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Saturday, April 16, 2011

SPRING IS BUSTIN' OUT ALL OVER: LINDA LaROQUE

Texas Blooms in the Spring

Have you ever wanted to live in a different time period? Or at least visit and see if you’d like to live there? I have. I guess that’s why I enjoy writing time travels so much. So far, I’ve written five, two full length novels, My Heart Will Find Yours and Flames on the Sky available from The Wild Rose Press and two short stories, A Law of Her Own and Desires of the Heart with the Wild Rose Press.  My latest time travel is a novella, A Way Back, with Champagne Books. 

In my writing, I’ve visited 1880s Waco, Texas, 1000 AD Chaco Canyon, the Texas Panhandle in 1888, the United Kingdom in 1945, and the 1930s oil fields of Texas.  There are so many opportunities to explore in our past. And wow, uncharted territory in our future.

In A Way Back, Wellman and Amber arrive in the East Texas Town of Kilgore, Texas, in March, just in time for the bluebonnets and other wildflowers to bloom. If you’ve been to Texas, you know we Texans are proud of our wildflowers and many tour the countryside each spring to view nature’s paintings and compare it to those of years past. The floral display of blue, red, yellow, and white depends on the amount of rain received the previous fall, not in the spring, something I wasn’t aware of until just recently.  

Because it’s the state of Texas flower, it’s illegal to pick bluebonnets but seeds and seedlings are available at nurseries. People plant the flower in their yards and beds. When they’re in bloom, they’re mowed around until completely dead so the seeds will fall and increase the number of blooms next year.

My aunts, as young girls, all had their pictures taken sitting in a field of bluebonnets while holding a big bouquet. In those days they didn’t have color film, so the photographs were touched up with paints. They’re beautiful keepsakes.  

Imagine Wellman and Amber’s, the hero and heroine of A Way Back, first view of the bluebonnets, Indian paintbrush, and Indian blankets. Then allow your imagination to see those beautiful fields of flowers rutted with tire tracks, dotted with oil field equipment, and a regal oil derrick reaching toward the clouds.  Can you still see the beauty there?

I feel another time travel story coming on. Maybe one set in a 1920s rural community in East Texas or the Texas Hill Country.

Happy Reading and Writing folks!



Linda LaRoque is a Texas girl, but the first time she got on a horse, it tossed her in the road dislocating her shoulder. Forty years later she got on another, but it was older, slower, and she was wiser. Plus, her students looked on and it was important to save face.

A retired teacher, she loves Texas, its flora, fauna, and its people. Her stories paint pictures of life, love, and learning set against the raw landscape of ranches and rural communities in Texas and the Southwest.

Linda lives near Waco, TX with her husband and dog Molly. Visit her at http://www.lindalaroque.com/

59 comments:

SJOwens said...

Absolutely loved your book Linda. 5 Stars.
I agree, spring is beautiful in Texas!

Linda LaRoque said...

Thank you for stopping by, Susan. So glad you enjoyed A Way Back.

Linda LaRoque said...

Oops, the picture posted isn't of me. It's still Jude.

Angelwolfstorm said...

I would love to travel through time to different places, of course only to visit, I like my creature comforts too much lol!


angelwolf_storm@hotmail.com

Linda LaRoque said...

Haha, you sound like me Angelwolf. As soon as things got uncomfortable I'd want to go home. It's fun to visit in my writing. Thanks for stopping by.

Christina Fifield-Winn said...

You paint a beautiful picture...love Texas also, although I am a native New Yorker. Cheers!

Rebekah E. said...

Time travel books are one of my favorite. You make texas sound lovely. I have been there yet, but I will finally see Texas in June.

Linda LaRoque said...

Christina, I'd love to see the countryside of New York. One of these days....

Mine too, Rebekah. I hope you have a wonderful time in June and that it won't be too hot.

Rosemary Gemmell said...

I'd never heard of bluebonnets, Linda, but they sound lovely. As you know, I loved A Way Back!

Linda LaRoque said...

Darn, I wish I'd submitted pictures of the Texas wildflowers, Rosemary. If you go to my blog you might search and see the ones I posted. Or just google them. They are absolutely beautiful!!!

Larry said...

You must have "Spring Fever," I was mentioned before Molly. :)

Barb said...

Love all your books. Like you, I would love to visit the time period but I'd miss the modern conveniences. I don't see many paintbrushes and blankets up our way anymore. Used to be fields of them along with the bluebonnets but those fields have been paved over.

Linda LaRoque said...

Barb, the wildflowers have made a poor showing this spring due to the lack of rain last fall. We drove through Fredericksburg, Burnet, and Llano and saw very few. Sad as I wanted to take pictures. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.

Haha, Larry. It's cause you're older than her.

booklover0226 said...

Hi, Linda.

You're a new author for me but not for long. I look forward in reading your works.

Thanks,
Tracey D
booklover0226 at gmail dot com

trinity said...

Your book sounds amazing. Well have to pick it up. As far as time travel would love to go back to the western days where men were strong and dependent. No game boys or game councils. And the whining oh my. Anyway can't wait to read it.
Trinity Blacio

Linda LaRoque said...

Hey, Tracey, I'd love for you to read my books. It's always nice to pick up a new reader.

Thank you, Trinity. If you like the west you will enjoy My Heart Will Find Yours which take place in 1880s Waco, Texas. Also, I have another set in the Texas Panhandle. I agree on no gameboys.

Viviane Brentanos said...

Lovely post, Linda. Ever since watching the Movie, the Time Machine, i have always been fascinated by time travelbut one thing I learned from that movie was , be careful what you wish for. I think each era has its good and bad points. As many of you know, i live on the beautiful island of Corfu.In the 27 years I have been here, there has been much omprovement to the infrastructure and a general cleaning up of the island butsome of the symplicity I adored has been lost. I often think I would love to travel back to Corfu in the 50's, when the beaches were still virgin and the roads not overpopulated by silly, big cars but then, I think - could I live without my filter coffee, my pc, internet and ready flights to the UK? Here's a thought. Perhaps I could invent a machine that would transfer me bak in time but take all my mod cons with me.Me thinks I ask too much

Kaylin McFarren said...

I LOVE your stories and will look forward to reading this one (A Way Back)! You are such a romantic, Sweet Linda... Kaylin :)

Barbara Edwards said...

I understand there are places in Texas covered with Blue Bonnets in the spring. would love to visit.

P.L. Parker said...

You should scan those bluebonnet pictures and post them. I'd love to see them. As a fellow time travel author, I know the feeling of dreaming about stepping into the past. Good post, Linda.

StephB said...

Linda, how interesting! I didn't know that about the bluebonnets. Thanks for sharing. I love books that transport one to another time & place.

Smiles
Steph

Maria said...

I've never been to Texas and other than in pictures, I've never seen Bluebonnets but they sound lovely.
The weather has taken a turn and it's very cold here again - hopefully won't affect our plants.
Thanks for the post!

junegirl63(at)gmail(dot)com

Ciara Gold said...

Loved this time-travel book, Linda! As for the bluebonnets, I traveled along 105 to the Woodlands and traffic was slow for all the folks stopping to take pictures. A simply gorgeous sea of blue.

Jude Johnson said...

I don't think I've ever seen bluebonnets. Linda, but I can envision a field of blue stretching to the horizon from your description.

Looking forward to reading A Way Back!

~Jude
http://jude-johnson.com

Rie McGaha said...

Hi Linda,
I love the wildflowers too, and us Okies are quite proud of ours as well. As a former big rig driver, I can also tell you that Texas is the biggest state, especially when driving from Louisiana to New Mexico! Very nice post. Thanks for sharing a piece of Texas.

Rie McGaha

~ Wendy Crist ~ said...

Hi Linda, I'm Wendy and I live in Waco, Texas also! I love all the blue bonnets that are blooming and the flowers that sway in the wind when I pass by. It does take you to a far off place. I loveeeee going to Fredricksburg. There's so many neat things down there, and it's like a whole other world. I hope you get to travel more and share your experiences with us!

Allison Knight said...

I love to visit other times, but to be very honest, living during another time period is not for me. I like turning on a faucet and getting hot water, heat for the house, or air conditioning, and the ability to turn a nob, or punch a button and cook a meal. Yep, I like modern conveniences...

Allison

Jean P said...

You are a new author to me. I really like the sound of your books, will be checking them out. Thank you for the interesting info on bluebonnets.

skpetal at hotmail dot com

Linda LaRoque said...

Hi Viviane,
The time machine would have to have controls to make me happy. No way would I want to land in the middle of a conflict of some time. Oh, I hear you on wanting to go back to the 50s in Corfu. The 50s would be nice anywhere. It was a much nicer time.

Me a romantic, Kaylin??? Yeah, I confess, it's true.

Barbara, there are loads of pictures online if you want to see them.

Good idea PL. I'll ask my cousins if I can borrow them to post on my blog.

Linda LaRoque said...

Hi Steph. Thanks for stopping by.

Maria, the weather has been crazy here too. The dryness leading to wildfires and the wind spreading them all over.

Ciara, I'm so glad to know about 105. A cousin said they were beautiful in East Texas. Maybe we were just a week too early.

Hey, Jude. I love saying that, a line from one of my favorite songs. They are beautiful.

Linda LaRoque said...

Hi Rie, I bet you saw lots of countryside in the big rig. You Okies are cousins of us Texans. You're country is beautiful also. I love the red earth.

Thanks for stopping by, Wendy. I about to post picture of Hotel Paisano on my blog. It's the hotel in Marfa, Texas where the cast of Giant stayed while filming the movie in 1956. Lots of history.

Linda LaRoque said...

Haha, I hear you, Allison. I'd just like to give it a try for awhile. Now, in the 1930s, you'd have most of those conveniences.

Jean, I'm so glad you stopped by. I love making new contacts and hope you will check out my books.

DukTape said...

I lived near Kilgore for a while -- I bet it was an interesting place back in the day. I'm looking forward to reading another of your books.

Tara Nina said...

Your cover is beautiful. I love a good time travel book. I look forward to reading this one. I have a friend in Texas. she takes pictures of her wildflowers and sends to me and in the fall I take pictures of the leaves change of color and send to her.

Golden Keyes Parsons said...

Hey, Crit Partner!

I'm loving jumping into this time travel thing. You're the expert here, and I hope to glean from you as I progress along my historical fiction series on the history of Waco this next year.

Love our Texas bluebonnets -- they were rather sparse this year, weren't they? But the ones that we did see were beautiful as always.

See you soon!

Leigh D'Ansey said...

I've only ever been to Texas through movies and books but I so love the sound of acres of wildflowers. Thanks for the lovely imagery.

Linda LaRoque said...

It was, Duk Tape, especially when the Texas Rangers came in undercover.

Thank you, Tara. Trisha FitzGerald is the designer.

I'm looking forward to your first installment, Golden.

Thank you all for stopping by.

Robin said...

I would love to at least visit some other time periods! Love your writing!

Sandy said...

Love your post, Linda, and your books.

I wouldn't go back in time for nothing. lol They didn't have long lives back then. Grin.

Judy said...

I love time travel books, movies,etc. My favorite movie has always been Somewhere in Time. I do enjoy your books. I live in Louisiana and I do love the Springtime.

Judy
magnolias_1[at]msn[dot]com

chey said...

Great post!
I enjoy time travel books and am going to look for yours!
chey127 at hotmail dot com

Stephanie Taylor said...

Great Post!

Judith Leger said...

Another time travel? Awesome, Linda! I still remember the very first one you wrote (yes, to this day). I loved it. You are an amazing author! Keep the books coming, Love!

Linda LaRoque said...

Leigh, the only way I get to visit some places is through movies too. Thanks for stopping by.

Thank you Robin. Me too!

Now, Sandy, not for just a little while??? Thank you for visiting.

Hi, Judy. Thank you so much. I loved Somewhere in Time. It's one of my all time favorites.

Linda LaRoque said...

Gret, chey. I'd love for you to.

Thanks, Stephanie!

You're a doll, Judith. Thanks!

Caroline Clemmons said...

Linda, so nice to see another Texas gal succeed. Best of luck in your writing!

Hywela Lyn said...

Lovely post, Linda, I too love the spring flowers. Here in the UK I think the nearest we have to 'bluebonnets' are bluebells. It's a bit erly for them yet but in a couple of weeks or so the woods will be a sea of blue. I used to love riding through the bluebell woods on my horse when I lived in Wales, but sadly there aren't any woods near where I keep my horses since I moved to England. Our daffodils are just strting to fade and I noticed my clumps of lilies of the valley are full of bud They smell so beautiful when they're in bloom.

'A Way Back' sounds like my sort of read, I can just imagine what it must have been like for Wellman and Amber to see those beautiful fields of flowers for the first time.

You paint the picture so beautifully, Linda.

Terra Pennington said...

beautiful story of the flowers and a nice setting for your book. I need to add this one to my wish list.

Terra
tpen89@charter.net

Linda LaRoque said...

Thank you, Caroline. You also.

I remember you talking about the bluebells, Hywela. I'd love to see them.

Thanks for stopping by, Terra.

Anna M said...

How is it that you named the dog but not hubby?? Poor Larry. Very goo post, Linda. Spring brings on drives into the wildflower 'shows' of the countrysides followed by berry picking about a month or so later. You forgot to mention any wise driver wanting to have pictures of the kids or even themselves amongst the bluebonnets must be careful of snakes and fire ants.

Linda LaRoque said...

Gee, Anna, I haven't been berry picking since we were kids and went to grandma's. True about the snakes and ants. Thanks for stopping by.

cheryl c said...

I read a lot of historical romances, so in a way, I do get to time travel as I read. But it would be fun to visit for real, but just for a day or two!
castings at mindspring dot com

liana laverentz said...

I'm not a gardener, so am curious as to whether those bluebonnet seedlings would grow in another state, or do they only grow in Texas? Hope your seed of an idea takes root and you get another story out of it!

Linda LaRoque said...

So true, Cheryl. That's what makes reading so fun.

Yes, they will, Liana. There are similar flowers all over the US. The bluebonnet just happens to be the state flower of Texas. The Indian paintbrush and Indian blankets are just icing on the cake.

EdgesAngel23 said...

I've always felt like I belonged in a time period when a more curvy woman was more apprieciated and lusted over. I love going to different time periods in books :)
Ashley A
ash_app@hotmail.com

Virginia said...

I love books set in Texas, have never been there only in books so I would love to read yours, will be looking for it.

lead[at]hotsheet[dot]com

Sarita said...

My Heart Will Find Yours--what an amazing title! Enjoyed your post very much, thanks.

Carol Burge said...

I love Historical Westerns set in Texas and the Southwest. I believe I lived there in a past life. :) I've been to Texas only once, when I was about ten (I'm from Michigan). Back then I didn't know enough to take in the beauty and culture. I'd love to visit there now, as an adult, and see the countryside and bluebonnets live, and in person.

I don't know if I'd actually enjoy living back in the 1800's, though. Times were tough, and I'd miss indoor plumbing and my air conditioner. :) However, I would love to time travel. To visit for a short time, knowing it wouldn't be for good, I would eventually come back home.

Best of luck with A WAY BACK!

Carol

Sarah Ahiers (Falen) said...

i wouldn't want to live in a different time period, but i'd sure like to visit. That's probably why i spend my summers at the MN Renaissance Festivals, dressed up in costume