I have a wonderful lady here today to bring a breath of Texas air to the ranch. Please welcome my super guest and fellow Rose! Be sure to share a bit of your hometown before you go.
Hello, I’m Caroline Clemmons and I write contemporary, historical, and time travel romances and mysteries. After a few years in Southern California, I grew up on the West Texas high plains in Lubbock. In the past I’ve worked as stay-at-home mom (my favorite job), secretary, newspaper reporter and columnist, assistant to the managing editor of a psychology journal, and bookkeeper. My husband and I live on a small acreage in rural North Central Texas with a menagerie of rescued pets. When I’m not writing, I spend time with family, read, travel, browse antique malls and estate sales, and research family history/genealogy. The family history whirling in my brain started me thinking of what to write today.
Don’t most of us enjoy reminiscing about our childhood? As I look back, my childhood was pretty idyllic. Although my parents didn’t have much money, I had everything I needed and most things I wanted. One of my favorite times was at dinner when my dad would reminisce and share his family stories. I grew up in Lubbock, Texas on the high plains. North of town and, coincidentally north of where my husband’s family and mine lived, was a part of Yellow House Canyon.
The canyon is a surprise to many due to the mostly flat plains through which a long ago river cut a trailand created occasional tiny lakes. Ten thousand years and more ago, Native Americans camped in and roamed through that canyon. Spanish explorers followed the route, and allegedly Coronado came that way in 1541. Early pioneers trekked over the same trail for accessibility to water at a small lake that has since disappeared. Growing up, I had no idea Yellow House Canyon was important.
Although I wasn’t allowed to roam the canyon, my future husband and his Boy Scout friends did, searching for arrowheads, spear points, and other artifacts. My husband amassed a nice collection that included a Clovis spear point. In fact, there was a local site where Boy Scouts camped.
One winter in the snow, my future father-in-law came to collect myhusband, irate that the Boy Scouts and their leaders didn’t have enough sense to come in out of the bad weather. Years later, my younger brother also camped there in a snowstorm, but my folks had no idea where to find him. He came home from his camping trip ecstatic because a coyote had come right up to their campfire. Only a ten-year-old boy would think that was a good thing!
Near that spot on the canyon rim is the Lubbock Lake Landmark site. Although the excavations were begun long before I was born, I didn’t realize it because I was absorbed in my own world of books while I was growing up. Wait…I am still lost in my world of books, aren’t I? Archeological excavations are ongoing and it’s possible to view them in process. Inside the center is a small but good museum with life size dioramas depicting the Indians who once lived there. Outside are bronzes of some of the extinct animals whose bones have been unearthed. The site is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and is a designated a National Historic and State Archeological Landmark. It is managed by the museum of Texas Tech University with excavations conducted under a Texas Antiquities Committee permit.
Further southwest along the canyon is the local picnic area, Mackenzie State Park, named for Ranald Mackenzie, also known as Bad Hand and famous for viciously hunting down Indians. As a kid I was forced to attend what seemed like hundreds of reunions at this park. Okay, it was only three each summer, but I hated them. I’m not the outdoorsy type, plus listening to the same old geezers each year tell my dad, “You ought to tie a brick on her head so she won’t grow any taller” was not my idea of a fun way to spend the afternoon. Since the reunions were in the afternoon, I was always dressed in my church clothes instead of play gear.
At least there was an amusement park–tame by today’s standards–but it featured the only fun rides in town. Now the grassy creek bed where my older cousins played softball has been dammed to hold water. And there’s a prairie dog town on a hill at the edge of the park. Cute little guys, prairie dogs, but not helpful to farmers or ranchers. The park is still beautiful with huge old cottonwoods and elms.
Still further southwest is Ransom Canyon, a part of Yellow House Canyon, where Comanches traded white captives for ransom. And sometimes where robbers dressed like Native Americans traded captives. Now it’s a nice housing development with its own lake.
Going back to Lubbock is strange now. My parents and my husband’s parents have passed away, although we are related to a huge percentage of Lubbock County’s residents. The town has grown and changed so much since we left it seems almost as if that can’t be the place we lived. Memories have to sustain us, because the Lubbock we knew no longer exists.
Lubbock and the area near it are the setting for my release from The Wild Rose Press, HOME, SWEET TEXAS HOME, which received a 5 Heart review from The Romance Studio.
HOME SWEET TEXAS HOME is a sweet romance, a modern Cinderella story about Courtney Madison. If anyone ever needed a break, it’s Courtney. Her mom died after a lengthy illness and left Courtney with a mountain of debt. Her formerly sweet brother Jimmy for whom she’s guardian has started skipping school and hanging out with rough friends. In two weeks, she’s being downsized and will be without income unless she finds a job immediately. She’s hanging on by a fraying rope, but an inheritance arrives just before the rope’s last thread breaks. Courtney believes all her problems are solved, but she learns money doesn’t really solve all life’s problems, but just changes them. And she encounters roadblocks even a fairy godmother couldn’t foresee.
Rancher and entrepreneur Derek Corrigan, the hero, learned the hard way that women are not to be trusted or loved. No one except his two children, Meg aged five and Warren aged eight, receives his love, and they have his full devotion. He’s determined they will never know the pain he’s experienced. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if parents could protect their children from hurt? We know that’s not possible, and Derek learns that too. And he learns that when he least expects it, healing arrives in the form of a gorgeous blonde who turns into a klutz whenever she’s near him. If only he can convince her he believes in her, and make up to her for a wrong he did her, maybe they’ll have a chance at happily ever after.
Here’s an excerpt in Derek’s point of view after Courtney is injured in a bizarre accident at a cemetery. Derek has brought her home to offer first aid, and Jimmy arrives from school:
When Jimmy saw his sister in bed, he rushed over. “Sis, what happened? What’s with the towel and the ice packs?” He frowned at Derek. “What’s going on?”
She opened her mouth to explain, but nothing came out.
Derek figured the bizarre situation defied description. He patted Jimmy on the shoulder. “Don’t worry, she’s okay now. We were at the cemetery putting flowers on Sam’s and Maggie’s graves and your sister got trapped in the bathroom.”
Jimmy shook his head. “I don’t understand. How could that hurt her?”
Courtney sighed. “The knob came off in my hand and I couldn’t open the door. So, I climbed out the window.”
Derek held out his hands to indicate the small rectangle. “A small, high window.”
Jimmy looked from his sister to Derek. “I still don’t understand what happened.”
Courtney snapped, “I got stuck, okay?”
Now that he knew her to be okay, the week’s tension suddenly snapped Derek and he lost his perspective on the whole situation. He grimaced at Jimmy. “She, um…” He coughed to keep a straight face. “When she tried to go out the window, she got stuck with her head and one arm sticking outside and the rest of her inside.” He stood like a bird with a broken wing to imitate Courtney’s position. A grin spread across his face in spite of all his efforts not to smile.
Jimmy gaped at his sister. “Courtney? But she’s always so sensible. She’s never does anything stupid.” He began to smile also.
Both males burst into laughter.
“Listen, if you two are so amused, go into the other room to discuss my apparently hilarious antics and leave me to suffer in peace.” In spite of her strained muscles and injuries, she threw a box of tissues in their direction. “Go on, get out of here. Now.”
Derek glanced over his shoulder before he left.
She’d stuffed a pillow over her ears, to block out their laughter.
My daughter created a video for this book:
If you’d care to purchase the book in print or e-book download (and I hope you will!), the buy link is http://thewildrosepress.com/caroline-clemmons-m-638.html HOME SWEET TEXAS HOME is also available from Amazon, Barnes and Noble , Digi-Books, and other online stores.
I love to hear from readers, and my email is firstname.lastname@example.org You can also find me at these places:
Blog http://carolineclemmons.blogspot.com Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays
Amazon author’s page http://www.amazon.com/Caroline-Clemmons/e/B001K8CXZ6/ref=sr_tc_ep?qid=1322371476
Team blog: http://sweetheartsofthewest.blogspot.com on the 26th of each month
Website http://carolineclemmons.com and LinkedIn.
Whew, no wonder I’m tired after flitting all over cyberspace.
K, I LOVE the excerpt, LOVE the trailer and I LOVE, LOVE this cover, Caroline! Thank you for bringing some great facts about one of my favorite places (Texas) and sharing your home with us.
Thanks, Calisa, for hosting me today.
And now, until we meet again- in Cherokee-