Adventure!

18 01 2010

This year I am making a commitment to my writing. On December 31, 2009, I drove a moving truck into the driveway of my new home on Whidbey Island in the beautiful Puget Sound area of Washington.

Many people look at moving as a burden. I, on the other hand, am looking at this move, like the kid from The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack (ask your kids) as an Adventure!

Whidbey Island is full of  quaint, small towns. The biggest one holds the Naval base, but otherwise the Island is full of hiking trails and farms, including lavender farms.  There’s even a buffalo ranch and a I think I drobe by a llama farm the other day. I’ve lived in a small town before but nothing as isolated as living on the Island. If you want to come see me, you have to pay $14 roundtrip to ride the ferry. I live in a place where you have to get on a boat to get there. As young Flapjack would say, Adventure!

View from my office

I woke up to start 2010 in the perfect place to write. Though I have spent much of the last two weeks unpacking, I have also managed to sit down and write something every day. Maybe not the thousand words per day of my resolution, but I have stuck to the equation butt in chair + hands on keyboard = words on page.

What life-changing Adventures! are you planning for this year?

Hanna Rhys Barnes is one of those people with an evenly balanced right and left brain. She has a BA in English, but ended her career as a high school math teacher. She loves to cook and was a pastry chef in a former life.
A member of RWA’s national organization and of several local chapters, she currently lives on Whidbey Island, but occasionally visits her retirement ranchette outside of Kingman, AZ.

Hanna’s Debut Novel, Widow’s Peak, is currently available from The Wild Rose Press, Amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com and powells.com. She is currently working on Book 2 in the series, Kissed By A Rose.





Winners Galore

3 11 2009

The blur that is Halloween is past and Thanksgiving is racing toward us while several of us push forward toward a NaNoWriMo deadline.

We have three winners from the October contest.

WidowsPeak_w1019_680

The winner of  Widow’s Peak is Beth C

GotWolf_w4352_300bunnyb will get a copy of Got Wolf Volume 1

WishForTheMoon_w2712_680

And the copy of Wish for the Moon goes to Judy Cox

 

 

 

We’ll be in touch shortly to get your prizes out to you.





Samhain Song

5 10 2009

samhain1Bet you didn’t know that if you celebrate Halloween, you are part of a history that goes back at least 6000 years. Archeologists have made many discoveries of different celebrations around the Halloween time of year.

Around 4000 B.C.E., prehistoric tribes divided their year into two parts. In what we call spring, somewhere near around the beginning of May, the sun was warm and bright and the earth came alive with greenery. During this light half of the year, domestic animals were turned out to graze and food was plentiful. In the fall, around the time of our Halloween, days were short and the earth died. In the dark half of the year, the animals and food were gathered up and protected against the dangers of darkness with special fire ceremonies to appease the earth spirit so she would return and to ward off troubsome spirits who loved the dark.

samhain2Moving forward, the Early Celts populated the European continent. Around 350 B.C.E. they brought their skill at animal husbandry and their culture and religion to Ireland and Britain. They celebrated four fire festivals, Candlemas, Beltainne, Lughnasad, and Samhain(pronounced sav-en in Scot Gaelic orsow-een in Welsh Gaelic). The Samhain festival marks the passing of the light, but more importantly it is the end of the Celtic year. The cycle of time in the Celtic belief system allowed for two times during the year when the veil between the living and the dead was lifted. Beltainne was one and Samhain was the other. The Celts did not fear their dead and so welcomed the time when those who had passed to Tir na n’Og (the Celtic afterlife), might return.  They left food for their ghostly visitors as a welcoming gesture. This is believed to have lead to the practice of giving out treats on Halloween night. The hope was that those who returned would provide information about the past or the future. By doing this deed for the living, the dead could earn “brownie points” towards moving up the reincarnation cycle. So Samhain was a time of thanks and blessings.

Green-Fairy-absinthe-430052_400_487But what about all the scary stuff associated with Samhain? While the Celtic mythos did not include demons and devils as such, they did believe in the Faery Folk.  Elves weren’t evil, but were best left alone. Fairies, who lived in underground mounds called sidhe (pronounced shee) were thought to feel resentment toward the humans that forced them to inhabit the underground. On the days when these afterlife inhabitants could overcome the veil separating the worlds, faeries were thought to roam the countryside making mischief and even kidnapping a human or two, just for fun. Yet there are a few records of humans that never returned.

The festival lasted for three days. One night and day to honor and thank the Earth for her bounty, one night and day to rekindle the flame and night and day to honor the dead.

So whether you celebrate, Samhain, Halloween, All Saints Day, or Day of the Dead, you are part of a long rich history of late autumn celebrations.

In honor of this Samhain, I’m giving away a copy of my debut GotWolf_w4352_300novel, Widow’s Peak and a copy of the new anthology from the Wild Rose Press Got Wolf, featuring novellas by Helen Hardt and Ria Ellis. To enter just leave a comment on any of the weekly posts throughout the month of October. We’ll draw a winner at 11:59pm on Samhain Eve.





A Family of Heroes

21 09 2009

I’m sure you all know that to us writers, our characters are almost like our children. We lovingly watch them grow and change and become outstanding people. So far the tales of the Scorpion Moon Trilogy have come out as the hero’s tale. I’ve learned that hero can mean very different things in different people.

In Book 1, Widow’s Peak, I started out with a not so shiny champion. Life has not been good to Alaine de la Vierre. This medieval bad boy was one of the best assassins in Europe. Successful as a troubadour, and popular with the ladies at the court of King Henry II, Laine has the perfect cover for his nefarious profession. And the profession provides him a chance for the thing he wants most. Revenge. But like all good heroes, something makes him want out. What, you may ask could turn a deadly assassin into a hero? Why love, of course. Laine discovers that love and kindness have more to offer him than revenge. First he discovers the love of a family, then he discovers the love of a good woman. What more could a bad boy need?

In Kissed By A Rose, Book 2 in the series, my hero is the total opposite of the hero of Book 1. Sir James Barnard has always had everything in life. A member of the Norman nobility, Jamie has been raised in a loving family and given every advantage. When his father is killed in the Holy Land, Jamie determines to become what his father was, a knight of renown.  He is successful in becoming a favored knight in King Henry’s court, but finds he is missing the most important thing his father had, a fulfilling life. I’m in the process of writing Book 2, so Jamie is still making that journey toward finding fulfillment, but I know his heroine will give him what he needs. It is romance, after all.

Heroes come in all shapes and sizes, from all kinds of backgrounds. Christian, the hero of Book 3, Until the End of Time, is still taking shape in my mind’s eye, but I’m sure that love will find him in the end.

WidowsPeak_w1019_680I can’t believe that the release day for Widow’s Peak is almost here! In just two more days, Amye and Laine (my heroine and hero) finally get to make their debut.  Here’s a short excerpt:

The ride from the glen up the ridge found the hunting party in good spirits. They had taken several animals, including a young boar that had been disrupting the peace of the flocks. Siward made the shot that had taken the pig. Amye liked to reward the most successful hunter with a small prize at supper.

“What reward would an unmarried knight like?” she thought to herself. Her question was interrupted by a great rustling from the trees above her. The party came to a halt as branches and leaves began to tumble to the ground.

Two men crashed through the canopy and landed with a loud thump against the forest floor. Her mount wheeled away, but Amye turned the horse back toward the melee. One of the men had risen and now looked her straight in the eyes. He seemed about to run but suddenly dropped to his knees and fell face forward into the moss of the forest floor.

Amye quickly slid from Jester’s back and hurried toward the fallen stranger. Her men, not far behind, surrounded her before she could get to the bodies. Gervais pulled her away.

“My lady, stay back. These men may be dangerous.”

“They are obviously injured,” Amye tossed back.

Gervais knelt between the men and placed two fingers against the neck of the one who had nearly run away.

“He is still alive.” He turned and checked the other. “This one, however, is dead.”

Amye sighed and made the sign of the cross over her heart. “Well, at least we can help the living,” she said.

“My lady, you know nothing about this man. He could be a thief or a murderer,” Gervais countered.

She studied the countenance of the fallen man. Though a deep purple bruise had begun to swell on his cheek, his face was quite handsome.

“I have seen him somewhere before, but I cannot think where. What if he is someone important?”

Folding his arms across his chest, Gervais looked at her with a piqued expression, but she ignored him and inched closer to get a better look at the man lying on the ground.

“From the looks of him, I don’t think he will be able to hurt us for a while yet. I do know he is injured and he is on my land. That makes me responsible for him.” She gave her old friend the look of resolve that said she had made up her mind.

Finally, he uncrossed his arms, but his face still frowned in disapproval. “William, take Lady Barnard back to the castle. Bring the cart back for them.” Gervais nodded toward the motionless bodies. “Half of you come with me. We shall search the woods to see if there are others. The rest of you wait here.”

****

Laine crawled up out of the darkness, but did not open his eyes until he felt the cool wet cloth covering them. His head ached like the devil and confusion filled his thoughts as he came to realize that he rested on a soft feather bed and not on the hard forest floor. Where am I? How have I come here?

He did recall that when he reached the manor, the gate was shut and the guards had refused entry to a lone stranger. He had returned to the forest that ran along the ridge, hoping to avoid the assassin for one more night.

He reached up, lifted the cloth, and peeked at his surroundings. A lone candle penetrated the darkness of the room. Laine rose up on his elbows to see if he could determine his situation. A bad mistake. His head ached even more and began to spin.

“Wait, lie still.” A woman’s hands reached out and helped him lie back. “You took quite a fall. You were lucky though.”

A beautiful oval face leaned close, as she pulled the bedcover up around him.

“Your companion broke his neck. I’m sorry there was nothing we could do for him. You rest. We will speak anon.”

She turned to rewet the cloth and placed it back over his forehead. The coolness helped to stop the spinning, and he breathed a deep sigh of relief. He had been able to best his opponent.

Laine closed his eyes. At least he did not have to worry about assassins for the moment. It would take some time for them to discover what happened and send someone else. For the first time in many months, he could rest easy, which he promptly did.

In a special release day contest I’m giving away three special prizes. A $10 Amazon gift certificate, an autographed copy of Widow’s Peak, and a beautiful pewter necklace I brought back from my trip to Wales last spring.  Winners will also be entered in the Super Contest that I’m holding over at my personal blog, Never Too Late For Love.

All you have to do to enter is between now and 11:59 on September 23rd, leave a comment on this post about what kind of hero you like best and why.  Do you like a knight in shining armor, or do you prefer a reformed bad boy? An action adventure hero or the nice guy next door? At Midnight on Thursday September 24th, I’ll pick three winners from the commenters.

WidowsPeak_w1019_680Widow’s Peak  Available  Now in Print  from The Wild Rose Press and at Amazon.com

Available in e-book format September 23rd from The Wild Rose Press





An Inspirational Moment

11 08 2009

So you ask what inspires me.

As a writer, I am consistently inspired by my author compatriots. I am always supercharged when I come home from a conference, workshop, or chapter meeting. Sharing with other authors helps me be a better author, too. Celebrating their successes keeps me moving forward when I want to say it’s too hard. Being with others who know my frustrations inspires me to keep writing.  You my fellow authors are my heroes.

And let’s not forget our readers. Being a new author with my first book coming out next month, I can’t say that I have many fans yet. Each year at our chapter reader appreciation luncheon, I get to meet hundreds of romance readers. Every time I interact with readers, they are so kind, that I really want to write a good book for them. Widow’s Peak is coming out on September 23 from The Wild Rose Press. I love it. I hope the readers do too.

In my daily life, it’s the people that have surrounded me all of my life. My Father and Mother were activists in the big city we lived in and when we moved to a small town, they were active there too. My mom taught school and served on the city council for many years. When she and Daddy retired, Daddy ran for Mayor and won. They were in all kinds of social and civic organizations. Fundraising for worthy causes. Pushing through projects to better the lives of their neighbors. Helping students be better learners. Training those without skills so they could improve their lives. Oh and raising me to be who I am today.

My parents died within a month of each other at the age of eighty. You can imagine how proud I was to look out and see a church full of people—both times. Hundreds of people that my parents influenced as teachers and community activists.

I have to try hard every day to live up to that standard. Some days I succeed, some days I don’t do quite as well, but each day I get up and start again. Trying to be as influential as my parents, just like they were. One person at a time.

Who are the heroes in your life? Co-worker? Home? Family? Author?

Hanna Rhys Barnes is one of those people with an evenly balanced right and left brain.  She has a BA in English, but recently finished her final year as a high school math teacher.  She loves to cook and was a pastry chef in a former life.

A member of RWA’s national organization and of several local chapters, she currently lives and works in Portland, OR, but occasionally visits her retirement ranchette outside of Kingman, AZ

Hanna’s Debut Novel, Widow’s Peak, is due to be released September 23, 2009 from The Wild Rose Press. She is currently working on Book 2 in the series, Kissed By A Rose.





Mid-Summer Magic

15 06 2009

Sun1Next Sunday is the Summer Solstice, or as many of us celebrate it, Mid-summer’s Night. This magical night has played a part in literature from ancient times through today. It is a night supposedly filled with magic, sensual pleasures, and love.

 Mid-summer has become part of our traditions in many ways. Weddings have been traditionally held in June. Not only is it finally warm enough to take a bath in most northern climes (wouldn’t want the bride to run from the smell. Lol.), but June marriages were thought to be specially blessed by the fairies. The full moon in June is called the Honey Moon. Tradition holds that this is the best time to harvest honey from the hives (and from your sweetie too). 

Titania1Shakespeare found the idea of the magic of midsummer entertaining enough to write a play about it. Mistaken identity, magical transformations, and all the faces of love abound in this raucous romp. Though his Queen Titania rains chaos on humans throughout the night, in the end, love wins out with her blessings.

 grill1Summer is Party season, and who doesn’t love a party. Mid-summer is when festivals and celebrations reach a peak. Even today, in European countries, festivals abound from now through to the harvest season. In America, a plethora of fairs, city, county and state, can be found. And let’s not forget our national celebration, the Fourth of July. 

Elf CoverSo this week, in honor of summer fun, I’m adding one of my favorite midsummer themed books to the bag, Cheryl Sterling’s, What Do You Say To A Naked Elf?

Plain Jane Drysdale supplements her boring day job by selling sex paraphernalia at house parties. One night as she is speeding home, she tries to avoid running over a rabbit and crashes her car. She awakens to find she has gone through a portal into another world.  She’s accused of murdering Tivat, a shape-shifter who happened to be the rabbit she ran over. Her lawyer, Charlie is half elf, half fairy, and way too cute. How does Jane adapt to her unusual situation? Find out in this fun adventure through a fairy tale that’s all too real.

Keep checking back to find out what’s been added to the Summer Fun Tote. Every time you leave a comment you increase your chances of winning. We’ll draw a winner at the end of June.

WidowsPeak_w1019_680Hanna Rhys Barnes is one of those people with an evenly balanced right and left brain.  She has a BA in English, but recently finished her final year as a high school math teacher.  She loves to cook and was a pastry chef in a former life.

 A member of RWA’s national organization and of several local chapters, she currently lives and works in Portland, OR, but occasionally visits her retirement ranchette outside of Kingman, AZ

 Hanna’s Debut Novel, Widow’s Peak, is due to be released September 23, 2009 from The Wild Rose Press. She is currently working on Book 2 in the series, Kissed By A Rose.





To Market, To Market

8 06 2009

fruitAh summertime. Not your favorite time of year if you live in Arizona, like I used to. But if you live in Oregon, you can’t wait for May Day to roll around. Seasonally, May 1st is the beginning of Summer. If you live on a farm, your summer crops should, for the most part be in the ground. You’re early crops are ready for the farmer’s market. If you live in a city, you can’t wait for the market season to start.

 In Portland, if you’re looking for great seasonal food, you go to a farmer’s market. Every city in the Portland metropolitan area has a farmer’s market, and in Portland proper, almost every neighborhood has one as well. You can go to a different one every week all summer long and never hit the same one twice.

 

PDX Sat Mkt1On the other hand, if you are looking for non-food finds, the place to go is the Portland Saturday Market. From May through October, hundreds of artisans and other sellers ply their wares every Saturday and Sunday on the Portland waterfront. You can find almost anything there, from soap to small furnishing, jewelry to long bows. Artwork, herbs, silk dresses, metalwork, henna tattoos, almost anything you can think of, you’ll find it at the Saturday Market.

 

Well into the nineteenth century, the market used to be a place where people met and socialized as well as sold or traded their products and services. Even today, I see the most interesting people at the outdoor markets. Yes there are moms with kids and guys trailing along behind their girlfriends, but there are also, sword swallowers, gypsy dancers, women with fabulous recipes for soap and men who can tell you how to shape a strong bow. The summer markets have provided me with all kinds of information and characters that have ended up in my writing. Great stuff!

 

Here’s a market excerpt from Book Two of my Scorpion Moon Trilogy, Kissed by a Rose. Jamie Barnard, a knight visiting his mother, has decided he wants to pursue Sela de Crecy, his mother’s lady-in-waiting, but for reasons unbeknownst to him, she seems dead set against it. He finally gets her to agree to spend some time with him by asking her to show him the local village.

 

Jamie sat on the steps of the great hall. When Sela had come to get little Marie after dinner, he had reminded her of her afternoon appointment with him and she had promised to be there. He had managed to find a few flowers in what looked to be a small garden along the west wall. Genevieve had produced a blue ribbon of silk and showed him how to tie them into a posy. She had told him it was as easy as tying one’s own lacings, but his large fingers had fumbled with the delicate fabric. Now he nervously played with the awkward looking bow.

“Sir James.”

Jamie jumped to his feet as Sela hurried toward the steps.

“Please forgive my tardiness, my lord.”

“I was beginning to think you changed your mind,” Jamie chuckled as he fingered the silk ribbon.

“I promised to come. I keep my promises. Brother Jacob was a bit late today.”

“I see.” Jamie held out the small bunch of yellow and white flowers. “Un bouquet pour un fleur.

Sela blushed as she took the offering. “Merci, mon seigneur.” Her voice took on a rich tone as if speaking her natural tongue.

He knew for certain she had come from Normandy. “Are you native to France?”

Oui, mon seigneur. Je suis nee en France, mais Cymru dw I’n sydd cartref rŵan.

Jamie was surprised when she switched to the guttural sounding Welsh tongue. She was as fluent as the guards he heard around the keep. No wonder she had been able to go amongst the traitors so easily.

“Shall we go, my lord?” She easily slipped back into English as she put the flowers in the basket she carried.

“Aye, mistress.” Jamie offered his arm.

Sela smiled and laid her hand lightly upon it. “Thank you, my lord.”

“Thank you, mistress, for your time.” No longer quite so nervous, Jamie turned toward the front gate, wondering if the day could get any more pleasant.

* * *

Sela waved as they passed her friends in the village. They made their way through the winding streets and she introduced Sir James to all who stopped her. Most showed due respect to “Lady Cilgerran’s son,” but a few of the more common spoke as familiars. No matter how he was greeted, the knight took it well and each person was left on good terms. Finally they reached the village center.

Sellers packed the wide, open space around the well, leaving just enough room for prospective customers to see their wares. Farmers brought food they had grown on their plots. Men plied their trade, fixing a cauldron or mending a boot. Sela searched for her friend Maudwyn, the village weaver.

From a distance, Sela spotted the tall, thin, woman showing a customer a piece of green wool. “Wyn!” She smiled and waved.

Maudwyn looked up and smiled. “I shall be right wit’ ya.”

Sela smiled excitedly and looked over her shoulder at Sir James. “If you mind not, I have a special errand from my lady.”

“Please. Whatever you need do, mistress. I meant not to disrupt your customary day.”

  They wove through the crowd to Wyn’s cart. Sela looked over the lengths of cloth laid out in the back while the weaver collected payment from the woman who had decided to buy the green wool.

“Hello, my girl.” Wyn kissed both Sela’s cheeks. She turned to Sir James and looked from head to toe and back again. “Well, then. Who be your fine looking companion, dear?”

Sela blushed at the tease in her friend’s voice. “My lord, Sir James Barnard, might I introduce Maudwyn merch Griffydd.”

“Oh!” Wyn clumsily dropped to one knee.

The din around them fell silent as everyone nearby turned to stare.

“I beg yer pardon m’lord.”

As he had done to at least a dozen times that day, Sir James took the hand draped across her knee and lifted it to his lips.

Sela hid a smile behind her hand—it was now Wyn’s turn to blush.

“A pleasure.” Sir James helped the weaver to stand and the noise closed about them as everyone turned back to their own business.

“Wyn is the best weaver in the shire,” Sela bragged.  The red-haired weaver could make any kind of cloth, from a sturdy wool, so tightly woven as to shed water, to the finest linen, so soft it felt like silk.

Wyn laughed at the compliment. “Mi Da’ would have somethin’ to say ‘bout tha’.”

“Your father has not worked in almost two years now.” Sela said. “ I am sure he would not have given his loom over to you if you were not good enough.”

“He did na’ have much choice in the matter. His hands said no to the loom, so now he just stands over me jawin’ while I work. But, I know you did na’ come to hear me wailin’.”

“Did you complete it?” Sela asked as she leaned closer to the stall.

“Indeed I did.” From the bottom of a pile at the back of the cart, Wyn pulled a bundle wrapped in linen and tied with un-dyed wool yarn. The weaver handed her the package.

Sela could hardly wait as she undid the yarn and folded back the linen, revealing a stunning length of brocade.

“Oh, Wyn! ‘Tis the most beautiful piece I have ever seen.”

Sela rubbed her hand over the cream-colored cloth. Intricately woven embossed flowers had been hand painted golden yellow with green centers.

“Indeed ‘tis very pretty.” Sir James’ deep voice interrupted her reverie. “I cannot say that I have ever seen better, even at the King’s court.”

“Thank ye, m’lord.” Wyn’s wobbled through a curtsey, but her smile was big enough to bridge a moat.

“Should you ever wish to make your fortune, I know several court ladies who would pay very well to have you as their exclusive cloth maker.”

“I do na think I shall be leavin’ Cilgerran, m’lord, but I thank ye for the offer.”

Sela re-wrapped the beautiful fabric. She could never afford such an exquisite piece. Aside from which she had no reason to wear such a dress. Perhaps Lady Amye would like it. Sela made note to mention it when they returned to the castle. She sighed and handed the bundle back to Wyn.

“This one is beautiful, but I need another piece. Lady Marie’s birthday is coming soon. My lady would like for her to have her first surcoat.”

“Aye.”  Wyn searched the stacks of cloth until she found what she was looking for. “This be just the thing.”  She held up a piece of finely textured dark green cloth with yellow and white Lilies sewn into the borders.

 “Your weaving ever amazes me, Wyn. How do you make it so fine yet so tight?”

“Tis the thread. The batch was very special. Delwin wanted to try spinning linen fibers with the wool. The threads were wonderful’ smooth, easy to bend into this heavy damask. ”

“The family Gryffydd are all involved with clothmaking.” Sela explained to Sir James as she looked over the piece. “The two oldest brothers grow flax and sheep. Delwin is a master spinner. Wyn here weaves the threads into cloth and her twin brother Lyn makes the most wonderful dyes.” Sela ran her fingers over the cloth. It was soft like silk, yet heavy like wool. “What think you, my lord?”

When he did not answer Sela looked back to find him staring attentively at her. She repeated her question. “My lord, think you this will suit Marie?”

He smiled at her and the dimple appeared on his cheek. He glanced at the piece as Wyn held it outstretched at arm’s length. “Yes, ‘tis fine work.” He started to reach for his pouch. “How much do you want for it?”

“Nay, my lord.” The weaver shook her head. “‘Twould be an honor to make this gift.”

 

Jamie could hardly believe what he heard. A merchant giving away her wares.

She folded the piece and Jamie noted the look of pure joy in her eyes as she handed it to him. “For Lady Marie.”

His mother had said something about how the village folk adored Marie, and now, here was proof. “The house of Cilgerran thanks you.” Jamie turned to Sela. “Perhaps Mistress Sela could select something that my mother would like?”

Sela nodded and began to look through the bolts of fabric. Jamie watched as she bent over the cart. Her hips stood out nicely rounded against her tunic. He wanted to reach out and touch her, but knowing he could not, he imagined a creamy white bottom beneath the offending cloth. His cock stiffed and he looked away, glad he had worn the long tunic.

She stood, holding two bolts of fabric. “My lady would like either of these very much.”

“Excellent.” He reached in the pouch and pulled out two silver sovereigns. He handed them and Marie’s gift back to the weaver. “Have everything delivered to the keep when the market day is done.” He offered his arm to Sela. “Come, mistress. I promised to have you back by supper and we have barely begun.”

 

You never know what might be going on at a market stall. Did you ever meet someone enchanting at a summer market? Ever meet a stranger at a faire and have that one magical day. Did you fall in love with your honey when he bought you the thing you saw at the artisan show that you loved, but would never buy for yourself? Share some of your market adventures for a chance to win our great Summer Fun prize package.

 Our Summer Fun contest is going on all through the month of June. In addition to Estelle’s fun read, The Texas Twins, I’m adding a nice reusable shopping bag that you can take to the farmer’s market (or the supermarket) in your area, some nice sunglasses, so you don’t get caught people-watching (unless you want to get caught), and some sun screen so you can stay out long enough to see everything and everyone in the market. We’ll be adding more to the tote each week and at the end of the month, one lucky commenter will win it all.  Stop back throughout the month and comment on additional June blog posts to increase your chances to win.