Catching my Breath

I’ve been so busy running around the state judging at county fairs, I forgot to update my own blog.

At one fair I judge open class eggs

The county fairs I judged at were a lot of fun. Some I watched 4-H members knit, crochet and sew, others I judged their foods, clothing, knitting, photography, educational displays, and presentations. And there were were a couple where I judged the open class foods and clothing.

I have to say while judging open class is easier because I don’t have to interview or write down what is good and what needs work on an item, I do enjoy the interview process with the 4-H members the most. I love their enthusiasm about the item they made or baked. If the recipe or pattern came from a family member. What I found most about the clothing and knitting projects the patterns for many were found on Pinterest. How times change!

I’m looking forward to this coming weekend. Labor Day, not for the camping and family time but because it is my annual pilgrmage to Sumpter, Oregon to set up a booth with another author at the Flea Market. It has become one of the events during the year I look forward to.

This year we have a nice tent we’ll set up.

It’s fun talking with Mary Vine, the other author, and watching all the people who wander among the booths. The best part, is when someone hurries over and say, “I was hoping you were going to be here, I need the next book in your series.” That’s why we go back every year. To provide winter reading for the people in NE Oregon. LOL

I’m way behind in my writing, but I do have a new release, the last western romance I’ll write for a while. Freedom: Silver Dollar Saloon.

Their dreams brought them together. But will violence tear them apart?

Freedom longs to be out of the Silver Dollar Saloon, with a family of her own. When a white man promises marriage and children, she takes the biggest risk of her life, and follows him to the wilds of Montana Territory. Where he shows his true nature.

Water Runs Fast, a Crow off the reservation, comes upon a white man whipping a brown-skinned woman. After stabbing the white man and riding off with the woman, he realizes she is the woman from his visions. The one who pledged to help him and his people survive in the white man’s world.

On the run from the tragedy, the two grow close. Together, they begin a life as husband and wife. But will they have their chance at a life together, or will they hang for murder?

Universal link: https://books2read.com/u/mlawnB

And I should have the next Shandra book, Toxic Trigger-point coming out in September. We’re still working on the cover design. It’s being tricky and the book is going through the editing phase.

What did you do this summer? Was it fun? Are you looking forward to fall coming?

Authors4Veterans Giveaway

I’m excited to share this amazing giveaway with you all.  It was such a privilege to participate in this year’s annual Authors4Veterans charity drive.  Not only did we help veterans’ families, we also have 4 bags to share with our readers.

So, to back up a little bit, Authors4Veterans is a non-profit organization started by Stacey Joy Netzel and PJ Fiala in 2017.  The purpose of Authors4Veterans is simple; they contact fellow authors like myself, asking for a small monetary donation and books, swag and comfort items.  They bag them up in beautiful canvas zippered bags and deliver them to Fisher House Wisconsin.  Fisher House is a fantastic organization, located on the VA grounds in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where military families who need temporary housing can stay while their loved one receives care at the VA hospital.  This is all free to the families.  There are currently 84 houses in operation.  You can find out more about Fisher House here – https://www.fisherhouse.org/

Authors4Veterans’ came to be as Stacey and PJ both come from strong military backgrounds and they wanted to give back in some way.  To date, our author bags have been given to over 115 families.  Sometimes families have little notice that they have to rush to the hospital and these bags come in handy as they usually contain toothbrushes, toothpaste, shower soap, hand lotion, etc. in them as well as the books and swag.  Families are given a bag upon check-in.  Fisher House has shared that the families are often over-come with emotion at the generosity of the authors and how comforting the bags have been.

So, all that said, we also want to give something to our readers!  Enter the giveaway below for a chance to win your own Authors4Veterans bag filled with goodies.  The giveaway ends at 11:45p CST on June 20th.  Four winners will be drawn and announced on June 21st.  There are several opportunities for you to enter the giveaway, and of course, sharing it is always appreciated.

Enter the giveaway here – https://authors4veterans.com/2019/06/june-reader-giveaway/

Good luck everyone.

Memorial Weekend Fun

My side of the tent at the Flea Market

I made my yearly trek to Sumpter, Oregon for their Memorial Day Flea Market. For the last four years I’ve rented a space with another writer friend during this weekend and Labor Day weekend.

Playing cards in the cabin

This year was more fun because I took my eleven-year-old granddaughter. I usually stay in a cabin 6 miles from Sumpter in the small community of Bourne.   The cabin doesn’t have any plumbing or electricity, but it’s surrounded by tall pine and lodge pole and has Cracker Creek running right behind it.

My granddaughter made the comment that she liked the cabin, but would prefer it had plumbing.  We had a good time playing cards until dark, giggling and eating popcorn.

Usually, I stay at the cabin by myself or take my small dog Tink, but I will have to say this weekend has been my favorite even though the rainy weather kept the usual number of people away.

I enjoyed talking with readers who come back each weekend we are here to purchase our newest books. And we talked to a couple of people who are writing books. I also met a Nez Perce woman who gave me her phone number and her father’s number to contact them with questions, since my fictional characters are from that tribe.

This yearly pilgrimage for me has become one of the weekends I look forward to, just to visit with my author friend, Mary Vine, and enjoy the tranquility of the cabin. I usually write when I’m at the cabin but because my granddaughter was so much fun to entertain, I ignored the computer I’d brought with me.

We had some great talks about her four brothers, which was one of the reasons she was happy to come with me. She said she needed a break from them. LOL She also has dreams of being a writer and having published books. She told me a couple of her ideas she’s been thinking about for books, and we did some brainstorming. It’s fun to have someone in the family who understands about stories and characters in my head.

We’re already discussing her coming with me in September for the Labor Day Flea Market.

Evening of Inspiration by Paty Jager

Rogue Valley Chorale

Last Sunday, my friend and I attended an event at the Burns Paiute Gathering Center. It was a chorale concert and pow wow dances.

The Rogue Valley Chorale traveled to Burns to perform a piece composed by Joseph Julian Gonzalez. The composer had studied Aztec storytelling after having a rhythm and chant come to him out of the blue. While diving into centuries old transcriptions by clergymen, he discovered one story that he couldn’t get out of his mind.

Butterfly Dancers

This was the story of a woman searching for flowers. The birds and butterflies directed her to a beautiful place with radiant sunshine and the most beautiful flowers the woman had ever seen. they told her to gather them into her robe and take them back to her people. But she thought about this and left the flowers to grow as they were.

Gonzalez talk of all the different symbolism the scholars and elders came up with for the flowers and the maiden not returning to her world with them. And this story is what sparked the composer song- Origin of the Songs. Which is what the stories that were found from centuries ago were called. The reason he wished the song to be premiered in Burns with the Paiutes stems from the fact they are one of the few North American tribes that speak the language of the Aztecs.

Fancy Dancer

While I enjoyed the pre-concert talk by Gonzalez on how he came to write the piece and the powwow dancers in the middle of the program, it was the final song, the Origin of the Songs that I had waited for all night and found to be the most enchanting. Along with the Rogue Valley Chorale, there was mezzo accompanist, Shelly Cox Thornhill, who sang the part of the woman finding the flowers.

I came away from the evening with some great photos and feeling more connected to the Crow character I am writing in my current work in progress.

So Much Going On! by Paty Jager

I found buttercup!

The winter seemed to lag and while I was busy writing and doing some kid sitting and book signings, it is now spring and I’m looking forward to late spring and early summer. I have some great opportunities for me as a write, you as a reader,and you as a writer. (I know I have people who are one or two or all three of these following my blog. 😉 )

First! Book 3 of the Gabriel Hawke series is releasing this week. I’ll put up the info here when it is live. This book while fun to write took a lot of brain power to keep in tradition with my twists in a mystery and to make it work with the title I’d already given the book. I usually wait until I have written part of a book before I title it but for some reason, with the Hawke books, I feel compelled to have the title and then make the book conform to the title. Weird- but it’s working. LOL

I’m excited to be a guest at a book club the end of April. It’s two hours from where I live. They picked Spirit of the Mountain as the book they are reading. There will be so many things I can talk about when I’m there not only about the book but other books they might like if they liked Wren and Himiin’s story.

May has two in-person events, I’m doing. On is May 17th in Asotin, WA. For part of a Cowboy Poetry and Country Music event. Four authors who write about the west, (me along with Kathy Moss, Lauralee Northcott, and Carmen Peone will be at the Asotin County Library from 10am – noon with a program tentatively called, Women Writing the West. I’ll have 15 minutes to talk, so I have to come up with something good and brief. 😉

Our usual booth at Sumpter

Later in the month- Memorial weekend to be exact, I’ll be set up at the Sumpter, OR Flea Market with Mary Vine for our usual book selling event. We have a new tent this year to help keep the wind and rain out, should the weather not be hospitable.

June is another busy month! I”ll be giving a workshop and signing books at The Frontier Writers Rendezvous a 2 day event June 7th & 8th in Canyon City, Oregon. There will be writing workshops, readings, and books. You can go to this link: https://oregonguidespublishing.com/fwc/ to see the great workshops and the times and authors who will be reading from their works. The workshops are $20 and the readings are free. I’ll be giving a workshop on Characterization- Making Your Characters Come to Life.

The other thing I am most excited about in June…. I’m going to Iceland!! The Authors Guild I belong to has a 6 day excursion to Iceland. It was a decent price and I could see Hawke going there for an international law enforcement conference and teaching a class on tracking. Not only will I be able to go to all the fabulous places the trip has included, I’ll be scoping out places to have Hawke venture to while ??? That’s what I’ll have to figure out while I’m there. Who dies and how he can use his tracking skills to help.

That’s what I have coming up in the next three months. What are your plans?