"Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by doing so some people have entertained angels without knowing it." - Hebrews 13:2

Monday, February 27, 2012

Love at first sight?

Rainbow over Aspen - Aspen, CO - Photo by Loree Huebner

Due to my crazy work and writing schedule, this week’s post will be short and sweet. I just have one question for you: Which do you like to read and/or write:

Love at first sight?
Love that grows slowly over time?


I’m a “grows slowly over time” type reader and writer.

Have a great week everyone!

Between you, me and the gatepost,


Monday, February 20, 2012

Writing Pets and Giveaway Winners...

I’ll start off the post with the winners of last week’s Birthday Blog Giveaway.

The winner of the $25 gift card *drumroll* is Rosslyn Elliott!

Congratulations Rosslyn! You have a choice of a $25~ Starbucks, Dunkin Donut, or Barnes and Noble gift card.

The 5 runner up winners of my favorite sweet treat – the Jelly Belly Chocolate Dips  - are :
Michelle Teacress
Sandra Orchard
Carol Riggs
Susan J. Reinhardt
Lynda Lee Schab

Congratulations to all the winners!

I’ll contact you by email this week for mailing addresses.

I send out a big thank you to everyone! Thanks for participating and for all the fun comments. I really enjoyed my first giveaway on the blog!

Writing Pets

Flysie - Photo by H. Huebner

In my latest WIP, I’m thinking of writing in a pet dog for my main character. I’ve only written a pet “character” once before, but the animal didn’t belong to my main character, the animal belonged to secondary characters.

I feel a dog would be very important to the main character, and the story itself.

Writers - have you written in pets for your characters? Dogs? Cats? Other pets?

Readers and writers – do you like to read stories where the characters own pets?

Question for all - do you think pets help reveal a character’s true personality through interactions with the animal?

I would love to hear from you on this.

Between you, me and the gatepost,


Monday, February 13, 2012

Blog Birthday and Giveaway!

I'm over at Jill Kemerer's blog today for her Wednesday segment - 5 Easy Questions. Stop in and say hello!


This month, my blog turns one year old! I think this is my sixtieth blog post. It’s hard to believe it’s already been one year since I posted my very first post, A Blog is Born. I remember it was so scary to put myself out there that first time.

During the past year, I’ve become acquainted with some really great people—YOU!—writers, readers, and history buffs. I want to personally thank everyone who has visited my blog, or is a follower. I hold you dear to my heart.

One of the things I love about blogging is visiting other blogs. Since November, I’ve been on a hot streak in the giveaways! I wanted to show you a few of these awesome things that I’ve won by just leaving a comment on someone else’s blog.

Check out this apron!

From Sarah Sundin’s blog – Under His Wings – I won a homemade apron featuring, Blue Skies Tomorrow, the third novel released last August in Sarah’s Wings of Glory series. Sarah writes historical/World War II fiction. I was thrilled to receive this special gift. Her books are on my TBR list. I haven’t decided what to do with the apron yet. I’m thinking of having it framed.

I have won four wonderful novels from other blogs that I visit.

From Sarah Forgrave’s blog - Sarah Forgrave ~ Author & Speaker - I won a signed copy of - A Bride’s Portrait of Dodge City, Kansas – by Erica Vetsch. Sarah’s blog is one of my favorites to visit. I look forward to reading her books in the future.

From Sandra Orchard’s blog – Conversations About Characters – I won the a personally signed copy of – Shades of the Orient – by Stephanie Guerrero. It’s what I’m reading now. Sandra Orchard writes Love Inspired Suspense. I’ve read her first novel – Deep Cover. I look forward to her second novel – Shades of Truth – it will be out next month!

From Lynda Lee Schab’s blog – On the Write Track – I won a signed copy of – Thyme for Love – by Pamela S. Meyers. Lynda is the author of – Mind Over Madi. I read Madi and loved the book! I was supposed to be part of her blog tour for Mind Over Madi at the beginning of last December, but things got hectic before the holidays, and I didn’t get a chance to read her book until later on. I recommend the read.

And just last week, I won a copy of An Amish Family Reunion by Mary Ellis. I’ve started reading Mary’s blog because she is also repped by Mary Sue Seymour. She directed her readers to a giveaway of her book on Jo Huddleston’s blog – Scattering Hope With a Smile. I found Jo’s blog to be a wonderfully inspirational stop in the blogosphere. Jo is the author of four non-fiction books, and more than 200 of her articles and short stories have appeared in over fifty different Christian and general publications.

I just wanted to mention this very special gift. If you take another look and see that small plaque with books – the one that says – The world is waiting to hear your story – I received that from Keli Gwyn. She sent me a card and the plaque—personally congratulating me in acquiring agent representation. I was so touched by her gesture. I’m a regular visitor to Keli’s blog Keli Gwyn’s Blog. Keli writes historical fiction, and her debut novel – A Bride Opens Shop in El Dorado, California – will be released July 1, 2012.     

Since it’s my blog’s birthday, and it is Valentine’s Day tomorrow, I’m going to have a giveaway this week!

There will be ONE top prize winner drawn at random. The prize will be a $25 gift card! The winner can choose from a Starbucks, Dunkin Donut, or Barnes and Noble $25 gift card.

I’m also giving away my favorite sweet treat to 5 “sweet” runner up comments selected at random.

Yes, I love these JELLY BELLY CHOCOLATE DIPS! They're awesome! They come in several flavors. Orange is my favorite!

Anyway, all you have to do is leave a comment HERE on this post, or on my Facebook author page any time this week – you can link to my fb author page on my sidebar. The contest will go until Sunday, February 19th, 10 pm CDT. I will announce the winners on next Monday’s blog post. If you comment on both, that will give you two chances to win.

Happy Valentine's Day to all you romantic souls out there!

I hope you all have a wonderful week. Anyone doing anything special for Valentine’s Day? What’s your favorite candy? Reading any good romances this week?

Between you, me and the gatepost,


Monday, February 6, 2012

Daffodils ~ and the Civil War Bivouac

A flock of  origami birds over Indianapolis, IN
Photo by Loree Huebner

Can you believe that I have daffodils coming up? This mild winter has totally boggled my garden. Some of  my daffs are 6 inches high, and one bunch has buds on them! That Pennsylvania ground hog can't be right...here in Indiana, spring looks to be here soon. Of course, about one year ago at this time, we had an enormous blizzard. In the month of February, there's always that chance lurking around the corner.

Anyway, last Friday I realized that this month is the first anniversary of my blog. A blogi-versary! My blog is one year old this month. I can’t believe it’s been one whole year! I’ve met so many wonderful writers, readers, and history buffs through blogging. I can’t tell you all how much I love to read your comments, and make my visiting rounds through the blogosphere.

In honor of one year on the blog, and Valentine’s Day, next week I’m going to show you some of the things that I’ve won from visiting some of my favorite blogs—I’ve had a pretty good lucky streak in the past couple of months. ANDI’m going to give back and give away a prize, or maybe two! So make sure to stop in and visit!

Also, few weeks ago the wonderful and talented, Gwendolyn Gage, awarded me with the Irresistibly Sweet Blog Award - Take a look at that yummy-looking award hanging on my side bar. Make sure to go visit Gwen’s blog – Gwendolyn Gage ~ Serving Through Words. I pass this award on to EVERYONE - from me! Take it and hang it in a good spot.

Anyone else have flowers coming up early in your garden? Did you watch the Super Bowl on Sunday? Anyone up north see a Robin yet? 

Between you, me and the gatepost,

AND NOW ~ It's the first Monday of the month, and it's time to go back 150 years ~ that brings us to ~

The Civil War Bivouac with Eric Huebner

A cursory glance at the map will show the importance of rivers for any Union force invading Tennessee in 1862. The road and rail network was limited and supply lines would necessarily lengthen with any forward advance. The Federals rapidly constructed a fleet of gunboats and transports, but the Rebels just as quickly fortified key positions along the Mississippi River. The Tennessee and Cumberland rivers could also provide protected arteries for invasion into the Deep South, so the Southerners began construction of Fort Henry and Fort Donelson to block those routes.

On February 6, 1862 a force of Union gunboats began a furious shelling of Fort Henry on the Tennessee. The Rebels fought gamely, but the fort was poorly situated. CSA Col. Heiman withdrew his brigades before U. S Grant could bring his ground forces into the fight.

Fort Donelson on the Cumberland proved to be a more difficult objective. Once again, On February 14, the Federals brought up their gunboats, hoping to batter the fort into submission. This time, after closing to within 350 yards of the fort, the gunboats were driven away and with loss. Unaccountably, CSA Brig. General Floyd with some 18,000 troops remained passive in the fort while Grant brought up his 15,000 (later reinforced to over 20,000) men and invested the fort.

Recognizing their error, the Confederates decided to fight their way out. The next morning, the rebel attack was initially successful and the way out was open, but the Southern generals did not take advantage of the opportunity provided by their hard fighting soldiers. Federal resistance was stubborn, notably by the 31st Illinois under John “Black Jack” Logan. A counter attack spear-headed by the Zouave brigade of Brig. General Lew Wallace (author of Ben-Hur, a Tale of the Christ) sealed the escape route.

Seeing the way blocked, Generals Floyd and Pillow decided to escape on two steamers which they loaded with troops. The rest of the Confederates were to surrender. The facts the 2 highest ranking CSA officers would abandon their comrades, and that nearly all of the escaping troops were Virginians did not sit well with the other Southerners. Nathan Bedford Forrest refused to surrender, so he led his command through an icy backwater and escaped.

When asked by CSA Brig. General Simon Buckner for surrender terms, U. S. Grant replied, "No terms except unconditional and immediate surrender can be accepted.” When news of the surrender of 12,000 Rebels reached the North, “Unconditional Surrender” Grant became the hero of the land. The South was open to invasion along the Tennessee and Cumberland rivers. The Confederates were flanked out of Strongholds at Bowling Green, Nashville, and Columbus. Western Tennessee was under Union control.

Unfortunately, and heart-breaking, many of the Confederate prisoners were sent to the notorious prison at Camp Douglas in Chicago. Camp Douglas was one of the worst prisons, period.


According to Wikipedia ~"Goober Peas" is a folk song mostly known in the Southern United States. It was very popular with the Confederate soldiers during the Civil War, and is still sung frequently in the South to this day.
The words of "Goober Peas" are a pretty accurate description of daily life during the last few years of the Civil War for the Southerners. After being cut off from the rail lines and their farm land, they had little to eat aside from boiled peanuts (or "goober peas") which often served as an emergency ration.
I remember singing this song in elementary school ~ Loree


Sitting by the roadside on a summer's day
Chatting with my mess-mates, passing time away
Lying in the shadows underneath the trees
Goodness, how delicious, eating goober peas.
Peas, peas, peas, peas
Eating goober peas
Goodness, how delicious,
Eating goober peas.
Verse 2
When a horse-man passes, the soldiers have a rule
To cry out their loudest, “Mister, here’s your mule!"
But another custom, enchanting-er than these
Is wearing out your grinders, eating goober peas.
Verse 3
Just before the battle, the General hears a row
He says "The Yanks are coming, I hear their rifles now."
He turns around in wonder, and what d'ya think he sees?
The Tennessee Militia, eating goober peas.
Verse 4
I think my song has lasted almost long enough.
The subject's interesting, but the rhymes are mighty tough.
I wish the war was over, so free from rags and fleas
We'd kiss our wives and sweethearts, and gobble goober peas.

Tennessee Sunrise near Columbia, Tennessee
Photo by Loree Huebner