Friday, June 18, 2010

Summertime Fun

My four grandkids, ages 2-8, and I have begun a sort of tradition this summer. I'm not sure how long it will last, but so far it's been interesting.

Each morning about 9:30, we've taken off for a walk to the neighborhood park, where there's a merry-go-round that's off kilter, two sets of swings, three sets of climbing bars, and a tall slide. It's a large park and includes a backstop for baseball or even soccer and a cement basketball court with two basketball goals. It also has very little shade. After all, this is Kansas, which isn't known for an abundance of trees. Not out here on the prairie.

Wednesday, after the kids had played for a while, I noticed the sky in the southwest had become cloudy and very dark. Obviously it was time to head home. We were a block from home when huge drops of rain started falling, along with some tiny hail. We walked faster, and the rain fell faster. We made it to my yard and hurried to the porch, just as the sky opened up and thunder boomed, scaring not-yet 3-year-old Jaxon. I thought that would probably be the end of the trips to the park. I was wrong.

Going to the park was the first thing out of Jaxon's mouth on Thursday, so we made a return trip, but this time it was sunny, windy and humid, with no clouds, white or dark, in the sky. We took juice and colorful Fish crackers, and Jaxon finally mastered the slide, something he's been afraid of doing.

The trip to the park seems to help us start the day off better. They get to play off some of their morning energy, while I get some needed exercise, and we do it before it gets really hot. It will be interesting to see if they are the first to lose interest or if I'll be the one to call a halt when the temps reach double digits. Either way, I hope when they're older they'll remember the trips to the park and the fun they had. Making memories isn't nearly as hard as it sounds. Have you made any memories as summer has begun?

Thursday, June 17, 2010

What a tangled Web we weave...

This is a good-news, bad-news post today.

The good news is that my next book for Harlequin American Romance, Family Matters, arrives in October, just a few short months away.

And though I’m eagerly anticipating that happy occasion, the bad news is, I’m planning to update my Web site to coincide with announcing the book’s arrival.

It should be fun, right? Helping a designer pick out photos and fonts. Setting up a background that suits both my style and that of my books. Giving readers a good look at my “home” on the Web and hoping it’s a place they’ll like to come back to visit often.

Well, trying to decide on all these elements of my virtual home is becoming about as complicated as choosing a real house!

After looking at approximately eighteen gazillion Web sites out there--one more beautiful than the next--I’m afraid my mind’s on overload.

So I’m asking for your opinions and advice.

What do you like to see on a Web site? What don’t you like to see? What are the elements that stick with you after you’ve surfed through those Internet homes? And what brings you back to some of them again and again?

Looking forward to your input on this!

All my best to you,



Barbara White Daille

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Gulf Oil Catastrophe

Over a year ago I was asked to put the book I'm currently revising on hold in order to write a couple of other projects for the line. Call it karma, fate or kismet but to make a long story short, I finished the book, received my revisions, then BAM! The Deepwater Horizon exploded and sunk in the Gulf of Mexico, tragically killing eleven workers.

What has this got to do with my book? The hero in Roughneck Cowboy is a roughneck –a deckhand on the Exxon Hoover Diana in the Gulf of Mexico. Even though the hero in my book, Travis Cartwright, quits his job on the ocean rig in order to work on his estranged father's oil rigs in Oklahoma, the topic is a sensitive one for many readers.

The sinking of BP's Deepwater Horizon and the resulting environmental chaos it's created in the Gulf is an emotional and volatile issue in our country right now. I'm certain many of our readers have loved ones employed by the oil industry or in businesses that supply products to the oil industry as well as readers whose family members are fisherman, shrimpers or own businesses along the Gulf coast. All have been affected by this recent disaster.

As I finish revisions on this book, I've gained a greater respect for the brave men and women who work on these oil rigs as well as a new understanding of the far-reaching consequences a disaster such as the Deepwater Horizon can have on our environment, nature and people's livelihoods—most likely for decades.

My thoughts and prayers are with those most affected by this latest tragedy as are my hopes and wishes that the lessons learned from this disaster are used to better protect oil industry employees, the environment and our neighbor's livelihoods in the future.

On a brighter note…Mark your calendars for July 16th. Our next One-Day-Only Media Blitz contest here at I'll be blogging about Dexter: Honorable Cowboy, book 2 in the The Codys: First Family of Rodeo continuity. I'll be giving away copies of Dexter and a few cowboy goodies to several winners who use their social media sites to spread the word. Be sure to tell your friends about the contest! We want to see how many places we can promote The Codys: First Family of Rodeo!

RT Top Pick
Dexter:Honorable Cowboy July 2010

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Summer Vacations

Welcome to SUMMER! I don't know about everyone else, but last summer, although busy, was mostly work for me. We sold two houses, bought another, moved. I had a book come out and did booksignings and attended the RWA National Convention in DC. All good things, but not exactly relaxing.

This year, I'm focused on a more relaxed and stress-free summer. Last month I flew to California for a visit with two different friends. Drove down the Pacific Coast Highway. Caught up with each other's lives. Gorgeous drive for anyone who hasn't had the opportunity.

Last night I bought a new car, my first in ten years. I am super excited to go pick it up tonight because we have a couple road trips on the agenda. We're thinking South Padre Island, depending on the oil spill and possibly another to Colorado. Summer is packed with family birthdays and we have fun plans around that and at least one large get together with old friends.

What does everyone else have on their summer agendas?

Monday, June 14, 2010

Little Laura, where are you?

I can't remember the last time I had a full night's rest and feel like a ZOMBIE!!!! With that in mind, please pardon my random rambling!!

Though it's still officially spring here in Tulsa, summer temps have hit with a vengeance. Along with freakishly hot weather came the requisite broken AC unit and fleas. This year, as an added bonus, I've landed my first case of poison ivy. JOY!! LOL!!!

I used to love summer. I rode my bike all over town. South Haven, Michigan was the most idyllic place ever to be a kid. Lake Michigan beach, great friends, a couple of abandoned resorts and a draw bridge kept me plenty busy. Looking back on it, I'm sure there were sunburns and mosquitoes, but I was too busy having fun to worry about them.

When I was in sixth grade, we moved to Arkansas. As a former city kid, it took me a while to adjust, but soon enough I was swimming in cattle ponds, hiking in the woods and playing night tag with new friends. Did I ever once worry about chiggers, snakes or ticks? Nope. All I cared about was finding my next fun.

So here I sit in my fave green chair, scratching like crazy, watching my dogs scratch like crazy--they didn't get the memo that they've been treated for fleas and are now flea-fee--and I'm wondering when did I stop loving summer and start loathing it? How do I reconnect with the little girl inside of me who used to adore long, hot days and all of their enticing possibilities?

The very question makes me sad. With my newly graduated kids still sleeping and hubby long since gone to work, this Monday doesn't feel like I remember a summer Monday should. I have no grand adventure planned. No friends will stop by, and even if they did, my bike has flat tires and cobwebs!!

Usually, we join the neighborhood pool, but with the kids soon off to college, they all voted against the pricey fee. After all, who has time for lounging poolside with a cool drink and good book?

Wait a minute--THEY voted. Not ME!! Maybe what I'm forgetting is that even if my kids don't want to go to the pool, I'm still allowed. As an incentive, I used to write in the morning and if I got my pages completed, I'd wile away my afternoons not creating books, but losing myself in them!!

As I'm writing, my Benadryl has finally kicked in. As an added bonus, all three dogs are peacefully napping--not scratching. Okay, whew . . . I feel a little better. Hopeful, even, that summer might yet be saved. Maybe Little Laura isn't totally lost, but just hiding. With my own pool membership to entice her, she might even venture out into the heat to play.

How about you? Feeling too grown-up for summer? Share some tips with me on how you have warm weather fun!!