The Inspiration Behind Waltz Back to Texas

I know I’m probably being obnoxious about this, but I’m just so in love with everything about this book. And if you’ve been reading my blog for any amount of time, you know when I fall for something, I can’t stop talking about it.

So, Fred and I have been taking a lot of road trips, all over Texas (but we haven’t gone west. Still.) We started last year with a trip to Shiner, Texas, about an hour and a half southeast of here. We drove past lots of drilling rigs and storage stations, which intrigued me. I’d heard of the Eagle Ford Shale drilling, but didn’t realize it was so close to town. We didn’t find anyplace we wanted to eat after our tour of the brewery, so we drove to the next town of Gonzales. The square was almost empty, just a bank and a cafe, maybe a store. In Texas, the small towns are all pretty much set up the same way, a square around a courthouse, and you can just imagine what it looked like back in the day (like maybe the town from Back to the Future.) So it’s kind of sad to see these squares dying.

We went to the diner, which was pretty good, and I took pictures, because I liked how Texas it all was. One side was a diner and the other side was a bar, with pool tables and a juke box. While we were there, a DPS officer brought in his family and they ate by the front window, a man came in with a toddler and visited with the waitress I presumed was his wife.

Stories started forming in my head.

We went to Luling for BBQ and posters lined the walls of the restaurant, asking for votes for the Watermelon Thump Queen.

We went to Burnet and Lampasas, with similar squares. Lampasas actually had a few more stores in their square. Both towns, and Gonzales, had other shopping areas, more modern, more space. Still sad.

We went to Three Rivers, because I’d read in Texas Monthly that it is one of the towns that’s booming because of the oil. We drove by man camps and rigs and earth movers clearing land for God-knows-what. We ate at the little barbecue place next to the one-screen theater. We saw the mayor eating lunch with the sheriff as townspeople stopped at the table to chat. Meanwhile, truck after truck rolled by, back and forth to the refinery right off the square.

We went to Karnes City, another place I’d heard was booming, but when we didn’t find anything but a BBQ place and a bar created from what had once been a grocery store, we drove on to Cuero.

THAT place is booming. It’s not laid out in quite the same way, but all the shops are filled in, just about. There are home decorating and remodeling places, salons (okay, we saw at LEAST three salons in every town, but these were a bit fancier). Honestly, you can’t hear yourself think for all the trucks driving up and down the main street. My husband said that was the sound of money.

So our trips were kind of like seeing an evolution, though they were in different places. And bits of each town shows up in Waltz Back to Texas.

waltz back to texas final

Waltz Back to Texas Releases, and a Giveaway!

It’s here! It’s here! Waltz Back to Texas, inspired by my Miles and Miles of Texas tour, is LIVE. To celebrate, I’m giving away a $50 Amazon gift card, using Rafflecopter (my first time–be patient!) All day I’ll be doing flash giveaways on Facebook, and all week I’ll be sharing behind-the-scenes stories about how this series came to be!

Welcome to Evansville, a sleepy Texas town on the verge of a boom.

After growing up in a dying town, with only two restaurants, no movie theater, and no future, waitress Cassidy Simon wants out. For once, luck is on her side when the oil boom comes to South Texas. She’s determined to use it for her advantage, starting up an RV park for the oilfield workers to add to her escape fund. She’s never been out of Texas, and she’s itching for adventure.

Grady McKenna couldn’t get away from his family’s ranch fast enough when he was a teenager, but a tour in the Air Force in the Middle East is enough to convince him there’s no place like home. He’s seen the world, had his adventure. Now he’s ready to contribute to his family’s legacy in Evansville.

Naturally, the woman who draws his attention is the one intent on slipping through his fingers. How can he convince her life with him will be all the adventure she needs?

Available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Google Play and Smashwords!

waltz back to texas final

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Happy Easter! And Goals for the Week Waltz Back to Texas Releases (and My Birthday!)


Oh, a crazy week ahead! Today we’re celebrating Easter and my birthday. Tomorrow Waltz Back to Texas comes out, Tuesday and Wednesday are STAAR testing, all week is Fiesta….Ay-yi-yi!

I spent 2 hours yesterday making 2 kinds of dip and 2 kinds of margaritas for the party. Today I’m making Sangria. I hope it’s good! We aways have too much.

I’m trying to finish up one novella and start another this week, on top of everything else. Wish me luck!


  1. Survive testing
  2. Enjoy my birthday
  3. Enjoy Easter
  4. Enjoy Fiesta
  5. Launch first oilfield book
  6. Work on novella
  7. Dentist appointment
  8. Clean/cook/exercise

Waltz Back to Texas Excerpt

Just a few more days! I love this book so much–I hope you do, too!

Cassidy. That was her name. He watched her move among the tables, her shoulders tight, and she looked over her shoulder. Shit. He could see by the look on her face that she knew they were talking about her, and the resignation in her eyes told him she was used to it. He shoved an onion ring in his sister’s mouth and shook his head to shut her up.

Sage rolled her eyes and held onto the onion ring as she took a vicious bite out of it. “It’s not like she doesn’t know.”

“Yeah, but—” He shook his head. He didn’t want to talk about her, not when she was in the room, not behind her back. And he would prefer finding out her secrets on her own.

Sage pointed at him with the bitten edge of her onion ring. “She’s a disaster. If you want a nice girl, I can introduce you around.”

“I don’t need my sister to introduce me to women. Especially a woman who admittedly has no life.”

She shrugged, finished the onion ring, then plucked another from the basket. “I’ve got cute friends.”

Cassidy was plenty cute, in those jean shorts, those long legs.

“Thought you didn’t have time for friends.”

The grimace was quick, but he didn’t miss it, and he wondered what had her so shut down.


Goals the Week Before Easter

Holy cow, I’m tired. I finished a book, formatted for print and e-book, took out some ads, revised a short story, worked on the Booklovers Buffet website and uploaded the new book to lots of places. That was just the past two days! I also wrote 14 pages since I finished the other book. Really REALLY want to be a fulltime writer because the rest of my life needs attention. I have new fabric, I need to repot some plants and clean patio furniture–but no time! SO glad this is a 4-day workweek, though I have breakfast duty AND will be taking my friend Susan to school because she was in a fender bender on Friday and her car will be in the shop. That means I need to leave the house at 6:15 all week. Two days she has to stay late, so I’ll take my computer and work those days, I guess.


  1. Work on novella
  2. Breakfast duty
  3. Figure out how to upload to Apple
  4. Visit the Romance Bandits blog since Trish got us a spot advertising Cloudy
  5. Newsletter
  6. Update website
  7. Address graduation announcements
  8. Clean/cook/exercise

Fred had two gigs and a band practice last week and is looking at 3 practices this week, so I won’t have to cook SO much. On the downside, I’m getting a little tired of take-out and am not making good choices :(

Goals the Week We Launch Starfish Shores 2


Fred has two gigs and two nights of practice this week, which means I’ll largely be left to my own devices. Hopefully that includes a lot of writing. The other night I caught up on all the shows I TiVo for myself, shut off the TV, went to bed and worked for an hour and a half or so, and got a LOT done. I’m going to employ that method this week.

Yesterday we went to the Starving Artist Show, an annual event at La Villita, and I didn’t get home until 3. I promptly crashed and SLEPT UNTIL ALMOST 7 PM! We went to dinner at 8! And I still was asleep by midnight. Was TIRED!

This week I have ALL my classes. This is unusual because every other week is Boy Scouts (literally) and there are always other interruptions.

This week:

  1. Launch new Starfish Shores (not sure exactly what we’re doing yet…)
  2. Start new novella
  3. HOPEFULLY get observed.
  4. Work on a website for indie books for a Facebook party we’re having in May.
  5. Go see Captain America!
  6. Finish revisions
  7. Clean/cook/exercise

Doesn’t look like much, but it’s occupying my mind!

Excerpt from Starfish Shores: Cloudy with a Chance of Love

“I was thinking if I didn’t find him, he was going to drown,” she shot back, her voice raspy from the salt water. She pulled the blanket closer around her, clearly miserable in her wet clothes. “I couldn’t just wait—I didn’t know how long it would take anyone to get here.”

“So you just grab something and throw yourself in the water?” The guy she’d pulled out of the water had been nearly twice her size. When he’d recognized her, fighting her way back to shore, he swore his heart stopped for a minute before he’d charged into the water afterwards. He flexed his toes in his wet socks. His shoes would never be the same.

“I’m certified,” she told him. “I’ve been thinking about applying for Search and Rescue. It’s part of the reason I came back to Starfish Shores.”

Search and Rescue? She was probably a buck twenty right now, drenched to the skin, slender, not even up to his shoulder in her bare feet. How could she think she could rescue someone?

But then, she just had, hadn’t she?

She looked past him at the ambulance where the other paramedics were working, surrounded by the young man’s friends, who were clinging to each other. “He’s okay, right?”

“Drunk as a skunk,” the paramedic kneeling before her said. “Puking up moonshine and sea water. But he should be okay. Brave thing you did out there.” He packed up his stuff, then rested his arms on his thighs, looking up at her. “Keep those cuts clean and you’ll be fine. And get out of those wet clothes and into a warm shower as soon as you can.” He rose and winked. “You can give me a call if you need help with any of that.”

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