Friday, May 17, 2013

What's on your "Mom" list?

Last week, I'm sure many of you had a list of reasons to wish your mother the happiest of Mother's Days and to thank her for all she has done. 

So did I.  

Here are a few of the things I'm most grateful for.  Thanks to my mother, I became:

  - a book lover

  - a lifelong reader

  - a writer

One of my earliest happy memories is of the day my mom took me to get my first library card.  And I do mean took me to get that card, because she couldn't get it for me.  According to the rules of our tiny local branch library, I needed to be able to print my own name on the application. 

Even at five years old, I knew just how much getting my very own library card would mean to me.  I practiced my printing every day, because I so wanted that small, yellow, rectangular piece of cardboard with my name on it.

And I aced the test, first time around!

Getting that library card eventually led me to become a student volunteer in the elementary school library.  Much later, it led me to selling a book—well, actually, two books—to Harlequin American Romance.  And not long after they were published, I found both of them on the shelves of my local library.  Can't you just imagine what a thrill that was!

I wish my mom had still been with us to know I'd gotten "the call."

A big thanks, Mom, for everything...

And a big thanks to you, Readers, for stopping by the blog.

Want to share something special your mother has done for you?

All my best to you,



Barbara White Daille

Monday, May 13, 2013

Getting to know: Tess Dalton (HOME TO THE COWBOY)

Today I'm kicking off my Getting to Know You Character Interview Series with Tess Dalton, the heroine from HOME TO THE COWBOY. ~Amanda

Hello, I’m Ava Vienne, entertainment reporter for the Ramblewood Gazette, and today I’m chatting with Tess Dalton.

Ava: Welcome back to Ramblewood, Texas. We haven’t seen you in a while.

Tess: Thank you, Ava; it’s good to be here.

Ava: You’re currently living in New York, right? How’s city life treating you?

Tess: You know the city, everyone’s always on the move.

Ava: I heard through the grapevine—

Tess: (laughs) The grapevine or Magpie gossip? Because I think I know where this is headed.

Ava: Okay, Magpie gossip has it that you’ve had some big changes in your life recently.

Tess: Um, there have been. I was engaged, now I’m not. I’m also looking for a new challenge career-wise.

Ava: So you were fired?

Tess: No, I was not fired, so please let’s not spread that rumor around. The firm I worked for downsized and my position was eliminated.

Ava: That’s where you were a web designer.

Tess: Web design and internet marketing.

Ava: Is that why you’ve come back to Ramblewood?

Tess: I’m here for Jesse and Miranda’s wedding, but the timing was perfect for an extended visit.

Ava: You were a no-show at Joe Langtry’s funeral a few months ago. I’m sure that shocked quite a few people considering your close relationship with the family.

Tess: Wow—I can see I’m getting the wire brush treatment here. I had some, um, scheduling conflicts and couldn’t get away. Can we redirect the questions here?

Ava: I hear you’re helping Cole Langtry develop a website for the horse therapy ranch he’s starting. He’s also your ex isn’t he? How’s it been working with him?

Tess: It’s called Dance of Hope and I’m actually designing the site with his mother, Kay, but yes, Cole and Jesse are following their father’s dream of building a place where the horse’s movement aids in the patients rehabilitation. I can’t even begin to tell you how incredible and enlightening it’s been to see this therapy in person. The other day I met the most amazing little girl named Ever, who has cerebral palsy and has gone from being wheelchair bound to walking with crutches and braces. I mean when you think about how much independence she’s gained from this therapy, it’s just unbelievable.

Ava: You seem very fond of Ever.

Tess: There is nothing this girl can’t accomplish. Her eyes light up with such enthusiasm over everything she does. It completely baffles me that someone hasn’t adopted her yet.

Ava: Ever’s an orphan?

Tess: Sadly, yes. Ever is one of thousands of special needs children who are given up for adoption because their birth parents either can’t handle the situation or can’t afford to care for them.

Ava: You could always adopt Ever, move back to Ramblewood and have her go to therapy at the Langtry’s Dance of Hope.

Tess: If life were only that simple. I’m not exactly equipped for adopting a child.

Ava: There’s still quite a bit of opposition to opening of Dance of Hope, isn’t there? Aren’t Cole’s brothers battling for control of the family fortune and blocking the facility from breaking ground.

Tess: I wouldn’t quite put it that way. Every new business has some wrinkles that need ironing.

Ava: How hard was it seeing Cole again after the past few year years?

Tess: (laughs) You’re really digging deep on this one. Um, it was fine, we’re fine, we’re friends.

Ava: But between us girls, he’ll always have a piece of your heart, won’t he?

Tess: Oh my God! Dramatic! The Langtrys will always be a part of my life which is why I came home for Jesse Langtry’s wedding.

Ava: Have you thought about settling down in Ramblewood and coming home to stay?

Tess: I have. I’ve toyed with opening my own business but I also have some feelers out in Austin and Dallas with some corporate headhunters. I’m not sure if New York is where I really want to be anymore. Never say never, but Ramblewood's not what I’m planning right now.

Ava: You could open up your own business here in town.

Tess: There aren’t any corporations in Ramblewood and what I do doesn’t really pertain to little mom and pop operations like we have here in town.  With today’s internet and with the resources available, anyone can design a professional looking website, have their business cards printed and promotional mailers sent out all within a few hours. I don’t see my services fitting in around here.

Ava: Not even with Cole Langtry?

Tess: Oh my God. What is with you and Cole Langtry? It’s over and done with and in the past.

Ava: Why did you break up? Everyone thought you two were the next couple to get married.

Tess: I don’t know why. We weren’t even together for that long. It’s so amazing that people have this vested interest in our relationship. We dated for a few months. We were best friends all our lives, we tried dating, it failed miserably and it’s over with. We weren’t meant to be a couple. Some people are just better off being friends.

Ava: Now wouldn’t he make a great father for Ever?

Tess: Okay, you know what, I’m done here. Thanks for the interview.

There you have it folks – Tess Dalton is back home in Ramblewood, Texas, but the question remains…is she back for Miranda and Jesse’s wedding or has she really come HOME TO THE COWBOY?

Ya'll come back now!


Her Heart Never Left
It seems as if all of Ramblewood, Texas, is far too up-to-date on Tess Dalton's love life, or rather, recent lack thereof. She thought the trip home would help heal her heart-instead it just put her face-to-face with the first man to crush it.

Cole Langtry is determined to fulfill his father's dream of building an equine-assisted therapy facility on Bridle Dance Ranch. He doesn't have time for distractions, especially of the heartbreaking brunette variety. What he and Tess once had should stay in the past.
But when one remarkable little girl finally brings Tess and Cole together, it's hard to remember why they're apart. They've never backed down from a challenge before, but facing their true feelings for each other might be the ultimate test.

Amanda Renee
HOME TO THE COWBOY (August 2013)

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day!

Throughout the U.S. and Canada, we set aside the second Sunday to celebrate mothers and motherhood.  But have you ever stopped to ask why? 

Mother's Day has its roots in ancient Greek and Rome.  Greeks honored the goddess Rhea, mother of many Greek deities, in spring celebrations that coincided with the lambing season, flowers in bloom, new life.  
Romans dedicated one of their spring celebrations to another mother goddess, Cybele.  This tradition was continued by early Christians who dedicated the fourth Sunday in Lent to the Virgin Mary and, by extension, to all mothers, on Mothering Sunday. 

But Mother's Day, as we know it, has far more recent roots.  One Sunday in May of 1908, Anne Jarvis brought armloads of her mother's favorite flowers, carnations, to her church in honor of her mother, the late social activist Anna Marie Reeves-Jarvis.  That day, every mother in the congregation received two carnations.  A year later, the church repeated the celebration in honor of all mothers...and a tradition was born.  This day of special recognition was so popular that Woodrow Wilson made it a national holiday in 1914. 
Today, carnations are still associated with Mother's Day.  White, to honor those who've passed on.  Red or pink to honor the mom's who are still with us.  We celebrate this special day with cards, gifts, by getting Mom out of the kitchen and taking her out to eat (my favorite part).
To my own mom, and to moms everywhere,  I wish you a Happy Mother's Day!