Sometimes we all need to escape for a while. It's why I love to read. It's why I love to camp. These days taking off for the campgrounds are not in the cards but we can enjoy this virtual time around the fire. Today's guest has been with us before but she's got a brand new book out. But before we get to the interview how about setting the mood.
Are you wearing comfy clothes? I have my favorite hoodie on. It smells like the campfire. Do you hear the snap and pop of the flames? Spring peepers are out filling the air with their singing and chirping. Poke the fire. Let's add another log and may be some magic. Take a deep breath and push the worries of the week into the background. It's been tough, but you're tougher. We're all country around the fire. No, I don't care you're city. This is my fire and you are temporarily anointed country. Grab a cuppa something comforting. Deep breath again. Good I see you relaxing.
Now, let's all say "Hey" to Karen. I'm pleased to have her back and I know you will be too. What can I offer you to drink?
Today, I feel like a cup of steaming coffee.
We always have the pot on at camp. Today's brew is Sumatra Mandheling. Remind us, have you ever camped, or Glamped? I know your characters spent some time sleeping on the ground.
Once, when I was thirteen, my parents and I camped in a pup tent along the Mississippi. I hated it – never saw so many HUGE bugs and spiders in my life. I love the outdoors, but only until the sun goes down. Then I want a hot shower, clean sheets, and a soft bed.
Ugh, spiders. I hate them. I have a can of Spider/Scorpion spray in my house and in my camper. Tell us about your new project. What’s the title and genre?
WILD ROSE PASS was just released this month by Wild Rose Press. It’s a Historical Romance set in 1880s Texas.
Do you have a tagline?
I do. Cadence McShane, free-spirited nonconformist, yearns to escape the rigid code, clothes, and sidesaddles of 1880s military society in Fort Davis, Texas. She finds the daring new lieutenant exhilarating, but as the daughter of the commanding officer, she is expected to keep with family tradition and marry West Point graduate James West.
How long did it take you from conception to publication?
Three and a half years. This “baby” has taken a long time to birth.
I've read Wild Rose Pass. I can imagine the time spent in research alone must have been daunting. Can you elaborate a bit on research?
Writing Wild Rose Pass was a stretch for me. Not only is this frontier romance devoid of ghosts / the paranormal, it’s set a hundred and forty years in the past. Every reference had to be made from the perspective of that era: language, dress, food, roles, and social structure. Slang had to be researched for authenticity. (Words I wanted to use, for instance, sometimes were not coined until the Twentieth Century.) Ladies’ fashions and the officers’ uniforms of that time period had to be researched. (Following the Civil War, the Army had a surplus of uniforms, but only in extra-large or extra small sizes. As a result, soldiers often improvised, and uniforms did not live up to their name.) Food availability on the frontier differed from food availability on the East coast. (Canned foods were available, I learned, but fresh vegetables and fruit were in short supply.)
Women of military families often married career officers. Fraternization among the enlisted men and the officers’ families was frowned upon if not penalized. I researched dusty quartermaster reports in the library at Fort Davis, Texas, and books dating from the mid-1800s about manners and correct comportment. I’ll tell ya’, writing Wild Rose Pass was not only a stretch, it was an education😊
That's amazing. I probably would not have done well back then. What's next for you? I'm sure you have something planned.
Yes, I have one manuscript with my editor at Wild Rose Press that I’m waiting to hear back on—KYOTO: TALE OF THE FOX, and I’m currently in the early stages of writing the sequel to WILD ROSE PASS, with the time-frame mostly in the 1880s-1920s.
How exciting! I can't wait. Karen, tell us, what does literary success look like to you?
Literary success, to me, is a solid income, a please-Lord, prosper-my-hands, pay-the-bills income.
Life Hacks for Authors. Can you share any Tips, tricks or anything you specialize in that you would share with others.
I call it playing dolls. I like to bounce off ideas (usually with girlfriends, but not always) the way we used to play dolls. First, they go here. Then, they do that. You remember!
What a fabulous idea. I bet that can get the creative juices going.
Fun questions time.
If they made a movie about your life, what would the title be and who would play you?
LOL – the title would be “And She Tried,” and Sandra Bullock would play me.
Do you have a special object like a piece of jewelry or keepsake of some sort? Can you tell us what makes it special to you?
Yes, my husband bought me a Journey Necklace to celebrate when I earned my PhD at age 59. From Kindergarten to earning my post-graduate degree had been a long journey.
What is your favorite mug or teacup if neither T-shirt with graphic or Meme
I live and sleep in t-shirts, but my current favorite is one, picturing wild horses.
Years ago, there was a commercial that talked about a “Kodak Moment.” It’s a moment in time you catch in a picture. One you never want to forget. What is yours?
The night I met my husband is my favorite moment. It was in a packed college bar, and he was sitting alone at a huge table, while my friends I sat cramped at a table the size of an LP record. I suggested we switch tables, but instead he joined our group, and one thing led to another.
Favorite childhood book? Or writing that inspired you to become an author.
Grimm’s Fairy Tales – I loved the imagery those stories evoked.
Karen, thanks so much for hanging with me around the fire. Please leave us some information about your book and where we can find it and more about you too. And visitors make sure you scroll down, Karen has left us a recipe.
Wild Rose Pass by Karen Hulene Bartell
Cadence McShane, free-spirited nonconformist, yearns to escape the rigid code, clothes, and sidesaddles of 1880s military society in Fort Davis, Texas. She finds the daring new lieutenant exhilarating, but as the daughter of the commanding officer, she is expected to keep with family tradition and marry West Point graduate James West.
Orphaned, Comanche-raised, and always the outsider looking in, Ben Williams yearns to belong. Cadence embodies everything he craves, but as a battlefield-commissioned officer with the Buffalo Soldiers instead of a West Point graduate, he is neither accepted into military society nor considered marriageable.
Can two people of different worlds, drawn together by conflicting needs, flout society and forge a life together on the frontier?
Reining his horse between catclaw and prickly-pear cactus, Ben Williams squinted at the late summer sun’s low angle. Though still midafternoon, shadows lengthened in the mountains. He clicked his tongue, urging his mare up the incline. “Show a little enthusiasm, Althea. If we’re not in Fort Davis by sunset, we’ll be bedding down with scorpions and rattlesnakes.”
As his detachment’s horses clambered up Wild Rose Pass, the only gap through west Texas’ rugged Davis Mountains, Ben kept alert for loose rocks or hidden roots, anything that might trip his mount. A thick layer of fallen leaves created a pastiche of color shrouding the trail from view. He glanced up at the lithe cottonwood trees lining the route, their limbs dancing in the breeze. More amber and persimmon leaves loosened, fell, and settled near the Indian pictographs on their tree trunks. When he saw the red- and yellow-ochre drawings, he smiled, recalling the canyon’s name—Painted Comanche Camp.
“How far to Fort Davis, lieutenant?” called McCurry, one of his recruits.
“Three hours.” If we keep a steady pace.
Without warning, the soldier’s horse whinnied. Spooking, it reared on its hind legs, threw its rider, and galloped off.
As he sat up, the man groaned, caught his breath, and stared into the eyes of a coiled rattler, poised to strike. “What the…?”
Flicking its tongue, hissing, tail rattling, the pit viper was inches from the man’s face.
A sheen of sweat appeared above the man’s lip. “Lieutenant—”
Barnes & Noble NOOK Book
Barnes & Noble Paperback
About the Author:
Author of the Trans-Pecos, Sacred Emblem, Sacred Journey, and Sacred Messenger series, Karen is a best-selling author, motivational keynote speaker, wife, and all-around pilgrim of life. She writes multicultural, offbeat love stories that lift the spirit. Born to rolling-stone parents who moved annually, Bartell found her earliest playmates as fictional friends in books. Paperbacks became her portable pals. Ghost stories kept her up at night—reading feverishly. The paranormal was her passion. Westerns spurred her to write (pun intended). Wanderlust inherent, Karen enjoyed traveling, although loathed changing schools. Novels offered an imaginative escape. An only child, she began writing her first novel at the age of nine, learning the joy of creating her own happy endings. Professor emeritus of the University of Texas at Austin, Karen resides in the Hill Country with her husband Peter and her “mews”—three rescued cats and a rescued *Cat*ahoula Leopard dog.
Connect with Karen:
Amazon Author Page
Ingredients 3/4 cup cornmeal 3/4 cup white flour 1/2 cup mesquite meal 2 teaspoons baking powder 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste 2 large eggs, beaten 1-1/2 cups milk 3 tablespoons honey (or agave syrup) 6 tablespoons melted butter or corn oil In a large bowl, whisk the cornmeal, flour, mesquite meal, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together. In another bowl, mix together the eggs, milk, honey, and butter or oil. Fold the egg mixture into the cornmeal mixture and stir for one minute. Note—the batter will be lumpy.
Pour the batter evenly into a cast-iron skillet and cover. Place the pan directly on top of the hot coals. Place more hot coals on top its flat lid. Bake twenty to twenty-five minutes, or until just barely cooked through and beginning to brown. Remove from heat and remove cover.
To bake in an oven: Preheat to 425 degrees F. Pour the mixture into a greased, eight-inch baking pan. Bake for twenty to twenty-five minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let cool to room temperature before serving. Serves eight to twelve.
D.V. Stone rated it 5-stars. It was amazing
Copy of book provided by request via Netgalley
From the opening line to the end, the author paints a vivid picture of the old west. I appreciate the time and effort that must have gone into the research for this book. And while historical, Wild Rose Pass brings the characters alive.
Read the full review here www.goodreads.com/user/show/66610371-d-v-stone