Summer Heat

Where I live July is one of the hottest months of the year. The heat and humidity can be oppressive, forcing natives to seek relief inside air-conditioned homes, buildings, and cars. When I lived in Wisconsin, I found July was hot but not like Texas hot. In Wisconsin you can be out during the day and the evenings are pleasant especially with a soft serve cone. People complain about the heat, and by Wisconsin standards it is hot, but I grew up in Texas where 100-degree days with evening temperatures in the 80s during July and August are expected.

The Wisconsin summer is enough reason to visit this part of the country. The popular ski shows are found all through the state and Door County fish boils are a treat for tourists and residents alike. Summer is a time for the farmers’ markets to open early and close around noon or when the produce and baked goods are gone. The fishing is good most of the day and swimming is a favorite activity when the fish aren’t biting. Jet skis and boats are found on all the lakes and rivers.

The days are long, over fourteen hours of sunlight in much of the state. That means there is still daylight after work providing time for family activities. With mild evening temperature people stay outdoors and soak up the warmth of summer knowing that autumn will bring the first freeze of the year.

Writing the Jameson stories set in Wisconsin helps me remember how much I loved living there – especially during the summers.

Coyote Vengeance

coyote-vengeance-coverIt has been a long time coming but my latest book, Coyote Vengeance, is now available at Amazon. Very excited to have it completed.

This is the second story featuring Texas Ranger Scott Durham. He has recently helped to bring down a gunrunner named Frederick Schmidt. While being transported to federal prison, Schmidt escapes from the U.S. Marshals. The Marshals aren’t sure where he is heading, but are concerned that he will make good on his promise to kill Scott.

In this story we also have the return of park ranger Amanda Chisholm, who was introduced in the first book, Canyon Riddle. Amanda and Scott’s relationship has grown and they are planning a vacation together. But before they can get out of town two things happen to change their plans: First, the U.S. Marshals call on Scott to help recapture Schmidt. Second, Scott’s grandmother shows up at his house.

This is a fun story but with the twists and turns you would expect in a mystery. I enjoyed writing it and hope readers enjoy it also.

 

No Place Quite Like Palo Duro

centipedeOne of my favorite places to camp is Palo Duro Canyon. I have some fun memories of the park from the times my family would tent camp in the canyon. Once we were sitting at the campsite table talking and laughing when my husband hushed everyone. We sat listening and heard the rustling of leaves. We looked under the table and saw what was making the noise. It was a centipede taking a morning walk. It was longer than a clothespin and about the size of nickel around. It was the first time I ever heard an insect walking.

10 Things about Palo Duro Canyon:

  1. Second largest canyon in the US at over 120 miles long, the park is 70 miles long, average width 6 miles – up to 20 miles wide in places – depth is 800’.
  2. Palo Duro is Spanish for “hard stick.”
  3. Nickname Grand Canyon of Texas
  4. Prairie Dog Town Fork of the Red River is the river that carves the canyon.
  5. Some the geological formations in the canyon include mesas, caves, and hoodoos (rock balanced atop a smaller base).
  6. First human habitation 10,000-15,000 years ago with the Clovis and Folsom peoples and has been continuously inhabited since then. First Europeans to discover the canyon were part of the Coronado Expedition in 1541.
  7. The park was built utilizing the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) – took five years.
  8. Park covers 28,000 acres, second largest park in Texas.
  9. Using the canyon as a backdrop, the Texas Outdoor Musical has been running for 50 years.
  10. Painter Georgia O’Keeffe described the canyon as, “It is a burning, seething cauldron, filled with dramatic light and color.”

The inspiration for my story Canyon Riddle came from this place. If you get the opportunity to visit this amazing place, take it!

Why a blog?

I have published my first Kindle book and was advised to create a blog where readers can learn more about me and what I’m doing. So this first blog is about why I published this book.

I come from a family of storytellers and publishing one of my stories is very scary to me. When I tell a story, there are plenty of opportunities to read my listening audience. I can determine if I need to elaborate on a point, create some more depth to a character, or the story is a bust and I need to cut it short. A published story just sits there. My hope is that the reader will find the story entertaining.  Palo Duro Canyon

The name of the book is Canyon Riddle. It is a mystery that is set in the Panhandle of Texas and the leading character is a Texas Ranger named Scott Durham. The book is a quick read.

I wrote it in response to a challenge one of my sons issued to me. He challenged me to enter the NaNoWriMo. For those that don’t know what NaNoWriMo is, it is an organization that believes there is a story in everyone. They set up a challenge to write 50,000 words in 30 days (the month of November). I had never written a story that long but I did it. And now it is available for people to read.

Since that first challenge, I have written 2 more NaNoWriMo books. Will have to see about publishing them. But at the very least, the challenge has stretched my storytelling skills.

Hope you will check back as I share more of my thoughts and stories. Be sure to check out my book.