply touched and starts teaching her how to get around without help. He and the men rig up walking trails with ropes that take her from one part of town to the other. He had also once seen a blind man walking with a long piece of wood in front of him, tapping for obstructions in his path so Clay makes Violet one and teaches her how to use it. The girl finds a measure of independence which sometimes leads to trouble. He just wants her to have a good life and he loves her as though she was his own child. She becomes the darling of the town with everyone watching out for her safety.

PURCHASE LINK

Back Cover Copy

When the West was wild
And man’s law favored the few
These extraordinary women could be found…in the heart of an outlaw.

Former outlaw Clay Colby is abuzz with his mail order bride’s expected arrival. He’s fought long and hard to drag Devil’s Crossing out of lawlessness…so when his homestead is set ablaze by a bitter rival, he’s heartbroken. There’s no woman in the world who’d stand by him now.

But Tally Shannon is no ordinary woman.

After escaping the psychiatric hospital in which she was wrongfully detained, Tally only wants someone to protect her and the little girl under her care. She doesn’t mind that Clay’s home is dang near burned to the ground—not when he makes her feel so safe. So cherished. But it’s only a matter of time before the ghosts of her past come calling…and her loving cowboy must defend his new bride—and the family they built together—to his very last breath.

PURCHASE LINK!

Book #2 of this series comes out in three months (April 30) –SAVING THE MAIL ORDER BRIDE. It’s about Clay’s friend Jack Bowdre and Nora Kane and is quite an exciting adventure. I hope you’re not scared of snakes!

Author, Linda Broday

I’m a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over twenty historical western romance books and short stories. I’m a Texas girl through and through and reside in the panhandle on ancient land that carries the voices of those who lived and died on the wind. If I close my eyes and get still I can often hear them whispering in my ear.

My love of history and the Old West was born from watching TV westerns and visiting museums and libraries. I’ve always been an avid reader and books opened up entirely new exciting worlds that seemed limited only by my imagination.

Cowboys have always fascinated me so it’s no wonder that I love to write about them, their ladies, and the struggles they endure in trying to carve out a small place to call home. Western romance is my passion and I feel truly blessed. Humble roots and the love of family have become focal points in my stories. I sincerely hope readers enjoy what I strive to bring to life on the printed page.

I’m a mother, grandmother, and now a great grandmother. In my family, I’m the storyteller and the one who records our history. I come from a long line of poor but prideful people. That’s okay. I’m happy with that. This is my legacy.

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